McNeil River Bears

In a state with so much wildlife and wilderness, there is one place that is legendary for a most extraordinary bear-viewing experience: McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge. On the Alaska Peninsula, southwest of Anchorage, the State of Alaska set aside land that is known to be the most densely populated with brown bears in the world. At this sanctuary, you can stand right next to bear as they go about their normal behavior, unconcerned about human presence. The sanctuary is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary, so we invited in some experts who have spent the most time there to learn how this amazing opportunity came to be and what it’s like to spend time with the bears.




Thanks to Liz O’Connell, with Frontier Scientists and Daniel Zatz for the fantastic video.

HOST: Charles Wohlforth


  • Jeff Fair, Author of In Wild Trust.
  • Larry Aumiller, former manager at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary.
  • Tom Griffin, current onsite manager at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary.


BROADCAST: Thursday, April 27, 2017. 2:00 pm – 3:00 p.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday, May 04, 2017. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

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Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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