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Molly Kemp  

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Landmark trees; Molly Kemp  

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Landmark trees; Molly Kemp  

Environmental Recording 3:50 - 7:02 Play 3:50 - More
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Forest ambi  

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Environmental Recording 9:18 - 20:17 Play 9:18 - More
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Environmental Recording 21:35 - 26:09 Play 21:35 - More
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Interview 28:06 - 54:28 Play 28:06 - More
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Nick Olmstead  

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Wood worker discussion; Landmark trees; Nick Olmstead  

Environmental Recording 1:07:51 - 1:11:46 Play 1:07:51 - More
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"Kelp trumpet" demonstration  

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Environmental Recording 1:11:51 - :00 Play 1:11:51 - More
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Environmental Recording 1:18:45 - 1:20:20 Play 1:18:45 - More
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Environmental Recording 1:20:20 - 1:23:45 Play 1:20:20 - More
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NOOA weather radio broadcast  

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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
23 Jul 1998

    Geography
  • United States
    Alaska
    Sitka County
    Locality
  • Chichagof Island; Tenakee Inlet
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 57.83389   -135.42056
    Recording TimeCode
  • :03 - 1:16
    Geography
  • United States
    Alaska
    Sitka County
    Locality
  • Chichagof Island; Tenakee Springs
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 57.78083   -135.2225
    Recording TimeCode
  • :03 - 1:23:45
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 30
  • Sennheiser MKH 40
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo

NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Landmark Trees
DAT 4A log
reporter: Chris Joyce

Molly Kemp and Nick Olmstead and return to Juneau on boat

00:48 MK - talking about clear cuts and blow down

CJ - well it looks like something out of a WWI scene; almost as if we were bombed

1:19 ambi - quite forest ambi birds in bg - nice through 2:01

4:05 ambi - Marcia sittin gon beach - boat in bg - good squirrels, some talking - very faint - in bg at times, but not all the way through - a lot of flies swooping by - through 7:02

7:45 ambi - forest behind MK¿s house - some talking )very faint) in bg NG - too much talking

8;27 - ambi in forest - birds - good birds - but in distance (talking in bg) through 9:06

**9:17 ambi - forest behind MK¿s house - nice birds - boat goes by - boat gets louder - some talking starts at 12:46 through 16:06 - some eagles in bg

16:25 6:20 in pm in forest by MK¿s house - birds - 17:06 a clank in bg , flies - - loud forest - birds 18:25 another bang - 19:00 someone yelling in bg -

20:21 plane overhead?

Crackling sound in bg¿..??

21: 31 garden ambi - facing water through 22:41

22:59 ambi in garden - away from ocean - some talking in bg 24:22 Marcia raises level a bit - some talking in bg ¿. THROUGH 26:11

27:31 NICK OLMSTEAD interview - in Nick¿s woodshop - July 23 in the morning

CJ - you were talking about how you get power to run tools

28:10 NO - we have solar power solar panels that charge our batteries but for running our power tools there is no other way we can provide power so we do have a couple of generators

CJ - those 2 solar panels - that is all you need to run the tools

28:25 NO - right now those panels - they are not in the right place - they are supposed to be on the roof, but we redid the roof¿

28:37 CJ - but I am just surprised you can get that much power out of that

28:39 NO - if our battery bank is good that is enough in the summer for lights and running the radio - that sort of use in the summer

28:49 CJ - well let¿s have a look around and see how you operate the shop

28:56 NO - well the bldg itself was real fun project - 29:16 the bldg itself is timber frame which is a real old style of bldg and as a wood working project that was really fun and more challenging that the typical 2 by 4 construction - with all the mornis (?) and tenons (?) and pinning things together - so that in itself was fun. I would like to point out in this bldg that every piece of wood was chain saw milled -

29:43 CJ - how does that work? (cutting off Nick) How do you do chain saw milling - bc it is something that is obviously alien to most people -

29:49 NO - well, the (CJ- has a word in here) chain saw (in the clear) is pretty standard. It is what everyone here has for firewood. And there is an attachment that you clamp on to the bar of the chain saw that then helps cuts the flat boards, and once you have a flat surface you can keep cutting more boards off it. And in a various other details (slurs these words) you are cutting vertical or horizontal (clearer) and hard to explain all that, but basically you can start with a tree, and with the tools we have btwn the chain saw mill and these other tools we can take it down anything we want for working on the house. 30:20

30:21 CJ - and now - where do you get most of your wood for bldg your house and bldg the bldgs and the -

30:26 NO - some of it was trees that were cut around the house here - a lot of hemlock, and the beams here are out of spruce which we got across the inlet, cut them on the site and then towed them home. And those are on Forest Service land and there is a program for being able to use the trees on Forest Service land, for your own use. 30:48

30:52 CJ - you built - I don¿t know - but how many trees would it take to build all of this compound?

30:58 NO - that would be pretty hard to say. 31:06 - well it is like looking at the log house, it is different. You know those are smaller individual trees. It would be pretty hard to say. Again, the part that you want to use for the milling to make lumber is usually the bottom part of the tree and the whole top part of the tree, once you get into more branches, gets cut up for other uses - firewood, and less desirable lumber with the bigger knots. 31:32

CJ - and it is hemlock -

NO - 31:33 - that is ??/that much trees - NOT CLEAR - 31:36 and we pretty much use either hemlock or spruce . and a lot of people like to use the spruce for construction. It is lighter. And I think often the hemlock is not considered very good, which I never really understood. All our inside paneling in the house is hemlock - CJ - it is beautiful - NO - and it gets real harder and nice grain, and it is great for inside.

31:57 CJ - I was noticing - what do you use to fill in the chinks?

32:00 NO - on the house - when Molly started doing that it was various material, any kind of insulation stuff in btwn. It kind of went through and evolution. And what ended up being it¿s commercially made stuff, I think the call it permachink. For chinking - that particular thing is pretty modern ¿and it is made to look like this cement

32:27 CJ - can you just give us a little tour of the equipment and what you have got here?

32:36 NO - well bc of the size of this shop I have slowly built up getting some of these power tools. And bc of the size of the shop I have to limit myself to the slightly smaller models. It is all these bench top - bench top table saw, and planer and -

32:53 CJ - this here - this is the bench top?

32:53 NO - that is the bench top table saw, and I just build a stand to make it the height you want 33:00

CJ - I can see you got a -

33:02 NO - a ban saw (CJ - ban saw ), a lathe, drill press and numerous hand powered tools

CJ - that¿s a - what would you call that?

33:12 NO - that is an old fashion cross cut, a hand cross cut saw, which we don¿t cut firewood with anymore.

33:17 CJ - I have heard a term- a misery saw, in oregon. Is that what that is?

33:21 NO - I have heard that reference, yeah.

CJ - meaning it is miserable to use it.

NO - 33:24 - especially when they were ripping lumber with that kind of a saw, with a hand saw. 33:29

Jess - what is that round thing up there?

33:36 NO - that is the mold to the mandolin I think you are pointing to

33:40 CJ - can we take a look at it?

33:45 NO - this a mold of the body to make the mandolin

CJ - and you made the mandolin from local wood?

33:53 NO the top is out of the local spruce and the sides and the back I made out of a naroko (?) - and this is what is used to shape the sides on

34:05 CJ - and I understand some other people here make instrument tops from the local spruce.

34:09 NO Yeah there is a fellow that is cutting , collecting - mostly salvaging - spruce to use for guitar tops and he is only getting them to a certain rough condition and then those are sent to companies or individuals who want to make the instruments. 34:25

34:26 CJ - would you say that a lot of people do salvage, or make use of salvage timber here?

34:36 NO - well, like what he was doing was some w/quite old logs so that the outside starts to rot but the inside is still good. And some of the stuff that we¿ve cut, if we find logs on the beach we will use those. So some of it is salvage and some of it is cutting down a few new trees. That is one of the things that we have always complained about - was that the logs that get away from the logging operation are often not used. They just end up staying on the beach.

CJ - 35:04When you say get away - they came off of rafts?

NO - 35:06 mostly during the towing process.

35:11 CJ - I was looking through the Tenakee book that the people of Tenakee wrote, including Molly, and I see the term subsistence, and for a lot of people - some people associate that with south american indians living on subsistence. They don¿t think of people in the US living what is called a subsistence life. How would you define subsistence life in the forest like this and what do you need to do to make it work?

35:41 NO - I think it is real hard here and I think that is why the state legislature is having hard time defining it and when you are looking at people living in the amazon jungle or some place it probably is quite different - bc our (slurred together) mix of technology here is so strange. We have an outhouse and we have 2 computers in the house. No hot running water - we have solar panels. So it is a strange mixture that way but we do depend a lot on the local - with the example of the wood. Using the local wood - firewood - and building - and any products to sell on the small scale, and also using the deer and fish, gardens - you know, that part of it. 36:23 - and like most people we also leave for part of the season to go for a more regular income sort of work.

36:35 CJ - so most people here - or everyone here - needs to go somewhere to earn some kind of money to live this kind of lifestyle.

36:41 NO - not everybody. There is handful of local jobs that are full time enough, and other people will get by on very little 36:47

CJ - do you mind if I ask you how much cash do you need to get by ¿¿. How much cash do you need to subsidize that kind of life?

37:06 NO that is really hard to say, and what you need would be very different from what you want. I like buying some of these power tools I have to work for that. I think to live here and just subsist and survive on a lower standard you wouldn¿t need very much at all. 37:27

CJ - a few thousand dollars?

37:30 NO I think you could. I think the way I used to live before living here I could easily live on that much.

37:38 CJ- it is just not - it is a lifestyle that you rarely see in the lower 48 ¿.

37:56 NO - we really appreciate having the opportunity of having the resources here - and, you just don¿t have that everywhere else. And most of the time there are just too many people. And that is why we are so worried about the resources here being abused too quickly - used up too quickly - that that life style won¿t be as possible 38:18 and right now it is still pretty good for getting fish and deer - that kind of use for the local resources ; it is really nice to be able to do that here. 38:28

38:48 NO - from a wood working standpoint - something that has always bothered me and our various discussions with the forest service and the logging issue - that people that are not involved in wood don¿t understand the difference in good quality wood and old growth wood compared to new growth. And I have always been amazed at how that issue slips by. And they often talk about the volume that can be grown and the amount of time and that that is all great - the faster the better. And in the qualityof the wood you know that is totally the opposite. You want to the tight grain old growth slow growing wood, and that is what you just can¿t achieve in a fast growing crop - you know the way they like to talk about the rotation, cut it again in a hundred years - you know you will never get that - to get the kind of wood to make beams like this, or to make the tar tops - you are not going to get that in a hundred year old tree. 39:39

CJ - do you have diff ex of wood that you can show us that are example of that?

39:43 NO - yeah.

CJ - let¿s have a look.

Outside his shed on porch:

40:10 NO well look at this as an example - this is hemlock but the wood is all tight, you know - grain close together - and that is desirable for a lot of the woodworking applications. You want the grain close together - and in this orientation when it is running vertical to the board is real desirable for certain kind of uses. It doesn¿t shrink and swell as much in the width of the board. And in your guitar tops, they will all look like this with this straight pin stripped kind of look. As opposed to this board here which is a flat grain orientation you don¿t have the pin stripes.

CJ- and these are both hemlock?

40:45 NO - this one I believe is spruce and this is hemlock. 41:07 - as an ex of the difference - here is a commercial 2 x 4. And this is all wide grain. This is the center of the tree with some knots coming out here. so the lumber that you buy now, if we - we don¿t buy them any more, but occasionally you get a hold of a commercial 2 x 4 - it is just amazing the poor quality and the stuff that used to be considered a - the stuff they use now is just knots and wide grain - (CJ - so) NO - that is the diff is you are not able to cut big trees s you just can¿t get that quality. So you know using those old trees on a real small scale is what I would picture as being desirable - realize how valuable that is. It is not going to be replaced unless you are willing to wait for several hundred years or more.

42:02 CJ- but form the point of view of somebody like yourself who likes to work with old growth wood it means you will pay a lot more for it.

NO it will be more expensive as it becomes more scarce. I mean you buy some of this in a store - if you can find it - very much in that quality it will be quite expensive.

CJ - well will that put it out of the reach for you?

42:23 NO - it would - if we had to buy all of that quality wood out of the store. If you could find it at all - like the yellow cedar I have used on for building the boat - the best qualityof that can be quite expensive in a store. 42:39

CJ- but the idea of cutting down, reducing, the amount of cutting of old growth and obviously you are not going to be able to regenerate it if you keep going at the rate it is going now - it is just going to disappear ¿.but that means obviously paying a lot more for what is available. If you reduce the old growth cutting by 50 or 90 percent.

43¿05 NO - I don¿t think it is quite that simple the way that the politics and economics get so strange that it is not as simple as cutting an old growth here that will be available for me to buy old growth. 43:23

43:30 NO - I guess the - I think a lot of the demand here that we see which has been a lot of it for pulp like at the mill, that that particular thing is really strange - is there really a demand and - I think the shortsightedness of some of our policies where the - with the ex of the japanese¿¿.

44:06 CJ - if I understand correctly, a lot of the good old growth is going for 2 x 4 or for studs or for construction when they really should be conserved and used for high quality use

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