22 February, 2003
THOSE "DAMMED" PONDS
It was one last trip out to Poker Flat, and one last opportunity to reflect on the importance of these isolated ponds and the valuable stories they have to tell. They are like many thousands of other small ponds, sloughs, and lakes throughout Northern Alaska in that they have become a valuable resource for humans. They hold part of the secret of climate change, but have served many other groups besides ice and climate researchers. Fishermen, snowmobile enthusiasts, and trappers have all relied on these small water bodies for recreation and for survival.
Today we came across a team of beaver trappers who, using the modern conveniences of trucks, chainsaws, and snow machines were setting traps in two of the ponds. One of the trappers had been visiting this same area for fifty years, and had begun trapping when it meant hiking into the wilderness with a backpack.
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