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Bill and Lill Fickus, Part 4

This is the continuation of an interview with Bill and Lill Fickus by Dan O'Neill and Steve Ulvi on September 26, 1994 in the Fickus’ home in Crevice Creek, Alaska. In this, part four of the five part interview, they talk about guiding in, access to, and rescues in Gates of the Arctic National Park. This is a continuation from tape numbers Oral History 93-15-63, 93-15-64, 93-15-65, 93-15-66, and the interview continues on tape number Oral History 93-15-67.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 93-15-66

Project: Gates of the Arctic National Park
Date of Interview: Sep 26, 1994
Narrator(s): Bill Fickus, Lill Fickus
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill, Steve Ulvi
Location of Interview:
Location of Topic:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Guiding

2) Camps in the park

3) How lifestyles have changed over the years

4) Method of travel in the park

5) Story of a rescue

6) Park access

7) Story of more rescues

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.


Section 1: guiding income -- chief source\ mining\ Fickus, Bill -- opposed to mining operations\ open pit mine\ copper mine\ park -- ruined guiding business\ airplanes -- paid cash\ insurance\ exclusive guiding areas -- took away\ Fickus, Bill -- quit guiding\ Lake Clark\ hunting camp\ homesteads\ Fish and Game\ Guide Board|

Section 2: Pickies, Less\ Hunt's Fork\ swamp buggy\ cabins\ Cavick Creek\ John River\ Helmericks, Bud\ Walker Lake\ Colville River\ Wild Lake\ Meters Family\ Lozo, Suzie\ Allen River\ cabin -- dug out\ Meter, Fred\ Meter, Dion -- drown\ Steve and Kathy\ Wild Lake -- summers\ Swarberg, Jim -- chairman\ McGuire, Shawn\ Almond, Steve\ Wells, Ken\ Morris, Jerry\ Bettles\ Anaktuvuk\ Hickel Highway\ Meter, Fred -- killed\ Meters -- slide show in California\ visitors\ airstrip -- rocks\ sheep hunting\ super cub lake\ Costello, Ron\ travel -- airplane\ Koyukuk River\ Meter, Fred -- death|

Section 3: subsistence way of life -- changed\ Fickus, Lill -- brother\ Venetie\ Allakaket\ welfare\ local jobs\ sternwheelers\ firefighting\ Bureau of Indian Affairs\ Yutana barge\ Coghill\ oil -- barrels|

Section 4: airplane -- traditional\ snowmachine\ hunting\ traplines\ Reakoff, Jack\ Hanky, John\ Fickus, Bill\ trap -- use airplanes\ North Fork\ fish\ gravel bars -- landing\ Septum, Bob\ McKinley Creek\ Bar Creek\ Austrians -- walk to Bettles\ John River\ park -- opposition to\ trophy hunting\ emergency gear|

Section 5: high water\ Fickus, Tim\ moose hunting\ story -- rescue\ Crevice Creek\ John River|

Section 6: sno-go\ airplane\ traditional\ caribou\ airplane -- traplines\ guiding\ subsistence hunting\ Reakoff, Jack\ park laws\ Anderson, Andy\ headwater lakes\ Alatna\ fuel caches\ wolf trap\ Anaktuvuk Pass\ Yukon Charley Rivers National Park\ National Park Service\ land -- not exploited\ grizzly bears\ sport hunting\ bear populations -- increased\ species ecology\ berry areas\ mining ground -- stacked\ copper mine\ plaster mining\ Fickus, Bill -- attitudes toward park\ Fickus, Lill -- attitudes toward park\ Hunt's Fork\ restrictions -- park\ visitors -- not many to park\ foreigners -- use park\ Allen River\ story -- boat capsizing\ gear -- recovery|

Section 7: Weinstock, June\ skiers\ Griffith, Dick\ Hunt's Fork\ frostbite -- story\ Bettles\ Fairbanks -- intensive care\ Griffith, Dick -- finished trip\ Allakaket trail\ Norwegians\ Bureau of Land Management\ bear|