DNR Denies Appeal Against Decision To Allow Helicopter Landings At Chikuminuk

Aug 23, 2013

The Commissioner's Office upheld its June 28 decision to allow Nuvista to use helicopters for planned research in the Wood Tikchik State Park.

DILLINGHAM:  An appeal filed against the Department of Natural Resources' decision to allow the Nuvista Electric Cooperative to use helicopters this fall in the Wood Tikchik State Park has been denied. The decision to deny the appeal was signed by DNR's Acting Commissioner Joe Balash. Dan Sullivan is currently on deployment to Afghanistan. 

The appellants were Tim Troll of the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust and Myron Angstman, a defense attorney from Bethel. In the appeal they alleged that allowing helicopter landings in the wilderness area of the state park for the purpose of researching a hydroelectric dam at Chikuminuk Lake goes against the laws that govern the park.

DNR held that their June 28 decision to allow the helicopter landings was appropriate, in part because the research Nuvista intends to undertake is broad and can serve towards a better overall understanding of the park.

Nuvista has said that researchers will be conducting fish studies, taking stream flow measurements, and surveying raptor birds in area.

With the denial of the appeal, DNR’s June 28 decision to grant the special permits to Nuvista is now considered final, and the stay imposed during the appeal process has been lifted.