Around the State

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Firefighters rescue boy stuck in mud

ANCHORAGE -- Anchorage firefighters rescued a 12-year-old boy who got stuck while fishing in the mud at Ship Creek.

Firefighters pumped water under the feet of the boy to break the suction of the mud and get him out Sunday.

Before firefighters finished with the boy, a man got stuck in the same area. He was able to get out when a friend threw him a board.

Anchorage Fire Department Battalion Chief John Huxley said about a dozen people get stuck in the same spot every summer.

Efforts under way to restore geese to Russia

ANCHORAGE -- Efforts are underway to reintroduce the once endangered Aleutian Canada goose -- already a success story -- to Russia.

About 18 Aleutian Canada geese flew out of Anchorage in crates Sunday and were headed for Magadan, Russia.

The young geese are a starter flock to be bred in captivity to try to repopulate the species over its entire range, which originally included the Kuril Islands and the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia, said Karen Boylan of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage.

Aleutian Canada geese numbered only several hundred in the United States in the mid-1970s. Now there are an estimated 37,000 birds. They were removed from the government's threatened species list earlier this year -- one of the few species to be taken off the list.

Few of the birds -- which look like a Canada goose but smaller, and have distinctive white markings around their necks -- survived in Russia. They were eaten mostly by foxes. Most Russia-bound goslings were born on Buldir Island in the western Aleutians.

Plans for second small boat harbor considered

VALDEZ -- Valdez city officials are considering two possible sites for a second small boat harbor.

City officials have been working with the Army Corps of Engineers to develop plans for two possible sites. One is just to the east of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s Ship Escort Response Vessel System facility. The other is at the site of the Sea Otter RV park.

City officials say neither plan would alleviate the city's chronic need for more space for pleasure boats. The city currently has a waiting list of 200. Either plan would create space for no more than 150 boats.

Construction at the proposed site east of the SERVS facility would cost approximately $15 million, of which Valdez would pick up $9.7 million. The other site has an estimated construction cost of $13.8 million, with Valdez picking up $6.9 million.

Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Andrea Elconin said the corps could sign off on a project by June 2002, get funding from Congress and begin construction by 2004.



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