Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
YUKON DELTA: Hill Staff Get a ?Taste? of Yukon Delta Refuge
Alaska Region, August 20, 2004
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What do caribou soup, fireweed and blueberry jelly, smoked chinook salmon, and fresh grilled coho salmon have in common? These local delicacies were enjoyed by Congressional staffers Loretta Beaumont and Leif Fonnesbeck during their visit to Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge August 20-21 as they finished their tour of five Alaska refuges with the largest refuge in the System. The food was more than a novelty; since supporting subsistence uses is one of the purposes of Yukon Delta NWR, it is natural that these treats from the Delta should be shared with our guests.

After lunch of caribou soup in our bunkhouse, the group was joined by the Mayor of Bethel and other local dignitaries to tour an abandoned BIA site for which the Refuge has clean-up responsibilities. Then Leif (Senate Interior Appropriations) and Loretta (House Interior Appropriations) boarded a Refuge plane piloted by Manager Mike Rearden for an overflight while Casey Stemler (Special Assistant to the Director) and Deputy Regional Director Gary Edwards and Refuge staff took off by boat to observe commercial fishing on the Kuskokwim and recreational fishing on the Kwethluk Rivers. The evening ended over dinner with Refuge staff and families at Deputy Manager Staller's house where our guests found that living in rural Alaska is about families, not just the folks who wear the uniform, and quality housing is an important part of attracting and keeping great staffs.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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