January 14, 2021
By 1923, the U. S. Forest Service managed 140 fox farm permits on the Tongass National Forest, covering 78,000 acres. Petersburg along with Haines-Skagway, and the Mendenhall Valley and Lemon Creek area in Juneau were pioneers in the industry. Fashion dictated demand, with markets as far away as New York and London. Silver fox was a prized commodity over blue or red.
From the beginning foxes were fed commercial fish scraps, but even so, finances were challenging. It was common for farms to engage in bootlegging--rumored to be the actual purpose of some operations, and much more profitable....