Empowering Southeast Alaskan Communities to reach cultural, ecological and economic prosperity.
April 27th, 2017 
Welcome to The Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) .  We are a diverse network of organizations and individuals working together to meet the challenge of sustainable community development in Southeast Alaska.

It is our collective mission to empower rural Alaskan communities to reach cultural, ecological and economic prosperity.

The Alaskan earth is thawing and daylight is increasing. Spring is here! The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is working full tilt, hosting conferences, supporting local business, making news headlines and building local workforce capacity.

Please continue to follow along on facebook , our  website and  blog and subscribe here for future newsletters .
Does your organization want to contribute to the next newsletter? Contact us at info@sustainablesoutheast.net
Reflections from the Director on the Mid-Year Summit
The Sustainable Southeast Partnership Gathers in Juneau 

Written by Alana Peterson, Program Director
 
Partners and collaborators met in Juneau for a two day bi-annual SSP workshop in March. This workshop coincided with Southeast Conference's Mid-Session Summit. The success and utility of the SSP network relies heavily on the commitment of partners to meet in-person twice a year. Spending time together to share information and ideas always leads to improved collaboration across the region. We saw over 50 people participate in the two day event, and many of them noted that it was a priority to attend because they see the value it brings to be tapped into the SSP network.
 
We used the two days to explore specific ideas including: ideas for improving the network in 2017, reflections on how we as individuals and organizations both provide and receive benefits through the partnership, and building an SSP story bank. Southeast Alaska has a rich history rooted in the use of storytelling for sharing knowledge, skills and inspiration. The SSP prioritizes sharing compelling and progressive stories to strengthen projects and connections between our rural villages across the region. We spent one afternoon brainstorming storytelling ideas based on our projects and started to discuss and map out strategies for sharing those stories to inspire positive change.



Catalyst of the Quarter: Lia Heifetz Supports the Local Foods Movement

Written by Alana Peterson, Program Director

To catalyze a movement, one must be passionate about the subject, have high performance standards, and always strive to improve the system. This is how I would describe the efforts of Lia Heifetz, our Catalyst of the Quarter.

Lia is the Regional Catalyst for Food Security. This area of work is arguably one of the most underdeveloped in Southeast Alaska. Though food plays a unique and primary role in the culture of our communities, our region is highly dependent on imported food. Lia has dedicated her professional career to changing that. Through Lia's leadership, our communities are learning the realities of our current food system, collaborating at a new level around local food production efforts, and teaching children how to grow their own foods. One of Lia's recent projects has been the launch of a local food-hub; an online marketplace that connects Southeast Alaska food producers with local consumers and provides order fulfillment for monthly purchasing.

For Lia, this work is more than a day job. This is her passion. Lia is the type of person you want on your team, she is thoughtful, timely, and detail oriented. In her spare time Lia is growing her own local food business with her partner Matt, producing and selling local kelp products. Look for their label: Wild Alaska Kelp Co. and next time you see Lia, thank her for her efforts to create a thriving local food system in Southeast!

Training an Alaskan Workforce 

Written collaboratively by the partners

(Thorne Bay, AK)- This spring on Prince of Wales Island, 12 students attended the second Forestry Training Academy. This crew is proof that collaboration can be more than just a buzzword. The Forestry Training Academy involves two weeks of training to prepare students for local jobs in natural resources. The U.S. Forest Service, state Division of Forestry, state Division of Economic Development, Sealaska Timber, Spruceroot Community Development Fund and Sustainable Southeast Partnership are working together to support the academy for a second year.

Why are federal, state, private and non-profit groups all invested? Each share a common objective to support sustainably-managed forests and sustainable communities with healthy economies. The academy puts local people to work in local jobs, gathering valuable data about area timber stands. Land managers across the region have forestry jobs to fill and the partners believe that keeping jobs local is good for industry, good for communities and good for Alaska.

Since completing the training, eight students have been offered seasonal employment and six have committed to job offers. Four academy graduates are actively going through application processes for open positions. SSP continues to support all academy students in seeking employment in the Tongass National Forest.



Local students learn valuable forestry skills that prepare them for employment in Southeast Alaska's forests. Photos provided by Bob Christensen.
Growing Local Food Producers at the 2017 Farmers Summit
Valuable Resources Shared in Haines and Salt and Soil Marketplace is Launched

Written by Colin Peacock, Local Foods Coordinator

At the end of February, over 80 people gathered in Haines for the 2017 Southeast Alaska Farmers Summit. People from around the region and state came to learn, share resources, and find opportunities to collaborate to increase local food production in the region. The event surpassed our expectations and we were pleased to see extensive connections made and generous resource sharing among participants. We are thankful for everyone who brought their energy. We are also thankful for the community of Haines and theirĀ­ generous hospitality.

Why did we host a Farmers Summit in the first place? Currently, many people in Southeast Alaska don't have regular access to locally-grown produce, and other locally-produced foods. Furthermore, small producers of these foods face many hurdles as they look to start, expand, or improve the efficiency of their operations - from growing to selling. SSP and the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition strives to increase the amount of food production in Southeast Alaska, and is excited to announce the development of a new market outlet to connect food producers with consumers. The Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and partners have created a new  social enterprise to make connections in our food system: Salt and Soil Marketplace

Salt & Soil Marketplace is an online platform that is accessible and economical for small businesses and hobby growers to connect with consumers across Southeast. Whether a gardener has a bumper crop of carrots they are looking to sell or a commercial fisherman wants their seafood to be sold within their community, the marketplace is a virtual way to connect vendors of all sizes and types to consumers. In this first year, the Salt & Soil Marketplace will be operating two pick-up sites, one in Juneau and the other in Haines. In future years Salt & Soil hopes to expand to engage more interested consumers and expand the number of pick-up sites in communities throughout Southeast. 


Visit https://www.saltandsoilmarketplace.com/ to learn more about this new online marketplace.
SSP Hosts a Tour and the Biomass-Heated Greenhouse Handbook is Released
Excellent Resources for Starting a Biomass-heated School Greenhouse in Alaska

Written by Shaina Kilcoyne, Renewable Energy Alaska Project & Ian Johnson, Community Catalyst of Hoonah

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is all about connecting the dots and bridging communities and ideas across our great region. In April, an inspiring example of SSP and our collaborative network in action took place. The Renewable Energy Alaska Project and the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition led a tour through the innovative school biomass greenhouses on Prince of Wales Island to interested folks from Alaska and Canada. The multi-day walk through left the group inspired to launch into community based biomass-greenhouse projects.


But wait, there's more! Also in April, the Biomass Heated Greenhouse Handbook was released at the Alaska Wood Energy Conference in Ketchikan. SSP contributed to this free resource that the USDA Forest Service and the Alaska Energy Authority commissioned and the Cold Climate Research Lab helped orchestrate.

Not only did participants of the greenhouse tour leave inspired to begin community biomass-greenhouses in their hometowns, they also have a tangible resource to help turn that dream into a reality.




The Biomass Heated Greenhouse tour on Prince of Wales Island left participants inspired to build greenhouse projects in their local communities and schools. Photos by Ian Johnson.
New Short Videos Celebrate Fish to Schools and Provide Energy Saving Advice for Local Fishermen and Car Buyers

Do you have a spare five minutes? Need a little upbeat inspiration from the next generation of Alaskans? Check out the Sitka Conservation Society's new Fish to Schools 60 second series that interviews students about Alaska's favorite resource: salmon. Through Sitka's Fish to Schools program, students enjoy a nutritious fish meal every Wednesday, cooked from scratch by hardworking school chefs!

Are you a commercial fishermen looking to save energy and save money? Or, are you looking to buy a vehicle and are considering buying electric? The Renewable Energy Alaska Project has helped put together a fantastic series of short videos that are great resources for you. Visit their vimeo page to learn more!
 
Click here to hear her favorite thing about salmon!
The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is Newsworthy

SSP partners are making headlines across the United States this season! Our Workforce Academy was covered  by KRBD radio as well as the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition. Lia Heifetz and Matthew Kern's Kelp Business not only won the 2016 Path to Prosperity Competition, but their endeavor was on the front page of National Public News this spring. The Sitka Conservation Society hosted their 16th annual Parade of Species this year and Sitka's March for Science joined in. The parade was featured on national news coverage from the Boston Globe to the ABC.

Upcoming Opportunities: Apply for the Path to Prosperity Competition & Say YES to Young Tribal Citizen Employment

The Path to Prosperity Competition

The 2017 Path to Prosperity (P2P) sustainable business competition aims to identify and support innovative Southeast Alaska food businesses. Supporting local food businesses reduces Southeast Alaska's dependence on imports, strengthens community resiliency, and promotes sustainable use of the region's natural bounty. Path To Prosperity is a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Spruce Root, Inc. Eligible businesses must operate primarily in Southeast Alaska and be involved in the growing, harvesting, processing, aggregation, preparation or distribution of food.

Click Here to Learn More & Apply for the 2017 Path to Prosperity Competition

Youth Employment Services (YES)

Tlingit & Haida Central Council facilitates the YES program to assist eligible tribal youth between the ages of 14-24 to obtain summer employment in their community. YES provides participating youth with professional experience and also offers subsidized part-time and full-time positions to interested host employers in Southeast Alaska. If you are a business or non-profit interested in hosting a YES applicant or if you or someone you know is interested in summer work through the YES program, click the link below.

Click Here to Learn More & Apply for the Youth Employment Services Program
What Is the Sustainable Southeast Partnership?

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is a diverse network that includes both regional and community-based organizations that are working together on sustainable development in Southeast Alaska. 

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership includes the rural Alaskan communities of  KakeKasaan Hydaburg   Hoonah   Sitka, Klawock  and  Yakutat   .
 

SSP Welcomes Colin Peacock and Stephen SueWing to the Partnership

Stephen SueWing is the Workforce Development Catalyst hosted with the State of Alaska Division of Economic Development and Colin Peacock is the Local Foods Coordinator hosted with the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition. Colin joined the partnership this spring and Stephen joined in the autumn. We are all very excited for their contribution to the partnership and are already impressed by their recent successes. Colin helped launch the Salt and Soil marketplace this spring and Stephen SueWing helped facilitate the second Forestry Training Academy on Prince of Wales Island.