Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Sean McGuire

Sean McGuire was interviewed on October 30, 2002 by Bill Schneider and Steve Ulvi at Bill Schneider's house in Fairbanks, Alaska. Sean talked about his experiences as a young boy spending his summers at Wild Lake with the Meader family. He also talks about his epic walk from the Yukon River to Florida in 1978 in support of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2002-27-03

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: Oct 30, 2002
Narrator(s): Sean McGuire
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Steve Ulvi
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
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1) Pete's personal background, including learning to fly and his early days of flying in Northern Alaska

2) Guiding and flying experiences in the Brooks Range and northern Alaska

3) Key Brooks Range pilots, dangerous places to fly and land in the Brooks Range, and flying during construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline

4) History of aviation and building runways in the Brooks Range

5) Land use in the Brooks Range and effects of Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Haul Road

6) Flying experiences around Alaska, and memories of guiding and hunting

7) The future of guiding in the Brooks Range and what he is doing during his retirement

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Section 1: birthplace -- Oakland, California\ education -- Walden School, Berkeley\ Wilshire, Denny -- founder of Alaska Conservation Foundation\ philosophy -- environmental awareness\ Gates of the Arctic National Park\ Meader, Dion -- invitation\ Brooks Range\ Meader, Fred and Elaine\ Wild Lake\ letter -- private schools\ Wild Lake -- location\ Wild Lake -- moved to\ Meader, Dion -- description of|

Section 2: Meader, Fred -- PhD Philosopher\ hunter-gatherer cultures -- attitudes of\ Meader, Elaine -- wife\ Meader, Dion -- son\ Wild Lake -- moved to\ remote area\ civilization -- cut ties with\ subsistence lifestyle\ self-sufficiency\ gun powder\ oil\ salt\ staples -- brought into the lake\ Fickus, Bill\ Crevice Creek\ Meader, Fred -- film maker\ films -- promotion of\ cult-like figures\ West Coast showings -- influenced people to go to Alaska\ Meaders -- visited while in California|

Section 3: Wild Lake -- living at\ Wild Lake -- first arrival\ Meader family\ children -- adoption\ Lonesome Lake\ Flat Creek\ Alan River\ Wild River\ Meader, Fred -- territorial\ hunters -- competition from\ lifestyle -- living off the land\ life at the lake -- 1967 to 1971\ Bettles -- population of\ Fickus, Bill and Lill \ Wild Lake\ Flat Creek\ mining\ oil -- Prudhoe Bay discovery\ Haul Road -- construction of\ Bettles\ John River\ road construction -- influence of\ road construction -- heavy equipment used\ Brooks Range -- destruction|

Section 4: Meader, Dion -- death\ drown\ Wild Lake\ lake -- freeze up\ communication\ canoes\ Trout Lake\ moose hunting\ Wild River -- navigating\ helicopter\ Allman, Steve\ Allman, Kathy\ Allman, Wendy\ canoes -- number of\ Meader, Dion -- cautious\ lake -- water temperature\ Meader, Dion -- crossing lake\ canoe -- thwart broke\ canoe -- capsized\ swimming\ Allmans -- rescue\ raft\ death -- family notification of\ subsistence experiment|

Section 5: Meader, Fred\ film -- finishing\ Wild Lake\ Costello, Ron\ pilot\ Bettles\ float dock -- Koyukok River\ Meader, Fred -- accident\ death\ accident -- airplane propeller\ Meader, Fred -- burial\ permafrost\ Wild Lake -- harsh land\ Meader, Fred -- grave\ cycle -- returning to the earth\ Berkeley, California\ Allman, Steve|

Section 6: philosophy\ experiment -- simple living\ lessons -- nature\ Wild Lake -- community\ lifestyle -- example for the world\ land -- supporting people\ Schwarber, Jim\ Alatna River\ St. John, Dan and Jeanne\ Lozo, Susie -- Sean's wife\ Lozo, Susie -- at lake\ Meader, Fred -- death\ Anaktuvuk Pass\ book -- "Angalic"\ lifestyle -- primitive\ Bolinas, California\ Meader, Elaine\ Wilshire, Denny -- Alaska Conservation Society\ Wilshire, Denny -- birthplace\ Wilshire, Denny -- father\ preacher\ conscientious objector\ passivist\ newspaper\ radio station -- KPFA Pacifica\ school -- Walden School\ values -- environment\ Thoreau, Henry David\ Summerhill School, England\ Greenpeace\ Aleutian Islands\ Amchitka Island\ nuclear testing -- protest|

Section 7: Meaders -- followers of\ Meader, Dion -- teacher\ McGuire, Sean -- teaching Dion\ Berkeley, California\ anti-war movement\ Black Power movement\ Student Movement\ civilization\ private property -- concept of\ Wilshire, Denny -- Sierra Club fund raiser\ Sierra Club coffee table books -- pioneer of\ Alaska Conservation Foundation\ Hunter, Celia\ Wilshire, Denny Jr. -- stayed at Wild Lake\ school -- influence of\ wilderness -- advocate for\ Alaska National Interests Land Conservation Act (ANILCA)\ land preservation -- Alaska\ legislation -- environmental \ protest -- Sean's run\ run -- route\ Yukon River\ Key West, Florida\ legislation -- House Bill 39\ run -- fundraising\ run -- support vehicle\ Fairbanks\ run -- accident\ truck\ political controversy|

Section 8: run -- accident\ Richardson Highway\ Fairbanks\ North Pole\ Airforce medic\ truck -- chased\ driver -- arrested\ accident -- survival\ St. John, Dan and Jeanne\ nursed back to health\ land -- purchase of\ accident settlement money\ protest -- walk\ Alaska Coalition\ Washington, DC\ press conferences\ wilderness issue\ people -- walk with\ press coverage\ Carter, Jimmy\ making a difference\ daily distance\ Alaskan wilderness -- passion about\ Key West, Florida\ parade\ 15 minutes of fame|