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John Borg
John Borg

John Borg was interviewed on August 27, 1991 by Dan O'Neill at the post office in Eagle, Alaska. John is easy-going and though generally unhappy about the National Park Service presence in Eagle, he speaks without rancor, or even much visible emotion, about the effects of the establishment of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. The recording includes extraneous noises, as, periodically, mail box doors clatter when people come in to check their mail, and John monitors airplane radio transmissions. When pilots call him to ask the wind conditions, he leans over his desk to look up the flag pole outside, then, depending on how the banner waves, he passes on his estimate of wind speed and direction. In this interview, John talks about living in Eagle and the local reaction against the National Park Service and the establishment of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. He also talks about regulation and management issues surrounding subsistence, preservation, and development.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 91-22-20

Project: Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
Date of Interview: Aug 27, 1991
Narrator(s): John Borg
Interviewer(s): Dan O'Neill
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) His background and personal history

2) Why Eagle has been such an interesting place to live

3) Aencies that came to Eagle to get public input on land management

4) The initial National Park Service involvement in the area

5) Local reaction to the Antiquities Act and to ANILCA.

6) The protest against use of the Antiquities Act to set aside land for parks, and the inequity he sees in the federal government's treatment of Alaska

7) Regulations concerning subsistence use of the preserve area

8) People living subsistence lifestyles along the river and in other remote situations, and why he thinks they are important

9) Applying the Lower-48 type of National Park Service concept of preserving landscape and protecting areas from large-scale development to the Yukon-Charley area

10) How he believes Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve will not prevent development which the federal government or the energy industries are ready to pursue

11) How it seems to him that "the only people who are making an impact on the park are the park people"

12) Studies and preservation activities of the National Park Service in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

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Section 1: Borg, John\ Fort Richardson\ Borg, Betty\ Eagle Roadhouse\ Eagle Post Office\ Helmer, Ralph\ Helmer, Susie\ lifestyles - rural|

Section 2: lifestyle - changing\ Eagle|

Section 3: U.S. Forest Service\ Bureau of Land Management\ National Park Service\ federal agencies - land management\ ANCSA\ land management - public input\ Eagle - attitudes\ land use - historical\ land - intangible values\ lifestyle - subsistence\ bush living - challenges\ river people|

Section 4: Brown, Bill\ "The Funny Book"\ land management - public input\ National Park Service - planning\ regulations - subsistence\ subsistence - future of\ Eagle - attitudes\ANILCA\ Antiquities Act\ National Park Service - impact|

Section 5: Eagle - attitudes\ protests - signs\ statehood act\ state land - selection\ land conveyance\ Native land claims\ Antiquities Act\ federal land selection - inequities\ private land\ guides and outfitters\ federal agencies - land management\ regulations - enforcement\ federal agencies - harassment\ Bureau of Land Management\ Brown, Bill\ trespass - enforcement\ hunting\ trespass - cabins\ ANILCA\ subsistence - non-Native\ trapping\ gold rush - impact\ resources - development\ "lock-up" of resources\ state's rights\ Alaska - federal government treatment of|

Section 6: Antiquities Act\ protests - signs\ federal agencies - land management\ Eagle - attitudes\ local versus national interests\ legislation - federal lands|

Section 7: regulations - subsistence\ subsistence - non-Native\ cabins - permits\ subsistence - future of\ ANILCA\ land use - historical\ Yukon-Charley - regulations\ river people - impact\ subsistence lifestyle - impact\ river people - attrition\ wild fires - impact\ federal agencies - harassment|

Section 8: bush living - significance\ subsistence lifestyle - benefits\ lifestyle - subsistence\ bush living - challenges\ river people - attrition\ bush living - technology\ bush living - supplies\ bush living - transportation\ cabins - benefit\ Star City\ cabins - impact|

Section 9: Hickel, Walter\ Rampart Dam\ national energy policy\ resources - development\ pipelines - water\ Doyon - resource development\ Eagle - attitudes\ development - necessity of\ oil industry - power|

Section 10: resources - development\ national energy policy\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ energy - conservation\ lifestyle - rural|

Section 11: National Park Service - concept of preservation\ Yukon-Charley - impact\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ impact - park organization\ goals - studies\ seasonal employees - impact\ cabins - restoration\ National Park Service - concept of history\ Mihalic, Dave\ bureaucracy - growth of\ government spending|

Section 12: National Park Service - concept of history\ National Park Service - concept of preservation\ Yukon-Charley - goals\ Chase, Don|