Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks has released a list of academic program cuts and changes in response to reduced state funding. The cost saving measures are the first of numerous expected as UAF tries to cover a more than $20 million budget hole.
The Yukon River community of Galena could be relocated out of flood danger if a land transfer being pushed by Alaska Congressman Don Young goes through. The village, which is still recovering from a major flood 2 years ago, will likely approach moving with multiple steps over time.
There’s renewed push for greater protection of declining Denali National Park wolves. The effort follows news that a Park wolf was discovered dead last month from a snare injury.
With the last of the snow melting off, and Alaska headed toward summer, long range forecasts indicate it could be a hot one.
University of Alaska Fairbanks Chancellor Brian Rogers plans to step down this summer. Rogers, who was a top candidate to replace retiring UA system President Pat Gamble, announced his intention to leave the university Thursday.
Forecasters are anticipating a mellow break up over much of Alaska this spring. Below normal snow and ice in some areas, and gradually warming spring temperatures are lessening flood concerns.
Governor Bill Walker has declared a disaster in response to flooding that’s making the far northern end of the Dalton Highway impassable. The road is used to supply the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. It’s been closed south of Deadhorse since Sunday because an expanding area of overflow from the Sag River and recent blizzard conditions that have hampered Department of Transportation crews. The disaster declaration will amp up efforts to open the road.
The Federal Office of Subsistence Management is holding a series of public hearings on requests for expanded federal control of salmon fishing on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers.
The far northern end of the Dalton Highway will remain closed until Tuesday morning. The section south of Deadhorse, was also closed for two days last week as overflow from the Sag River continues to impact the only road supply route for North Slope oil fields.
Alaska posts are among dozens nationwide being considered for force reductions by the Army, but the Air Force is looking at beefing up its presence at an Interior Alaska base. A plan to station the Pacific region’s first F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force base near North Pole is under review. Senator Lisa Murkowski, who visited Fairbanks Thursday is optimistic about the prospect.
A report on a fatal avalanche near Cantwell last month says the victim and other snowmachiners underestimated the snow slide potential. The expert review points to atypical terrain, and blames the deadly accident on failure to recognize a hazard, and insufficient safety gear.
This week’s warm weather is turning attention to river break up. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb is tracking the factors that play into ice flowing out.
A South African adventurer pedaled a bike into Fairbanks this week, completing the first leg of a journey that will take him around the world twice over 8 years.
A truck rollover on the southern end of the Dalton Highway resulted in a fuel spill. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation reports that tractor portion of the rig remained upright, and the driver survived the Tuesday crash without serious injury.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks fell just short of a national title at the NCAA Rifle Champions on their home turf over the weekend. For the second year running, the Nanooks placed second to West Virginia University. The margin of victory was just 2 shots, with UAF taking Friday’s small bore match at the Patty Center, and the Mountaineers coming back Saturday, with just enough in the air rifle competition to nab the overall title in the 8 team competition. West Virginia’s Maren Prediger was the top individual shooter. UAF’s Tim Sherry was best Nanook in 8th place.
The Alaska Board of Game has turned down an emergency petition to re-establish a buffer zone to protect Denali National Park area wolves. Meeting on Friday in Anchorage, the board voted unanimously to reject the petition from the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, the National Parks Conservation Association, Denali Citizens Council and several individuals, to create a no kill zone on state lands along the northeastern edge of the Park near Healy.