Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks
Emily Schwing is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor is proposing a new deal that would allow Chena Hot Springs to expand. But first it has to be approved by the assembly. It’s unclear whether assembly members will support it.
A group of University of Alaska, Fairbanks Professors will develop an engineering school in Mongolia over the next few years. UAF signed a contract this spring with the American University of Mongolia in that country’s capital, where the new school will be based.
The Air Force will give Alaska’s leaders and the public an extra month to compile their comments on a draft environmental impact statement released last month.
Weather is cooperating with crews fighting the Bitter Creek fire along the Alaska Highway, 30 milres southeast of Tok. The 2300 acre fire was ignited by lightning. It’s now estimated to be within one mile of the highway.
A draft Environmental Impact Statement released by the Air Force Friday recommends downsizing Eielson Air Force Base for cost savings, but Alaska’s leaders argue the document ignores requests for cost reduction estimates and fails to consider the local impact.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game took 89 bears this month as part of a predator control program approved by the Board of Game last year. The efforts are meant to encourage the growth of a struggling moose population in Southwest Alaska.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks says tuition and research funding are unlikely to increase enough in the coming year to offset rising costs. In a memo, Vice Chancellor Pat Pitney says UAF will face significant budget issues in fiscal year 2014, starting July first. Pitney says those issue are manageable through increasing non-state revenue and decreasing spending. UAF’s leadership is also soliciting ideas from faculty and staff who are invited to submit suggestions to an online suggestion box.
Other villages in the middle Yukon River region are bracing for high water and breakup-related flooding as the weather starts to warm in interior Alaska.
Ice on the Yukon River at Eagle began to move early Friday morning resulting in the second worst flood on record since a devastating flood wiped out the community’s waterfront and a nearby Alaska Native village in 2009. Damage this year was minimal in comparison and residents are relieved.
Break up is starting to happen on Interior rivers. The Yukon River ice began moving early this morning at Eagle. It jammed and caused some flooding of low lying homes and roads. Six homes and a handful of sheds have been hit by truck size chunks of ice.
For nearly a decade, the Fairbanks North Star Borough and Chena Hot Springs Resort have been working on a land exchange sale. The Resort would buy 1480 acres in exchange for a series of easements that allow access to neighboring Borough property, which includes access to land popular for recreation. Last fall, the Assembly passed an ordinance to approve the sale. The deal is at an impasse, because neither side can agree to the value of the property.
The Senior Executive Producer of a long-running and popular science documentary series on public television was in Fairbanks this week. Paula Apsell is in the Golden Heart City as part of a weekly research showcase hosted by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Scientists at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) discussed new regional projections for snowfall in Alaska during a webinar presentation Tuesday. Climate change could significantly change the amount of snow that hits the ground and sticks throughout the state.
The National Park Service released its compendiums for 2013 this week. They outline this year’s designations, closures and restrictions for national parks and preserves. Some of the changes to Alaska’s compendiums this year come in response to state policies regarding predators like wolves and bears.
In a release today, the National Park Service states the wolf population in the Yukon-Charley National Preserve has decreased by 50 percent since last fall. The Park Service says the decline “coincides with predator control efforts by Alaska Department of Fish and Game conducted near the preserve.”