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Congratulations Forrest Beaudoin
Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Congratulations to Forrest Beaudoin, the 2011 NAOI/Ortovox avalanche awareness prize winner. Forrest received an Ortovox Beacon, Shovel and Probe for his entry.

Each year NAOI and Ortovox (Marcus Peterson) team up to provide an incentive for all those that attend avalanche awareness training. This year we reached nearly 11,000 individuals through this program thanks to the Alaska Division of Parks and the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Special thanks to H2O Guides, Dean Cummings and Mark Kelly for teaching this class and to the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group SAR dogs for their demonstration.

Forrest is 12-years-old and attended the training with his family because he loves to snowboard in Alaska’s backcountry. His mother, Amy, said attending this training was a highlight for their family this winter.

“I grew up in Alaska and work for the Ascending Path so I spend a lot of time in the backcountry. I have seen and been caught in avalanches myself and felt it was really important for my children to learn about avalanches from professionals. I’ve taken a lot of training programs over the years and this was the best one I have ever attended because the instructors were so knowledgeable. They don’t just talk about avalanche awareness, they live and breathe it every day in their work. We can’t thank NAOI enough for putting on this program. The grants that made this free to the public made all the difference for us because we could not afford to get training for our whole family otherwise.

Forrest said he learned about the different types of avalanches and what to look for to avoid getting caught. “You should not go out during or right after a storm until the snow has time to settle,” he said. “And you should look out for shooting cracks and listen for a hollow whompfing sound that will warn you the snow is weak. I would definitely recommend this class to others because it was really fun. We got to use the beacons to practice searching. Plus I really liked the dogs.”

He said he is excited to have his own equipment now so that he can practice, learn more and ride his board at Alyeska Resort on the North Face where carrying this equipment is highly recommended.

Congratulations Forrest and thank you to all those that attended an avalanche awareness training program and participated in this year’s contest.

And special thanks to Ortovox, H2O Guides, Alyeska Ski Resort, the Alaska Division of Parks and the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
Forrest Beaudoin

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Snowtrack Grant Public Notice
Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011

NAOI and the Alaska Avalanche Information Center are working together to build a network of avalanche and snowmobile safety education trainers across the state of Alaska. It is our intention to apply for the 2011 Alaska State Snowtrack Grant to help support this effort. Read the public notice Click Here

This program will feature a state-wide conference for current, in-training or interested instructors. The conference will be followed by training opportunities for the general public provided around the state. Our goal is to build a network of trainers and education programs across the state to provide ongoing training for residents and visitors to our state.

If you would like to support this effort, we appreciate letters of support sent to 7362 W. Parks Hwy. #623, Wasilla, Alaska 99654. These letters will be included with the grant application to show support of this important program.

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Alaska Wild Plants
Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Do you love getting out to explore Alaska? Want to know what all those amazing wild Alaska plants are and what they can do for you? This summer NAOI is proud to feature a host of Wild Alaska plant workshops with Alaska plant specialist Shelley Plumb. Come learn and explore all the wonderful plants that Alaska has to offer. Learn about the medicinal, edible and dangerous plants to be found and how you can harvest and use them for a variety of wonderful purposes.

We still have room in the Sunday, June 19th class. Register Now.

We are adding more plant classes to our schedule so check our website for more opportunities coming July 6th, July 16th and July 30th. Each course will focus on different plants and methods for harvesting, processing and using.

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Big Lake Party Thanks
Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011

The 2011 Big Lake Block Party was a huge success thanks to more than 30 partners and sponsors and the nearly 700 people that showed up to participate. The sun was shining and everyone enjoyed a wonderful day of learning, fun, food and music. We had 433 people sign in and we served 400 hamburgers, 270 hot dogs, 480 bags of chips, 140 bottles of water and 576 sodas. Special thanks to our partners: Spenard Builders Supply, Enstar, Alaska Public Health, Homeland Security, Firewise and the US Forestry, NOAA, Big Lake Trails, Cook Inlet Keepers, Mat-Su Animal Control, NAOI, Cedarholm Insurance, MAT-SAR, Arctic Chiropractic, Palmer Fire Department, American Red Cross, Allstate Insurance, Mat-Su LEPC, CERT, Neighborhood Watch, Matanuska Amateur Radio Association, Mat-Su Water, Alaska State Troopers, Big Lake Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Safety Supply, State Farm Insurance, Horseshoe Lake Firewise, Smokey the Bear and Hometown Video.

An extra-special thank you to our cash sponsors that helped make this program possible including: The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, McGhan Construction and Storage, Big Lake Community Council, Gorilla Fireworks, Dr. Kevin Berg and MTA. There were several other sponsors that helped to support this event with in-kind services including: Steve’s Food Boy, Aurora Portable toilests, ODOM Corporation, Three Bears, Pizza Thyme, Jolt Construction, Sign King, NC Machinery, UPS Store Meadow Lakes, McGuire’s Greenhouse, Red Robin, Diamond Parking, Donna’s Corner, Kaladi Brothers, Alaska House of Yamaha Big Lake, Taylor Fire Protection, Southport Marina, Jacobson’s Greenhouse, Sports Authority, Burkeshore Marina, Frontier Automotive, Music and Memories, Camp Marantha and Terry Livengood, Colony High JROTC and Wendy’s Alaska.

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Big Lake Block Party
Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

It’s time for the Big Lake Block Party. This FREE community event will feature more than 25 booths focused on helping you get prepared for all your adventures or any emergency or disaster. Interactive, hands-on activities, games, prizes, free food, live music and much more.

Saturday, June 11th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Big Lake Fire Station in the heart of Big Lake. Stop by to test your skills at wilderness survival, learn about the trails in the Big Lake area, what does the new ISO fire rating mean and much, much more. Thanks to a host of sponsors including Allstate Insurance, Dr. Kevin Berg, Big Lake Community Council, Gorilla Fireworks, Big Lake Lions, McGhan Construction and Storage, MTA, Steve;s Food Boy, Alaska Safety, Jolt Construction and Hometown Video. Call 376-2898 to learn more or join our sponsors!

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Story of tragedy and survival
Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011

When Ashley Udelhoven and four teen-age girls set out across glacier fed Tustumena Lake on the Kenai Peninsula to spend the weekend at a cabin, they were thinking of fun and adventure. But their adventure, like too many others, soon turned dangerous and deadly. The wind came up and they were suddenly caught more than two miles offshore by towering waves that swamped their boat sending everyone into the 40 degree water. They were all wearing life jackets but only the sheer will, ingrained skills and perseverance of three of the girls saved their lives. They somehow found the strength and drive to swim to shore and hike for several hours to a remote cabin where they were eventually rescued. But their Dad and a family friend didn’t make it. When 16-year-old Katarina Anderson landed in the water, she was wearing a too-big lifejacket and was fighting it. Ashley tried to help her but his body quickly succumbed to hypothermia. The other three-girls, encouraged on by 15-year-old Miranda, made the decision of survivors to head for shore. Read the rest of the story at adn.com… These girls are an inspiration and an example that shows training pays. They were prepared with lifejackets and knowledge about the area. They knew what to do and followed through. We could all learn from them. Prepare yourself and your children for potential accidents. Attend an NAOI Wilderness Survival Skills Training program to learn more www.naoiak.org

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