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Rick Sinnott

The status of seven Anchorage-area moose hunts is still uncertain after the Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee voted Tuesday to reconsider a previous vote to cancel the hunts. The committee then twice tabled motions to vote on reauthorizing the antlerless and “either-sex” hunts until its Jan. 6 meeting.

By that time at least 2,000 hunters are expected to have applied for permits for the hunts and the application period will be closed...

Rick Sinnott

As Alaskans debated legalizing pot in the recent election, Chugach State Park was already reeling from too many hits of bad weed.

A year after the completion of a new parking area at the Glen Alps trailhead, at least 10 species of invasive weeds have sprouted from compost spread by a subcontractor, Signature Land Services...

Rick Sinnott

Seven Anchorage-area moose hunts scheduled for next fall and winter are canceled after the Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee withdrew its authorization of the hunts in Game Management Unit 14C, which includes Anchorage, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Chugach State Park.

The decision wipes out 76 permits for restricted weapons hunts available to archers as well as hunters using black powder or shotguns with slugs. These hunts in and near Alaska’s biggest city are prized by thousands of hunters. Two of the canceled hunts are limited to disabled veterans...

Rick Sinnott

I haven’t talked to anyone who didn’t hear enough political ads in October. Everyone, regardless of their political persuasion, complained about the avalanche of political ads, particularly attack ads, during this election cycle.

Nationally, nearly $4 billion was spent, a record amount for a midterm election . The New York Times reports that considerably more money was spent, but those figures are largely undisclosed ...

Rick Sinnott

I wouldn’t want to be Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s dog.

Sullivan recently vetoed a common-sense amendment to Anchorage’s municipal code that would have prohibited new metal palisade fences, the spear-tipped fences associated with horror movie mansions. Several moose are impaled on the fences annually. His reasons for vetoing the ordinance were consistent with his conservative values.

Nevertheless, there is something fundamentally wrong with ignoring the gut-wrenching pain and unnecessary deaths caused by these fences...

Rick Sinnott

Another hunt, another lesson in auto mechanics.

Outdoor recreation in Alaska often leads us to remote places. Even along the state’s limited road system, the nearest garage might be a hundred miles away. Adventurers must be capable of fixing almost anything that breaks. This means packing tools and spare parts. In other words, being prepared. Taking this logic one step farther, I’ve learned to hunt with my own auto mechanic...

Rick Sinnott

A little more than a decade after a coalition of municipal, state and federal agencies clamped down on waterfowl feeding in Anchorage, the feeders have returned in force.

The concerted effort to stop waterfowl feeding was aimed at reducing urban duck and goose numbers in the wake of a disastrous mid-air collision. Twenty-four people died in September 1995 when an Air Force E-3 Sentry crashed after flying into a flock of Canada geese shortly after takeoff from Elmendorf Air Force Base...

Rick Sinnott

DENALI NATIONAL PARK -- Many Alaska tales feature the exploits of trappers, hunters, prospectors or explorers. On a recent trip to Denali National Park, I wondered, why not bus drivers?

I spent the summer of 1974 in Denali helping a graduate student study wolves. I like to revisit the park occasionally, but it’s never often enough. My last visit was almost exactly 20 years ago.

Some things have changed in the past 40 years. The overgrown strip of hotels, gift shops and restaurants that cater to Denali tourists has earned the name Glitter Gulch.

Glitter Gulch looks like a classy version of Wasilla, without the big-box stores, auto dealerships and churches...

Rick Sinnott

Despite growing public awareness and resistance to the idea, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is revising its management plans and regulations for the state’s 32 wildlife refuges, sanctuaries and critical habitat areas. The revisions will facilitate development, including potentially incompatible uses.

Existing plans and regulations protect critical habitats, comprising less than 1 percent of Alaska, set aside by the Alaska Legislature for the purpose of maintaining fish and wildlife populations. Unlike parks, a wide range of human uses, including oil and gas development, are allowed in special areas as long as the use is compatible with protecting fish, wildlife and their habitats...

Rick Sinnott

The thousands of miles of highways and streets in Anchorage are designed to make travel more efficient and convenient. For humans. But every mile of road is making it damned inconvenient to be a moose.

The proposed connection of Bragaw Street and Elmore Road through the University-Medical (U-Med) District is a case in point. Only seven-tenths of a mile long, the road will include three overpasses to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and skiers.

But any moose attempting to perambulate through the district after the road is built will encounter another gauntlet of urban traffic. Its pedestrian overpasses aren’t designed to accommodate moose...

Rick Sinnott