Clipped From Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

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Clipped by mitziAK

 - ll- and they days, and race, racers, will with...
ll- and they days, and race, racers, will with Dog local in the or three to from a McKinley musher on park patrol If you're curious about a different aspect of .dog sledding, just ask Sandy Kogl, dog handler for the National Parks Service at Mt. McKinley National Park. Last week I rode the train to the park to visit Kogl and was surprised to be greeted by Sandy and her lead dog at the depot. A team of young dogs waited in the bushes so we packed-up the gear and away we went. Kogl's job Includes about everything related to the dog teams: basic veternarian needs, a well planned breeding program, supply ordering, construction and maintenance of sleds, harnesses, dog houses and other paraphernalia, a training program for the dogs and the staff that will be working the dogs, a well balanced diet that fulfills the needs of the hard working animals and, saving the best to last, the job includes long patrols, via the dog team, out into the park, Kogl asks a lot from her dogs and her continuing goal is to improve the quality of the team and the capibilities of the personnel working with the animals. Dogs have been used by the Park Service since Uie 1920s when Harry Karstens was the first superintendent, running patrols out of Nenana. A wooden plaque hangs in the sled room with a quote from Karstens: "A man, driving a dog team, Is sometimes the biggest dog himself." The kennel keeps about 30 dogs, 12 of which are pups being trained for future teams. The breed is basically Husky with good representation of the Malemute, Siberian and the Eskimo breeds. Kogl Is mainly concerned in getting strong working dogs that are represenatative in appearance and friendly in disposition. A lot of attention is given the new litters of pups, to insure a good attitude fa the future. From February to May, a park team is out on patrol in the west end of the park, basing its operation at the Wonder Lake Ranger Station. Winter use of the park has been on the increase, with dog mushers, skiers, good time on the smooth ice, when a sudden, they pulled to an edge of eight-foot hole. There at the bottom a frozen body of .a moose, which fallen theough the ice and been unable to climb back out. As she continued traveling up the river, Kogl was thinking about a get out if all of a sudden she and team broke through. The rangers ususally travel in pairs with one on the runners and the other on the pole skiis. This skiier stradles the line and "water skis" in front of the sled. Needless to say, he must have capable person on the runners ready apply the brake in case of trouble. Kogl admits she tries to plan ahead avoid trouble with gear and trail conditions. Steffenson, the well traveled Arctic explorer, once said something the effect, "that the uneventful trip the only good trip." He would be proud and comfortable traveling with Sandy Kogl. Kogl Is convinced she has the Job. "If I had designed it myself, I couldn't come up with anything better," she admits. There are new challenges every day and from the looks of things, these are c challenges Kogl is well qualified to handle. "t especially enjoy working with the other Park Service staff members," she said. "I am happy to be with the dogs for five days out of week and 1 am content doing the domestic things on the weekend." Sandy and her husband, Dennis Kogl, and their two children, Leif and live on the Anchorage-Fairbanks Highway between Cantwell and McKinely Park. It wouldn't be surprising if Harry Karstens' spirit returns to the dog kennels, to pat an old dog, and he'll sneak In and change the well quoted saying that hangs on the wall "a woman,, driving a dog team, is sometimes the biggest dog herself.'t

Clipped from
  1. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,
  2. 01 Mar 1977, Tue,
  3. Page 12

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  • Clipped by mitziAK – 24 Mar 2013

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