Southeast Alaska fossil declared a new species and given a Tlingit name

Feb 19, 2020

A fossil of a marine reptile in Southeast Alaska has officially been declared a new species. The 220 million-year-old Thalattosaur is older than the dinosaurs. And as Angela Denning reports from Petersburg, Tlingit Elders have named it after a well-known creature in their traditional stories.

To conserve lichens, managers look to curb Nushagak Peninsula caribou

Feb 18, 2020

Lichens cover the Nushagak Peninsula. They range from mottled green and gray, to yellow and brown, spreading in moss-like patches across the tundra. But as the peninsula caribou herd multiplies, that lichen cover, which used to be thick and lush, is shrinking. Surveys showed that lichen cover decreased by 18 percent since 2002, extending over just 32 percent of the peninsula's tundra in 2017.

Haida master weaver Dolores Churchill named an United States Artists fellow

Feb 18, 2020

Haida master weaver Delores Churchill was named a 2020 United States Artists fellow. She was one of two Alaskans chosen for the honor.

Delores Churchill is an expert weaver, gathering and preparing her own materials for cedar bark and spruce root works, and is known internationally for her skills. She is one of 50 individuals named as a 2020 United States Artists fellow.

Alaska’s largest rural solar project set to break ground in Kotzebue

Feb 14, 2020

The high costs of diesel fuel to power energy grids has led a lot of rural utilities to offset with more renewable energy. The city of Kotzebue has used wind power for decades to supplement its fuel use, and is now about to break ground on a brand new solar project.

Martin Shroyer is the general manager for Kotzebue Electric Association (KEA), the city’s local electric utility. He says renewable energy is nothing new in Kotzebue.

Nunam Iqua boys say they got lost in snowstorm while chasing a fox

Feb 14, 2020

On Feb. 2, four boys from Nunam Iqua left their home by snowmachine during a winter storm and ended up lost 18 miles south of town. They weathered the storm for over 24 hours outside before searchers found them huddled together in the snow. They said that they got lost chasing a fox.

Laying on his hospital bed, 7-year-old Ethan Camille looks down at his hands, nine of his fingers wrapped in bandages.

'All As One': New Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation art illustrates Yup'ik values

Feb 12, 2020

When you walk into the new hospital building that the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation built in Bethel, the first thing you’ll see is art that depicts the Yup’ik way of life. One of those pieces of art covers one wall just above a line of chairs in one of YKHC’s waiting areas.

"It’s called Atauciugukut, which means 'all as one.' It’s 11 feet long and 4 feet high," said artist Astaq John Oscar.

Yellow cedar is dying. Can Southeast Alaska sawmills profit?

Feb 12, 2020

Yellow cedar is a commercially valuable tree species for the timber industry. It grows from California all the way to Southeast Alaska, but there are fewer living trees growing across the range because of climate change.

Baby Raven Reads book wins award with Petersburg artist’s work

Feb 11, 2020

The American Indian Library Association is honoring a 2018 children’s book with illustrations by a Petersburg artist.

“Raven Makes the Aleutians” is part of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Baby Raven Reads series. It was named an honor book by the association for 2020. It’s one of three in the series illustrated by Janine Gibbons (Haida) of Petersburg. Her work helps tell a Tlingit oral tradition story about what happens after the great flood and raven creates land.

Solar energy rises in Kake, testing local electric grid

Feb 7, 2020

The rainforest of Southeast Alaska might seem like an unlikely place to find solar energy taking off. But that’s exactly what’s happening in Kake, where high energy costs have spurred growing interest in renewable energy. While installing solar panels has allowed some people and organizations to cut their energy bills, the impact on the local grid is more complicated.

The tribal lawsuit over herring in Sitka Sound boiled down to one question this week: Does the management of the commercial seine fishery still allow residents a “reasonable opportunity” to harvest enough spawn for subsistence?