WISE provides science and environmental education to all age groups, resources for
learning, and support for scientific research
WISE has partnered with Princess Tours to bring you the Copper Country Discovery Tour. Tours start on May 20, 2013. Treat yourself to a wilderness experience exploring the Boreal Forest. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Copper River Valley via personalized small-group tours. The proceeds from this tour are used to fund on-going youth programs and help grow the organization.
It is with a heavy heart that I write this. WISE has lost a dear friend and family
member. Bruce James lost his long courageous battle with cancer on June 8, 2013.
He spent his last days at his wilderness home in Chokosna surrounded and embraced
by his beloved wife, Kayane, daughter Julie, son Brian, daughter-in-law Nicole, three
grandchildren Brennen, Chase, Emily, and faithful dog Mack – or Macaroni as Bruce
would playfully call him.
Bruce lived for and with the wild. It was the essence of his being. In his last days
he watched the birds in his yard, he watched the river rise and fall, he watched
as the leaves of the trees and other plants unfolded in their springtime greenness,
he breathed in the wilderness air, he enjoyed the warmth of the sun as it shone on
the snow capped mountains above him, he listened to stories old and new and re-lived
earlier times with family.
In his three short years with WISE Bruce did a life time of dedicated work teaching
youth and adults about the wilderness deeply embedded in his heart. He didn’t need
a teaching degree to do this. His knowledge came with life experience. Teaching isn’t
just about conveying knowledge. It’s about sharing it in a fun and interactive way.
For Bruce it was being outdoors, getting your hands dirty, rowing a boat in circles
until teamwork took hold, showing the art of casting a line, dissecting a fish, picking
berries and making jams, filleting a salmon, fine tuning survival skills, instilling
a sense of love and place in the hearts of those he touched. True teaching is dedication
and comes from the heart. Bruce was all of this and although it may feel like a hole
is left in our hearts, the hole is really filled with Bruce and the knowledge he
so generously and joyfully gave to everyone to keep forever. This we celebrate and
As Bruce's soul began his next journey an ermine came to his door and excitedly wanted
in, gray jays came to his window, a lone loon made a single call on Silver Lake,
and a wild turkey came to the porch of a friend he used to hunt wild turkeys with.
Sometime after he left, a peaceful smile formed on his face and it looked as if he
was saying it's OK, I'm at peace, I'm one with the wild.