Usage Changes Proposed for Refuge


Jay Barrett/KMXT

On Wednesday there will be a public forum on several proposed changes in the Kodiak national Wildife Refuge. Speakers will discuss three items affecting areas near the O’Malley River, Den Mountain and at public use cabins.

The O’Malley River used to be open for bear-viewing, says Bryan Glaspell, the visitor services manager for the refuge, but it’s been closed for some time, and the proposed change would re-open it.

A forum Wednesday (Dec. 2) afternoon will be hosted by students at Kodiak College, in room 110 at 4 p.m. Glaspell and Larry Van Dael of the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust will be the presenters. It is open to the public.

(Refuge 1 36 sec "The program ran for … the end of September.")

O’Malley Creek is at the southern end of Karluk Lake. Glaspell says the proposal to reopen the area came as the result of a decade-long comprehensive conservation plan:

(Refuge 2 31 sec "One of the central planning … managed by the state.")

He said the proposal has a good deal of support:

(Refuge 3 26 sec "In general there’s … point of opposition.")

Another proposed rule would ban snowmachining in about 5,000 acres of refuge land near Den Mountain, north of Terror Bay:

(Refuge 4 32 sec "That’s an area that … other means of access.")

The other proposed rule would bar camping from within a quarter-mile of any public use cabins in the refuge.

As for timelines, the bear-viewing at the O’Malley River wouldn’t’ start until 2011 at the earliest. The snowmachining and camping rules are about to be published in the Federal Register as final rules. Then, the public will have 30 more days to comment.

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