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Environment

Environmental stories that take place in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

A normal breakup is expected to return to the Kuskokwim and Lower Yukon Rivers this year with the usual cracking, jamming, and possible minor flooding.

Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

While the Kuskokwim ice around Bethel is decaying, the ice in the middle part of the river is more stable, according to Mark Leary, Director of Development and Operations for the Native Village of Napaimute. Leary also works as a citizen observer, reporting ice conditions to the National Weather Service.

Mike Riley / Bethel Search and Rescue

Conditions are deteriorating rapidly on the ice road, and Bethel Search and Rescue is asking residents to be careful and exercise sound judgment when traveling. BSAR President Mike Riley reports that, as of Tuesday evening, from the Bethel sandpit to Nick O Nick's fish camp, standing water lines the sides of the river, slushy snow covers the ice, and at some points, water sits beneath the snow. Across the island in front of Bethel, on the main river channel, deep water is covering the ice, and where there’s snow, water lies beneath.

Dean Swope / KYUK

The melting Kuskokwim ice road is becoming increasingly hazardous to drive on, and conditions are changing rapidly.

Dean Swope / KYUK

The Kuskokwim ice road's days are numbered. Though the ice is thick, the snow is melting fast.  

April Is The Crucial Month For Breakup

Mar 21, 2017
Bethel Search and Rescue

Deep snow and thick ice could mean a dramatic break-up on the rivers this year.

Rescuers Are Tough, And So Are Their Stories

Mar 17, 2017
Johanna Eurich / KYUK

Some of them are grizzled old men, some are younger. They come from fifty communities throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and they are in one room talking about how to find the lost, the missing, and the dead. They would all object to being called heroes. 

Many of these Search and Rescue volunteers are like Paul Andrews from Emmonak and have tough stories to tell. Like the first time he found and brought home the dead.

The proposed Donlin Gold mine site in 2014
Dean Swope / KYUK

When Donlin Gold brings up barging, residents of the Kuskokwim bring up subsistence. As fish feed the people on the river, the barges would feed the proposed mining operation. To find a way for increased barge traffic to coexist with subsistence activities, Donlin laid out a plan for how communication between Kuskokwim River users and the operators of the large mining vessels would work.


Dr. F. Stuart "Terry" Chapin III, University of Alaska, Fairbanks in April 2008 presenting a seminar titled "Social-ecological Sustainability in a Changing World: Concepts and Policy Strategies to Address Climate Change in Alaska."
University of Alaska Fairbanks

One of Alaska's most senior scientists advised a largely Alaska Native audience that if they want to have an impact on climate change policy, they need to find and tell their stories. 

USGS

After decades of conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has submitted a proposal to open a subsistence hunt and a general hunt for the Emperor Goose in Alaska. An egg hunt for Cackling Canada geese could follow.


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