Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau
Ed Schoenfeld is at CoastAlaska in Juneau
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.
Alaska will continue its court battle against a U.S. Forest Service policy that blocks logging in undeveloped areas of national forests.
The Alaska Marine Highway System will no longer allow children and teenagers under 18 to travel solo.
Southeast Alaska voters on Tuesday returned four incumbents to the state Legislature, but the fifth race is far too close to call.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cost-cutting on an Alaska Airlines Railbelt route is lowering fares in Southeast. The airline began flying smaller, turboprop planes between Anchorage and Fairbanks earlier this year. They also flew summer routes between Anchorage and Kodiak.
Some Alaska tribal organizations say last week’s (Aug. 4th’s) dam break at a British Columbia mine shows what could happen closer to home. The groups say similar dams planned for several near-border mines could damage or destroy fish runs in both countries.
British Columbia’s Environment Ministrysays water that poured out of a massive mine-tailings pond Aug. 4 appears to be safe. But local emergency officials continue to warn area residents against drinking, bathing or swimming in affected water.
Monday’s tailings-dam break at a British Columbia copper and gold mine could threaten Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries. That’s according to critics, who say similar dams closer to the border could suffer the same fate, polluting Alaska waters.
A controversial mine planned for an area northeast of Ketchikan just won environmental approval from the British Columbia government.
Southeast Alaskans can learn more about regional transportation projects at a series of meetings starting next week.