Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
A pilot and passengers were were hurt in a plane crash in the Brooks Range on Sunday. National Transportation Safety Board Alaska Region chief Clint Johnson says the single engine Navion, operated by Kirst Aviation of Fairbanks went down in Atigun Pass, near mile 244 of the Dalton Highway.
Yukon River king salmon continue to show symptoms indicative of low production. Unprecedented fishing restrictions in Alaska this summer allowed over 64,ooo kings to cross the border into Canada. That was enough to surpass an escapement goal, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The state is a step closer to proving its North Slope to Fairbanks natural gas trucking project can work. The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority lead Interior Energy Project is aimed at providing gas at about half the cost of heating oil, and officials say they’re honing in on the target.
The United States Special Representative for the Arctic is visiting Alaska. Retired Coast guard Admiral Robert Papp is charged with managing the country’s entire arctic portfolio. That includes investigation of issues and potential claims to arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coastline.
Alaska village-based firefighting crews are heading south to fight blazes in the Lower 48. Alaska Division of Forestry spokesman Sam Harrel is tracking the deployments, which began over the weekend with crews from the communities of Delta Junction, Kaltag, Fort Yukon, Venetie, Koyukuk and Galena.
Usibelli Coal has submitted a plan to drill coal bed methane exploration wells on state land near Healy. The company is licensed to look for shallow gas on over 200 thousand acres of state and private land in the area, and this is the first action the company has taken.
Tribal leaders are gathering interested parties, including state and federal officials, in the village of Allakaket to discuss the state’s proposed road into the Ambler Mining District. Upper Koyukuk River people are concerned about impacts to subsistence resources by the road, and mining development it would bring.
The City of Ft. Yukon plans to build a new landfill. The project is aimed at improving safety and recycling some of the community’s waste stream.
NASA is piloting a mission out of Fairbanks with a specialized plane that can fly high enough to test technology destined for satellite applications.
A Fairbanks based alternative energy company continues to push Golden Valley Electric Association to buy more of its wind power. Alaska Environmental Power operates a wind farm in Delta Junction, and recently teamed with an Anchorage law firm on a report it hopes will sway utility members.
State Representative David Guttenberg wants to jumpstart Fairbanks’ conversion to natural gas heating. The state is pursuing a public private project to process North Slope gas and truck it to Fairbanks, but Gutenberg says it faces a familiar problem.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough wants to set up a special area for companies to develop and test drone aircraft for the military. The project would capitalize on recent year’s state laws aimed at helping woo the defense industry and spur economic development.
The U.S. Army is looking at greater cutbacks than previously considered, and there could be Alaska impacts. Ft. Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson are among posts nationwide being considered for reductions as part of the Army’s “2020 Force Structure Realignment.”