Natalie Watson, Co-Chair
Natalie lives in Juneau where she is an activist and advocate focusing on community healing, violence prevention, and environmental conservation. After obtaining her M.F.A. from the Massachusetts College of Art, working 10 years in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and helping lead the Cambridge Zen Center, Natalie stepped away to raise a daughter and focus on community-based initiatives in the Chicago area.
She has served various non-profit organizations for over 20 years, stepped in as Interim Director, taught college courses, organized a national conference, and served on boards. Natalie is a founder of Evanston Streets Alive, serves on Juneau’s Sexual Assault Response Team, and is a member of 100 Women Who Care. Natalie joined the SEACC Board in 2017 and is currently Board Chair.
Natalie feels blessed to have been raised in beautiful Tlingit Aani from a young age and to live there with her husband and daughter. Her maternal family are longtime Juneau residents who share a deep love for this region and its people. Natalie enjoys hiking, harvesting, and gardening in Southeast Alaska. She is grateful to all generations who came before to steward this region’s unique balance of life and to create systems to hold each other up. Natalie believes it is our life’s work to sustain this balance and improve upon these systems for the benefit of present and future generations.
Judith Daxootsu Ramos, Co-Chair
Judy Daxootsu Ramos is Tlingit from Yaakwdáat Kwáan (Yakutat, Alaska), and is Raven moiety, Kwáashk’ikwáan Clan. She is the Program Coordinator of Haa Yoo X’atangi Deiyi: Our Language Pathways at the University of Alaska Southeast and was an assistant professor in the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development at the University of Alaska.
She has a bachelor’s in Anthropology, a master’s in Teaching, and is a Ph.D. student in Indigenous Studies. She worked for Yakutat Tlingit Tribe as an anthropologist and Realty Director. She is a co-curator for the Northwest Coast Hall renovation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Her publications include “Tlingit Hunting along the Edge: Ice Floe Harbor Seal Hunting in Yakutat Bay, Alaska” (Ramos, 2020), “This is Kuxaankutaan’s (Dr. Frederica de Laguna’s) Song” (Abraham and Ramos, 2006), and “Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Tlingit People Concerning the Sockeye Salmon Fishery of the Dry Bay Area” (Ramos and Mason, 2004). She is also an Issue editor of Matrix: A Journal for Matricultural Studies.
Judy officially joined SEACC’s board of directors in 2022.
Michelle Andulth Meyer, Co-Chair
Michelle Meyer was born in Juneau and grew up in Yakutat. Michelle (Andulth) is Tlingit of the Humpback Salmon people, Kwáashk’ikwáan Clan, Fort House, from Yaakwdáat Kwáan. Known for her passion to protect her ancestral lands, Michelle advocates and organizes to keep lands and waters intact and healthy. She strives to fulfill her obligation to her Peoples’ lands because she recognizes their importance to the continuation of her Tlingit culture. Michelle works to protect sacred sites, traditional food gathering, and medicine areas believing their preservation is essential to preserve culture and traditions for future generations.
In 2003, Michelle signed up to manage signature gathering to pass the Cruise Ship Taxation and Regulation initiative. After seeing the ways in which Yakutat was impacted by the industry and without any recourse, she knew the work could help Yakutat and other coastal communities have a say in how the industry operated. Michelle worked on the initiative until its passage by Alaska voters in 2016. Michelle managed political campaigns on all levels for nearly 15 years, including as the Alaska State Director for the 2012 Obama Campaign.
An admirer of SEACC’s work for decades, Michelle officially joined SEACC’s board of directors in 2022. She is a Western Washington University graduate and most recently worked in healthcare development for a Seattle area hospital foundation.
In her downtime, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family and continuing her recovery from a two-year cancer journey.
Steve Kallick, Treasurer
Steve first traveled to Alaska in 1975 for a job on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, but fell in love with the incredible wilderness of the far north, wandering for months all through northern Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Realizing this vast, magnificent landscape needed defenders more than pipefitters, he opted instead to attend college and law school. Steve’s first trip to Juneau in 1981, helping friends build a cabin in Tee Harbor, exposed him to 30 straight August days of cold rain and wind. Though vowing never to return, he was back the very next August, working for Earthjustice through the end of the year, learning environmental law, and other important lessons, including that burning wet hemlock firewood, takes up more heat than it produces.
In 1983, Steve came back to the Earthjustice staff, working on a series of cases protecting Kadashan, Berners Bay and other treasured areas slated for logging. Two years later, SEACC director Bart Koehler asked him to become SEACC’s first grassroots attorney. It turned out to be the best adventure of Steve’s life, as he ranged from Hydaburg to Yakataga, juggling job duties on slippery boat decks, in leaky skiffs, on slow ferries, and in sketchy floatplanes, bouncing back and forth from villages to courtrooms to the halls of Congress. After the passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Act in 1990, Steve hung up his conservation cleats.
That didn’t last. In 1993, a broad coalition of environmental groups—including SEACC—organized the Alaska Rainforest Campaign (ARC) to defend the Tongass from the post-TTRA, pulp mill counter-attack. Directing ARC, Steve worked with SEACC to secure our conservation gains, ultimately hastening the end of the pulp mill era. Afterward, The Pew Charitable Trusts plucked Steve out of Alaska to serve for the next 20 years in a variety of roles, beginning as the architect of the National Forest Roadless Areas campaign and ending as director of Pew’s International Lands Conservation program. Now working for the Resources Legacy Fund as a senior strategist, specializing in forest conservation, Steve rejoined the SEACC board in the summer of 2017.
Teddy Roosevelt once said that fighting for what’s right is the noblest sport in the world. Steve lives by that creed but on those rare occasions when he’s not working, he loves hunting, fishing, camping, all team sports, reading anything and everything he gets his hands on, and exploring the most remote, least known wilderness areas he can find. He currently resides in the southernmost suburb of Alaska, Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, and keeps his firewood bone dry.
Steve Lewis, Secretary
By 1990, his passion for climbing had shifted from above to below the earth, and he began caving. It was his knowledge of caves and karst that brought him to SEACC when he was asked to present information on the interaction between karst and the forest above. Soon he was engaged with SEACC in the CPOW timber sale on karst, a campaign that led him to become a board member. Steve was drawn to SEACC because of the work that we do, using strong research to preserve our forest and community values. While it was the forest work that first drew him to SEACC, he is excited about the new campaigns on clean water and mining and continuing to protect our wild places.
While not volunteering with SEACC or spending time with his wife in Tenakee, Steve puts his knowledge of biology to use protecting Alaska’s wildlife. After the Valdez oil spill in ’89, he was inspired to study the invertebrates and fish impacted by the spill. He then went on to study seals in the Antarctic, humpback whales in Alaska, bats on Prince of Wales Island, and currently, spends summers on Lowrie Island in Southeast studying sea lions.
Nevette Bowen is from Petersburg/Séet Ká Ḵwáan where she grew up salmon trolling around Kuiu Island — the land of the Kéex’ Ḵwáan and Kooyu Ḵwáan. For the past 28 years she commercially setnet fished in the Ahrnklin Estuary near Yakutat’s Situk River, the homeland of the Tekweidi/Brown Bear Clan. She credits her introduction to Yakutat and its people to working for SEACC as part of a collaborative effort with the City of Yakutat, Yak-Tat Ḵwáan, and the Yakutat Fishermen’s Association to stem logging by the University of Alaska in clan and setnet fishing areas.
Nevette has been involved in conservation efforts to sustain local Indigenous culture, heritage, livelihoods, and spiritual well-being. In addition to working with SEACC on the Tongass Timber Reform Act, the Yakataga State Game Refuge, and state mariculture policy, she provided legislative staff support for banning fish farming. She helped found the Alaska Marine Conservation Council to bring voice to rural coastal residents on ocean health and fisheries conservation policy. More recently she was involved in a Yakutat community effort directed at visiting sport fishermen to promote a better understanding of the setnet fishery, convey its importance to the people of Yakutat, and foster a shared-use ethic between visitors and locals.
She also resides part-time in Istanbul, Turkey, where her husband reports for National Public Radio, but returns every season to join friends in Yakutat to put up fish and go out hand trolling with her 91-year-old father in the Chatham Strait.
Nevette cares deeply about threats to small boat family fisheries, Indigenous rights, and rural ways of life. She loves beachcombing, smoking salmon, camping, exploring backstreets in big cities, picking berries, big trees, and living and learning with people from different cultures — especially on Lingít Aaní!
Kashudoha Wanda Loescher Culp
Kashudoha Wanda Loescher Culp is a well-known advocate for conservation in Southeast Alaska. Though currently living in Juneau, Wanda is of the Chookeneidí clan of Glacier Bay and has spent a large part of her life in Hoonah. She first got involved with conservation in the 1980s when clearcut logging came to Hoonah. She began speaking up for her community, committed to getting the voices of her elders out there.
About 20 miles from Hoonah, Wanda lived independently on a homestead for years, hunting, fishing, and gathering. She was also a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat for 17 years. Seeing, smelling, and experiencing the natural world that exists all around us is something Wanda values dearly.
In 2016, Wanda became the Tongass Regional Coordinator for Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, an organization of women who act on climate, the environment, and socio-economic inequalities. She and other members of WECAN Tongass have been advocating for food sovereignty among other issues, along with the National Roadless Rule while collaborating at times with SEACC.
Wanda first got involved with SEACC in the 1980s and officially joined SEACC’s Board of Directors in early 2022.
When she’s not advocating for conservation, climate, and food sovereignty, Wanda can be found reading pocketbooks or Alaskan history and is still always drawn to the outdoors, the forest, beach, rivers, mountain roads, and rare boat rides.
After earning her biology degree from the University of California, Cheryl came to Prince of Wales Island in 1981 as a young science teacher eager to explore the natural beauty of Southeast Alaska and share her love of the outdoors with her students. During the heated Tongass issues of the 1980s and 90s, Cheryl found herself wanting to become more involved in protecting some of the special areas of her island home. She joined SEACC, and soon afterward with a few neighbors and interested island residents formed POWCL (Prince of Wales Conservation League) — supported by SEACC and its dedication to protecting the remaining old-growth stands from the industrial logging of that time.
Most summers were spent either working on a commercial fishing boat with her husband, taking self-guided river rafting trips throughout Alaska, or traveling to some of the wild places of the world including Patagonia, the Amazon, and the coral reefs of Fiji and Belize. These and other outdoor experiences cemented a deep concern for the remaining wild places of the world and local places, like the Tongass, that needed protection.
After retiring from 29 years of teaching on Prince of Wales Island, Cheryl continued to engage in conservation issues, including serving for a time as a coordinator for the POW Watershed Association, participating in island-wide natural resource forums, and taking part in a five-year local marine debris cleanup effort after the Fukushima disaster. She and others were recognized by the Alaska Forum for the Environment for these efforts. Additionally, Cheryl continues to coordinate an annual streamside ecology field day with island schools, the United States Forest Service, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
She has always been a strong advocate of public lands and the public process. She believes it is important for local citizens to stay informed and involved in issues related to keeping the Tongass and the areas she cares about, especially Prince of Wales Island — a wild and wonderful place to live.
Clay found his passion and love for the environment at an early age while exploring the wilds of Bermuda, his part-time childhood home. This love only grew after he moved to Washington state and later to Anchorage and then Southeast Alaska. After a life spent outside, he was eager to protect the wild landscapes of his new home. When his partner stepped down from the SEACC board, he looked forward to taking her place and working with SEACC.
Clay has traveled throughout the world and has seen first-hand the impact of clearcut logging; the fragmentation of forests and how it endangers delicate ecosystems. For him, SEACC is THE regional entity that understands the importance of an intact ecosystem and its impact on the daily lives of our community. He attributes much of the recent reduction in the threat of logging in the Tongass to SEACC’s hard work and is excited about working to protect our clean water.
Recently, his love of the outdoors brought him on a bike trip along the Continental Divide; riding from Banff, BC to Steamboat Springs, CO. Biking mostly along dirt forest service roads provided a unique view of functioning the landscapes and conservation initiatives along the route. Today, when he is not working with SEACC, Clay enjoys volunteering with the ski patrol at Eagle Crest, skiing, biking, and hiking.
His love of Alaska brought him north in 1984 to work as SEACC’s Executive Director, a position he would hold twice before transitioning to the board. At SEACC he worked to protect the Tongass from logging via the enactment of the Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA) in 1990. Later he again had his work cut out, battling the two behemoth pulp mills which were eventually shut down. In all, he helped protect over 1.4 million acres of the Tongass. In 1990 he received the Olaus Murie Award for his work with the TTRA and in 2016 received the lifetime achievement award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation and was inducted into the Alaska Conservation Hall of Fame to honor his dedication to protecting the Tongass, spanning the last four decades.
All in all, including his work in and for Alaska, Bart has been a key player in bedrock grassroots team efforts which have secured lasting protections for over 10 million acres of our public lands —- primarily in Wyoming, Alaska, Nevada & Idaho, and ranging from Oregon to Arizona, to New Hampshire, & Puerto Rico.
Beyond his dedicated work to safeguard our wild public lands and salmon strongholds, Bart has also been a ranch hand, singer/songwriter, construction laborer, farm worker, firewood cutter. He enjoys hiking, horseback riding, playing music, and hunting deer. He is also a long-standing member of the Boards of Directors of statewide grassroots wilderness groups in Wyoming, Virginia, and Arizona and Arizona’s “Friends of the Tumacacori Highlands.”
He was first impressed by SEACC when he joined us to protect the traditional subsistence cabins in Yakutat. High fees from the Forest Service threatened cabins that had been in families for generations and were a central piece of maintaining a subsistence lifestyle for many families. Together with Buck and Guy, they worked to reduce the fees, keeping the cabins and allowing families to retain their traditional way of life.
Ray is a member of the Humpback Salmon Clan and is very active in his native community. He has served on the Yakutat Tlingit tribe, a seat now held by his daughter. He also was the Alaska Native Brotherhood president for many years, and is active in the Grand Camp, serving as Grand Officer. He has also served on the Wrangell/St Elias Park and Preserve Subsistence Commission for over 20 years and worked on subsistence issues in the Wrangell/St. Elias Park and Preserve. He has also traveled the world speaking about Native culture in Alaska.
It was in 1967 that Wayne was first introduced to the wild beauty of Alaska while on vacation. It was a mere year later that he moved to Southeast, drawn by the openness and availability of public lands, and access to clean water and abundant fish. He began working in the Ketchikan pulp mill where he experienced the terrible working conditions imposed by the mills. Angered by the way the mills were treating their workers and the environment, he began to speak up for better working conditions. His drive to protect the mill workers first spurred him to testify at a U.S. Senate Field hearing in Ketchikan about the working conditions during a hearing on the Tongass Timber Reform Act. During this time he was working in the pulp mill.
He left the pulp mill and moved to Oregon for a couple of years; he returned to Southeast in 1992, moving to Ketchikan where he continues to live today. During this time that he continued to be involved with SEACC to help protect not only the mill workers but the environment from the dangers of the logging industry. Wayne has seen first-hand the impact that the logging industry has on people and the environment. He is deeply unhappy about the exporting of unprocessed, raw logs to Asia; a trend that not only damages our local environment but gives nothing back to the local economy. So too does he worry about the threat of transboundary mines that threaten the health of our rivers and salmon here in Alaska.
When he is not standing up for the rights of workers and the environment, Wayne can be found working on wooden furniture for his family.
Join Our Board!
Do you believe in SEACC’s mission? Join our board! We’re actively recruiting new members across Southeast. For more information, email Deputy Director Maggie Rabb at [email protected].