Getting a jump on the ole’ bucket list– and a legacy too

Carl Andeer worked for Trustees years ago, getting a early start on his bucket list and a lifelong legacy of protecting Alaska. Here, he talks about a new way to take care of his family and support Trustees. Learn more about other ways to make your legacy a clean and healthy Alaska.

Being in the mountains was always something I dreamt about. I grew up in Detroit, Michigan where the tallest mountain peaks at 1,979 feet. So, when I had the chance to go to Alaska and work in Denali National Park, I jumped. North America’s highest mountain would be in my backyard. Everything about Alaska was larger than life!

Carl getting a jump start on the ole' bucket list in Denali National Park
Carl in Denali National Park back in the day.

My love for the outdoors really started when I was a high school student and participated in a semester long wilderness-learning class that ended in a week-long camping, backpacking, and canoeing trip. Being in Alaska that summer only deepened my regard for the quiet and wild that the mountains offered.

Any excuse to return to Alaska

After attending Michigan State University and graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in political science, I went to Vermont Law School to study Environmental Law and Policy. One career aspiration was to work for change on a local level. And one way to get the experience I needed, and get back to Alaska was Vermont Law School’s externship program with Trustees for Alaska – one whole semester earning college credits while living in Alaska!

My work at Trustees that semester focused on clean water issues, especially working to keep coal mines from destroying salmon streams. Even though I was not yet a fully-fledged attorney and I had never worked at a law firm before, the Trustees’ staff immediately took me under their wing and showed me the ropes. Of course, I learned a lot about the law and how to be a lawyer, but the big take-away was that the legal team at Trustees really and truly cared about protecting and defending Alaska.

No B.S., Trustees is the real deal

Trustees for Alaska plays a vital role in opposing resource extraction and defending Alaska’s environmental laws in court and holding decision-makers accountable. Without Trustees providing legal representation to their clients, it’s difficult to imagine the sheer destruction to Alaska’s iconic wilderness, wildlife, water and air, and the thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on healthy communities. Not to mention the fearlessness and tenacity of the staff. They mean business, they live their professional and personal lives to a higher standard, they get things done, and they have the law on their side.

The impact of Trustees extends far beyond the borders of Alaska. This is something I realized when I returned to Vermont. I finished law school and began my legal career. Representing local issues was still important to me and I wanted to be part of making change in my new home state. I landed a job working for a small firm in White River Junction, then at the Rutland City Attorney’s Office, and now for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

Carl and his kids on a hill with sky in the background in Vermont, 2020
Carl and his kids in Vermont this year.

100% for the family, and 1% for the Planet

Since making my home in Vermont, I got married and now have two kids. With each new addition to the family, came a change to my life insurance policy. Of course, protecting my family is my number one priority, but I knew I wanted to do what I could to protect Alaska, too. I learned about Bluestone Life, a national company based in Vermont, through my job. Together, by setting up my life insurance policy there, I was able to provide protections for my family while also giving back to Trustees for Alaska – at no additional cost to me. Bluestone Life is a member of 1% for the Planet and collaborates with their customers to connect important family decisions with their values.

At the end of the day, it felt good to designate Trustees for Alaska as a beneficiary in my life insurance policy. Our family’s decision to take out a life insurance policy that protects us and gives back to Trustees for Alaska was a win-win. The gift will keep Trustees going. That is important to me because the mountains still call me. And taking my family to Alaska is on my revised bucket list.