The first legally-binding, multilateral agreement to prevent commercial fishing in the central Arctic Ocean was signed last year. A key part of that agreement is collaboration on scientific research, which could underpin a management plan later.
Alaska is, of course, famous for its sled dog racing, but that’s never been where Geoff Carroll’s interest lies. He’s an expedition guy. In fact, his introduction to mushing was on an expedition to the North Pole in 1986: a 56-day, 1,000 mile trek over sea ice by dogsled.
“Near-deaths and freezing, running out of gas are some of the issues surrounding being able to go between communities,” said Gordon Brower, director of the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department.
Survival course trainees are exposed to subzero temperatures and winds that gust up to 30-plus miles an hour. “They don’t go back inside after they come out here and begin the training,” said instructor Sgt. Garrett Wright.
Some people at the meeting expressed concern about the process. Lisa Baraff with the Northern Alaska Environmental Center said that the timeline BLM has been using for their environmental review is too short.
The area has been failing to meet a federal air quality standard since 2009, and this year is the deadline for meeting that standard. But after a decade of struggle, trying to get people to cut back on wood burning is still as contentious as ever.