Alaska News Nightly: June 10, 2013

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Air Force Allowing Another Month Of Public Comment On Draft EIS

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Air Force will give Alaska’s leaders and the public an extra month to compile their comments on a draft environmental impact statement released last month.  The EIS evaluates the effects of the Air Force’s proposal to relocate a squadron of F-16s from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.  The extension comes after push back from the state’s Congressional delegation who argued the military hadn’t provided the public with enough time to evaluate the document.

Scientists Seek More Protection For Tongass National Forest’s Streams

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

A group of scientists is calling on Congress to provide greater protection from development for scores of streams on Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

Sealaska Land Bill Scheduled For Congressional Markup

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The Sealaska land bill is scheduled for markup during a congressional hearing this week.

Representative Don Young’s main legislation would convey about 70,000 acres of Tongass National Forest timberlands to Sealaska.

The Sealaska measure is one of 14 land bills before the House Committee on Natural Resources, which meets Wednesday.

The Senate is also expected to mark up its version of the Sealaska lands legislation soon.

Robert Dillon, spokesman for sponsor Lisa Murkowski, says it’s tentatively scheduled for June 18 before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

FEMA Assesses Galena Damages

Jeremy Scott, KIYU – Galena

The Federal Emergency Management Agency toured Galena this weekend to estimate how much monetary damage was done by this  year’s flood.

State of Alaska Emergency Management Specialist George Coyle says if FEMA determines damage is significant enough to declare Galena a federal disaster area and President Obama approves, the federal government would pay 75 percent of the total estimated damage cost, while the State of Alaska would foot the other 25 percent.

State Reports Progress In Galena Cleanup

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state is reporting progress in Galena, as the community cleans up from major flooding.  The ice jam flood, earlier this month, damaged and destroyed many homes and other buildings, forcing the evacuation of most of the village’s 400 residents.  The state Division of Emergency Management says power has been restored to most areas of Galena, fuel service has resumed and the local public radio station is back on the air.  The road to the Galena’s landfill remains impassible, and a hazardous materials team is working on contamination assessment and clean up.  Most evacuated Galena residents remain in Fairbanks, Anchorage or other communities.

Interior-Based Militia Unit Regroups, Invites Others To Training Rendezvous

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

An Interior Alaska militia group gathered over the weekend near Delta Junction.  The Central Alaska Militia’s leader says the group is not associated with the defunct Fairbanks based Alaska Peacekeepers Militia. That group’s leader Schaeffer Cox, was sentenced to 26 years in prison, earlier this year, for plotting to kill government officials.

Moose Shot In Denali National Park

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A visitor shot a moose in the entrance area of Denali National Park.  The animal was wounded and put down by park rangers.

Unangan Elder Mary Nicolai Bourdukofsky Passes Away

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The Pribilof Island of St. Paul lost an important elder this month. Mary Nicolai Bourdukofsky passed away at age 90. As KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal reports, Bourdukofsky was devoted to preserving Unangan culture and history.

Alaska’s Cultural Connections: Plant Medicine

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

Recently, a group of more than 70 elders took a bus about an hour southeast of Anchorage as part of the Southcentral Foundation’s Elders program.  They were gathering and learning about the healing properties of plants. Joaqlin Estus has the latest story in our on-going series looking at culture in Alaska.