Empowering Southeast Alaskan Communities to reach cultural, ecological and economic prosperity.
October 23, 2016 | Autumn Newsletter
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 days are getting darker and colder as Southeast Alaska prepares for winter. Summer and early fall have been busy for SSP and we are pleased to share some of our latest progress to help brighten your day.

Please continue to follow along on facebook , our  website and  blog and subscribe for future newsletters .

"There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction" -John F. Kennedy

'Path to Prosperity' Honored for Economic Impact in Southeast Alaska
Innovative competition rewards Alaska entrepreneurs with startup funds

The Haa AanĂ­ Community Development Fund and The Nature Conservancy in Alaska have received the 2015 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Silver Award in recognition of their innovative Path to Prosperity business development competition. The IEDC is the world's largest economic development organization and each year, the group recognizes innovative, successful economic development programs that are positively impacting their communities and region. The IEDC presented the award earlier this month at its annual convention, held this year in Anchorage.

The annual award recognizes Path to Prosperity for its outstanding success in retaining businesses and helping expand economic opportunity since its founding in Southeast Alaska three years ago. Since launching, Path to Prosperity has awarded $280,000 in prizes to seven winning entrepreneurs from across Southeast Alaska.  The competition aims to launch companies that will increase local employment, have a positive social and economic impact on their communities, promote sustainable use of local resources, and increase entrepreneurial know-how and business leadership in Southeast Alaska.

The program has named its 12 semi-finalists for the 2015 competition. Semi-finalists attended the annual intensive 'boot camp' in September where experts, help them to hone their business plans before submitting them for final judging at year's end. To learn more about the program and this year's semi-finalists please read more here.

Celebrating Haida Culture on Prince of Wales Island
Kasaan and Hydaburg focus on community cultural empowerment

Prince of Wales was bustling with cultural activity this summer! The Organized Village of Kasaan and Southeast Conference hosted the second annual Kasaan Community Harvest in July. Hydaburg's annual Culture Camp and totem raising was a great success. The Naay I'waans Restoration Project is counting down one year until the official rededication of Kasaan's Whale House and if you happened to miss all the media buzz on these excellent projects, check out our storytelling page to learn more .  

Anthony Christianson is the mayor of Hydaburg who also leads the Hydaburg Cooperative Association's natural resource program. We think he sums up these summer activities rather nicely,

"These events are about creating the momentum in the community to continue to strive to keep cultural activity alive and happening on a regular basis. It gives people pride and brings with it a level of energy...It gives our kids and community that strong sense of identity through pride - the common thread that keeps the community moving forward every day."
Developing Our Regional Economy
Southeast Conference's annual meeting recognizes SSP communities

Southeast Conference is  working with SSP to meet the challenge of sustainable community development in Southeast Alaska. This September, Southeast Conference hosted their Annual Meeting in Prince Rupert, British Columbia to discuss how building cross-border partnerships can strengthen our economies. Participants discussed everything from biomass and tourism to ocean products and ferry transportation. 

Vigor Alaska was recognized as the business of the year. The Organized Village of Kasaan received the Community of the Year Award to celebrate their commitment to both Kasaan and the region. Hoonah was celebrated for replacing 5,000 gallons of diesel since the completion of the Gartina Falls Hydro Project this spring.

Southeast Conference also  announced and reviewed three new publications. These resources are available online:
  • Southeast By the Numbers 2015This publication reviews our regional economy, provides a one-year analysis and offers a future economic forecast for the region.
  • Southeast Alaska Business Climate Survey: This survey is completed every five years to help the region better understand the obstacles and advantages of owning and operating a business.
  • Southeast Alaska 2020 Economic Plan: Through workshops and strategic planning meetings, Southeast Conference members developed a list of six goals and 50 objectives to reach  by 2020.
The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership is Underway!
Local forest work crew completes the first field season in multi-year project

The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) is a science-based, landscape scale, community forest approach to watershed planning and project implementation. The overall goal of the HNFP is to achieve a measurable and resilient blend of timber, salmon and deer production, local economic diversification and improved watershed health.

The HNFP kicked off their first official field season! A six person field crew worked this summer on salmon spawning surveys and stream channel surveys. The data from this work will be used to model the ecological potential of salmon habitat in streams near Hoonah and help prioritize future investments in habitat enhancement. This same crew switched gears to wrap up the 2015 field season with road condition surveys. These surveys will continue next year and will provide data to help land managers work with locals on prioritizing road work to maintain access to important subsistence areas and to improve fish access to spawning and rearing habitat.

Heading into the Fall and Winter, the HNFP team will be meeting with community members to identify local management priorities. The group will also meet to discuss lessons learned from the first field season and conduct strategic planning for completing the resource inventory work by next summer.

Energy Audits Create Savings Opportunity for Building Owners
Thank you to all the partners that made this extensive regional project a reality

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership communities have identified clean energy as a priority. Displacing fuel through heating and electricity upgrades will allow us to keep more money in our communities. This summer, SSP Regional Energy Catalysts worked with on-the-ground Community Catalysts to identify energy efficiency measures in commercial buildings through a Level I Walk Through Energy Audit. 

Thank you to all who participated in this audit project and all who supported this collaborative effort! With your help we were able to audit:

35 buildings, nearly 230,000 square feet, identified over $100,000 savings
on annual lighting costs, and between all the partners involved we leveraged over 
$ 18,000  to make this historic work happen. 

Stay tuned and keep following along to see the final outcomes of all this hard work!

(Below) The energy audit team meets with the Hoonah Economic Development Committee
What Is the Sustainable Southeast Partnership?

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership  has a unified vision of community sustainability. Our partnership includes both regional and community based organizations that are working together across the region. 

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership includes the rural Alaskan communities of  KakeKasaan Hydaburg   Hoonah   Sitka    and  Yakutat   .
Our regional partners are diverse, ranging from economic development agencies to environmental conservation groups.

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership and Sitka Conservation Society are hiring a Sitka Sustainable Community Catalyst.  Learn more and apply by November 15th!