A spatial genealogy
Back in April, 2022, Steve Merli and I helped get the word out about a tracking workshop our former colleague, Kevin O’Malley, was planning to bring to Áak’w Aaní from his current home on Puget Sound. His organization, South Sound Nature School, teamed with Marcus Reynerson of Cybertracker North America and Guuy Yaaw’, Gene Tagaban, to offer a certification course, plus a more informal day of tracking with Discovery staff. After our interview with Claire Stremple, KTOO, the classes filled, with largely Southeast Alaskan enrollees.
At the end of July, 2022, 17 of us naturalists, from beginners to longtime trackers, hiked out to Scout Camp in search of animal sign. I spent several days afterward journaling some of what we learned. That journal and a stout dose of nostalgia are here.
Everything is a track
As Merli and I have long observed, we’re not just tracking the impressions of otter feet on Outer Beach sands; those sands themselves are tracks, of a glacier 5 miles inland that milled them from granodiorite bedrock; of L’ux—murkywater river—who tumbled them seaward as bedload; and of northerly gales that cut and fill, molding the delta southeastward.
From William Kunz, born 1875, we may suppose that a vanished clanhouse bench at Asx‘ée was the second most important cultural site in Áak’w Aaní. My 2010 slideshow on that proposition has been uploaded here for streaming.