Gold Star Destinations

Destination News from Around the State

Geotourism inSouthwest Alaska 

 Aleut, Alutiq, Athabascan, and Yup’ik cultures are all represented in Bristol Bay. Traditional practices, languages, crafts, languages, and subsistence lifestyles continue to be a strong part of community life. The region also continues to be influenced by Russian culture, and Russian Orthodox churches are present in many communities. Bristol Bay’s rivers and streams support the world’s largest red salmon run, and the commercial salmon industry has long been a dominant influence on the local culture and economy.
July 1, 2016 1 Elsewhere in geotourism developments, a statewide group convened by the University of Alaska has launched a geotourism initiative and posted an Alaskan Geotourism Charter. The group is now reviewing ideas for  bringing tourism benefits to Alaskan gateway communities. Many feel bypassed by tourists either on cruise-line package tours or transferring by charter flights to high-end wilderness lodges. We expect you will be hearing more about this effort.

sitka Some very special places on earth seem to be forged for the curious and adventurous souls who demand diversity and grandeur in their travels.  For those who venture for out-of-the-ordinary, majestic and lush places, Sitka proudly beckons.  For the seekers of treasures, natural, cultural and historical, Sitka is that treasure island.

With views of island-studded waters and stately spruce forests reaching to the water’s edge, Sitka is considered Alaska’s most beautiful seaside town.  Yet Sitka’s hallmark is its tenure and devotion to a culturally diverse past.  In a young state whose history is filled with tales of boom towns and ghost towns, Sitka has the distinctive character of a place that has been settled for thousands of years.  These ancient lands, home to the Tlingit Indians, celebrated their life and culture long before Russians or Americans walked on the rocky shores and today Tlingit living culture is deeply rooted in this small seaside city.

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Seward Phoenix Log  June 28, 2016 1  
Check out the beautiful new bronze statue of renowned Japan – Alaskan pioneer dog musher Jujiro Wada by Fifth and Railway Avenue near the Alaska Sealife Center. The detailed sculpture was commissioned by the Seward Iditarod Trail Blazers. It was created by Pat Garley, assisted by Colleen Wake, of Arctic Fires Bronze Sculptureworks of Palmer, Alaska.

THE NORTHERN IDITAROD TRAIL BLAZER:   Jujiro Wada was a Japanese adventurer and entrepreneur who achieved fame for his exploits in turn-of-the-20th-century Alaska and Yukon Territory. According to his own account, Wada was born on February 12, 1872, in Ehime Prefecture, Japan, to wealthy Samurai parents. Wada said that he arrived in San Francisco in late 1891, and Shanghaied on to a Whale Ship to the Alaska Arctic, where his 1st Northern adventures began.

Hydaburg    June 28, 2016 0  Hydaburg, a rainforest town of 400 on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, is on a mission. It’s leading a resurgence in Haida culture, churning out new totem poles, running a carving school and designing a traditional long house. What’s happening here is part of a wave of cultural revitalization projects sweeping Alaska’s Panhandle. 

 Totems and Haida Culture Surge | HYDABURG — Chain saws toppled a 550-year-old western red cedar tree on Prince of Wales Island recently. But last month, the ancient log rose again as Eagle and Raven totem poles in the village of Hydaburg.
June 28, 2016 1 

Alaska Native Event

Alaska Native peoples bring talent, spirit, beauty and a great sense of comradery to signature events year-round. Modern Athabascan Indians from the Interior and Inupiat Eskimos of the Western Arctic Coast thrived without western amenities for hundreds of years. Cultural activities and art of all kinds are part of Alaska Native people’s daily lives. These endeavors, whether they be dancing, drumming, sporting activities or the creation of arts and crafts are all on display in authentic Alaska Native events that take place throughout the year.

Made in Alaska Value to Tourism | Newsminer:   Tourists who buy Alaskan may help more than tourists who buy gemstones from Africa and T-shirts from Honduras.  Made in Alaska offers credibility to the thousands of products produced by its members. The program began in 1991 as a way to promote Alaskan-made products. Today, 1,173 members feature the Made in Alaska logo in their marketing or advertising programs for their businesses located in 80 communities around the state.

Denali National Park

June 28, 2016 1  

Park Wolf Study Disputed—Opinion | Alaska Dispatch News The study claims the decline in wolves doesn’t affect tourism—really?

More than 530,000 visitors come to Denali each year, about 50,000 of whom are Alaskans. Many cite the opportunity to see wolves as one of their primary objectives for visiting the park. Denali is one of Alaska’s top tourism attractions, and is responsible for more than $500 million in economic activity each year in Alaska. The state should realize the obvious economic benefit of restoring and sustaining the wildlife viewing resource of Denali but has yet to be able to transcend its ideological zealotry to do such.

Bristol Bay

June 28, 2016 0

Training for Young Fishing Guides | Alaska Dispatch News For its seventh year, the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy is training local youth to become guides. Native Corp. to Buy Katmai Land | […] As it has for the past seven years, the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy will host 15 Bristol Bay area youth next month, aiming to give them skills and knowledge that could translate into a career as a sport fishing guide in their backyard.

Nearly a dozen graduates have found work at Bristol Bay fishing lodges or as independent guides, according to Tim Troll, director of the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust and co-founder of the academy. Eight of them are working today.   “This is an opportunity for added diversification, not just within BBNC’s investment mix, but within the region itself,” Metrokin said. “There are employment opportunities, training opportunities, and particularly in the case with Katmailand, this is a direct tie for BBNC with our culture and our lands, and to expand our relationship with the Park Service.”

A video on the program is here

Saxman Native Village

June 28, 2016 1
Saxman Native Village celebrates all things Alaskan and Tlingit, and that means totem poles, folklore and dance, lumberjack exploits and woodcarvers.  The native village introduces visitors to the customs and culture of Alaska’s native inhabitants, and features the largest collection of totems you’re likely to see.   At the Beaver Clan House, members of the Cape Fox Dance group welcome visitors with traditional songs, stories and dance. Woodcarvers show off their skills, and there are examples of their craft for sale in the village store.   While visiting Saxman Village, it’s also possible to take in a lumberjack show and wood-chopping competitions.
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