Empowering Southeast Alaskan Communities to reach cultural, ecological and economic prosperity.
December 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 daylight is shrinking with every passing day, the northern lights are dancing above our heads, and our wood stoves are busy. Autumn is upon us! Read on to learn more about the Sustainable Southeast Partnership's collective work.
Also, please continue to follow along on facebook , our  website and  blog and subscribe here for future newsletters .

Building Rural Resiliency in Southeast Alaska
Paul Hackenmueller recognized for dedication to economic development
Written by Alana Peterson, Program Director
Economic Development underlies all the work that we do in SSP. From the projects that we work on, to the entities we work for, creating a thriving economy is at the base of any healthy community. This is why our Regional Catalyst for Economic Development, Paul Hackenmueller has a hand in virtually every project within the network. Paul is selected as the Catalyst of the Quarter because of his dedication to ALL the work that we do, and especially for his efforts as the program administrator for Path to Prosperity (P2P). The P2P program has been a huge success in growing socially, culturally, environmentally, economically sustainable businesses in Southeast Alaska, and that is no small feat! Paul has increased the quality of the P2P program every year, and has been a mentor and supporter to the 36 entrepreneurs who have participated. Thank you Paul for sharing your time, expertise, and humor with the entire network!

SSP welcomes new faces to our annual autumn retreat 
Written by Alana Peterson, Program Director 

In October, SSP held our annual week-long retreat in Yakutat. This was our largest retreat yet in both attendance and in spirit! Each year we commit to meeting in-person in the fall and in the spring. Our fall retreat is a full-throttle, busy week where we tackle new objectives that move our partnership forward and improve our collective work.

Over 36 people were in attendance. We built work plans, shared our projects, learned new methods of efficient communication, dove into our five focus areas, and analyzed how we can each contribute to strengthening the partnership. More details on all of this can be found in the retreat notes.

This year, I labeled this retreat a "workation". Maybe because it was a busy summer, or because we are at a milestone in the SSP lifespan where it felt most appropriate to take some 'selfie-time' and reflect on why we do the work that we do. Like every community in this region, Yakutat is unique and special. So, we made sure to enjoy it by taking a moment to step away from giant post-it notes to go out and experience local fishing, long sandy beaches, world-renowned surfing, Aurora chasing, and of course, to meet and learn from the community of Yakutat.

Other activities over the week included a game of Southeast Alaska Jeopardy, Art Night, a community dinner with dancing by the Mt. St. Elias Dancers, and a tour of the local fish plant. We toured Yakutat with Martha Indreland and JP Buller. We learned more about the cultural history and stories of the Yakutat Kwaan people, how they came to be on the land, and who still resides there today. We also learned about the economy, opportunities and issues the community is facing. Some highlights included the community dump (the nicest dump in all of Southeast), the Senior Center, and Totem Trail.

Thank you to all who attended! It is great to see our partnership growing. An enormous thank you goes out to the community of Yakutat for making our stay comfortable and sharing your food, company, and wisdom with all of us. We also want to thank Ralph Wolfe, our Community Catalyst in Yakutat for helping pull all the details together to make this week possible. The Glacier Bear Lodge for catering all our meals, Yakutat Bayview B&B and the Monti Bay Lodge for housing our group, Martha, Greg Indreland, JP, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, the City and Borough of Yakutat, and the list goes on...

We hope to see you all in March at our next retreat! Save the date: March 7-9th in Juneau, AK.
Stewarding Klawock Lake Sockeye Salmon
Stakeholders meet to discuss the future of Klawock's Sockeye
Written by Christine Woll, Southeast Alaska Program Director of The Nature Conservancy

"What does sockeye salmon mean to Klawock?  I didn't have to think hard about that question. Klawock is here because of sockeye salmon." Lawrence Armour, the mayor and tribal administrator of the Klawock Cooperative Association opened the Klawock Lake Sockeye Salmon Stakeholders meeting on November 14 on Prince of Wales Island.

This 2-day gathering brought together  community members, land managers, local government officials, fish and wildlife managers, tribal members, researchers and subsistence and commercial fishers in order to build a common understanding of the history and current status of sockeye salmon in the Klawock Lake Watershed. Stakeholders identified opportunities to partner on shared goals that will help steward this critical resource.

It is well documented in Klawock traditional knowledge that sockeye salmon have declined over the last century. The potential factors for these declines have been  studied over many years , and are very complex and intertwined.  

Meeting participants acknowledge that, in Klawock Lake, there is no "smoking gun."  No one action or one person is going to bring back sockeye salmon to historical levels. However, brainstorming and discussions brought forth many great ideas and recommendations on ways to move forward - together. We hope that the relationships and trust built at this meeting will help catalyze these next steps into action - and lead to a thriving future for this community fishery.


Home Energy Leaders Program
HELP your neighbors become more energy efficient  
Written by Shaina Kilcoyne, Deputy Director of The Renewable Energy Alaska Project

Are you interested in learning ways to reduce energy and HELP your neighbors save money?Do you want to earn money on your own schedule?

The new Home Energy Leader Program (HELP) provides training and resources to residents in Southeast Alaska to lower their energy bills through efficiency and conservation measures.  

The program includes a free one-day training on January 23, 2018 in Juneau for one to two residents of each community to become "Home Energy Leaders."  There are limited travel scholarships available for Yakutat, Hoonah, Kake, Angoon and Metlakatla.

Home Energy Leaders will use the information and resources they gain in Juneau to engage their fellow community members to reduce energy use. This includes changing out up to five bulbs to LEDs.

CALL TODAY! Community members interested in participating in the program as an Energy Leader or a resident participant should contact SSP Energy Catalyst Shaina Kilcoyne, S.kilcoyne@realaska.org or (907) 331 - 7409.

Workforce Development in Southeast Alaska
Twenty-one organizations meet in Juneau to discuss the year ahead
Written by Stephen Suewing, Workforce Development Specialist, Alaska Division of Economic Development

In mid-September, 20 people representing 21 organizations met in Juneau to discuss ongoing workforce development efforts. Preparing young Alaskans for growing industries across the Southeast is a top priority for SSP.

This year, SSP saw the successful completion of the pilot year of our Training Rural Alaska Youth Leaders and Students program(TRAYLS). This collaborative project trains rural Alaskan youth for various forestry related careers. Impressively, this program went from an opportunity identified by a community catalyst to the completion of its first field season in only 10 months! The creativity, trust, and working relationships within SSP were the sturdy support system that lay the foundation for this program. The group in Juneau discussed ideas for improving programming and the consensus from this meeting was to continue to develop, support, and implement a second year of TRAYLS in 2018. The group also discussed other ongoing workforce development efforts across the region.

During the summer, Sienna Reid, a recent high school graduate from Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska traveled around the region to report on some of these workforce development efforts, including TRAYLS. She writes:

"After a summer spent traveling around Southeast Alaska, I was reminded of how fortunate we are to live surrounded by natural resources. I also discovered the significance of this human resource; young, eager learners who are preparing themselves to take on the challenges of managing these lands and waters. These programs require time, money, and the dedication of everyone involved. However, the opinions of the young participants indicates the work is well worth the effort. Youth workforce development programs like the ones I visited this year are more than just a summer job. They are an investment for the future of Southeast Alaska."

Hoonah Native Forest Partnership Meets to Plan for Future
What's next for Southeast Alaska's innovative land partnership?
Written by Ian Johnson, Community Catalyst for Hoonah Indian Association
The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) has completed its last season of data collection with our locally trained work crews and is now full-steam ahead with writing a watershed management plan.  On November 6th-7th, 2017 the HNFP Steering Committee and Technical team met to discuss the landowner's objectives and recommendations as the partnership moves forward. Each of the groups spent time reflecting on important steps for the HNFP to be successful.
There were many mutual answers for ways to create success, and both groups agreed it is crucial the Steering Committee works closely with the Technical Team and that community values remain at the forefront of all discussions as we move forward with recommendations and projects through the HNFP. This type of collaboration takes a lot of work! Ultimately the watershed management will be collaborative document that will be guided by community values, land manager needs, and technical advice.

Learn more about meeting outcomes, read the presentations, and stay up-to-date on HNFP, by visiting the Hoonah Indian Association's new website here
Making the SSP Sustainable
SSP welcomes Aaron Ferguson as the Sustainability Catalyst
Aaron Ferguson is the new Regional Sustainability Catalyst for the Sustainable Southeast Partnership and is hosted at Spruce Root Community Development. In this role, Aaron's main task is to
develop and implement a new business model for the Partnership as it enters the final years of its current funding cycle. Aaron also gets to work with Regional and Community Catalysts to strengthen their projects where possible.

After growing up in East Asia, Aaron earned a degree from the University of Washington in Geography with a concentration in International Development, spending a year in Sichuan, China, to complete a public health research project. Aaron has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies around the U.S. and earned a Masters of Public Administration with concentrations in Strategic Planning and Environmental Policy, also from the University of Washington.

In the next year, Aaron will work on developing and implementing a new funding model for SSP and will assist Community and Regional Catalysts in designing projects for financial sustainability.

Aaron is excited to have recently moved back to Juneau because he loves Southeast's mountains, forests, water, culture, and pace of life. As someone who believes in social and environmental justice, he is grateful to have this opportunity to support an inclusive network of passionate Alaskans working to create a more resilient, sustainable Southeast.

Welcome Emmy and Russell
Hydaburg and Kake hire new catalysts

Dorinda 'Emmy' is Haida, born and raised in Hydaburg. Dorinda is of the Eagle, Sculpin, Frog Clan, is the mother of three sons, and Naana (grandmother) to three amazing grandchildren. Dorinda has been working for the Hydaburg Cooperative Association (Tribe) for eight years! She leads Data Entry for the HCA Wolf Project and  HCA Stream Mapping project, and works part time on HCA Native American Grave Proteciton and Repatriation Act program. Hydaburg is a fishing community, and throughout the years the fishermen have faced hardships and struggle to continue fishing. As Hydaburg's Community Catalyst, Dorinda's focus and goal is to help the people of Hydaburg develop their capacity to become economically sustainable.

The Organized Village of Kake welcomes Russell James home to become the new Community Catalyst. He is currently working on developing a tannery in Kake to help control sea otter populations while creating business opportunity for locals. He is also working with community partners on Kake's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and is happy to be back in Kake surrounded by familiar shores, forests, rivers and neighbors. Welcome to SSP and welcome home Russell!
Who is the Sustainable Southeast Partnership?

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is a diverse network of organizations and individuals working together to reach cultural, ecological and economic prosperity for our communities and region. 

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership includes the rural Alaskan communities of  KakeKasaan Hydaburg   Hoonah   Sitka, Klawock  and  Yakutat   .
If you or your community has announcements or media posts please consider sharing them in our quarterly newsletter! Reach out to us at info@sustainablesoutheast.net .