New reindeer corral being built near St. Michael

NOME (AP) — Volunteers are in the process of building a new corral for a reindeer herd on St. Michael Island.
The first fence posts were put up July 10, about three miles from the community of St. Michael. Construction is expected to completed by late July, KNOM reported.
The herd is jointly owned by the Native Village of St. Michael, the Stebbins Community Associations and the Katcheak family.
“It’s going to take at least two weeks to get this construction done. It’s mostly volunteers. We’re not getting paid for it. We’re not getting money from anywhere,” said lifelong reindeer herder and co-owner Theodore Katcheak.
Materials from the old corral have been salvaged and are being used to rebuild at the site, he said.
He also is hopeful that the two communities will be able to provide lumber, gas and transportation to help get the corral completed.
He said the herd does not make a profit, leaving them at the mercy of others.
“We have the animals. But we don’t have any resources,” he said.
The lease expired at the former site, owned by the Stebbins Native Corp., which is using that land for gravel excavation.
St. Michael Island is about 120 miles southeast of Nome.