Fighting to protect wilderness, wildlife, and clean air and water can feel disheartening.
It just got harder in Alaska with the election of a Governor who, like the Trump administration, wants to gut environmental protections and hastily pave the way for privatizing public lands and extracting oil, gas, gold, copper and even coal.
The first public statement by the Governor-elect, before the Alaska Miners Association, was that, “Alaska is open for business.”
I’m not sure when the State wasn’t, but he reiterated it three times.
“Open for business” means privatizing & destroying shared lands
Together, our state and federal administrations want to allow the alteration and destruction of land, water, habitat and communities throughout Alaska to fill the pockets of a few mostly Outside corporations, while adding to the carbon output that accelerates climate change and, in turn, imperils our most vulnerable Alaskans and communities.
Too often, it appears as if the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are sacrificed for financial gains. Decision-makers do not prioritize the health of our bodies, our families, our cultures, or our communities.
Yet every day, our clients and partners and fellow Alaskans speak out and stand up for the places and animals that do not have a voice. They fight for salmon, caribou, birds, trees, and micro-fauna. They fight for wilderness. They fight for the rights of those who rely on wildlife and wilderness.
They fight for the way of life of those who have lived here for thousands of years. They fight for the rivers, the plains, the mountains, the migrations, and all the interconnected landscapes, waterways and cultures that make up our human experience and provide sustenance.
They fight for something bigger than their own lives and work–a better tomorrow for our planet. Everything is connected and every decision has a consequence. They fight for the day when we don’t have to fight because everyone feels connected and unwilling to sell our natural resources and ways of life so cheaply.
We celebrate this fight
We celebrate and give thanks to those who join us in it. We celebrate what it teaches us about the importance of facts and truth, of learning all perspectives, of calling out the commissions and omissions that undercut the public interest, of reflecting on challenges and successes.
We celebrate all of this, and we celebrate all of you. May you find rest and resilience, and return to this vital work renewed.
PS: Your support of Trustees for Alaska is critical now more than ever.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that has broader implications than John Sturgeon’s desire to use a hovercraft to hunt moose in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.