"KAKTOVIK, Alaska — Come fall, polar bears are everywhere around this Arctic village, dozing on sand spits, roughhousing in the shallows, padding down the beach with cubs in tow and attracting hundreds of tourists who travel long distances to see them."
Alaska and Hawaii
"SHAKTOOLIK, Alaska — In the dream, a storm came and Betsy Bekoalok watched the river rise on one side of the village and the ocean on the other, the water swallowing up the brightly colored houses, the fishing boats and the four-wheelers, the school and the clinic."
The Obama administration has already used the century-old Antiquities Act to protect public lands more often than any president perhaps since FDR. Will the outgoing White House make additional controversial last-minute designations? Here are at least five possible locales to watch, in our newest TipSheet. Image: © Clipart.com
"The GOP electoral sweep has Alaska Republicans feeling upbeat on the prospects for a priority that has eluded them for decades — opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration and drilling."
"A remote village on Alaska's northwest coast has begun a reverse tourism campaign. Residents want visitors to stay away. Pacific walrus by the thousands in recent years have come ashore in early fall near the Inupiat village of Point Lay, including about 6,000 last week, and people have dropped in, hoping to see a marine mammal phenomenon brought on by climate change and disappearing summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea."
"Caelus Energy said it’s made a major oil discovery on the North Slope, at Smith Bay. The company estimates the oil under its current state leases at 6 billion barrels and says as much as 10 billion may lie under the shallow bay."
"Seven types of bees once found in abundance in Hawaii have become the first bees to be added to the US federal list of endangered and threatened species."
"Science ministers from 25 nations joined Alaska Natives from the Alaska Arctic for a first-of-its-kind White House meeting Wednesday to work on international cooperation for Arctic research."
"U.S. President Barack Obama will dramatically expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii on Friday, the White House said, an action that will ban commercial fishing from more than 582,500 sq miles (1.5 million sq km) of the Pacific Ocean."
"Federal regulators are proposing to ban swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, a move that could imperil one of the Aloha State's most popular tourist delights and the industry that has sprung up around it."