We know many of you, like all of us at the Alaska Conservation Foundation, are struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy during an unbelievable time in our lives. We are finding it helpful to stay in touch with loved ones and colleagues. And more than ever it is rejuvenating to get outside in Alaska with our families. The longer and warmer days of spring help lift our spirits in the North immensely.
Sadly, in the background of the COVID-19 crisis, there are shameless efforts to fast track many resource extraction projects that will be environmental disasters for Alaska, and these projects have long been opposed by communities in Alaska and by people all over the country. We, along with our grantees and partners, continue the urgent work to protect Alaska’s lands and waters, communities, and to foster regenerative local economies unabated. But as we continue our conservation efforts in response to these new threats we must also respond to this public health emergency directly. We are committed to combating the virus and to protecting Alaska’s critical habitat.
In Alaska, our most vulnerable communities are rural villages with limited health services. Our vision of lasting conservation in Alaska hinges on the wellbeing of our rural communities and their traditional lifeways, as well as our more urban centers. We are exploring and requesting input on how the Alaska Conservation Foundation can support the high priority needs of these communities. Our coordinating capacity and statewide networks, as one example, can work in service to first responders, VPSOs, firefighters, and local organizations, on the front lines of the pandemic response.
The global pandemic brings with it a period of great fiscal uncertainty. The Alaska Conservation Foundation is committed to getting needed resources to our partners–many of whom are having to change their plans suddenly. This requires that we make funding resources available, be flexible about grants we have already awarded and that we help our partners understand what support is available from forthcoming federal and state recovery efforts. We are very fortunate to continue to operate and our staff is able to work from home. If you have a request or an idea that you think can aid Alaska’s communities and nonprofits–please reach out to us, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, please stay safe and informed. For Alaskans, the State of Alaska is providing daily situation updates on the response to coronavirus. You can sign up for updates by email here. You can also visit the state’s COVID-19 page.
Sending thoughts of health and well-being to all of you,
Staff & Board, Alaska Conservation Foundation