But if the goal is met, the second phase is to set up a $20 million endowment so future fundraising won't be necessary.
She's also set up a living trust and all her real and intellectual property is given to Storyknife when she dies. Her books will continue to earn money after her death, as will any stage and screen rights.
"The board of directors will be able to mine the income of those rights for the benefit of Storyknife in perpetuity, I would hope," she said.
Stabenow has thought a lot about the first woman who might receive a residency at the retreat, maybe someone not very unlike her most famous character.
"Kate is an Alaska Native, and she is a woman. I would be ecstatic if the very first writer to step foot in a Storyknife cabin was an Alaska Native woman writer," Stabenow said.