The feedback from our first stage of the Stand for the Man in Black fundraiser was mostly centered around helping others to understand just how crucial an airplane is to the survival of not only a business, but also the horses and community of Chisana. With the effort of keeping it simple, I will use the range horses that live here in the Chisana Valley to help you to understand what is happening.
“Put this into words so that others can understand, even conceive of, what you are saying about survival.”
The cost of NOT having an airplane is beyond any simple explanation.
The fact remains that the LACK of airplane carrying supplies, food, animal feed and fuel is killing the community. We are now dependent on twice-weekly-space-available-deliveries of food, clothing, mail, fuel, feed, and more at $.40 per pound. The community of Chisana is suffering.
The community relies on the faith and trust each person has in Terry (the Man in Black) carrying what is needed (fuel and large supplies like lumber) because he can. “Because he can.” Never for profit. Not for thanks. But only because he is capable and it is something he can do for others.
“Give us an example.”
For example: A #25 pound bag of horse feed costs $21.00. To fly it into Chisana, (if there is space available on one of the two days per week the air charter service flies into Chisana) it will cost $25.00. The total cost of one bag of horse feed (delivered to Chisana) is $46.00.
Using an average of 30 horses, and again using an average of 15 of those horses needing to be supported throughout the 4 harshest Alaska winter months, we would feed 150 bales (70# bales of timothy hay) per month equaling #600 bales of hay during the winter. In addition to the hay fed daily, we would also feed 6 tons of sweet feed (a mix of barley, oats and molasses) and 4 tons of alfalfa pellets to those same horses to support these 15 horses that could not range.
- 150 70# bales of timothy hay =10,500 pounds
- 6 Tons sweet feed =12,000 pounds
- 4 tons alfalfa pellets = 8,000 pounds
This totals 30,500 pounds of freight at $.40 per pound equals $12,200.00 for freight alone to be paid on top of buying the hay and feed for the horses.
Horses, Keeping it Simple
The needs of the horses vary of course and the number of horses that need to be fully supported with no grazing on wild grasses also varies. Normally speaking, even the horses that tend to need us humans to help them along rarely need our assistance before the second week in December.
Once they begin needing us however, we cannot abandon this focus until some point in April when the river conditions deteriorate to the point of hazards and risks in safety crossing the rotting ice and the snows have left enough that they (the horses) no longer have need or wish to see us (baring gifts of free feed or not).
These are range horses and they prefer to pretend for as long as they can that they are wild and free. The range horses that live in Chisana with us, year round, are as much a part of our Team as the Professional Guides who live and work with us. They carry us across icy and dangerous waters, carry supplies to keep our guests and clients comfortable and give us all something only a horse can.
Stand for the Man in Black II is a matter of survival. Survival of a way of life, of anyone who finds themselves in need, here in the wilderness, the range horses, a near-century old business, a community and the very real survival of a spiritual place humanity needs to know is available to them.
Stand for the Man in Black… because he will stand for us all… because he will provide the fuel to keep the generators running and communications open and operational… he will provide the horse feed to keep the horses alive… he will search endlessly for a lost loved one and find the way to get to them… he will assure that Pioneer Outfitters remains always the guiding force in the Wrangell Mountains, sharing all we know, all we find with anyone who wishes the experience.
Here is more on #Stand4theManinBlack :