PUBLISHED: 6:13 PM on Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Forum on Survival in Southeast held Oct. 9
JUNEAU - The Association of Governmental Accountants (AGA) Alaska Capital Chapter is taking on an issue that has deeply touched many in Southeast Alaska: losing someone to the rigors of Alaska's weather and terrain.

"Alaska is unique in lots of ways," said Alaska Capital Chapter President, Ruth Danner. "Our towns and villages are surrounded by lush forests, rugged mountains and frigid water. There are no roads in to many places. This means that every time we go out, whether on business or for recreation, there is always a small chance that something will happen and we will not return as expected."

The AGA Forum on Survival in Southeast will be held Oct. 9 at Centennial Hall from 5:30-9 p.m. Danner, who will serve as moderator at the forum, said she wanted to promote the efforts of the "active and inspiring collaboration" of government agencies, volunteer organizations, commercial businesses and others who all too routinely search for those who have gone missing.

Since May 25, Alaska State Troopers have been involved in 19 search and rescue incidents in Northern Southeast Alaska. The missions include: seven lost or overdue hikers, four injured hikers requiring assistance, three overdue hunters, three boating related searches with two men missing and presumed dead, one aircraft fatality with two men deceased, and one missing aircraft not found with two men missing and presumed dead. It's this last one that caught Danner by surprise. It was someone she knew well.