Executive Director - Elsa Sebastian
Elsa Sebastian originally hails from a small fishing village on Prince of Wales Island, and has been drawn to Haines to help protect our wild salmon runs from multiple threats, including mine development, industrial scale clearcutting and ill-conceived highway projects in the Chilkat watershed. She’s a believer in the power of grassroots organizing and local ecological knowledge.
Elsa has spent her entire life on the ocean. Since graduating from college she has captained a troller, and for the last couple of years she’s been deckhanding on a drift gillnetter in Bristol Bay.
The seasonality of commercial fishing has allowed Elsa to put significant time towards working with conservation organizations. She’s especially proud of her contributions to Alaska Whale Foundation, an independent research non-profit that studies humpback whales and marine ecosystems of Southeast Alaska. She is an Alaska Salmon Fellow with the Alaska Humanities Forum, served as a board member of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, and worked as an intern for Trout Unlimited’s Pebble Mine Project. In 2017 Elsa led an adventure ground-truthing project on her home island of Prince of Wales to draw attention to a potential federal land transfer.
Communications Coordinator - Alyssa Wallace
Alyssa is originally from Minnesota, started adventure guiding throughout Alaska in the summer of 2016. Her experience in Alaska has been characterized by an undeniable need to know its lands and waters. Alyssa volunteered for LCC at the Haines State Fair, and found herself wanting to engage more deeply with conservation to fulfill her love for Southeast Alaska and the Chilkat Valley in particular. She believes that the more you know something, the more you'll want to fight for its justice.
Alyssa graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and has since continually found ways to marry her love for communications to her love for the outdoors. She finds great value and importance in sharing the work of LCC to inspire curiosity, big-picture thoughtfulness, and action.
Eric Holle, Board President
Eric has 21 years in Haines on the LCC board under his belt, including 10 years as President. His skills include: biological fieldwork with numerous species, from desert reptiles, to local fish populations and extensive outdoor experience and knowledge of the Chilkat Valley and Southeast Alaska. Eric is a contract biologist & musician by trade. Eric feels that LCC's greatest strength is tenacity, and willingness to research issues to gain full understanding of all the facts.
Carol Tuynman, Board Vice-President
Carol has been an LCC board member since September 2010. Carol has 30 years experience with nonprofit program and proposal development. Carol was inspired to pursue environmental conservation by the practices and teaching of her grandmother, her mother, and her elementary/middle school teachers. She has always found environmental consciousness in her personal life, community, and nationally.Carol believes that LCC's greatest strength is building alliances with other nonprofits and with policy-making agencies by means of persistent and consistent informed advocacy and lobbying to preserve wilderness and marine habitat.
Heidi Robichaud, Board Secretary
Heidi’s interests are primarily in art, music, human relationships, psychology, ecosystems, communications. She appreciates the value of one on one communications and relationship building with folks and decision makers outside of official meetings. Heidi has a private practice in psychotherapy and continues to create ivory scrimshaw as she has since 1981. Heidi’s first real community organizing was in Gustavus, Alaska, population about 400, in the mid 1990s when a developer attempted to get permits to build a 500 bed resort in the wetlands adjoining the recently established Sandhill Crane Sanctuary. This would have had huge impacts on local wetlands and the demographics of the community with no input from locals. Heidi’s involvement with the conservation community in Glacier Bay informed her of LCCs work and when she moved to Haines it was a natural to be involved.
Scott Carey, Board Treasurer
Scotty is the recently retired LCC president who has decidedly set out to put his impeccable number crunching skills to the test.
Stacie Evans, Board Member
For much of her life Stacie traveled, lived, and worked throughout the west in search of all things wild. In 2012 she found Haines and never looked back. Stacie earned her Bachelor's of Science at the University of Montana and has spent nearly every summer in the field since her first job in eight grade. In the summer she still packs her bags and travels to Alaska's most remote places to collect biological data. In the winter months she is happy to backcountry ski, play ping-pong and help LCC protect this amazing valley that she calls home.
George Figdor, Board Member
George got his intro to life on the Streets of Philly but has been a Haines resident since 1972 and joined LCC within 30 days of first stepping off the ferry in Haines and seeing the smoke from the mill filling the inlet. George has been a member for the past 10 years & was president in the late 70's. George has degree in communications but more importantly, a University of Alaska Master Gardener Certificate. George is interested in energy and sustainability issues, local food production, land use planning, and quiet rights issues. George is a serious photographer and kayaker. He enjoys doing kayaking photography. He especially likes growing food, building wind and solar power systems, and most of all...making flyers for nonprofits!
Jo Goerner, Board Member
Jo moved to Haines in 2017 after falling in love with the community through several seasons of tourism work. Jo runs a bookstore on the main street of Haines, is a musician, a swim coach, and a radio station volunteer. Jo recently took an environmental rhetoric course with Dan Henry and is interested in listening and conversing with community members of all perspectives. This winter Jo will be an apprentice luthier with Rob Goldberg.
Jessica Plachta, Board Member
Jessica was born into a tribe of tree planters. She’s currently working on a book about the years she spent with her tree planting family. Jessica’s conservation interests include protecting our local rivers from toxic mine waste, keeping trees and their forest communities alive and
standing, supporting sustainable local food systems, and developing a community-based carbon sequestration project. In Jessica’s spare time, she likes to jump on the trampoline with her kiddo, gather wild foods, and daydream about the apocalypse, (embracing, witnessing, and/or preventing it).
Mario Benassi, Board Member
Mario works with the youth, empowering them to care about the magic of the Chilkat Valley. A raptor expert, master chef, father, and film-maker who speaks for the animals.
Cary Weishan, Board Member
Cary's husband, first daughter, and she moved to Haines in 1981. They subsequently had another daughter and raised their family here. She has been an LCC board member since 2005 and served as Secretary from 2005-2009. After receiving a B.A. from the University of Redlands (English major) she earned an M.A. in Special Education from San Diego State University. Cary holds a current Alaska teacher certificate, K-8, with Special Education endorsement. Cary is especially concerned about taking care of this planet we call home. Having grown up in Santa Monica, California, she witnessed increasing air pollution from the Los Angeles basin to San Diego. Knowing how much damage has already been done in the lower 48 states, she is committed to protecting Alaska’s clean air, water, and soil.
Are you interested in volunteering with LCC?
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