Monthly Archives: November 2010
Major work will begin next year on restoring the Japonski Island boathouse. The Sitka Maritime Heritage Society has spent the past several years stabilizing the World War II-era structure in piecemeal fashion. The organization now plans to spend over $300,000 toward re-opening the building as a working wooden boat shop and marine museum. A capital campaign is planned for the near future.
History professor David Arnold began his career as deckhand in Bristol Bay and other Alaska fisheries. His study of the social, economic, and cultural history of salmon is titled "Fishermen's Frontier: People and Salmon in Southeast Alaska." He'll present tonight (11-19-10) at UAS Sitka, and tomorrow at 4 PM in Kettleson Library. He appeared on the Morning Interview with KCAW's Robert Woolsey.
When people recall the circumstances surrounding the creation of the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness, they tend to remember personalities and events, rather than a fifteen-year long bureaucratic struggle. Jack Calvin is certainly central to this story, but he was not alone. He had the support of a close circle of friends and family, including his first wife, Sasha, who accompanied Calvin on an epic cruise from Tacoma to Juneau aboard a 17-foot wooden canoe named “Nakwasina” in the 1930s.
The City of Sitka has landed in court over its refusal to release details of a settlement it made with a local charter fishing lodge in May. Sitka resident Betty Jo Moore is asking the Sitka Superior Court to order the city to release documents detailing settlement negotiations it had with Dove Island Lodge.
Five music students from Sitka are in Anchorage this week for the Alaska All-State Music Festival. They are: Leland Shennett, Cooper Gale, George Jones, T.J. Agne and Rachel Youngberg.
The results of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s Tribal Council elections are scheduled to be certified on Saturday. The results were originally scheduled for certification during Wednesday’s (11-17-10) regular meeting of the Tribal Council, but a recount required that the certification be postponed.
The West-Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness was established in 1980 with the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. In the sixteen-year interval between ANILCA and the Wilderness Act in 1964, the modern conservation movement in Alaska took root in Sitka. The state was not a high priority for national conservation groups at the time. Chuck Johnstone says it was through the efforts of Jack Calvin that organizations with political heft, like the Sierra Club, became involved in preserving wilderness in Southeast.
A poll watcher for the Democratic Party in Fairbanks says he too was concerned by a malfunctioning voting machine in his precinct on election day, but saw no wrongdoing.
The creation of the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness was Alaska’s first citizen-initiated wilderness campaign. Shortly after the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, Alaskans realized that they could enlist the help of like-minded people from around the country to protect West Chichagof. According to Chuck and Alice Johnstone, their friend Jack Calvin was critical to bringing in support for the new wilderness area.
This October Sitkans Chuck and Alice Johnstone traveled to Washington DC to receive the Bob Marshall Champions of Wilderness Award on behalf of the Sitka Conservation Society. Alice Johnstone says she never could have imagined forty years ago that she would share a podium with the head of the US Forest Service, and receive one of that agency’s top honors. The establishment of the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness may appear in hindsight to be heroic and visionary, but the Johnstones and the co-founders of the Sitka Conservation Society did not necessarily see it that way.