Tundra travel on state land ends for season
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has closed all off-road tundra travel on Arctic state lands, thus bringing to an end this winterís off-road travel season. The agency closed the Lower Foothill area at 6:30 p.m. on May 6 and the Eastern and Western Coastal areas at 9:30 p.m. on May 8. In each case off-road travel already in progress had to be completed within 72 hours. There has been widespread deterioration of the snow pack and the emergence of large swaths of visible vegetation, DNR said.
DNR said that snow may still be adequate for tundra travel in some places but that, with forecast rising air temperatures and the potential for the sun to further compromise the snow pack, and with the highly variable snow conditions, the department had to order the tundra travel closure. The department said that it would consider granting travel extensions on a case-by-case basis in areas where the snow pack remains adequate.
The Upper Foothills area has not opened for tundra travel this winter.
Summer off-road travel may begin on or after 6 a.m. on July 15 for holders of valid permits for off-road operations using vehicles certified by the state for tundra travel.
- ALAN BAILEY