Shaylon Cochran, KDLL - Kenai
Shaylon Cochran is a reporter at KBBI in Homer.
The concerns over this year’s low return of king salmon to Cook Inlet have made it to the federal level. Governor Sean Parnell sent a letter to the Commerce Department last week seeking a federal disaster declaration for Cook Inlet fisheries.
Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Fisheries did little to offer relief to set netters on Cook Inlet’s east side. Presented with seven petitions asking for the chance to salvage the last few days of the sockeye season, the Board voted 5-2 to take no action.
This spring, Hilcorp, Alaska announced plans to reopen the Drift River Terminal oil storage facility on the west side of Cook Inlet. Hilcorp’s announcement raised concerns about the safety of the terminal because it’s at the base of Redoubt Volcano. Calls have been made for construction of a pipeline to transfer oil to the east side of the Inlet for processing, most recently by the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council or CIRCAC.
Nearly 200 commercial set net fishermen from the east side of Cook Inlet gathered Friday with their families to rally support for a change in the policies that have allowed just three days of fishing so far this year.
As in many parts of the state, so far, 2012 has been a rough year for fishing on the Kenai Peninsula. Despite a healthy run of sockeye salmon to the Kenai River, king salmon fishing was shut down completely this week. The slow season is beginning to take its toll, and not just on the sport fishermen.
The first of 10 public hearings on the proposed Alaska Coastal Zone Management ballot Initiative took place Monday evening in Soldotna. After expiring in 2011, the state legislature failed to come to an agreement on terms to extend the previous management plan. The initiative will come before voters in August as Proposition Two.
Among thick spruce forests just a few miles offshore of Cook Inlet near, Kasilof about 40 people have been carving out their own version of an Alaskan life. It’s called Ionia- not a commune exactly, but a place where residents can live a different kind of life. Now in its third decade on the Kenai Peninsula, the community continues to grow, and not just in numbers.
The All Alaska Workforce Initiative celebrated its one year anniversary earlier this week. The program is a joint venture between the state and federal Departments of Labor and seeks to put Alaskans to work in Alaskan industries. The new Copper River Seafoods processing facility in… Read More
After buying the legacy assets of Chevron in Cook Inlet – Hilcorp, Alaska is moving forward with plans to increase energy production in several fields there. Part of that plan includes reopening the Drift River Terminal Storage Facility at the base of Mt. Redoubt on the west side of Cook Inlet. But, an eruption of Redoubt in 2009 has many wondering about the wisdom of that plan.
Utility companies in Southcentral Alaska will enjoy a little more stability in their supply of natural gas this winter with the opening of a new $160 million storage facility in Kenai. Operated by Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska, or CINGSA, the new facility is the first of its kind in Alaska and will provide a buffer between the seasons of peak production and peak demand.
Last weekend was the King salmon opener on the Ninilchik River. Yesterday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announce new restrictions for the river after seeing lower than expected escapement numbers for Kings.
The Department of Fish and Game has announced the projected outlook for salmon runs on the Kenai Peninsula. The numbers look a lot like last year. Fish and Game is transitioning to a new method of counting salmon on the River and in the Upper Cook Inlet, which has left a lot of questions for both the commercial and sport fishing communities, who are returning from a rough year in 2011.
Following a decision to implement aerial wolf hunts on the Kenai Peninsula as a means of increasing local moose populations, the Department of Fish and Game has decided to suspend those operations for at least a year in order to gather more information.
The University of Alaska Board of Regents held their spring meeting at the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna late last week. Each year, the Board travels to one of the University’s satellite campuses for their April meeting. In addition to conducting regular business, these spring gatherings give the local campuses an opportunity to showcase their facilities and programs to the entire Board.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday two permit violations for seismic surveying activity around Cook Inlet. Buccaneer Energy and Apache Alaska are the two companies found to have been in violation of provisions of the Clean Water Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.
As a tough winter winds down on the Kenai Peninsula, efforts are being made to revitalize the local moose populations, which have struggled in recent years. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game approved aerial wolf hunting on the peninsula earlier this year and now, wildlife biologists have started a new, high-tech study to learn more about what can be done to bring back the moose.
High energy prices, new technology and a favorable business climate are all contributing factors to a resurgence of natural resource development along the Cook Inlet. However, the race to get to those untold quantities of oil and gas has led to what some are calling a Wild West mentality among developers.
The ConocoPhillips liquid natural gas plant in Nikiski that was moth-balled last month has gotten a reprieve.
Damaging winds earlier this week knocked power out for nearly 10,000 customers around the Central Kenai Peninsula. Crews were still at work Thursday to bring the grid back online.