I’m pleased to share an exciting new partnership for SEACC! This weekend in St. Louis, Missouri, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will be announcing that the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is joining the federation as its Alaska affiliate! The National Wildlife Federation is an 83-year-old national conservation organization that for the better part of a century has sought to give wildlife a voice and a vote, while simultaneously working to unite Americans from all walks of life around the common cause of conservation.
Partnership with the NWF is particularly flattering in our case. Traditionally, the NWF affiliates with statewide organizations instead of regional entities like SEACC. Yet, after extensive conversation about our work and mission, and NWF’s interests and priorities, we have worked together to build an affiliate relationship that respects SEACC’s essential role as a regional conservation organization, while also providing us the opportunity to guide our allies at NWF toward opportunities to work with and support our partners and friends at conservation and non-conservation organizations statewide, including, but not limited to, those working to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and fighting the Pebble Mine.
Much as SEACC’s early model operated as a spokes-council, with member groups that sent individuals to the board to vote on decisions and guide leadership, the National Wildlife Federation is a true federation: affiliates send representatives to NWF’s annual meeting to guide the national organization’s decision-making, pass resolutions, and otherwise inform their work on critical grassroots priorities in the affiliates’ home states and territories.
What changes at SEACC with this new partnership? Nothing at all, in terms of our core identity as a conservation organization that exists to serve Southeast Alaska, but a great deal in terms of the new resources around communications, outreach, organizational management and leadership, climate change, and equity, diversity, and inclusion, that we’ll be able to access with the support of our new friends at NWF. In addition, we gain peers – a long list of widely respected and critically important fellow affiliates nationwide, who can help us to reach a much wider national audience than we might otherwise be able, and promote the protection of Alaskan resources that are truly national treasures.
The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is grateful to partner with the National Wildlife Federation, and we are glad for their added bench strength as we fight to protect the national Roadless Rule on the Tongass and our Inside Passage waters in the months and years ahead.