Our Alaska 2017 Impact Report

Tackle Climate Change

Climate Change Polar bears © Brian Weed; Artwork by Averyl Veliz

Coal and Carbon

World-renowned Copper River salmon will receive increased pro­tections due to an innovative deal struck by The Nature Conservancy in Alaska, Chugach Alaska Corporation and private industry. It converts around 110,000 acres of forest into carbon offset credits that will be sold on the California carbon market. Meanwhile, the development rights for the 62,000-acre Bering River Coal Field—which lies beneath the for­est—will be permanently retired by the Conservancy.

The coal field borders Alaska's Copper River Delta. The Delta's rich ecosystem provides critical habitat for wildlife, and the king, sockeye and coho salmon that residents rely on for traditional subsistence fishing, commercial fishing and tourism.

"This agreement promises a secure future for the forests and salmon streams of the Copper River Delta region and combats climate change—all while supporting the distinctive mission of an Alaska Native corporation," said Rand Hagenstein, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Alaska.

Seals on the ice.
Seals Seals on the ice. © Brian Weed

Alaskan Opinions on Climate Change

You can rely on the data, or you can listen to the stories told in vil­lage halls and on the docks. Either way, the message is the same: People in Alaska are experiencing the effects of a changing climate firsthand—and increasingly wondering about the future. Our poll results show there's little need for interpretation. On matters of energy efficiency, alternative energy and political action, Alaskans say the time to act is now.

  • 86% of Alaskans would advise elected officials or candidates for office to support policies that encourage energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy in Alaska.
  • 68% of Alaskans said that the effects from climate change have already begun.
  • Voters who agree that climate change is a serious problem outnumber two-to-one those who think it has been greatly exaggerated.
in Bristol Bay, Alaska
Fishing Boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska © Bob Waldrop

Alaskans Talk About Our Changing Oceans

The men and women who make their living from the sea know the signs of a changing climate. We asked them to tell us about the changes they've seen as part of a listening tour we're conducting around the state. We believe that talking about climate change in Alaska—both the challenges and opportunities—will help our state craft the most robust response. You can hear their stories at www.tidalchange.org.

Setting up Camp in Alaska. © Bob Waldrop