A River Runs By It

Re-blogged from aurorawatcherak aka Lela Markham, a brilliant writer who I learn something new from every day!


When Alaska was a frontier territory, the rivers were our highways. The Yukon and the Tanana are huge rivers that allowed boat travel of all sorts. There used to be steamboats that pulled up to the dock here in Fairbanks on the tiny little Chena (which wasn’t so tiny back in those days before flood control).

When Alaska became a state, we held out for:

  • 102 million acres of land,
  • 90% share of resource revenue from federal lands
  • control of our fish and game including on federal lands, and
  • ownership of inland navigatable waterways.

The people who voted for statehood thought they were making a contract with the United States government, agreeing to become a grownup state with the resources to take on that responsibility. Had they known the future, would they have agreed to the terms? Had they known that the United States government was going to renig on the…

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