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Heidi Schoppenhorst, Part 2
Heidi Schoppenhorst

This is a continuation of the interview with Heidi Schoppenhorst on November 16, 2006 by Marie Mitchell at the Boreal Lodge in Wiseman, Alaska that Heidi and her husband, Scott, own. In this second part of a two part interview, Heidi talks about appreciating the lifestyle of Wiseman, the beauty of the surrounding wilderness, the importance of good resource management along the Haul Road corridor to protect the area, and interacting with tourists.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2006-28-02_PT.2

Project: Dalton Highway
Date of Interview: Nov 16, 2006
Narrator(s): Heidi Schoppenhorst
Interviewer(s): Marie Mitchell
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) Newcomers to the community and living an independent lifestyle

2) Appreciation for life in Wiseman

3) Changes in Wiseman and sharing an appreciation for the wilderness with visitors.

4) Protecting the wilderness of the area

5) Careful management of the resources

6) The tourist experience

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


Section 1: Newcomers to the community and living an independent lifestyle.
Wiseman\ visitors\ residents\ accommodations\ Hicker, Berni\ hunting\ German\ people -- returning\ community\ socializing\ isolation\ visiting\ lifestyle -- independent\ emergency\ people -- help from|

Section 2: Heidi has a growing appreciation for Wiseman and the lifestyle. As a youth, she did not appreciate Wiseman. As she traveled and worked different jobs, she realized her fortune. She enjoys Wiseman and the environment. She has everything she needs. For a youth, it is hard not to have a social life. All kids need friends. Yet, she realizes that the skills she learned were very practical skills. Everyday she uses the skills she learned, and feels more versatile. She can get a variety of jobs because she is self-reliant. Her sons are learning similar skills. Both she and her husband have to work. Eventually, they hope their lodge business will allow them to be self-employed, and not have to work for others.
Wiseman -- appreciation of\ lifestyle\ youth -- impressions of Wiseman\ friends -- few\ purpose -- need for\ travel -- reasons for\ affect of\ Wiseman -- challenges\ youth\ childhood -- skills\ practical\ skills -- versatile\ self-reliant\ children -- sons\ Boreal Lodge -- hopes for\ self-employment|

Section 3: Sharing the lifestyle and wilderness of Wiseman with visitors and helping them appreicate the importance of spending time in wild country.
Wiseman\ community -- change\ people -- types of\ construction\ visitors\ diversity\ urban people\ remote experience\ wilderness\ tourism\ travel -- road\ travel -- affordability\ wilderness -- benefits of\ experience -- sharing\ knowledge -- sharing|

Section 4: Wiseman area is unspoiled, it is a real wilderness. The area can be easily abused with wrong decisions or misunderstanding of the arctic area. The arctic environment is sensitive. Lawmakers need to watch how the country is managed. Look at all of the United States. The Arctic is the last of the wilderness. This area gives people a chance to see wilderness, where the base of life is. Heidi says, "If you are in a city, you can only do certain things. So, if you came up here maybe, you would feel more self-reliant, and strengthen your nature. Nice to have a (wilderness) park without the signs (and shopping centers), but with a real wilderness."
Wiseman -- remote\ wilderness\ environment -- sensitive\ Arctic -- misunderstandings of\ management of\ public policy -- lawmakers\ Arctic -- last frontier\ wilderness -- natural state\ preservation|

Section 5: She feels the laws in place are covering a diverse user group for the Haul Road and it is working pretty well, but she cautions about the need to keep an eye on resource management. For example, opening up access to ATV use along the Haul Road corridor was going to cause damage and was a really bad idea. This is an important place for the local people who live here as well as for the world. Fifty percent of the visitors come from other countries. There is a need to balance preservation with freedom to do what you want.
Wiseman -- pristine\ wilderness\ Arctic -- fragile\ environment\ lawmakers -- natural resource management\ United States -- wilderness\ wilderness -- comparisons\ Arctic -- last wilderness area\ preservation -- reasons for\ Arctic -- effect of|

Section 6: Heidi has talked with many people who have experienced the backcountry. She finds that people really enjoy being out in the Arctic, with no one around and no communications. When people visit the area, it is a life changing experience, a spiritual experience. According to Heidi, "This area makes people feel more self-reliant, and that makes one feel better about themselves."
tourists -- interaction with\ tourists -- experience\ positive\ Haul Road -- impression of\ Wiseman -- impression of\ nostalgic\ spiritual\ life changing|