By Jenny Neyman
Gov. Bill Walker’s pick for the Alaska Board of Game has no axe to grind, except for actual axes when stocking his woodpile in Hope.
“We cut a lot of wood. And still do,” said Guy Trimmingham, of Hope.
Trimmingham grew up in Hope, back before there was regular road maintenance, mail delivery or grocery availability. So he developed a penchant for living off the land.
“My yard was the mountain range on one side and the inlet on other. As long as my dad could holler and I could hear the echo, that was my limit of how far I could ramble in the woods,” he said.
He got his first goat at age 10, and started helping his dad pack moose at age 9. Summers were for fishing in the stream next to town, and winters were for trapping. By the time he was done with school, he wanted to do more. A friend told him about an outfit in the Iliamna area that was looking for assistant guides.
“I called him up and he said, ‘Come on down,’” he said.
That started his 20-year guiding career. Trimmingham had a Type A guide license and worked as far down the Alaska Peninsula as Port Heiden and Ugashik, as well as all through the Alaska Range, Kodiak, as well as the Wrangell and Talkeetna Mountains, going for sheep, goat, moose, caribou and bear.
“Anything that had four legs, we guided for,” he said.
By the early 1990s, though, the business had changed.
“Once the exclusive guiding areas in Alaska were contested in court and given up it turned into kind of a free for all. And there’s people flying over the top of you, you’re trying to do a stalk or something and there’s people buzzing you, and it’s not like it used to be,” he said.
Trimmingham had young kids by then, and he missed the opportunity to do his own thing.
“During hunting season if you’re a guide you’re always working for someone else and you don’t really get to do a lot of hunting for yourself,” he said.
Trimmingham has worked in the oil industry on the North Slope since the mid-1970s, and currently works for BP as an electrical technician. He served on a subsistence fisheries advisory board on the Kenai Peninsula years ago, and is looking forward to getting further into the regulatory process.
“There’s always a certain point where you feel like you can make a contribution, and I feel that with my background and my experience I can offer some expertise into that board and would relish the opportunity to do it,” he said. “And I was fortunate to have people that believed in me and worked hard to get my name in the right places so I will hopefully have this opportunity to help all people in the state have access to resources.”
He said he’s just looking to serve, to consider information presented to the board and make the best decisions he can for his fellow Alaskans.
“I represent all folks. I have no specific agenda. I don’t represent any specific group. I have no axe to grind. I am strictly, like all the rest of us here in the state, just a user. Not only a consumer, but a nonconsumer, and I enjoy both sides of it and I will try to represent as fairly as possible,” he said.
Gov. Walker also reappointed Nate Turner, a trapper from Nenana, to the Board of Game. Both face confirmation votes by the Legislature.