Zach Hughes, KSKA - Anchorage
Zach Hughes is a reporter for KSKA in Anchorage.
If you live by the Norton Sound, get ready for salmon. On Monday, the Department of Fish and Game announced subsistence and commercial openings that will begin this Wednesday, June 18th, for three subdistricts in the Norton Sound.
Subsistence users in Nome are criticizing gold miners and regulators for failing to take into account the negative impacts mining is having on other resources in the area. Officials from different agencies took public comment on the issue at a community meeting yesterday.
This morning an advisory panel of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council heard public testimony on proposed policy changes to salmon bycatch. The panel makes recommendations to the governing board of the council, which is meeting this week in Nome.
Yesterday evening residents from Kobuk, Shugnak and Ambler gathered in the Kobuk community school for meetings about the status of a state-backed industrial road that would pass through the region.
Norwegian police and Special Forces cleared Green Peace protestors off an oil rig in the Barents Sea this week. Activists have since been using a boat to block access to the proposed drill site, which could become the world’s Northern-most offshore oil well. The action is part of increasing efforts by environmental groups.
Congressman Don Young is introducing a bill in Washington, D.C. to speed up development in an area of the Seward Peninsula that many are eyeing as one piece of a future Arctic Port.
With the return of marine mammals and migratory birds to the Bering Straits region, subsistence hunters are still struggling to find certain kinds of ammunition.
Caribou users in the Northwest Arctic Borough were told Wednesday that North America’s largest herd declined by more than a quarter in just two years. The group also questioned state officials on how a proposed road to the Northwest Arctic Borough would impact subsistence resources.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, AIDEA, meets in Kotzebue today with a game management group to discuss a proposed 220-mile road to a copper deposit in the Northwest Arctic Borough that’s potentially valuable.
Federal money for rural infrastructure is drying up, and state agencies are overhauling projects while they still can. With Alaska’s brief construction season about to begin, state officials are hurrying to bring airfields, roads, and other Bush infrastructure up to standard before funds get scarce.
In March, a group of researchers announced the results of a multi-year study assessing the impacts to caribou habitat of a potential service road from the Dalton Highway to the Ambler Mining District.
Vancouver-based Graphite One Resources announced this month they’ve finalized all land purchases for a promising graphite claim on the Seward Peninsula. But village residents in the area are concerned the proposed mine could harm subsistence resources. And they’re frustrated they haven’t yet heard from company officials.
Health groups took advantage of Iditarod visitors last week by holding a vaccination drive at the Nome Recreation Center.
Members of the federal agency that oversees marine mammals held a teleconference in Nome on Wednesday to solicit region-specific advice on emergency response. It’s part of a process to draft environmental protocols for the Arctic that incorporate local expertise.