Carvel Zimin. Sr. was interviewed on January 27, 1998 by Pat Partnowas at his house in South Naknek, Alaska. As the two sat at his kitchen table, they looked at the map of the Katmai/South Naknek area and a collection of historic photos Carvel had collected over the last half century. Carvel was especially concerned with the changes in the subsistence practices of local people made necessary by legislative action in Washington, DC, far from the Alaska Peninsula. These changes ranged from the original establishment of Katmai National Park and the banning of fishing and hunting within its boundaries to its expansion in 1980 following the passage of ANILCA (Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act). Halfway through the interview, Carvel had to leave his house to drive the school bus that collects high school students from the airport after their five-minute flight across the river from Naknek, where the high school is located. When he returned, he continued looking through the photographs and at the map, remembering personal experiences and those he had been told about by elders who have since passed on. He speaks movingly about his own and his mother's feelings for the land and the subsistence way of life.
Digital Asset Information
After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.
Childhood memories of the subsistence way of life
Reindeer herding, and traveling by dogteam
Using and caring for dogs, fishing, and use of berries
Effect of park regulations on subsistence
Changes in fish populations, and hunting bears
Changes in wildlife populations
People leaving Old Savonoski, and trapping
Splitting, hanging and drying fish
Gathering seagull eggs
More about gathering seagull eggs, and trapping
Trapping muskrat, and using a trapping cabin
Moving around trapping, and learning to trap and hunt
Living off the country
Learning to fly, hunting seals, and impact of sport hunting on subsistence
Wasteful behavior of sportsmen, and fishing for smelt
Fishing for burbot, and effect of park creation on subsistence
Importance of the subsistence lifestyle, and connection to place
Talking about a photograph of his brother, Lloyd Zimin, and photos of dogs
Talking about photographs related to fur trapping and trading
Talking about a photograph of a boat at Kittiwik Bay
Traveling by boat on the river
Use of caches to store food, and talking about a photograph of tents
Type of boats used, and talking about a photograph of cutting ice and working at the cannery
More about the cannery
Caring for the cannery's animals and buildings as winter watchman
Growing potatoes, and effects of increased tourism
Conflict between sport, commercial and subsistence fishing
Changes in fishing and fish populations
Former Alaska Governor Jay Hammond, and wolf hunting
Sale of furs
Making Native clothing from animal skins
Use of the park area for subsistence
Use of Naknek Lake
Cutting wood, and going camping
Reason for creation of Katmai National Park, and impacts from its establishment
More about use of the park for subsistence
Park regulations and management issues
Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.
After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
PP: This is Pat Partnow. Today is January 27. I'm at Carvel Zimin's house along with Mary Jane Nielsen, and Carvel is going to talk about subsistence in the Katmai area and around there. Do you want to start with when you were a kid; some of your memories of subsistence in what's now the park area. CZ: Well, I'm 66 years old, so when I was a kid, our life styles were a subsistence lifestyle. Even our commercial fishing was a subsistence lifestyle because we used that to buy the flour and the sugar and we got a little bit of salt pork or fish or something like that and all the rest was hunting, subsistence hunting, and the Naknek Lake area, is, we went up in the fall. Our transportation was all dog team, so we had to put up dogfish for the dogs, and we went up Naknek Lake to put it up, up into, well, this right in here is what we call Kittiwik Bay. They got Brooks Camp or something, whatever they use now. And this is the Brooks River goes from down here down into what we call Kittiwik Bay and that's where we put up our fish. And then we'd stay there, well, as long as it took. So many dogs, you needed a certain amount of fish, and we had the drying racks, and we'd stay there until the fish were dry enough to bring home. And then for game, Smelt Creek , Big Creek , they both come off of the Naknek River. There's Smelt Creek and then Big Creek. And some out of Paul's Creek which was on the other side. Back when I was young we didn't have any caribou. It amazes me today, the people here don't know how well off they are. Carl was driving up the road today and there was a bunch of caribou right off the side of the road. He went right by the herd of caribou. And back in those days there weren't any caribou. The Lapp -- the government brought in a bunch of reindeer, and the Lapplanders used them. And of course with the reindeer, you had to buy the meat.
PP: Did they have yearly harvests? CZ: Yeah, mm hm. They stayed, the Lapps stayed with the reindeer all summer, and they'd come in, and the head guy'd come in and asked who wanted reindeer, and whatnot, and they slaughtered for whoever wanted -- no refrigeration. So they kept 'em alive. In fact right where my house is here is one of the places to slaughter the reindeer. They brought 'em right into here, right here, this next house over -- this whole area right here. And somebody wanted one or wanted two reindeer, they slaughtered 'em and some of the people wanted the skins for mukluks or for wear and you got the skins too. PP: So there was a village here surrounding that at the time? CZ: Oh yeah. South Naknek -- well South Naknek is a fishing village. South Naknek started because of the canneries. So the people that came in and wanted to live here because they were closer to the canneries, and then the canneries started hiring some of the locals to do the spring and fall work. And that's where my father came into the country. He came in for the Alaska Packers and stayed as a watchman, and then he married my mother , who was from here. And he lived here, he worked here. It was his home. He was here until he died. He made two trips out in his whole lifetime to his relatives in California; he got sick both times. Just said "To heck with it," and came home and stayed home. PP: When you used to go to Kittiwik Bay, who went? Who was in the party that went out there? CZ: Well, all the people that had dog teams went. They went -- well, they had to go because they needed dog food for their dogs. PP: So you'd wait for freeze up? CZ: No, no, we'd go up in the fall, oh usually September, first part of October, we'd go up there. The fish were already red. Most of 'em -- well, they were all spawned out, and a lot of the guys, well toward the latter part, the first, before they started working at the canneries and that, it was really subsistence. In fact they didn't know it was subsistence. It was just making a living. And then after some started working in the cannery, that's why a lot of them, like we'd go up in September because we worked at the canneries until the fall work was done, until all the scows were pulled up, all the boats were put away and that kind of thing. And then we'd climb in the boats, in skiffs or whatever, and head up into what we called Kittiwik.
PP: And you'd put your dogs in the boats? CZ: No -- well some of the people took their dogs, but we left ours at home. Most of the people left theirs at home but there was a few that took dogs with 'em. And we spent a week or two just catching fish, splitting 'em, hanging 'em on the racks. You kind of separated your fish because you had your eating fish and then you had your dogfish. And you brought 'em home and you kept 'em separated because the eating fish were the better ones. PP: How do you tell the difference? CZ: Well, you just look at 'em. The older ones had mold on 'em and spots and whatnot. And they were thinner. They'd spawned out longer, and then the ones that had just spawned would be a little bit heavier in the meat. The meat would look, it would be a little bit better. And those were the ones you kept for yourself, what we called the eating fish. But then toward the middle of the winter, and so you ran out of the eating fish, then you went to the dog fish and looked for the best ones you could find, because it was food. And it was a type of food that we liked. Some people ate it because they had to survive. They didn't have anything else to eat. But most of us, we had a winter supply, or pretty much, and well, you get accustomed to the taste, I guess, and that's what you did. But while we were up here now, Dumpling Mountain , I think they call it now, Kittiwik Mountain, well yeah. We'd climb that mountain in September the blueberries were just -- I mean they were thick! And we'd put five gallon cans, the old square gas can, they called 'em five gallon can, kerosene can, we cut the tops off, and we put them in the pack sack, the pack board, and we'd climb the mountain, and we'd pick berries. You fill a five gallon bucket up in nothing flat. And you head down. And all of us, you had the big bowls that you brought for your akutaq. And you had your Crisco and sugar and you started eating your akutaq there, because the fresher the berries were, the better the akutaq. And then some people stored it, they had wood kegs. And like blackberries especially, they'd put 'em in water. And they'd lose their taste, but I mean, you know it was still -- you couldn't get blackberries in January, so PP: Were those little crowberries? The ones that were on evergreen? CZ: It's the swamp -- it's not like the blackberries you get down south on the trees. These are like a swamp berry.
CZ: And of course your cranberries. So when we were up there fishing, it wasn't only for the fish. And there were people that went out and got some meat too while they were there. And at that time there was no park rangers or anything there, and no one abused. You didn't go out and shoot five or six moose and just leave 'em laying there or go shoot a bear, or whatever. It was like I say, it was subsistence. And while you were there you went out and you got meat, or if you wanted duck soup, you went out and you shot a couple of ducks for soup and that, and -- in other words, the people were living the subsistence lifestyle that the people in this area had lived before they made the park. And it's awful hard to come in and tell some old Native guy, "Hey, in Washington, DC this was made a park, a monument. You cannot come and hunt here no more." When his grandfather and his father and his grandfather and his great grandfather done it before him. And they come in and say, "Okay, hey, you can't do this no more." And with the subsistence in the park, this is what happened. These people, to my way of explaining it, were pushed out. There was a few of 'em that kept on doing it, and then after the park rangers came in, the park rangers would come and tell them, "I'm sorry, you cannot come in here." Well, you were not allowed to take a gun into the park. And so that just stopped a lot of the subsistence style of living. PP: When did that change occur? CZ: Oh, boy, I don't remember. Probably in the 60s, I think, when they first brought the park rangers. There was no park rangers at all -- it was a park for many many years before the park rangers, or before the Park Service. In fact for a number of years, Katmai Park, Monument, was run from the -- and the head of the Katmai Park was the guy the head of McKinley Park. They also gave him the Katmai. And he didn't have the money, I guess to bring people down here. And then finally he had enough money to bring a park ranger for a month, two weeks or so, and this is kind of how it started.
PP: Do you have a memory of about how many fish you used to get in that two week period in the fall? CZ: Well, yeah. Like my family, we had anywhere from seven sometimes to maybe 12, 14 dogs. So we would go and get -- oh jeez, I'd say at least 800, 7-800 minimum. Sometimes we got more. Now sometimes the amount we got was regulated on how much fish was up there. Like the Fish and Game nowadays, they're trying to stabilize the fishery. They're trying to make it so that every year the fish come in at equal amounts, so there's no poor seasons, no big seasons, just kind of average it out. Well it's impossible. They'll never do it. Because fish, just like the rabbits, the foxes, are a cycle. They got the up cycles and the down cycles. And the fisheries has always been like that. So on the poor seasons, you went up there, you got less fish. And then a lot of the guys went out and they shot a moose or whatever, and then dried the meat or something for their dogs. You know, your dogs are your transportation. It was just like a cowboy on his horse, you know. You took care of the horse before you ate yourself, and if you didn't take care of your dogs, you weren't going anywhere. So you took care of 'em. PP: Did people hunt bear also? CZ: Yeah, there was bear hunting, well out Big Creek, Smelt Creek there were some. But for many years -- well I tell you, I was born and raised in South Naknek. And I was in my teens before I seen my first brown bear down here. In those days, you could go wander around this country, the tundra with no fear of anything. I mean, you were top dog. There weren't any bears! Now the Fish and Game, here a while back they wanted to bring the bear habitat on down to, oh, to Johnston Hill PP: Where's that? CZ: Well, Johnston Hill'd be down, well it'd be down over here . See the bear habitat was all up this way. And, well, it was up in the park. And now and then you'd see a bear or two would come down to the fishing streams, like Big Creek was one of the streams that the bear would come into. And -- but what happened here in the park as far as bears, or as far as a lot of the game is concerned. You take a bucket. And you put it under a faucet. And turn the water on. When that bucket filled up, where was the water gonna go? It just spilled out of the bucket.
CZ: And that is what happened with the bears. The bears just were on the increase. They stopped any kind of hunting up there, and the bears started to increase and pretty soon, the bears are kind of like a set netter. A bear'll go into a creek and he'll claim a part of the creek. And if any other bear comes along, there's a battle. And the strongest bear's gonna get -- like we used to say, that he's gonna get the set net. And they'd find a good place, there's certain spots in the creek would be good fishing. Well some big old guy'd come along and he wouldn't let any other bear feed in there as long as he was there. And so when the bear came on the increase, the bears had to go out looking for newer pastures. And they started coming on down here. Like I say, I'm 66, and I was -- oh, probably 16, 17 years old before I seen my first bear down here. I seen lots up the river, but I'd never seen them down here. And all of a sudden oh my God, we got bears down here now. And the Fish and Game now, like I say, are trying to make this area down in the flatlands bear habitat. Well it became bear habitat because the bucket filled up out here. So now at our dump out here, at a certain time of the year, oh usually in August, you can go out there and you can count 10, 15, 19, 20 bear. I mean in the dump at one time! So going from like I say from when I was a teenager to now, you can see the difference. You know, just like I say, for the bear alone. PP: Are there other animals that have -- you mentioned the caribou has increased. Are there other animals that you've seen just huge fluctuations like that? CZ: Well, now like you take rabbits, you take foxes, they cycle. This year is a good fox year. There's some beautiful skins running around. And there's no price on 'em, so nobody's gonna trap 'em, and those foxes are gonna die next spring of distemper and rabies. They go on the increase and they get sick. And for the next year or two you're gonna see scrubby old foxes and whatnot, and then you got the people that say, "Well you know, leave those poor animals alone." Those poor animals will die regardless of whether you hunt them, kill them with a bullet or not, because they're an animals that cycles. Rabbit, we get years when there are a lot of rabbit around here. We're on the down side now. Two years ago there was a lot of rabbits. Last year there was quite a few. And now this year there's hardly any. But for up here, the moose, the valleys and that -- PP: Within the park? CZ: Yeah, a lot in the park, and they filtered out as -- well, they stopped the hunting up in there.
CZ: Well, Old Savonoski, up in here, where the old village was, these people moved out of there, well, because of the eruption, but they always -- well, they didn't go all the way up there for a few years because of the ash. It was killed off but then after the growth came back in, these people came on back up. All they were doing was going into their hunting grounds that their ancestors used. And then all of a sudden, 1912 or whatever, it was made a park. And all of a sudden they couldn't come in there. It was hard to tell these guys, "Hey, you can't hunt there no more." When they've hunted, their parents hunted, their grandparents, and so they -- it was pressure. It was pressure from the government, from the white man. And the control of it was, like I say, guys at first, guys that they brought down from Mt. McKinley Park. And they'd come here for a little while, trapping. That book I was telling you about, Isolated Paradise, gives you a good example of that, how trapping went on inside the park for many years, and these white guys, they were trying to find out how they could get these people and kick 'em out of there, and all I would say, 100% of the cases, these people were doing something they'd been doing for years. PP: So people had traplines then CZ: Oh yeah. Well, Johnny Monsen for one, used to live right up in here. Right up in this area . PP: I'm gonna mark that C on the map. CZ: Yeah, and then when they pressured him to move out -- that book will tell you that. They pressured him to move out, well then he moved down here. Just outside of the park. We call this Johnny's Lake . But he used to live up in here. And of course old Ray Fure, he had a cabin right here until they pressured him, and then he moved outside, just right outside the line up into American Creek . And then what they do? They extend the line, they say, "Hey, you're in the park." Here's a guy that spent his whole, almost his whole life in this area. And he wasn't a city guy, he didn't want to live in the villages, he was a loner, you know. We had a lot of 'em. And like I say, he lived up here. In fact, his kids lived with him for a while. Up here, and then when they told him he couldn't do any more he just got in his boat and skiff and he went on down and up American Creek and got outside the park line, and built the cabin. And now I understand they rebuilt, totally rebuilt this cabin, and they made it a station, a ranger station, and a visitor deal, because Coville Lake Consolidated had the camps here.
CZ: And then they'd bring the people over, these tourists from New Jersey and Germany or Brazil or wherever to look at how this guy lived. You know, you try to tell Roy that, and he couldn't see what was wrong with living like that, but to them it was amazing that someone could live like that. PP: Can you describe the -- how you used to get your fish. You did it with a skiff and a net and someone on shore? CZ: Well, first you went up, some of the guys would take the sailboats, the old double-end sailboat up. We went up with skiffs. And my dad had a couple of big skiffs. He called them his freighting skiffs. And we'd come up in here and then we'd go up the Brooks River with a net. And with a skiff. And then we'd drop one guy off and he'd hold the net against the creek, or against the bank of the creek, and then the skiff would run across. Well it's just 30', 40' in some places, some places a little bit wider. We'd just use a short piece of net. And we just ran the skiff across and the skiff just bounced down along the other side. And we just came down the Brooks River into what we call Kittiwik Bay, just a little bay that's down, and then the skiff, when we got to the area where we were gonna -- we had tables and everything set up for splitting -- then the skiff would just kinda bring the net around like a seine. And the fish -- it would just turn solid red with fish. And then you stood in the water. Our tables were in the water. And you just stood there and you'd reach down and grab the fish and whack his head off and split him, and you just kept doing that, and if you tired, you wanted to take off like all these younger guys did, you just opened the net and pulled it around. And then you picked the fish that were -- lotta times we'd use the humpy gear which was smaller meshed. Cause we wanted it as a seine. And then we'd just pick the fish that were already caught in the net, we'd let the rest of 'em go. And the next day we'd feel like we had to get some more fish, we'd go up and we'd do the same thing. Some of the guys had -- they'd set a net out. But they never caught -- well, in the gillnets, you know, you've got five fathoms of gillnet, you're only gonna catch so many fish. But the way we did it, there were hordes. I mean, there was hundreds and hundreds of fish. But I can't remember ever ever taking the whole thing at one time. We'd just -- they were still alive. We'd just release them and, I guess you'd say "catch and release." We were going at it for our dogs. We were splitting 'em for dogs. And then a lotta times you got enough fish to fill your rack.
CZ: Well, if you had your fish rack full of fish, well you're not gonna split a bunch of more fish because you had nowhere to put the fish. You just, you let 'em go, and you waited four or five days, a week -- well, if it was nice sunny weather, three or four days sometime and the fish was dry enough that you could stack 'em and they wouldn't stick together in one big glob or spoil, you know. It was things like that that kind of regulated it. PP: Did you use any salt or anything or just plain air dry? CZ: Well, most of it was just air dried. The fish for the dogs was the dogfish and the eating fish was mac'ataq. Just dried fish. And sometimes -- I've seen guys that took some salt and they got some of the fish that weren't spawned out yet, or they were a lot lighter, they hadn't been in the fresh water as long, and they would salt some of that. But not too much. Mostly dried. PP: Is there something different about the flesh of the spawned out salmon that makes it easier to dry 'em without salting or something? CZ: Well, I think so. They didn't spoil as fast, I think. You take the redfish down here and split 'em. But usually that time of the year we had some pretty good weather. That had a lot to do with it. And plus the fish were thinner. They were spawned out and they lost their fat. Like the fish down here had their fat in 'em. After they got up, being around the creeks getting up there, they'd lost the fat, so the fat is what's gonna go rancid first in the fish. And I think that had a lot to do with the fish being able to dry. PP: Was there a division of labor, like the men would do certain things and the women others or the grownups and the kids? CZ: Well, I think it was the difference between the lazy people and the go-getters. No, no. Well, I don't know I never thought about that because Mom and them never went up and my brother and I and some cousins of mine for our part of the deal, we had to do our own splitting. We never thought about getting someone to split for us. But yeah, a lot of the Natives -- not a lot of 'em, but there were some of 'em -- their wives. That was their wives' work. And, well McCarlo was one of them. It was just the lifestyle. That's the way it went. But if things started to hurt where he was needed, he'd better get to doing it because it was his dog team that was gonna eat the fish. No, I don't think it really was like that. But it depended on the camp. It depended mostly, I would say individual, on the person.
PP: Did your family used to get seagull eggs? CZ: Oh yeah. Right here . That's what Kirby and I called Seagull Island. We used to get 'em up on this island. But yeah, oh definitely. In the spring we'd take off. Well there's lakes around here that's got 'em too. But we always needed an excuse to go up the river. And I started off in my early teens. And we'd go up the river and we'd spend two, three weeks at a time. There were like four or five of us boys, all kids, you know, in today's standards, kids. But in our standards, we never realized it. You know, we had to work. And we'd go up, and it was a standing -- well, when we were up in Kittiwik, it was a standing order, or at least on our boat. You went up and you had to eat fish for breakfast. No bacon, no eggs or anything like that, you had to have fish. And the only thing you could have was coffee. You could drink coffee all you wanted. I got some pictures taken up there. You remember Ernie Peterson? Well the first time Charles and I went up, we took him up, and he was a greenhorn. Well, we fed him with all this stuff, where greenhorns, they had to wash all the dishes, they had to cook if we didn't want to cook, they had to get up in the morning and make the coffee. We pushed everything we could on the poor guy. He wanted to go up bad, so he did everything. He didn't have any problem with that. But I seen him 3:00 in the afternoon out on the beach there, trying to catch breakfast. It was 5:00 in the evening. Your first meal was fish. And this poor guy, it was about 3, 3:30, and he finally pulling -- he's "Ah," he start screaming, "I got one, I got one." And he starts pulling it in. Well you could just see the way he was pulling it in he was snagged onto something. Well out comes this old dead moldy redfish off the bottom. And we said, "Hey, buddy, you got your first fish. You gotta eat him." And he was going to eat him, but then we kind of let go and we let him eat part of ours. But then, like I say, when we went for seagulls, kid by the name of Prokopius Tretikoff , we grew up together, we'd go on up, and we'd stay -- well, where her dad's cabin is, even before the cabin was there, at the mouth of the lake. And then we'd run up and get some seagull eggs, and then we'd run back down and catch a fish. And we'd have fried eggs, fresh fried eggs and fish. Well, the yoke of a seagull is orange.
CZ: And there was a little bit of taste, different taste from a chicken egg, I can't -- I don't see that much difference in the taste. We thought it was great. And we'd fry up a couple of eggs. They were bigger. The eggs are bigger too. And then we'd fry fish. Or maybe we'd boil it, and that was, not only breakfast, a lot of times suppertime too, or you know, whatever. And then in the fall -- eggs was always in the spring. Eggs was always part of it. And then in the fall we'd catch fish and then we'd go pick some berries and the we had to have akutaq with our fish. And I get a kick out of this subsistence living. That's all we ever done. We never thought anything different of it. PP: Tell me about the year. I know some of your subsistence wasn't in the park, but that's interesting too. So after the commercial fishing season's over, and you head up there, so how does it go from the fall around to the next commercial season for your year of what you do hunting, fishing, whatever. CZ: Well yeah, in the fall -- well, we trapped. I did a lot of trapping. We beaver trapped. PP: Beaver trapped? CZ: Well, the beaver season was -- well we started off, we'd go, well back in those days, this is back in the 40s, mid-40s to the late 40s, and then the 50s, the caribou -- we didn't have that many caribou. When the caribou moved into this area, the season was closed for a long time before they built up enough to where they would open the season. So we depended a lot on moose. So we did our hunting, and our hunting though depended on waste. You had to watch it. If you went out and shot a big moose and cut a couple of steaks off it, next time you decided you wanted a heart, you went out and shot a moose, you know, pretty soon you're gonna run out of meat. So you went out and you shot -- End of side
CZ: The other canneries -- I think every cannery had meat hanging under it. I can -- that was before we had refrigerators. And then after we got -- well then the cannery put in cold storage and that, then we had somewhere that we could put our meat. And then 15th of November, fox season, land otter, mink would open. And we'd trap them and then beaver and that came mostly towards spring. Usually March, April when the beaver season would come. PP: Any muskrats? CZ: We went after muskrat when we went after the beaver. But I think we used to get like 50 cents. Boy, you got $1 for a muskrat, you was really getting a hot price. PP: So where were your traplines? CZ: Okay, my family now, Smelt Creek. We got a cabin. It says "cabin" don't it? We got a cabin on the creek right here. The cabin is still there. It's right about in there, yeah. And then Eskimo Creek, Paul's Creek. Right up about in here we had a cabin -- no, no, I'm sorry, we had a cabin right about here. PP: Okay, I'm gonna mark that . CZ: Yeah, and then we had an outcabin way up the creek . PP: What do you mean by "outcabin"? CZ: Well, this was a wood frame cabin, and this was a tent. And what we would do, was we'd come up from town with our dog team and we left the dogs here and we would walk the creek. It was a one-day walk. And we'd get there just about dark. And then we'd flesh out -- well, we'd the beaver we got, we would just pull the skins off the meat because we didn't want to carry the whole carcass. And then up here in the evening we'd flesh the skins and then we'd walk back down again and pick our traps, or look at our traps, check our traps, and then we got back down to the cabin, depending on the amount of furs we'd spend a day, two days, and we'd flesh our skins and stretch 'em.
CZ: We had 'em stretched on the outside of the walls of the cabin. We had plywood stretchers, whatever it took to make a round beaver pelt, you know. And then sometimes, like I say, over at Smelt Creek, from here we'd just walk up the creek. There was a couple of sloughs and whatnot, but we always base camped right in there. Well, like up here now, we went from here up to here. PP: Up Paul's Creek? CZ: Yeah. And then from here up to the sides of the mountains was her dad's Trefon's. That was his area. Well, there was two tents here. And Trefon would go up, and then the next day -- he had a camp up there -- then he'd come back and spend the night here and every now and then we'd connect there. PP: Okay, I'm gonna mark Trefon's camp with an . CZ: And then my aunt and her husband were over on the King Salmon Creek. They were, I don't know, somewhere over here. In other words -- and then just above them was McCarlo. People got a certain part of a creek or something. And if you didn't take all of the beaver out, that was something else you watched for. You didn't go in and trap every beaver out of there, because if you trapped the whole area out, it would take years sometimes before they would come back. So you watched what you trapped, you know. And that's why we trapped so much over on Paul's Creek, and then we'd move over the Smelt Creek. We'd change our trapping patterns. PP: You mean one year one place and one year another or? CZ: Well, it would depend on the fur. You know, if it looked like we went a little too heavy on Paul's Creek, then we'd go over to Smelt Creek. Or, you know, it all depended on the situation. PP: Can you remember learning to hunt and how you decided you finally knew how to do it? What happened? CZ: I was born to it! Like my son Carl, has got three sons. And he takes them out hunting. He takes them out ptarmigan hunting, and he takes them out when he goes caribou hunting, and you know, they get there, and he starts to skin it, and one of 'em will have to hold the leg or something. You just kinda -- you blend into the thing. PP: When did you go out on your own first to hunt? Or with people your age instead of with an older CZ: Well, I was in my early teens. And my dad had what we called a gas boat. And it was a double-ender sailboat converted with an engine and the whole boat was cabined over.
MJ: This one here. This one's a picture. CZ: That I think was one of Nick's. This one here the cabin is up forward and you got a tent on the back. Well, they lived right on the boat. And that's up in Kittiwik. MJ: Yeah, I enjoyed this. CZ: Yeah, and we'd go up, oh four, five, six of us kids. And when my kids grew up, you know, my kids had to be in at a certain time of the night. When I was young we had to too, but when we were kids, Jesus Christ, we was 13, 14, 15 years old, and we'd take off and we'd disappear for two weeks, three weeks, a month sometimes. Well in fact one time finally my dad chartered a plane and had the pilot go up looking for us. You know, he finally got worried. And they found us up -- we were in Johnny's Lake, I think then. And we went up and lived off the country. We'd go moose hunting. And it was no fun going up there. There was a lot of game in those days. And if we went up we coulda shot a moose the first day. Well, you can only hold that moose so many days and you had to get back or you were going to ruin the meat. So we'd go up there and spend a couple of weeks funning, you know, and then, well, you know, "I guess we better get home." And then we'd get serious and look for a moose and shoot it and head home. But we's just kind of born -- I don't know -- born into it. We hunted with our parents or our uncles or older people to begin with. And you learn skinning by, like I say, my son, he takes his kids out and they have to help him hold the legs apart so he can cut the belly out, you know, the guts out, and you know, things like that. And they watched as he did it and that's how we did it. And then pretty soon we kinda soloed. And I was -- what -- 8 years old when I shot my first moose. We were up in Smelt Creek, and my dad and my cousin were up the creek -- we were up the creek, they came down, they were hunting ducks. And Dad says, "Well, if we see a moose we'll get one." But it was a kind of an outing for the family, really. And him and Alvin, he took Alvin with him and they went down in the skiff. We had our gasboat. And doggone, this moose walked right across the bow of the boat. And there was no going down and getting Dad to come up and shoot the moose. And my brother was a year, two years older than me, but I had the gun.
CZ: I wasn't letting no gun go! So I shot the moose. And years later, we were on an outing, the wife and I with the skiff, and we had our kids with us. And Clyde is my oldest boy. And we're going up Smelt Creek, and we come around the bend, and lo and behold, there's a moose right above the skiff. And I just ran the skiff up on the sand bar, and I handed him the gun and I says, "It's your turn." And he shot his moose. I had to skin it, but he had to show me how, but that's the way it goes. It just, you kinda, I don't know, you work into it, you get built into it. All the kids here, and I imagine all the kids in any village. Bush, you know. That's just the way it went. You never thought nothing about it, but that's what happened. PP: When you got that first moose, was it customary for you to take it back to the elders or share it? CZ: Yeah, yeah. You had to give, usually a gramma, grampa, or if not an uncle, or someone. Yeah. You had to give them the first piece of moose. Now, you go back even further, well, by the time I was starting to hunt, it was still in effect. But not so, to the point that I could remember, Nick Pete telling me, it really hurt him. He got his first moose and he wasn't allowed to keep any. He had to give the whole thing away. And he couldn't quite understand that. He wanted some. He went in some house and ate some of his own meat, but it wasn't his, it was given away. And back then, yeah, I don't know how far back that went. But when I was a kid, you didn't give it away, you gave a quarter or the ribs or brisket, or you know, whatever. Yeah, you gave part of it to somebody. PP: Besides that and the conservation measures that you already talked about, were there special ways to show respect for the animals that you were taught? CZ: Well, not to the point where -- I've read books like the Indians, where they said a prayer over the animal to thank him. I don't remember that, no. Not to that extent. But I was taught that you shot what you needed and you used what you shot.
CZ: And you thought ahead of time. You didn't just go out and shoot and to waste -- or to shoot, to shoot. And the thing that I grew up hating is horn hunters. Because I don't like horn soup. And I learned to fly when I was 16. I owned my first airplane when I was 17. And I've been flying ever since. They took my medical away here a couple of years ago and that's not gonna stop me from flying. I sneak out. I don't go flying into the towns, into Dillingham or King Salmon. I take off with the plane and I go down to the beach, beach-combing. That's one of my favorite pastimes. Or I got back into the tundra, you know, and stuff like that. Well nowadays, the good old days are gone I guess you could say. PP: You haven't said anything about seals. Did you ever used to take seals subsistence? CZ: I know a lot of people that did. I was with people that hunted seals. I didn't like seal meat. I could eat it but to me it was too rich. Beluga, the same way. Beluga steak is okay but it's rich. And I've never acquired the taste. And pickled muktuk, blubber, whatever you want to call it. I've eaten that. I like that. It's kind of bland but it's chewy. It's gristly. And I don't think you're gonna find a Native that doesn't like gristle. They take the meat with the gristle in, it's something to chew on, I guess, or I don't know, it'll strengthen your teeth, or clean them, or whatever, I don't know. But they went for meat that -- well, we never boned our meat out. We brought the bone home. And we boiled the bone. And we always said that that's where all the flavor was. I don't know if that's true or not, it's what we've always done. But, well the sport hunting and that. I'm totally against it because they're not sportsmen. That word is well misused, as far as I'm concerned. Now and then you'll see a genuine sportsman. I was out at the airport by my airplane here, oh it was quite a few years ago, and this twin landed. And a guy come out -- two guys. And he come out and he says, "I don't have enough gas" -- they come from down the coast -- he says, "I don't have enough gas to get to King Salmon. Is there somewhere I can buy 10 gallons of gas?" and I says "You can't buy it here," I says, "but I'll give you 10 gallons."
CZ: I had my own gas supply. And it was two doctors from California. And they were on their second trip down somewhere -- I don't know where, down on the Peninsula -- and there was two guys and they had a moose in it. And I went over and I looked in it and the first thing I asked them, you know, was, "Where's your horns?" And the guy says, "Well, we left those. We're after the meat." And I couldn't believe it! And they flew into Anchorage, and the left their meat at one of the outfits that cut meat up, and they were heading back down to get the other guy a moose. And then they were gonna go back to Anchorage, have the meat packaged and whatnot, and then they were taking off for California. And I'd never seen sportsmen that left horns! It was kind of unusual, you know, because the only thing we leave out at the kill is the horns. The head, or you know, sometimes, like a moose head, we'll bring the moose in and cut the nose off. You ever eaten moose nose? PP: No. CZ: Well, surprise you. You take the moose nose and you boil it. And then -- and you can peel the skin and the hair -- there's just short hair -- and then you boil the meat some more, until it's done. You use spice, bay leaves, or you know, whatever kinds of spice you want, and then you take it out of the water and you put it in the refrigerator and cool it, and you slice it for a lunch meat. And it's -- like I say, though, it's gonna be gristly, kinda like head cheese, you know. But it's good! You know, I've heard people say, you know, "How could you eat that?" Well, they just don't know. they don't understand. PP: What about ice fishing? CZ: Oh yeah. You been up to King Salmon smelting? You gotta give that a try. I guess the fish have been wild this year. They go up there all hours, just above King Salmon, just off the end of the north/south runway. You go right up to the FAA, and you drive down by the river. And there's ice holes there and you're jigging for smelts. PP: And that's something I assume you've done all your life. CZ: Oh yeah, yeah, ever since I can remember. In fact, Carl's little boy Dallas, you know, he's about yea big. They had him up there the other day and the smelts are running deep. So a person standing would hold the hook -- the stick -- above their head to get the hook out of the water. Well here's this little guy, he'd jig, you know, and he'd feel the smelt on and he'd turn around and run. And the smelt would go flying out of the hole. Well, he couldn't lift it up, you know. And he had, what? 36?
CZ: Now how many kids that age get to do that? Up in the Naknek Lake, the mouth of the Naknek Lake, above her dad's -- er, below her dad's cabin we'd go for trout when the river's frozen. But like I say, we used to fish through the ice up on Naknek Lake. And that didn't go way back. I was in my -- hell, I was in my late 30s, 40s before we started that. PP: And that was for burbot? CZ: That was for the burbot. Mostly burbot, some lake trout. We call 'em steamboat chasers. They were the bigger ones. And then freshwater smelt, which I didn't know they had up there. And they smell just like the smelt down here only they're lighter. They're PP: You mean in weight or color? CZ: In color. They're -- I don't know if they're a grade between a hooligan and a smelt. See the hooligan is the smelt family, but you know, you can put your finger on the other side of a hooligan and you can see, you know, he's almost transparent. But yeah, fishing -- in the wintertime, that was one of our sources of fish, of fresh meat. PP: Before we turned on the recorder, I think you were talking about when you started doing that it was outside the boundaries, but then they moved the boundaries. CZ: Well, yeah, when we first started fishing we fished outside of the park. We were up close to the line, but we were outside of the park. And then they announced that they were gonna put -- they were gonna extend the line, the park line to take all of the Naknek Lake in because of the Senator Gravel -- we call him senator gravel -- he made the statement, it was an official statement, that he wanted to pull that into the park because of the beautiful scenery, the mountains, the trees, the coves. Hell, that's the bare end of the lake, you know. So, I mean their reasoning -- there was no reasoning with it. But I went to the meetings. And they said, well, the question was brought up by several of us. "Oh, no, that is something you don't have to worry about. No. You are subsistence fishing, we cannot stop that. That's your aboriginal right," they went on and on, you know, within a year after the line was official, we were setting -- I should have kept it. I got a notice that we could not -- cause I was one of the guys that spoke out. I've got a big mouth, I'll express myself. And I was one of the guys they sent the letter to stating that I could not do that any more. And, of course I burned, but you know, what are you gonna do? There's not -- but like I say, you read that book Isolated Paradise. And it's a beautifully written book to show that the government was against subsistence, and that goes back into the late 1800s.
CZ: So they're hollering and squabbling subsistence today, and what's new? It's been here since the 1800s. It was here before that was made a park. So, you know, as far as I'm concerned it's nothing to -- But one of the things about subsistence that really bothers me: You watch it on television, it's on television every day. And they'll talk about subsistence, and they'll show some old lady splitting a fish, they'll show a fish rack in a village, they'll show a net fishing, but then when they get a committee, they're 99 or 100% white people. The subsistence, you know -- don't get me wrong, there's a lot of white people that live in the Bush that subsist just like the Natives. But all of the people on these committees are the governor, and that lady thing from Homer, those kind of people. Urban people. That are on these committees that are gonna settle the subsistence issue. They haven't got guts enough to let a subsistence person, a subsistence user get on that committee, so that there's a little bit of an argument. They hold a meeting and there's no argument. They all agree. They know what they want. The only difference is how do we go about doing it? And I've noticed that right off the bat. And I don't think that's fair. And it's amazing that no one has ever brought that up yet, that it's a subsistence issue. Subsistence issue is a rural issue. And it's being settled by the urban people. My feeling on subsistence -- we have a Native that's from one of the villages. And he decides he can make his living better in the urban area -- Anchorage, or you know, wherever this urban area is. So he moves into Anchorage. Now he's hollering and screaming he wants these subsistence rights. Well if he wants them, then come on out where the subsistence is all about and live out here. I mean, he has that choice, you know. If he wants subsistence, get out where the rural people live, because you'd be surprised to the extent of the rural areas for subsistence, a subsistence lifestyle. You know, compared to the urban areas. That Native that moved into Anchorage, he's right next door to Carr's. He can get his meat. The job he's got, I'll guarantee you, is going to pay a heck of a lot better than the person out in the rural. So this man has made a choice of the type of lifestyle he's wanted. And he's got a right to that choice. And if he wants the other one, then by God, come on back. No problem. No one's gonna kick him out of the rural areas. And I think that that should be part of the deciding factor on the rural thing.
PP: Sounds like you wouldn't choose to leave subsistence even if you could. CZ: No, I was born and raised into it. I've lived in rural Alaska. Oh, no I've tried to live in Anchorage. I can't. I think they're crazy. When I say that, I mean, you know, the lifestyle. I'll give you an example. My mother in the other room there, she's 86 years old. She was born and raised in this area, in South Naknek. Well, she lived in Pederson Point as a young girl, and some time at Diamond J and you know, whatnot. But she's lived in this area all of her life. I wanted to make her life easy. I talked her into going to the Pioneer's Home. And she spent five years in the Pioneer's Home. And she was totally unhappy all of the time she was there. But I understood that you don't take a city person and jam him into the rural areas and expect him to just live perfectly normal. Vice versa, you know. And I could see what was happening to Mom, and I wanted her there because she was closer to the doctor, she was getting older, you know, when you get up in your 80s, you know, things can happen. She's gonna be right there, gonna be taken care of, and, you know, all this kind of stuff. But there was another part of her that was dying. And then thank God to Governor Knowles and his administration, he kinda helped it along. When my mom went into the Pioneer's home, it was $525 a month. When she left it was $975 a month. And by the year 2000 it was going to 1200 a month -- for a person on a fixed income! These are the pioneers. These are the people that made Alaska. Alaska is no longer run, or operated, whatever you want to call it, by the old people or people who got enough feelings for the older people. They're people ___ money. That's all they give a damn about, power, money, whatever it is. So Mom moved back home. And she's happier. And then another reason she moved back home is because I said, "You know, I'll never live in the city. I'm a Bush boy and I'm gonna die in the Bush." And then I'm making my mom ___. But she's come home, and her eating habits -- the food she eats, the subsistence food. The salmon, the caribou, the ptarmigan, the smelt, moose, caribou, you know, I mean whatever. She's come back into her own thing. So you're talking of entirely two different lives. And like I say, when you got the urban people settling the problems of the rural, that's wrong. You know at the very minimum, break it 50-50. And all you gotta do is watch TV, and you can see the difference. And there is a heck of a difference. I gotta school bus run I gotta take so -- End of Tape.
CZ: Yeah, this is my brother Lloyd. He was a year or so older than I, and this is his cousin, Fred Kraun. This was back when my father was winter watchman down at the old Diamond O cannery. I don't know if you know where Alphie lives? PP: Yeah, I went there starring. CZ: Well, I was born in the house that Alphie lives in now, back in the early '30s. But this is right down there. My brother is dead. And this guy is a retired Alaska Airlines captain. He was captain for Alaska Airlines for many years. Yeah, it was taken down where -- well, this is the same two right here. Yeah. And his son lives right up on, a little house up on the knoll, Fred Kraun, Jr. And he's married to Pixie -- well, Alphie's daughter. PP: Not Lucy Kraun? CZ: Well, that would be his aunt. And he's got a -- his son, who is the grandson to this guy, he looks, he's a dead ringer for his grampa. PP: Now there's a picture of dogs on the river somewhere. Where is that? I thought I had all these out. A dogteam out on the river. Oh, here it is, this one. CZ: Now these are in the family. I don't know whose team it is. I was trying to find that out myself. But this was taken up by Grassy Point, right across from King Salmon. King Salmon Air Force Base . The north/south runway, the end of the south runway, the end of it, straight across, you see some buildings. Well it was called Grassy Point. PP: Yeah, they've got it marked here. CZ: And that's where the picture was taken. But now King Salmon is all in here. It's slightly different now. PP: Now, did you have your own dogteam? CZ: Oh yeah. PP: When you were a teenager? CZ: Oh yeah. AZ: You should have pictures of your dogs, right? CZ: I don't remember. I don't have 'em. But when I was a young guy we'd hitch the dogs up, before daybreak in the wintertime, I don't know, maybe -- well, say Christmas, we were going to go Christmas shopping. There was a store, the cannery, the Alaska Packers cannery had a store here. And it was a store with no heat. So you can imagine if you went down to buy canned vegetables or something, they would be frozen. And so we'd hitch the dogs up before daybreak, and we'd take off up to Old Savonoski -- the Savonoski village.
CZ: and then we'd cross there, and there was a trail, but it was a lot further inland than the highway. And then we'd go on down to, well Naknek Trading now, it was the Red Salmon Canning Company owned it, so we called it "Red Salmon." And we'd go in and we'd shop for an hour or so and then we'd go out and we had to carry sleeping bags in the sled, course your regular tarp that you always kept in the sled. And you bundled everything up in there, the freezables and whatnot, and you'd take off back home, and you always got back here after dark. In other words, one whole day went to go shopping. And then if it was lucky, the river would be frozen up by PAF where John and Josie live there now, and if we were lucky enough to be able to cross there, then it would cut the time down considerable. It was, back in those days, this was the way we lived. Nowadays they go from Anchorage to Nome with a dogteam and they get all excited about it, and we lived with them, all the time. You know, we didn't make no thousand mile trips but we were always going somewhere. PP: Let's see. This is a picture of a lot of foxes, trapped? CZ: Okay, this picture was taken up at, like I say Grassy Point. My dad furnished the lumber and I had two uncles. And this was back in the '30s that built the place. And that's how we're connected with it. I own the property there now. But that's why it was in the family. And then an old guy by the name of Karl Keitan, an old Estonian guy, lived there for many many years. And it's known as Karl's Place. It's kind of fading now, but I mean for a long time it was known as Karl's Place. These furs were trapped by a cousin of mine who came up -- well, his sister -- his mother and father passed away, and his sister was older than him, and she wasn't much older than him, but she was raising the kids. And George was his name. And he was an ornery guy. He was getting into trouble with the police, and everything else, and so she wrote to my dad, who was her uncle, and asked if she could send George up to Alaska. And wanted to know if my dad would pay his way. So my dad sent 'em the money and they shipped George up here. And he was his late teens, he was up here a couple of years, and he would go and stay with my uncles at this cabin, then he would walk from -- well, right across from King Salmon, over towards Smelt Creek. And our cabin wasn't there then, it was another place. And that's where he trapped, Smelt Creek, between Smelt Creek and King Salmon. And this was his, part of his catch.
PP: Talk about this picture taken at Kittiwik. CZ: Yeah. That's what we call Kittiwik Bay. You could see the bar, there was a sand bar that went out. And then you'd come in. This was on the north, no this would be on the south side of Kittiwik. One-Arm Nick was the tyone, the leader, the village of New Savonoski, and he -- to the left of him over here there was his fish racks. And there -- I don't know if they're -- that's fish, I guess that they're -- yeah, they're splitting fish. This was his area for splitting fish. We were over on the other side. Up more or less up in this way on the opposite side. PP: Talk about this boat. CZ: Well, that's the old gasboat. It was back in the days of sailing boats. All the commercial fishing was done by sailboats. And after the boats got fairly old -- the companies owned all the boats. And after the boats got so old they wanted to start replacing them, well they would sell them to the locals. And no one could afford the price of a brand new sailboat, so you got the older boats and you fixed 'em up, and then when power engines -- the first engine I can remember was one cylinder, what they called a Cliff Engine. Just one cylinder, it'd go poom, poom, poom, like that, you know. And it was slow, but it moved it faster than rowing. And it would move it against the current, so, man, that was pretty neat. Then they made a couple-cylinder engine, Palmer made a couple-- and engine with two cylinders, and then Redwing made a four-cylinder, and that's what my dad had in the boat. So the people adapted the sailboats to power. And going up the rapids in Naknek River would take 'em a whole day, sometimes two days. The water was really swift, you know. And they'd go up along the beach and guys -- they'd put a line, and the boat'd be going ahead full bore, with the engines going full bore, and guys would help tow the boats up. And the people -- some people sailed up, and it would take 'em a week to go through the rapids, and up into the lake. PP: Now, where are the rapids that you're talking about? CZ: Okay, the rapids -- here's the mouth of the Naknek, and okay, right from about here into, well, into here. This is the lower end of the rapids. So right in there. PP: I'm gonna mark that with an . Rapids.
CZ: And it was fairly shallow, lotta big rocks. And fairly swift water. It wasn't a dangerous rapids or anything like that, but for a boat going up it, you just didn't skim up. And then some guy came along and Ole Evinrude invented the outboard motor, as you know, and then we started getting the outboard motors up here, and I mean, it just transformed our transportation. Because all the skiffs that we had to row, well like here in this picture here, our family going across the river. We were gonna -- this was during the winter, you can see the ice chunks. And if the river was clear and the conditions were good, we would row across. Well then when they come out with the outboard motor -- Johnson came out with an old 9-horse that was very popular for many years, and then they made a 5-horse, and they had some up to 22-horses. 22-horse outboard motor was a big motor, and it was really the thing but nobody could really afford one. The 9-horse was the most popular. And when we went into that, then we started putting two or three old Johnsons on the back of a skiff, we could go through the rapids faster and we could get up into the lake a lot sooner. PP: Now was that when you were an adult already or when you were a teenager? CZ: When I was a teenager, when I was a kid. PP: Did, you know the old-timers ever talk about when they used kayaks even before the CZ: Oh yeah, I, well, when I was a small kid, yeah. Almost all of the Natives had kayaks. And they traveled. They had this one-holer the two-holers, and yeah, they did a lot. A lot of the traveling, in fact from Savonoski, the new village of Savonoski, they went on up into the lake and they did a lot of hunting in that. And the problem with that was bringing the meat, the quantities of meat back. Well, so they would use -- like an individual or a couple of guys would go out in kayaks and maybe they'd shoot a moose or something, but it was hard to bring a whole moose back on the kayak. They'd stuff some inside, hang some along over the outside, and weather would -- you load a kayak down, weather would stop you. So then when the skiffs started coming into the picture, they started going into that. But still a lot of the old-timers. I remember, it was fun. The first kayak I paddled in was a skin kayak. And then later on they took the white man's newfangled canvas and then painted it. Linseed oiled it and, you know, there was different ways of preserving or sealing it. But the original kayaks were skin. PP: And you've been in those?
CZ: Oh yeah, as a kid, yeah. Never traveling, or anything, but down along the river. Just paddling around, having fun. Most of 'em we had to steal. You know, well, we didn't steal, we borrowed 'em really, you know. We didn't destroy 'em, I mean we brought 'em back and put 'em back but we just wanted to go for a ride. PP: Well, they must have had caches or something in those days when they -- did they cache any meat up there? CZ: Oh yeah. All along the lake on the main lake, down in here by this little peninsula there were a couple of caches PP: Down near ___ mark a . CZ: that I can remember. And this is Kittiwik Mountain. I remember old cache -- well, it'd be this point right here. PP: K . CZ: And the caches like that were mostly where the trees, the big trees came down close to the shore. And they would cut the limbs off. And I remember caches where old Paul Chukan, Andrew Wassillie, and a couple of the guys down here, old Bucktooey , Nassalia , and they'd take a gas can, a couple of gas cans and nail around the tree, oh, 4' up, so the animals couldn't get past the tin. And then they'd take and tie cross branches or smaller limbs, you know, clean 'em off of the smaller limbs to make a little stand or something to put -- they left their traps if they were in areas where they were trapping, and some of their food, like they'd leave emergency food, they'd have tea and coffee or something, and maybe some flour, and matches. And if they knew they were gonna be coming back before too long they'd leave food. Fish, dry fish or whatever. PP: And here's a picture of tents. I wonder, is that the kind of tents that you'd have at some of these trapping or even when you got redfish? CZ: These two tents here were up in the Naknek Lake area where my dad went up with Mary Jane's dad and One-Arm Nick and they were up just making a trip, an outing, like, you know, just getting out, and One-Arm Nick was showing my dad different places, and this is where these were taken. This boat -- now I was talking about my dad's gasboat. Okay. This boat, when power rollers -- not power rollers, but power came into the sailboat, this was a gasboat.
CZ: And this boat here had a big cabin all the way from the front here almost all the way to the back. Just cabinned over. Well then when we started going into the fishing, my dad tore that cabin off and then built a small cabin up front with open space for commercial fishing. But this was the boat. That was the same old boat. PP: Was this a double-ender? CZ: Yeah, that's a double-ender. Yeah, it's the old sailboat. PP: Okay. And if we're going to have you identifying pictures, tell us about this picture of you. CZ: Well, I don't know if I should or not. But I got to ask my mom how old I was. I was only three or four or something like that. And my hair grew in curly. My brother had straight, darker hair, you know, but straight, wiry hair. And my hair, today, it's still soft. And it came in naturally curly. And so my mom just let it grow and let it grow and one day they were over at the Red Salmon store shopping, and I guess they got a bunch of dresses in for kids, and my Aunt Nina was buying a dress for Alice , so I don't know how they hooked it up or cooked it up, but they bought me a dress, and then brought it home, and they took and they straightened my hair out. It was more like tangles. You know how a boy would wear long hair. You see these guys with the long hair nowadays. And put me in the dress and took pictures. But like I say, when my dad -- he didn't know about it until he seen the pictures. And then my hair got cut right now! That was the end of that! PP: Now, there's a picture somewhere of cutting ice. And I thought that was an interesting topic. CZ: Oh. Yeah. My dad was the winter watchman here and where that is -- right here! Okay, now where this is interesting, this is before refrigeration. The canneries had ice houses. And in fact the ice house that they put the ice in this cannery is still standing. The walls were thick. They were about a foot thick. And there was a lower and an upper section. Two stories, two floors. And the walls were thick and they were insulated with sawdust. They were 12" of sawdust. And then on the roof, the upper roof, and the sides, everything. And they had -- they made doors kind of like the refrigeration doors you see today, but they were hand-made, homemade. And they were thick. Well, of course they had to be thick. And so towards spring, my dad -- there was no work in the villages in those days. And towards spring the trapping -- if the trapping was poor, or stuff like that -- there was always a crew that my dad could hire. And you could see there's quite a few guys here. This guy right here, I know him. That's Trefon, old Trefon Angasan, Sr.
AZ: Mary Jane's dad. CZ: Some of the other guys here, if I could get this picture blown real big I could probably find out. But down here in the gully right below us, they used to have a dam, a water supply to operate the cannery. And so in, say March, Dad would hire a crew and they'd go down and they took cross-cut saws, the old, big old two-man cross-cut saw, and they'd chop a hole in the ice, and then they'd stick the saw down there and they'd go like this and they'd make a long cut, you know, and then they'd move over and make another cut PP: Parallel to the first one CZ: Yeah, you know, oh, I'd say 2', and the ice'd be anywhere from 2 to 3', depending on what kind of winter we had. My dad would always catch it though, before the dam froze right to the bottom. And usually he'd watch it to where the ice was like 2' thick. Sometimes he'd cut ice earlier in the year. He didn't want to get it too early because he couldn't keep it, in case we got mild spells, or whatnot. But anyway, they cut the blocks -- well, in the cities, you've seen pictures of the iceman. Well, it was the same thing. He'd bring a block of ice to an apartment and they had their refrigerator with a chunk of ice in it. Well, they'd fill both floors, oh, at least three or four stacks of ice blocks high. And then just a little bit of an aisle so that you could get into it. And then in the spring, the canneries brought, they brought chickens, and they brought beef, and they brought pigs. Sometimes they brought lamb, sometimes they'd bring sheep. But mostly beef and pigs and chickens. And they'd bring them up and then they'd, like they'd slaughter a beef. And they'd cut it up and they'd take and they'd just laid it on the ice in the icehouse. If the ice started getting too warm like towards spring, they took and they covered the ice with sawdust as insulation. And I believe in the cities they did the same thing in the ice trucks, if I remember right. And that was our refrigeration for many many years. PP: Did the whole community get to use that as refrigeration? CZ: No, it was the cannery's. PP: The cannery's. CZ: The cannery's. Yeah. But then in most cases, a lot of the people, like in this village, worked for the canneries. And so, well, I guess you'd say the men got to eat all this stuff, but the families didn't. I was fortunate, my dad was a watchman, so I could sneak down to the mess hall. But somewhere in one of these pictures is a picture of a pig. PP: Oh? I saw a chicken. I didn't notice the pig. CZ: Well, chickens, down by mom's house down here, well the chicken coop is gone now.
CZ: But in the fall when they left, the winterman would, if there was any animals alive, the winterman got 'em. And you could look from my yard down there and you'll see what we call the pigpen. That building is still standing. And that's what it was. It was a pigpen. And then my dad got to keep the pigs, and the chickens -- this right here -- that's my brother standing in the chicken coop. That's taken right down here with the chickens. He got the leftovers. In other words, the winterman got the leftovers or what was left after the operation. And then my dad got into it to where we used to have fresh eggs. Here in the wintertime, you didn't get fresh eggs until the airplanes started flying. And if they had enough room, if the weather wasn't too cold, they would bring a few of those things in to some of their friends. You didn't buy 'em in the stores. There was no such thing as eggs in the stores. So my dad, he learned how to raise chickens, I guess, so every so often we had fresh eggs. It was a novelty more than anything else, you know. But, like the eggs came in at the end of the season. You've heard of waterglass. PP: Yes. CZ: There's another fancy name for it. But one of the names is waterglass. Well, they had jugs of waterglass. And at the end of the season, or towards the end of the season, my dad would get a hold of several cases of eggs, and we'd dip 'em in this waterglass to seal 'em so the eggs would last longer. Each cannery had a potato house. Well, like they had a coal bunker. The boilers were all coal. They had this big bunker and these scows would come in with coal. They'd come off the ships, you know, and they'd come in and they'd wheelbarrow it up, dump it into the coal to run the -- coal bunker -- to run the boiler room. Well, they also had a potato house. And the canneries would bring in 3-4-500 bags or 50-pound sacks of potatoes. And they had one warehouse that had ventilation -- if they could -- and it was called the potato house. And they just -- that's where they got their potatoes. Toward the end of the seasons they were picking through, you know, half of 'em were rotten. After the crew left, the village people could go down and you got as many potatoes as you could get that would last as long as the potatoes would last. So you had -- it was a fresh vegetable that you never had, because other than that, it was rice, or macaroni, or spaghetti, or beans. Lotta beans. Beans was one of the staples.
PP: Did people used to grow their own potatoes? CZ: Some. That started with a few, like old Karl Keitan, that guy I was telling you lived at Grassy Point. He was an old Estonian that came from farm country back in Estonia. And he had a fantastic garden. We had another guy here by the name of Martin Benson who was one of these old guys. And they grew all their own potatoes and vegetables, turnips, and carrots, and radishes, and -- you know, whatever would grow. And they would last -- you know, they held as long as they'd -- I guess they'd leave 'em in the ground till just before the frost or something like that, and then they had root cellars. The people had root cellars. But the root cellars and that -- that type came more when the white man moved in. But the Natives had cellars where they stored the meat. Where they'd get into, if they could find a spot where there was permafrost, and they'd dig into the permafrost, and put meat in there to hold, and then cover over the top with a lot of moss and that to hold the cold air down into the thing too. But it was the only way you could preserve. Vegetables one way and meat, you know, in another way. PP: I was gonna ask when you noticed tourists first coming into the region in any numbers at all. CZ: Well actually the heavy tourists, now that is just recently. Back in, oh the '50s and '60s, you'd have a few come in. This river here, as far as a sports river's concerned, came in after the military. The military, when they built the base in the '40s, the early '40s, the military started using it. They built the fishcamps for their military personnel. And General Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, all these guys came up fishing up on the Naknek River. I got a cousin that rowed Eisenhower around in a skiff. He was up trolling up at the mouth of the lake. And then that's kind of when it started, but like the sports fishing and that, it's kind of plugged along for a long time. And I would say, oh in the last twenty years, and maybe even a little later is when it really started taking force, where you see, like up at King Salmon, the lodges. Branch River is a river we used to go up. And it was a beautiful river. You sit in a skiff there, and if you wanted fish, you just sit there and go like this and the fish would jump in the boat. I mean they were thick, you know. And you go up there now and there's spots on the river, you could drift that river, it used to be hot fishing, the fish are gone.
CZ: And the sports fishermen are blaming it all on the commercial fishermen, you know, stuff like that, you know, so-and-so Natives, they got a fishcamp here and they're taking all the fish. Uh uh. It was the sports operations that killed it off. I can remember landing up at Talarik Creeks, lower Talarik Creek up on the Iliamna. And this was back in the '50s. It was before the snowmachine, when some of the -- I always said that -- I learned to fly when I was 16 and when I turned 17 I bought my first airplane, then I went out and shot all my dogs. In other words, I went from dogs to an airplane. I mean, it didn't happen to me, but just as an expression I'd say that. But up at Iliamna they were still using dogs. And I landed, another guy and I landed, we were just flying around, we landed at Lower Talarik Creek, and there was oh, five or six dogteams there, and the people were fishing. And I knew Mrs. Drew , old lady Drew, who was a big family in Iliamna, in fact some of 'em lived in Naknek, Bobby Drew, Jackie Drew, and I landed there and I knew her so I went over to her and I was talking to her. And the water's about four feet deep and you could look down, they had holes about like this, and you could see rainbows that were two feet, and big around! Steelhead, rainbow, and they were pulling them out like smelt. Old lady Drew had, I think it was 52 rainbow laying on the ice. They took those rainbow home and they ate some, and the fed the rest to their dogs. It was a subsistence lifestyle. I think you'll read now that the Talarik Creek area was turned into one of these rivers PP: Wild and scenic rivers? CZ: Wild and scenic rivers. And the fishing was fabulous, it was fantastic. The Kvichak River is the biggest red salmon spawning river in the world. Any time you got spawning like that, you got predator fish. And the trout are a predator fish. There was a time when the trout had a bounty. You could turn his tail in for so much money. Oh yeah! PP: Cause it ate the fingerlings? CZ: They were eating the fingerling, they were eating the -- as the salmon spawned, they were eating the eggs. They were a predator. Just like, they went after the wolf, you know, the coyote, whatnot, they had predators in the water. This was the days before sport fishing. So now it's a scenic river. There're all kinds of restrictions and all that.
CZ: The fishing is only a minute fraction of what it used to be. But if you look at it from a realistic point of view, those Natives fished there. Their ancestors fished there the same way they did, year after year, you know, in the wintertime. And they fed 'em to their dogs. And they could never fish those areas out. Now you tell me why; that has all stopped. And all of a sudden there's sport fishing, and the fish have disappeared -- er, the predator fish, the trout, the sport fish, have disappeared. Well, they're still there, but I mean it's cut down considerably from what it was in past years. Well I been around long enough to know both sides of that picture. I see it a little different than these biologists that come up here. Some guy'll go to the University of Nebraska. And he'll become a biologist at University of Nebraska. Two years later he's a full-fledged biologist working in Alaska. You know, the transition. And he'll go out and he'll say, "Well I think this, I think that." And that's the way it goes. Whether he's right or wrong. You see what I'm saying? PP: Yep. CZ: But, like I say, the Talarik Creek is a very good example. The Naknek River. We got all the fish we ever wanted and needed out of the Naknek River. And the people -- I know people that used nets up there to catch trout, and fed 'em to their dogs. Because it was food for the dogs, their dogs were transportation, they had to have transportation. Now all that is stopped, everybody's got snowmachines. End of side.
CZ: I don't know how many people now. I don't know whether he likes it if I make this CZ: Jay Hammond. He was our governor for two terms. I've known Jay a long time. Jay came into the country as a predator controller. Jay's job was flying around with a supercub killing wolves. I mean, that's a true fact. I'm not trying to denounce him or anything! At that time, the feeling was that there were too many wolves. And there were! And one of his jobs was to -- he wasn't killing every wolf. He was cutting the pack down, you know, for -- to control, for predator, animal control, for the fish and, you know, for the game and that. Yeah, he did a lot of that, but yeah, as a young guy, when it was legal, I used to go out and I hunted wolves from an airplane. And I know a lot of guys. I know some guys that still use airplanes. They go on into an area where they discover wolves, you know, and then they'll land, they'll go trap, and stuff like that. They're not shooting 'em from the airplane, but they're using the airplanes to find the areas where there are wolves. One of the things that we're gonna start facing here very shortly, is the wolves are on the increase in this area. I have a friend that has a scanner. And he was listening to two airplanes between Levelock, you know where Portage Creek is? Well, if you're flying from here to Dillingham, on the Nushagak, you'll fly over Portage Creek. It's on the Nushagak. It's where the Nushagak comes -- well, that's the Kvi -- it doesn't show that. But where the Nushagak comes the closest to the Kvichak. And then it kind of bends and -- but it's the closest point of the Nushagak coming east. And then it kind of makes a left turn and goes on up into the Mulchatna. Well this guy, the planes were talking, and this guy counted 23 wolves in this one area. And the Mulchatna herd is big. The game wardens I don't think care. These guys weren't hunting. Not that I know of. They weren't talking about it. This guy, they were flying and the guy says, "Man," he says, he was coming from here to there and he counted 20 -- he started seeing a lot of those, so he started zigzagging and whatnot, and counting animals, and it's gonna become a problem here before long. And then you got the wolf lovers. So, I mean, where does the problem end?
CZ: But yeah, the trapping for wolves, the price of wolf skin has always been up because of the ruff for cold weather, for parkas, stuff like that. Wolf, wolverine, yeah, the trappers, when you got a wolf on your trapline, then you started kinda going after him, you know, started emphasizing on him, because if you could catch him, his skin was worth a lot more than the mink or whatever that you know, you might be trapping. PP: Where were the fur buyers? Did they fly in or was there a certain place that they were located? CZ: Well, Dillingham had a couple of fur buyers. But we, in our area, and into Dillingham, they had a traveling fur buyers that came through. They came out of Anchorage and they'd fly through the villages, certain times of the year, and they bought, they bought the fur. How they used to do it years ago, like when I was telling you trapping up at Paul's Creek and Smelt Creek and that, we'd get our furs, and then I can remember as a kid the fur buyers, two fur buyers. Generally they traveled in pairs. And these two guys would come to my dad's house, and they'd look at the skins, each one'd look at the skins, and they'd take a piece of paper and they'd write a figure, how much they'd give for the pelts. And then they'd both hand the figure -- the piece of paper to my dad and my dad'd look and naturally he would take the highest bidder. And I kind of think they had it all figured out, you know, "One time, well I'll do this, one time I'll do that." But that's how they worked it. And they both traveled in the same airplane. And it looked like competition. But they'd come out into the villages. Where the people, you know, cause it would cost my dad money to go to Anchorage, or even to go to Dillingham. And these traveling buyers, on an average, I believe, paid a little bit more than the buyers like in Dillingham. Their prices, they'd come sweeping through, you know, and they'd head right back to Anchorage with their planes loaded. And the guy at Dillingham, course he'd get his up and then he'd have to ship 'em in and whatnot. So I think that the traveling buyers gave a bit more price. PP: Did your family use some of the furs for your own clothing and so forth? CZ: Oh yeah, the beaver. Oh yeah. For our beaver caps. PP: What about mittens, and? CZ: And for the mittens. My mom never made me mukluks, but I can remember my mom going up to Savonoski, and a couple of the old ladies up there that would make mukluks, and she made mukluks for us. Yeah, some of the skins were. PP: Did they make mukluks out of wolf or caribou? CZ: Well, it'd depend on what you had.
CZ: They used caribou, they used moose. Moose like for the bottom because it was a thicker, heavier skin. And they used caribou, I remember, and reindeer, when we had the reindeer here for the upper part, you know, and then they'd put all the design on, and that. And for insoles, you went out and found some nice dry grass. And mukluks, kamaksuqs, as we called 'em, are warm. PP: Did the ladies used to weave the grass, or you just put it in like bits of grass. CZ: No, we just put it in. We'd take it and PP: Dry it out? CZ: Dry it out, and take a bundle and then you just kind of ___, you bend it over and then shoved it into the mukluk, and depending on the size of the mukluk, the depth of it, how much you'd put in there and you'd wear a pair of heavy socks and they were warm! I know they were warm cause I used 'em. PP: Did you ever see the bear gut parkas that you see in pictures? CZ: No, I had to go to the museum to see them. I can't remember that. That was before my day. But they -- yeah -- I'm sorry, I'll take that back. Yeah. We had a couple of guys down here. Oh, what was Biligundi's name? AZ: Andrew Alenak. CZ: Andrew Alenak. And he was one of the last guys that I remember that traveled with a bidarki. And he had the skin pullover. PP: Kamleika? CZ: Kamlinka. And he had one, it'd come over and then he'd fit it around the hole. And he was waterproof. You know, the water'd have to come through his hands or through his hood. And it pulled it up and it was kind of rounded. Like it was hard to get into, I imagined. I never put one on. Yeah. I remember, but I wasn't too old then. PP: Was he an old guy? CZ: Yeah. At that time, he was an older man. And he was one of the guys that, you know, all the other guys wore rain -- the rubber rainskins, or oilskins. PP: Oilskins. CZ: We called them the oilskins then because they were oiled. But yeah, I remember, but the last guy I actually remember was this old guy using that. And he'd go up the river, and -- the bidarkies down here, we had to watch 'em because they had gravel beaches, and they would scrape. And you had to be careful with them. But I remember him going in with the paddle, the two-paddle stick, you know, and he'd be going like this. But yeah, I remember. That's the only one I could think of.
PP: I guess I have a question. In your memory, it sounds like everyone from South Naknek used the park for some subsistence. Is that a true statement, or just most, or some? CZ: Yeah. By far the majority. Now, we had some people, now, we had a couple of Natives that were lazy. And we had a couple that were good hard workers that made their living and they would make a trip up now and then. But most of them, yeah, because the ones -- especially us that had dogteams, you went up into the lakes and used it. And the park rangers didn't drive us out in that case. The snowmachine did. When we went up and the people that had dogs kept going up and getting the fish. And I can remember a couple of people that were told by park rangers, "You're not supposed to be doing this, this is government property, this is a monument," and everything. And they just, you know, they kept on doing it. But they were never put in jail or anything like that. But then when the dogteam faded out, that's really what stopped that part of it. PP: Because people didn't need as many fish? CZ: Yeah. Because they could get the fish that they needed, they could get down further, the amount, the quantity of fish. And you talk about the commercial fishing. I don't sell my king salmon to the canneries. All of my kings go in the barrel for salting for salt salmon or for pickled salmon -- I love pickled salmon -- I'm into, I do a lot of smoked salmon, all my salmon is king salmon strips. And then the red salmon I'll filet, filet 'em thin and then I'll cut 'em crossways here, like you've probably seen them, and then smoke the red salmon, and the silvers that way. So none of my king salmon are sold commercially. That's all subsistence to me, as far as I'm concerned. And I'm always looking for kings. I have three sons that fish, and they bring their kings, they'll call me on the radio. And if I'm too busy I can't handle it, or maybe I got too many, I can't take care of, whatever, but they'll call me. And if I can take 'em, absolutely, cause my kids, I smoke all the salmon for the family. And we live on -- we eat a lot of smoked salmon. So with the commercial fishing -- it's subsistence to us. And it's -- we still live the subsistence lifestyle. And it just burns me when I see that guy say, "Well, you people don't have that anymore." It's some joker that got off of an airplane from Anchorage that knows it all. He doesn't know us, he's only been in the area for a half hour, and they got it all figured out. But yeah, a lot of it's subsistence.
PP: The kids today, or even your children's age. Do they know the area in Naknek Lake? CZ: Not like I did. No, they will go up, but now, to go in the park, you can't take a gun with you, and like if they'll be going up Big Creek or something going hunting and that, they'd have to leave their guns, they can't take 'em in the park. You go in the park, they'll tell you where you can build your bonfire. If you gotta go to the bathroom, you dig a hole in the sand, the whole ball of wax. And to a lot of the local people, I think they feel that's harassment. We've done this up in there for centuries, our people, and we've never ruined it. There's more damage up there now from the tourists than there's ever gonna be. And that is ammunition for the park people. They say, "Well, they don't come up here, they don't use it any more." Stuff like that. And it's not because we don't want to. My kids have been up in there a couple of times. And you take a skiff and you go on up. You cross the main lake and that, but once you get up in here, you can go into the Bay of Islands, you can go up into Kittiwik, or you come through Iliuk Arm, then go up into the Savonoskis. It's fantastic country. You get up in there and you get a relaxed feeling. And we'd go up and we'd camp. And you'd get up in the morning with absolutely nothing to do, just, you know, lazing, maybe we'll climb the mountain and pick some berries, or, you know, do whatever, and just enjoying it. And we don't have no bathtubs with us, and our tents are very -- well, sometimes we stick a tent right on the skiff and we sleep in the skiff, and we'll build a bonfire on the beach. The thing I remember doing, we'd get a nice dry beach, we'd dig a hole, and then we'd catch some fish, and we'd grab a couple of potatoes, wrap 'em in tinfoil, stick 'em in the hole, put about two, three inches of sand above that and build a big bonfire. Keep it going for a half hour or so and then take off hunting or fishing or climbing a mountain. You come back and your fire's dead. You just scoop all that out, and that fish is cooked in its juice. You know, we'd put a little onion, or a maybe a bayleaf, or something, and that's living. It's fantastic. But you don't see that too much. And I believe because of the control. They watch you -- they'll let you up there, but they watch you, you're being watched all the time. It's against the law to pick a pumice stone. That's all pumice country, you've seen pumice stone. And you can't pick one of those up, you can't cut a tree down, you know. And I don't agree with it.
CZ: We used to cut trees down. We didn't go clear-cut and then sell all the wood for lumber. You see what I'm saying? We camped out. And we cut a tree to use as a tent frame or something, and I just don't see nothing wrong with that. And the people that are doing it, there aren't that many of us. And it's the lifestyle that our ancestors carried through. And it's hard for us to understand that, so. PP: I guess the only other question I have is if you can remember from the times when you've done all the camping and so forth, listening to any traditional or old stories about the region. Anything that comes to mind, whether it was the eruption itself, or you know, traditional stories, anything. CZ: Well, I don't know. We used to go camping with a couple of real colorful figures. Old Mike McCarlo was one of 'em. And he was superstitious. There was a lot of things you didn't do, and if you tried to do 'em, you know, we were young guys then, and I guess he was trying to teach us the ways we were supposed to -- yeah, you were talking about earlier about when you shot an animal and that. One of his superstitions was, when you opened up the moose, you cut the tip, the very bottom tip of the heart off, and you ate it, just a little bit. And that was supposed to keep the moose's spirits on your side, or yeah. To a certain extent, yeah. They didn't say no prayer over it, but by doing that, at least to old Mike McCarlo, because I remember hunting with him and Kirby skinned out the moose, and I can understand some of the Native language. I know all the dirty words. But he was talking to Kirby in Native, and then Kirby went over there and cut the tip off and ate it, cause Kirby shot the moose. And then afterwards I asked Kirby what it was all about, and then Kirby told me what it was. And then we carried the moose out, and McCarlo, instead of coming helping us like he was supposed to, he just stayed there and he took the tripe and the gut parts that the old Natives ate, you know, and that's all he carried back to the boat . We had to all make two trips. But he had his part that he wanted to.
CZ: But as far as the people moving out at the eruption. That village would probably still be up there today, and if there was no eruption, that would never have been a park. This park was made because of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. That is the basic reason for it. And the village of Katmai on the Pacific side, and the Savonoski Village, I believe would all still be going. But the Valley of Ten Thou -- that eruption, and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is what done that. PP: Do you run into people from up north when you're up, or did you used to? CZ: You know, they say Kokhanok, they say Igiugig, and they say Levelock. South Naknek and Naknek used this area far more than those people. Up on the Kokhanok side, evidently some of the people came down into -- this is what, Nonvianuk right here; Nonvianuk and Kulik. They came down as far as there, because Kokhanok'd be up here, and Igiugig would come over and Levelock went up the Branch River and into Nonvianuk. But before, before this park was extended up into there, no. They did not use the park. And when it got extended up into there, then a few of them. But their use, I know one time they had Kokhanok, Igiugig, and Levelock, South Naknek was left out of it. And South Naknek has a direct route into the park. And there was a stink and then they put us on the list. And Levelock had no use. But here again someone came in from Washington DC with a white shirt and a necktie, and he had this whole thing figured out how it was supposed to go. And the guy was all wet, you know. But yeah, because of the Naknek River coming up to the Naknek Lake and on in, because of the Savonoski people that came out of up here, we've had a direct connection that goes back before the park was even made. Now Levelock, there was a few of the people that came up Idavain Lake, Lake Clark, and Sugarloaf. They call this Idavain Lake, but Idavain actually -- seems like it's no -- maybe it's that one, where John Idavain had a cabin.
CZ: And those people, the Branch River is right over here, see, and they came up into here a little bit. But they never came into here, and you could see the original line. And then like I say, after it was extended, then they came into it a little bit. Where, at all that time, though, yes, we were absolutely connected with it. Paul Chukan had a -- well he had a cabin right up in this area, here. And for many years he trapped up in there. PP: I'm marking that L . CZ: Yeah. And Paul Chukan is from Naknek. And then he walked over toward Big Creek, and there's these other streams. And then he had an outcabin. These lakes right here. He had an outcabin over in here. PP: I'll mark that . CZ: And so he trapped this area quite a bit. And he was one of the guys they were hollering at about, you know, trapping inside the park. Well, Jesus Christ, man, Paul Chukan's people! His family, his parents, his father before him trapped there, you know, and it was hard to tell Paul, "Hey, you can't trap up there no more. This is a monument." You know, I gotta get the definition clarified between a monument and a national park. The way I understood a monument, a monument is preserved for the ecology, for the wildlife, stuff like that. You can go into 'em, you can't build no trails, you can't do nothing in 'em, you can visit 'em, but you can't disturb anything. A national park is an area where you can concessions, you can put a limited amount, like Mt. McKinley, they built a road into it to where more people have access to it. And I always thought that was the difference between a monument and a park. And I read that book there, and that started off as a monument. And then all of a sudden they start talking about the national park. When they made it a monument, I thought that Congress, it had to go through an act of Congress to change it. And if they did, then it's 'sposed to go in the Federal Register. And I would like to see -- and it probably is legal -- but they never came to the people that lived in the area, and says, "You know, well, we're gonna make this change." Because when it was a monument, I don't believe the concessions were allowed in a monument.
CZ: Concessions are allowed in a park. Well, you read that book, like I say, they came in and Ray Petersen of Northern Consolidated wanted to start taking tourists in there, and he went to the park people, and this was back when the control was still at Mt. McKinley. The head office was in Mt. McKinley. And man, I mean he got it right now, everything he needed he got. And the subsistence part of it was totally overlooked. They were welcoming the tourist business, the fishermen, you know down this line, and nothing was said about the subsistence. And I've always wondered about that. Like I say, the difference between a monument and a park, I always thought there was a difference. And you read that book there, and according to that book, no. They talk about the Katmai monument, and then the part of it that's national park, they use all these kind of phrases. And I'd like to know where that guy got all that stuff. It don't make sense to me, from what I -- I read somewhere about that, you know. Course it don't make any difference now. That's the way it is. PP: Well, thank you very much. CZ: Mm hm. End of recording.