Dave Bendinger, KDLG - Dillingham
A report was released today on the peer review process of the EPA’s assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed. One of the central critiques offered by the panel of experts is that the draft document is lacking a clear purpose and objective. The input from the reviewers will be added towards a final version of the Assessment, which is intended to guide EPA’s decision making process about large-scale mineral developments in Bristol Bay.
A mix of freezing rain and several inches of snow is rarely good news. But for residents in the Dillingham area who’ve watched a large tundra fire continue to burn since last Friday, last night’s wintry mix came not a moment too soon.
Fueled by strong winds and dry tundra, an accidental fire is burning outside of Dillingham. The fire started Friday afternoon on the edge of the city and has quickly consumed more than ten miles of open tundra. Now the Forestry Division’s Fire Management Office in McGrath is coordinating resources to respond.
A plane crash Sunday evening in the Wood Tikchik State Park north of Dillingham appears to have claimed the life of the pilot. A Grumman Widgeon piloted by 71-year-old Newt Ball crashed during a landing on Tikchik Lake at around 5:15 p.m. Ball was reportedly the only person on board, and is presumed to have died on impact.
Last week, the Bristol Bay community of Naknek celebrated the official opening of a new multi-use trail near the school, known as the “Sockeye Run Fitness Trail and Bike Path.” The trail is 5-years and some $200,000 in the making, and was completed thanks to the work of multiple agencies, countless volunteers, and one dedicated young girl with a vision.
Triathlete Damien Hill from Naknek is heading to the US National Championships this weekend. The Hyvee 5150 Elite Cup Championship race will feature the world’s top triathathletes, including the medalists from the London Olympics.
Kids can learn to be an astronaut at Space Camp. For song and dance, maybe it’s off to Broadway camp. Fish science? For that, there’s no better place than Bristol Bay Salmon Camp. Nine high schoolers from around Alaska learned aquatic science skills as they studied the ecosystem of spawning salmon in Wood TikChik State Park recently.
The National Park Service recently finished a study on the impact of trophy grizzly hunting in Katmai Preserve. By Park service estimates, the harvest numbers are not affecting population, or conflicting with other park uses, but some conservation groups and the bear viewing industry are not so sure that’s accurate. Before renewing 10-year contracts for sport hunting guides, the NPS would like the public to weigh in.
Pen Air has been operating air taxi services around rural Alaska for more than 55 years. In June, they ended their air taxi services out of Dillingham, and yesterday announced that all remaining air taxi routes will soon be cancelled as well.
At midnight last night, Katmai National Park and Preserve switched on newly installed webcams around Brooks Camps. And by early afternoon, viewers from all over the world were tuned in to a live-feed of the park’s famous grizzlies over the internet.
A King Salmon man is in police custody for a murder case that is nearly three decades old. Authorities believe they will finally close a cold-case that’s haunted a community.
Researchers in British Columbia using migratory sea birds from Alaska have found surprising levels of plastic pollution off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.
A slightly slower start to the fire season in Alaska has allowed the state to loan some of its fire crews to the Lower 48 for the time being. The Alaska Fire Service says five crews of Fire Fighters have gone to Wyoming.
Project Healing Waters and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation sponsored eight recovering veterans and injured service personnel for a week of fishing at the Mission Lodge on Lake Aleknagik. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger was along as they fished for king salmon on the Nushagak River.
An 11,000 pound bag of PCB contaminated dirt fell into the waters off the Dillingham city dock last November. Alaska Logistics decided to wait until spring break up to remove that bag, known as a super sack. But salvage divers working yesterday weren’t able to find the bag.
The Alaska Health Department is using a new four-part HBO documentary on obesity to draw attention to its effort to combat the problem.
The Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft document intended to inform their decision making process in regards to large mining projects in the Bristol Bay region.
Recycling in rural Alaska can be an expensive logistical endeavor. And as recyclable material makes its way to local landfills, some electronics can threaten groundwater supplies. As part of our ongoing series on recycling across the state, KDLG’s Dave Bendinger looks at one Naknek resident’s effort to establish an economically viable means to recycle electronics in Bristol Bay.
The next chapter in the controversial Pebble mine debate is right around the corner as the EPA prepares to make public the draft version of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger looked at differing views on what effect this Assessment might have.
Residents of Port Heiden rescued a stranded sea otter pup last month and turned him over to the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward. He was rehabilitated there for several weeks, and now has found a permanent home at the Pittsburgh Zoo in Pennsylvania.