About Us

The Organization

The Skagway Traditional Council, the area’s federally recognized tribal government, began the process of creating an environmental group in Skagway by gauging interest through community meetings.  Skagway citizens recognized the value of their unique landscape and enthusiastically responded by developing the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council (TIWC) to promote well-being of the community by protecting and improving watershed conditions. TIWC received its 501(c)3 non-profit status in 2003 with a goal of addressing environmental concerns and identifying conservation opportunities through restoration and enhancement projects, sustainable community development, education, and outreach.  In 2013, TIWC became fiscally sponsored by the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition (SAWC) to streamline administrative costs. TIWC is directed by the SAWC board of directors, which holds two seats for Skagway residents, and is supported by a group of community advisors. Projects are developed and executed by a program manager who maintains an office found in Skagway’s natural foods grocery store You Say Tomato.

Mission: The Taiya Inlet Watershed Council is a community partnership working to protect and improve the health of the watershed through education, communication, research and restoration.

Vision:The Taiya Inlet is a watershed of intense beauty, diverse plant and animal communities, dynamic physical processes, a colorful history, a vibrant economy and a small, but active, human community. The future of the watershed depends upon maintaining these characters, and thus the quality of life we value. The Taiya Inlet Watershed Council envisions an empowered community of educated, responsible stewards who work together to preserve and promote a healthy watershed. We will be a community where sustainable, year-round resource use and management is realized using a watershed approach.

Goals:  In Fall 2011, TIWC developed a strategic plan with goals and action steps for 2012-2014.  Through the support of the National Forest Foundation, the Board of Directors worked with Barbara Wyckoff of Dynamica Coaching and Capacity Building to determine the direction of the organization over the next three years. The goals established are to:

  • Collaborate with stakeholders to restore, protect and understand habitat for fish, wildlife, and other organisms
  • Encourage and facilitate research opportunities in the Taiya Inlet watershed
  • Promote community understanding and stewardship of the watershed through outreach and education
  • Participate in community planning efforts to promote watershed stewardship
  • Build organizational capacity
  • Form a balanced and diverse partnership of citizens, businesses, and organizations


Nicole Kovacs, Program Manager

Nicole is from Massachusetts and first came to Southeast Alaska in 2013 working as a climbing guide in Skagway and Haines. She is now the Program Manager for the Taiya Inlet Watershed Council and Environmental Coordinator for the Skagway Traditional Council. Her projects include, Salmon in the Classroom, invasive plant management and education, and clean boating outreach. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Over the past few years she has worked various field jobs from studying ground squirrels in Idaho to endangered tiger beetles along the Connecticut River, and as a natural resource volunteer for the National Park Service in Skagway. When she’s not working she enjoys climbing, trail running, skiing and playing in the mountains.

TIWC is directed by the SAWC Board of Directors and supported by advisors from the National Park Service and other organizations. The Board of Directors meets throughout the year to discuss projects and how we can best serve to benefit our community. If you are interested in joining the SAWC Board of Directors, please send a letter of interest to rachel.ford@taiya.org.

Community Support

The Taiya Inlet Watershed Council receives community support in many different ways. Some support is in-kind: volunteer time, supplies, equipment; some support is monetary. Without this help, TIWC would not function. We thank everyone who has helped us make our efforts a success! Our project partners and supporters are listed on the project pages.


Our partners are organizations with which we regularly work. We build programs together, share resources, and offer camaraderie.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Juneau Field Office
  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  • National Forest Foundation
  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition
  • Takshanuk Watershed Council
  • Municipality of Skagway
  • Skagway Recreation Center
  • Skagway School District
  • National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program
  • Skagway Traditional Council


Donations for 2016 include:

  • Sockeye Cycle
  • Skagway Fishing Charter

For a list of Pat Moore Memorial Game Fish Derby Supporters, Please look under the tab “Fish Derby”


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