Reading the north

Fish Politics and Wolf Wars: A History of Fish and Game Management in Alaska

By Wayne Regelin (Arctic Loon Press, $14.95)

The blurb: Wildlife biologist Dr. Wayne Regelin offers a history of decades-long conflicts between the State of Alaska and the federal government over fish and game management.


Excerpt: "Fisheries management in the United States was in its infancy in 1867 when Alaska became a U.S. possession. There were no regulations to protect Alaska's fishery and no government organization to enforce regulations had they existed.

"Despite the lack of interest in Alaska by the U.S. government, the salmon industry began to grow. The first fish salting plant was established on Kodiak Island at Karluk Lake in 1868. Soon more companies began to exploit the vast salmon resources and more fish salting plants were established. By the early 1870s canneries began replacing fish salting plants and all salting plants were closed by 1880. In 1880 there were 35 fish canneries operating throughout Alaska; they shipped 714,196 cases of salmon valued at $2.8 million to Seattle for distribution across the U.S. The phenomenal growth continued and residents of Alaska urged the federal government to provide them with territorial status so they could regulate and tax the fishery. Their pleas were ignored."


The Last Homestead

By Warren Troy (Publication Consultants, $17.95)

The blurb: The latest book in the adventures of Alaska homesteader Denny Caraway recounts a tragedy that drives Caraway away from his home and deeper into the wilderness.


Excerpt: "A solid foot of snow fell about a week after Denny had stored his moose meat. Now he could make a run to restock his dwindling supplies. The night after the snow fell, Caraway sat at his little hand-sawed spruce table, making a list of what he needed.

"His first homesteading location hadn't made things difficult when it came to resupplying. He had been well within reach of the stores and shops in the town of Hazel, making the trip in a few hours in winter or summer. But now, his home on Lanyard Creek required a much longer ride on his snowmobile to get to the road system, coming out at the little community of Salcha, and then a run up to Fairbanks by pick-up, to get everything he needed."


Windows to the Land, Vol. 1: Alaska Native Land Claims Trailblazers

By Judy Ferguson (Voice of Alaska Press)

The blurb: The textbook profiles individuals and groups who paved the way for the Alaska Land Claims Settlement Act and the Alaska Federation of Natives and introduces the identity, location and historical benchmarks for each of the state's indigenous cultures.


Excerpt: "Virginia (Lacy) is a refined eighty-seven-year-old who lives in a hundred-year-old home built a year after Cordova's founding. She explained the local history and her family's background.

"In the 1760s, Russian traders arrived by ship looking for sea otter and other furs at Nuchek on Hinchinbrook Island, the gateway to Prince William Sound. Nuchek is an Alutiiq word that means the 'last land before the open water.' By 1788, a Russian trading post and redoubt had been built. It was a supply point for ships to replenish water and supplies so Nuchek became an important hub."

Compiled by Matt Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News