About 2.68 million visitors took advantage of Alaska's 23 national parks last year, and state Park Service spokesman John Quinley said that number is expected to climb this year and next, as the Park Service prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday.Elwood Brehmer
Cleanup is done on six legacy wells that are relics of early oil exploration on Alaska's North Slope, the Bureau of Land Management said Friday.Yereth Rosen
Permafrost in the circumpolar north will likely continue to thaw and release carbon dioxide and methane, but at a gradual rate instead of as a "carbon bomb," said a study published recently in the journal Nature. Yereth Rosen
The Obama administration on Friday took the first formal steps to boost the royalties that energy companies must pay for oil and gas they pull from public lands, angering an industry already reeling from plummeting crude prices.Jennifer A. Dlouhy | Hearst Newspapers
Protesters in kayaks greeted a rig that could be used for oil drilling in the Arctic as it arrived in Washington state following a journey across the Pacific.Associated Press
An Alaska Volcano Observatory webcam picked up what appeared to be a large brown bear inspecting some monitoring equipment on Thursday.Alaska Dispatch News
A study of the migration of rare western Pacific gray whales has led U.S. and Russian scientists to question whether they're a separate population or simply California gray whales that have expanded their feeding grounds.Dan Joling | Associated Press
A new booklet from the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council wants to change that. Synthesizing much past academy work on the Arctic region, the booklet -- being released just before the United States assumes the chairmanship of the eight-nation Arctic Council later this month -- blazons this message: “What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic.”Chris Mooney | The Washington Post
A company that once operated a Sitka bottled-water plant but switched its focus to bulk exports says it has confirmed water buyers in drought-stricken California. Yereth Rosen
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is criticizing the proposed route for a road aimed at upgrading access to the southern mouth of the Kenai River, saying a road in the location would encroach on a rich, ecologically sensitive, wetland that hosts spring and fall migrations of geese, ducks and many species of shorebirds.Associated Press