Last Chance sno-go race set for Saturday
Race enthusiasts looking for one more opportunity to pit their sled skills against each other can sign up for the Last Chance Race tomorrow evening.
Sign ups for the Saturday race will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday evening. For a location call Claude Wilson at (907) 412-1993 or Stephen Schaeffer at (907) 412-0432.
The Arctic Circle Racing Association is hosting the race, which will feature two classes. The open class is open to both men and women. The fan-cooled class is also open to junior racers aged 16 and up.
The race entry fee is $250.
Immediately following the Friday sign-up, officials will hold a racer meeting and draw for starting positions. All racers will review the rules and course at that time.
Coast Guard, Russia sign joint agency protocol
As shipping traffic in the Arctic increases, the U.S. Coast Guard is ramping up its efforts to establish cooperative agreements between other Arctic nations, most notably Russia, which has increased its exploration and activity in the Arctic significantly in recent years.
Last week, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, signed an agreement with Rear Adm. Sergey Vitalievich Shcherbakov, commander of the Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate of the Federal Security Services of the Russian Federation that established a joint agency protocol for continued support of marine security and fisheries law enforcement in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea.
Such efforts to coordinate with other Arctic nations were one of the main requests from United States policy makers, who note that dozens of ships are passing by Alaska's shores without providing information about their location, rescue response capabilities or cargo.
Rabid wolf shot in Interior prompts concern for local animals
A wolf shot in Interior Alaska has tested positive for rabies, the first animal to test positive for the virus so far inland.
The wolf was shot in late March after approaching a trapper in the Chandalar Lake area, roughly 180 miles north of Fairbanks, near the Brooks Range. "This is not normal behavior" for a wolf, state wildlife biologist Cathie Harms said.
While the rabies virus is present along the northern and western coasts of Alaska, this is the first time an animal has tested positive south of the Brooks Range. "We don't know if it's a single solitary case, or if there are more animals that have been exposed," Harms said.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is hoping to collect tissue samples from any wolf, wolverine, fox or coyote killed in the Chandalar Lakes portion of a region called the Fortymile area to determine whether this was an outbreak of the virus or an isolated incident. To test for the virus, tissue samples are collected from the frozen head of the animal at a state laboratory in Fairbanks.
"People in that area should be on high alert," said Dr. Robert Gerlach, state veterinarian.