Meet Lewis Pagel, an Edgerton, Wisconsin native, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh alum and a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan who moved to the Arctic town of Kotzebue, Alaska 10 years ago. We couldn’t think of anyone better to tell us why we should watch the three-part Wild Alaska Live starting this Sunday night at 7 on Wisconsin Public Television to learn about the natural beauty and wonders of America’s last frontier! We’ll be watching, Lew!
Watch a trailer below for the three-part series, hosted by the Kratt brothers, that will continue Wednesday, July 26 and Sunday, July 30.
What motivates someone to spend months of their life looking for and following bears? Serious question – I can’t come up with anything. I feel like most people spend their lives hoping to never come face to face with a bear that isn’t on the other side of a twenty-foot pit and a cage.
I guess someone had to do it or we’d be left without ever knowing what bears are really like in everyday life or how they interact with each other. Of course, we now also have the benefit of knowing what not to do around bears to avoid getting mauled.
Most Americans are familiar with FDR’s New Deal projects such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Public Works of Art Project. But I’m willing to bet few have ever heard of the Matanuska Colonization Project of 1935 – one of the more controversial programs in which the U.S. government relocated 202 families from the Midwest to the wilderness of Alaska to start an experimental farming colony.
I first learned of the project when Joan Juster, co-director of the documentary Alaska Far Away stopped by my desk with some historical photos of the project and a copy of the documentary. By this point, WPT’s Director’s Cut had already seen the film and decided the rest of Wisconsin should too. You can see the film that illustrates the despair of the Great Depression, the creative energy of the New Deal, and the adventure of pioneering in Alaska Thursday night on WPT. At 9 p.m. just before the film, catch Charles Monroe-Kane’s interview with directors Joan Juster and Paul Hill, who spent much of the last two decades recording the stories of Matanuska’s residents.