Sabine Poux/KDLL

Since the Alaska Moose Federation closed up shop in November, Kenai Peninsula charities and organizations have had to get roadkill moose off the highway and into freezers themselves.

It’s been a challenge without AMF’s fleet of trucks and volunteers. And charities say they’ve struggled to get meat to the families and individuals on their lists.

Now, Alaska Wildlife Troopers are looking for small teams of volunteers to sign up online for their roadkill lists.

Alaska Department of Public Safety

A Nikiski woman was trampled by a cow moose Monday evening when she got too close to her newborn calf, according to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Fifty-one-year-old Crystal Cook was medevaced to Anchorage after the run-in, which occurred on her property before 7 p.m. Alaska Wildlife Trooper Joe Morris said Cook was reported to be in stable condition.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Moose didn’t stop crossing the road when the Alaska Moose Federation closed up shop late last year. And there are still hungry families that can use the roadkill meat.

Without the Moose Federation, the salvage work is largely up to charities. It’s hard work.

“And if they can’t do it, then they’re denying the moose," said Laurie Speakman, known as “Laurie the Moose Lady.”

Redoubt Reporter file photo

The Alaska Moose Federation, a nonprofit that salvages road-kill moose and brings them to member charities and individuals, is suspending its operations due to lack of funds.

It’s not the first time the organization, with trucks in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and Kenai, has put things on pause. It shut down partly in 2014 due to loss of funding but stabilized with new leadership in 2015, under current Executive Director Don Dyer.

That year, it signed a contract with the Alaska Department of Transportation that provided a steady source of funding. When that contract ended, in 2017, AMF suspended the salvage program again.

Elizabeth Earl / KDLL

  This weekend, Kenai’s celebrity eagles welcomed their first eaglet of the season, to the delight of viewers watching the City of Kenai’s eagle cam.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

Humans in Alaska are required to stay home as much as possible these days but global pandemics and government mandates have no say over wildlife. As daylight lengthens, snow melts and nature edges toward spring, bears might soon show up in a social distance near you.

“They are definitely starting to come out. We haven’t had too many reports yet. I believe it would have been about a week and a half ago we had a black bear report here in Soldotna,” said Jacob Pelham, a wildlife technician with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Soldotna. “It wasn’t necessarily getting into trouble, it was just probably coming out of its den and walking around looking for food. So people just need to keep that in mind, that this is definitely the time of year right now that bears are going to be coming out and looking for snacks.” 

Redoubt Reporter file photo

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is hoping for help from people in Kenai in locating a moose with a snare around its muzzle.

Jacob Pelham, a wildlife technician at Fish and Game’s Soldotna office, says department personnel responded to reports of the moose on Saturday. They found a young bull, maybe 3 or 4 years old, near the Burger Bus in Old Town Kenai. A snare was wrapped around what appears to be only its upper muzzle.

“From what we could see, the snare loop looks like it was just around, say like the top jaw, and it was possibly back far enough,” Pelham said. “We were able to observe, the moose was still able to browse on trees and was still able to eat snow. As far as that goes, it doesn’t look like it’s immediately affecting its quality of life. Although it seems like it is probably uncomfortable, it’s not keeping the animal from making a living right now.”

On this week's Kenai Conversation we find out how interconnected the natural world is on the Kenai Peninsula when we welcome retired Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg and the refuge’s John Morton, the supervisory wildlife biolgogist to talk about how a warming climate has shrunk lakes and ponds, caused an increase in wildfires and an explostion in the moose population.

People can question climate change all they want, but according to a couple Kenai Peninsula scientists, one change in the climate in 1968-69 might be exactly why there is an abundance of moose in our back yard today.

Exactly how interconnected the natural world is on the Kenai Peninsula became obvious when KDLL welcomed retired Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg and the refuge’s John Morton, the supervisory biologist to the studio.

Welcome to Tune-In Tales, storytelling for kids on KDLL. Our first episode, May 3, is "The Three Mooses Mosely," by Sally Cassano, performed by Sally, Sara and Truuli Hondel, Austin Thomas and Mike Gallagher. Enjoy!

On-road moose deaths down this winter

Mar 1, 2018

The tally on the dozen signs along Kenai Peninsula roads that records the number of moose killed in automobile collisions is relatively low this winter. 

Currently standing at 48, Tom Netschert of the local Safari Club International will change it again in early this month when he gets the latest update.

“In regards to the roadkill, yes. We update them each month. That’s part of our project with SCI. Conservation, public safety project with the state (to) keep people informed on what’s going on on the roads,” he said.