There needed to be an Alaska view of standoff

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2003

As an Alaskan, I was heartsick over your Sunday article, "A bulldozer runs through it." It is bizarre that you would choose to get your news about Alaska from the Washington Post.

The reporter obviously has no sense of Alaska, its lands, issues, or people, nor will any of his uninformed readers back in D.C.

I was with reporter Blaine Harden on his visit to the Pilgrim Family where we were treated to the best wilderness experience Alaska has to offer, something to really treasure.

I, too, traveled by horseback to the Pilgrim's home, deep in heart of bear country where guns are needed for personal safety. I, too, sat spellbound as Papa told the reporter how he met his bride, how Christ transformed their lives, of their 15 wonderful children, their music and move to Alaska. I, too, savored delicious chowder and apple pie, costly to a family living hundreds of miles from a grocery store. I, too, slept on clean sheets, a burden on folks without running water. That's Alaskan hospitality!

I, too, witnessed teams of NPS-armed rangers helicopter to the homestead, our tax dollars hard at work starving this family off their land, denying legal access over a pre-existing road. That's Alaskan reality.

Where was that story? For all he got out of the experience, the reporter could have just stayed home.

Lee Ann Gerhart


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