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Darrell
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:03 am
Location: Nordale Road area

Hot place to go

#1 Post by Darrell » Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:29 pm




Darrell
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:03 am
Location: Nordale Road area

Hot Springs

#2 Post by Darrell » Mon Aug 01, 2005 9:44 pm

http://www.nomenugget.net/20050728/regional.html Read up on Serpentine Hot Springs. Another reason to go to Nome.



Darrell
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:03 am
Location: Nordale Road area

Stake the approximately 100-mile trail at roughly $120,000.

#3 Post by Darrell » Wed Aug 10, 2005 10:12 am

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Park Service contemplates helicopter access to Serpentine
By Nugget Staff



SHUTTLE SERVICE— Helicopter pilot Mike Terwilliger shuttled the archeologists from the bunkhouse to the lithic scatter. The fast mode of transportation allowed the scientists to cover lots of ground in one day.



SERPENTINE HOT SPRINGS — Serpentine Hot Springs' bathhouse and the bunkhouse are located six miles from the southern park boundary.



ACCESS TRAIL— A rough trail, not accessible by car, runs from the end of the Kougarok Road to the southern park boundary. While ATV’s are allowed on the trail outside the preserve's boundary, no four-wheelers are allowed inside the preserve.



INSIDE PARK — The continuation of the RS2477 Trail runs from the southern park boundary to Serpentine Hot Springs and is only accessible by foot; four-wheelers are prohibited.


CARIBOU HEAVEN — This lone caribou stopped dead in his tracks to observe the two-legged visitors to Serpentine Hot Springs.
During a meeting at Serpentine Hot Springs last week, National Park Service officials and State Department of Transportation officials met to discuss DOT projects on NPS land, including facilitating easier access to the remote Serpentine Hot Springs.


NPS regional director Vic Knox, Western Arctic Parklands Superintendent George Helferich and Bering Land Bridge Preserve Superintendent Tom Heinlein met with DOT planning engineer Donna Gardino and regional DOT director Andrew Niemic.


“We tried to educate each other on our philosophies, priorities and mandates,” said Tom Heinlein. Heinlein said that it doesn’t seem likely that funds will materialize to improve the Kougarok Road up to the Southern Park Entrance and that NPS management is exploring other ideas of how to improve access to Serpentine Hot Springs.


“We’re looking at improving the surface of the existing runway,” Heinlein said. “We are also exploring the possibility of designating a portion of the runway as a helicopter landing pad. This is something that hasn’t been done in parks. Allowing the recreational use of helicopters in the preserve would be breaking new ground.”


Current NPS regulations allow for administrative helicopter use only. Heinlein said that on average, Serpentine sees two helicopter trips a year into the park for archeological research, survey or maintenance purposes.


The park officials also sought the DOT’s opinion on runway improvements. “We gave them some ideas on how to improve the runway,” said Donna Gardino. Suggestions included to fill in a big dip on the runway and to extend it. To what extent the runway can be improved depends on the equipment that needs to be brought in, such as dozers or graders, and finding a gravel material site.


Ground access remains elusive, as the $1 million earmarked appropriation for road improvements to Serpentine does not go very far.


Gardino said that the public scoping meeting in Nome last fall revealed a consensus among all parties involved. Winter trail staking was on everybody’s high priority list. “We decided to do winter trail staking from mile 68 of the Kougarok Road to Serpentine and from Serpentine to Shishmaref,” Gardino said.


She estimates the cost to stake the approximately 100-mile trail at roughly $120,000.


The remainder of $1 million will be used to upgrade the Kougarok Road, which is in fair condition up to mile 68. Then it gets progressively rough until not even tough cars can keep going. From mile 86 to the park entrance at mile 102, the road is impassable with a car or truck.


“We’re still in the planning stage and can’t say what part of the road will be improved,” said Gardino.


Once in the design phase, DOT engineers will come out to Nome and decide on which part of the Kougarok Road will see the improvement.


The winter trail staking won’t take place this coming winter. “We have to go through the environmental document process,” Gardino explained. This process, she said, could take anywhere from six months to three years, but she doesn’t expect it to take that long. However, the earliest start on the project would be the 2006/07 winter season.


Regarding funds for more improvements, Gardino said that the Kougarok Road could go through the nomination process to qualify for the statewide transportation program. “Once in the program, it still takes five to seven years for the improvements to actually happen,” Gardino said.


In her opinion, short of another earmarked appropriation, improvement of the Kougarok Road all the way to the Bering Land Bridge’s southern park boundaries, if it takes place at all, is in the very distant future.



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