International Russian-Alaskan park in the works
After more than 10 years of stop-and-start discussions, Alaska and Chutkotka are now seriously looking at the establishment of an international park.
The park, which would span the Bering Strait, would include and protect lands in each country.
A recent article in the Anchorage Daily News says the renewed progress is due to a changeover in the Chukotkan leadership. The region’s new governor, Roman Abranovich, is a 30 year-old, liberal-minded billionaire who supports economic and cultural exchanges between Alaska and Chukotka.
The U.S. and Russia first agreed to work cooperatively on an international park back in 1990, but the former Chukotka governor, Alexander Nazarov, was unwilling to advance the project and often kept foreigners from even entering Chukotka.
Alaska and Chukotka are separated by 50 kilometres of water. The Alaskan side of the proposed park would include four existing federal conservation areas in Western Alaska, including the Bering Land Bridge Preserve. The parklands on the Chukotkan side haven’t been fixed yet.