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Showing posts from June, 2020

Peaks in Chugach State Park

Here's a list of peaks in Chugach State Park *
"This list shows all major summits of Chugach State Park, a massive recreational resource that borders the Anchorage, Alaska metro area on the east. This park is the primary mountain playground for residents of Alaska's largest city..."(*From
How many will you climb in this summer?
Click here for - Peaks in Chugach State Park
Click here for - Map of Peaks in Chugach State Park

Some hikes here (for non-peakbaggers) - Alaska Hikes

Why Llamas Could Become Coronavirus Heroes

NBC News - Llamas serve surprising role in coronavirus antibody treatment
Llamas hold great promise in the fight against the coronavirus and this has been getting more and more attention lately, especially in mainstream media.  Llamas have something most animals don't.
"This strange property of producing these small simple antibodies," said John Aitchison of Seattle Children's Research Institute. It does not make llamas sick, but does allow them to naturally produce antibodies called nanobodies, which are collected in blood samples. The next step is to isolate specific nanobodies in the lab, find ones that work to combat COVID-19 and produce them in bacteria. The idea, eventually, is to make a treatment for coronavirus patients that may be administered deep in the lungs to keep COVID-19 from spreading. "I don't think there's a biologist in the world that's not thinking about this right now," Aitchison said.

Researchers in Belgium and Texas have …

Camelid Hypothetical Disease Risk - Myths & Misinformation Debunked

(Excerpt from comment to USFWS by Phil Nuechterlein)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is proposing a regulatory addition to 50 CFR § 36.39 (k) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) stating that all domestic camelids are prohibited. USFWS concerns that camelids present a disease risk to wildlife in ANWR are clearly misguided and lack scientific evidence. The USFWS proposal to ban pack llamas unfairly eliminates a user group based on the false and misleading portrayal of pack llamas as a "disease threat" to wildlife. Although we have never packed for profit, the USFWS policy implicating pack llamas as a disease threat unnecessarily harms all of us that use pack llamas, including commercial llama packing enterprises in the lower 48 states. Rumor mongering knows no regional boundaries.

The references cited by the USFWS as a basis for this proposed camelid prohibition in ANWR are not credible nor have they been peer reviewed. These same references have been evaluated …

Awesome Arctic Valley

The climb to Mt. Gordon Lyon is an excellent conditioning hike with stunning views. It's also a shorter less demanding hike for an Anchorage visitor who doesn't have a lot of time but wants an overview. The hiker will be rewarded with a breathtaking 360 view of Anchorage, Eagle River, and the South Fork Valley. Starting north: Denali and the Alaska Range (on a clear day) Knik Arm, an old Military site, Highland Mountain, the town of Eagle River (and the river), its surrounding peaks (Magnificent, Baldy, Black Tail Rocks, Harp, Vista & Roundtop), the south fork of Eagle River with Eagle and Symphony Lakes in the distance, Rendezvous Peak, Ship Creek and Indian Valley, Anchorage, Turnagain Arm, and Cook Inlet. You will also get a good view of the Site Summit where they used to hold Nike Missiles years ago. (As a side note, take care not to trespass on the military instillation which borders the trail near the trail head. There may be fines if you are caught.)

Getting there is…

UPDATE - Proposed ANWR Pack Llama Ban

*The comment period for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) proposal to eliminate the use of pack llamas (camelids) in ANWR is now over. Thanks to everyone who took the time to make a comment objecting to the pack llama ban in ANWR! We expect a decision from USFWS sometime this summer, so check back here for updates.

At the last minute on June 8th, the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) came out of the shadows and submitted a comment/letter to USFWS supporting the pack llama ban in ANWR based on an unsubstantiated disease threat and false science. The llama industry ad hoc Public Lands Access Committee quickly responded to these unsubstantiated claims by WSF. It's a must read!

Excerpt - View entire comment at link below:
The comments from Hurley, representing WSF ‘s position, demonstrate WSF’s irrational pursuit of a ban of llamas based on disease transmission to wild sheep. Their pursuit is based on their determination to control the wild s…

Llamas Low Environmental Impact Make Them the Logical Choice in ANWR

As a recreational user of pack llamas on public lands in Alaska for almost 40 years, I have some very serious concerns with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed regulatory addition to 50 CFR § 36.39 (k) Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) stating that all domestic camelids (pack llamas) are prohibited.

I appreciate that ANWR is located in a pristine, tundra environment and understand that USFWS is mandated to protect the fragile environment, including the wildlife, in this unique refuge with a world class reputation. However, I must question USFWS’s logic (and motive) in banning the use of pack llamas within ANWR for a plethora of reasons which I will explain in my objection to this proposed rule. 
For many years it has been widely recognized that llamas have far less impact on the environment than traditional pack stock such as mules and horses. Low environmental impact has long been recognized as the pack llama’s advantage over traditional pack animals. An Interna…