By Chris Cocoles
Our Alaska Sporting Journal cover story is on the popular Discovery Channel reality show, Alaska: The Last Frontier. Correspondent Luke Kelly, who just happens to be an avid watcher of the show that chronicles the homesteading Kilcher family of Homer, Alaska, submitted a series of questions that were answered by Atz Lee Kilcher, son of the family’s current patriarch, Atz Kilcher, whose father Yule Kilcher immigrated to the U.S. from Switzerland and settled on Alaska with the intention of living a simple life away from bright lights and big (or even little) cities. Atz Lee’s answers were rather short, but they seemed adequate enough to capture what the Kilchers are all about. Here are a couple of Atz Lee’s responses to Luke, and a few of the Discovery Channel photos we didn’t have room for in the story:
Luke Kelly When Yule Kilcher came to Alaska in 1936, he had a vision of the self-sufficient lifestyle that he wanted his children and grandchildren to live. How does that vision affect you today? Do you feel like you’ve lived up to it?
Atz Lee Kilcher His original vision was of a large scope. Thanks to my grandparents’ hard work, I am able to carry on the vision as well as pass it down to my kids, the fourth generation of Alaskan homesteaders.
LK Is all of the action that appears on screen real, or do you ever have situations that are presented to you?
ALK I am proud to say it is a non-scripted show! Some of the stuff they capture is by the pure luck of being around with a camera rolling.
LK What would you like viewers to take away from your show?
ALK That regardless of where you live, you can do your own version of subsistence living; whether it’s growing herbs in a skyscraper window or catching a trout in a nearby pond instead of buying one.