Agency rejects glacier seabird for endangered list

ANCHORAGE — The federal government has rejected endangered species status for a seabird that forages in glacier runoff flowing into ocean waters.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 161-page finding concludes that the Kittlitz’s murrelet can adapt to changing environmental conditions and that the species has lived in areas without glaciers.

The listing petition was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Spokeswoman Shaye Wolf says the population of Kittlitz’s murrelets has declined 80 to 90 percent in core areas such as Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Prince William Sound.

The Fish and Wildlife Service acknowledges a 30 percent annual decrease in the population occurred in the years between 1989 and 2000 but says the population has stabilized and likely will undergo a slower decline of less than 2 percent annually.

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Buckwheat Classic registration opens

Registration is now open for the 31st annual Buckwheat Ski Classic. The cross-country ski race will be held on March 25 on the Log Cabin Ski Trails north of Skagway and include 50K, 25K and 10K classic races as well as a 5K kids race.

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Unit 4 fur season to end

The season for marten, mink, weasel and river otter in Unit 4 (Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof Islands) ended Wednesday. Beaver season remains open through April 30.

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Fireside Lecture on Southeast’s ancient shorelines

Geologist Jim Baichtal will discuss revising old theories regarding how life adapted to Southeast Alaska’s ancient ice sheets during today’s Fireside Lecture at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

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