The Bureau of Land Management said today that it is allowing tundra travel in the northwest planning area of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, provided that operators ensure that they meet the stipulations of the Integrated Activity Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for the area.
Those stipulations state “ground operations shall be allowed only when frost and snow covers are at sufficient depths to protect the tundra.” Except for low ground pressure vehicles such as Rolligons, all travel must occur on ice roads.
Northeast NPR-A remains closed for tundra travel. The northeast area requires frost to a depth of 12 inches and an average snow cover 6 inches deep.
“Frost conditions have been met within the northeast, while the average snow cover is not yet 6 inches,” BLM said. However, the bureau said that it might entertain exceptions to the stipulations on a case-by-case basis.