Outdoor Briefs

Posted: Friday, November 23, 2001

Avalanche awareness workshop offered

Alaska Avalanche School and the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management are teaming up to offer the Avalanche Hazard Recognition Workshop on Dec. 1. Class time is from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Soldotna High School Auditorium, 425 W. Marydale Avenue.

The class is taught by Jill Fredston. Her presentation is multimedia, and backcountry users of all ages should find it engaging.

At break time, Fredston will demonstrate the different kinds of equipment that is discussed in her class. She also will bring extra equipment and literature that can be sold at a discount to the class.

The class is offered at no cost, but interested people are asked to preregister by calling 262-4910.

National forest land still closed to snowmachines

The U.S. Forest Service has issued a reminder that all Chugach National Forest lands are closed to motorized use due to inadequate snow cover.

A snow depth of 28 inches in Turnagain Pass is insufficient to prevent resource damage. Warm weather and rain over the past week have caused a decrease in snow depth, and the forecast for the weekend is for more warm, wet weather.

The normal opening date for snowmachining on the Chugach is Dec. 1, but inadequate snow cover may delay the opening. Interested users can keep abreast of the latest information on openings and closings online at: www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach.

State closing Nelchina caribou hunt

GLENNALLEN (AP) -- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is closing the Nelchina subsistence caribou hunt, after deciding that hunters have probably reached the target harvest of 1,000 bulls.

''We know that 750 bulls have already been taken during the state hunt. Some hunters haven't sent in their reports yet and harvest from the federal subsistence hunt will raise the total to over 1,000 bulls,'' said Fish and Game biologist Brad Scotton.

Usually the Nelchina caribou move out of Game Management Unit 13 by the middle of October, but this year about two-thirds of the animals stayed in the area, improving hunter success. Thus the closure.

The herd is still below the target population of 35,000 to 40,000 caribou, Scotton said.

The Tier II hunt will be closed at midnight on Wednesday. The federal hunt remains open.

Skiers encounter wide-awake grizzly

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A young brown bear was spotted at an Anchorage park's trails, leaving claw marks on the snow and surprising several skiers.

The bear was seen by several witnesses Sunday at Kincaid Park, prompting park workers to post warning signs along several trails.

State biologist Rick Sinnott examined some of the 6 1/2-inch-wide prints Monday and concluded that they had been made by an adolescent bear about 3 years old.

''It's not rare for a bear to be up this late,'' Sinnott said.

''But it is a little unusual for people to be seeing bears in Kincaid Park this late, and I've never heard of a brown bear being in Kincaid Park this late in the year.

Bears generally hibernate after they fatten up or can't find any more food, Sinnott said. But the animals will come out if disturbed, and they will stay out late if they're still hungry.

In recent days, a brown bear was seen in East Anchorage and a black bear was seen in the southern section of town.

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