U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
BLM-Alaska Campground Icons Retire
This year, Jim and Cathy declared it would be their last season here. They had achieved several goals and were ready to try something new. Ironically, this last year proved to be one of their most interesting and challenging. It started when Alaska refused to thaw in May and then temperatures suddenly jumped upwards of 70 degrees. Paxson Lake and the Gulkana River went into a record flood stage.
The campground boat launch area went completely under ice and water. A picnic table was deposited 12 feet up in a tree, interpretive panels stands were mowed over and Sourdough Creek threatened the access bridge to the campground. At Paxson Campground culverts were washed-out, preventing access to the second camping loop. It was the first time in the history of the campgrounds that they were closed for Memorial Day weekend. Jim and Cathy helped to tackle all of these challenges with their normal tenacity, despite this being their last year here.
On September 17, 2013, Cathy and Jim hung up their BLM-GFO hats and were recognized by their friends and coworkers. “It’s the end of an era,” lamented BLM GFO Outdoor Recreation Planner and Volunteer Host Coordinator, Marcia Butorac. “Your work ethic, enthusiasm, quality customer service, and commitment to excellence right to the last day cannot be duplicated.” Cathy and Jim thanked everyone and replied, “We’ll miss you guys, but it’s just time to do something different. We’ll be back,” but then quickly added, “at least to say hello.”
BLM-Alaska welcomes applications for volunteer campground hosts. Visit this BLM website to learn more: www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/fo/gdo/Volunteer_Campground_Host.html
—Marnie Graham, Public Affairs Specialist