Our mission is to honor Eyak Heritage and to conserve wild salmon culture and habitat through education, awareness and the promotion of sustainable lifeways for all peoples.
The Eyak Preservation Council (EPC), Based in Cordova, Alaska, is a 501c3 grassroots environmental and social change organization dedicated to promoting sustainable communities and protecting and preserving wild salmon habitat and Indigenous culture in the ancestral Eyak homelands of the Prince William Sound and Copper River watersheds.
EPC was conceived on the day of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. That disastrous event turned Eyak founder Dune Lankard, from a commercial fisherman into a life-long community activist. EPC thereby was formed and dedicated itself to not only preserving the wild salmon way of life and Native Culture, but to turning the Exxon disaster into a precedent setting opportunity for conservation when 765,000 acres of ancestral rainforests were protected in 1995 from the clear-cutting efforts of regional Native Corporations in the spillzone.
EPC received its 501c3 status in 2001 and has been linking wild salmon habitat preservation, environmental justice, and cultural preservation with sustainable economic solutions ever since. EPC's goal is to protect wild salmon habitat permanently by envisioning and creating sustainable communities in which society, economics, and education all reinforce the wild salmon way of life.
With EPC's founder, its now primarily Indigenous board, and multi-cultural advisors and volunteers, we are in the unique position of having standing in order to represent an Indigenous voice to deflect unwarranted and destructive development issues whether they be promoted by Native, local, private, or multi-national corporations or government agencies
At the heart of all of EPC's work are the wild salmon, their pristine habitat and the ecosystems that not only sustain the returning salmon but also the traditional heritage and economies that depend on them. EPC's work also focuses self-empowerment and sustainable community solutions, which include the promotion of clean and renewable energy projects that are especially valuable for the preservation of wild salmon habitat. In that regard EPC offers value-focused programs designed to guide and partner with a broad array of constituents towards achieving EPC's ultimate goal of securing permanent protection for wild salmon habitat.
Additional to our running programs and capaigns, we intend to focus in 2013 intensely on fundraising to expand our capacity, while also revamping and upgrading our cyberspace outreach to become far more interactive with our supporters and constituents.
What we do
We envision pristine productive ecosystems that support healthy communities. The undeniable interaction between culture, the environment, and the economy under-scores the need to preserve wild salmon habitat, our commercial fishery, and traditional culture.
It is a shocking fact that Alaska has the only commercially marketable wild seafood fishery left in all of North America. The relevant urgency and necessity for EPC's work is made evident by the collapse of the fisheries in not only the Pacific Northwest but also worldwide. The price of fuel and energy, the economic world-wide economic crisis, multi-national corporate greed and dominance, and the socio-economic cumulative effects of global climate change is influencing us all, and mandates our holistic yet strategic work for the future, of all.
Where we work
Environmental and cultural challenges are great in EPC's region of concern, the Copper River and Prince William Sound watersheds. The abundant natural resources (timber, oil, gas, coal, wildlife, seafood, intact natural beauty) continue to make the region especially vulnerable to destructive piecemeal development, as status quo shortsighted "progress" carries on. Although the entire Copper River watershed region is mandated to be managed for fisheries and wildlife protection, there are no policy provisions for protection in place.
Wild Salmon Facts