On Thursday, Nov. 15, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will host a workshop from 5-9 p.m. at Centennial Hall to discuss wildlife hazard issues at the Juneau Airport. This is an important element of the Environmental Impact Statement being prepared for possible airport expansion.
A wildlife management plan is being developed to identify and reduce potential hazards related to wildlife and to avoid bird strikes. FAA has invited several Juneau residents as well as experts to participate on a panel to share their ideas and observations for incorporation into the plan. FAA will present information on hazards, regulations and management alternatives.
Initial wildlife recommendations included filling the duck ponds and removing all the trees between the Airport Dike Trail and the floatpond. Some observers believe the trees provide a natural barrier that protects the airport from wetlands birds. These ideas will likely be topics of discussion.
The workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn and contribute to improving safety at our airport while preserving the uniqueness of the Mendenhall Wetlands Refuge. Please join your friends and neighbors at FAA's meeting.
Details are available on the EIS contractor's Web site hosted for the airport project. Click on the announcements link at www.jnu-eis.org
Also on Thursday, nature provides us with a phenomenal event: a 20-foot high tide at 12:40 p.m. The refuge is the heart of Juneau geographically and in other ways. This immense tide is a chance to see the wetlands in full flood stage. With frost or snow added to the vegetation we have the ability to see the real extent of the extreme tide. There are at least 13 access points to the refuge from Douglas Island, the Mendenhall Peninsula, the dike trail and along the road system. Take some time at midday to enjoy this natural spectacle.
Laurie Ferguson Craig