Park Service Rethinking Strategy Along Yukon River

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The National Park Service says it’s making changes to how it handles law enforcement in the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve.  The preserve was the scene of two incidents last summer in which rangers enforcing boating regulations roughed up uncooperative locals on and along the Yukon River.  National Park’s spokesman John Quinley says the agency is advising rangers to take a different approach.

Quinley says the toned down style is being incorporated into seasonal ranger training.

Quinley says the agency is also shifting the emphasis from on the Yukon River to shore side interactions.

Last week,Yukon Charley Preserve officials met with Eagle residents to talk about law enforcement.  The community has requested the rangers involved in last year’s incidents, be replaced. Eagle resident Anne Millard says the meeting did not go well.

Quinley says no decision has been made on who will fill the Yukon Charley Preserve ranger positions. Millard says if the agency refuses to replace the rangers, locals will likely appeal to the Congressional delegation.

Millard says the National Park Service has agreed to meet with a local committee to talk more about the rangers and other law enforcement issues.  The Park’s Quinley says the agency has decided to station an experienced ranger supervisor in Eagle this summer to watch over the activities of seasonal field rangers.

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