Alaska Region
Conserving the Nature of America
Students in the Advanced program had a variety of experiences including helping with a boreal owl nest productivity study. - Photo Credit: USFWSStudents in the Advanced program had a variety of experiences including helping with a boreal owl nest productivity study. Photo Credit: USFWS
Learning, Laughing and Making a Difference - Fairbanks Youth for Habitat Program
September 19, 2014

Twenty one students ages 13-16 in Fairbanks, Alaska spent part of their summer vacation in the Youth for Habitat program having fun and making new friends while learning about the ecosystems around their community, and improving habitat for both people and wildlife.

The Youth for Habitat program was started in 2009 by the Fairbanks Fish & Wildlife Field Office as a way to educate the next generation of resource stewards—area youth—and accomplish important habitat restoration work while providing participants with a quality experience outdoors. The goals of the program are to help participating youth understand how urban development and the actions of individuals can degrade aquatic habitats. The students also learn different habitat restoration techniques, and begin to understand the characteristics of healthy habitats that are needed to produce and sustain fish and wildlife populations.

Two brown bears in the water. Photo Credit: USFWS
Two brown bears in the water. Photo Credit: USFWS
Temporary Closure of Sport Brown Bear Hunting
September 5, 2014

The Service is implementing a temporary closure of sport hunting of brown bears on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The temporary closure is being implemented as a resource protection measure to ensure consistency with Refuge purposes. The temporary closure is effective now through May 31, 2015. More information is available in the full News Release, and documents on the Kenai website




Brown bear in the wilderness.  Photo Credit: T. Johrendt/USFWS
Brown bear in the wilderness.
Photo Credit: T. Johrendt/USFWS
Wilderness: A gift from the past for current and future generations
September 3, 2014

September 3rd marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which established the National Wilderness Preservation System and declared it a national policy “to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.”

In Alaska, there are 48 designated wilderness areas covering more than 57 million acres, stretching from the far reaches of the Aleutian Islands to the coast of the Beaufort Sea; from the Southeast to the Northwest regions of the state. These wilderness areas encompass watersheds, mountain ranges, glaciers, wetlands, coastlines, volcanoes, and forests that support diverse wildlife populations, protect archeological sites, provide a setting for wilderness recreation, and ensure the continuation of a subsistence lifestyle.

Pike eating fish.  Photo Courtesy of ADF&G
Pike eating fish. Photo Courtesy of ADF&G
Service Partners with State of Alaska to Eradicate Northern Pike from Kenai River Tributary
August 28, 2014

With partial funding support from the Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game plans to eradicate non-native, invasive northern pike from the Soldotna Creek drainage and restock with native fish rescued from the drainage. Illegally introduced Northern pike have eliminated all native fish populations in the western branch of Soldotna Creek and are impacting native fish populations in the remainder of the drainage. Because Soldotna Creek is a tributary to the Kenai River, these pike could spread into other vulnerable habitats within the Kenai River drainage, such as the Moose River. The Service recently published a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for public comment through September 12, 2014. (Public Notice)

Review the FONSI and learn more about this project on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's website.

Photo of a polar bear family.  Photo Credit:  Susanne Miller/USFWS
Funny River Fire
Photo Credit: USFWS

Kenai NWR Fuels Treatments Save Homes on Funny River Fire
July 2, 2014

On May 19th 2014 the Funny River fire started on the western side of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Over the next five days the fire grew to nearly 200,000 acres, burning four structures and two outbuildings. There were also thousands of homes in the direct path of the fire. Pre-constructed fuelbreaks provided an opportunity for firefighters to successfully defend them.


Photo of a polar bear family.  Photo Credit:  Susanne Miller/USFWS
Polar Bear Family Group
Photo Credit: Susanne Miller
Diverse Team Convened to Develop United States' Plan for Polar Bear Conservation
June 3, 2014

ANCHORAGE— A plan to conserve the polar bear in the United States over the next century is being crafted by a diverse group of stakeholders, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The required plan, when finalized, will guide activities for polar bear conservation in response to the 2008 determination that the polar bear is a threatened species due to the ongoing loss of sea ice habitat from global climate change.



Short-tailed Albatross
Photo Courtesy: Hiroshi Hasegawa
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces 2013 Endangered Species Recovery Champions
May 22, 2014

On May 16, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized individuals and teams for their exceptional efforts to conserve and protect the nation’s rarest fish, wildlife and plants by designating them 2013 Recovery Champions. Among the award winners honored for their work this year were two recipients who have worked on recovery of several Alaska Region species: Hiroshi Hasegawa, Ph.D., Toho University, Biology Department, Chiba, Japan, and Sonja Jahrsdoerfer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Coordinator for the Alaska Region from January 2006 to December 2014.

Polar Bear Module photo.  Photo Credit:  Rose Primmer/USFWS
Polar Bear Module
Photo Credit: Rose Primmer/USFWS
New Equipment Makes Treatment of Oiled, Injured, or Sick Polar Bear on the North Slope Possible
May 21, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the achievement of a milestone to address challenges associated with responding to oiled, injured, or sick polar bears in the wild. In April, a brand new polar bear holding module and two smaller transport cages arrived in Anchorage and will soon be shipped to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Alaska Clean Seas, the primary oil spill response organization on the North


Moose Creek following restoration project.  Photo Courtesy of Chickaloon Native Village
Moose Creek following restoration project.
Photo Courtesy of Chickaloon Native Village
Alaska Tribes Receive $397,590 in Tribal Wildlife Grants
May 9, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced Tribal Wildlife Grants awards to Native American and Alaska Native tribes funding a wide range of conservation projects across the country. Tribal Wildlife Grants are used to provide technical and financial assistance to Tribes for the development and implementation of programs that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat.


Photo of Greg Thomson.  Photo Credit:  Steve Ebbert/USFWS
Photo Credit: Steve Ebbert / USFWS
Quick Action Stops Mouse Invasion of St. George Island, Alaska
May 8, 2014

House mice were never meant to be on the remote and windswept Bering Sea Island of St. George, Alaska, so it was quite a shock for Mark Merculief and his coworkers from the City of St. George when they opened a shipping container of grass seed and straw, and found house mice scurrying around inside. St. George is one of the few populated islands in the world where house mice have not become established and the residents of the island (both people and wild animals) want to keep it that way. No nuisance mice, gnawed food packages or threats to native wildlife for them! “It was a surprise,” said Merculief, “and not a nice one.”

News Release



Photo of a wood bison.  Photo Credit:  Laura Whitehouse/USFWS
Photo Credit: Laura Whitehouse / USFWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves Rule for Reinintroduction of Wood Bison in Alaska
May 7, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on May 7, 2014, is publishing a final rule which authorizes the reintroduction of a nonessential experimental population of wood bison in Alaska, establishes provisions under which wood bison in Alaska will be managed, and allows for legal incidental taking of wood bison within the defined nonessential experimental population area. The rule clears the way for plans by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to reintroduce wood bison into one or more of three areas within its historical range in Alaska (Yukon Flats, Minto Flats, and the lower Innoko/Yukon River area). Under the rule, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will have primary responsibility for managing wood bison in Alaska.


Photo of smiling girl scouts after a few hours of ice fishing. Photo Credit: USFWS
Photo Credit: USFWS
Girl Scouts Learn More Than Catch and Release During Ice Fishing Event
March 4, 2014

A small lake north of Anchorage, Alaska was buzzing with activity as the sun began to rise over the mountains and nearly two dozen volunteers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and Bass Pro Shops prepared for the arrival of members of 16 Girl Scout Troops from Anchorage and nearby communities of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. By 9:00 a.m., holes were drilled in the ice; tables were loaded with fishing equipment, and warming tents with hot cocoa were ready for children looking to take a break from the cold.

Steller's Eider on the water. Photo Credit: USFWS
Steller's Eider on the water.
Photo Credit: USFWS
Service Seeks Comments on Proposal to Reintroduce Steller's Eider in Alaska
February 25, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces a public process to gather input on reintroduction of threatened Steller’s eiders to Alaska. A healthy population of these birds nesting on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in southwest Alaska is considered necessary for recovery of the listed Alaska-breeding population. Prior to release, the Service is seeking public input on the best approach, and will analyze the effects to the environment consistent with guidance in the National Environmental Policy Act. The public comment period begins March 3, 2014 and ends on April 15, 2014. The public will have an opportunity to review the draft environmental assessment in the summer of 2014.

Bear bait being loaded onto plane. Photo Credit: USFWS
Bear bait being loaded onto plane.
Photo Credit: USFWS
International Wildlife Investigation Results in Conviction of Haines Big Game Guide
February 21, 2014

Anchorage, Alaska- U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a joint United States-Canadian wildlife investigation has resulted in the conviction after a jury trial against Haines, Alaska, big game guide John Katzeek. Katzeek, who has been a big game guide for over twenty years, was convicted by a Juneau jury for a felony violation of the Lacey Act in connection with a guided hunt with two Canadian citizens.

Archived Articles

Last updated: September 19, 2014

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