Saturday, February 14, 2009

Copper River Country Stories Map Project, by Vicki Penwell

Here's a little history the mappers wrote for the Copper River Record. I have been contacted by our local USDA agent and asked to participate in this mapping project, but I've got zero responses to my letter and request for documents from the group.
Copper River Country Stories Map Project

By Vicki Penwell

On January 21 and 22, people from around Copper Country met to formulate a work plan for developing a Copper River Country Stories Map and Guide.

According to Kristin Smith of the Copper River Watershed Project (CRWP), based in Cordova, the idea for the guide came about nine years ago when she and others were working on a tourism project and were inspired by the rich collection of diverse stories to be told from the Copper River headwaters to the delta. It occurred to them that a project could be developed that would “help communities guide tourism growth rather than be driven by it.”

Last July, Copper Valley Development Association (CVDA) and the Copper River Watershed Project submitted a request for assistance for such a project to the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA). Along with RTCA, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve and Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC), a core group began formulating a vision statement and plan for community meetings that would gather input from residents and local groups.

In January of this year, eleven people attended the kick off session held at the Copper Valley Development Association office in Tazlina. Smith, along with Katrina Church-Chmielowski of PWSCC and Heather Rice of RTCA, introduced the concept and lead small group discussions about map elements, map style and potential stories. Participants agreed that there was a need for a product directed at tourists that would include information about historic events, trails, natural history landmarks and other features of Copper River Country.

Rice, who facilitated both meetings, found that “participants were looking for a way to share the story of the region with an authentic voice. Something different than existing maps that participants felt were focused on simply navigating the area and finding businesses.”

The Copper River region is not included in many Alaska tourist guides, and many travelers simply “pass through” with no knowledge of the unique features or visitor opportunities available.

Katrina Church-Chmielowski points out that there is no single product that introduces people to the people and features of the 23,020 square mile Copper River Country. She says, “Visitors piecemeal together information they need to explore and learn about the area. The Copper River Country Stories Map will fill this gap.”

After the all day workshop on January 22 held at the Glennallen VFW, a plan for moving forward emerged with a goal of having a printed map available for the summer of 2010. Smith says that she hopes to find funding so that the first printing of the guide can be distributed to visitors free of charge. The group envisioned a potential suite of products that would include web based information as well as hard copy products available at local businesses.

The Copper River Country Stories Map and Guide working group is intended to include additional participants as the project develops. The next meeting will take place some time late in March. Those interested in participating should contact the CVDA at 822-5001 or

For those unfamiliar with Alaska, there is NO official Copper Country. This is a new term introduced by these groups. Our area has NO borough or municipal government, and we are officially lumped into a 22 million acre area labeled as the Valdez-Cordova census area.

Here's one of the responses I got after I sent the mapping group a copy of my business map, and I now have a pdf file of the Kenny Lake Community Plan. Nobody I know here in Kenny Lake knows it exists... so duh, I'm back to the old "What Plan?" conversation:

I was cc'd on some of the communications going on regarding the Copper River Stories Map Project. I wanted to clarify and suggest a few things about business outreach here and the map project.

There IS a large void in outreach materials for our local visitors. The last regional map was produced by the Chamber in 2004? that had business support and advertising around the margins. The Camber did not complete a subsequent edition when those were exhuasted. It was funded by business contributions.

Our organization also produced a Buisiness and Community guide (booklet form, not a map) in early 2003 that didn't get enough business support, and was funded partly by our organiziation. It has also not been reprinted. It is thought that paper materials such as that are often outdated as soon as they are printed.

There is also a Bearfoot Guides that is done by Linda and Jeremy Weld updated yearly. It also puts information for businesses who pay for advertising. The Milepost does the same and includes a few community events such as the KL Fair.

The Chamber has been working the last year or so to update their web site to include information about the Copper Valley and their member businesses. They are ready to launch that soon.

Non-profits such as CVDA and the CR Watershed Project have also gotten up web sites as does Julie Williamson., and

CVDA website does our own news, a community calendar and links. We would like to add links to businesses, but haven't gotten there yet. We do not charge for links, and have linkages to our partners that assist with our projects.

Two years ago, Liz Rietveld from the Fishing Widow initiated a map for the Copper Center businesses. Each business or organization who wanted to be on the map contributed $150 -$500 (Princess and NPS contributed more) . I have attached last year's map for your review in case you haven't seen it. It is also available on our web site.

Last year CVDA wrote to businesses in the Copper Valley to see if they wanted a map for their area such as Gakona, Kenny Lake, etc. We didn't get enough response to get another developed. It is definitely something we would help with and support enough businesses wanted us to help with the administration of this.

Chitina Chamber of Commerce has developed a small tri-fold and Cheesh'na Tribal Council got funding for a brochure about Chistochina that was printed 3-4 years ago. Business outreach for the Kenny Lake Area came up in the Community Planning process that I helped facilitate. As you can see the many concerns and ideas in the document that I have attached.

The communities and businesses here always need enthusiastic people to initiate things as you have done with your map. Again, CVDA would be able to help organize the businesses if you think 10-12 would want a KL community/business map and get 5,000 or so printed for 2009 season. We do not have funding unless contributions come from businesses.
As for the "Stories" Map

First, this was conceived a while ago by the Copper River Watershed Project and has received technical advice from the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program. Currently, there are no grants or monies that have been secured to create the products for the map stories project. Supporters have attended some scoping and planning meetings which were held here in January. The Copper Valley Development Association is a partner and has contributed some staff time and $50 for snacks at the January meeting.

Since that meeting, one proposal has been submitted to the Alaska Geographic for a possible publication. Marnie Graham with BLM also DRAFTED an outreach plan which was probably a bit premature to post on a blog.

With an area this vast, it is hard to encapsulate all on one map. The idea was to have a regional focus for general areas of interest to draw and keep tourists here. We wanted to show what made our area interesting and unique through our stories and histories. Businesses could be linked in as there may be other electronic venues associated with the project IF funding allows, but wouldn't be on the map per se.

I hope this helps to clarify what has been going on in our region. Again, we would be happy to help KL businesses and organizations to develop a local map for visitors. I was unaware of the KL Blog! Thanks for the heads up. Have you read the Copper Country Collection cookbook that I helped write for our PTO? It has a lot of local information that you might want to share with visitors.

Arlene Rosenkrans
RC&D Coordinator-Copper Valley Development Association
Temporary contact as of January 12, 2009
Phone: (907) 822-5001 Fax: 822-5009
Mile 111 Richardson Hwy-CVDA offices in Tazlina

Mail and email same:
HC 60 Box 52, Copper Center, AK 99573

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The first line of the Kenny Lake Community Plan is a lie:

"The Greater Kenny Lake area is a supportive community where we respect our colorful diversity of people and decide things together." (So what explains why so few people from Kenny Lake attended these planning meetings?)

On page 5, the vision for Kenny Lake gets almost funny:

"There is a spirit of individualism combined with a sense of commitment to family and community in Kenny Lake."

What is a "spirit of individualism?" Is it compatible with a commitment to community? Wouldn't it be amazing if the KL vision said the truth as I see it, which is more like:

There are basically two kinds of people in Kenny Lake.

Group One: My friends, who are the traditional Alaskans who hunt, fish, trap and grow, the ones who love their gossip but still know how to mind their own business and don't try to tell anyone else what to do, unless they're asked for advice, and then they may never stop talking....

Group Two: is the people I really don't know at all, this very organized group of federal and state employees, fundamentalist Christians, New Age Indians, global ngo-UN affiliates and retired No Child Left Behind teachers who want to tell everyone what to do and teach us all how to become more responsible global citizens.

Group One lives like Alaskans. Group Two promotes all the UN goals for retraining backwards Alaskan locals (in Group One) how to think and act globally. We actually have anti-fur people here "teaching" us about the changing economics of trapping! (Tim Redington and Dean Wilson Sr., two local trappers who make and sell traps, who still actively trap here and are well-known around Alaska and the world, are NOT included in these "lessons" about trapping.) Tim says he thinks all the tree huggers should have to move out of their big log houses and into eco-friendly tents like me!


Sean said...

I'm concerned with you Niki. 11 years later, after removing yourself to the only free space left in the entire country, the've caught up with you and want do smash you down with some depressing, heavy, deja-vu.

I can only imagine how pissed off this must makes you. I'm imagining that deep relaxed anger, growing larger and larger--like warm dog piss through a paper towel.

You said it perfectly. Two groups. The real Alaskans and the wannabe punks from

I've just shat and puked my guts our for an hour, and now I feel a bit better. The kid had it yesterday and she is fine. Me today and hopefully it'll go AWAY.

I had to add to this. If it makes me angry, I can only imagine how you feel. I'm sorry to see it happening. You'll be in my prayers. It is a shame you can't communicate with people who have NO brains nor SOULS. Creatures from beyond the Pale. Hands to do the specialized work they cannot understand. Like robots building candy coated atomic bombs.

Damn it anyway.


the tent lady said...

Thanks Sean, I have to appreciate the short time I had here where I was able to live with the illusion that I was not included in one of their UN maps. It was an illusion, but one in which I needed to believe was possible for a while. There's also the whole Premises ID thing and the associated National ID which both require us to be assigned to a physical address, and the NAIS requires chipping and tracking... so who can be free if that is an active national program?

I'm so mad I'm thinking about writing fiction from now on. I was wondering if I make up a story about a group of Americans who start assassinating every local public figure associated with the UN plans and in doing so they push the "revolution" button before the NWO has all it's players ready. I've always hated the way Americans say "we got our guns and we'll shoot those SOBs." I was always like, "Yeah, you and what army? They have tanks and control the skies... you have rifles. Good luck."

So maybe it would be a fun exercise in futility (which is what it feels like to fight them the way I always have) to imagine what a bunch of Americans with the balls and brains of guys like William Cooper and Gary Webb could do to disrupt the UN plans. Kinda like that Martial Law thesis written by the military grad student, it was called the Military Coup of 2012 or something like that.

But yeah, this is killing my incentive to build the camp and I already shelved the map. Because the bottom line is the businesses here won't pay for the map, as Arlene explained, her group already tried to get them to do it before. And Tim, he's happy to let me keep working in exchange for space rent and electric and phone. And now he reminds me too much of my relationship with Hugh Sisley in 1999... the landlord I helped defend his property rights for nothing except free rent for 18 months, and when we won, he evicted me for back rent.

I'm not convinced it is in my best interests to continue to work to defend the property of Americans who are too lazy or gullible to do it themselves. The only thing rural men could do that would stop the bullshit is to take up arms against the traitors in their midst. And they'll never do that, not because they lack courage, but because they're basically good men at their core who don't, as a rule, use violence or murder to get what they want from others. It's not their fault really that they don't believe there's a plan to steal their land and lives, is it? Do we convict the conned as well as the conners?

So, obviously, my fiction story is going to require a huge stretch of the imagination... and hopefully it will be as cathartic as it was for my sister when she wrote (or just pitched) a story about a woman who killed her hairdresser after she had all her hair burnt off by one. (I never forgot that Susan! Always makes me smile to think about it.)

But first I have to write the gertee how-to book. That's something a lot of people ask for and it could end up being the book that makes us some real FRNs. But whatever I do, I'm DONE volunteering. I lost too much weight and too many more teeth this winter. I'm not so hungry I'll join the enemy, but I remember how the armies of Washington almost all quit and later revolted because they hadn't been paid. All Armies need to get paid sometime. And nobody is ever taught or remembers the names of the signers of the Declaration who were killed and burned off their lands. I wonder if the signers had any regrets when they stood facing the gallows or watched their families being arrested. What if my story was about a bunch of THOSE men living in my neighborhood today?

Fiction is, after all, what most Americans want, is it not?

gang stalking said...

Is ebay trying to Gang Stalk Us. I found the post in the search engiine, then tried to comment on it and comments are not working. So then I tried a different browser and it's telling me the post is deleted.

Anyways, I wanted to say that ebay is horrible right now. I am reading story after story of how they are getting rid of their smaller sellers and doing everything to make sure that the smaller sellers can't survive. Not a shock.

Anyways there are not several ebay alternatives and many of those sellers are protesting ebay. I have been meaning to post about it. Webpro news has done several articles on this is you want to have a read.

Mostly I want to make sure this post get's through, because my email communication is being toyed with.

the tent lady said...

I know exactly which post you referred to and I did not delete it. This is wild. It shows up on google

but says it's been deleted. It was after ebay took my auction down for the 4th time, even after I made all the changes to the item and got apology letters from them.

I'm contacting blogger... and in the meantime I'll repost what I can remember about that post. I had NO idea anyone else had the power to delete my posts! Wow. thanks for the heads up.

the tent lady said...

Here it is, google cached it:

Friday, January 23, 2009
is ebay gangstalking us?
I went to a lot of trouble to get my fur seal coat listed at ebay. So far, my fourth uploaded listing for my fur seal coat auction has stayed up the longest, almost three hours now. But, my item does not show up in the category where it is listed nor does it show up in an ebay keyword search for "fur seal".

Something is very wrong here, and I'm not sure what to do next.

My first listing was cancelled because ebay prohibits the sale of seal products unless they are modified into authentic Native Alaskan items.

Yet, here are three other listings on ebay for fur seal coats, right now, and not one of them is AK Native: (I want this one, it will fit me!)

"Vintage black seal coat"

"Vintage black seal coat"

After my first cancellation, I called Ada and she modified it for me. I followed all ebay's "AK Native" requirements, put it back up as AK Native, and ebay cancelled it again, this time because it violated the endangered species act.

I challenged ebay's endangered species claim with the actual lists of species. Then they responded that it was cancelled because I hadn't included the name and tribe of the AK artist in the listing. I replied, yes, I did, and that it was at the very top of the relisted coat description. They went silent for over 24 hrs. I didn't wait any longer. I wrote and asked them to revise their status on the coat or tell me why. I got an email today, dated yesterday, that they had made a mistake. I put it back up, and I'll be damned if somebody didn't pull it within the first hour.

When I wrote to ask why, I got the same letter they sent after the first auction. So I just relisted the coat and pasted in their confirmation letters showing their guy Zach saying they were wrong at the top of the page. As of 3:21 it's still up and not listed in any category that I can find.

Duh. I go list it as an "extremely rare" opportunity based on all the difficulty in getting it up and then I find three other vintage white man fur seal coats on ebay for almost less than the cost to list them.

Is there something wrong with this picture, or is it just me?
Posted by the tent lady at 3:49 PM
Labels: ebay, gangstalking


Anonymous said...

Niki you said, I'm not convinced it is in my best interests to continue to work to defend the property of Americans who are too lazy or gullible to do it themselves.

I feel the same way. Why continue the fight on NAIS when you can't get anyone motivated enough to see the danger of NAIS. They think it is my issue and only my issue. I have totally given up on livestock owners here in Alaska. They all think it wont happen, the reps and senators of Alaska are a bunch of idiots, not one of them worth the taxpayers money.

They have sold out Alaska by accepting back door agreements and now some states are telling the Federal Government to butt out of their business but yet they accept the Stimulus money.

I'll try to keep my chin up, but geez each and every day its sure does get harder. Hugs to you Niki....

the tent lady said...

It sure does get harder every day, but here's a little something that we can smile about. BLM came to Camp Redington the 13th...heh:

Referring Link No referring link
Host Name
IP Address [Label IP Address]
Country United States
Region Colorado
City Aurora
ISP Us Doi Bureau Of Land Management
Returning Visits 0
Visit Length 4 hours 14 mins 52 secs"