PUBLISHED: 9:28 AM on Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Territorial Sportsmen help build new cabin

Photo by Rosie Milligan
  Tiger Olson cabin, which was recently erected in a join effort with DNR, Outdoor Recreation and the Territorial Sportsmen.
Volunteering time, money and labor has made a greater difference in the southeast community.

The Territorial Sportsmen have put significant effort into making our community stronger as shown by their involvement in constructing the Tiger Olson cabin.

The Tiger Olson cabin is a new public use cabin maintained by Alaska State Parks.

The cabin was erected in a joint effort with DNR, Outdoor Recreation and the Territorial Sportsmen.

The Territorial Sportsmen received a grant from the Alaska State Legislature for funding and volunteered many man hours into constructing the cabin. Construction of the cabin also entailed extensive clean-up of man-made debris and garbage in the area.

"We are very excited about the Territorial Sportsmen's involvement," said Alaska State Parks specialist and project coordinator Paul Zahasky.

"We are very grateful for all their effort and the volunteer's help."

The Tiger Olson cabin is located in Taku Harbor State Marine Park, 25 miles south of Juneau and is accessible by boat or floatplane.

The public use cabin is named after Tiger Olson, a man who lived in the area for years. The cabin is dedicated to him in memory of his life at Taku Harbor.

The construction project was started last fall in late September. The cabin was finish about three weeks ago, in late July and is now open to the public.

This cabin is one of several that were constructed in the same process. In 2001 the state legislature appropriated $40,000 and local business gave donations to the Sate Parks and the Sportsmen to build cabins in St. James Bay and Camping Cove.

In 2005 the legislature appropriated more money for two more cabins and the Taku Harbor cabin was constructed. The site for the fourth cabin has yet to be identified.

Jack Manning, the Sportsmen's secretary and official cabin guy said it's a great process making the cabins. He said there is never a problem finding volunteers.

It's all word of mouth and most people who show up to join the work parties have a terrific time.

"It's always a lot of fun. It satisfies a guy's needs to build things," Manning said.

"We eat hamburgers and hot dogs and there are always kids around. It's just a big party with a mission."

The Olson cabin came as a kit from Icy Strait Lumber in Hoonah.

It's made out of red cedar and is a beautiful finished product.

Manning said most of the volunteers have construction experience and everything works out smooth.

He is just there to give direction.

"If you have six guys, there is always going to be six ways to put a window in," Manning said. "I'm just the guy who picks one."

The cabin is 14x18 feet and sleeps six adults, with mattresses provided. It features an oil stove, fire pit, table, an access trail from shore and an outhouse. These features are well used in Alaska.

"Cabins are important in Alaska," Zahasky said. "It's necessary to have a warm and dry place to stay and get out of the elements when hunting and fishing."

"It's a big deal. These cabins in Southeast," Manning said. "They save lives."

Kurt Iverson serves on the Juneau state parks advisory committee and feels the Sportsmen deserve recognition.

"I think the Territorial Sportsmen deserve a special thank-you from the public for all their dedicated efforts toward these projects," Iverson said.

"The cabins are very nice buildings and will last many years."

The Territorial Sportsmen are a non-profit group focused on hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.

They are most known for operating the salmon derby and fundraising for scholarships. The sportsmen have a long history of building cabins, going back to the 30's.

Their community involvement has been well appreciated in Southeast.

For more information on the cabins and to make reservations visit the state parks website at

To contact the Sportsmen call 463-3830 or visit them online at