There are some basic FAQs and questions that are coming up about the Stand for the Man in Black fundraiser.
I thought I would answer them here for you to understand what the ramifications of loosing the aircraft are for Pioneer Outfitters, the community of Chisana and those who come to Chisana and the Wrangell St. Elias National Park to enjoy it’s incredible gifts and beauty.
So, here are the answers (FAQs) to Stand for the Man in Black.
How many bales of hay and bags of grain do you need in the winter?
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.
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.
How many people are supported by Pioneer Outfitters? How many people live in the Chisana Community?
The number of people that live with Pioneer Outfitters in Chisana of course varies. At this time, there are 10 people one of which is a child who live here year-round. There have been and will be during different periods of time (high seasons) an average of 7 to 10 more people who live and work with us for 2 to 3 months at a time.
We call the area that the Community of Chisana lives at “The Other End” as 3 miles away and they all live within an acre or two of each other. The number of year-round residents that can vary too of course ranges between 5-8 with that number growing to between 10-20 during the Summer and Fall months.
Pioneer Outfitters do not per-say “support” any of the numbers that live with us. We support one another and each of us that live and work for and with Pioneer Outfitters provides a valuable contribution to the whole and the Team. We are a family and we support one another.
What kinds and how much fuel do you have flown into Chisana?
- Diesel 3,650 gallons per year
- Gasoline 750 gallons per year
- Propane 700 pounds per year
- Oil 40 gallons per year
The diesel is used for the generators that keep the power, Internet and phone system for the Community running. (Only the phone system is community-wide.) The diesel is also used for the heavy equipment like D-6 and Case CAT for things like plowing the airstrips and other massive jobs that require the huge equipment.
The gasoline that is flown in is for running the chainsaws for wood cutting that fills the stoves we use for heat as well as for running the water pump, snowmachines and ATV’s we use for hauling wood, water and traveling to the mail boxes two miles away where the plane lands with the mail and freight at all times except for during the winter when they land on our airstrip the majority of the time.
The propane is used for cooking and the oil keeps every engine running smoothly and properly.
How often do you fly and how far?
How often Terry flies his airplane is incredibly difficult to answer. Especially trying to be completely accurate.
Ok. Most often, when Terry flies out of Chisana he has one of two destinations in mind. Northway, Alaska is 80 miles away. It takes 30 minutes in the Cessna 206 and 55 minutes in the Piper Super Cub to fly to Northway (ORT). From here, Terry can drive 7 miles from the airstrip to the Alaska Highway where he can get fuel or possibly a few groceries, although there is rarely anything in the way of groceries or supplies on the shelves in the village store.
Flying into Tok, Alaska takes 45 minutes in the Cessna 206 and approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes in the Piper Super Cub. In Tok, diesel, propane, gasoline, oil, groceries and supplies may be had within a five mile radius of the airstrip.
Flying out of Chisana and into Northway or Tok are 95% of the time fuel runs. Groceries are always added depending on availability in Northway and if and where there is room, no matter which destination and the other 5% of the time are mainly for replenishing fresh foods, family gatherings or doctor appointments.
The majority of our own grocery and supply shopping is done and stored in Chisana 3 times a year in Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska which involves multiple flights to bring everything home after driving from and back to Northway in one of our own vehicles kept there for this purpose.
The majority of flying Terry generally does, that is done almost daily at some periods during the year, is to locate and keep track of the range horses by air as well as to discover any changes or dangers in the terrain for riders from the ever changing rivers and creeks flooding, forest fires and ice flows and break-ups.
The flying Terry does in Chisana is almost always done in the Piper Super Cub for maneuverability and the capability it has (with a real honest-to-goodness-Alaska-bush-pilot) for landing dang near anywhere.
How many rescues have you (Terry Overly) made?
(~ I asked that Master Guide Terry Overly answer this one, himself.)
“That’s a hard one to answer. There has not been a single year since I began flying in the Wrangell Mountains that I have not been called upon to find a lost or over-due hiker, dog sled team or snowmachiner.
Last summer, I was called on two different times to locate a man and his wife who were riding horses cross-country from Argentina across Alaska to Mt. McKinley. On both occasions he was overdue at his expected rendezvous and both times I located him and his position to those waiting for them.
I have been called upon to rescue and evacuate women and children from the White River during massive flooding, winds and mud slides.
I have made emergency supply flights for stranded parties and reported their locations for the authorities searching for them numerous times.
I have been called by the USGS and National Geographic Teams to help them find trails they were unable to find on the ground and get them back on the routes they got turned around searching for.
I have medevac’d one person with a massive firearm injury into Northway where I was met by the Emergency Medevac with twin engine aircraft immediately transferred the patient and flew into Anchorage.
Another time, I with my Cubby were called on to fly into another Outfitter’s hunting camp to rescue and evac a 65 year-old man who had badly broken his leg and the Emergency Medevac couldn’t reach because of very turbulent winds and couldn’t get down onto the airstrip.
I was called, again for Cubby (Piper Super Cub rated Experimental) and my own experience, to land on a “5,000’ high mud ball” airstrip to retrieve 4 FAA personnel during a late September snow storm. They had been hunting caribou and the air taxi that had dropped them off could not get back into them to fly them out. They ended up staying with us in Chisana for 2 days before the weather cleared enough to be picked up.
There are more. Sadly, they were not all rescues. Some were simply to find the remains of down aircraft’s. There is never a reason to refuse. We are given the skills we have to use and if we ever have a chance to use the skills we are given for other’s good, even once, then it is good.” ~Master Guide Terry Overly
EXACTLY what is the money raised to be used for?
~ To replace the aircraft lost to the fire on 9-16-13.
Was there no insurance?
~ We are unable to insure against fire as there is no fire department/ rescue available to the community.
How does “The Man in Black” having an airplane do anything at all for the community of Chisana?
~ Having an airplane allows us to haul our own fuel, which keeps the generators running that supplies the power for the phone system and company that provides phones for the entire community. It allows us to offer our guests and clients the comfort and safety of that airplane in this wilderness. Standing ready, whenever it may be needed.
Terry has flown for other people’s lost horses and lost dogs of course, but he has also searched for and found lost hikers, hunters that were injured, planes that have gone down, snowmobilers that had broken down and were in danger of freezing. He has landed his plane in running water and rescued families from flooding, taking off just in time to watch the cabin be washed away. He has answered numerous calls for help when an elderly neighbor is injured or falls ill, never accepting anything in return.
What do you plan to use any remaining or even extra money raised by this fundraiser for?
~ The long term goal is to create a space in Chisana, surrounded by the wilderness to facilitate groups, teams and companies being flown into so that they may gather, study, network and become stronger together.
People who may not be looking to go on a great Wilderness Adventure, but to be surrounded and be part of one, away from the hustle and distractions of the world. An Inn with a Great Rooms for conferences, equipped with the same Wi-Fi that we already operate with. A comfortable and informal gathering place that affords the privacy and peace so many are looking for but with the added space so that larger groups of people can be accommodated.
~~~~~~~~~>So there they are! If you have any other questions about this fundraiser or the hows, whats and whys, please feel welcome and free to leave them in the comments and I will answer them promptly for you!
This fundraiser, Stand for the Man in Black, #Stand4theManinBlack, is very important to so many for so many reasons. Please help me to Stand for the Man in Black by standing with me and sharing this with your own world and people and asking them to do the same.