Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 10:52 AM AKST


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Farewell, Artemis...

Natureby Randi Perlman

After 15 years of educating and enchanting admirers all around the great State of Alaska, Artemis the Great Horned Owl, Goddess of the Hunt, succumbed to age-related issues and was humanely euthanized last week. Eighteen years ago, Artemis was left in a box outside of Fish & Game in Anchorage, fully grown and with a broken wing that had not healed properly. She was transferred to Anchorage-based Bird Treatment & Learning Center (BTLC), where she was nursed back to health and determined to be non-releasable due to her injury. Three years later she came to live with me, a BTLC volunteer, and so began 15 incredible years with a beautiful, mysterious and engaging wild creature who taught me more about life than any human being ever could have.

Image courtesy of Randi Perlman
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Alaska WildBird Rehab Center – Monthly Flights

NatureBy Randi Perlman

The Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center (AWBRC) will hold one of its fascinating mini-programs this month, focusing on a different theme at each program. Themes for these programs are designed to loosely correspond with wild bird activity around us. The programs will capture your attention, and your heart, while highlighting our education birds on a rotating basis. Our mini-programs are part of the Valley Arts Alliance Second Saturday events, and this month’s romantic encounter will take place from noon to 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 13th, at the new Big Lake Lions Recreation Center, in beautiful downtown Big Lake.

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News from The Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center

Natureby AWBRC

February will be an eventful month for Alaska Wildbird Rehabilitation Center. Our Valentine's Day Celebration will be transformed to Owlentine's Day at the Big Lake Lions Recreational Center. Follow our signs to this fun and educational event, featuring our education owls. There will be cookies, artifacts, and the opportunity to see some of the different owls that enrich our world.

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Scenes Around Big Lake: Marmot Day Sunrise


Photo by Dennis Garrett

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Pick.Click.Give. and help Alaska Wildbird Rehabilitation Center

Natureby AWBRC

Pick.Click.Give. when you file by March 31st and be entered to win an extra PFD. Ten lucky Alaskans who share part of their PFD through Pick.Click.Give will be given an extra dividend. Learn more at

Thank you to all who contribute to Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center through the Pick.Click.Give. campaign.

Photo: AWBRC

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Sounds Wild educational radio program

NatureSounds Wild is an educational radio program produced by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Sounds Wild is broadcast on over 25 radio stations around Alaska. Broadcasters and educators interested in learning more about this program may contact Riley Woodford at: or by calling (907) 465-4256. To listen to the broadcasts go to and select your animal of interest.
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News from The Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center



Happy New Year! Alaskans, I always feel, have a unique outlook for the New Year. It comes just as we are looking forward to a return of light after the darkest days of winter. Here at Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center, we join our wonderful community in looking forward to a hopeful New Year. The New Year certainly does not take away all of our challenges, but it does give us an opportunity to look ahead, and to resolve to reach our highest potential. We take that step, in part, by recognizing our most valuable resources.

For us, foremost is the outstanding Matanuska/Susitna Valley where unsung individuals continue to take heroic efforts to care for our wild birds.


Photograph by Bill Roth.
An immense thank you goes out to the public who assisted with the Common Murre rescues.

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News from The Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center


Images courtesy AWBRC

Uplifting Center News!

The Center has been honored this season with exciting news. As you know, the handling of wild birds is highly regulated, in part to protect our national migratory birds from inadvertent harm from untrained rescuers. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife has carefully reviewed our facility, ensuring that our training, handling, and rescue protocols are in place, and are of the best design to rehabilitate passerines, and to continue our rescue work for Valley birds. Passerines? These include songbirds, and birds that perch - our chickadees, sparrows, robins, grosbeaks and juncos, to name a few. We must thank all who participated in this important step, which will support our highest efforts in wild bird rehabilitation.

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Celebrate Invasive Species Awareness Week this week

Nature(Palmer, AK) – To highlight the risk of invasive species to Alaska, Governor Bill Walker has proclaimed this week (June 21-27) to be Invasive Species Awareness Week. This week, Alaskans are encouraged to spread the word about invasive species and join local efforts to control invasive species that are impacting their communities.

Invasive species are non-native to the ecosystem and their introduction threatens the economy, environment, or human health. They are estimated to cost the United States billions of dollars in economic damages per year. In Alaska, invasive species can impact hunting, fishing, camping, boating, floatplanes, wild food harvesting and wildlife habitat.

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Gov. Proclaims Pollinator Week

NatureWHEREAS, Alaska is blessed with an abundance of plant and animal species that enhance the natural beauty of our state and contribute to the health of our people, ecosystems, and industries; and

WHEREAS, pollination plays a vital role in the health of our forest, grasslands, and other unique ecosystems, providing forage, fish, wildlife, timber, water, mineral resources, and recreational opportunities, as well as economic development opportunities for individuals and communities; and

WHEREAS, native pollinator species, such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and others, provide significant benefits that are necessary for maintaining healthy ecosystems, supporting wildlife, providing healthy watersheds, and more; and

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Web Cams Provide Unprecedented Live View of Round Island Walrus Mecca

Nature(Round Island) — On this tiny island in north Bristol Bay, walruses from as far away as Russia gather as they have for thousands of years. And now, viewers around the world can watch the ivory-tusked, 2-ton sea mammals go about their summer routines, thanks to a live camera installation from philanthropic media organization and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

While females and calves spend summers at the Arctic ice pack’s edge to the north, male walruses congregate, or “haul out,” on Round Island by the thousands. Centerpiece of the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary, the walrus viewing area was set to close to visitors this year due to budget shortfalls. Thanks to a grant from founder Charles Annenberg Weingarten, along with funds from several private donors as well as federal funds, Round Island will remain open through mid-August as in previous years.
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Make the Right Call: Don’t Touch “Orphaned” Wildlife

Nature(Statewide) — Alaskans are reminded that May and June mark the season of wildlife giving birth. Newborn moose calves, bear cubs and other wildlife young may be encountered nearly anywhere in Alaska – including city greenbelts and trails used for hiking and biking.

Hikers, bikers, dog walkers and others are urged to keep a wary eye out for newborn wildlife and to not assume young animals found alone are orphaned. Keep pets under voice control or leashed if you encounter wildlife as loose dogs can cause wildlife to feel threatened and act aggressively.

Mother moose and bears frequently walk out of sight from their young, cache them, or become separated from by fences or roads. Sow bears often send cubs up trees to wait before leaving to find food. In nearly all cases, the mothers return to their young.

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Wood Bison Transition to Wild Population

NatureThirty nine days after leaving their captive home at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, AK, project leaders say wood bison are becoming wild animals and are on course to form a strong, successful herd.

The animals were released into the Lower Innoko/Yukon Rivers area on April 3 to restore the species to historic range in Alaska. Biologists are monitoring the movements and numbers of bison throughout this summer.

Department staff confirmed that at least six calves have been born so far, and more are expected soon. Calving season for the species runs from late April through mid-June.

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VIDEO Big Lake, Alaska: Young moose feeding

NatureThis is a short clip taken yesterday in downtown Big Lake of a young moose feeding on Willows.

Click the image for the video, and stay tuned for more videos of interest to Big Lake and the region.

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Agencies Team Up to Create, Maintain Habitat for Moose and Other Wildlife

Nature(Statewide) – In an effort to create and enhance habitat for moose and other wildlife, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is working with local, state and federal partners to conduct prescribed burns and mechanical clearing treatments in locations throughout the state.

Currently, the department and the Division of Forestry (DOF) are planning a prescribed burn in the Matanuska Valley State Moose Range on a 314-acre site located off the Glenn Highway near Sutton. Burn timing is scheduled for Sunday, May 10, but execution will be based on burn conditions and the availability of Forestry staff to monitor the fire. The plan includes burning mature aspen trees to encourage regeneration of these and other hardwoods. The department will provide an update on the planned burn on Friday, May 8.

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