Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

On the Kenai Peninsula, salmon are king. Whether they’re king salmon or one of the other species of salmonid that populate our fresh waters. And that’s why when there’s a biologic danger to their existence, people go into high gear to try and protect them.

Take invasive species for example. About 20 years ago, northern pike were illegally introduced into Kenai Peninsula lakes by persons unknown. And they thrived, just like they do elsewhere in Alaska where they naturally occur. But here on the Kenai, the pike’s success came at a cost - the lives of baby salmon.

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

When was the last time you actually discharged a can of bear spray? According to the experts, if you’re doing it right in bear country, you’ve never had to.

 

 


On this week's Kenai Conversation we find out how interconnected the natural world is on the Kenai Peninsula when we welcome retired Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg and the refuge’s John Morton, the supervisory wildlife biolgogist to talk about how a warming climate has shrunk lakes and ponds, caused an increase in wildfires and an explostion in the moose population.

People can question climate change all they want, but according to a couple Kenai Peninsula scientists, one change in the climate in 1968-69 might be exactly why there is an abundance of moose in our back yard today.

Exactly how interconnected the natural world is on the Kenai Peninsula became obvious when KDLL welcomed retired Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg and the refuge’s John Morton, the supervisory biologist to the studio.

This week on the Kenai Conversation, guests John Morton, the supervisory fish and wildlife biologist at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Hans Rinke, the Kenai-Kodiak Area forester with the Alaska Division of Forestry discuss our forests, the trees in them, their future and the potential threats they face. 

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

 

Despite all the snow still on the ground and in the forecast, it won’t be long before attention turns to fire season.

 

 


For years Alaska has been fertile ground for reality TV shows - not the kind where you get voted off the island or some bachelor gives you a rose - the kind where camera crews follow around real Alaskans, doing real things. Think "Life Below Zero" more than "Alaska Bush People."

Now, a production company wants to add the men and women of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to the mix.

Outdoor enthusiasts with more gasoline than ski wax running in their veins finally got the word they were waiting for: effective immediately, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is open to snowmachine use. Refuge Manager Andy Loranger announced the opening today (Tuesday), saying it applies to all areas of traditional snowmachine use.

Snowmachiners rejoice! The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is opening the Caribou Hills area within Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to snowmachine use, effective immediately.

Higher elevations in the Caribou Hills have recently received snowfall allowing for the limited opening. No other areas of the Refuge are currently open to snowmachines due to inadequate snow cover.

Alaska State Division of Forestry

 

 

A wildland fire broke out on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge just north of Sterling on Thursday evening. As of 10 p.m., the East Fork Fire was estimated to be roughly 150 acres in size.