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Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau

Ed Schoenfeld is at CoastAlaska in Juneau

Canada Approves Controversial Mine Near Southeast Alaska’s Border

A controversial mine near Southeast Alaska’s border won approval from Canada’s federal government on Friday.

December 19, 2014
A computer-generated map of Southeast Alaska shows additional land (in brown) beyond today’s shoreline. (Courtesy Jim Baichtal)

Coastline Search Leads To First Residents’ Camps

The Earth’s crust is more flexible than you think – especially in Southeast Alaska. Growing and shrinking icefields and glaciers, and rising and falling oceans have altered the region’s coastline over time.

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December 19, 2014
Sealaska Lands Bill Passes Congress

Sealaska Lands Bill Passes Congress

A bill transferring about 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest to Sealaska has passed Congress.

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December 12, 2014
Nature Conservancy scientist Colin Shanley talks about research on climate change impacts to Southeast salmon habitat. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Study: Climate Change Hurting Salmon Habitat

Scientists know climate change is altering rain and snowfall patterns in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. A new study details how that could affect salmon and suggests what can be done.

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December 12, 2014
New Hoonah Dock Could Boost Tourism Numbers

New Hoonah Dock Could Boost Tourism Numbers

Hoonah’s Icy Strait Point tourist attraction will see more visitors once a new cruise ship dock is built. That’s according to officials, who expect it to attract more cruise lines to the town 50 miles west of Juneau. But critics worry the location will not help the rest of the city.

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December 9, 2014
Beached logs pile up in Shoal Cove on Revilla Island in the Tongass National Forest. A new report challenges old-growth logging spending in the forest. (Jim Baichtal/USFS)

Report: Subsidized logging costs feds millions

A new report says the U.S. Forest Service is wasting millions of dollars by propping up a failing Southeast Alaska timber industry. It says the Tongass National Forest should instead invest in projects supporting tourism and fishing, which are growing segments of the economy.

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November 24, 2014
The KSM project’s mine site layout during the operation phase, from its environmental assessment certificate application. (Image courtesy Seabridge Gold)

Mine Critics Target Investors, Government Officials

Transboundary mine opponents are trying a new tactic in their opposition to a project northeastof Ketchikan. They’re telling investors, and anyone else who will listen, that the KSM mine is a bad place to put their money.

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November 18, 2014
Drilled rock cores wait for analysis at the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell project, one of the British Columbia mines planned for near the Southeast Alaska border. Mines Minister Bill Bennett says the provincial government will listen to critics’ concerns about potential damage to transboundary rivers where salmon spawn. (Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

BC Official Says Mine Concerns Heard, Critics Disagree

British Columbia officials say they understand why Alaskans are concerned about new mines planned for transboundary rivers. But critics on this side of the border say they’re not doing anything about it.

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November 11, 2014
Appeals Court Revives Alaska Suit On Roadless Rule

Appeals Court Revives Alaska Suit On Roadless Rule

Alaska will continue its court battle against a U.S. Forest Service policy that blocks logging in undeveloped areas of national forests.

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November 10, 2014

Ferry System Limits Solo Travel By Kids, Teenagers

The Alaska Marine Highway System will no longer allow children and teenagers under 18 to travel solo.

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November 7, 2014

Southeast Voters Return 4 Incumbents To Office, 1 Race Too Close To Call

Southeast Alaska voters on Tuesday returned four incumbents to the state Legislature, but the fifth race is far too close to call.

November 5, 2014
Remains of a Tongass clear-cut and logging road north of Ketchikan. New growth in parts of the forest could be cut to jump-start a modern timber industry, a report says. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska)

Report: Second-Growth Logging Can Start Now

Tongass National Forest officials want the timber industry to log and process fewer old trees. They’re planning a 10- to-15-year transition to harvesting younger forests. Two Oregon researchers, one an industry consultant and the other an environmental activist, say it can happen sooner.

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October 30, 2014
This sow and cub were spotted in the Sitka area in August, 2013. A young male was found dead recently near Sawmill Creek Road. Officials say it may have been poisoned. (Photo by P. Mooney/ADF&G)

Is Someone Poisoning Sitka Bears?

Someone appears to be poisoning bears near Sitka’s Sawmill Creek Road. A young male found dead earlier this month may be the latest victim.

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October 24, 2014
Clear-cuts and old-growth forests are part of the view of Indian Valley on Prince of Wales Island. The Forest Service just announced three more timber sales in the Island’s Big Thorne area. (Creative Commons photo by Nick Bonzey)

More Big Thorne Timber Sales Announced

The Forest Service plans three more timber sales in a part of Prince of Wales Island conservationists say needs to be protected. They’re much smaller than a recent sale in the same area.

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October 14, 2014
A glacier reflects in a naturally occurring pool of rusty, acidic water at the site of one of the KSM Prospect’s planned open-pit mines. The British Columbia project, northeast of Ketchikan, was just granted permits for roads and camps. (Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News)

KSM Mine Project Wins Key Permits

A controversial British Columbia mine northeast of Ketchikan has gained some key permits needed for construction.

But the KSM project still needs other government approvals – and large investments – before mining can begin. Also, a company with nearby claims says it must also grant approval.

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October 9, 2014

Southeast Ballot Issues Cover Taxes, Infrastructure and More

Communities across Alaska are voting in municipal elections today. They are electing city council and assembly members and weighing in on local ballot measures. Some Southeast Alaska voters will consider how to raise revenues and what to spend them on.

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October 7, 2014

Conservation Group Sues to Block Controversial Timber Sale

The Forest Service awarded a contract this last week to log two-thirds of a controversial Southeast Alaska timber sale. Officials say it’s the first of several contracts for what’s called the Big Thorne timber sale.

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October 6, 2014
Tourists off the Norwegian Sun book a Mendenhall Glacier tour near Juneau’s waterfront on one of the last days of 2014′s tourism season, as a waterfront worker watches. Passenger numbers were similar to last year’s. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

Cruise Traffic Level, But Could Grow Soon

Alaska’s cruise ship season ended last week. It, and other types of tourism, attracted a similar number of visitors as in 2013. But the next few years could be different.

October 1, 2014
Petersburg voters face seven ballot measures in the Oct. 7 municipal election. Four propose changes to the senior citizen sales tax exemption. (Photo illustration, CoastAlaska News)

Petersburg Considers Changes to Senior Sales Tax Exemption

If you’re 65 or older, you don’t have to pay Petersburg’s 6 percent sales tax. Municipal Finance Director Jody Tow says that means local government is losing out on a lot of money.

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September 24, 2014
Art is Big Business in Southeast

Art is Big Business in Southeast

What are the arts worth to Southeast Alaska? A new economic study says painting, carving, theater, music and other creative pursuits generate at least $60 million a year in business.

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September 23, 2014