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YUKON DELTA: Refuge Officer Really Makes Tracks
Alaska Region, April 25, 2006
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Officer Bedingfield Chats with Moose Hunters along the Yukon River
Officer Bedingfield Chats with Moose Hunters along the Yukon River - Photo Credit: n/a
The Bush Alaska Officer's two
The Bush Alaska Officer's two "trusty steeds:" Airplane and snowmachine. - Photo Credit: n/a
 Home sweet home:  the arctic oven tent.
Home sweet home: the arctic oven tent. - Photo Credit: n/a

While many refuge officers patrol in winter from a nice warm truck, things are a different in Alaska where roads are the exception.  Travel within 20-million acre Yukon Delta Refuge in the winter is only by airplane or snowmachine.  Combined with only a few hours of daylight and wind chills that reach well below zero, each law enforcement patrol can literally be a life-and-death mission.  Over four months this winter, Refuge Officer Isaac Bedingfield logged more than 3,000 miles astride a snowmachine.  During these patrols, Officer Bedingfield made more than 200 individual contacts in one of the remote corners of the Refuge System.  The dwindling daylight and long distances required Officer Bedingfield to frequently camp overnight in the field, relying solely on the gear he carried with him.  But he loves his job protecting Refuge resources and contributing to the mission of the Service.  Ironically, the only “casualties” from his winter’s work were his lips, which suffered sunburn from extended snowmachining on some of the sunnier days.


Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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