10 YEARS AGO
Aug. 1, 2010 — One hundred years ago, the growing season in Fairbanks was less than three months long. Last year, some local gardeners were still harvesting broccoli and cabbage in mid-September.
Fairbanks is 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter and 11 percent drier than it was in the early 20th century, according to data gathered by the Alaska Climate Research Center. (The growing season is marked by the last frost in spring and the First frost in fall.) These changes have stretched the growing season from 85 to 123 days in the past century. And while warming might produce more potatoes and pumpkins in cold-climate regions, it could eradicate tree populations.
“Every change in climate will bring positive things and negative things,” said Gerd Wendler, director of the research center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
25 YEARS AGO
Aug. 1, 1995 — Despite a growing timber industry, the Interior’s only federal forestry research laboratory will likely shut down this fall because of Congressional budget cuts, researchers said Monday.
The Institute of Northern Forestry is a U.S. Forest Service lab located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. Closing it would cost 13 jobs and halt 30 years of research — including projects to find out how to grow trees back after being harvested and how to deal with damage from beetles, diseases and forest fires.
One of its four researchers, Les Viereck, published “The Alaska Vegetation Classification,” the first of its kind. Richard “Skeeter” Werner, another researcher, is one of the few entomologists working on spruce bark beetles in the state. Others have taught ecology classes at UAF.
50 YEARS AGO
Aug. 1, 1970 — The News-Miner did not print on this date. Here is an item from July 31, 1970 — JUNEAU — The governor's pipeline commission says it hopes to have its recommendations completed by December concerning feasibility of state construction and ownership of an oil pipeline.
Dr. Robert Horchover, Juneau dentist who chair the commission, saw Thursday the commission members believe their first step is to decide whether the state should own a pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez.
However, Horchover emphasized that the commission will give full support to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System in its efforts to get a TAPS pipeline built.
75 YEARS AGO
Aug. 1, 1945 — SEATTLE — The study of Statehood possibilities for Alaska and other matters concerning the Territory will be undertaken by a Congressional Committee on Territories which, with a congressional roads committee, left Seattle today for Alaska, Representative Hugs Peterson, Democrat of Georgia, chairman of the Territories Committee announced.
The committee on roads will study the Alaska Military Highway. Gov. Ernest H. Gruening of Alaska met the delegations in Seattle and is traveling back with them.
America has "a big investment in the Alaska Highway," said Representative Jennings Randolph, Democrat of West Virginia, "and we want to see that we make the most of it."