Alaska is definitely a destination in which the question of responsible travel and tourism is critically important. Driven by a fame as a world-class place, visitors are passionate about Alaskan vacations.

a vacation in Alaska

A Vacation In Alaska

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In Fairbanks, some Alaskans welcome this proposed North Slope oil project. Others say ‘slow down’

was written by Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks , 2019-09-11 03:27:40

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About 40 people showed up Monday at a meeting in Fairbanks to offer comments for and against a proposed North Slope oil and gas project. Supporters say development of ConocoPhillips’s Willow prospect would create jobs and boost Alaska’s economy. Opponents warn it would further harm the environment and the health of people who live nearby. They also told federal officials to stop trying to rush the review process and give them more time to study the proposal.

ConocoPhillips has proposed developing the Willow oil and gas prospect in the northeastern corner of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
(Image credit Bureau of Land Management)

The federal Bureau of Land Management scheduled the meeting to get input on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Willow prospect, located in the northeastern corner of the National Petroleum Reserve. The usual suspects testified in favor of the project — like Scott Eickholt, business manager of the Laborers Union Local 942.

“The Willow Project is a much-needed boost to the overall energy industry and the workers who rely on those jobs,” Eickholt said. “It could take more than seven years to construct the project and support 2,000 construction jobs, and could inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the Alaskan economy.”

Eickholt says ConocoPhillips estimates the project will produce some 130,000 barrels of oil a day. Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Marisa Sharrah says that could help fill the pipeline, which for years has been running at about 25 percent of capacity.

“Production from Willow will help maintain the integrity of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System,” Sharrah said. “The estimated production rate could be about 20 percent of an increase in current thoughput, and will help this critical component of Alaska’s infrastructure remain viable for decades.”

But opponents like Siqiniq Maupin say the project would produce more climate-changing greenhouses gases and would further foul the environment around Nuiqsut, a village located near the Willow site and other existing oil and gas operations.

Siqiniq Maupin, an Inupiaq who lives in Fairbanks, has family and friends in Nuiqsut, a village near the area in the NPR-A where ConocoPhillips proposes to extract up to 130,000 barrels of oil daily. (Photo credit Tim Ellis/KUAC)

“We have poor water quality up north,” Maupin said. “We have poor air quality. We are seeing cancer rates soar. And it’s disturbing to see many people that talk about jobs over people’s health.”

Maupin is an Inupiaq who lives in Fairbanks and works as a community organizer. She says her family in Nuiqsut and others there say the oil industry’s emissions of particulate matter like PM2.5 have dramatically increased asthma, especially in children. And she says other byproducts also harm the fish and wildlife area residents depend on for subsistence.

“We have had Nuiqsut residents come with sick fish they can’t eat anymore. That’s our traditional food,” she said. “We’ve had caribou that’ve had black bone marrow. … We haven’t gotten answers for this. You know, this is alarming.”

But oilfield worker Jesse Nee, of Fairbanks, says that’s not what he sees up on the Slope.

“I’ve worked in Prudhoe long enough that I’ve seen more wildlife up there than I have anywhere else that I go,” Nee said. “And I’ve spent a lot of time in the Bush.”

Project opponents say that’s corporate spin. They say state and federal agencies must conduct more studies on how the oil industry is affecting the health of residents and wildlife.

Karolina Pavic says more air-quality monitors are needed, besides the one in Nuiqsut operated by ConocoPhillips. Also needed, she says, are more independent reviews of models based on the monitors’ data.

“You put some numbers in a computer,” Pavis said, “but where did those numbers generate from?”

Pamela Miller says the Final Environmental Impact Statement must include more plain-language explanations. And she says it must include more maps that among other things would show all the many oil and gas operations around the Willow Project, and studies that show their cumulative impacts.

“There’s too much, too soon, too fast,” Miller said.

Miller, Maupin and others at the meeting said members of the public who want to know more about the development of northern Alaska’s resources are being overwhelmed by all the other projects that have been proposed for the area. Those include other NPR-A projects and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain and the Ambler Mining District Industrial Access Road

Maupin and others said the federal government must stop trying to complete the Environmental Impact Statement process within a year, as President Trump has ordered.

“We need to slow down this process that’s been rushed,” she said.

BLM Project Manager Racheal Jones said after the meeting that her agency has tried to comply with the administrative directive to streamline the EIS process. But she says she was unable to accomplish that with the Willow project.

“We set milestones schedules to meet that timeframe,” she said. “And we’re not able to achieve that.”

Public comments on the Draft EIS will be accepted through Oct. 29. The Final EIS is scheduled to be completed next February, and a final decision on the project is due in March.

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a vacation in Alaska, the Last Frontier

Going To Alaska, America’s icebox

Often the most interesting material are not sweeping esoteric investigation but intimate stories highlighting individuals and small communities. However, unexpectedly frequently it’s the largest organizations that provide the more entertaining and instructive anecdotes. Without a doubt there is also a role for travel statistical research or policy assessment. Posts about a vacation in Alaska, America’s icebox including In Fairbanks, some Alaskans welcome this proposed North Slope oil project. Others say ‘slow down’ help us to study the broad topics of sustainable tourism.

Regardless of whether it stems from fresh perspectives or social tendency as a whole buyers like sustainable tourism and want to think of themselves as responsible travelers. Alaska is a area in which sustainable travel is mandatory.

Local good excursions for nearly everyone vacationing in Alaska includes

Denali National Park and Preserve. Initially developed to preserve wildlife, the colors and scenery are having said that stunning. Denali consists of 160 miles of the Alaska Range and commanding this skyline is North America’s largest peak; 20,320 foot Mount McKinley quite simply one of the most stunning views in Alaska, if not the world. However it’s not only the mountain which makes Denali National Park a unique place. The park is home to thirty seven species of mammals, which range from lynx, marmots and Dall sheep, to foxes and snowshoe hares, and one hundred thirty different bird species have been spotted here, which include the amazing golden eagle. Many visitors, however, want to see four animals particularly: moose, caribou, wolf and everyone’s favorite: the grizzly, bear. Denali, unlike most wilderness areas in the country, it’s not necessary to be a backpacker to view this wildlife, they can be seen right next to the famous Denali Park road. Not surprisingly then, visitors come here in droves; the park is a well-known destination, getting 432,000 visitors yearly. Over the years the National Park Service (NPS) has developed exceptional visitor-management strategies, such as shutting down its only road to the majority of vehicles. For that reason Denali National Park is still the superb wilderness it had been two decades ago. The entrance has changed, however the park itself has not, and any brown bear meandering on the tundra ridge continue to provide the same quiet thrill as it did when the park very first opened up in 1917. Even though generations of Athabascans had wandered through what’s presently the park, the first permanent settlement was established in 1905, when a gold miners’ rush established the town of Kantishna. A year later, naturalist and hunter Charles Sheldon was stunned by the beauty of the land and horrified at the reckless abandon of the miners and big-game hunters. Sheldon came back in 1907 and explored the region with guide Harry Karstens in an effort to setup boundaries for a proposed national park. Sheldon was successful and the location was recognised as Mount McKinley National Park in 1917 along with Karstens serving as the park’s first superintendent. As a result of the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the park was increased to more than 6 million acres and re-named Denali National Park and Preserve. Denali now consists of an area somewhat larger than the state of Massachusetts and is generally ranked as one of Alaska’s top attractions.

a vacation in Denali National Park in Alaska

Seeing Denali National Park in the State of Alaska