The Susitna River Coalition includes a growing community of more than 23,000 individuals, groups, and businesses from around Alaska and the nation who support a free-flowing Susitna River and the healthy communities it sustains. Our immediate work is to stop the proposed Susitna mega dam through collaboration, education, advocacy and awareness of the values of an intact Susitna watershed. Our long-term work is to establish permanent protection for the river.
Based in Talkeetna, a community central to the Susitna ecosystem, SRC includes a core group of volunteers that work in key teams and on the Board of Directors. In addition, dozens of active volunteers from around the region and several contractors help carry out our mission to stop the dam and protect the river. SRC operates as an efficient and streamlined organization, directing resources directly into the campaign.
BOARD PRESIDENT: MIKE WOOD
Commonly found hunting, fishing, and milling "fish fed trees" from the Susitna Watershed, Mike is a fierce advocate for the Susitna River. Living (almost) on the Susitna River in the small community of Chase, Mike knows the water nearly as well as the salmon he is working to protect.
VICE PRESIDENT: LAURA WRIGHT
Laura has worn many hats in the more than 20 years she has lived in Talkeetna, from park ranger to snowplow operator to seamstress. She enjoys exploring the Susitna Watershed and cherishes the wild place she calls home. In winter, Laura and her three dogs skijor on the frozen rivers, while the recent purchase of a pack raft has enabled summer adventures on the rivers in their liquid state. Laura feels that, frozen or not, the waters are nourishing to her soul and worth working to protect.
BOARD TREASURER: BECKY LONG
Becky is a long-time Talkeetna area resident with strong ties to the land and waters of the Susitna River Watershed. Retired from commercial fishing and Alaskan tourism, she is a community activist who received the 2015 Celia Hunter Award for Outstanding Volunteer Contributions from the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Work on herbicide spraying on public lands and borough and state land management plans, policies and issues brought her to membership on committees of the Alaska Railroad and Mat Su Borough Comprehensive Plan advisory committees. A veteran of the 1980s Susitna Dam incarnation, she has been involved in fighting the current dam plan since 2010.
BOARD SECRETARY: WHITNEY WOLFF
Whitney is a powerhouse of knowledge about both the river and the ins and outs of the FERC licensing process. As an ardent protector of the watershed, local business owner, and mom of two kids - Whitney is focused on ensuring a healthy river long into the future.
BOARD MEMBER: HOWARD CARBONE
Howard grew up in Michigan, earned a Master's degree in biology, then found his way to Alaska in 1993 to work as a Naturalist Guide and Education Specialist in Denali National Park. A decade later, Howard and his wife, Noelle, founded Alaska Nature Guides. With an emphasis on responsibility to communities and the natural world, this enterprise supports naturalist hiking guides who help visitors explore and enjoy forests, waters, wilderness, and trails in the Susitna River Valley.
Board Member: Heidi Knudsvig
Heidi moved to Alaska 3 years ago after spending time employed by the USGS and the US Forest Service. Her decision to leave Federal Service and focus on her desire for community led her to Talkeetna where she has lived for the last two years. With degrees in Forestry and Hydrology, Heidi understands the importance of a healthy watershed and looks forward to ensuring the health of the Susitna Valley, her home.
Utilities Coordinator: Jeremy Houston
Jeremy is joining the Coalition as our new Utilities Coordinator helping with the upcoming MEA elections. Jeremy is a lifelong Mat-Su resident, living on Dena’ina and Ahtna lands. Before joining the Susitna River Coalition he worked on many political campaigns in the Anchorage and Mat-Su areas. When not working, he can be found backcountry and nordic skiing, exploring the expansive MatSu trail systems, or kayaking on our vibrant lakes and rivers. Jeremy understands the importance of, and is passionate about, protecting the Susitna watershed and wetlands around the state.
SRC DIRECTOR: MELISSA HEUER
Melissa is a born and raised Alaskan who returned home with a passion for protecting our wild places, our unique communities, and our rich ecosystems. She is a lover of Alaska’s wild places and wild foods. When she is not in the woods or on the water, she can be found preserving the bounty from her garden or tending to her many beehives. With a background in biology and an MBA in Systems Dynamics, she is passionate about Alaska and ensuring a free-flowing and healthy Susitna basin for generations to come.
SRC COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH MANAGER: MARGARET STERN
Margaret fell in love with the Susitna upon her arrival in Talkeetna eight years ago. She has since had the privilege of exploring the Susitna River watershed by foot, air, and raft. Margaret now splits her time between the village and her remote homestead. She holds a B.A. in Human Ecology and is currently working on a graduate certification in Fisheries Management. She is excited to work to preserve the landscape she loves and to the share stories of all of the Watershed’s inhabitants.