The Alaska Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday that it is opening state lands in the lower Brooks Range foothills area for off-road, winter tundra travel.
Soil temperatures and snow cover in the lower foothills area have met the opening criteria of six inches of snow and soil temperatures below minus 5 degrees C at a depth of 30 centimeters, DNR said.
An operator wishing to drive off road must obtain a valid off-road vehicle permit, the department said. And care should be taken to avoid areas with thin snow cover, or to use special methods to protect the tundra surface in these areas. State personnel will conduct periodic site inspections to ensure compliance with tundra travel stipulations.
The western coastal area of state land on the North Slope opened for tundra travel on Jan. 5, with the eastern coast area opening on Jan. 6. The upper foothills area remains closed.