Alaska Region
Conserving the Nature of America

Kodiak National Willdllife Refuge. Celebrationg 75th Anniversary
Kodiak 75th Anniversary

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge - 75th Anniversary
August 19, 2016

President Franklin D. Roosevelt established Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge on August 19, 1941, for the “purpose of protecting the natural feeding and breeding range of the brown bears and other wildlife on Uganik and Kodiak Islands, Alaska.”  One of Alaska’s oldest and best-known wildlife refuges, Kodiak provides access to a stunning diversity of landscapes and wildlife and attracts thousands of visitors annually to get a glipse of the estimated amount of 3500 bears on the Archipelago.  A gem among America’s public lands, today the Refuge plays a global conservation role as a steward for interdependent species within one of the world’s few remaining intact ecosystems.

Brown bear and cubs on Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.  Photo Credit: Lisa Hupp/USFWS
Photo Credit: Lisa Hupp/USFWS
Final Rule for Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Supports Resource Conservation
August 3, 2016

In response to public interest and concern about predator harvest on national wildlife refuges across Alaska, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a final rule to clarify that predator control is not allowed on national wildlife refuges in the state unless based on sound science and in response to a conservation concern or is necessary to meet refuge purposes, federal laws or Service policy. In addition, the rule defines the process that will be used for considering predator control, prohibits certain methods and means for non-subsistence harvest of predators, and updates the procedures for closing an area or restricting an activity on refuges in Alaska.

Research Vessel Tiglax at Bogoslof Island.  Photo Credit: Paul Wade
Research Vessel Tiglax at Bogoslof Island.
Photo Credit: Paul Wade
Research at Sea on the R/V Tiglax
July 15, 2016

For nearly 30 years the R/V Tiglax (TEKH-lah - Aleut for Eagle) and its crew has supported the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and partners as a research and transportation vessel across a landscape that stretches from the Arctic Ocean to the southeast panhandle of Alaska. In a typical season, the Tiglax will sail 15,000 to 20,000 nautical miles as biologists and researchers undertake seabird surveys, oceanographic studies, marine mammal monitoring, invasive species management. archaeological inventories, and more.


Photo of Greg Siekaniec
Gregory Siekaniec
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe Appoints GregorySiekaniec as Regional Director for Alaska
May 5, 2016

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced the appointment of Gregory Siekaniec as the agency’s Regional Director for Alaska, marking Siekaniec’s return to the agency he served for more than two decades.

Siekaniec, a career Service employee, previously served as the agency’s Deputy Director for Policy, before leaving the Service in 2012 to assume the leadership of Ducks Unlimited Canada, one of Canada’s most prominent conservation organizations.

In his new capacity as Regional Director, Siekaniec will oversee the direction and day-to-day operations of the Alaska Region, the only FWS Region to manage a single state. The Region's National Wildlife Refuge system is massive, accounting for over 80 percent of all refuge land managed by the agency.

“Greg Siekaniec has been an outstanding conservation leader throughout his long career in the Fish and Wildlife Service, and we’re fortunate to have him returning to the agency to lead our Alaska Region. Greg spent much of his career as a refuge employee and manager in Alaska, and he’s intimately familiar with the region’s outstanding employees and incredible conservation work,” said Ashe.  Read more...

Tustumena Glacier - Kenai Alaska
Photo Credit: D. Handley/USFWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publishes Final Public Use Regulations for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
May 5, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today published a final rule that supports the conservation of one of the most visited and enjoyed refuges in Alaska, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Consistent with the Refuge’s 2010 Comprehensive Conservation Plan, the final rule amends Refuge public use regulations to ensure natural resource conservation while maintaining high quality and safe experiences for visitors. 


Male and female Steller's eiders rest in a pool at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Photo Credit: Laura Whitehouse/USFWS
Male and female Steller's eiders rest in a pool at the Alaska SeaLife Center.
Photo Credit: L. Whitehouse/USFWS


The Service Finds No Significant Impact of Proposed Steller’s Eider Reintroduction to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
April 26, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today released its Environmental Assessment (EA) and announced its Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) regarding a proposed project to reintroduce the threatened Steller’s eiders to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YK Delta). The Service evaluated two alternatives in the EA: no action and reintroduction.  Based on the analysis, the Service has concluded that the proposed reintroduction would not have significant adverse impacts.

The Service will now explore methods to reintroduce Steller’s eiders to the YK Delta. To date, the Service has received interest, encouragement, and logistical support from communities on the central YK Delta. In addition, the Service has partnered with the Alaska SeaLife Center which has established a captive flock for Steller’s eider reintroduction work.  The Service plans to continue working with local residents and the Alaska SeaLife Center through the various phases of the project.

Best of Show Artwork.
Best of Show Artwork by Rosa Hagedorn
Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest
April 15, 2016

Congratulations to Rosa Hagedorn, 16, of Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau, who took top honors in the 2016 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest with a painting of a snow goose. A panel of five judges chose Rosa's artwork out of the 187 entries from across the state to represent Alaska in the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest held on April 22 at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida.

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest is the culmination of a year-long Junior Duck Stamp conservation program used by educators across the nation. This year, more than 28,000 students participated in state Junior Duck Stamp competitions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Proceeds from sales of the $5 Junior Duck Stamp support environmental education.

For complete contest results for Alaska visit and for results of the national contest visit

Tyonek Creek Culvert After
Tyonek Creek Culvert - After
Photo Credit:Tyonek Tribal Conservation District


Federally Recognized Tribes in Alaska to Receive More than 500,000 to Support Fish and Wildlife Conservation Work
April 12, 2016

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently announced that more than $500,000 will be distributed in fiscal year 2016 among four of Alaska’s federally recognized tribes through the Tribal Wildlife Grants program.

Currently, there are seven active projects in Alaska funded through the Tribal Wildlife Grant program. Grants are awarded under a competitive process to federally recognized tribes only.  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 and their habitat. Read more


Photo of a Wood Bison. Photo credit:  Doug Lindstrand width=
Photo Crediit: Doug Lindstrand
Alaska Department of Fish and Game to Receive Nearly $2.5 Million to Support Conservation of Wildlife, Habitat, and Imperiled Species
March 14, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that nearly $2.5 million in new funding will be available to the State of Alaska through the State Wildlife Grant program. State Wildlife Grants provide funds for conservation work across the state, including more than $680,000 for work to reintroduce the endangered wood bison to Alaska.

“The successful reintroduction of wood bison in 2015 is an excellent example of the State Wildlife Grant Program having a significant impact on conservation in Alaska,” said Geoffrey Haskett, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. Read more

Photo Credit: Cliff Schleusner /USFWS

Alaska Department of Fish and Game to Receive Nearly $48 Million from Fish and Wildlife Restoration Programs
March 10, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that it will distribute nearly $48 million to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs. More than $29 million will be for wildlife research and management, public access to wildlife resources, and hunter education programs and shooting ranges. Over $18 million will be for sport fish research and management, public access to waters for recreational boaters and anglers, aquatic education programs, and sport fish hatcheries. Read more

Karluk River.  Photo Credit: USFWS
Karluk River Photo Credit: USFWS
Service Announces Final Decision on Karluk Lake Nutrient Enrichment 
January 22, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge today released its Environmental Assessment and announced its final decision regarding a special use permit request by the Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association (KRAA) to conduct nutrient enrichment in the Karluk Lake watershed. The Service evaluated KRAA’s proposal and selected the Current Management (No Action) Alternative as the best way to conserve the abundance of natural salmonid populations and their habitat for continued human and wildlife use.

Photo of Selendag Ayu Photo Credit: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Photo Crediit: ADF&G

Alexander Archipelago Wolf Does Not Warrant Protection Under Endangered Species Act
January 5, 2016

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced its determination that the Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) does not warrant protection as an endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The decision came as a result from the Service’s 12-month finding on a petition from multiple groups to list the wolf. Although the Alexander Archipelago wolf faces several stressors throughout its range related to wolf harvest, timber harvest, road development, and climate-related events in Southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia, the best available information indicates that populations of the wolf in most of its range are likely stable


Photo of Selendag Ayu Photo Credit: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Poster: Icey Lyman
Literature: Ivory Lyman

Calendar Celebrates Birds, Showcases Art and Literature by Young Alaskans
December 29, 2015

Anchorage, AK—In the dead of winter, the arrival of spring and the return of Alaska’s migratory birds seem like a long time off. But don't dispair, a colorful reminder of our departed feathered friends; the 2016 Alaska Migratory Bird Calendars are here! This year's calendar is a celebration of Alaska's migratory birds, "colorful and camouflaged, and showcases winning artwork and literature submitted during the 2016 Alaska Migratory Bird Art and Literature Contest. Read more...


Photo of Selendag Ayu on December 11, 2004. Photo Credit: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Selendag Ayu, Dec. 11, 2004
Photo Credit: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Selendang Ayu Draft Assessment Plan Available for Public Review
October 23, 2015

The Natural Resources Trustees for the M/V Selendang Ayu oil spill have released a draft Assessment Plan for public review. In December of 2004, the M/V Selendang Ayu shipping vessel ran aground and split in half, spilling oil and its soybean cargo on the northern shores of Unalaska Island. The draft Assessment Plan describes the Trustees' proposed future natural resource damage assessment and restoration activities that will be needed in order to identify appropriate compensatory restoration projects for this spill.

Sea Otter.  Photo Credit USFWS
Polar Bear Photo Credit:Eric Regehr/USFWS
Polar Bear 5-Year Status Review
October 13, 2015

The Service has initiated a 5-year status review of the polar bear, which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This review is being completed to ensure that polar bears have the appropriate level of protection under the Act. The Service is requesting relevant scientific or commercial information we should consider that has become available since the original listing determination.


Archived Articles

Last updated: August 2016


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Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial 1916-2016