By Tammany George, Cantwell NRT, AI Land & Resources Department
My favorite part about working for Ahtna is the outdoor office environment and protecting the resources on behalf of our people. I’ve always said that Ahtna Land Department is the absolute best place to work within the Ahtna Family. The reason I say this is because, as a Cantwell shareholder, the land we live on and the land that provides for our people is our most valuable resource.
I am happy to be a part of the Natural Resource Technician (NRT) team that helps to protect our private property. I started working for Ahtna in 2006, and I have seen the NRT trespass program really starting to work well during the fall hunting season and throughout the year. The public is more aware of our property rights and abiding by them more and more. We have been doing a good job at communicating to visitors on our lands about the land use program and permitting, and letting them know what is and isn’t allowed on Ahtna lands. The use of technology for our permits has been a real step in the right direction, and our user-friendly website is an asset to the public outreach program. We now provide maps online and on any smartphone through our land maps app.
I enjoy working directly with our shareholders in the village. We have a close-knit community here in Cantwell and our other villages. The access to the people in our villages really helps our NRT employees know fairly fast what is happening in our region and allows us to respond effectively to things that need attention. Through the years the program has gotten better and better.
I am also very happy to be a shareholder employee. The department provides me with needed training for my job and also offers to help pay my way through any college courses that I need to be a better NRT. I am currently enrolled in courses through the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I’m also taking a course to learn about local plants for food and medicinal use.
This is a great opportunity for a beginner in land and resources to learn and grow and enjoy Ahtna people, the land, and the resources. I’m blessed to be a part of this team at Ahtna, Inc.