Successes and milestones: It's time to throw a party! Alaska News Brief September 2023
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Successes and milestones: It’s time to throw a party! Alaska News Brief September 2023

Every nonprofit is born from an idea. And then comes the paperwork establishing articles of incorporation, bylaws, and raising the money to make it real. There’s a lot of pragmatic work that goes into turning an idea into a team of folks getting the work done. There are also so many reasons for continuing to hope and reflect on doing that good work.

We’re closing out the 2023 fiscal year with high hopes for continued headway in protecting Alaska’s Arctic, clean water, salmon, bears, wolves, the integrity of public lands, and so much more.

We just got the great news that Interior Secretary Haaland canceled the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s Arctic Refuge leases, setting us up to press for the enduring protection of lands sacred to the Gwich’in Nation of Alaska and Canada.

We just got great news that the Interior Department released draft regulations that will strengthen and potentially deepen and expand protections for areas in the western Arctic.

Earlier this year, after two decades of advocacy on the part of Tribes, conservation and recreation groups, fishermen, and Alaska organizations including Trustees, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized Clean Water Act protections for the Pebble mine area and the salmon fisheries and communities those Bristol Bay headwaters nourish.

We also won in court to stop ineffective and destructive wildlife management practices like baiting bears to shoot them and to ensure that wildlife refuges and national preserves continue to be a place where animals like bears and wolves can continue to live and thrive.

Believe me, we’re not done with any of these issues. Important inroads have been made, vital steps have been taken, but Trustees will continue to work alongside clients and partners in the years ahead to defend protections and advance policies and actions that address climate, support local communities, and do everything possible to preserve healthy land and water for all human and more-than-human beings.

As we segue into 2024, we reach a Trustees milestone that we will be celebrating—with all of you. We’ve been playing a key legal role in protecting Alaska land, water, animals, and people for nearly 50 years.

It’s time to throw a giant party—and we’re on it!

We’ve got a concert with Alaska bands and musicians planned for next May, an outdoor bash next September, a special Arctic trip in partnership with Tundra Travels next June, and an array of stories to tell, bomber swag to hand out, and many reasons and ways to mingle and chatter and enjoy a half century of being in it together, all of us.

We brought together some Trustees staff and board members in a 50th anniversary committee to plot out the festivities, and we’ll be sharing out more information in the months to come, but there’s no need to wait to celebrate. We’ve got our year-end board meeting this month and want to invite everyone to share some time and celebrate our successes with us. Celebration is essential to doing the hard work in the trenches every day.

If you’re in Anchorage, we heartily invite you to our 2023 Cheers and Beers gathering.

R.S.V.P. Cheers and (free) Beers
(Nonalcoholic drinks and munchies, too!)

Thursday, Sept. 21, from 6 to 8 pm
Free parking and admission
Cynosure Brewing Company in Anchorage

We hope you will come by, meet some of our board members and staff, and share your thoughts, ideas, and stories about what a healthy and thriving Alaska looks like and means to you.

It’s a great time to ask questions, learn more about Trustees, talk about the issues important to you, and even find out how to get more involved as a supporter or volunteer board member.

If you’re not in Anchorage, you can bet we can still have those conversations in the weeks and months to come. We’ve got plenty of virtual plans for our 50th anniversary year, and of course we always welcome a visit!

There’s a reason so many government officials have come to Alaska over the last few months—there’s a lot of industry interest here, a lot of lands and waters free of industrialization, and many ways of life and communities nourished by these lands. The decisions made about how we manage ourselves in Alaska ripple outward and affect people throughout the country and world, and for generations to come.

You already know that, of course. It’s good to pause once and a while and cheer what’s been accomplished and what’s possible—to take a deep breath and celebrate—because there’s a lot of work ahead, and we’re deeply grateful to do it with you.

PS. Thanks to supporters like you, we can continue fighting to protect Alaska’s land, water, air, wildlife and people.

Buff breasted sandpiper in the Arctic Refuge. Photo by Shiloh Schulte, USFWS

Did cancellation of Arctic Refuge leases, new regulations in the western Arctic free Alaska’s Arctic from oil and gas industry threats? Not yet. And the devil is in the details.

Teresa on a hike in Japan, July 1993. Family photo.

Teresa Clemmer, our new legal director, talks about the zigzag way

Vicki learning to scuba dive in 1991. Photo by Tony Montenaro, a friend also in the class.

Vicki talks about the other world

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