SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Men in Sage Brush
By Dave Kiffer


February 03, 2007

Ketchikan, Alaska - If you Google "Men in Trees" you come up with my name.

I know this because quite a few folks in other locales have done just that and then reached out and electronically touched me.

jpg Dave Kiffer

It is not because I have much of anything to do with the sorta popular TV show that is set in but not really filmed in Alaska. But I wrote about the show last fall and when you "Google" the show, you get my column. But only after you go through about 20 screens full of other "hits."

I mention this because it shows how determined some folks are to find out about "Men In Trees." They are determined enough to scroll on and on and on past the endless blogs and the television network and station websites until they finally reach me.

Then - at least two or three times a week over the last four months - I have received emails asking about either "Alaska" or "Men In Trees."

I have received emails from as far away as Australia and Germany. I have received emails from many American states. I have even received a couple from British Columbia, which as you will see in a minute is pretty ironic.

Well, let's just start with the FAQs (that's webspeak for Frequently Asked Questions), ma'am.

Is "Men In Trees" really filmed in Alaska? No.

Where is it filmed? Mostly in Vancouver, British Columbia.

But what about all those pretty outdoor scenes? That would be Squamish, B.C., just up the coast from Vancouver. It's very pretty. They will be having the Olympics nearby in 2010.

Are you sure it isn't filmed in Alaska? Yes, I am sure and no, it isn't.

Does Alaska look anything like the town in "Men in Trees?" Yes, it does but the money is a different color.

Are there really lots of single men in Alaska? Not as many as there are in Los Angeles (see below).

Are the men in Alaska like the men in "Men in Trees"? Uh no, those would be actors.

How are they different? If you have to ask, you don't want to know.

I couldn't find Elmo, Alaska on a map, does it really exist? Only in Hollywood.

Is Nome like Elmo (asked by someone who was thinking about relocating there)? Good gosh, no. Not even in Hollywood.

What Alaskan Town is Elmo patterned after? Cicely.

Is there really an Alaskan town like Elmo? Cicely

If I wanted to go to an Alaskan town like Elmo where should I go? Cicely

Do people really move to Alaska just to find men? Uh huh.

Do they ever find men? Uh huh

Do they ever find their 'soul mates'? If you mean semi-humanoid creatures with XY chromosomes that are capable of carrying on an interesting conversation, the answer would be no.

How do the marriages work out? Define 'work out.'

Do they last? Define 'last.'

Are they still married after winter ends? No.

Are the odds really good and the goods really odd? Yes, the odds are good that you will find someone odd (of either sex).

Is the Anne Heche character realistic? I'm not even sure that Anne Heche is realistic.

Which town in Alaska would you recommend someone move to if they wanted to find a man? Los Angeles (see below).

Is it really cold in Alaska? Not compared to Antarctica.

Is if safe? Are there bears? Yes, and I already told you the characters in "Men In Trees" are actors!

The bottom line, that none of these folks really wants to hear, is that while Alaska has a fair amount of single men, it doesn't have nearly as many single men as the big cities out West. Just about every metropolitan area east of Minneapolis and Dallas has more men than women. Some have upwards of 30,000 more men than women.

In Los Angeles, for example, there are nearly 50,000 more men than women! In the entire state of Alaska there are about 38,000 more men than women. I guess "Men in Palm Trees" doesn't sound nearly as romantic.

As a state Alaska does have the highest percentage of men to women (52 to 48 percent roughly) but there are several other western states that have similar imbalances.

For example, how about Nevada ("Men in Juniper")? Or perhaps we should be watching "Men in Sage Brush" (Wyoming), "Men in Blue Spruce (Utah)" or "Men in Bristlecone Pines" (Colorado) or maybe even "Men in Spuds" (Idaho).

But since Hollywood has chosen to focus on Alaska, I guess I will continue to be a one stop information stopping source for everything Alaska or everything "Elmo."

I can only hope that "Men in Trees" becomes a mega hit and spawns other television shows such as "Men on Telephone Poles" or "Men in Crow's Nests."

I have already sent a script on spec to the networks. It is set in Denver (35,000 more men than women!). It is called "Men in Mile High Stadium, Section 534"

It has plenty of single men and plenty of beer. That's about as Alaskan as it gets.

Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Contact Dave at

Dave Kiffer ©2006

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