Budget Alert: Local Department Of Natural Resources Office Threatened With Closures Or Cutbacks

Cutbacks May Be In The Works For Our DNR Office

An Out-of-Control Forest Fire Rampages Through A Black Spruce Forest. 
The Copper River Valley's tiny Tazlina DNR office is being threatened by the imminent budget cutbacks this year. For its size, this is one of the most important offices in Alaska.  If you want to do something about it, write to your legislators, or contact the Legislative Information Office.

Black Spruce Have Only One Goal: To Burn.
The Tazlina DNR service area is at least as large as all of West Virginia. It serves land off of multiple highways, with access by all kinds of people: Local residents, careless hunters with campfires, RVers, teenagers, ATVers back in the backcountry...

The Copper Valley is linked to one of the most important game units in Alaska. And, it's in an area that is highly susceptible to forest fires -- due to its massive mature-growth stands of scrubby black spruce, densely packed together. The region is a tinderbox, ready to happen -- and all of our small towns, villages, settlements and communities would be in the way if a large forest fire were to occur.

The last really large fire in the region was the Wilson Camp Lightning Fire of 1983, which was located on the other side of the Copper River, and spewed ash up into the air in front of Mount Drum, in columns that looked like an atomic bomb had blown up.

As many rural Alaskans know, the entire purpose of a black spruce is to grow to a twisted, dry little tree -- and then catch on fire, tossing its pitch-filled "witch's broom" high into the air on a forest fire updraft, so it can travel miles away and replant itself. Photos, Bearfoot.

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