Richard L. Proenneke, Wilderness Steward

man with a camera on a tripod, overlooking a lake and distant mountains

Richard Proenneke at Snipe Lake taking movies in 1975. He and his brother Raymond flew there in the J3 Cub.

Photo courtesy of Raymond Proenneke

Richard Proenneke, whose friends called him Dick, is an icon of wilderness values and an inspiration to those who value simplicity, direct connection with nature, self-reliance, and ingenuity.

Dick arrived at Twin Lakes in 1967 to begin crafting what would become his cabin and wilderness home for the next thirty years. A master craftsman dedicated to living simply on the land, he used local materials and simple tools to craft a home and life in keeping with the wilderness. His cabin now stands out as the best example of the thousands of log cabins built in bush Alaska over the past century.

Dick brought a desire to know the wilderness around him to Twin Lakes. He meticulously recorded his observations of the weather, wildlife, wilderness and even other human visitors. He came to know the landscape and wildlife around him, observing changing season, wildlife patterns, and weather variations from year to year.

Dick lived at Twin Lakes with the independent spirit, self-reliance, and ingenuity bush Alaska residents are famous for.


The Wilderness Values of Dick Proenneke

Dick Proenneke's attitude toward the simplicity of life in the wilderness still serves as an inspiration to many. Read more about Proenneke's wilderness values.

"I have found that some of the simplest things have given me the most pleasure. They didn't cost me a lot of money either. They just worked on my senses. Did you ever pick very large blueberries after a summer rain, walk through a grove of cottonwoods, open like a park, and see the blue sky beyond the shimmering gold of the leaves? Pull on dry woolen socks after you've peeled off the wet ones? Come in out of the subzero and shiver yourself warm in front of a wood fire? The world is full of such things."

-- Dick Proenneke

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