Upcoming Events, #BadAIDEA, Save the Date
The SRC 2022/23 Winter Speaker Series is Here!
Solarize Talkeetna: October 13, 2022 @ 6PM
Join the Susitna River Coalition for our first winter speaker event of the season!
On October 13, 2022 at 6PM join the SRC and Rachel Christensen from the Alaska Center to chat about solarizing our Talkeetna area community.
Do you live in Talkeetna or nearby and want to have access to more affordable solar power for you and your neighbors? Are you intimidated by the process of getting solar panels installed, and want to learn more about how it all works? Join us as we welcome Rachel Christensen from the Alaska Center to discuss the Solarize program and how we can participate as a community.
Solarize is a community-based approach to reduce the upfront cost of residential solar installations. The Solarize campaign brings neighborhood homeowners and business owners together to purchase solar installations in bulk and receive a volume discount, thereby making residential solar energy more accessible and affordable.
The Alaska Center and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) at the University of Alaska established the Solarize Anchorage program in 2018. Since then the program has been spreading across the state and has conducted over 300 solar installations in southwest Alaska!
Rachel Christensen was born and raised on Anishinaabe lands in Northern Minnesota and currently lives and works on Ahtna and Dena’ina lands in Palmer, Alaska. She is a clean energy advocate who empowers Alaskans across the state to change their energy systems and build a more sustainable and equitable future. She loves building relationships in her Mat Su Valley community and is passionate about increasing accessibility and transparency in the electric utility industry.
AIDEA: Hemorrhaging State Funds on Dead-End Projects
You have heard a lot from the Susitna River Coalition about AIDEA as we monitor the proposed West Susitna Access Road.
AIDEA is the entity responsible for pushing the West Susitna Industrial Access Road, a proposed 100+ mile industrial corridor that would cut through the Western Susitna Watershed and cost Alaskans $450+ million. That's a lot of cash for a private road built to benefit an Australian gold mining company!
But what is AIDEA?
AIDEA, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, is a state agency that was created in the late 1960s that aims to “encourage economic growth and diversification.” It is comprised of a non-elected board that maintains the capacity to allocate large amounts of state money to development and drive large-scale projects with minimal public oversight, input, or accountability.
Late in September, an independent report was released demonstrating just how terrible AIDEA is for Alaskans, wasting state money on projects with minimal return to Alaskans.
AIDEA, who has been tasked with promoting economic growth in the state, has instead become a liability. Since formation, AIDEA has received a net total of $301 million of public money from the State of Alaska. If that $301 million had been invested in the Permanent Fund, the state would have $11.4 billion — $10 billion more than it does currently.
Less than half of AIDEA’s projects have made permanent additions to Alaska’s economy. AIDEA’s investments in projects have cost Alaskans, rather than make any money. Failures include the Healy Clean Coal project, Alaska Seafood International, the Seward Coal Facility, and the Skagway Ore Terminal.
“AIDEA’s money comes from the same pot used for anything else in Alaska: law enforcement, the university, school funding, road maintenance, social services, and PFDs,” says former State Senator, Rick Halford. Alaska would be much different if AIDEA money was spent on these efforts instead of an ill-conceived road to nowhere like West Susitna Access Road cutting across our watershed, damaging existing sustainable economies, and benefitting foreign mining corporations.
Important Dates in the Watershed
November 14-15, 2022 9AM-4PM
Join the Susitna River Coalition and the other members of the Mat-Su Salmon Habitat Partnership for the 15th annual Mat-Su Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium!
This year, the event is back in person for an informative and fun-filled two days. We are excited to speak to you and to celebrate salmon, science, and the work being done to protect the fish that enrich our lives and communities.
This year's keynote speaker is Jonathan Moore. Moore is a Professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, and holds the Liber Ero Research Chair of Coastal Science and Management. He received his PhD from University of Washington and has researched salmon and their watersheds, from Alaska to California to British Columbia. He studies freshwater biodiversity, watersheds, and global change.
This fish-centered event will be held at the Palmer Community Depot from 9AM to 4PM on November 14 & 15.
Want to register or learn more? See the Event Page!
Wild Su Feast: Save the Date
December 4, 2022 @ 5 PM
Wild Su Feast is back in person for 2022!!
On December 4, 2022 from 5:00-8 PM we will be joining together to celebrate the foods that Walk, Swam, Grew and Flew through our free-flowing watershed.
We are excited this year to host the Feast at the Denali Brewing Company on Mile 2 of the Talkeetna Spur road.
Event details to come, but you can start dreaming up your recipes with last year's Wild Su Feast Cookbook.
Stay tuned for more event details as our favorite community event gets closer!