March 16th, 2015  | Spring Newsletter 

Welcome to The Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP). We are a diverse network of organizations and individuals that are working together to champion sustainable community development in Southeast Alaska.

We look forward to sharing our achievements with partners across the region. To keep updated with our progress please subscribe to our newsletter. We also post updates on our website and facebook

Who We Are
Our group, organized under the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, has a unified vision of community sustainability. SSP includes both regional and community based organizations that are working together across the region. 

The Sustainable Southeast Partnership community partners include:  Kake, Kasaan, Hydabur gHoonah and Sitka.
Our regional partners are diverse, ranging from economic development agencies to environmental conservation groups.


What We Do
The Sustainable Southeast Partnership is About Connecting People

Southeast Alaska Fish and Farm to Schools Conference
Connecting Alaska's School Systems with Local Entrepreneurs

The Southeast Alaska Fish and Farm to Schools Conference will be the first regional opportunity focused on building connections between Alaska's school systems and local food entrepreneurs. Fish and Farm to schools advocates are invited to collaborate with regional experts to strengthen programming across the state. 


Fish and farm to school programming offers significant economic, environmental cultural and nutritional opportunities to our rural communities and region. Southeast Conference, the regional economic development organization, is coordinating the conference in conjunction with theSustainable Southeast Partnership.


While all advocates are encouraged to attend, the conference is catered to:

  • Local food entrepreneurs (aspiring or established) 
  • Educators interested in exchanging ideas about local food lessons and activities
  • School administrators wanting to strengthen or start a Fish and Farm to Schools Program
  • Students, teachers and administrators interested in starting a school greenhouse or garden project
  • Legislators interested in supporting a local foods economy and community resiliency   


Conference Dates: April 2-3, 2015

Conference Location: Centennial Hall, Juneau Alaska



National Funding Supports Hoonah Partnership for Land Management
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Project to Fund Four Years of Work in Hoonah
The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) is a landscape scale, community led approach to natural resource planning. The overall goals of HNFP are to achieve a resilient blend of timber, salmon and deer production. HNFP will boost local economic diversification and improve watershed health. 

The HNFP core partners include the Sustainable Southeast PartnershipSealaska, Huna Totem, The Hoonah Indian Association, The Nature Conservancy, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Subsistence Division and the US Forest Service. 
Through the $2 million dollar grant from (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership will lead community engagement, watershed planning, workforce development (crew of 8-12) and project implementation for the next of 4 years.

Winners of the 2014 Path to Prosperity Business Competition Announced
Congratulations to Port Chilkoot Distillery, Fairweather Ski Works and Coppa


The Nature Conservancy and Haa Aan´┐Ż LLC are pleased to announce the three winners of the
Path to Prosperity contest for entrepreneurs. Path to Prosperity aims to launch companies that will increase local employment, have a positive social and economic impact on their communities, promote the sustainable use of local natural resources, and increase entrepreneurial know-how and business leadership in Southeast Alaska. 


Port Chilkoot Distillery and Fairweather Ski Works, both located in Haines, were awarded at this year's Innovation Summit in Juneau this January (pictured).  A third winner, Coppa was selected through an online 'People's Choice' voting campaign. Coppa is an artisan deli and ice cream shop in Juneau.


"Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities in Southeast Alaska," says Norman Cohen of The Nature Conservancy. "Path to Prosperity is building a generation of entrepreneurs for whom the sustainable use of local natural resources is a defining tenet of their businesses. Today's winning entrepreneurs - and all 12 finalists - show how small business is helping to spark an economic resurgence in Southeast Alaska."


The Nature Conservancy and Haa Aani LLC are the leading partners behind the Path to Prosperity Contest. The Sustainable Southeast Partnership network collaborated to identify entrepreneurs across the region and offered support through the application and competition process in 2014.


Sitka Kitch Opens Its Doors as a Certified Commercial Kitchen
Community Kitchen to spark local foods entrepreneurship and empower Sitka to become more independent and food secure

The First Presbyterian Church and the Sitka Conservation Society are pleased to announce the official opening of the Sitka Kitch! Sitka Kitch is a community initiative that arose from the 2013 Sitka Health Summit.The over-arching goal of the Kitch is to improve community capacity and community development through the lens of food security. 


Sitka Kitch is a truly collaborative and partner-rich project. The Sitka Conservation Society, First Presbyterian Church, Sitka Local Foods Network, Sitka Food Co-op, UAS Fairbanks Cooperative Extension and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership are all working together to turn Sitka's dream of a community kitchen into reality. 


Sitka Kitch received $13,000 from the "Northwest Coast Presbytery Community Blessings Grant". These funds went directly towards renovating the Church's kitchen so that 'Sitka Kitch' could meet the requirements of becoming a DEC certified kitchen. Rennovation is now complete and Sitka Kitch is now ready to function as a shared-use community kitchen. 


Sitka Kitch will provide food-based education to the greater Sitka community. The Kitch offers a DEC certified commercial kitchen to local entrepreneurs and small businesses for an affordable hourly rate. Instructors interested in developing and offering food based classes may also rent the kitchen and space. Sitka Kitch and its partners also hope to provide career and technical training and host community canning events.


Through multi-use access to a commercial kitchen, Sitka Kitch's goals are to support a sustainable local foods culture, spark local foods entrepreneurship and empower the community to become more independent and food secure.




Kake Students Respond to Proposed Ferry Cuts

For anyone living in Southeast Alaska the importance of the Alaska Marine Highway is obvious. After all, it is the only 'road' connecting 15 of our rural communities to the outside world. Island communities in Southeast Alaska are dependent on air and water to transport people, vehicles, and goods, including basic commodities such as food and petroleum products. Barriers to efficient transportation lead to higher fuel and grocery prices, making the cost of living considerably higher.


The Alaska Marine Highway system is more than just a convenience. For many residents, ferry service is essential and budget cuts present a formidable challenge to rural communities and the region.


In response to the state's proposed multi-million dollar budget cut to the Alaska Marine Highway, a group of students are putting their concerns on paper. 


"The ferry is important to our students and families in many different ways."  Evelyn Willburn, the principal for Kake students.


"They use it for sports travel, for medical appointments, they use it to visit family members, to buy groceries- in lots and lots of ways the ferry is important."


Willburn felt compelled to involve students because of how essential the ferry is to Kake's school system, the students and their families. She worked with Adam Davis, the Community and Economic Development Specialist for the Organized Village of Kake to encourage Kindergarten and Elementary students to write to their legislatures.




Employment Opportunity: Hoonah Indian Association Seeks Natural Resource Assistant

The Hoonah Indian Association is seeking employment for Natural Resource Assistant. This full time position will assist in the development of the tribe's long-term land stewardship interests, including natural resource inventory, assessment, planning, project implementation and monitoring with an emphasis on coordinating and collaboration between the tribe, public and private landowners within Hoonah Indian traditional territory. Will liaison regularly with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership.

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