The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has announced the closure of winter tundra travel in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, effective from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday May 13, 2008.
“Ice roads and snow packed trails have become soft and impassable, ending their use,” BLM said. “All stream crossings have been breached.”
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has also closed the state’s Upper Foothills Tundra Opening Area, as from 12:00 p.m. May 13.
“Snow has disappeared on the ridges and the south facing slopes and the forecast is for temperatures of 35 to 45 degrees for the next five days,” Gary Schultz of Alaska’s Division of Mining, Land and Water told Petroleum News today.
Schultz said that other areas of state land remain open.
The Lower Foothills area still has relatively good snow coverage and cooler conditions are forecast than in the Upper Foothills, Schultz said. The coastal areas are still cool and there is some snow in the forecast, he said.
However, forecasts have been predicting rising temperatures.
“As soon as those warmer temperatures materialize we’ll probably be looking at closing,” Schultz said.”But for now things look good for continued use.”