Meet a few folks who commit to protecting Alaska and supporting Trustees
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Natalie is committed to protecting Alaska and supporting Trustees

Meet a few folks who commit to protecting Alaska and supporting Trustees

One cool thing about doing nonprofit legal work in Alaska is getting to know all the people who support the work month after month, year after year, from nearby and far away. Each of these folks has their own story about their relationship with Alaska, yet all of them converge in a shared understanding—that we must do this work together for as long as it takes, through all the courtroom cycles and political shifts and setbacks, decade after decade, because lives, ways of life, wildlife, and future generations depend on it.

Natalie is committed to protecting Alaska and supporting Trustees
Natalie’s sister picking blueberries in the Granite Creed basin near Juneau. Photo by Natalie Watson

In the next few months, we want to introduce you to a few Trustees supporters who donate every month. Some started giving monthly 15 or more years ago, others more recently. We’re grateful to each and every one of them. Here, a few of these folks share in their own words what matters to them.

An Alaskan with deep roots and commitment

Natalie Watson of Juneau, Alaska

On Natalie’s connection to Alaska

I was raised in Juneau, so forests, mountains, and waterways felt like home from the beginning. I left Alaska to go to college and start my career in various big cities, but eventually was drawn back by the clean air and natural beauty of home.

One thing Natalie does that’s very Alaskan

One of my favorite Alaskan activities is harvesting wild foods; e.g., nettles in the spring, berries in the summer and mushrooms in the fall, and then cleaning and preparing them with my family. I feel a connection to nature and to many generations of ancestors doing this, and these activities sustain my physical and mental wellness.

Some wisdom about protecting Alaska
Natalie is committed to protecting Alaska and supporting Trustees
A handful of hedgehog. Photo by Natalie Watson.

The importance of protecting place is starkly clear to me. After having spent years in American cities, breathing polluted air, battling aggressive drivers, and being surrounded by the general ugliness and despoilment of industrial capitalism, I leapt at the chance to return home. I wish everyone could have the chance to experience living in an environment like Alaska. We owe it to future generations to protect our remaining wild places, our self-sustaining communities and our clean air, water, and soil. We also owe them a stable planetary climate similar to the one in which humans evolved. This is all at risk if our society continues on its current path of unchecked growth and mindless development.

Inspiration for donating monthly

I was inspired to commit to supporting Trustees because I’m looking for any and all ways to better protect public land, wildlife, and climate stability. I serve on the board of Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and therefore know the importance of members’ regular donations and public support of conservation organizations.

Alaska is where we can protect what’s been lost in so many other places

Jordan Schoonover of Hillsboro, Oregon

On Jordan’s connection with Alaska?

Alaska got into my blood the first time I lived there, and although I live in Oregon now, I will always keep coming back. My first job in Alaska was collecting native plant seeds for the Bureau of Land Management, and in that role I got to travel throughout the state—from Nome and Kotzebue to Valdez and Homer and many places in between. I have wonderful memories from that stint in Alaska and the times that followed—including the summer I interned for Trustees.

Jordan on the Matanuska Glacier in 2012 when an intern in 2012.
One thing Jordan does that’s very Alaskan

I love to garden and pick berries, and I spend a lot of time harvesting and preserving summer’s bounty to enjoy during the rest of the year.

Some wisdom about protecting Alaska

Protecting Alaska is particularly important to me because there is so much undeveloped space, which I think is an undervalued natural resource. In the United States, we have significant power to protect wild places with the environmental laws and access to legal processes that do not necessarily exist in other countries that have wild spaces similar to Alaska. So I think it is important to take advantage of the available opportunities to provide Alaska as much protection as we can, which Trustees certainly does.

Inspiration for donating monthly

As a former Trustees legal intern, I know first-hand that Trustees is made up of great people doing great work. I also value the fact that Trustees is local and focused on the needs of Alaska and Alaskans in particular.

If you feel inspired by Natalie’s and Jordan’s stories, you too can become a member of Trustees for Alaska’s monthly giving program.

All monthly gifts to Trustees help us hold decision-makers and industry accountable to the law, and work with clients and partners to protect the health and cultures of Alaska, animals and their habitat, and our planet as a whole!