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Golovin lawmaker calls for REAL ID extension to benefit rural Alaska residents

was written by Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM – Nome , 2020-01-04 01:05:06

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Sen. Donny Olson of Golovin in 2014. (Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

One Alaska representative wants Gov. Mike Dunleavy to ask President Donald Trump for an extension of the REAL ID deadline and additional funding for outreach in rural communities.

Sen. Donny Olson wrote to the governor on Tuesday, saying that both Dunleavy and President Trump have a responsibility to ensure the ID mandate is implemented properly so as not to infringe upon Alaskans’ rights to travel.

As of Oct. 1, a REAL ID or other acceptable identification, such as a passport or a Bureau of Indian Affairs card with a photo, would be required for commercial air travel and to enter federal buildings or military bases. Alaskans in remote communities especially rely on air travel for medical appointments and Olson says they’re concerned.

“Let’s say that somebody out of Shishmaref or Savoonga goes ahead and gets Medevac’ed straight to Anchorage,” he said. “If they get down there and don’t have a REAL ID they will be prohibited from getting on the jet to go back to Nome and go back to their respective villages.”

Alaskans are not able to apply by mail, meaning many village residents, like Olson himself, will have to fly to their nearest DMV location, in hub cities such as Nome or Bethel.

“So here in Golovin to get to Nome it’s $190,” Olson said. “That’s $380 roundtrip.”

Olson’s letter follows a December announcement from Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tsibaka asking for $60,000 to create a rural outreach program to help rural Alaskans obtain the REAL ID.

Olson calls the mandate “unwanted” and writes to Dunleavy the state should be doing everything possible to reach out to every rural Alaskan to be REAL ID compliant for the Oct. 1 deadline. He suggests a rural outreach program where officials would make multiple visits to villages.

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An emerging trend is the more enlightening written content are not all encompassing academic studies but anecdotal viewpoints featuring people and small communities. Nonetheless, ironically it is sometimes the prominent organizations that provide the more entertaining and informational narratives. Of course there is also a place for tourism and hospitality statistical reviews or policy assessment. Well written articles about visiting the State of Alaska such as Golovin lawmaker calls for REAL ID extension to benefit rural Alaska residents assist us to take a look at the far reaching potential of sustainable hospitality and travel.

Whether it stems from new found awareness or common trends more often than not people opt for sustainable tourism and want to be responsible tourists. Alaska is a area in which sustainable travel and tourism is critical.

Regarded as best sightseeing for everyone seeing Alaska includes

Tongass National Forest. The Tongass is the largest national forest within the United States. It obtained its name from the Tongass Clan of the Tlingit native people and dates back to 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt established the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve. In 1908 the forest had been renamed and expanded and currently the 16.9 million-acre Tongass National Forest stretches from the Pacific ocean to the huge inland ice fields that border British Columbia and from the southern tip of Prince of Wales Island to Malaspina Glacier five hundred miles to the north. More than 80 percent of Southeast Alaska is in Tongass and with its thousands of islands, fjords and bays the national forest offers 11,000 miles of coastline. Tongass’ huge coastal rain forest consists of towering hemlock, spruce and red and yellow cedar. The undergrowth below thegiant conifers is made up of young evergreens and shrubs such as devil’s club, blueberry and huckleberry. Moss and ferns cover the ground, and lichens drape many trees and rocks.

Wildlife is abundant all through Tongass. Sitka blacktail deer and it’s 2 main predators, wolf and brown bear, are found here. Black bear are common as well as mountain goats and some moose. Marine mammals observed along the coast line include Dall and harbor porpoises, seals and humpback, minke and orca whales and a thriving population of sea otters. The water teem with fish including halibut and all five species of Pacific salmon. More bald eagles stay in this region than in any other place in the world. Though home to the world’s biggest temperate rain forest, just about half of Tongass is covered by ice, water, wetlands and rock. It’s most widley known ice floe is the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska’s “Drive-in glacier” since it is no more than thirteen miles from down-town Juneau along a paved road. A boat trip through Petersburg or Wrangell brings everyone near the face of LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier on the continent. Just thirty miles north of Yakutat is Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in the world and easily Alaska’s most energetic. The 76-mile-long glacier has crossed Russell Fjord several times, most recently in 2008. The rip tides and currents that flow in front of the 8-mile-wide glacier are so strong they induce Hubbard to calve nearly continuously. The Tongass consists of nineteen wilderness areas, including the 545-sq-mile Russell Fjord Wilderness, as well as Admiralty Island National Monument and Misty Fiords National Monument. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the general area around Haines and Skagway are not part of the national forest.

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