Environment

Unalaska weighs energy options as geothermal project requests new terms

Unalaska is closer than ever to building a geothermal power plant on Makushin Volcano, but the project is facing investment challenges and the city is weighing its options.

Heavy winds and wet snow lead to icy streets and power outages in Anchorage

The city saw gusts as high as 82 mph in the Potter Marsh area, leading to power outages for thousands of residents.

Cuvier’s beaked whale found dead on Kodiak Island

Beaked whales are a rare sight and spend most of their lives deep in the ocean. But one was found dead on a beach near Kodiak last week.

Climate change is making it harder to survey pollock in the Gulf of Alaska

Between 2017 and 2019, pollock surveys in the Gulf of Alaska produced wildly different estimates.

More areas around Kodiak Island could become critical habitat for endangered North Pacific Right Whales

It’s estimated that less than 50 North Pacific Right Whales exist today in a range that extends from Hawaii to the southeastern Bering Sea and beyond.
man exiting legislative chamber

Alaska Senate moves toward rejecting some of Gov. Dunleavy’s 12 executive orders

Senators expressed concerns about several of Gov. Mike Dunleavy's 12 executive orders. The Legislature has until mid-March to reject them.
Cook Inlet

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy’s plan to lease land for carbon storage comes with questions

Analysts say estimates that the state could earn hundreds millions from leases are overpromising.
A narrow lake among snow-capped mountains

Eklutna hydro owners say they won’t extend wildlife restoration process

Stakeholders who have fundamental objections have little time for further negotiation, and little recourse but federal court.

Attorneys argue scope of Metlakatla’s off-reservation fishing rights in federal court

Attorneys presented oral arguments in a long-running dispute over fishing rights on Alaska’s only Native reservation on Thursday.
Emergency first responders stand in a snowy pullout next to emergency vehicles at dusk. Snow covered mountains in the background.

Avalanche near Cooper Landing kills 28-year-old skier

Recent high winds and rapidly changing weather in Southcentral increase the potential for avalanches in the backcountry.
A man in sunglasses blows snow off the roof.

Anchorage building officials are trying to identify roofs prone to fail under heavy snow

Anchorage roofing companies have been slammed with snow removal jobs amid record snowfall and a series of collapses.
a Chugach electric sign

Green energy advocates say Anchorage utility ‘freezing out’ efforts for gas-saving price structure

An Anchorage nonprofit wants state regulators to force Chugach Electric Association to hand over detailed data on customers’ energy consumption.
Gloved hands holding a bunch of mussels

Scientists investigate paralytic shellfish poisoning as possible factor in large marine die offs 

Recent testing data from Knik Tribe scientists show paralytic shellfish toxin throughout the food web
A moose eating branches in a snowbank

Palmer teen trampled by moose as deep snow puts animals under greater stress

Troopers say the teen escaped with only minor injuries Wednesday. The moose was shot and killed, as heavy snow has forced the ungulates into Anchorage.
a building

Hilcorp fined $260K for missing well integrity test on Alaska’s North Slope

Thursday's penalty came two days after the oil company was fined $452,100 over unauthorized injections into Prudhoe Bay Unit oil pools.
an avalanche

Chugach forecasters warn of dangerous avalanche conditions after 1 death, 2 close calls

A heli-skier died after a slide pushed him into rocks. A snowboarder captured a separate avalanche on video.
homes

Alaska’s recent cold snap tested critical infrastructure, including in Mertarvik

The entire community was without electricity for more than three days, as subzero temperatures sapped the local generator's batteries.
a river

In Bristol Bay, shock and concern follow move to nix council for nation’s largest state park

The Wood-Tikchik State Park's council, formed in 1978, is among boards and commissions targeted in 12 executive orders from Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
a walrus's head poking out of the water

Microplastics found in body tissues of walruses harvested by Alaska hunters

“It’s a reflection of the plastic age we live in," said student researcher Tony Blade. "It’s ubiquitous."
a cave

BLM considers Castner Glacier recreation management area

Word of the Castner Glacier’s blue-tinted ice cave has spread far and wide, causing concern that its growing popularity is degrading it.
bears

Kodiak bear cubs caught on video after escaping from Florida trainer

Body camera footage shows an unusually playful interaction between the cubs and two people who found them on a Florida road in December.
A small brown tundra vole sits in a pair of human hands.

Alaska’s Arctic and boreal ecosystems see climate change-driven ‘microbial awakening’

Permafrost thaw is creating opportunities for fungi and bacteria to thrive, transforming northern food webs, according to a new study.
two men

Researchers utilize fiber optics to detect Cook Inlet’s seismic activity

A University of Washington team is testing whether fiber optic cable laid across Cook Inlet can help measure the region's earthquakes.
Power transmission lines on poles in the foreground, with mountains in the distance.

Gas leak triggers chain of power outages spanning from Anchorage to the Mat-Su

Utilities say a 25-minute outage early Thursday at the Eklutna Generation Station triggered outages across the Railbelt to prevent a blackout.
a roof collapse

2 Anchorage commercial roof collapses reported in 2 days

No injuries were reported in Tuesday's Raspberry Road collapse or Wednesday's on the Old Seward Highway, firefighters said.

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