July 1, 2015
SCA to provide hands-on training for young Alaskans and Alaska Natives in forest conservation
Anchorage, Alaska – General Communication, Inc. (“GCI”) (NASDAQ: GNCMA) today announced that it has partnered with Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) to donate $45,000 to the Student Conservation Association (SCA) of Alaska to engage young Alaskans and Alaska Natives in conservation efforts and connection with their natural resources, culture and heritage.
The SCA is a national conservation corps whose mission is to create the next generation of conservation leaders by providing hands-on service to the land. SCA engages teens in three to four week excursions that include camping, restoring and building trails and habitat protection. SCA also offers intern programs and project leader positions to young adults. The SCA service experience often leads to long careers working in public lands, for agencies such as the National Park Service and US Forest Service. A recent statistics shows about 12 percent of national parks employees got started as SCA members.
The donation from GCI and BBNC is funding an Alaska Regional High School Crew. This group of high school students combines students from the Bristol Bay region with other Alaska students to serve in a three week conservation camp at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Lake Clark is off the road system in rural Southwest Alaska. By the end of the program, students will have restored and maintained trails, helped open campsites for park visitors, and will return with skills in trail building, team building and leadership.
“We are excited to give kids in Bristol Bay an opportunity to connect with the land and help prepare them for potential careers,” Martin Cary, vice president and general manager of Managed Broadband Services at GCI. “The skills learned at this camp will help lay the foundation for leadership and community involvement among our youth, and we believe an investment in them is an investment in our future.”
Because of partnerships like that of GCI and BBNC, SCA has seen a four-fold increase in the number of Alaska Native teens and young adults participating in conservation programs. Students who return from SCA High School Crews return with a lifelong commitment to stewardship and the environment.
“It is important for youth in our communities to stay connected with their culture, heritage and the land and natural resources of our region,” said Jason Metrokin, president and CEO of Bristol Bay Native Corporation. “This program is helping create the future stewards of Bristol Bay, which BBNC is excited to support.”
This year’s class of young conservationists left for Lake Clark on June 15 and will return on July 5.
GCI is the largest telecommunications company in Alaska. The company’s cable plant, which provides voice, video, and broadband data services, passes 80 percent of Alaska households. GCI operates Alaska’s most extensive terrestrial/subsea fiber optic network, which connects not only Anchorage but also Fairbanks, and Juneau/Southeast to the lower 48 states with a diversely routed, protected fiber network. The company’s satellite network provides communications services to small towns and villages throughout rural Alaska. GCI is in the process of constructing Alaska’s first truly statewide mobile wireless network, which will seamlessly link urban and rural Alaska for the first time in the state’s history. More information about the company can be found at www.gci.com.
About Bristol Bay Native Corporation
Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) is a responsible Alaska Native investment corporation dedicated to the mission of “Enriching Our Native Way of Life.” Established through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), BBNC works to ensure the continuation of the life and culture of its over 10,000 shareholders – the Eskimo, Indian and Aleut Natives of Southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.