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By: James Gore King and Jim Rearden
Attending Alaska's Birds, author King's 60 year memoir, covers a dramatic period in Alaska's history, a time when the people increased five-fold to over 600 thousand. King arrived in Alaska in 1949 at the age of 21. He describes life as a pilot/game warden, a refuge manager, a flyway biologist and an expert at enumerating birds while whizzing over them in a small plane.
The story covers a series of accomplishments:
- Learning to fly in northern Alaska
- Game law enforcement for the pre-statehood Alaska Game Commission
- Banding 15 thousand ducks to assess a possible cost of the proposed Rampart Canyon Dam on the Yukon River
- Establishing the first headquarters for the enormous Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge at the Eskimo village of Bethel
- Flying the annual survey to provide a forecast for the number of ducks expected to be available for Pacific coast hunters each fall
- Providing the first description of the one million seabirds that nest at Cape Newenham resulting in designation of a new National Wildlife Refuge
- The first valid estimate of the number of Bald Eagles threatened by logging on Southeast Alaska's convoluted coast
- Drafting the plan that resulted in 7 new waterfowl refuges covering 22 million acres
- Planning and managing the first complete census of Alaska's Trumpeter Swans
- Experiences rearing rare waterfowl species on the edge of Juneau's tide flats.
This is a compelling narrative about Alaskan life, conservation issues, wild bird habits, history, geography, and personal adventure.
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