Environment

U.S. House Resources Committee

A bill working its way through the House of Representatives would open Bristol Bay to gas lease sales in a new leasing plan.   The legislation, however,  faces a skeptical Senate and a very long road to implementation.The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act passed the House Resources Committee last week. House republicans are again pushing to open much of the nation’s currently closed waters for drilling, including Bristol Bay.  This would scrap President Obama’s 5 year leasing plan and require a new one by 2015.

National Weather Service Anchorage Forecast Office

A red flag warning is in effect for critical fire weather conditions north of Iliamna today. Unseasonably warm temperatures and dry conditions have primed southwest Alaska for potential wildfires. The warning extends north from Iliamna to the Lower Kuskokwim valley. Meteorologist Michael Lawson says the dry air is a central factor, as relative humidity levels drop as low as 12 to 15 percent.

Kristi Bulock

Due to a late green up and unseasonably warm temperatures, Southwest Alaska’s fire risk stands at very high to extreme.  State fire officials report 21 wildfires already this year in the southwest portion of the state. Tom Dean is the acting Fire Management Officer for Southwest AK for Division of Forestry. 

Researchers at McGill University say the hybrid offspring grew faster and out-competed wild counterparts in simulated environments. 

Tim Plucinsk / Alaska Volcano Observatory/USGS

Alaska now has three active volcanoes.  The Veniminoff volcano on the Alaska Peninsula is releasing steam and rumbling seismic sensors. Scientists first detected low level seismic tremor late last week.  That’s been slowly increasing since Friday. And thanks to a FAA camera 22 miles away in the community of Perryville, geologists have seen a wispy steam plume coming from the main vent.

Michelle Coombs s a Research Geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Pavlof Volcano Grounds Two Flights

Jun 6, 2013
Brandon Wilson / Alaska Volcano Observatory

Pavlof volcano’s ash plume grounded at least two flights Wednesday.  Its ash cloud stretches about 25 miles to the west of the volcano.  Pilots early Wednesday morning estimated the cloud to be between 14,000 and 18,000 feet, which is where Pen Air flies. The airline canceled two flights to Cold Bay Wednesday.  Missy Anderson is Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

A "controlled burn" at the scrap metal pile spread out of control Saturday afternoon.

As the ice clears out from the last of Alaska’s beaches, it’s the time of year when shorelines become littered with old fishing gear, machinery, and cargo from ships sailing across the globe. Cleaning up Alaska’s vast coastline is a huge undertaking, but the Alaska Marine Stewardship Foundation is starting by sponsoring clean up projects in 9 communities around the state.

Three Alaskan tribes will receive more than 400 thousand dollars through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to support conservation projects.

The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island will put 200 thousand dollars towards fighting rats.  The community will evaluate current rat stations, defense strategies and control techniques within the current rat prevention program.

All photos by Carl Johnson / http://www.carljohnsonphoto.com/

Freelance photographer Carl Johnson hopes to raise $20,000 through the crowdfunding site to help tell the story of Bristol Bay through photos.

Some work is underway on what could become a roughly $8 million dollar, several year plan to bring the facility into compliance with the DEC and EPA.

Efforts to continue removing PCB-contaminated soil from USAF sites planned through the summer season.

Scientists are now able to monitor two remote volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula after equipment came back to life this spring.

Brandon Wilson

The Pavlof Volcano on the lower end of the Alaska Peninsula continues to erupt and ash fall has been reported in at least one nearby community. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details.

Theo Chesley

The Pavlof Volcano on the southern end of the Alaska Peninsula continues to erupt with lava flowing down the mountain. KDLG's Mike Mason has the story.

Pages