Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
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.”
A bridge being built across the Nenana River will open up access to long sought after state agricultural lands.
A physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists is calling the Ground Based Midcourse Missile Defense System, less than proven, despite Sunday’s successful test over the Pacific Ocean.
Interior miners aren’t happy with changes proposed to federal permits for small scale placer operations that impact water resources, including wetlands. Dozens attended an Army Corps of Engineers public meeting in Fairbanks last week on the proposals.
The Fairbanks area has seen some impressive rainfall over the last few days. National Weather Service meteorologist John Lingass reports 2 to 3 inches around Fairbanks, and 3 to 4 inches over the hills northeast of town. The heavy rains are causing flooding along rivers.
Interior miners aren’t happy with changes proposed to federal permits for small scale placer operations that impact water resources, including wetlands. Dozens of miners attended an Army Corps of Engineers public meeting in Fairbanks this week on the proposals.