Permit for NEON scientific site on state lands near Healy- Comment deadline this Wednesday
DCC thanks Friends of Stampede for providing information on this proposed scientific installation, to be situated on state lands near 8 Mile Lake. The proposed site is part of a nationwide network of monitoring sites to be deployed by the National Ecologic Observatory Network (NEON) under the auspices of the National Science Foundation.
Map of proposed site.
NEON has applied to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for a permit to install the site on the upper Stampede Road, about a half mile south of the road. The plan of operations states that the installation will be temporary, 5-7 years, but the site will need electric power and the applicant has asked that power lines be installed to the site. This would involve construction of power lines either up the Stampede Road or through some part of the Panguingue Creek subdivision. Locals are reasonably concerned regarding the long-term implications of this single-purpose utility construction into an undisturbed area. Possible moving of the site to an area closer to existing power lines has been suggested. Some have asked for continued extension of comments to allow representatives of NEON to come to the borough and explain the project.
We urge you to comment to DNR regarding this permit application. Check the NEON website for additional information, see the Friends of Stampede website, where a variety of materials are linked and concerns documented.
Comments to DNR are due this Wednesday, September 30th, to AJ Wait at the Division of Mining, Land and Water: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may call Mr. Wait for more information at 907-451-2777.
Mission of the Project (from NEON website): The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will collect data across the United States on the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on natural resources and biodiversity. NEON is a project of the U.S. National Science Foundation, with many other U.S. agencies and NGOs cooperating.
NEON will be the first observatory network of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales over multiple decades. The data NEON collects will be freely and openly available to all users.
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The Alaska Wildlife Alliance supports the Denali Citizens Council’s comments on this proposed project.