• Continuity And Change In The Wiseman Area Of Alaska: A Look At Land And Renewable Resource Use Over Time

      Scott, Carol Patricia (1993)
      Land and renewable resource use by residents of the Wiseman area in the central Brooks Range of Alaska was investigated in 1991-1993. The study documents current and historic land and renewable resource use patterns of local residents, records resident and agency management concerns regarding these uses, and analyzes opportunities and constraints that exist for rural Alaskan communities in utilizing renewable resources. The research was accomplished through resident interviews, participant observation of community activities, and review of other community studies. Conclusions include: (1) the Wiseman community exhibits characteristics of a mixed subsistence/cash economy; (2) residents rely on resources harvested in the various local federal, state, and private land management units; and (3) the establishment of the nearby National Park, and the construction of the Dalton Highway, have significantly affected local resource use. The study also demonstrates how community involvement in research effectively allows comprehensive documentation of land and resource use. <p>
    • Evaluating And Designing Urban Food Systems: The Role Of Local Initiatives

      Meadow, Alison Maria (2009)
      In the search for solutions to environmental and human health problems linked to the dominant global food system, too much attention has been given to the scale of food systems and too little attention given to the specific practices and outcomes of various food system components and initiatives. The community of Fairbanks, Alaska is used to examine whether local-food system initiatives can improve an urban food system's social equity and environmental sustainability. Three studies of the current food system and nascent local-food system were conducted. The first study examines community-wide physical and economic access to fresh foods in general and locally grown foods in particular using surveys of local stores and spatial analysis of food-outlet locations. The second study examines local-food production at an individual scale at a community garden. Gardeners' reasons for participation, practices used, and amount of food produced are examined. A regionally scaled study speculates about the region's ability to meet the community's food and nutritional needs using only local resources and develops a tool, the local-food system footprint, to conduct such an assessment. The studies found that locally grown foods purchased at local outlets are less physically and economically accessible than comparable imports. However, local foods tend to be grown using sustainable practices and travel shorter distances than imports. Gardeners tend to participate in the activity for personal enjoyment with food production as an added benefit. On average, gardeners in the study offset the costs of gardening with the value of food produced, if labor costs are not included. The Fairbanks region could grow enough food to feed the current population, but the diet might be limited. The local food system footprint method could be a valuable tool to help communities identify needs, resources, and food-production priorities. Vulnerabilities in the food systems of urban areas must be addressed to ensure long-term, positive environmental and human-health outcomes. If local-food system initiatives are to be used in this capacity, more rigorous evaluation of local-food system components and practices as well as tools and frameworks appropriate to the task are required.