Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Andrew and Joanne Beierly, Part 1
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Andrew and Joanne Beierly were interviewed on October 5, 2018 by Karen Brewster at the Peniel Mission building in Skagway, Alaska. In this first part of a two part interview, the Beierlys talk about changes in the local environment they have observed in their close to 70 years of living in Skagway and their daily beach walks. They talk about changes in the bird, animal, and fish populations, the presence of different insect species and invasive plants, receding glaciers, and changes in the seasons, temperatures, and weather patterns. They also discuss the unusual large die-off and starvation of common murres that occurred in 2016.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2018-14-04_PT.1

Project: Observing Change in Alaska's National Parks
Date of Interview: Oct 5, 2018
Narrator(s): Andrew Beierly, Joanne Beierly
Interviewer(s): Karen Brewster
Transcriber: Ruth Sensenig
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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Slideshow
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Sections

Andrew's personal background

Joanne's personal background

Formation of and activities of the Skagway Bird Club

Observations of change in the bird population

Observations of crows and magpies

Observations of change in bird injuries and species

Observations of change along the beach, waterfront, and shoreline

Observations of change in the beaver population

Observations of change in the mountain goat and mountain sheep population

Observations of change in glaciers

Observations of arctic terns

Observations of change in bird migration

Observations of change in insect species

Observations of new bird species

Observations of change in bear and deer populations

Observations of change in salmon runs

Seal hunting

Observations of change in the crab populations

Andrew's photography, and documentation of receding glaciers

Invasive plant species

Cross-country skiing

Observations of changes in fish populations

Starvation and die-off of common murres

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Transcript

KAREN BREWSTER: Karen Brewster, and today is October 5, 2018, and I’m here with Andrew and Joanne Beierly in Skagway, Alaska, for the Climate Change Bering Land Bridge Klondike Gold Rush Park Oral History Project, and we are sitting in the Peniel -- JOANNE BEIERLY: Peniel. KAREN BREWSTER: Peniel, thank you, Mission, a restored building that I’m sure Andy worked on at some point in his long career with the Park Service. ANDREW BEIERLY: Maintenance work, yes. KAREN BREWSTER: Maintenance work, right.

Um, and so, Andy, I know you were interviewed before about your personal history and stuff, but maybe just a little summary of living -- you were born here in Skagway, is that correct? ANDREW BEIERLY: I was born in Juneau. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: But you grew up here in Skagway. ANDREW BEIERLY: And I grew up -- most of my life, grew up in Skagway. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: And what year were you born, may I ask? ANDREW BEIERLY: Uh, 1940. June, 1940. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And you worked for the White Pass (Railroad) at some point? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes, I worked for the White Pass. Started working for them in 1957 while I was going to school. And then when I graduated in ’62, worked permanently for White Pass 'til ’82. KAREN BREWSTER: Doing what? ANDREW BEIERLY: I was on the section at the time, working on the rail. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And then slowly went to the mechanics part of it, and worked on the engines. And after that went on the bridge crew, and then I went into the car shop and started working on the passenger cars. Restoration of passenger cars.

KAREN BREWSTER: And then you transitioned to the Park Service? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes, in ’83. KAREN BREWSTER: And so you worked Park Service maintenance from ’83?

ANDREW BEIERLY: I worked as a lead carpenter for the preservation of the depot and administrative building. Built, uh, building doors and windows and putting up wallpaper and just carpentry work in the building.

KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. And now you have retired? ANDREW BEIERLY: I have retired, yes. KAREN BREWSTER: When did you retire? ANDREW BEIERLY: In 2003. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: In June, 2003. KAREN BREWSTER: It’s been awhile. ANDREW BEIERLY: Still working.

KAREN BREWSTER: But no, I was under the -- you're building other people’s houses, is that right? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes, that’s what I’m doing right now.

KAREN BREWSTER: And you are a member of the Sitka -- I mean, Skagway Traditional Council? Is that what it’s called? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes, I’m a member of the Skagway Traditional Council.

I’m the vice president, have been for almost twenty years’ worth of council. KAREN BREWSTER: All right.

Now, when you were growing up, did you attend this mission school? ANDREW BEIERLY: I -- yes, I did. KAREN BREWSTER: That this building is a part of? ANDREW BEIERLY: I, uh, I attended the mission school in 1954 'til 1959 when it closed down, and then I went to the public school and graduated from Skagway High School.

KAREN BREWSTER: So this was a -- was this the boarding house? For the school? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes, it was. It was kids from all over Alaska, from Nome to all over Southeast. Mostly Southeast Alaska. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

Ok. Now I’m gonna switch to you, Joanne. JOANNE BEIERLY: Ok. KAREN BREWSTER: Give me a little bit of where you’re from and your growing up and how -- did you grow up here in Skagway? JOANNE BEIERLY: No, I was born in Seattle.

And my dad was a heavy-duty mechanic for construction jobs, and when I was a teenager, the state was building a road up to Black Lake, which is the road up to Black Lake. And they were going to extend it to Whitehorse at a later date. And so I went to high school here. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And that’s when I met Andrew. And after we graduated from high school, then we got married. And then Andrew -- we lived here for not very long, and then Andrew was gonna be drafted into the army, so we had to leave Skagway.

KAREN BREWSTER: And then when did you move back? JOANNE BEIERLY: After he got out of the army. And what year was that? ANDREW BEIERLY: 1965. JOANNE BEIERLY: ’65. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

And you’ve had children and raised a family here? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes, we have two children. But they’re all grown up. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: And have their own kids now. KAREN BREWSTER: Well, you’re grandparents. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so, did you do work outside of the home here? JOANNE BEIERLY: Um, after my kids reached an age where I could work outside the home, I worked at the school as a teacher’s aide, and then also at the library, the Skagway library, and also in the Skagway museum.

KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. Um, so since we’re talking with you, Joanne, tell me about the bird club that you’re involved with. JOANNE BEIERLY: Ok. The Skagway Bird Club is a group of Skagway friends of birds, and we help rescue injured birds.

We are not certified. We’re not licensed to rehabilitate birds, but we -- if we find an injured bird, we call the Juneau Raptor Center, and they give permission for us to put the injured bird on the plane and send it to Juneau.

And then they will -- since they’re licensed, they can take care of the birds and rehabilitate them and release them.

KAREN BREWSTER: And how often do you come across injured birds? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, we just sent one to Juneau last week.

And people in Skagway are more aware of birds since our club started, and so they let us know if they see an injured bird or a bird that’s on the ground and is acting not healthy.

They call us, and then we respond and put the bird in a carrier and send it down to Juneau.

KAREN BREWSTER: So when did your club start? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh gosh, maybe five years ago. ANDREW BEIERLY: It might have been longer. JOANNE BEIERLY: Longer than that? ANDREW BEIERLY: Longer than that. JOANNE BEIERLY: Between five and ten years.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And we, we finally joined the bird club later on. Because the bird club had started before that and we weren’t members then. Or, I don’t know if we’re members or just -- JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, we’re members. ANDREW BEIERLY: We’re just birders. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, we’re just birders. We’re very loose. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: We’re not, um. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: We just love birds, and we’re trying, there’s a real -- I’ve really noticed that there’s not as many birds in Skagway as there used to be. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And I think that’s a trend all around the world is the bird population is declining because of all the -- too many people, and not enough trees anymore. Because people cut the trees down and then build a house or a K-Mart or something. You know, so then there’s not enough room for the birds.

So, our -- our goal in Skagway is to take care of the birds that need help, and to study them, and just watch their -- how they’re doing in the wild.

And then we -- we also participate in the Christmas bird count, which is an Audubon, I believe. ANDREW BEIERLY: Mm-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: So we go out and count birds on the Christmas bird count.

KAREN BREWSTER: And have you noticed a change in that bird count? JOANNE BEIERLY: Um, you mean in the number of birds? KAREN BREWSTER: Numbers, different variety of species, any of that.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, the numbers -- the Christmas bird count is in the middle of the winter, so there’s not too many birds around. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: I mean, they’ve all gone south for the winter, but sometimes we see new birds, and then sometimes we wonder where our local birds are.

You know, they just -- we just have -- we just kind of monitor and count everything so we can spot trends. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And it’s just a citizen science thing.

KAREN BREWSTER: Right. Have you noticed any trends? JOANNE BEIERLY: Um, lots more crows than there used to be.

And, uh, I tell Andrew, I says, these crows come up here and eat all the dropped popcorn and tourist food that, you know, the tourists -- there’s thousands of tourists here every day. And they drop popcorn and candy and stuff, and so the birds have all this free food.

The crows have all this free food. And then they start to flock up and then go south, just about now, in October. And then they’ll come back in the spring.

And I tell Andrew, the crows go south, and they recruit more crows. They say, "You wanna have free food all summer? Come to Skagway."

And so we get more and more crows every year. And the reason I say recruit is because I know there’s more.

They bring -- I know they bring more crows up here because we see crows in Skagway that have metal or plastic bands on their legs. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Now, nobody in Skagway puts bands on crows’ legs, so the crows -- the local crows are talking up Skagway, and they’re bringing these foreign crows with them.

So, yeah, there’s lots more crows, and because of the crow population, there’s less room for smaller birds. Because crows kill smaller birds.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, they do? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: They steal the eggs out of the nest.

They’ll steal baby birds out of the nest and eat them. And we’ve witnessed that behavior.

And, yeah, they’re pretty tough birds. Crows are nothing to mess with. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: So.

KAREN BREWSTER: What about some new bird that you might have seen on one of your Christmas counts? Something that was new, different, exciting? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, I can’t think of anything that’s new and exciting.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Camp robbers. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, really? Gray jays? ANDREW BEIERLY: We had -- they're -- they -- usually you see them up north, but then during just, like right now, they’re here in Skagway.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Are you talking about magpies? ANDREW BEIERLY: Magpies. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, magpies. ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, magpies. KAREN BREWSTER: Magpies. ANDREW BEIERLY: Magpies?

JOANNE BEIERLY: Magpies, yeah. The big -- You know, the black and white birds. KAREN BREWSTER: Big, black and white birds. ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, yeah. Magpies. I’m sorry.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. He calls them camp robbers, but they’re magpies. ANDREW BEIERLY: Magpies. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes, they live in the Yukon during the summer. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And then they come down here in the winter, and -- and, uh, no, what am I? Am I saying that wrong?

ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, they come down here during the winter. JOANNE BEIERLY: They come down here in the winter. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And they eat a lot of stuff, you know, that they can find. The food they can find. KAREN BREWSTER: They’re sort of scavengers. JOANNE BEIERLY: Scavengers. ANDREW BEIERLY: They're scavengers.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, they’re corvids? KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: So, they’re just with the crow and the jays and those type of birds.

KAREN BREWSTER: But then, magpies spend the winters here? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: Or do they -- they don’t go farther south?

JOANNE BEIERLY: Um, I think they spend the winter here because then in the spring, they leave town. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

And they’ve always done that, even when you were a boy here? ANDREW BEIERLY: I’ve never seen ’em before. JOANNE BEIERLY: No, they just -- KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. ANDREW BEIERLY: They just -- in the last few years, I think.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, and I think it’s because they’ve heard about all the tourists. Well, partly the tourist food but -- ANDREW BEIERLY: No. They’re gone. Tourists are gone.

JOANNE BEIERLY: The tourists are gone, but they just know that there’s food here.

KAREN BREWSTER: There’s something -- there’s something that’s bringing them here that they didn’t use to come for. JOANNE BEIERLY: Uh-huh.

ANDREW BEIERLY: It might be because of the climate change, too, you know, that -- . JOANNE BEIERLY: I think so. ANDREW BEIERLY: -- that it’s warmer here than it was way back then.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And they used to go farther south, maybe. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, they used to go, yes. Probably further south. And now they don’t have to fly as far. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Maybe?

KAREN BREWSTER: So with your formation of the bird club and the rescue, have you noticed a change in more injuries or -- ? I mean, is that what spawned the idea to do that, was all of a sudden, there was an increase? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, there’s more injuries of birds in Skagway in the summer because the tourists are here.

And the tourists go on tours on these big buses, and, yeah, so there’s more bird injuries from, you know, getting hit by cars.

And then, of course, there’s more building in town. Lots more buildings for the tourists, and there’s more window-strike injuries to birds. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: So.

KAREN BREWSTER: And are there some birds that used to come that are no longer being seen? Different species? JOANNE BEIERLY: I don’t think so. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, I don’t think so, either.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Although some summers, like this summer, we didn’t see very many herons, and we were commenting on that. But we figured they might have just been going over to Dyea, which is the next valley over. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And maybe they had more fish to eat over there. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: But usually we have, like three or four herons living in Skagway every summer, but not this year. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. And those are the great -- JOANNE BEIERLY: The tall ones that fish. KAREN BREWSTER: The great blue herons? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. Yeah. And they fish on the waterfront.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, ok. Um, and then I -- I guess you guys go out onto the beach every day and -- or almost every day, and monitor what’s going on out there? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: Is that my understanding? Maybe you can explain what you do.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, Andy’s a photographer, so he brings his fancy camera, and he documents any birds that we see at that -- on each day.

Like today we saw six mergan -- common mergansers. And they are migrating south. They just stopped here to feed today. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: And they’ll -- um, then they’ll go south.

But it’s pretty, pretty quiet in the birds, you know, in the winter. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: Except for the crows. They haven’t left yet. But they’ll be flocking up and leaving here, maybe in another month.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. And so what’s left for the winter, ravens? JOANNE BEIERLY: Ravens, and every once in awhile we’ll see a robin that makes it through the winter.

And, well, actually, there’s quite a few birds that make it through the winter. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, even we see ducks. JOANNE BEIERLY: A few ducks. But, and then, kingfishers, they’ll stay over the winter.

KAREN BREWSTER: And eagles? Do you get eagles? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: But they’ll usually leave town. ANDREW BEIERLY: Go to Haines. JOANNE BEIERLY: And go to Haines. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Because there’s a salmon run in the river over in Haines that lasts through the winter.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, I thought they just went there because they knew there was an eagle festival, and so. JOANNE BEIERLY: No. ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Right.

KAREN BREWSTER: They knew they’d get all the attention if they go over there. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, they have a lot more eagles over there than we have here.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah. So when you go out on the beach, do you go at the same time every day? JOANNE BEIERLY: No. KAREN BREWSTER: Or you’re not that precise? JOANNE BEIERLY: We’re not that precise. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: We just go when we have time or when it looks like the weather’s going to be good. ANDREW BEIERLY: One or two, right. JOANNE BEIERLY: One or two in the afternoon, yeah, when there’s more light. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

Um, so other changes you’ve noticed when you’re, you know, out there? Has the beach changed or -- ? Besides birds? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, they had a big -- the beach has changed by -- when they put the riprap on the -- they just dredged the waterfront, and then they made a small boat harbor with -- KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And, um, then they put a peninsula out where the, um, the helicopter outfit is. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, ore terminal. JOANNE BEIERLY: The ore terminal, yeah. That was a big -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: -- project where they dredged up the bottom and just made big piles of dirt. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And then they put buildings on top of it. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

So they dredged out and then they filled back in? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. That’s when the big, uh, the mining started up in the Yukon, and then they did that because the tide used to come all the way up to First Avenue.

KAREN BREWSTER: Which is where the depot is? ANDREW BEIERLY: Where the depot is. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: One time, in 19 -- might be 19, uh, 1968, someplace around there, we had an extreme high tide, and it was right in front of our house. KAREN BREWSTER: Which is -- ANDREW BEIERLY: We live on First. JOANNE BEIERLY: First and Main. First and Main. ANDREW BEIERLY: First and Main. It was right up on the street. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Have you ever seen it like that? ANDREW BEIERLY: That’s the first time I’ve ever seen it come up that high. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm.

What was going on that made that happen? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, I don’t -- I can’t remember what month it was, but it was in the summer time. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Just had an extreme high tide. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And maybe there was a storm that day, and so they got a -- there was a storm surge. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. That’s what I was wondering, if there was a low pressure came in. ANDREW BEIERLY: Right. KAREN BREWSTER: Mixed with the full moon and all that stuff that makes the tide go up. ANDREW BEIERLY: That could be, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Um, but when they sort of altered the waterfront, and you said all that fill and the piles of dirt, did that affect -- it obviously affected what the beach looks like. JOANNE BEIERLY: Um-hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: But did it affect other parts of the ecosystem? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, gosh. I’m sure it did because the wild animals were affected. And -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Except for seagulls. JOANNE BEIERLY: Seagulls, oh yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: They’re still here? JOANNE BEIERLY: They’re still here. ANDREW BEIERLY: They’re still here. JOANNE BEIERLY: Many, many seagulls.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know if it had any effect on, you know, as far as the sea life and stuff.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, we have seals, otters, what else? ANDREW BEIERLY: Mink. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, mink that go along the shoreline -- KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. JOANNE BEIERLY: -- to feed. We see them down on the beach a lot when we’re doing our bird survey. ANDREW BEIERLY: Some.

We saw a beaver last year. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. Is that -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Right on the waterfront, which -- which we couldn’t believe. It was swimming. KAREN BREWSTER: In the ocean? In the saltwater? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes.

It came down from the Chilkoot Trail because there’s -- there’s beavers up there. KAREN BREWSTER: Yes, I’ve seen their beaver dam. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: On the lower part of the Chilkoot. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: But do you -- are they expanding in population? ANDREW BEIERLY: I think so. JOANNE BEIERLY: And I feel that this beaver that came down the river. ANDREW BEIERLY: Young one. JOANNE BEIERLY: Came down from Dyea, probably had been kicked out of his home, and so, because his mom was having a new batch of babies. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: And so he came down and was looking for a place to start a little beaver pond.

But, um, we were down doing the bird survey, and we saw these three little heads swimming in the water, down by the ore terminal.

And we just thought it was three seals until we realized it was a beaver with two seals. And so -- and we just thought, well, let’s look at this beaver! KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And it was just so much fun to watch this little beaver. And he was swimming around, trying to get up off the waterfront because like I said, he had all these big riprap rocks. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And he was trying to get up to get onto this -- to the road, and so we just watched him. And he kept trying to climb up, and he -- all these big rocks, and he was having an awful time.

So he finally just stopped, curled up, and took a big nap. And then when he woke up, he got back into the water and swam away.

KAREN BREWSTER: It sounds like a beaver who thought he was really a sea otter. ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, probably, yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, he was just trying to find a place to live. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And there really isn’t a beaver-friendly atmosphere in Skagway. There’s just too many people, too much activity down at the waterfront, and so I’m glad he didn’t stay 'cause he woulda got into trouble. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yep. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

Well, did there -- I mean, there -- obviously there’s more beavers out in the Dyea area now, with all the construction those beavers have done on the lower part of the trail. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Did there used to be beavers around Skagway? ANDREW BEIERLY: There might have been, but I was trying to remember what year that we saw the beavers the first time. JOANNE BEIERLY: In Dyea? KAREN BREWSTER: In Dyea? ANDREW BEIERLY: In Dyea.

We were working at the ranger station, and we -- it was lunch time, noon, so we were sitting at the picnic table, and all of a sudden, we heard this loud splash, and turned around. There was a beaver in the Dyea River. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

ANDREW BEIERLY: So that was the start of the beavers. And then -- KAREN BREWSTER: So did -- ANDREW BEIERLY: A couple years later, they found out that they were building the dam up on the Chilkoot Trail.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. But so that’s interesting, that they are fairly recent arrivals then. Because that would have been after the ‘80’s, if you were already working for the park. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. Right. Yeah, so, it might have. Yes, it was in the ‘80’s. JOANNE BEIERLY: Um-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: But, uh.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, there was probably beavers and beaver dams on the Chilkoot Trail, but when the white man came, they shot -- you know, they had their guns. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: And they were trying to feed themselves. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And so they shot all the goats, the mountain goats, and the mountain sheep. And there used to be caribou around here, and they disappeared, and -- But I think now the wild animals are slowly coming back. Like, the beavers are slowly -- KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: Starting to.

KAREN BREWSTER: Are there mountain goats and mountain sheep coming back? ANDREW BEIERLY: Uh, mountain goats, some. Not very many. Maybe eight. KAREN BREWSTER: No. ANDREW BEIERLY: That I took pictures of. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. They still haven’t really recovered. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Because now there’s hunting seasons for goat. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. JOANNE BEIERLY: Mountain goats.

And the mountain sheep, they’re more up by the Pass, I think.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. I’ve spotted mountain goats across the bay. You know, I see twenty-five of them, and the next year, none. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Or you’d see mountain goats up on the mountain up here. KAREN BREWSTER: Face Mountain? ANDREW BEIERLY: On AB Mountain. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: Or Clifton, they call it Clifton Mountain.

And every once in awhile, I’ll take my spotting scope and see if I can see anything up there. Just to see. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

Now if they’re hunted, are they hunted by local people, or that’s outside hunters coming down. ANDREW BEIERLY: It’s hunted by local people, yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: But anybody can get a license, right? ANDREW BEIERLY: Anybody can get it, but there’s only -- as far as I know, there’s only two or three people that hunt for goat. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

Is there a Native tradition, subsistence tradition around here for beaver trapping and goat and sheep hunting and caribou hunting? ANDREW BEIERLY: I don’t know because I don’t -- I don’t hunt them. If I can’t eat it, I won’t kill it.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Well, I didn’t know. You know, you said that in earlier times, there were more of those animals. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Um-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: And during the Gold Rush all that kind of got eliminated. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: But I didn’t know if that then affected the Native subsistence activities at that time? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Um-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: I just don’t know the history well enough.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And I think that a lot of hunters from Haines and Klukwan came up here to hunt goat. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, ok.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Which I knew that they did in the Pass. You know, they’d come up here and -- because they don’t see that many goats down by Haines. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, interesting. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Um, any other bird issues you want to talk about before we move on? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, I can’t think of anything to say more about birds, but do you want us -- our thoughts on how the nature has changed? KAREN BREWSTER: Yes, please.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Ok, the first thing we need to talk about is how fast our glaciers are melting here in Skagway. We’re just in tears some days when we see big chunks of ice falling off our glacier, because it’s amazing how fast the glacier is receding on AB Mountain. Not AB, uh -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Face, uh, Saddle Mountain or Mount Harding. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And also the glaciers up on, uh, Denver Glacier, Laughton Glacier.

You know, since -- since maybe, the ’70’s, how far they have receded, which is quite a bit. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And it's the speed at which they’re receding. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: There’s a big change from year to year.

KAREN BREWSTER: So if the receding started, like in the ’70’s, you’re saying that it was kind of a little bit and now, how much its changing is speeding up? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, with the warmer climate. Yeah. It’s speeding up.

KAREN BREWSTER: So how far down did, like that glacier, -- well, what I’ve heard people call Face Mountain, I don’t -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: It used to be farther down, I guess?

ANDREW BEIERLY: It was further down, but like I say, I have pictures that document it every year, pretty much in the same place, which is down by the ferry terminal. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Or some before that, which were --

JOANNE BEIERLY: That’s where we take the pictures, at the ferry terminal. Of the mountains. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. Right at the ferry terminal.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so, yeah, you have a set point. That’s good. JOANNE BEIERLY: Um-hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: That’s very scientific. ANDREW BEIERLY: So.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, it’s just a good place to take a picture. ANDREW BEIERLY: Just a good place to see it. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: And that way, uh --

’cause I told the park one time, I says, "One of these days I’ll put that together." KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: You know, so they can see how much it has receded in the past years.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, that would be great photo documentation. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Maybe we can work out something. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: For this project.

ANDREW BEIERLY: But we have noticed this year that there hasn’t been as many birds down in the waterfront. KAREN BREWSTER: Really. ANDREW BEIERLY: As in the past.

Uh, and it’s surprising that last winter we saw mallards still here in December, you know. And then they’d go over to Dyea.

But I think with the climate change and everything that you don’t see as many fish. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. ANDREW BEIERLY: Small fish. Usually, we see a lot of ducks out there.

The only time we do see a -- is when the arctic terns return. Then we see them catch small -- small fish. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

And are they returning in the same numbers and the same way that they used to? JOANNE BEIERLY: No. ANDREW BEIERLY: They’re -- they’re returning more since they have a new nesting place. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Before they had a nesting place at -- down by the TEMSCO. JOANNE BEIERLY: Helicopter. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok, yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Helicopters, but there’s so much traffic there that they have just moved out.

KAREN BREWSTER: So where did they go? ANDREW BEIERLY: They went on the river. JOANNE BEIERLY: The sandbars on the river.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, they nest there? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. So they nest there.

KAREN BREWSTER: And they’re doing well there? JOANNE BEIERLY: So-so. ANDREW BEIERLY: Kind of looks like it, but it’s hard to tell because the seagulls are -- I think they’re taking their eggs, don’t you? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, the seagulls are swiping they eggs off the tern. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. The sandbar there.

KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. What about the timing of when the birds come back in the spring? Has that changed? JOANNE BEIERLY: No, that’s about the same. ANDREW BEIERLY: That’s the same time.

But they left earlier this year, didn’t they? JOANNE BEIERLY: Maybe a couple weeks earlier. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: The terns? ANDREW BEIERLY: The terns, yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: The terns, yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: ’Cause last year I got pictures of baby terns that were down by TEMSCO. I think there’s eleven or twelve of them. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. ANDREW BEIERLY: Waiting for their mother to feed ’em.

And I have pictures of a mother feeding the baby terns. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

’Cause I was wondering, you say that if the weather’s getting warmer, if that’s affecting what happens in the spring with the migrations, as well as the fall. JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, you mean that they come early? KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

Um, we -- not -- they don’t seem to turn up early because they fly all the way up from Antarctica, practically. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: And they still get here in time.

They probably time their migration around the fish because that’s what they eat. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

What about other birds? Have you noticed a change in when they arrive? ANDREW BEIERLY: I thought somebody saw a hummingbird here earlier this year, but maybe not.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes, sometimes hummingbirds -- ANDREW BEIERLY: I think so. JOANNE BEIERLY: Because you know, since there’s -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Or they leave in December. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. Well, that’s because people have feeders out for them. That’s why they can tough it out a little bit longer before they have to go south.

But, uh, yeah, the climate is changing, and it’s getting warmer earlier so the -- there’s hummingbirds can come up and find nectar to live on.

KAREN BREWSTER: Have you always had hummingbirds here? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. It’s just they’re coming earlier? JOANNE BEIERLY: Um-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Are there different species coming? JOANNE BEIERLY: Uh, no. Just the regular hummingbirds.

ANDREW BEIERLY: How about those caterpillars? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, we gotta talk about the caterpillars. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

JOANNE BEIERLY: I’m a gardener, so every time I see a foreign caterpillar in my yard, I have to -- I kill ’em. If they’re in my -- on my flower, they’re goners.

But we have a new caterpillar. Or it’s a spotted tussock moth that has come to Skagway that I saw the first one about three years ago. And now they are coming in -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Bigtime. JOANNE BEIERLY: Bigtime.

So I have to go out and, like I’ll pull at least, maybe, twenty caterpillars off my raspberries. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. JOANNE BEIERLY: Every day.

Because if I don’t do that, then they all, um, pupate and then after the sum -- after the winter, then they’ll lay more eggs, and I’ll have more of a problem with my raspberries.

KAREN BREWSTER: So you think they’re going to destroy the plant? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh yeah, they just chew it right up. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: They’re very aggressive moths, so -- or the caterpillars.

The moth doesn’t eat, but the caterpillars do, so. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And that’s another thing that we noticed. In the ’70’s, the spruce bark beetle invaded Southeast Alaska. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, ok. JOANNE BEIERLY: So we’ve no -- when we go down to Haines or Juneau on the ferry, we can see where the spruce beetles have killed all the trees.

And you might have seen that up north, too. KAREN BREWSTER: Yes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, they --

KAREN BREWSTER: And do they affect the trees all the way down to the tideline? Or -- JOANNE BEIERLY: No, I don’t -- but you just see them up on the hillside. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: The forested mountains. You can see the stands of spruce that are dead.

KAREN BREWSTER: Do you have an idea of when they kind of appeared? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, it was in the ’70’s, I think. KAREN BREWSTER: It’s been that long, huh.

JOANNE BEIERLY: I’m sure somebody else would have the exact date when they started to be a problem. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Then since we’re still talking about birds, every once in awhile you see a very rare bird. They come here, like the blue grosbeak that came here, and it was in our -- in Joanne’s flowers. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And I finally got a picture after four hours sitting in my truck.

But we also saw another rare bird, which is the ivory gull, which is from up north. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And there hasn’t been any spotted in Southeast Alaska for a few years, or documented, so that is on our bird website. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

Now did those ivory gulls used to come through here? JOANNE BEIERLY: No. ANDREW BEIERLY: No. KAREN BREWSTER: They’ve always been sort of a curious -- ? ANDREW BEIERLY: Up north.

KAREN BREWSTER: So now they’re new coming here? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Just last year. KAREN BREWSTER: Just last year? ANDREW BEIERLY: Or just once, huh? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, just the one.

The ivory gulls live up north, and they feed along the pack ice. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: And -- but, um, I’m trying to think, I think it was in January that this -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: We had a big wind storm, and this ivory gull got blown down here from up north in the pack ice.

And I saw it on the -- when we were doing our bird survey that day. I said, what’s that bird? And at first I thought it was a duck because it was little. It doesn’t look like a big seagull, you know.

But no, it’s got webbed feet. So Andy took a really good photo of it to document it because it was something, it was so rare for down here, you have to have a photo of it. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

JOANNE BEIERLY: To -- people will take you seriously if you have a picture of it. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: And then the next day, a birder from Whitehorse came down, and he spotted an Icelandic gull that that storm had blown in, so.

KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. Yeah, I mean, with birds, there’s always the, you know, wanderer. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. Oh, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: There’s always been that history where there’ll be a rare -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Right. KAREN BREWSTER: One-time sighting or something. So, and it’s always very exciting. ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: When that happens.

I’m into birds, too, and it's always very exciting. ANDREW BEIERLY: Especially when you document it, you know. KAREN BREWSTER: So I know, yeah, and you have to document it and get it ID’ed and all that. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

’Cause people see other birds, too, but they, it’s always on a text or something like that, but no pictures. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Where we -- we try -- Joanne and I, we try to have -- we take pictures of everything that we see. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. Right.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Whether we’ve seen it five or six or hundreds of times. J

OANNE BEIERLY: If it was on the beach that day, we’ll take a picture of it. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: We don’t get too excited about seeing regular seagulls, but everything else, we get excited about. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

And that’s why it’s hard to know sometimes. Well, is that bird here because it’s a changing climate and weather patterns, or is it just, it happens sometimes. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: You know.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, we have some very severe windstorms here, and that blue grosbeak, um, he came to our feeder. He was very beat up and very hungry. And he was very scared.

He would eat maybe fifteen minutes at the feeder, and then he would fly up to the big top of a big cottonwood tree across the street. And he would just call and call and call. He was looking for his flock.

And it just was heartbreaking because he would call and call and call, and then he'd go down and eat a little bit more seed, and then he'd go back up and just call and call.

This went on for about four days. And then he finally had enough food that he could fly on.

Well, we hoped he would go back south. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: Because he was way out of his territory. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

And also, we’ve noticed that the ring-necked dove? JOANNE BEIERLY: Ring-necked dove. ANDREW BEIERLY: Are staying year-round now. KAREN BREWSTER: They didn’t use to? ANDREW BEIERLY: And they didn’t use to. And there’s getting more of them.

JOANNE BEIERLY: That’s an invasive bird. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. JOANNE BEIERLY: Eurasian collared dove.

And they’re just taking over the whole United States, and they just finally got to Skagway.

It's like the starling is an invasive bird. ANDREW BEIERLY: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: And they’re slowly making their way through Alaska. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, up here? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. They have quite a flock in Haines. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Thank heavens they haven’t established a flock here. Once in awhile we’ll see a starling in with a flock of robins. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: But they don’t stay.

The starlings don’t stay because they don’t have a flock. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

Do you have an idea of that dove, the first year you might have seen it? JOANNE BEIERLY: The Eurasian collared dove? KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh gosh, it’s on the bird website. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: It’s been around for maybe five or more years. ANDREW BEIERLY: Five, six. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. It’s been awhile. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, ’cause I think I have pictures of it when it was first here.

And then we had a couple doves with -- What’s the other dove? Just the regular dove? KAREN BREWSTER: Mourning dove? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, rock dove. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, rock dove. ANDREW BEIERLY: Rock dove, yeah. There was a couple here, and -- ’cause I think somebody was raising them either in Haines or Skagway or in Dyea. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

ANDREW BEIERLY: McDermott had doves. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, but those -- ANDREW BEIERLY: They probably flew over. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

You have other things on your notes? JOANNE BEIERLY: Um, I don’t think so. Oh. Well, when we get to talk about Skagway, the town site, we have some comments. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

Well, let’s -- you know, I have some -- in terms of change and the environment, the animals. You know, bears. Is there a change in -- are there more bears, less bears? ANDREW BEIERLY: There’s -- I think there’s more bears, but this year there hasn’t been as many.

Um, maybe six, seven years ago, there has been deer that have come down on the highway. There’s a couple of deer I think somebody spotted this year. JOANNE BEIERLY: In Dyea? ANDREW BEIERLY: In Dyea.

KAREN BREWSTER: And that’s unusual? ANDREW BEIERLY: That’s unusual. They’re not Sitka deer. They’re larger deer. Whitetail, I guess. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

What are they coming down to eat? What’s drawing them down, do you think? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, I think with the dry -- ANDREW BEIERLY: They’re just on the trail -- road. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. They walk down on the highway.

Now that there’s a highway between Skagway and Whitehorse, -- KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: -- different animals can come down, like deer or um --

ANDREW BEIERLY: Moose. JOANNE BEIERLY: Moose come down occasionally, which is a big surprise for Skagway. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. You guys didn’t use to have moose down here? JOANNE BEIERLY: No. ANDREW BEIERLY: Ah, not really down here.

Mostly it was up, like up at 15-Mile. They’d come down through Warm Pass, it’s called. They’d come down, and they’d go on the railroad, and then they’d turn around and go back or something. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: They never came down.

JOANNE BEIERLY: We don’t have herds down here. KAREN BREWSTER: No. ANDREW BEIERLY: Downtown, as far as I know. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And so the change in the bears, like were there more bears in town, when you said those years there were a lot of bears? Or just more in the -- ANDREW BEIERLY: There’s more bears in town, yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And that’s because the bears are very, um, aware of when the tourists leave. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Because that’s the fall, and the bears are really hungry. They’re trying to fatten up for the winter. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yep. JOANNE BEIERLY: So they come to town and try to raid the garbage cans.

And that’s the same time of the year when all the summer people who come to Skagway to work, they just stuff their garbage cans full of leftover food and scraps because they’re leaving town. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

JOANNE BEIERLY: They clean out their fridge. And so the bears come to town, and they raid the dumpsters and the garbage cans. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: So, you have to be very careful around here at night in the winter.

KAREN BREWSTER: Now are these black bears, or -- ? JOANNE BEIERLY: Or in the fall, I should say. ANDREW BEIERLY: Black bears and brown bears. KAREN BREWSTER: Both. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Black and brown.

And they usually -- the bears usually get shot. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: ’Cause once they come in and start going through the cans, then -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: They’re not wild anymore.

ANDREW BEIERLY: But I think what has drawn more black bears and brown bears, like over in Dyea, is the school started a fish hatchery. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And they had pink salmon, so there was a lot of pink salmon that came up Skagway River, Pullen Pond, Dyea.

And the word got out, I guess, that there were some salmon down there. And so, you know, every once in awhile, people would see a lot of bears over in Dyea, and tourists would go over and take pictures. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

ANDREW BEIERLY: We’ve been as close as from here to that refrigerator over there, which is probably fifteen feet, away from a bear. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: And we were -- After we thought, what are we doing?

JOANNE BEIERLY: So when it’s that close, we hop in the car and drive away. ANDREW BEIERLY: We hopped in the car. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

JOANNE BEIERLY: But the tourists just walk right up. They’re trying to get a good picture. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes. JOANNE BEIERLY: And we keep saying, don’t go any closer. Stay back.

You know, nobody’s been killed over there by a bear in Dyea. ANDREW BEIERLY: No. JOANNE BEIERLY: But it’s going to happen. ANDREW BEIERLY: It’s surprising. JOANNE BEIERLY: It’s gonna happen. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

And even on the trail (Chilkoot Trail), with all the hikers on the trail. JOANNE BEIERLY: Uh-huh. ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: No problems yet? ANDREW BEIERLY: No.

JOANNE BEIERLY: People see bears. ANDREW BEIERLY: I -- just -- KAREN BREWSTER: Well, people see them. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, when they seem ’em. KAREN BREWSTER: But there’s been no incidents? ANDREW BEIERLY: No. No.

Because our son, oldest son, worked on the trail, and he told us a story one time when he came around the bend on the trail, and there was a black bear.

And he stopped, and the bear stopped, and he said, "What are you gonna do? You gonna go off the trail so I can go by, or do I have to go off the trail?"

And the bear went off the trail. He walked right on by. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Which is, which I was really surprised because you always hear of black bear attacking people up in Anchorage. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: And up in that area.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. But, so you don’t see a change in the bear population because of, you know, climate change or any of that? ANDREW BEIERLY: I don’t think there’s as many bears this year, maybe because there hasn’t -- there wasn’t as -- the big runs of pink salmon wasn’t as good this year as in years past.

KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. So what do you think’s affecting the salmon runs, if they’re changing? ANDREW BEIERLY: I don’t know, because they’ve closed the king salmon throughout Southeast Alaska, and the Pullen Pond got king salmons in May. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: But after that, there was nothing.

’Cause we used to go -- when on our drive to check the beach for birds and stuff, we would check the outflow and Joanne would go out and look, and then she’d see no fish.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, you’re talking about the fish ladder? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. The fish ladder. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, we didn’t have much of a run. ANDREW BEIERLY: Nothing.

JOANNE BEIERLY: I looked -- was every year, we would go down to the fish ladder which is nort -- close to the ferry terminal.

And the tourists would love it. And I would love it, and we’d see the fish going up, hundreds and hundreds of fish. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Schooling up, waiting for the tide to get to the right level so they could hop from the -- you know, they could go up the fish ladder.

KAREN BREWSTER: To go up the Skagway River? JOANNE BEIERLY: Up the fish ladder. We have a fish ladder. ANDREW BEIERLY: Well --

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, but then that gets them up the river? ANDREW BEIERLY: They -- they would go over there, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: ’Cause like right now, there’s silver salmon and Dolly Vardens that run up the Taiya River and the Skagway River right now. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. Um-hm.

ANDREW BEIERLY: But I don’t know if anybody’s catching them.

KAREN BREWSTER: But so they stopped doing -- (Andrew coughs) JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, we didn’t have -- KAREN BREWSTER: -- pooling up?

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, there wasn’t any fish.

And it -- that affected the seals because the seals just loved it when the fish were pooling up, you know. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: To go up the fish ladder. Then the seals would just eat as many as they wanted. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: But, it was very strange this year, and I don’t know if the hooligan run was very good, or the -- it was just a strange year for the fish.

KAREN BREWSTER: But it’s interesting, you said that the king salmon, it’s all over Southeast, there seems to be a decline that they closed the fishery. ANDREW BEIERLY: Decline, yeah, because they’ve closed it. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: I mean, they’ve had it open in certain places, but they’d close it. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

ANDREW BEIERLY: I don’t think -- I think, but I’m not absolutely sure, they didn’t have a king salmon derby in Juneau. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. They had --

JOANNE BEIERLY: And you didn’t have a king salmon derby here. ANDREW BEIERLY: We haven’t had a salmon derby in Skagway, ’cause it was Pat Moore Salmon Derby that we’d have here, uh, in the last two years. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Because there’s no fish. ANDREW BEIERLY: Because it’s closed. KAREN BREWSTER: Because there’s no fish. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Of any kind -- of not just kings, but any of them? ANDREW BEIERLY: Right.

But, and years ago, there -- you didn’t catch as many. You don’t even catch fish like it was when they had the hatchery. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: When they had the hatchery running here, they would take the eggs to DIPAC (Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc.), and then bring the fish back so they’d get used to the water here.

KAREN BREWSTER: So when was there a hatchery here? JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, the school started it at least -- ANDREW BEIERLY: When did our oldest son graduate? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh gosh, that was in 1980-something, right? KAREN BREWSTER: Ok.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, in the ’80’s. KAREN BREWSTER: In the ’80’s. ANDREW BEIERLY: ’Cause he worked -- he worked on that, too.

KAREN BREWSTER: So how long did they have that hatchery? ANDREW BEIERLY: Uh, I think two years ago, DIPAC stopped taking the eggs here because of budget. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: State budget.

They didn’t have the money to give them to keep the hatchery going.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Because DIPAC is in Juneau. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: But somebody here in Skagway would collect the spawning fish. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And they would strip the eggs out, and then they would send them down to DIPAC, right? And that’s where they --

ANDREW BEIERLY: Well, DIPAC came here, also, to -- to help him. JOANNE BEIERLY: Ok, and then they took the eggs down and -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: -- put it in the hatchery down in Juneau at DIPAC.

KAREN BREWSTER: And raise the -- ? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, until the eggs hatched, and then --

KAREN BREWSTER: Then they bring the fry back? ANDREW BEIERLY: Bring the little fish, fries, back. And then release them. KAREN BREWSTER: Uh-huh.

And were those -- those were pink salmon, you said? ANDREW BEIERLY: They were king. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, they were king salmon. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

ANDREW BEIERLY: The pink salmon they stopped because there was just thousands of them that ran up every little creek and, you know, that they could go up.

’Cause they would go all the way up to Five-Mile up on the railroad tracks. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow.

And would pink naturally occurring here before? Or were they considered introduced? ANDREW BEIERLY: There was very few. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: Not very many, yeah.

Most of the dog salmon that came here when I was growing up, -- KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: -- they came here to Skagway and they went up all the -- over in Dyea, and also up all the little creeks. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And the Skagway River, right? ANDREW BEIERLY: And the Skagway River. Yeah. ’Cause we used to go fish for ’em. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, yeah?

Yeah, I’m surprised that these silty rivers coming off the glaciers, that the salmon can get up there and spawn. JOANNE BEIERLY: Um-hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Uh-huh. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So when you were growing up here, did you ever do any seal hunting? ANDREW BEIERLY: No, I didn’t. KAREN BREWSTER: Were there people who did? ANDREW BEIERLY: There was people that did, they -- KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

ANDREW BEIERLY: But most of them did it for just the hide, not the meat. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, really?

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, the white people wanted the hide. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, they wanted the hide. JOANNE BEIERLY: But --

KAREN BREWSTER: So there wasn’t a tradition of Native seal hunting? ANDREW BEIERLY: Uh, there might have been a family that did. KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. ANDREW BEIERLY: But I’m not absolutely sure.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. But there’s a tradition in Haines.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, because there was a family here that, uh, they love seal meat. And I tried it, and --

JOANNE BEIERLY: I think it’s an acquired taste. ANDREW BEIERLY: I think so. JOANNE BEIERLY: When you’re a baby, they start feeding you seal meat. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: It’s like, uh, seal oil and hooligan oil. When I was growing up in Juneau, I loved it. And when I moved to Skagway, I was away from it. And then I tried it a couple of years ago, and it was just -- it was just too rich. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: You’re not used to it. ANDREW BEIERLY: Not used to it.

KAREN BREWSTER: Was there ever commercial fishing around here? ANDREW BEIERLY: No, there’s never been. I don’t think it’s ever been open for commercial fishing.

Uh, it was open at one time for commercial king crab. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

But then a couple boats came up here with a lot of pots, commercial pots, and it wiped them out. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And everybody says, well, it takes -- it takes ten years for it to build back up. Well, it’s almost been forty years. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. ANDREW BEIERLY: And it still hasn’t built back up.

KAREN BREWSTER: You don’t get king crab anymore? ANDREW BEIERLY: No. You have king crab here, but very seldom. Not like it was before, where you could just put out small pots right in front of the -- front of the boat harbor and catch king crab.

The Dungeness crabs are starting to come back in the last three years. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

And they were here before and just -- ? ANDREW BEIERLY: They were here before because when I was working for the railroad, working on the White Pass dock, you could look -- ’cause we’d do inspections on the pilings and stuff, so we’d have -- and they had a walkway underneath the dock.

So you could check the pilings and stuff. You could look down, and you could see king, uh, Dungeness crabs. Walking around. JOANNE BEIERLY: Walking on the bottom. ANDREW BEIERLY: On the bottom. All the time.

JOANNE BEIERLY: That’s when the water was clear. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And I was surprised I never put a pot out, you know. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: For that.

KAREN BREWSTER: But, so yeah, so, changing ocean temperatures, has that had any effect on the crabs? ANDREW BEIERLY: Maybe, but I’m not absolutely sure.

KAREN BREWSTER: Maybe on the fish, it sounds like. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

Every once in awhile, somebody will get a nice king crab, big king crab. But not, like I say, not like before. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: ’Cause you used to get ’em in Dyea or Long Bay or in Skagway. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

So what inspired you to start taking those pictures of the glacier all the time? ANDREW BEIERLY: I just -- just ’cause I thought -- I just love the mountains. I take pictures of the mountains all the time.

JOANNE BEIERLY: But we noticed that they weren’t really seeing -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Either there’s a little bit of snow on there, I’ll take pictures of the mountains because there’s the first snowfall.

Like, there’s snow right now. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, that’s -- the clouds cleared a little bit earlier -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. Quite a bit. KAREN BREWSTER: -- that I could see, but we need the clouds to lift a little more.

ANDREW BEIERLY: And I just like Saddle Mountain. It’s just a nice mountain.

KAREN BREWSTER: And that’s what -- the other one’s called Harding? ANDREW BEIERLY: Harding. Mount Harding. Witch Mountain. It’s called Witch Mountain, also.

KAREN BREWSTER: Why are there three names for the same mountain? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, President Harding was here, oh gosh, way back when. I can’t remember. ANDREW BEIERLY: I can’t remember.

JOANNE BEIERLY: But he came to Skagway, and, um, he died at about three or four weeks after he left Skagway, and so a person -- it was George Rapuzzi, says, "Well, I’m going to go up to that mountain, and I’m going to put a flag there and name it Mount Harding, after the president."

And so then that’s how it got on the maps. Because it had different names on the maps before, I guess.

But it’s a beautiful mountain, and we just love it. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: And we look at it every day.

And that’s -- when we first noticed it was starting to recede, I says, "Andy, we gotta take pictures of this because it’s just happening too fast." KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: It’s not normal.

ANDREW BEIERLY: I think I have pictures of it in the ’50’s. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. ANDREW BEIERLY: Late ’50’s.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. That’s great. You were ahead of your time. You didn’t even know it. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yes, I was.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, and it’s easier to take pictures now because you don’t have to buy film. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: So.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. You mentioned gardening, um, and -- I was wondering about invasive species. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes. KAREN BREWSTER: Not just --not just the moths and the worms, but plant species. JOANNE BEIERLY: Ok.

Yes, we do have a problem with invasive species in Skagway. We also --

Andrew and I are active in the weed pull that the Skagway people have. And the Skagway Traditional Council ramrods that, and we pull white sweet clover, which is very invasive and we’ll never get rid of it.

It came to Skagway when the White -- or when the airport was being expanded.

And so, after they did all the expansion work and poured the runways and stuff, they hydro-seeded the open spaces. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: And this white sweet clover seed was in the seed mix.

And, I mean, that’s how it was introduced, and now we cannot get rid of it.

We just pull it, pull the weed every year, and I think it will be a multi-lifetime project before --

’Cause each seed can last in the ground. It won’t germinate for like twenty years or something. Don’t quote me on that, but the seed can last a long time in the ground and just wait to sprout.

And what else is -- ? Oh, thistle. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. JOANNE BEIERLY: Thistle that used to be in Haines is now in Skagway.

And what’s another invasive? ANDREW BEIERLY: That yellow flower. I don’t know what it is. It’s just a yellow flower.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, yeah. There’s a little booklet you can get from the park that names all the invasive species that are invading Alaska. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm.

ANDREW BEIERLY: What’s that one up on the road? JOANNE BEIERLY: That’s a thistle. ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, that’s a thistle. Ok, that’s the only place that we’ve seen it.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, somebody must have had a car, maybe from Haines, that came over on the ferry and drove up the highway and stopped at that spot to have a little picnic or something. ANDREW BEIERLY: Or camped there. JOANNE BEIERLY: Or camped there. No, it was right on the side of the road. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And this thistle now, it can grow taller than myself. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. JOANNE BEIERLY: It can be over six feet tall.

KAREN BREWSTER: So in earlier times when it was colder here, were there as many invasives, or is that a factor of they can survive better now? ANDREW BEIERLY: We just never -- or I never have paid any attention.

You know, a flower’s a flower. I don’t know if it was invasive or not, so -- JOANNE BEIERLY: I think -- ANDREW BEIERLY: -- when it was colder.

JOANNE BEIERLY: I think people are more aware now. We’re being educated.

And that’s why we look for -- we look for things that are different.

Like where’d that, what flower is that? I haven’t seen that in Skagway before. And then we go home and look it up and find out it’s invasive. So.

KAREN BREWSTER: Ok. Any other changes that you want to talk about that you’ve noticed, from a -- JOANNE BEIERLY: Gardener type of?

KAREN BREWSTER: Gardener or the natural environment or out in the woods or along the shore? I don’t know what else I haven’t asked about. JOANNE BEIERLY: Hm. I think we’ve covered everything, haven’t we? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Do you go out -- has it affected your recreation, like the -- ? Like do you ski, and now you can’t, or -- ? ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, you can still ski. JOANNE BEIERLY: But you have to go up north.

ANDREW BEIERLY: You have to go up north. You have to go up. JOANNE BEIERLY: Up the highway. ANDREW BEIERLY: Up the highway, up to Log Cabin. Which there’s a ski club here that grooms the trail -- KAREN BREWSTER: Right. ANDREW BEIERLY: -- for people to cross-country ski.

And some people downhill ski on the mountainside up there.

The only thing I’ve ever -- I’ve noticed that, last year -- was it last year or the year before? The needlefish. JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh. The lamp fish.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Lamp fish. I’ve never seen those before. And it happened, you know, two, three years ago. I can’t remember. KAREN BREWSTER: Um-hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: But then it happened again.

KAREN BREWSTER: Where are -- are they in the river? JOANNE BEIERLY: No, they’re marine fish. ANDREW BEIERLY: A marine fish that --

JOANNE BEIERLY: But they’re little. They're about this long. And they -- they’re very oily. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And that’s -- the Native people used to harvest them and burn them. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh.

JOANNE BEIERLY: You know, like a little candle. Like a hooligan. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So they’re candlefish? JOANNE BEIERLY: Kind of -- A kind of -- KAREN BREWSTER: A kind of candlefish. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: A little, a little smaller.

KAREN BREWSTER: But it’s different -- it’s different than a hooligan? JOANNE BEIERLY: Yes, it’s different. ANDREW BEIERLY: Um-hm. It’s different than a hooligan.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And there was a big run of them, which was very unusual, and they would just jump out of the water. So it was very strange to see them down in the boat harbor, jumping out of the water. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: But -- but aren’t they a bottom -- like a bottom fish, and they came up? Do they come up to feed? Or I can’t remember.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Well, they live -- during the day, they live in deeper waters, but -- or maybe -- anyway, at one point in the day, day or night, they’re down lower. ANDREW BEIERLY: Night, yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And then they come up. And then they go back down. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And -- but that affected -- the fish were -- I had heard that they were coming up and jumping because the water was too warm for them. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: Which was unusual.

KAREN BREWSTER: And what time of year was that? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, gosh. Was it in the spring? I think, it was either the spring or the fall.

ANDREW BEIERLY: I think it was in the spring. Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: So I know we --

I went down and picked up a couple or two or three of them and put it in the freezer, and the next time we had our bird club meeting, we all looked at it. ANDREW BEIERLY: Took pictures of it.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, just to see what the -- how they were affecting the birds, these little fish. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And did you find any connection? They were affecting birds? JOANNE BEIERLY: No, but we just thought they -- maybe birds would be eating them, but we didn’t witness any birds eating them. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

Like all those birds that were dying up north. What were those? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, the murres. The common murres. ANDREW BEIERLY: Murres. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, right. Those in the Bering Sea. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: They’re starving to death. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah, ’cause we've -- when we first found it, you know, we saw one. And then person two. And then -- JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, the common murre? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So did you have the common -- do the common murres come through here? ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, they do. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah. ANDREW BEIERLY: Well, they did. Yes.

JOANNE BEIERLY: They live out in the Lynn Canal during the summer, and -- but they do come up here close to Skagway, which is unusual to have them.

And they -- when they were coming ashore, I picked up forty-one dead bodies. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: One -- But that was in January. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: And they had just starved to death. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh yeah, I remember I read an article about the seabird die-off around here. JOANNE BEIERLY: Uh-huh. ANDREW BEIERLY: Around here, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

What year was that? JOANNE BEIERLY: Oh, gosh. I can’t -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Three years ago? JOANNE BEIERLY: At least. Maybe -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Three or four years ago. JOANNE BEIERLY: Maybe, or five. Time goes by so fast for us. ANDREW BEIERLY: Way too fast. KAREN BREWSTER: I know.

JOANNE BEIERLY: When you get older, time is a blur. KAREN BREWSTER: No, I know the problem.

But no, I remember that it was up farther north, but -- ANDREW BEIERLY: Oh, yes.

KAREN BREWSTER: -- so, did they ever figure out why it was happening? I forgot it happened down here, too. JOANNE BEIERLY: They -- the birds were starving. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And the bodies I would pick up off the beach because they -- the birds would die on the beach at the boat harbor.

Well, people walk their dogs on the boat harbor beach, and they did not like their dogs rolling in these dead bird bodies. KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

JOANNE BEIERLY: And so, and I -- so I just went down every day, and I bagged the dead birds, and put them to the incinerator.

But -- ’cause people -- I didn’t want people to get so upset about the birds. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: And uh, thank heavens -- ANDREW BEIERLY: I can’t remember if --

JOANNE BEIERLY: Thank heavens we haven’t had a die-off like that. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: And every year we went, oh my gosh, I hope we’re not going to have a die-off this fall. It hasn’t happened again.

ANDREW BEIERLY: I can’t remember if we found one, and we sent it down to Juneau, and they said it was starving. JOANNE BEIERLY: Yeah, we sent the body out. ANDREW BEIERLY: Or a live one that was starving? Maybe not. JOANNE BEIERLY: Maybe.

But I know a friend of mine and I bagged up a couple of these dead birds. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yep. JOANNE BEIERLY: And we sent it out to a government agency, and they said the birds had starved.

'Cause we didn’t know if they were sick. ANDREW BEIERLY: Right. JOANNE BEIERLY: And all.

And that’s why I thought, people are gonna get upset if these birds are coming ashore because they’re sick, and then the dog is eating the dead bird, and, you know, it could just be a real problem.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, I’d be concerned about contamination. JOANNE BEIERLY: Uh-huh. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: If the birds were dying ’cause there’d been some pollution contaminating their environment.

JOANNE BEIERLY: Or an algae bloom or something that was killing them. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. ANDREW BEIERLY: Yeah. JOANNE BEIERLY: But we always wore gloves when we picked -- KAREN BREWSTER: Right.

But it turned out they were starving. JOANNE BEIERLY: They were starving.