NEWS BULLETIN

December 22, 2008 --- Vol. 14, No. 117December 2008

BLM opens tundra travel across the NPR-A

The Bureau of Land Management is now allowing travel over all applicable tundra in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the federal agency said Dec. 19.

With frost depths reaching deeper than 12 inches and snow depths of more than six inches, travel is allowed in parts of the northeast planning area leased in 1998 and 2002.

Because of a disparity between regulations in different parts of the reserve, those lands in the northeast planning area have stricter guidelines for determining whether snow fall and ground conditions will sufficiently protect North Slope tundra from industrial vehicles.

The regulations covering the rest of the northeast planning area, as well as the entire northwest planning area of the reserve, allow travel once “frost and snow covers are at sufficient depths to protect the tundra.” Because those conditions have now been met, travel in those sections of the reserve is now allowed “at the discretion of the permittee.”


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