Alaska delegation pushes for avalanche monitoring (again)
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON -- Alaska's entire congressional delegation is behind legislation that would improve federal avalanche monitoring and prevention.
U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, introduced a bill that would require federal agencies to monitor avalanche threats on federal land throughout the United States. The Federal Land Avalanche Protection Act requires that both the Interior Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture develop a coordinated avalanche protection program.
Stevens has introduced the legislation twice before and it has passed in the Senate, but it has failed to make progress in the House of Representatives. Given what happened recently in Juneau and along the Seward Highway, Stevens thought it was a good time to press forward again, said his spokesman Aaron Saunders.
The Federal Land Avalanche Protection Act would establish a program to monitor the danger of avalanches on federal land in order to warn neighboring communities and protect transportation and utility corridors. It also would call for avalanche research to improve avalanche forecasts and promote safety, and would require a central depository for equipment, ammunition, and parts for avalanche control.
The Senate bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski. U.S. Rep. Don Young has introduced similar legislation in the House.
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