Monthly Membership Meetings
Membership meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month from 5:00PM to 6:00PM Alaska Standard Time, Call in 866-556-2149 CODE: 8169747#
Please join us:Tuesday, November 19 for our monthly Friends teleconference.
"So Long and Farewell"
Leeanne Ayers, Manager for the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge
is retiring from the USFWS this winter after 30 years of resource work in Northwest Alaska. She came to Kotzebue in 1983 to study behavioral and foraging ecology of Dall sheep for her master's project and simply never left. She began her working career as the first Wildlife Biologist for the the National Park Service's Western Alaska Parklands and then worked as the Assistant Area Biologist for ADF&G based in Kotzebue. Her career with the USFWS and Selawik NWR began in 2000 when she added flying to her job description and became their Biologist/Pilot. Leeanne took the helm as Refuge Manager in 2003. She has been a strong advocate and supporter for Friends of Alaska's National Wildlife Refuges.
Leeanne will share some of the highlights of her interesting career as a wildlife biologist, pilot and refuge manager.
Poppy Benson, Public Programs Supervisor for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
Seventy years after young men fought and died on remote, wind-swept Attu Island in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the USFWS honored their sacrifices with the dedication of a new interpretive site on Attu. Poppy will present a short video of the dedication ceremony of the Battle of Attu and present material on the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument in honor of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Attu.
Three interpretive panels describe the Battle of Attu, the fate of the Attu villagers and a timeline of WWII in Alaska. Redwood benches, made by veterans, allow contemplation of the now peaceful scene on the uninhabited island.
The Battle of Attu was the only WWII land battle in the United States. This 19-day battle in May, 1943 ended the year long Japanese occupation of Attu. It has been described as the 2nd deadliest battle in the Pacific Theater. Over 500 Americans and 2400 Japanese died on Attu. The wars sites, part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge since 1913, are also now part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument created in 2008 by President George W. Bush.
Video: Attu Remembered