IGAP Newsletter

June 2023 | At gadaxéet Dís (Birth moon) | Pride Month

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Pat's Creek

Pat’s Creek is eleven miles south of downtown along Zimovia Highway.

"The estuary at Pat’s Creek is a good place to watch pink salmon during late July and early August. Look for American dippers, Sitka black-tailed deer and the occasional black bear along the one-mile trail, which starts on the left side of the highway bridge and follows the creek to Pat’s Lake. The trail is somewhat rugged and quite steep in places. Most years, a few pairs of trumpeter swans rest at Pat’s Lake during the early spring."

“Very large and old spruce trees once grew on the banks of Pat's Creek before you. These trees were harvested in the mid-1960s, prior to stream buffer regulations. In the years since, few trees have fallen into Pat's Creek and the old trees in the channel are decaying away. Lacking new downed trees for many decades, the channel had transformed from complex to simple, becoming wider and shallower, and offering less habitat for fish. Fish need trees. Trees shade the water helping to keep it cool. Tree roots protect stream banks from erosion. Insects and leaves that fall from trees provide food for fish and stream-dwelling insects. When a tree falls into a stream, fish continue to benefit. Fallen trees accelerate and redirect flow, eroding the stream bed to form pools and depositing gravels downstream to form riffles. Fish use pools as safe places to feed and rest and riffles as places to lay eggs. Streams with downed trees are complex here, large spruce with varying width, depth, water velocity, and sediment size. More trees in the stream equates to greater habitat complexity: greater complexity leads to better fish habitat.”

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Free Tlingit Potatoes

The Wrangell Cooperative Association, located opposite Tk's minimart, is providing free Tlingit potatoes to all community members. To ensure that there is enough for everyone, please take only what you need, and kindly share any surplus. The office is open from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 4 pm.

Safe Water Recreation

Safe Boating

As the days grow longer and the sun starts peeking out, water recreation becomes a go-to for many Alaskan families. Alaska has one of the highest rates of boat-owning households in the nation, coupled with the highest rate of boating fatalities. Most boating fatalities in Alaska result from drowning in cold water. Good practices include wearing a life jacket when in an open boat or on a deck, carrying emergency communication and distress signaling devices, attaching an engine cut-off device, and avoiding alcohol or other substances that could impair judgment while on the water.

Engine Cut Off Switch (ECOS)


  • Safety mechanism that shuts off the boat’s engine
  • Also called ECOS, engine cut-off switch, engine cut-off device, man overboard device


  • Reduces the risk of a propeller strike
  • Stops the engine if the operator falls overboard
  • Stops the engine quickly if needed in an emergency
  • Protects others from a runaway boat
  • Regain control of the boat more quickly
  • And, it’s the law


  • Most newer powerboats do


It may be a:

  • Lanyard—Attaches to the boat operator from the installed engine cut-off switch
  • Wireless—A wristband or key fob can

Life Jackets


  • U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket on board for every person on the boat
  • Boating safety advocates recommend all boaters and passengers wear a life jacket at all times while boating


  • Look for the USCG approval number
  • Learn what recreational water activities are appropriate for your life jacket
  • Find out how to care for and maintain your life jacket


  • All straps, buckles, and zippers should be secure for a snug fit
  • Hold your arms straight up over your head and gently pull up – if it goes above your ears, it is too big
  • Never buy a life jacket for someone to grow into


  • Use properly
  • No rips, waterlogging or mildew
  • Dry after each use
  • Hand wash in mild detergent
  • Store in a dry place when not boating
  • Life jackets with a tear, broken pieces, or buoyancy loss should be disposed


  • Available in bright colors and cartoon characters
  • Safety features such as head support and additional strap to pull a child out of the water
  • Never buy a life jacket for a child to grow into


  • Don’t forget your four-legged friends
  • Look for a style with a handle on top to easily pull your pet out of the water

Bristol Bay - Forever

"'Forever' is how Bristol Bay expresses itself. You see it in the streams of salmon stretching to the horizon; you hear it in the words passed down through generations; you feel it in the rumble of an industry that feeds the entire world. That’s why we’re wasting no time in working with our leaders to protect all of #BristolBayForever."
Bristol Bay Is Forever

Anchorage Museum - How To Survive

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Seeking Voices

Rachel Boesenberg is assistant curator at the Anchorage Museum, where they are working on a fall exhibition called How to Survive. The exhibition examines ideas of healing, sustainability, interconnectedness, and listening—between humans, land, plants, and animals—with the ultimate goal of inviting reflection and cultivating action during the ongoing climate crisis. As part of this exhibition, they are collecting stories and images from folks who are bearing witness to how the changing climate is affecting our everyday lives. They’re offering $50 compensation for a voice memo (30-60 seconds) and a photo, and have a few questions that you can respond to. Contact Alex Angerman (igapcoord.wca@gmail.com) or Rachel Boesenberg (rboesenberg@anchoragemuseum.org) by June 15th to be featured in this amazing educational opportunity!
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What Can We Do to Maintain Mental Health in a Changing Climate?

Mental health challenges related to climate change are experienced by many individuals each year. Most individuals recover over time, but nearly 20% may experience lifelong mental health impacts. Maintaining and improving mental health will require varied and adaptable approaches as the climate in the Northwest continues to change.

Climate solutions can support mental health and community wellbeing. One of the most effective approaches to maintaining mental health in a changing climate is to involve oneself in climate change adaptation or mitigation work, which can come in many forms. Below are a few examples of what individuals can do to improve their mental health resilience. Some of these recommendations may not apply to all population groups:

  • Connect with friends, family, and peers—connecting about your experience with climate change can build community resilience and lower stress.
  • Take time for yourself—consider taking a day off work or visiting a local green space to relax. There are many benefits associated with being outside in green spaces, such as lower risk of depression and faster psychological stress recovery.
  • Do what you can, where you are—while most individuals lack the ability to make the large-scale changes necessary to lower global greenhouse gas emissions, most can make positive changes in their own lives and communities (e.g., turn down heaters at home, implement drip irrigation on farm or garden, help a neighbor, use public transit). See the Northwest Climate Hub's Management Actions page for agriculture, rangeland, and forestry adaptation actions, and this scientific paper for ideas on adaptation actions for recreation.
  • Maintain healthy routines—include healthy behaviors like exercise, nutritious eating, adequate sleep, and having fun!
  • Limit your exposure to the news—numerous studies have noted the detrimental effects of overexposure to news media. Limit your exposure, and if possible, in the time you would normally read the news, engage more proactively in issues that matter to you.
  • Boost personal preparedness for natural disasters and extreme weather—feeling prepared for extreme events can lower stress.
  • Uphold and maintain connection to place and culture, when it is safe to do so— Place attachment is an important part of resilience. Shared care for a place is one of the things that draws people together for action.
  • Visit a mental health professional—Visiting a mental health professional can provide a safe space to discuss trauma and anxiety, while gaining valuable coping skills.


Wrangell Environmental and Subsistence Priorities

This survey was created as a way for Wrangell residents of all ages to share observations, experiences, and concerns with WCA IGAP and shape our work moving forward. We want to know about the changes (or lack of changes) you've noticed in the land, water, and subsistence resources around Wrangell while living here. We highly value community input; thank you for your interest and participation!

Fully-completed surveys are preferred. However, if you do not feel comfortable answering any questions, you are not required to do so. Please, only complete the survey once.

Survey results are anonymous unless you answer "Yes" to the last question. In that case, please include your name and contact information so that we can follow up with you in the future. The time commitment is as little or as much as you desire.

Your survey responses are confidential to the IGAP staff at WCA. We will never share your responses outside our organization without de-identifying them (unless you give permission). We will share overall, aggregated survey responses at a public presentation or Tribal Council Meeting in the summer of 2023.

Native American Fish & Wildlife Society Hunter Safety

The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) is a non-profit 501(c)3 intertribal organization founded in 1983 by a group of Tribal fish and wildlife professionals to “assist Native American and Alaska Native Tribes with the conservation, protection, and enhancement of their fish and wildlife resources.” NAFWS is the only national Tribal organization with a specific focus on Tribal fish and wildlife resources. Membership includes 227 Support Member Tribes in 7 regions. NAFWS hosts conferences, trainings, webinars, youth education and provides technical assistance to the 574 federally recognized Tribes in the US and fish and wildlife professionals working in Indian Country. For more information, please visit nafws.org.