From Karen Wilson, of Juneau and Tenakee Springs:
I grew up in Oregon, loving the outdoors. Inspired by a photo of a sailboat floating among icebergs, I latched on to the dream of finding myself in that photo. Two sailboats, a few years and a many other details later, I too was floating in front of the LeConte Glacier amidst the ice. Almost 40 years later, the adventure of one summer has become the ongoing adventure of a lifetime. I couldn’t leave. There is always one more bay to explore, one more shoreline to paddle, one more trail to hike or ski. The mountains and the ocean are in walking distance from my home. My family is part of the Tongass — we are fueled by its salmon, berries, and deer. We gratefully share the forests and waters that have been home to Alaska’s first people for thousands of years. This intact ancient forest, these mountains and waters, are valuable in countless ways. Uncut forests and pristine waterways will continue to provide our communities with food, recreation, and solace, along with livelihoods through fisheries and tourism. And our uncut Tongass is storing carbon, a critical asset for protection from climate change in this time of melting glaciers and a warming world. Living in the Tongass really is a dream come true, and I want to always be part of protecting this incredible one-of-a-kind place for all the generations to come.