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Craig Medred

Alaska is continuing to clamp down on the use of drones to aid in hunting and fishing.

The Alaska Board of Game, which sets wildlife regulations, a year ago approved regulations blocking hunters from using remote-control aircraft to locate big game , and the Board of Fisheries has now moved to prohibit commercial fishermen from using drones to spot schooling salmon.

The latest action came Sunday at the Fish Board meeting in Sitka. Board members shot down the use of drones for economic reasons...

Craig Medred

All alone high in the Alaska Range on Monday, cyclist Andrew Kulmatiski was blazing along the historic Iditarod Trail at a pace hard to believe.

Veterans of the Iditarod Trail Invitational human-powered ultra-distance race put him on pace to pedal a fat bike into the Interior village of McGrath in a time faster than that of any dog team in the history of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. A one-time road racer from the state of New York and now a professor of wildland resources at Utah State University, the 42-year-old Kulmatiski is a rookie in the Iditarod Trail Invitational race to McGrath but no stranger to Alaska. He spent several years teaching at the University of Alaska Anchorage...

Craig Medred

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, the second-largest after Wrangell-St. Elias, is also the second-worst national park in the nation, according to a Fox News' list of "America's Worst National Parks, " coming in right behind South Carolina's Congaree National Park. Among the criticisms raised: • No "real gates.'' The only gates are natural. The area the park covers was named by legendary conservationist Robert Marshall in the 1930s . He thought the Brooks Range mountains near the head of the North Fork Koyukuk River formed a natural gateway to the Arctic plains to north. • "No roads." Guilty....

Craig Medred

Just to the north of Alaska's largest city, the true hard men and women of the Iditarod Trail on Sunday headed north from the old port of Knik in a race against time and weather. Out ahead of them somewhere, Bill Merchant, the organizer of the Iditarod Trail Invitational, was pushing a trail up Rainy Pass and through this year's supposedly impassable Dalzell Gorge, which is passable because almost anything in Alaska is passable for the fit, skilled and determined. Behind Merchant, the Iditarod charge was to be led by a gang of fat-tire bikers who, with a little luck, might well set a record on the 350-miles of trail over the Alaska Range to McGrath in the Interior....

Craig Medred

The modern day wizards of weather know exactly why the climate conspired to unleash February rain and floods on Alaska -- a state once mocked across the nation as " Seward's Icebox ," is now proclaimed as the climate-friendy "place to be" in the 21st century by The New York Times.

Blame an aberrant jet stream that has taken to swirling south from Asia into the Pacific Ocean tropics, where it grabs a load of warm, moist air and then heads north to deliver it to Alaska, with predictable results...

Craig Medred

As a gang of Alaska snowmachine racers Wednesday celebrated their arrival at the Nome halfway point of the 2,000-mile Iron Dog wilderness race, a couple of competitors from Outside were 115 miles back along the Iditarod Trail in Golovin trying to repair a pair of snowmachines that Tuesday went down like submarines.

Dieter Strobel from Minnesota and Randy Gravatt from Idaho were just lucky that when their ships sank the water was only about waist deep -- if you can call being up to your waist in water in 15-degree temperatures lucky...

Craig Medred

Dried out after a night in the tiny, riverside community of McGrath in Alaska's normally frigid Interior, the leaders in the 2,000 mile Iron Dog snowmachine race were paddling north again today into one of the weirdest Februarys in recent history.

Having spun their way over bare ground and flooded trail north of the Alaska Range after leaving Big Lake on Sunday, the race leader awoke Monday to what promised to be another wet and mushy day on the trail. The 10 a.m. temperature in McGrath was 37 degrees. Just to be clear for Alaskans, that would be 37 degrees above zero. The average low for McGrath on this date is 8 degrees below zero. The record low for the date is 48 degrees below zero...

Craig Medred
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More like Iron Ducks than Iron Dogs, the teams of snowmachines racing in what is supposed to be the world's longest, toughest snowmobile race were paddle-tracking their way through the Alaska Range late Sunday afternoon...

Craig Medred

More like iron ducks than Iron Dogs, the teams of snowmachines racing in what is supposed to be the world's longest, toughest snowmobile race were paddle-tracking their way through the Alaska Range late Sunday afternoon.

Never in the 31-year history of the 2,000-mile epic race had anyone seen anything like this. On a balmy day, racers started at two-minute intervals down a water-covered chute at Big Lake north of Anchorage and then slush-cupped their way north.

"Looks like we're going to get our feet wet," Brett Lapham, a rookie from Willow, said just before the start. More than feet were wet before the day was over...

Craig Medred

What's worse than a bitterly cold, subzero Alaska winter? A strangely warm one.

Iron Dog racers leaving Big Lake Sunday for the start of a 2,000-mile snowmachine race north to Nome and then on to Fairbanks appear to be heading into an adventure of biblical proportions -- think Moses and the great flood.

Photos of the Iditarod Trail posted to social media by Iron Dog trail riders show snowmachines stuck in open rivers and floundering in flooded timber in the Alaska Range. Further inland, Iron Dog officials have been forced to reroute the trail following the Yukon River at Galena and go overland to Nulato because of dangerous, open water...

Craig Medred

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