September 2013 Monthly Project Update

As summer draws to a close, I wanted to share a bit more information with you about recent fieldwork in Angoon. In July, August, and September, crews visited Angoon to conduct cultural and natural resource surveys at the Airport 12a site. This additional fieldwork was prompted by the FAA's identification of the Airport 12a site as the preferred alternative. Results from these surveys will be provided in the Public Draft of the EIS.

Each of our crews was required to have bear guards during surveys. We were lucky enough to have Angoon residents, Alvin and Donald Johnson, fill this roll at different times during surveys.



Molly Odell, the field director for cultural resources, visited Angoon with five other archaeologists, for 10 days in July. This crew investigated locations where the probability of finding cultural resources is high. Molly and the cultural resources crew were especially thankful for the help they received from Angoon residents. "With the help of our knowledgeable bear guards, we were able to visit all our project areas without seeing a single bear. Alvin and Donald and the many seniors we met at the senior center were very gracious in sharing their traditional knowledge with us. That knowledge helped us conduct our survey and helped us understand the deep, rich history of Angoon."

Taya MacLean and Stacey Reed went to Angoon to conduct wetland and stream surveys in August and September. Stacey described their 12-hour days this way: "We had a wonderful experience in Angoon! The weather was sunny and dry. The berries were plentiful and ripe and we indulged in wild blueberries, huckleberries, cloudberries, thimbleberries, and salmon berries." Stacey and Taya offered this appreciation of Alvin's skills: "Alvin's experience and natural connection and intuition with the wilderness and knowledge in bear behavior, helped keep us from potentially dangerous encounters with the Alaskan brown bear. Alvin taught us skills on how to avoid bear encounters that we will incorporate into our company's safety plan for future work in bear habitat."

I occasionally receive phone calls from Angoon residents with questions and comments. I always enjoy our conversations and like hearing what is on your mind about the airport project. Your opinions and perspectives about the proposed airport continue to be important to me and the process, and I hope you will continue to stay in touch. You can reach me at (907) 271-5453 or e-mail me at Leslie.Grey@faa.gov. I always enjoy hearing from you.


Best regards,

Leslie Grey



     
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