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Pat Pourchot came to Alaska in 1972 from Denver, Colorado. He worked for the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation on land issues related federal conservation units (known as D-2 lands) as outlined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and the subsequent Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). His primary duties included the study of areas for possible designation as Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Historic Trails. He also has worked as a land planner for the Alaska Federation of Natives, legislative aide to Senator Mike Gravel, legislative director for Governor Tony Knowles, Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources during the Knowles administration, served as a representative in the Alaska legislature, and was Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior for Alaska Affairs during the Obama administration. While working for Senator Gravel, in 1977, Pat helped draft and initiate the legislation for national historic trail designation for the Iditarod Trail. Pat is an avid hiker, cross-country skier, and river traveler, and has explored many of Alaska's wild places.