Electric Power For Alaska Problem In land use Planning

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Date
1968
Authors
Leopold,A. S.
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Abstract
Alaska is a frontier community. As with other emerging societies, Alaska needs many improvements to attract additional population, to stimulate industry, and generally to support continuing growth. Of the many shortcomings inhibiting economic growth, lack of adequate and inexpensive power is one of the obvious and important ones. It is generally agreed that a favourable economic climate in Alaska is in the public interest and that public investment in more adequate sources of electric power would enhance the economic climate. In the light of this situation, it is natural that the two federal bureaux concerned with the development of water resources, namely, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, have surveyed a number of sites where water power might be used to produce electricity. One of the sites investigated by the Army engineers proved to be of unusual interest and potentiality from the engineering standpoint. This was a site on the Yukon River near the centre of Alaska, 100 miles west of the city of Fairbanks, where the river runs through a massive igneous dike and tumbles down to a considerably lower elevation where it joins the Tanana River. The dam site at Rampart would permit inundation of an enormous flat area that exists above the Rampart dike. The proposed Rampart Dam on the Yukon would inundate an area somewhat in excess of 10,500 square miles which is three times the size of Lake Rudolf and nearly half the size of Lake Victoria. The impoundment would drown 400 river miles of the main stream Yukon, more than 12,000 miles of tributary streams, and 36,000 lakes and ponds scattered over the Yukon Flats. Habitat changes of this magnitude clearly have the potentiality of enormous impact on wildlife and fishery resources.
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, XXXIII, p. 23-26