The Watershed Effect: BLM-Alaska Hosts Copper River Stewardship Project 

John Wesley Powell defined a watershed as, "that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."  The BLM-Alaska's Glennallen Field OfficeWrangell-St. Elias National Park and PreserveCopper River Watershed ProjectWrangell Institute for Science and EnvironmentPrince William Sound Science Center and several other partners worked together to host the Copper River Stewardship Project to help students understand and explore the history, ecology and challenges which link and influence the Copper River Watershed.  The hands-on program brings together 10 students - five from the upriver watershed (mostly subsistence and recreation users) and five from the lower delta watershed (mostly commercial and recreation users) of the Copper River - for a 10-day exploration of the watershed.   

2013 Copper River Watershed Stewardship Program kids videoOver the course of the trip the students traveled by foot and canoe to examine all the influences on and resources of the watershed, and to share and debate issues from their differing perspectives.  They examined the cultural history, geology, fisheries, wildlife, forestry, oil and energy, economics, and land management missions and patterns of the watershed, and will serve as watershed ambassadors to create a series of projects and share their experience and knowledge with others.  This year, Yup’ik storyteller Jack Dalton accompanied the students on the trip. Jack will work with the student ambassadors to develop unique educational displays that will be installed along the Copper River.  We hope you enjoy this YouTube video in which the students describe their watershed journey.