Environment

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Pruitt has long criticized.

The Senate approved Pruitt on a 52-46 vote Friday afternoon, with two Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — voting for his nomination. Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted no.

US National Park Service

Fish and Game planning to limit spring hunting and scale back bag limit in GMU 9 in effort to conserve dwindling numbers of game bird, which has apparently been hammered by low snow winters.

USGS

St. George Island is waiting on an emergency water delivery after falling ice damaged the community’s reservoir on Monday.

In St. George, water is stored in a 280,000-gallon steel tank that draws from an aquifer. The reservoir isn’t insulated, so when cold winds batter the island from the north, water freezes inside the tank, usually near the top.

Eric Keto / Alaska's Energy Desk

KUCB, Unalaska:  Across Alaska there are monitoring instruments on 31 of the most active volcanoes, but there’s nothing on the one that’s erupting now.

Bogoslof is a volcano on a tiny uninhabited island in the middle of the Bering Sea. Since mid-December, Bogoslof has erupted more than two dozen times.

ADF&G

KYUK, Bethel:  She was a wanderer.

Instead of sticking with her herd, Wood Bison 124 headed out on her own, traveling hundreds of solitary miles from the Alaska Yukon, down the Kuskokwim, to the sea.

Friday, near Quinhagak, a bullet ended her journey.

She was shot illegally. 

Togiak National Wildlife Refuge

Fisheries biologist,  Mark Lisac, is retiring after 32 years with the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.

John Ryan / KUCB

Northern fur seal pup production on St. Paul Island has hit its lowest level since 1915.

Every other year members of Seattle’s Marine Mammal Laboratory travel to the Pribilof Islands to estimate how many pups are born. Scientist Rod Towell has been a part of the counts since 1992. He says the difference at the rookeries on St. Paul is striking.

ADF&G

Fish and Game says perceived lower numbers of ptarmigan and hares are probably related to the low snow winters. More snow might push small game down from hillsides, and allow more hunter access.

Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife

Research planned on larger cousin of more common snowshoe hare found only in Western Alaska. Biologists say they don't know much about Alaska hare's abundance, habitat, or behavior.

AVO / U.S. Geological Survey

Bogoslof erupted again Tuesday, and now the Takawangha west of Adak is active. It has no record of eruptions, but "energetic swarm" of earthquakes suggests magma below surface may be on the move.

BOEM

On Tuesday, President Obama today put nearly all U.S. Arctic waters off-limits for future oil and gas drilling. The White House announced the decision in conjunction with a similar statement from the Canadian government covering its Arctic waters.

Alaska Public, Washington D.C.:  

Adak calls for residents to boil water

Dec 20, 2016
KUCB

KUCB, Unalaska: The city of Adak is calling for all residents to boil their drinking water after their treatment system started malfunctioning. City Manager Layton Lockett says drinking the untreated water could make you sick.

“It’s like drinking out of a stream or a lake in that you might ingest some organisms that make your stomach upset,” Lovett said.

Dave Bendinger/ KDLG

Dillingham's 23rd annual and King Salmon's 31st annual Christmas Bird Counts are Saturday, December 17. Contact Kara Hilwig (Togiak NWR) or Melissa Cady (Becharof NWR) to participate.

www.wunderground.com

Temperatures are climbing back towards the thirties, after several weeks of below zero weather. With the warmer air, some rain or a wintry mix is likely along the Southwest coast this week.

Hunt still open, but Fish and Game has warned that the bull-to-cow ratio in areas near Dillingham is low, perhaps low enough to limit some hunting.


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