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Read DCC comments urging Board of Game to establish Denali buffer

March 10, 2015

NPS photo

NPS photo

DCC just faxed comments urging the Alaska Board of Game to establish a “no take” area on state lands bordering the national park. The petition making this request was recently filed with the board and will be considered when the board meets on Friday March 13, 2015.

An agenda for the meeting is available here:  Board of Game agenda – March 13-20

To listen in, go to the Board of Game website on the day of the meeting at the link below:
http://www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov/

To read the comments DCC just submitted, click below:
DCC comments to the Board of Game-3-10-15

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DCC signs Emergency Petition to Protect Denali Wolves

March 4, 2015

2012-Emergency-Wolf-Buffer-The eight-member DCC Board voted unanimously at its February 2nd teleconference to support an Emergency Petition to establish a “no wolf take” area on state lands adjacent to Denali National Park, similar to one brought to the Alaska Board of Game in 2010 and in petitions filed over the past few years by the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, NPCA, and several individuals.   NPS fall 2014 wolf counts show no rebound from low numbers (approximately 50 wolves) in the spring, a serious finding.  Low numbers of wolves throughout the state Game Management Unit 20C, which includes most of Denali wolf habitat and state lands stretching north, are a recognized situation. No doubt there are a number of influences upon low numbers, among them weather and prey availability.  However, the situation is now severe enough for the Board of Game to consider hunting and trapping closures, allowing time for the wolf population to recover to sustainable numbers in this area.

The petition urges the Board of Game to look beyond overall, GMU-wide wolf population health and focus in on this specific area. Wolves tend to use the eastern Stampede lands preferentially in winter because of prey and habitat characteristics. Two active dens in the eastern areas of the national park are within a day’s walk of state lands where predator hunting and trapping are legal. The unlimited trapping and the 10 wolf hunting bag limit on these state lands make it possible for an entire pack to be taken. Even the loss of one breeder can be quite damaging to pack integrity, according to a recent analysis by NPS.

Read a copy of the Emergency Petition sent to the Board of Game at the following link;
2015 Emergency PetitionFINAL.

Although the Board of Game has been historically unresponsive to calls for closures, we are hoping for a new spirit of compromise as we support this Emergency Petition at the BoG March 2015 meeting in Anchorage. We invite you to sign DCC’s informal petition, in which we hope to gather the names of Alaskans who support this closure. Visit the link below or on the front page of our website.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/restore-protections-for-denali-wolves-on-state?

 

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DCC submits comments on Preliminary Permit request for a Hydroelectric project on Carlo Creek

March 1, 2015

CarloOn February 6, 2015, DCC submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a Preliminary Permit to establish a hydroelectric project on upper Carlo Creek, in an area where a number of local individuals hold private property.  A number of locals have objected to the construction of this project.  The Preliminary Permit will almost certainly be granted, and will authorize studies only, to be conducted over the next two to three years by project sponsors.  DCC is carefully following this proposal. We submitted comments and a motion to intervene, which can be viewed at the links below.

DCC Carlo Creek Comments P-14645 2.6.15

DCC Carlo Creek Motion to Intervene P-14645 2.6.15

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DCC submits comments on Bruskasna Dam Preliminary Permit Application

March 1, 2015

BruskasnaOn February 13th, Denali Citizens Council submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on an application for a Preliminary Permit to construct a hyrdroelectric project on Bruskasna Creek, a tributary of the Nenana River upstream from the first bridge across the Nenana north of Cantwell.  This area is popular with area boaters and fishermen.

The Preliminary Permit would authorize a variety of studies on economic, environmental and physical impacts of this proposed project. Studies are expected to take up to three years.

To read DCC’s comments on the Preliminary Permit application, click on the link below. In addition, DCC filed a “Motion to Intervene” to establish our organization’s standing over the course of the project. You may read the motion by clicking the link.

DCC Bruskasna Creek Comments P-14652

DCC Bruskasna Creek Motion to Intervene P-14652

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Environmental Assessment for Gorge Creek Trail Available for Public Comment

February 21, 2015

Eielson Visitor Center- NPS Photo

Eielson Visitor Center- NPS Photo

In September 2014, the National Park Service (NPS) sought input on how to deal with social trails and proposed the idea of establishing new trails around the Eielson Visitor Center area. DCC submitted 5 pages of comments hoping to influence Denali in its planning process (see previous news: “DCC urges NPS to retain ‘no formal trails in wilderness’ policy – Read more in our comments on Eielson-area trails“. It seems that some of our suggestions were taken into consideration.

Until March 1, 2015 the NPS is seeking public comment on an Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluating improvements to the Gorge Creek Trail, which is located south of the Eielson Visitor Center (EVC) at Mile 66 on the Denali Park Road. The NPS is considering improving and repairing the Gorge Creek Trail in order to protect Read more

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DCC submits comments on FERC Preliminary Permit for Jack River Dam

January 31, 2015

Click on the image for a larger version

On Friday, January 30th, 2015, DCC submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a request for a Preliminary Permit for a 4.2 Megawatt hydroelectric project on the Jack River, near Cantwell, Alaska, in the southern part of the Denali Borough.  The site is approximately 12 miles from the closest boundary of Denali National Park, and three miles south of the Denali Highway. The dam is proposed to be 250 high, and the reservoir, according to maps included in the permit, would be five miles long, stretching up into the Talkeetna Mountains.

The FERC Preliminary Permit is not a permit to build, but to study the concept. Preliminary FERC permits are usually granted, Read more

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DCC sends comments to Alaska Board of Game for January Work Session, where it will consider whether to move to a 3 year meeting cycle

December 29, 2014

Although dubbed a Work Session and not open for oral public testimony, this one-day meeting in Juneau will address important topics, including whether the Board will move away from a two year cycle of regional meetings to a three year cycle. Written comments were due on December 26th, and DCC submitted a short comment letter. A change to one regional meeting every three years has been touted as a way to save time and money, but our comments to the Board indicated skepticism on how well the Board would be able to do its business under this new scenario. The next full Board of Game meeting on strictly Interior issues (Region III) will not be until Spring 2016. A cycle change would delay that meeting further.

Recently-elected Governor Bill Walker has ordered temporary appointments to ADF&G Commissioner and Director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation while he searches for permanent replacements. We’re hoping that Walker’s Board of Game appointments will reflect a more diverse cross-section of Alaska citizens and that the Board’s work will reflect a commitment to compromise and collaboration beyond what occurred under the former governor. Our comments also voiced that hope.

To look at the agenda for the meeting and our comments to the Board of Game members, click the links below.

agenda_work_session_bog
Comments to Alaska Board of Game January Work Session

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DCC comments on NPS Wildlife Regulations express support

December 14, 2014

A federal regulation that would ban certain predator-hunting practices in the National Preserves just completed a 90 day comment period. We recently heard that more than 45,000 comments and 28,000 petition signatures were submitted, largely in support. Although there may be some minor changes, the regulation is expected to be finalized early in 2015. DCC signed on with several conservation organizations to a letter from Trustees for Alaska, an environmental law firm located in Anchorage, Alaska. We submitted a separate letter endorsing the comments and expressing our hope for an improved climate betwee NPS and the State of Alaska, moving forward. Read the detailed and interesting Trustees letter at the link below, followed by our submission.
NPS Draft Wildlife REgulation-Trustees for Alaska comments-Dec 3,2014
Denali Citizens Council comments on RIN 1024 AE21-Dec 3, 2014

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Sept-Oct DCC News now Online

November 8, 2014

DCC NL Sept-Oct 2014-web

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DCC submits comments on ASAP pipeline Supplemental EIS

October 14, 2014

at-the-meeting2During a recent scoping period for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP), we submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency developing the SEIS.  The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement marks another step in a long and frustratingly complex process to permit a pipeline from Prudhoe Bay, past Fairbanks, and down the Parks Highway east of Denali National Park to Southcentral Alaska.  The Supplemental EIS discusses some changes in ASAP infrastructure and route, but persists with a bypass route east of the national park, something quite unpopular with local residents.

Touted as a way to bring the benefits of Alaska natural gas to hungry Anchorage markets, the ASAP line is likely to be eclipsed by a much larger project, the Alaska LNG Project, in a few years.  The LNG promoters, including three oil companies and the State of Alaska, have brought their project plans to local residents through a series of meetings, but at this point ASAP appears to be taking the lead in permitting and shovel work.

Our comments were detailed, and stressed the lack of clarity in the project and its failure to consider a full range of alternatives.  Read our comments by clicking the link below.

DCC ASAP SEIS Comments 10.14.14

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Make your voice heard – ASAP Gas pipeline comments due October 14, 2014

October 11, 2014

ASAP_Healy_Community_WallMap_4of4_140806

Map from ASAP EIS shows route of ASAP pipeline between Healy and Carlo Creek. Click on map for larger version.

On August 1, 2014 the US Army Corps of Engineers announced a public comment period for the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline Project (ASAP). Comments are due by October 14, 2014.  Although an initial Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was approved in October of 2012, this scoping period will help to develop a Supplemental EIS to address changes in the pipeline right-of-way, and facilities on the North Slope to prepare gas for transport in the pipeline.  Click here for more information on the Supplemental EIS.

DCC submitted extensive comments on the initial EIS, and will be submitting detailed comments during this scoping period as well.  Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments ensure that the concerns of local residents are addressed.

The route of this line has changed several times, and is proposed to travel through residential areas, and valued natural areas.  Check the maps available online for current projected locations of the line in relation to your property and places where you work and recreate.  Detailed maps can be viewed under the headings of Healy and Cantwell.

Read more

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NPS-Alaska Sets Hearings for Sport Hunting Proposals

October 9, 2014

NPS-Alaska Sets Hearings for Sport Hunting Proposals

The National Park Service will hold 17 public hearings this fall on proposed regulations and environmental assessment related to sport hunting in Alaska’s national preserves. 

To view the full text of the news release that is attached in a PDF document, click the following link: AKRO Wildlife hearing schedule pdf.doc

Denali-area meeting dates are:
October 22 – Murie Science and Learning Center, Denali National Park (5:00 – 6:00 pm)
October 23 – Tri-Valley Community Center, Healy (6:00 – 7:00 pm)
October 27 – Cantwell Ommunity Hall, Cantwell (6:00 – 7:00 pm)

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