Heavy snow and poor visibility on Thursday night and for much of Friday led to a rash of moose-vehicle collisions in Southcentral Alaska. Between 5 p.m. Thursday and noon Friday, the volunteers with the Alaska Moose Federation scrambled to retrieve 15 moose carcasses in the Anchorage and Mat-Su areas.
The federation operates several special flatbed trucks with winches designed to get dead moose off the roads and delivered to charitable agencies for butchering as quickly as possible. The program, funded by a grant from the Legislature, has been praised by law enforcement personnel for dramatically cutting the amount of time required for officers to respond to such collisions.
AMF executive director Gary Olson said that in less than 24 hours, volunteers had scooped up three moose in Wasilla and four each in Willow, Palmer and Eagle River.
"We've had seven drivers out working," Olson said. "Our drivers are going nonstop."
Moose are hitting the roads because of the deep snow, he said. "And it's going to keep snowing. All indications are (the weather) is getting worse."
Olson said the AMF drivers had collected and delivered six moose in a 24-hour period earlier this week but the new tally may be a record.
"This is really, really bad," he said.
Reach Mike Dunham at email@example.com or 257-4332.
By MIKE DUNHAM
Anchorage Daily News