Sixteen employees at the McGrath forward-operating base are being laid off July 1. The state defends the budget cuts as necessary, but Alaska forestry director Chris Maisch acknowledges that the situation is “not ideal.” Laurel Andrews
Concerns over continuing effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound inspired biologists from the U.S. Forest Service to monitor black oystercatcher nesting populations. Danielle Rupp | The Cordova Times
The cameras at Brooks Camp drew 16 million viewers last year from every country on the planet except Syria and Yemen, according to Google Analytics. This year, technicians will add a powerful directional microphone at Brooks Falls to pipe natural sounds into people's living rooms. Hannah Colton | Bristol Bay Times

Lake Hood has long been touted as part of the world’s busiest floatplane center. Now it could be the vector for the spread of elodea, a leafy, long-stemmed plant notorious for crowding out native species of freshwater flora.


Bob Hallinen
Mixed in with all of the salmon are enough rainbows to make it seem like they are a run of their own. There are numerous pike in side sloughs on the lower river and big grayling lurking under snags along the shorelines. Dolly Varden fin slowly behind the spawning sockeye.John Schandelmeier
Short of renovating my home, the best advice for “sensitive populations” is to limit outdoor exposure and exercise when it’s smoky. This will take some doing. Alaska summers -- the good ones, anyway -- were not designed for being indoors.Alli Harvey
The mammoth brown bears were killed over black bear bait stations near Clam Gulch, and they may be among the largest ever taken on the Kenai Peninsula.Beth Bragg
Perhaps the biggest – and certainly the oddest – catch this month is a giant 250-pound-plus-pound halibut landed by 10-year-old Lily Hornish of Boise, Idaho, during a trip aboard a charter with Ketchikan’s Clover Pass Resort earlier this month.  Mike Campbell
The early run on the Russian appears to be mirroring last year’s, when nearly 45,000 of the hard-fighting salmon passed the weir. The early run counting ends July 14.  Alaska Dispatch News
Trooper said Josh Love, 40, was injured after his packraft flipped near where Eagle River crosses the Crow Pass Trail.  Michelle Theriault Boots