Alaska News Nightly: February 12, 2008

Hundreds of outdoor sports organizations sign on to support legislation to curb greenhouse gasses. Plus, does the wind play a big role in melting sea ice – one scientist says it does. And the latest results from the Iron Dog and Yukon Quest trails. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Sportsman come out in favor of climate change legislation
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
More than 670 hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation organizations have signed on to a letter with the National Wildlife Federation urging Congress to pass climate change legislation like the Lieberman-Warner bill now pending Senate floor action. They want a cap-and-trade system that will cut greenhouse gas emissions 2 percent a year and generate funds for fish and wildlife conservation.

Shifting winds believed to play a major role in loss of arctic sea ice

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
A climatologist at the University of Washington says a change in wind direction may help explain the dramatic ice loss in the arctic ocean in recent years. Ignatius Rigor spoke yesterday at the Alaska Forum on the Environment in Anchorage. He says warmer temperatures play a roll but wind is also sweeping more ice out of the arctic

Rural energy costs likely to remain high

Len Anderson, KSKA – Anchorage
Another event at the Alaska Forum on the Environment looked at the prospects for alternative energy development in rural Alaska. But a panel concluded its unlikely the bush will see a drop in energy costs anytime soon.

Exxon Mobil agrees to sell North Slope natural gas

Dave Donaldson, APRN – Juneau
The company is the largest leaseholder of North Slope gas and has agreed to provide up to ten Billion cubic feet of gas per year to the eleven hundred commercial and residential customers of Fairbanks Natural Gas beginning in mid 2009.

State considers making Angoon a fast ferry port
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
State transportation officials are looking at making Angoon a fast ferry port. Marine highway managers are considering changes to the Southeast village’s ferry ramp that would allow the Fairweather to dock. The changes could provide direct service to Sitka, which Angoon has wanted for several years.

Preserving WWII artifacts in the Aleutians
Mike Mason, KBBI – Homer
A renowned expert in the field of preserving World War II guns is helping the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge figure out how to preserve artifacts on Kiska island in the Aleutian chain.
Lance Mackey leads Yukon Quest
Libby Casey and Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Lance Mackey left the Slaven’s Cabin Dog Drop at 3:20 this morning after a 7 hour rest. Fairbanks rookie Ken Anderson left about two hours later at 5:13.  Hugh Neff chased him out at 5:20 this morning, followed by Brent Sass of Fairbanks, Chatanika’s Dan Kaduce, Healy’s Dave Dalton, and Yukoners Michelle Phillips and Cor Guimond.  Just 17 teams are left in this year’s Yukon Quest.

Iron Dog leaders distance themselves from the field
Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena
The leaders of the Iron Dog snowmachine race arrived at Nome this afternoon. Two teams have distanced themselves from the rest of the Iron Dog pack, but the race is only halfway done.