Monthly Archives: August 2011

Stock up on king data — Genetic testing adds to Kenai, inlet knowledge

By Jenny Neyman

Photos courtesy of Tim McKinley, Alaska Department of Fish and Game. An Alaska Department of Fish and Game technician takes a tissue sample from a monster king salmon at the Fish and Game test-net site on the lower Kenai River. Samples are run through genetic testing to determine which spawning stock the fish is from.

Redoubt Reporter

As much as we might wish them to, fish simply don’t talk. Though biologists and fishery managers in Cook Inlet are constantly trying to learn more about king salmon, especially those from the Kenai River, pulling a chinook alongside a boat and asking it, “Where you from?” “Been here long?” or “Where you headed?” does not elicit a response. At least, not in so many words.

But advances in genetic testing make it just about that easy to get much better acquainted with king salmon.

“It’s pretty simple anymore,” said Tim McKinley, research biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Sport Fish Division. “In this business, when there’s a change in technology there’s rapid learning that goes on about your critter of interest. It’s kind of like when they put the Hubble Telescope up there. It was a whole new leap in technology for the astronomers and physicists and everything else.”

The leap for fishery biologists came with improvements in genetic testing that led to much easier and cheaper ways to derive information from tissue samples. Twenty-five years or so ago, genetic sampling of salmon was a time-intensive, technical, expensive and deadly process.

“If you were going to take genetic samples from fish you had to kill the fish because you were taking all kinds of weird stuff — like heart tissue or kidney or liver and blood. And then, once you took that sample, it had to be preserved using stuff like liquid nitrogen,” McKinley said.

Running the genetic testing lab work could cost a couple hundred dollars per sample.

“If you needed to run dozens or hundreds or thousands of samples, it gets ridiculous,” McKinley said. Continue reading

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Clam Shell to close — Landmark shuts doors following owner’s death

By Joseph Robertia

Photo by Joseph Robertia, Redoubt Reporter. An iconic structure between Kasilof and Ninilchik, the Clam Shell Lodge in Clam Gulch will soon be closing and the building going up for auction.

Redoubt Reporter

Driving the sparse stretch of Sterling Highway, there doesn’t seem to be much between Kasilof and Ninilchik, just the blinking red star atop of the Clam Shell Lodge to serve as a beacon to weary travelers.

As the area’s only restaurant, motel, bar and liquor store, snowmachiners in the winter making their way down from the Caribou Hills could stop in for a warm meal, while in summer, tourists and fishermen could poke in for a cool drink. But the establishment has been much more than just a food stop or watering hole.

The lodge has also served as a staging area or host for numerous Alaskana events, such as the Hippy Olympics, the Clam Jam and DeadFish summer music festival, the Way Out Women charity snowmachine ride, and a checkpoint for the Tustumena 200 and Clam Gulch Classic sled dog races, not to mention an oasis of social interaction for locals looking to catch up with friends or meet some new ones.

No longer. The watering hole oasis is drying up from financial hardship following owner Guy Baker’s death in a vehicle accident earlier this summer. The Clam Shell is preparing to close up tight for the last time.

“It’s devastating, but this is a huge place with huge bills and I just can’t keep up with it myself,” said Patty Baker, Guy’s widow and the remaining owner. Continue reading

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Chuitna coal debate heats up — Gov. Parnell’s administration charged with violating rules

By Naomi Klouda

Homer Tribune

A lawsuit against the Gov. Sean Parnell administration will be the next step if a legal process for protesting the Chuitna coal development continues to go unanswered.

Under hard-rock mining laws, Unsuitable Lands Petitions cannot be filed, such as in the case of the Pebble Project. But under soft-rock mining for coal, a provision exists for citizens and groups to petition the government arguing that a particular area should be deemed unsuitable, said Cook InletKeeper Executive Director Bob Shavelson.

“There is a section specifically written that states if an area is unsuitable for mining and cannot be reclaimed to its pre-mining values, then petitioners can ask to have it removed from the mining plan,” he said.

This legal right for interjecting public input is outlined in the Alaska Surface Coal Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

The proposed coal project would run through 11 miles of salmon stream. Though PacRim Coal has said it can rebuild the habitat that supports wild salmon, biologists have disagreed.

Shavelson fired off a letter Monday to the governor reminding him that the Unsuitable Lands Petition response deadline has come and gone. Under law, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources had a legal duty to respond to the petition by April 19. Four months later, the administration has failed to act, Shavelson wrote in the letter. Continue reading

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Slim berry pickings — Pickers have to hunt harder to reap fruits of labor this fall

By Joseph Robertia

Photo courtesy of Janice Chumley, Cooperative Extension Service. A caterpillar munches its way through a leaf this fall. An outbreak of caterpillars earlier this year has resulted in a damaged blueberry and salmonberry crop this fall.

Redoubt Reporter

The invasion began in spring. After parachuting down on silken threads and then burrowing into soil, they emerged and began to wage their war in the thick canopy. Camouflaged in various shades of green they are almost undetectable in the foliage, but the wake of the damage they left behind is obvious and will take time to repair.

“It’ll probably be around two years to recover,” said Janice Chumley, integrated pest management technician at the University of Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service in Soldotna.

She was referring to the damage done to native trees and shrubs by the caterpillars of Bruce spanworms and autumnal moths.

“Alder was their first choice, then willow, then they began dropping down and munching on other plant materials, including berry bushes,” she said.

The infestation appears to have begun on the lower Kenai Peninsula in 2009 and quickly spread, Chumley said, citing surveys conducted by CES, Native-owned Chugachmiut Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service.

The caterpillars have been documented in Anchor Point, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Ninilchik, Seward and mountain passes on the Kenai Peninsula, including Summit Lake and Turnagain Pass, she said. The insects have also been found farther north in the Anchorage, Matanuska and Susitna areas.

Chumley said the insects seem to have a preference for two berry bushes. Continue reading

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Almanac: Ringing up the past — Kenai-area businesses came, went, left their marks

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part feature on central Kenai Peninsula businesses that put their names on the line. Each of these establishments were named for their owners, were in business roughly 50 years ago, and no longer exist under the same name or at all. The first part of this feature appeared last week.

By Clark Fair

Photo courtesy of KPC Anthropology Lab. Eadie Sutton was an exotic dancer who came to Kenai in the early 1950s to create the Last Frontier Dine and Dance Club in North Kenai. Despite controversy, her establishment lasted for more than three decades. Here, as Eadie Henderson, she is seen in her leopard-skin coat fraternizing with some of the regulars in Kenai Joe’s bar.

Redoubt Reporter

Once of the most famous “name establishments” on the central Kenai Peninsula was not originally known by the name of its owner. The Last Frontier Dine & Dance Club, which opened its doors in North Kenai in May 1952, remained in operation for more than three decades but was rarely called anything but “Eadie’s,” for its owner and main hostess, the colorful and occasionally controversial Eadie Sutton.

Even the briefest glimpse into her history reveals how her fiercely independent spirit and the toughness of her character made her first name more recognizable than the actual title of her club.

Born on April 18, 1926, to a Russian-Jewish mother and a Greek father, Eitha Chenlikas ran away at age 13 from a hardscrabble, Depression-era home in Youngstown, Ohio, but she didn’t run far. At age 14 she created her stage name of Eadie Sutton and got her first job, dancing striptease, in a Youngstown burlesque club.

Over the next few years, Sutton parlayed this “career” into a series of opportunities. Married briefly at age 15, she traveled to and danced in Florida, Panama, Los Angeles, and finally north to Alaska.

In 1946, at the age of 20, she arrived in Anchorage and immediately secured a dancing gig. She entertained in Anchorage clubs, then in Fairbanks and back in Anchorage, when she heard that a military base was going to be constructed near the fishing village of Kenai, so she moved there and paid $8,500 for a 300-by-400-foot lot near the entrance of what would become Wildwood Station.

In the years that followed, she and the Last Frontier Dine and Dance Club, called Eadie’s Frontier Club in newspaper ads of the late 1960s, benefited from the money and men rife in an area that became known for its salmon, its soldiers and its oilfield workers.

Although her two-story business (strip joint and bar downstairs, hotel upstairs) was often decried as a brothel, Sutton was defiant: “They still haven’t proven anything when it comes down to it,” she said in a 1986 interview. “I’m not admitting it; all I’m saying is that people have had a good time here and enjoyed themselves immensely. People may have come in as strangers, but they always left as friends.”

Beyond her first brief marriage, Sutton wed at least three more times, becoming Eadie Randall, Eadie Zummert and Eadie Henderson, but, despite the sign out by the highway, her place of business never stopped being just “Eadie’s.”

Eadie died in January 2000, and the building that for so long housed her club is now home to a church.

Most of the other 1950s- and ’60s-era businesses named for their owners actually had the names on the building. Some of the other now-defunct establishments (with some assorted details) are: Continue reading

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Child’s play — Family gets early start on outdoor activities

By Joseph Robertia

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Burns. Zoe Burns smiles during a canoe trip down the Swanson River this summer. Even 3-year-olds can enjoy multiday trips in the outdoors, with patience and preplanning.

Redoubt Reporter

The idea of canoeing the 24 winding miles of shallow water that stretches from Sterling to Nikiski can be a daunting task, but for one Sterling trio that recently made a late-summer canoe trip down the Swanson River, it was an adventurous family getaway.

“Alaska is amazing anyways, but exploring with a little one really opens your eyes to everything around you. We’re so lucky to have the biggest playground here for kids,” said Stephanie Burns, who paddled the Swanson River over the course of two days last week with her husband, Brian, and their 3-year-old daughter, Zoe.

Not everyone could put a toddler in a canoe for two days, but Stephanie said outdoor adventures have been a part of her child’s life since she was born, and her interest in this area continues to grow as she gets older.

“She’s really outdoorsy,” Stephanie said. “She’s really into ‘Dora the Explorer’ and has her own backpack and we make maps together. She started canoeing with me when she was about 3 months old, and this year she started kayaking with me. She just sits right in front of me.” Continue reading

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The Green Beet: Mulch to make bulb plants damp, happy

By Jen Ransom, for the Redoubt Reporter

Photo courtesy of Jen Ransom. Any heavy mulch will help keep moisture levels consistent, which is important for ripening onions and garlic.

Onions and garlic both need to maintain even soil moisture during the last month or months of growth in order to mature. Onions will often swell above the ground, as they are shallow-rooted.

Garlic just takes so long to mature that any setbacks, such as a day of dry ground, can mean the difference between homegrown garlic and the store-bought variety come fall. In fact, spring garlic, as I planted, often won’t mature enough to harvest much.

So plan on planting another round this fall, in the same manner as other fall-planted bulbs, for a bumper crop next year. Store-bought bulbs might work if you can’t get your hands on dry sets, but keep in mind that these are often sprayed with chemicals to retard growth unless you purchase the organic variety.

Right now the name of the game for these two bulb varieties is mulch, mulch and more mulch. Heaps of mulch will keep the moisture level from fluctuating much, not to mention keep the weeds at bay. Because much of my mulching material has made it into next year’s compost pile or around other plants, I scored a few bags of grass clippings from my neighbor’s hard work in her yard (always double-check if there have been chemicals used if collecting mulch from others). Grass clippings are nitrogen rich, a bonus for garlic, which requires quite a bit of nitrogen to fully mature.

I spread the clippings between the two veggie patches during child nap times — no small feat to get them both asleep at the same time. Granted, this was a relatively easy garden task that could have been done with kids in tow, but since I think of my garden as mommy’s grown-up playground, I like to occasionally do some of the “work” sans kids. Continue reading

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Common Ground: Hunting for patience with Lucky ‘Lucy’

By Christine Cunningham, for the Redoubt Reporter

The best deal in town is a pigeon.

The price on pigeons has been stagnant for years, it seems. At $2, tax included, you can purchase your very own live pigeon, to do with what you want. I wanted to shoot my pigeon, but in a nice way — an honorable way. His short time on earth would be in service to a great tradition of upland bird dogs. He had modest living quarters and his very own office (the pigeon pole) in the far corner of the yard. He spent his evenings fouling his water dish — the price for a pigeon that doesn’t foul its own water dish is  $100 because they are so rare.

My pigeon didn’t like his harness. When I attempted to buckle the harness around him he wrestled me to the ground and pulled the harness from my grasp, flew across the yard over an ecstatic group of hunting dogs and vanished forever — or so I thought.

The harness cost three times the price of the pigeon. The hunt for Lucy (pronounced “loose-y”), the reluctant pole-dancer pigeon, lasted over an hour. I know that you’re not supposed to name animals that will one day be dinner, but I figured there’s no law against naming a bird that got away.

Nearby, my business partner in pigeon enterprises had the shotgun at the ready. At my urgent request, he unloaded the corked empties and put in two live shells.

The pigeon blinked from a nearby tree. I couldn’t see his eyes, but I knew it was blinking the way pigeons do — exposing the entire eye in such a way that, if it were a human expression, would denote incredible stupidity. But in a pigeon, it was somehow reassuring. Continue reading

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Art Seen: Proffered displays — Art faculty teach by example

By Zirrus VanDevere for the Redoubt Reporter

“Hieroglyphic Morning” by Jayne Jones is part of the art faculty exhibit at the Gary L. Freeburg Gallery at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus through Sept. 15.

It’s time again for the faculty art exhibit at the Gary L. Freeburg Gallery at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus, and it looks like it’s going to be an interesting year.

The most intriguing offering is Celia Anderson’s large-format painting on paper called “Tricksters.” In it, ravens appear to be tearing up an American flag, scrap by scrap, and flying off with the pieces. It is left to the viewer to decide who or what the tricksters represent, I suppose, and most folks are likely to have an opinion about it. I love the piece for its more formal delights — the vibrant brushstrokes and well-handled composition create a work that is dynamic and entirely engaging. If ravens were to pick it apart, I think each scrap would be an amazing little painting.

Right beside it sits a mixed-media piece by Kathleen Rolph, where a puppetlike version of a raven sits in a birch “tree,” and two adorable babies sit in a nest. From what I know about these types of events, it is likely synchronicity rather than planning at play, so it was fun to see. Continue reading

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Night Lights: Night scenes looking up

By Andy Veh, for the Redoubt Reporter

Graphic courtesy of Andy Veh

Now it gets dark at a reasonable time in the evening and besides the sun and the moon we can again see planets, the occasional meteor, comets perhaps, stars, some star clusters, and two galaxies.

First, find the Big Dipper low in the northwest, then take the distance between the dipper’s last two stars and extend it five times toward the zenith (the point straight up), and you get to Polaris, the North Star, which is a semibright star at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. It also marks our latitude on the Kenai Peninsula at 60 degrees above the northern horizon.

Next, find the constellation Cassiopeia, in the shape of a W, on the other side of the Little Dipper, high in the northeast. High in the sky as well, almost in the zenith, is Cygnus, the swan, which also looks like a cross. Its brightest star, Deneb, connects with two other bright stars, Vega and Altair, in the constellations Lyra, the harp, and Aquila, the eagle. Together they make up the prominent summer triangle.

Just left of them is the Great Square of Pegasus, high in the southeast. To its left is the first object you are able to see, ultrabright Jupiter. Turning to the west we can see bright-red Arcturus setting, a sign that summer is over. And rising in the northeast is bright yellow Capella, a corner of Auriga’s pentagon. Throughout the night, all constellations move from east to west (of course, it’s Earth rotating that gives us this illusion). Thus, the evening western constellations set while in the east Taurus, Orion, Gemini and Cancer are rising throughout the night, telling us that winter is coming up. Continue reading

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Plugged In: Walk on the wide side, with wide-angle lenses

By Joe Kashi, for the Redoubt Reporter

Wide-angle lenses present both optical design challenges and unique photographic opportunities.

Photographically, the demagnified images inherent to a very wide-angle field of view and the necessarily close camera-to-subject distances often result in strong and unusual optical effects.

These wide-angle photographic effects are neither good nor bad in themselves. What matters is how you use them, either to make cliched photos or to show a fresh and unexpected point of view of a subject.

As I compared the sharpness of various lenses, I found that affordable wide-angle zoom lenses sometimes did as well or better overall than more expensive prime lenses, at least in the price ranges affordable by mere mortals.

That’s really odd. My guess is that current consumer-grade, wide-angle zoom lenses likely benefit from economies of scale and more modern optical designs. Continue reading

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Pouring over oil transit details — Transportation risk analysis to study, reduce dangers of Cook Inlet spills

By Jenny Neyman

Photo courtesy of Dr. David Wartinbee. Escopeta’s Spartan jack-up rig makes its way up Cook Inlet this August. Cook Inlet is expected to see increased traffic in the next 10 years.

Redoubt Reporter

Given the myriad risk factors of an oil spill that a new Cook Inlet marine transportation study will be considering, the wonder isn’t the danger that spills could occur, it’s the fact that there haven’t been more of them.

“We’ve been very lucky,” said Tim Robertson of Nuka Research and Planning, which is facilitating the study. “Any of these kind of catastrophic or very serious oil spills are very low frequency events, and we’ve just been lucky that we haven’t had a serious incident. All of the parts and pieces are here for a very serious type of accident.”

The level of risk of an oil spill is a product of frequency and consequence, Robertson said — how much opportunity there is for a problem and how significant the damages could be. In Cook Inlet, both factors are great.

“We have significant vessel traffic,” he said. “We have a number of large ships that come in, including crude oil tankers and oil product tankers. We have the very large, very fast container ships that are essentially our supply line in Alaska. We have a number of smaller bulk carriers that haul fishery or forest products, and intermixed with all this other traffic are tugs and barges and fishing vessels.”

Large or small, quick or plodding, carrying environmentally hazardous products as cargo or just as fuel, each of those vessels faces significant navigational challenges in Cook Inlet.

“We have tremendous tides, and currents that are driven by the tides, that make navigation difficult in Cook Inlet,” Robertson said. “We’ve got a lot of shoal waters, waters that are shallow so a ship has to be very careful to be in their channels, not like some other places where it’s broad and deep. We have the ice season in the wintertime, which is really the only major port in North America that deals with significant ice accumulations in the wintertime. And we also have a lot of darkness and periods of obscured visibility. All those things are risk factors.”

If there is a spill, the possible environmental damage is great — world-class fish runs, federally protected beluga whales, migratory birds and sea life. And what’s being hauled isn’t the only danger. The fuel required to do the hauling would also be hazardous if spilled into the inlet.

“It’s not just looking at the cargo being crude oil. Even if the vessel is carrying something benign, like pingpong balls, if there’s an incident it still has its own fuel source on-board. There is a risk of danger regardless of the cargo,” said Jerry Rombach, director of public outreach for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council.

In the past three decades, there’s only been one significant spill in Cook Inlet — when the tanker Glacier Bay ran aground on a large submerged rack on July 2, 1987, and spilled 207,000 gallons of oil. And there’s been one recent major close call, on Feb. 2, 2006, when an ice floe tore the tanker Seabulk Pride lose from the KPL dock in Nikiski and pushed it aground about a half mile up the beach.

Overall, Cook Inlet’s record of oil spills is relatively unfouled, particularly considering the amount of vessel traffic and the navigational hazards that exist. The point of a maritime transportation risk assessment of Cook Inlet currently being launched is to keep that record clean.

“There haven’t been many incidents but there have been a few and it only really takes one. It gets people thinking about the risks involved in maritime navigation, and especially with our oil production and oil shipping in the inlet, it is even more necessary that we take a look to determine if our navigation needs warrant any additional oversight,” Rombach said.

CIRCAC is partnering with the Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct the assessment. It is a federal requirement added by Congress to the reauthorization of the Coast Guard in 2010 that such an assessment be done, prompted in part by the Seabulk Pride incident, and even more so by the Selendang Ayu incident in 2004, when the cargo freighter ran aground off the coast of Unalaska and spilled an estimated 350,000 gallons of bunker oil and diesel.

A marine transportation risk assessment has already been conducted for the Aleutian Islands region, and now it’s Cook Inlet’s turn. Nuka Research, based in Seldovia, was contracted to facilitate the process, as it did for the Aleutians project and has done for the Alaska DEC in assessing risks of land-based oil spills statewide.

The study is expected to cost under $2 million, Rombach said, with about $430,000 being secured so far.

“We know we’ve still got fundraising to do, but this gets us about a fourth of the way to where we need to be. It’s enough that we can get a big part of it under way,” Rombach said.

The project will include three phases. The first is to assess current vessel traffic in Cook Inlet and project what traffic will be like over the coming 10 years.

“It looks at what types of vessels are here, what kind of cargo are they carrying, how much fuel they have on board, what kinds of fuel they have on board, what routes they take, that sort of thing,” Robertson said.

An initial Cook Inlet marine traffic analysis was completed in 2006, so this will be an update of existing data. It’s likely to show an increase in traffic, Rombach said, especially with increased oil and gas exploration activity, such as the arrival of Escopeta’s Spartan jack-up rig, and the expected addition of another jack-up rig from Buccaneer Energy this winter.

“We tend to think that there’s a higher level of activity in the inlet. Some of that might be wishful thinking, but some smart people are saying there’s a lot of oil left in the inlet. We’re not fortune tellers, we don’t know what might happen with the gas pipeline coming to Nikiski, but we just think all signs point toward a greater level of activity in the inlet and we want to be prepared,” Rombach said.

Next will be taking that 10-year projection and estimating what potential accidents could occur, given that traffic. A panel of experts will review those two reports to analyze what impacts may occur if those accidents were to happen.

“Where would oil go if it ended up in the inlet? They would do a trajectory analysis. And experts from natural resource agencies might estimate what would get oiled if these spills occurred. It gives us the consequences,” Robertson said.

An advisory panel representing various stakeholder groups and agencies will monitor these phases, then take all the resulting information and come to a consensus on recommendations to submit to the Coast Guard that would increase vessel safety and decrease the risk of spills in the inlet.

“At the end of it, we will have this risk picture. They’ll look at it and say, ‘OK, these are the things we can do to reduce the risk — either reduce the frequency of the accidents or the severity or the consequences of the accidents,” Robertson said.

The recommendations could be simple or complex. Some of the suggestions from the Aleutians advisory panel in the wake of the Selendang Ayu spill, for example, were for the Coast Guard to keep specialized equipment on-board and to have different vessels available to respond immediately to an incident.

“Some might be fulfilled just by the Coast Guard tweaking how it operates. Some others might require new regulations, so that you’d have a whole new regulatory process that would kick in that would include public comments and writing new regulations and rules and so forth,” Rombach said. “We really don’t know where this will take us, but some of it could be quickly implemented, some other suggestions might take longer to implement.”

Rombach said the advisory panel will operate as independently from the management team as possible, even to the point that some of its recommendations may not be exactly what the steering agencies would like to see result from the process.

“We (CIRCAC) would like to see (a requirement for) double-hulled vessels, for example. But the recommendation might be that, based on the hazards that are identified and the traffic patterns that are projected, the panel may say, ‘We don’t think that’s necessary.’ So we know that there might be some undesirable recommendations (from what CIRCAC may prefer) that might come out of this, and we’re prepared for that.”

Currently, applicants are being sought to serve on the advisory panel, with one panelist and one alternate from 12 identified stakeholder categories, including Cook Inlet ports and harbors; land and natural resource managers; Alaska Native Tribes and subsistence users; nongovernmental organizations; the fishing industry; mariners in local trades, including tugs and barges, container ships and tank vessels; marine salvage and rescue tug operators; marine pilots; and oil platform or mobile drilling platform operators.

Panelists will be appointed as individuals, not representatives of a company or organization, and will be selected based on their knowledge of local infrastructure, relevant industries, waterways, navigation, weather, habitat and area use.

“I consider this our key to success is seating a good advisory panel. We’re looking for folks with knowledge of their stakeholder group, willing to come to the table and learn. Our experience with this process is everyone has something to teach everyone else,” Robertson said.

The deadline for submitting an application to serve on the advisory panel is Aug. 26. The application can be downloaded on the risk assessment website, http://www.cookinletriskassessment.com. Completed forms can be emailed to CIRAapplicants@nukaresearch.com or faxed to 240-368-7467. Notification of the selections is expected by Sept. 1, with the first panel meeting slated for Sept. 12 in Anchorage.

For more information on the risk assessment, including all relevant documents, schedules and contacts that will be updated as the process continues, visit www.cookinletriskassessment.com.

As this process begins, Rombach cautions Cook Inlet residents to realize that it takes more than good luck to avoid oil spills.

“Particularly in a place like Cook Inlet, and particularly with the nature of the cargo largely being gas or oil, that just almost screams for this attention to be given to navigational hazards. We would like to think that the shippers in Cook Inlet, the oil processors and operators, the oversight of our organization and the presence of an outfit like (Cook Inlet Spill Prevention and Response), that we are as prepared as any place on Earth for an incident of almost any kind,” he said. “This is just one more piece of the puzzle that hopefully, when the effort is all said and done, we will have a product and set of recommendations that will take us even further than other parts of the country, and other parts of the world, in preparedness.”

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