Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
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.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 Rifle Championships are being held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Friday and Saturday. The championships bring together shooters capable of extreme accuracy.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is planning to transport Wood Bison to the village of Shageluk later this month. Wood Bison have been extinct in Alaska for over a century, but animals transplanted here from Canada’s Yukon could re-populate interior Alaska with the species, and offer an alternative subsistence food source.
Alaska wildfire mangers are anticipating the possibility of an early season. This winter’s unusual weather is prompting concerns.
The Iditarod has changed its plan for the Fairbanks re-start. This winter’s warm weather that forced the re-start north from Anchorage is also causing problems in Fairbanks.
A powerful storm is forecast to push across the Interior from the west on Saturday.
A tractor trailer owned by Fairbanks-based Colville Incorporated went off the Dalton Highway about 30 miles north of the Yukon River Bridge Wednesday.
Alaska’s voter approved ballot measure legalizing marijuana takes effect Tuesday. Alaskans 21 and older will be able to grow, share and consume small amounts of marijuana on private property, but a lot of questions remain about how legalization will work.
The Iron Dog snowmachine race gets underway this weekend, and there are some changes to the race route, which takes riders from Big Lake to Nome and then to Fairbanks.
A Fairbanks man is nearing completion of a mountaineering feat. Bill Cole has climbed the highest peaks on 6 of the world’s 7 continents.
Alaska Native dog mushing great George Attla has died. The sprint champion known as “The Huslia Hustler” died of cancer on Sunday at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 81. Attla’s impact spanned from success in racing to helping village kids connect with mushing.