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Rick Sinnott

It's Mother's Day, which means it's nearly time for the first moose calves to be born.

Every spring for 17 years, while I was a wildlife biologist in Anchorage, I tried to find a cow moose with newborn calves before Mother's Day so I could lead a newspaper photographer to them. Moose calves are so adorable, I figured the photo would run on the front page where everyone would see it.

I hoped the photograph would serve a dual purpose. It would pay homage to mothers, an expression of esteem with an Alaska theme. But it would also function as a subtle reminder that cow moose were going to be a lot more dangerous for the next few months. Most Alaskans know cow moose can be aggressive in defense of their young...

Rick Sinnott

It’s Mother’s Day, which means it’s nearly time for the first moose calves to be born.

Every spring for 17 years, while I was a wildlife biologist in Anchorage, I tried to find a cow moose with newborn calves before Mother’s Day so I could lead a newspaper photographer to them. Moose calves are so adorable, I figured the photo would run on the front page where everyone would see it...

Rick Sinnott

This is the second of a two-part series. You can read the first part here .

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is repealing and rewriting every management plan that regulates development in the state’s wildlife refuges, sanctuaries, and critical habitat areas, known collectively as special areas. These areas were established by the Alaska Legislature to protect valuable concentrations of fish and wildlife and their critical habitats from incompatible land uses. Gov. Sean Parnell and his director of Habitat Division, Randy Bates, are revising the regulations in secret, with no public input...

Rick Sinnott

This is the first of a two-part series. You can read the second part here .

While many Alaskans are celebrating the demise of House Bill 77 , a far more audacious gambit to overturn state regulations is quietly coming to fruition...

Rick Sinnott

Watching a teenager roll and tumble down Mount Baldy in early February, Pete Panarese wondered how serious the young man’s injuries would be. Anticipation of deep gashes and blunt trauma gave way to another concern when he saw an object fly off the hiker’s pack partway down the 200-yard slope.

It was some sort of ice ax, with a combination pick and adze on one end and a spike on the other. The tool faithfully followed its owner to the bottom of the slope, offering multiple opportunities for impalement...

Rick Sinnott

There were premonitions. On Oct. 27, 1962, two months after moving back to Alaska, Alice felt the “sharpest” earthquake so far. Her husband, Bob, was working on the roof and her first thought was that he had fallen. Bob thought the house was shaking because Alice had done something wrong with the washing machine. But the house kept rocking. The quake was strong enough to knock a few items off shelves...

Rick Sinnott

EKLUTNA -- The two granite hills that Eklutna Village was named after were originally washed out of Eklutna Lake by a very large and angry fish. That’s according to an etiological myth told by the Dena’ina, the people who have inhabited upper Cook Inlet since before Vitus Bering “discovered” Alaska.

And that’s why, on a mythical plane of existence, it didn’t surprise me on a recent visit to Eklutna Lake to see what appeared to be the world’s largest ice-fishing setup perched on the ice about a half mile from shore. If there’s a big fish to be caught, someone is going to try to land it.

As it turned out, what looked like an ice-fishing rig was a platform for obtaining sediment cores, and the big fish being sought was scientific knowledge...

Rick Sinnott

Brace yourself for another excuse to give away Alaska wildlife. Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, and 12 other state representatives have sponsored a bill that will double the number of big game permits donated to organizations to auction or raffle off, often to wealthy nonresident hunters. This bill is unrelated to another bill that seeks to authorize qualified organizations to auction or raffle off “big bull moose derby” tickets ...

Rick Sinnott

Every once in a while someone calls an Alaska Department of Fish and Game office to ask a question about gambling. “Game” means different things to different people. Most Alaskans know game animals are those that can be legally hunted, and moose are at the top of the list for most of the state’s hunters...

Rick Sinnott

The mallards loitering in a midtown Anchorage park pond were quacking contentedly. Someone had poured half a bushel of cracked corn on the ice around an unfamiliar wooden structure. Corn is so much more tasty and nutritious than their usual winter fare: stale white bread. Winter doesn’t get much better than this.

Then the trap doors slammed shut. More than 600 ducks erupted into the air. The 36 ducks that didn’t fly had just volunteered to participate in a study of urban ducks in Anchorage.

Park ducks

Wild ducks are migratory birds. Most of the mallards that breed, nest, and rear their young in Alaska fly south for winter. Mallards that summer in the Cook Inlet watershed of Southcentral Alaska overwinter in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California...

Rick Sinnott

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