The Alaska Food Policy Council has created a memorial fund for Roland Briggs, a Ugashik fisherman who went missing at sea this fall.
In an email, the council’s co-chair Liz Snyder wrote that Briggs embodied the council’s mission to improve Alaska’s food system for the benefit of Alaskans.
“Roland took pride in the self-reliant and independent spirit of rural Alaska and believed that to effect change in our state, rural communities must have a seat at the table,” she wrote in an email.
Council governing board member Diane Peck said the fund will be used to provide travel support for those living in rural Alaska who want to take advantage of local food education opportunities, including the council’s annual conference in February. Contributions to the fund can be made through the council’s website.
Briggs was reported missing in October when he didn’t make it back to Ugashik as anticipated after making a fuel delivery in Egegik. The U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and volunteers searched for Briggs for several days but did not locate him, although the Coast Guard believed it spotted some debris from his vessel.
Briggs and his wife, Victoria, have been active in Alaska food issues, also have a farm in Ugashik. Peck said they grew produce in hoop houses for their own use, as well as for others in the community and local lodges.