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Journey of Landscape and Light with Photographer Taz Tally

Thursday, September 286:30 – 7:30pm
Live at the Alaska Maritime Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer
– OR –
Join Zoom webinar
Photographer Taz Tally will share with us his stunning images, videos and stories from 9 seasons of visiting the Brooks Range in fall and winter.  Light refreshments will be provided.
Cosponsored by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges

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Walk for the Wild 2023, Across Alaska!

Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuge hosts the 2nd Annual WALK FOR THE WILD in several communities in our state. WALK FOR THE WILD is a unique opportunity to enjoy and learn more about an amazing refuge. Those of you not able to attend in person, register and walk 5k wherever you are. Celebrate and support the 16 National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. JOIN AlaskaTeam16!

While participation is FREE, you can support the Friends of Alaska NWR by donating to our team by checking the donate option. 

LEARN about what your donation will support and read our monthly updates HERE.

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October Membership Meeting: Working for Waterfowl on the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, October 17, 5 – 6 pm AKDT Randall Friendly, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Biologist, will be presenting live in Bethel at the Yukon Delta’s Visitor Center (across from the hospital) to hear about the waterfowl work we do on the refuge and about Randall’s career path! With a Potuck! Bring your favorite dish to share. Stick around after the talk and grab some food.
Can’t attend in person? Watch on zoom! Link will be HERE before the meeting! And here will be Watch parties in Homer, Kenai and Kociak. More Information on these to follow, so check back so you don’t miss out.

Greater White-fronted Goose, Kigigak Island, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge

pc:  Kristine Sowl, USFWS

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2023 Art in the Arctic Art Show

Call for Submissions:
The 8th Annual Art in the Arctic Art Show
Date: April 130, 2023

Submission Deadline: February 24, 2023

THE SHOW: The Art in the Arctic Art Show is held each year in Fairbanks, Alaska. This Art Show celebrates three northern refuges based in Fairbanks, Alaska: Arctic, Kanuti, and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuges. The scale, expanse, and wildness of Alaska’s Refuges distinguish them from most other Refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. These refuges protect habitats for wildlife, fish, and birds, as well as massive landscapes for unparalleled outdoor adventures.

THEME: This year’s Show celebrates Fire and Ice.

FIRE: Fire is a natural process that can be beneficial to ecosystems. Lowintensity fires can naturally “clean” a forest by removing flammable and thick vegetation from the forest floor. The result is improved habitat for wildlife, healthier soil, and new growth of native plants. It also helps reduce the risk of large scale highseverity fires that burn through forests with intense heat. Highseverity fires across large landscapes can be devastating for wildlife, habitat, and surrounding communities. Fires are becoming more frequent, and more fires reburn the same location or smolder underground, surviving winter and reigniting the next spring. Scientists predict that boreal forest vegetation will change dramatically, and deciduous vegetation will become increasingly dominant on the landscape.

ICE: Frozen bodies of ice can be found within the northern refuges much of the year. Breakup and freezeup are less predictable. Breakup is earlier, often less violent with fewer ice jams and flooding. Freezeup is now later with a longer slush season. Thinner, more dangerous ice, and open water in midwinter is common. Changing ice conditions impact wildlife, habitats, and humans. These changes limit access to subsistence resources.
We invite artists to share their stories about fire and/or ice in this year’s show. Art in the Arctic will highlight the artist, their artwork, and the artist’s story and connection with the role of fire and/or ice found in at least one of the three northern refuges. This event is cohosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.


EXHIBIT: Each artist will be expected to draft a short narrative (24 sentences) to associate their art with the theme of the show. Selected artwork and artist biographies will be on display at VENUE from April 130, 2023. Artwork will be available for sale to the public. Proceeds of sales will be split with VENUE (60% to artist, 40% to VENUE).

SPACE: Each artist is invited to provide up to four pieces of artwork. Original art will be prioritized in the selection process (prints accepted as space allows). Art that does not reflect the theme will not be exhibited.

ELIGIBILITY: The Art in the Arctic Art Show is committed to showcasing artwork that exemplifies the role of fire and/or ice on National Wildlife Refuges in northern Alaska. All work exhibited at the show must feature compositions or objects that have a nexus to 1) fire and/or ice on Alaska’s northern National Wildlife Refuges; 2) subsistence activities involving fire and/or ice 3) the role of fire and/or ice on wild landscapes; and/or 4) any activity (i.e.: wildlife viewing, hunting, scientific research) involving fire and/or ice.

TO APPLY: Applicants must submit up to 10 high resolution images of their artwork (300 dpi and 1,400 x 2,000 pixels) and an artist statement (1,000character maximum). All mediums welcome, including photography, poetry, sculpture, watercolor, fiber arts, etc.
Applicants must provide a detailed description of each submission including the connection it has to fire and/or ice and at least one of the three northern national wildlife refuges. In addition to the above materials, please submit your 1) name; 2) mailing address; 3) phone number; 4) email address; 5) website (if you have one); and 6) a unique identifier for each of your submitted images.


The deadline has passed for submitting works for the show.

Join us at Opening Night for Art in the Arctic on March 30 from 5 to 9 pm at Venue in Fairbanks. Meet the artists, meet your Friends, enjoy the art and hors d’oeuvres.

questions about the application process or the Show, contact Allyssa Morris at
or (907) 4560224.

ACCEPTANCE: All applicants will be notified about whether their artwork will be accepted as part of the show by March 1, 2023.

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2021 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Recap

Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge co-sponsored the 29th Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival in Homer, Alaska, May 6-9, 2021.

Festival Coordinator’s Wrap Up  by Melanie Dufour  

The annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival, held on traditional Sugpiaq and Deni’ina lands in Homer, Alaska, happened in 2021 like never before.  It was my first year as Festival Coordinator, we, I especially, learned a lot!  I appreciate all those on the Shorebird Committee who supported me and let me lean on their years of experience.

This year the Festival was a hybrid, holding space for virtual speakers, workshops, and fun activities alongside new and old guided birding excursions, wildlife viewing, and kayaking tours– offered for people of all ages and abilities. The locations of these events ranged from the head of Kachemak Bay to Lake Clark, and along the river and ridges of our community.

And of course, the birds arrived as did the people! At least 17 different species of birds were spotted, including the Ruddy Turnstone which was chosen as this year’s bird of the festival.  

The Festival Artist Oceana Wills, and our community volunteer artists who gave their time painting a 6”x6” canvas for the Art & Adventure Auction, added beauty. Every single tour operator, guide, and organization that partnered with us, as well as the generous donors and businesses in our community, ALL gave so much to ensure a welcoming, safe, and memorable experience that will no doubt draw people back when the shorebirds make their stopover next May. 

This 29th Annual Festival was like no other. We are all looking forward to the 30th Annual Festival to be held May 4th -8th 2022 where along with the ‘feet on a trail, boat on the water explorations, and fun’ of this year, we hope to add sitting together in a room, applauding our speakers, sharing that perfect frame in our binocs– and our smiles!– while still livestreaming all of it across the world. 

The Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges continues to be a great sponsor with continuous support of the Festival and the Coordinator role in this year of transitioning coordinators.  The AK Friends work well in partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Maritime National WIldlife Refuge. We look forward to many more Festivals to come in the future.


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Dragonfly Day Save the Date!

The 10th annual Dragonfly Day will be a virtual event hosted by USFWS Kanuti Wildlife Refuge. In the past, this event was an outdoor fair held at Tanana Lakes Recreation Area, where families learned to net and released wild dragonflies. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, Environmental Education Specialist Ally Morris is now re-engineering the outdoor fair into an online event. The online program starting 27 June, will include information on the life cycle of dragonflies, techniques for observing dragonflies, and art projects. Lots of activities for families to introduce their children to the world of dragonflies. To promote this event, Friends funded the printing of holographic dragonfly stickers using the flyer artwork created by Sara Wolman. More information on this event can be found here.

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28th Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival

The 28th annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival is taking place online May 7-10th.  Join us in the celebration of shorebirds, public lands and springtime in Alaska.
The virtual Festival is a place where you can can connect with our beloved shorebirds wherever you are.  Report sightings, follow our daily Birders’ Blog, and view the real-time sightings map to follow what’s flying through Kachemak Bay!  Events will be added daily throughout the weekend, so visit us each day of the Festival for talks, identification tips, quizes and more.
You can show your support for the Festival by purchasing your 2020 Festival gear, bidding on our 6×6 Bird Art & Trip Auction, or joining the Crane Club.  Share your shorebird celebration with the Festival community by using #KBayShorebird2020 in your social media posts.  

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival Statement

The Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge have decided that for the health and safety of our community, employees, volunteers, and visitors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival will not proceed as planned in early May.

It takes an entire community to support Alaska’s largest, most accessible wildlife viewing opportunity, and we are grateful to have earned the community of Homer’s support for the past 28 years. It is out of care and respect for the community (and our many beloved birders), and in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, that we take this action.

We know people across Alaska and around the world will miss the event, and the festival planning committee is saddened to share this news, but we are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of this dangerous virus.

While we are not gathering together this year, we plan to return better than ever in 2021. We also find hope in our shorebirds – as they migrate north, they will continue to gather along our shores. Please stay tuned for new ways to connect with the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. As you continue to enjoy Alaska’s wildlife and wild places, please practice safe social distancing.

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Fairbanks Friends Shine at Art in the Arctic

The 5th annual Art in the Arctic, February 27, showcasing birds of the Arctic Refuges was a sparkling event well supported by Friends.  Two of the six featured artists are Friends members – Laurel Devaney and Amy Mackinaw.  Friends Patti Picha and Judy Williams worked the Friends Outreach table with Frank Williams photographing the event. 

Numbers were down some from last year with 125 attendees due probably to the biting cold but a good time was had by all.  This is a great event for bringing in a diverse crowd and softly conveying refuge messages and information about the 200 bird species that use the northern refuges.  This event is run by Fairbanks based refuges – Arctic, Yukon Flats and Kanuti.  

Two days later, Arctic Refuge’s 2019 Artist in Residence, Michael Boardman, gave a talk and led a drawing workshop for 14.  Boardman has widely shared his experiences on the Arctic Refuge with over a dozen audiences both here in Alaska and in his home state of Maine.  Kudos to the northern refuges for so effectively using art to broaden support and appreciation for wild lands and wildlife.

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