Monday, Feb 9, 2009
The recent activity of Redoubt Volcano has Lake Clark National Park and Preserve staff on alert. Redoubt, designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1976, became part of Lake Clark National Park in 1980. No roads lead to the park, so staff must fly regularly past the volcano as they travel between their administrative offices in Anchorage and park headquarters in Port Alsworth.
Superintendent Joel Hard is receiving regular briefings from the Alaska Volcano Observatory.
"Park operations are running smoothly," said Hard, who also expressed confidence that his staff is ready. "They are prepared for whatever the volcano may present. We recently sent in load of fuel, so they well stocked for any emergency."
Safety officer, Jason Doellefeld, is keeping an eye on the volcano via the Alaska Volcano Observatory website and has made masks and plastic bags available to staff in the event that "things get ashy." Concessions manager Becky Brock is fielding numerous requests for film permits. Chief ranger Lee Fink is keeping a careful eye on the volcano, as he coordinates aviation for the park.
"Besides travel to and from Anchorage, we have volunteers in the field that we need to keep supplied," said Fink.
Lake Clark also has a field office in Homer, where education specialist Elizabeth Wasserman had fortuitously scheduled a "fire and ice" discovery lab for last week with the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.
"We started planning this event months ago," she said. "It's really exciting that Redoubt is waking up just in time for the lab."
The lab drew 114 people, all interested in learning about the geologic processes that shape the local landscape, especially in light of the possibly imminent eruption.
Both Redoubt Volcano and Iliamna Volcano are highlighted in Lake Clark National Park and Preserveâs enabling legislation, charging the park staff with maintaining âunimpaired the scenic beauty and quality of portions of the Alaska Range and the Aleutian Range, including active volcanoes.â Redoubt may have its own plans for modifying its scenic beauty.
For more information on the status of Redoubt Volcano, go to the Alaska Volcano Observatory website at http://www.avo.alaska.edu/. For more information on how park operations are being affected contact superintendent Joel Hard at 644-3627.