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Dave Evans was born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts, and his family spent summers in New Hampshire. From an early age, he spent his summers working on a farm, and he speaks fondly of the hard work. After spending some time in Canada's Yukon Territory, in 1974 Dave moved to a cabin on the Nation River in eastern Alaska, where he lived a subsistence lifestyle along with many other "back to the landers." He enjoyed the remote lifestyle of fishing, hunting, trapping, and working with his hands on cabin construction and other wood working projects. Eventually, Dave moved off the river and settled in Anchorage. Despite his initial dislike for the National Park Service because of how they handled settlers after establishment of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, he made his living as an expert restoration carpenter repairing historic structures for the National Park Service. He enjoyed the job because it gave him the opportunity to apply his cabin building and wood working skills and knowledge, and provided for the amenities of urban life with ample time and opportunity to be in the backwoods during the summer. Dave went on to be cultural resources manager for national park units in the Southwest.