A fall count of Denali National Park wolves indicates a slight rebound of the predator’s depressed population in the park. The overall population remains near a 30-year low, and fewer visitors report seeing the animals.Download AudioA wolf carrying a caribou leg. (File photo: NPS)Sixty-two wolves were counted in Denali National Park this fall, a tally up from last spring’s 52, a change park biologist Bridget Borg says reflects positive and negative trends among Denali’s 11 wolf packs.“It seems like we’ve had some packs that’ve shown better recruitment, meaning they have more pups survive until the fall this year. But then we’ve had some larger packs — like, say the East Fork Pack — that have decreased in size.”Borg says the long-studied and once popularly viewed East Fork Pack did not appear to den this year, contributing to its continued decline. She notes some increase in wolf sightings along the first portion of the park road.“Because there was a pack there that had five pups and denning not far from the road. But farther along the park road where most of our visitors travel, we didn’t really see a change this year… although some of that has to do with where the packs are denning.”Denali’s overall wolf population remains far below a 2007 peak of 147 animals, and wolf protection advocate Rick Steiner says that’s reflected in fewer park visitors seeing the iconic predators.“The visitor viewing success rate actually declined further this year. Over 2014 it went down another percent. So this year only 5 percent of the 530,000 visitors to the park were able to see wolves.”Steiner partially blames the decline on the Board of Game’s 2010 elimination of a wolf buffer zone. The area of state land along the park’s northeast boundary aimed to limit the annual public harvest of several Denali wolves as they roam outside the park. Steiner is pushing for a new larger protective area, but park resources team leader Dave Schirokauer contends it wouldn’t solve the broader Denali wolf decline.“Harvest levels may affect particular packs and influence viewing opportunities, but for the population as a whole, other things are probably bigger drivers.Schirokauer says those include moose and caribou numbers and location and wolves’ ability to take down the animals which is tougher in low snow-cover years.
October 17, 2016 603 Views Home Demand Home Sales 2016-10-17 Seth Welborn Sales Indicate Strong Demand in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Many analysts have predicted that 2016 will be the best year for home sales in a decade, since before the crisis.September’s sales helped to prove their case. The RE/MAX National Housing Report for the month indicated that home sales were at their highest for any September in the report’s nine-year history despite a typical seasonal dropoff from August to September, which was a sign that demand for housing is as strong as ever heading into the fall.Home sales fell over-the-month by 11.7 percent in September, which is right in line with the previous eight years of the report, but still rose by 2 percent over-the-year.“The market usually sees fewer home sales in September, as buyers make a seasonal transition from summer to fall,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. “Even so, sales were the highest of any September since we launched our Housing Report in 2008. Also, price increases continue to be in the moderate 5-percent year-over-year range. Overall, this is a market that most everyone can be satisfied with.”In September 34 out of 52 markets surveyed experienced a year-over-year increase in home sales, with double-digit increases occurring in six of those markets: Trenton, New Jersey (18 percent), Augusta, Maine (14 percent), Des Moines, Iowa (13.6 percent), Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina (11.6 percent), Boise, Idaho (11.3 percent), and Seattle, Washington (10.6 percent).Home price appreciation was strong in September, according to RE/MAX. The median sales price ($219,780) represented a year-over-year increase of 5.1 percent, with Birmingham (17 percent) and Miami (15.2 percent) seeing the largest increases. Not one of the 52 metros surveyed experienced an over-the-year decline in median sales price in September.Housing inventory, which has been on ongoing issue in the housing market for the last two years, plummeted over-the-year—falling by an average of 15 percent across the 52 metro areas, according to RE/MAX. Inventory declined by 2.7 percent from August to September. Share