Sealaska invests and works with partners to provide opportunities for youth. One such opportunity is through Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP). SSP’s Alaskan Youth Stewards program gives youth in rural Southeast Alaska the opportunity for hands–on learning about land management and STEM careers in partnership with a variety of other employers like Tribes and the U.S. Forest Service.
This summer the AYS crew from Prince of Wales built a bridge to enhance recreational activities. The crew completed a major, multi-day project on a trail five miles out of Klawock on Sealaska lands. The trail, partly quad (ATV) access and partly foot access only, will eventually circumnavigate a small lake. The area is becoming more popular for leisure hiking, kayaking on the lake and other recreational activities. This bridge spans a creek on the ATV portion of that trail and at the stream that feeds the lake at its head. “The crew learned basic engineering and construction techniques as well as the use of tools to complete the project,” said Bob Girt, Sealaska environmental compliance and liaison specialist. “The smiles say it all as the project comes to completion!”
The AYS crew finished the season, building and installing signage for Dei Keijin Kayy (Five Mile Trail) on Sealaska land, on Prince of Wales Island. The crew worked diligently on the trail for most of the season.
Alaskan Youth Stewards (an umbrella title for Training Rural Alaskan Youth Leaders and Students and Youth Conservation Corps programs in Southeast Alaska) blends experiential education, on–the–job training, career counseling and job placement for youth in rural Southeast Alaska to place them on the path to higher education and employment in natural resource stewardship.