Monday, February 2, 2009

Copper River Country Stories Map and Associated Projects


Copper River Country Stories Map and Associated Projects


  1. Foster community support of the project.
  2. Share opportunities and incentives to potential stakeholders for becoming a group participant.
  3. Update public and stakeholders on the groups’ achievements, action plans, and new directions as well as opportunities for further input.


The McDowell Group's 2006 "Profile of Visitors to Rural Alaska and The Copper River Basin." notes that "when asked why they chose to visit the Copper Basin area, three-quarters of visitors said they were 'passing through.'” A likely reason so many travelers just "pass through" the Copper River area rather than stop is a lack of information about visitor opportunities. There is currently no single product that meets the need of introducing people to the potential and possibilities of the 23,020 square mile Copper River Country. Visitors and local residents must piecemeal together the information they need to explore and learn about the area. The Copper River Country Stories Map will fill this gap.

The Copper River Country Stories Map will keep a local face on the growth of tourism in this region and will encourage a respectful and thoughtful visit to our communities. By depicting the area's rich heritage resources and by showing off some of the many wonderful possibilities for adventure and learning, the map will not only attract more visitors to Copper River Country, but also will attract the type of visitor who wants to slow down and listen to local voices rather than just travel quickly through.

The Copper River Country Stories Map will be an opportunity to impart to visitors and residents alike an understanding and appreciation of this region's living landscape, a place where people actively hunt, recreate, gather berries and fish. It's hoped that this increased understanding and appreciation leads to better resource stewardship. No one wants to see trash or debris lying around; the map will encourage people to be more thoughtul about what they do with their sewage and solid waste. Multiple users, including hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and ATVers, enjoy the many trails in Copper River Country; this map will help alleviate conflicts between these different groups by conveying the need for trail etiquette and respect for all users. It will also help to disperse travelers to a variety of recreational opportunities.


The goals of the final product will be to:

  • Facilitate opportunities for connection to the meanings of the natural and cultural resources of Copper River Country;
  • Create authentic products that are informative, attractive and useful to stakeholders who both want to use and distribute them.
    • These products will add value and depth to visitors’ experiences.
  • Orient readers to the scale of the region in regards to time, distance and unique aspects of the region’s rural culture.


(note: you can keep this simple, or you can make it detailed, whichever serves the group best).


Listserv Members


    State of Alaska legislators: Rep. John Harris, Rep. Woodie Salmon, Sen. Gene Therriault, Sen. Al Kookesh

    State of Alaska DNR - Region ?

    State of Alaska Dept of Fish and Game – Glennallen Offices

    Copper River Country Communities, Native Villages and Corporations: (list them out? Or not?) Mentasta, Slana, Chistochina (Cheesh’Na), Gakona, Gulkana, Sourdough, Paxson, Tangle Lakes, Maclaren?, Eureka? Lake Louise? Mendeltna, Nelchina, Tolsona, Glennallen, Copperville? Tazlina, Copper Center (Kluti-Kaah), Willow Creek, Kenny Lake, Chitina, Tonsina, McCarthy, Kennecott? (I can never remember which spelling is which, can someone help me out here?).

    Copper River Country Businesses

    Copper River Country Organizations

    Local Media: Copper River Record, Valdez Star, Wrangell St. Elias News, KCHU, KCAM, KMBQ.

    Statewide Media ??


News Releases

Radio Bulletin Meeting Notices

Newspaper Meeting Notices

Q&A Sheet

Listserv for Participants

Other? Handouts?

Presentations at potential partner meetings?

Responsibility Action Due Date Completed
Who will do this? Newsrelease – Update on January Meetings February 2009
Who? March Meeting Notice: Radio PSA and Newspaper Invite March 2009
Who? Newsrelease – Update on March meetings? April 2009

Sample Radio PSA:

Insert a previous radio announcement here.

Sample Meeting Announcements:

Insert or attach a sample flyer or Newspaper announcement here.


Begin to think of questions that the public or potential stakeholders are likely to ask. Then we can all work to answer these questions.

  1. How can I participate in this project? While there are many ways to participate in this project, please start by sending an email to? Or calling? so that the group can begin to include you in meeting notices and provide you with updates….(whatever we want to say here).

  1. Will there be opportunities to provide further input? Answer.

  1. Who is funding this project? Answer.

  1. Who is sponsoring this project? Answer.

  1. Question? Answer.

  1. Question? Answer.

  1. Question? Answer.
For more information or to contribute:

Marnie Graham
Public Affairs Specialist
BLM - Glennallen Field Office
P.O. Box 147
Glennallen, AK 99588

1 comment:

overtheedge said...

I suppose I am the contrarian. When I see a posting like this, I question why gov't is pursuing the project rather than individuals. It is my perception that gov't doesn't create, but rather consumes.

Herein are the problems with this concept:

The focus is on tourism. Tourism is totally dependant upon disposable income. Economics demands that for tourist dollars to be transferred, the costs to the tourist must be low, therefore low employee income.

The Copper River Basin has little to interest the tourist to see it as a destination. WRST National Park is not tourist friendly or to locals either. As an example: you can pan for gold, but you can't use a shovel.

The Copper River Basin rarely produces anything other than minor quantities of hay. The potential for production of other products is minimal; too far from markets, too small, minimal to no capital for production. Almost totally dependant upon gov't largess and jobs.

Energy costs are among the highest of anywhere on the US highway system.

Extraction and/or utilization of natural resources are met with onerous regulations and rabid environmentalism.

High cost of local employees resulting in larger employers importing personnel from outside the area. The cost of living requires higher wages or the resident's labor towards self-sufficiency.

History provides substantial evidence that tourism displaces the residents and increases the probability that the character of the area will change to just another tourism armpit.

It is all about economics and the economics just ain't here. With a declining national economy, it is a safe bet that it won't be for at least 50 years and probably not in our lifetime. Example: rural Maine.

I may be a contrarian, but I can back it up with evidence.