Alaska- Frontiers Summer Issue 114
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Frontiers Flashes- News from around the Alaska 

Employees Take on 
New Roles

Gary Baumgartner. Photo by Maggie Rogers, State of Alaska.Gary Baumgartner New Aviation Manager

Gary was appointed the State Aviation Manager for the BLM-Alaska in mid- June. He previously served as the Deputy Base Manager with the Alaska Smokejumpers and as a Chena Hotshot crewmember. Gary’s aviation experience includes working as a Smokejumper Spotter, Air Tactical Group Supervisor, Air Tactical Supervisor and holding a private pilot’s license. “I am excited about the opportunity to take on new challenges and serving the BLM-Alaska aviation community,” he commented.

Earle Williams. Photo by Vanessa Rathbun.Earle Williams named Gas Pipeline Project Manager

Earle Williams is the BLM-Alaska’s new Pipeline Project Manager. Earle’s new position utilizes his prior experience in both realty and mineral development. “These gas pipelines are critical to Alaska’s future. Our role in processing a right-of-way application is to ensure that each project is developed responsibly with minimal impacts to public lands. I fi nd the possibility of being a part of a project that results in a gas pipeline in Alaska exciting. It would truly be history in the making,” he said.

Earle worked previously for the BLM-Alaska as Chief of the Realty and Conveyance Services Branch, Chief of the Solid Minerals Branch, and as a Mining Engineer in the Mineral Assessment program. Earle came to BLM in 1996 from the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

Kevin oliver. Photo by Maggie Rogers, State of Alaska.Kevin Oliver on detail as Acting Associate Manager at Alaska Fire Service

The BLM-Alaska welcomed Kevin Oliver as the acting Associate Manager for AFS in mid-July. He said, “I am really fortunate to have this opportunity to be a part of the AFS Team. The next few months will undoubtedly provide challenges and accomplishments. Having had seven successful years in southern Nevada, I am just beginning to look for my next opportunity within the BLM team.” Kevin graduated Penn State University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in Forest Science. He practiced forestry and wildland firefighting with the Idaho Department of Lands for 12 years. Kevin served as the Assistant Fire Management Officer at Lake Mead National Recreation Area and as the Fire Management Officer for BLM’s Southern Nevada District Office in 2004.

North Slope Science Initiative on the  International Stage

Representatives from the U.S., Denmark, Greenland, Sweden and the Faroe Islands discuss terrestrial biodiversity monitoring. Photo by John Payne.

The North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) is now a co-lead  with the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland and Faroe  Islands) for the Terrestrial Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring  Program (TCBMP). The TCBMP is one of four ecosystem based  expert monitoring groups focused on the Arctic’s major complex biological communities: marine, freshwater, coastal and terrestrial. The TCBMP is responsible for developing a pan-Arctic, integrated biodiversity monitoring plan to improve coordination between existing terrestrial monitoring networks. John Payne, NSSI Executive Director, traveled to Denmark May 1-8, 2011 for the group’s first meeting. The meeting produced numerous guiding documents including the Terms of Reference, an outline of the background paper to be used by the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna working group under the Arctic Council, and an outline for the first of two international terrestrial monitoring workshops. The workshops will be held in Denmark in October 2011, and in Alaska in the late spring of 2012. For more information, and to track the progress of the TCBMP, please visit:

Alaska Fire Service Employees Recognized  for Deepwater Horizon Efforts

State Director Bud C. Cribley shaking hands of AFS employee. Photo by Doug Stockdale.
On Friday, May 20, State Director Bud Cribley presented recognition certificates to 9 BLM-Alaska employees, including 6 Smokejumpers, 2 Dispatch Coordinators, and 1 Fire Specialist, for their aid in Deepwater Horizon cleanup efforts. Photo by Doug Stockdale.

Upcoming National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Lease Sale Announced

As a part of his strategy to expand responsible and safe domestic  oil production, President Obama directed the Department of  the Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska’s National  Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A) while respecting sensitive areas. 

BLM published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a 30-day period for interested parties to nominate or comment on available tracts within the NPR-A. The deadline to receive  nominations and comments on tracts for consideration was on or  before July 21, 2011. The notice was the first step in the process, leading up to a December 2011 oil and gas lease sale.

BLM-Alaska Retiree Recognized as Nation’s Sustainability Hero

Kurt Sorenson. Photo by John Jangala.In 2010 Kurt Sorenson quietly retired as Glennallen Field Office’s maintenance worker. His carpentry skill can be seen in all of the field offi ce’s buildings, from the ergonomic desks to the buildings themselves. But Kurt did more than keep the buildings in top shape. His efforts made GFO more sustainable. During his 28 years with GFO, Kurt saved over $100,000 by using fuel-efficient vehicles, installing timers in lights to conserve electricity, and winterizing unused buildings. He recycled and reused everything, even scrap wood and cloth rags. What couldn’t be recycled locally, he transported 200 miles to Anchorage. He also minimized his carbon footprint by bicycling to work every day, summer and winter, even in the Copper River Basin’s subzero temperatures!

In recognition of Kurt’s outstanding achievements, he will receive the U.S. Department of the Interior National Individual Environmental Achievement Award. Winning this award makes him eligible for consideration to receive a GreenGov Presidential Award, an award to recognize federal personnel, teams, and facilities that lead sustainability by example. To learn more about Kurt’s career and award, please visit: http://www.doi.gov/greening/awards/2011/2011_BLMGlenallen.html

The Healing Waters 
of the Tangle Lakes

The BLM is pleased to partner with Project Healing Waters, Fly-Fishing to host a fishing trip at the BLM Tangle Lakes Campground from August 26–28. Project Healing Waters is a national nonprofit organization that organizes fl y-fishing outings to help physically and emotionally rehabilitate wounded soldiers and veterans and their families. In addition to catching beautiful and delicious arctic grayling, participants will learn about basic fly-fishing techniques and the aquatic habitat of the scenic Tangle Lakes area. To learn more about Project Healing Waters and their fishing events visit their website at: http://www.projecthealingwaters.org

Seymour the Antelope Visits Alaska

On July 15, Anchorage was introduced to BLM’s Seymour the Antelope at the Campbell Creek Science Center by Anchorage’s own Seymour Moose. The two Seymours greeted about 70 children and their parents at the Science Center’s Moms, Pops, and Tots program. During lunch they entertained about 110 Trailside Discovery campers. “It was great to get the Seymour
cousins together for a fun family reunion and to see the children enthusiastically embrace them,” said Bud Cribley. The Seymours helped deliver the BLM’s message about the importance of being active on public lands and educated on the ecological needs of moose and pronghorn antelope, and the BLM’s role in protecting habitats for these and other wildlife.

State Director Bud Cribley and the Seymours entertain Trailside Discovery campers during their lunch. Phot by Eric Stuart.
State Director Bud Cribley and the Seymours entertain 
Trailside Discovery campers during their lunch.

New 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) was formed by a Secretarial advisory committee through a nomination process which ended on August 1. The 21CSC is an organization to engage America’s youth in the stewardship and restoration of public lands and water. The group will focus on helping youth, including those from low-income and underserved backgrounds, gain work experience and training while doing conservation work. The Advisory Committee will advise the Secretary of the Interior through the Office of Youth in the Great Outdoors and meet 4-6 times annually. For more information please visit: http://youthgo.gov/employment-program/21st-century-conservation-servicecorps

BLM-Alaska Cosponsors Mine Reclamation Workshop in Fairbanks

The Biennial International Northern Latitudes Mine Reclamation workshop was held May 9-12. Topics included mining, land and urban reclamation, and restoration methods. The BLM presented information about the remedial investigation work underway at the Red Devil Mine in southwestern Alaska. The workshop brought state and federal governments, Canadian agencies, industry, consultants, Alaska Natives, northern First Nations, and Inuit groups together. Some participants toured the Pogo, True North/Fort Knox, and Usibelli mines.

Last updated: 08-23-2011