Alaska News Nightly: May 7, 2009

Biologists Want to Know More About Global Warming and Polar Bears
Biologists Want to Know More About Global Warming and Polar Bears

Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service

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Biologists Concluding Field Research on Polar Bears, Global Warming
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Biologists just wrapped up more than a month of field work on polar bears in the Chukchi Sea. The bears who live on the icy waters off Alaska’s Northwestern Coast haven’t been carefully studied in more than a decade. Scientists want to look at how the population is being affected by global warming.

Former DNR Commisioner to Head Interior Department in Alaska
Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC
Former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner and state legislator Pat Pourchot will be the Interior Department’s top official in Alaska. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that Pourchot will serve as his Special Assistant for Alaska Affairs.

Senator Murkowski Delays Vote on Interior Nominee
Libby Casey, APRN – Washingont DC
Senator Lisa Murkowski is voicing her concerns over recent Interior Department decisions. She put a hold last week on President Obama’s nominee for Deputy Interior Secretary. The confirmation of David Hayes can’t move forward until her procedural hold is lifted.

Flood Waters of Yukon Receding After Flooding Eagle
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
The ice jam on the Yukon River that’s been causing record flooding at Eagle has gone out. The ice began shifting last (Wed.) night, and local National Weather Service observer John Borg says initially the water level rose.

Work Crews Laboring to Clear Highway Access to Whittier
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
Cars are jamming an Alaska Railroad parking lot near Portage, as Whittier – bound travelers abandon their cars to take free railroad shuttle service to and from the seaport town. A rock slide closed
highway access to Whittier almost a month ago and state crews are laboring to remove hundreds of tons of debris blocking the road as soon as possible. But Whittier residents want to know – how quickly will that be?

Boat Trip in Upper Lynn Canal Ends in Tragedy
Nicholas Szatkowski,  KHNS – Haines
A boat trip undertaken in the upper Lynn Canal recently by three teenage boys from Haines ended tragically with two deaths.

Snow Crab Landings Near Historic Lows
Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham
Snow crab landings in the Bering Sea have been at or near historic low levels in recent years for a variety of reasons.

Fish and Game Department Release New Wildlife Book
Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska
A new viewing guide released by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game features the wildlife of Alaska’s coast between Unalaska and Cordova. The new book tells visitors and residents what kinds of birds,
marine mammals and other animals to look for and where– as they travel along the Alaska Marine Highway system.