According to the Hollywood Reporter, the popular hit series originally broadcast on Animal Planet, is moving to a new network. Fans will now be able to watch Heimo and Edna Korth, and the rest of the hardy Alaskan homesteaders, on the Discovery channel. Eight new episodes are scheduled to air for the second season, and will follow another popular and highly rated series, Deadliest Catch.
For those unfamiliar with these fascinating show, The Last Alaskans follows several families that continue to live in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In 1980, the government banned any new settlers from living in the region, and eventually there will be no one left living there when the current permits expire. This beautiful and pristine area is home to thousands of native animals in an area roughly the size of South Carolina. The Korth’s are presently the only ones of the Last Alaskans group that lives in the refuge year round — the other families usually spend just the spring and summer months there.
Heimo Korth is no stranger to the camera, before the series first aired. He and his family were the subject of two documentaries, Braving Alaska and Surviving Alone in Alaska. The couple lived completely off the land and raised their four daughters hundreds of miles away from civilization. After the children grew up and left home, Heimo and Edna continued to live in the refuge. The Futon Critic shared that on this season of The Last Alaskans, Heimo plans to build a new cabin with the help of Edna, their daughters and their grandchildren. Among the Last Alaskans, Heimo is well known as an experienced trapper, and fortunately the bountiful land continues to provide them everything they need to not just survive, but to thrive.
Like the Korth family, Ray and Cindy Lewis are raising three daughters and during the previous season of The Last Alaskans, the girls were leaving to pursue their own interests. This season, the family will travel by river back to their first homestead on a houseboat built by Ray. Like Heimo, Ray has lived for over 30 years off the land and is an expert trapper. He and his wife taught their daughters how to live in the rugged environment, but the girls have their own plans, and there’s no telling when or if they will ever return to the homestead. Perhaps in the future, one or more of them will return in order to sustain the family claim. Unlike the Korth’s, the family doesn’t stay during the brutal winters, opting instead to spend their winters in Fairbanks.
Tyler and Ashley Selden were inspired by Heimo Korth, and found a way to live in the refuge by obtaining the rights to an abandoned trap line. They have learned, mostly by trial and error, how to live in the wild environment surrounding them. They taught themselves how to catch salmon and how to build racks for drying the fish, which in turn fed them and their dogs. They quickly learned how to use sled dogs to travel through the rough terrain. This season on the Last Alaskans, they plan to continue gaining experience in the wild, and they discuss the possibility of expanding their family.
Bob Harte made his way to Alaska over 40 years ago, and never looked back. He has a small cabin that he lived in at one time with his wife, stepson, and daughter. At times, he manages to fly out to visit his daughter, but after crashing his plane, he now has to rely on others in order to leave the refuge. Although he is now in his 60s, he continues to live in almost total isolation, where his only companion is his dog, Ruger. This season on the Last Alaskans, Bob and his daughter, Talicia, decide to embark on a risky river journey from Fairbanks all the way to the original cabin where she was raised.
Newcomer Charlie Jagow was born in the refuge and, at 19, is one of the youngest permit-holders there. This season on The Last Alaskans, he returns to the refuge to set up a homestead and build his first cabin. Due to the short summer months, he won’t have much construction time, so he will definitely need to have everything carefully planned out. A few extra hands to help out wouldn’t hurt, either.
During the first season of The Last Alaskans, this intriguing docuseries ranked as the No. 1 new series in 2015 for Animal Planet. The Last Alaskans is produced for Discovery Channel by Half Yard Productions.
Are you a fan of the show? Leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below. The season premiere of The Last Alaskans will air on Tuesday, April 12 at 10 p.m. ET on the Discovery channel.
[Image via Animal Planet/Twitter]