Kenai Peninsula 4-Hers help with the wood bison roundup at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.

Kenai Peninsula 4-Hers help with the wood bison roundup at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.

Learning for Life: Kenai Peninsula 4-H lends helping hand at wood bison roundup

Recently the Kenai Peninsula 4-H District was fortunate to receive an invitation to participate in the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center’s (AWCC) Wood Bison Restoration Project pre-release roundup.

According to AWCC Director Mike Miller, the North American Wood Bison has been extinct in Alaska for more than 100 years and is currently listed as an endangered species throughout the rest of the United States. For the past 12 years AWCC and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have been working to reintroduce this majestic animal back into its natural habitat in Alaska. In the coming year at least 100 animals are scheduled to be released near the remote Western-Alaska community of Shagaluk.

4-H volunteers started their day on Dec. 16 with a 6 a.m. drive to AWCC’s Portage-based facility, and then spent 8 hours outside working with nearly 30 other volunteers. 4-H participants served in a variety of roles including squeeze-gate operation, herding, and as veterinary assistants. In order to minimize unnecessary and potentially unhealthy stress to the bison, volunteers were asked to stay out of sight as much as possible and not to make any noise above a whisper for the entire workday. At the conclusion of the roundup all 4-H participants agreed the experience was both fun and educational. For Japanese 4-H Exchange and Nikiski High School student, Kazuya Okamoto this roundup may have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Following last week’s successful collaboration AWCC has proposed expanding partnership with 4-H and is now discussing possible development of a formal 4-H residential educational camp and internship program sometime within the next year or two. For those interested in working with Reindeer, Musk Ox and a variety of other Alaska critters stay tuned for more information as the Kenai Peninsula District 4-H Program makes it available.

Other agencies and organizations partnering in last week’s round-up activity included the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Division of Environmental Health Office of the State Veterinarian, Anchorage Cabela’s store, Challenge Alaska, and Z Architects.

For more information you can reach 4-H Agent Jason Floyd at: jfloyd1@alaska.edu.

Kenai Peninsula 4-Hers help with the wood bison roundup at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.

Kenai Peninsula 4-Hers help with the wood bison roundup at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.

More in Life

Ward off Halloween’s mystical monsters with these garlic-infused cheesy shells and pepper sauce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty Halloween

Keep spooky creatures at bay with garlic-infused shells and pepper sauce.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Let there be lights!

When I stopped in at one of our local stores, I didn’t cringe when I saw all the holiday decorations on display.

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.