The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast changes coming: Is Discovery looking for new families?

The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast 3

Discovery’s critically acclaimed show The Last Alaskans is set to air its third season finale tonight. As always, the possibility that some of the show’s families may choose not to return to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is in the air. And, given how tumultuous this season has been, it’s probably fair to say that speculation about The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast is more widespread than it was before Seasons 2 or 3.

One reason why is the apparent decision by the show’s production company, HalfYard Productions, to hold a casting call for the show. The company’s “Now Casting!” tab is active on their page for The Last Alaskans:

The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast 1

And the link isn’t dead: clicking it takes you to a page for Current Casting Calls, along with a form to fill out and send to producers.

At the moment, Say Yes To The Dress is the only show with an icon on that page, but the connection–even if it’s just a mistake–got us wondering whether The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast could add any new faces, given the very specific provisions for the families currently living in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Those families’ homesteads were grandfathered in when the ANWR was established in 1980, and the area has been closed to any new, permanent human settlements since then.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean HalfYard couldn’t feature new cast members. We did a little digging and came up with two ways that producers could, technically, extend the shelf life of The Last Alaskans should they either want to add new faces–or need to, depending on what the current cast decides to do in the coming years.

The first option is the easier of the two. Hiking and camping are permitted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge–along with a “subsistence lifestyle,” provided it does not “significantly [modify] the refuge” and “its wilderness character remains intact.” And, since there doesn’t appear to be a time limit on how long an interested individual can backpack in the Refuge itself, an interested party could, in theory, live off of its 19,286,722 acres long enough to film sufficient footage for inclusion among The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service requires a permit for “all commercial videography, including filming of documentaries, travelogues, feature stories, and advertising,” but, a simple form and a $100 fee later, that permit is yours.

The second is the more complicated. Though only seven families actually live within the legal boundaries of the Refuge, about 176,000 of its acres are either private parcels or belong to regional or village authorities. (Two of those parcels are the an Inupiat village called Katovik and a Gwich’in settlement called Arctic Village, which, combined, have approximately 410 residents.) If producers could convince the owner or owners of any of that acreage to allow an outsider to live on their land for a season of filming, another member could be added to the cast without–technically–going outside the show’s definition of who lives in the ANWR.

On the other hand, it’s also possible that HalfYard simply made a mistake in leaving the “Now Casting!” tab up on show’s page page, and they’re not actually looking to add anyone to The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast 🙂 So, on that lighthearted note, we’ll leave you with this clip of the Northern Lights. It comes from the Season 3 finale, but, really, it’s timeless:

The Last Alaskans Season 3 finale airs tonight at 9 on Discovery.

(Photo credits: The Last Alaskans Season 4 cast via Discovery)

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