Alaska Region
Conserving the Nature of America
Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group Photo Credit: USFWS
Brittany Sweeney and her family.(Top photo: Susan Georgette/USFWS; bottom & map: USFWS)
Alaska in the Extreme
February 23, 2018

Winter in Alaska is long, cold and, at its height, dark. It's extreme, but has a distinct beauty all its own. Brittany Sweeney, an employee with Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, has lived in northwest Alaska and worked at the refuge for eight years. Here are a few of her impressions of winter along the Arctic Circle.





Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group Photo Credit: USFWS
Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group Photo Credit: USFWS
Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Working Group
January 30, 2018

The Management Board of the Arctic Council's Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group will be meeting the first week of February in Fairbanks, Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinates U.S. engagement in the CAFF Working Group. Participants will included representatives from all Arctic Council countries (Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States), Arctic indigenous communities (also called Permanent Participants) including several representing Alaska native communities, and Observer countries and organizations. Experts from across the U.S. government and colleagues from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will also be joining the U.S. delegation to this meeting. A number of priority activities for the USFWS, and the broader U.S. government, will be discussed at this meeting, including Arctic migratory birds, invasive species, wetlands and monitoring, among others.

Learn more


K-9 Dock with handler Chad Hornbaker.Photo Credit:USFWS
K-9 Dock with handler Chad Hornbaker
Photo Credit: USFWS

Law Enforcement Import/Export at the airport
January 9, 2018

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the best law enforcement program in the world to fight illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products. Chis Andrews and staff in the Import/Export Office aim to stop illegal animal products, and often live animals, from reaching their destinations, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Along with K-9 Dock and his handler, Wildlife Inspector Chad Hornbaker, the rest of the team find and seize prohibited wildlife products. They examine thousands of wildlife shipments a year where they find a surprising array of items being smuggled into the country. Dock has greatly increased the volume of packages that can be inspected at the port of Anchorage.  In the time it takes a wildlife inspector to physically open and inspect one parcel, Dock can inspect 50.

To learn more about some of the items seized both here in Anchorage and around the U.S. check out the National Wildlife Property Repository website. You can also watch a video provided by U.S. Fish & Wildlife on the underground world of illegal trade.


Mike Spindler on aircraft.  Photo Credit: USFWS

Lessons worth knowing
January 3, 2018

From his early days on the marine research vessel Aleutian Tern to his most recent work as Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge manager and co-chair of the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Mike has profoundly shaped conservation in Alaska – a legacy that will continue far into the future.

With the retirement of Mike Spindler, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is losing a consummate professional, an inspiring mentor and an extraordinary storyteller. Read more

A farewell address to the Fairbanks inter-agency community was recorded by the Alaska Chapter of the Wildlife Society Celebrating our Wildlife Conservation Heritage


Fish Biologist in the field. Photo: USFWS/Katrina Liebich

Fish Bioloogist in the field. Photo: Katrina Liebich/USFWS

Want to be a fish biologist?
December 26, 2017

Fisheries jobs have really diversified as environmental and allocation issues have become more complex and technologies have advanced.

Seasonal fisheries technician positions in Alaksa are for the adventurous as harsh weather, an abundance of biting insects, and remote living conditions can be challenging. The rare opportunity to work with intact assemblages of native fish species, while surrounded by abundant wildlife and pristine wilderness, will more than compensate the tolerant individual!

Interested in applying:


Regional Director from Region 1 Robyn Thorson presenting Sense of Wonder 2017 plaque to recipient Kevin Painter.

Sense of Wonder Award
December 15, 2017

Congratulations to Alaska Regional Interpretive and Education Specialist Kevin Painter. He is the national winner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2017 Sense of Wonder award.

Painter was honored for his exceptional leadership, outreach and skill in developing and interpreting environmental education exhibits during his Service career in Alaska. Painter strives to make interpretive materials relevant and meaningful to a wide and diverse audience of Alaska residents and visitors.

Read more



This Chum Salmon swam up the Yukon River and passed through our East Fork Andreafsky River weir on the way to its spawning grounds in Alaska’s Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: USFWS/Ryan Hagerty

Keeping the Finger on the Pulse
November 17, 2017

If salmon are the life blood of Alaska and its rivers are the veins, then weirs are a health screening tool for river-specific populations. Annual visits establish a baseline of personal health against which unhealthy trends can be detected before they become risk factors.

We need baselines for the health of our salmon runs too. Weirs help us to establish those baselines and then detect changes in populations over time. They also help fisheries managers evaluate and adjust their management actions, reconstruct past salmon abundances, and forecast future salmon returns. 



Archived Articles

Last updated: February 2018

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