Just days after being officially named Denali, North America’s highest peak received a new height estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey on Wednesday. The new official height for the mountain is 20,310 feet, a reduction of ten feet from the previous estimate taken in the 1950s.
The mountain itself hasn’t shrunk. Rather, scientists today have more sophisticated means of measuring elevation than in the mid-20th century.
The decision to resurvey the mountain came in 2013, after a radar-mapping tool estimated Denali’s height at 20,237 feet. The USGS says that mapping tool is very useful, but not always accurate for the height of specific objects. The best way to determine the elevation of the summit is to do it the old-fashioned way. The USGS sent a team of climbers with GPS and other tools on an expedition earlier this year. The team reached the summit, placed the instruments, and returned safely.
Denali’s new, slightly lower, height still leaves it comfortably ahead of the continent’s second highest peak, Mt. Logan in Canada.
Attached is the complete audio of Su-Valley Voice for September 2nd, 2015 with guest Larry DeVilbiss. DeVilbiss is the current mayor of the Mat-Su Borough, and is seeking re-election. The next live broadcast of Su-Valley Voice will be on Wednesday, September 9th at 10:00 a.m. with Borough Assembly Member Vern Halter, who is also running for mayor.
On Sunday, news broke that North America’s tallest peak will now officially be known as Denali. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell signed the order Friday changing the name from Mt. McKinley. KTNA’s Phillip Manning has this story on how visitors from the Carolinas to Kenai are reacting.
Do you have an opinion on the change from Mt. McKinley to Denali? Let us know on our Facebook page.
A little story from the Earth and Beyond archives,
about an unusual transformation in a Banty chicken’s life.
Over the weekend, crews battled a wildfire near Mile 91 of the Parks Highway. According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, a private aircraft discovered the fire on Saturday afternoon. Local crews as well as firefighters with the Division of Forestry responded. Initial efforts were slowed by the fact that the fire is more than a mile from the highway, limiting which vehicles could get to the blaze.
Estimates for the fire topped out at 40 acres. By Sunday morning, crews had laid a hose around sixty percent of the fire’s perimeter, and anticipated having full containment by the end of the shift.
Fire crews are responding to a wildfire burning near Mile 91 of the Parks Highway. According to Ken Barkley, Deputy Director of Emergency Services for the Mat-Su Borough, the fire is currently estimated at 35 acres and is located a mile-and-a-half from the Parks Highway. The fire is located north of the railroad tracks and east of the highway.
KTNA will continue to provide information as it becomes available.
On Friday, an Anchorage judged ruled that Medicaid expansion will be allowed to proceed on September 1st, but the underlying legal questions have not yet been fully resolved.
The Alaska Legislative Council has sued Governor Bill Walker for unilaterally accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid to individuals between ages 18 and 64 who fall below 130% of the federal poverty level. The expansion is part of the Affordable Care Act. The Council’s lawsuit alleges that Walker does not have the authority to accept the funds or to add a new group to those qualified to receive Medicaid benefits.
Friday’s ruling was on the Legislative Council’s request for a restraining order or injunction, which would have stopped the expansion from going into effect on September 1st. Judge Pfiffner’s ruling means that the process may continue. The lawsuit itself will continue.
On Friday afternoon, Governor Walker issued a press release praising the ruling, which he says will ensure healthcare to over 20,000 Alaskans.
by: Katie Writer
Though the summer may not officially be over, Talkeetna businesses notice a slowing trend of traffic in town as the school year begins.
KTNA’s Katie Writer interviewed a handful of local businesses, new and old, about their impressions of the summer 2015 season.
Here are some of the local work force’s thoughts of what shaped the summer of 2015.
Many merchants noticed an increase of independent travelers.
Brenda Walsh of Conscious Coffee believes that, due to the popularity of reality TV shows, Alaska seems more accessible. She noticed this both in her shop as well as on the train.
“I’m amazed at the number of families that are clearly traveling on their own, either in RVs, rental cars, or even if they’re doing it by the public transport, by the trains or buses, there’s a lot more independent travelers, I think. Read More »