Oral History Interview:
Sam Harbo grew up on a small farm in Minnesota. He loved the outdoors; hunting, fishing and trapping came natural to the young boy. He earned spending money trapping mink, muskrats and skunks.
Sam attended college in Nebraska, North Carolina, California and Alaska. All those years of schooling earned Harbo Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees. Perhaps more importantly, his graduate studies on the Koyukuk River near Huslia introduced him to the State that would become his home.
Harbo worked for the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and transferred over to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at the time of statehood. Additional field work at Cold Bay and Nome gave the biologist a well-rounded view of the State's wildlife resources.
Sam accepted a faculty position in the Wildlife Management department at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. He later established a Statistics department at the college as well.
All of this experience came in handy when Harbo was appointed to a seat on the Board of Game. He earned a reputation as a knowledgeable and impartial Game Board member. During this interview, he analyzes some of the more contentious wildlife issues of the first fifty years of Alaska statehood.
Throughout his professional career, Harbo remained an avid hunter. His reflective nature caused Sam to question his own values and motives. He eventually concluded that he was a dedicated "meat" hunter, which he attributes to his practical upbringing on the farm. Harbo comments on the US population shift from rural to urban, and the long-term implications of this change for wildlife management and consumptive use.