August 11, 2010
A bore tide stranded a man on a rock off Beluga Point Wednesday night, prompting a dramatic rescue by firefighters. Ryan O'Connor climbed the rocks several times before, but says he could always predict the tide. The water came up to his waist within minutes, but rescue teams moved quickly to save him. When the high water rolled in, O'Connor scrambled to get to the highest point possible, but soon the water washed over the rock he was standing on. The cold water exhausted him to a point where he couldn't hold on much longer.
August 4, 2010
by Mary Pemberton The Associated Press Wednesday, August 4, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A half-dozen conservation groups are challenging the state's lawsuit to overturn the listing of beluga whales off Anchorage as endangered. The groups are seeking to uphold the 2008 Endangered Species Act listing for the few hundred white whales in Cook Inlet. The state filed a lawsuit in June to overturn the listing. The state's position is that the listing is unnecessary because the population has stabilized.
July 13, 2010
by Ted Land Monday, July 12, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The state is putting together a spending plan to fight Alaska species' listings under the Endangered Species Act. The Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development has the next year or two to decide how best to spend $1.5 million to explain what it says are the negative effects of the polar bear and beluga whale listings. Lawmakers originally gathered the money for a conference in Anchorage, where panelists would speak on the effects of the polar bear and beluga whale listings -- but there was not enough support for the plan, and lawmakers transferred the money to the state.
June 4, 2010
by Dan Joling The Associated Press Friday, June 4, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The state of Alaska sued Friday to overturn the listing of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, home to the Port of Anchorage, as an endangered species. The lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C., claims the federal government overreached and did not follow its own laws two years ago when it placed the white whales on the endangered species list. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in October 2008 announced the listing for Cook Inlet belugas, one of five populations off the shores of Alaska.
March 3, 2010
by Jackie Bartz Tuesday, March 2, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Wednesday is the last day to speak out about the proposed critical habitat for Cook Inlet belugas. The National Marine Fisheries Service has already held public hearings throughout Southcentral Alaska but is taking written comments for another day. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to designate more than 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet as critical habitat. The Cook Inlet beluga whale population has plummeted since the 1980s.
March 2, 2010
by Ted Land Monday, March 1, 2010 JUNEAU, Alaska -- A group of residents from Beluga and Tyonek is asking lawmakers to help them stop plans for a nearby coal mine. But they're learning just how difficult it can be to make any real progress with such limited time at the capital. The session is almost half over and by now most residents will have to wait until next year to get any pressing issues before lawmakers. It's becoming quite apparent that with hundreds of bills in the legislature, the group from Tyonek and Beluga is not quite a priority for a legislature mostly concerned with oil taxes and a state budget.
February 13, 2010
by Rebecca Palsha Friday, February 12, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It's a question that could have a huge impact on the local economy, and the survival of an endangered species: Should more than 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet be designated as critical habitat for beluga whales? The issue has businesses and environmentalists on edge, with all sides coming out Friday evening at the Loussac Library during the final night of public testimony. Tonight was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's final night for public testimony about the issue, on which a decision won't be reached until next year.
February 12, 2010
by Channel 2 News staff Thursday, February 11, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Valley residents had a chance Thursday night to weigh in on the proposed critical habitat designation for Cook Inlet belugas. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration heard public testimony until 9 p.m. in Wasilla. If you live in the Anchorage area and want to comment, your chance comes Friday night from 6-9 p.m. at the Loussac Library. Public comment on the proposed critical habitat designation ends March 3.
February 4, 2010
by Jackie Bartz Wednesday, February 03, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A decade ago Cook Inlet's beluga population dropped by 50 percent. Industry, environmentalists and government blame overhunting by Alaska Natives in local villages and from inside Anchorage. Alaska Natives say it's the dwindling salmon populations. The hunts stopped in 1999. With the belugas struggling to rebound quickly, scientists want to designate Cook Inlet as critical habitat, but environment and industry disagree on whether it's best for the belugas.
February 3, 2010
by Jackie Bartz Tuesday, February 02, 2010 ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sometime this year, 3,000 square miles of Cook Inlet could become critical habitat for beluga whales. It's a controversial idea. Environmentalists and industry are battling over the outcome, but there's also disagreement over what happened to the belugas in the first place. "I can't think of Cook Inlet without beluga whales," said Bob Shavelson, the Cook Inlet Keeper. "My kids and I enjoy going and looking at the whales and we want to make sure that they are there for centuries in the future," said Jason Brune, the executive director for the Resource Development Council.