Alaska News Nightly: February 4, 2008

Rural leaders say bush Alaska was left behind when Governor Palin made her recent appointments to the Board of Game. Plus, Barrow teenagers are reviving traditional songs from the 1940s, making way for them on their iPods. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

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Kempthorne: Polar bears unrelated to Chukchi Sea oil and gas leases
Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today rejected the idea of putting Wednesday’s Chukchi Sea oil and gas lease sale on hold until he decides whether to list polar bears as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

Y-K leaders agitated by lack of rural reps on Board of Game
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
Leaders in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta are upset over Governor Sarah Palin’s recent appointments to the Alaska Board of Game which does away with both Rural and Native representation.

Southeast salmon prices at record highs
Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka
Salmon prices around Southeast hit new records at the end of January. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the regional average for winter kings is $9.77 per pound, with some processors in Sitka and elsewhere reportedly paying as much as $10.25.

Young fishing pros pushing for more winter catch options
Amy Bracken, KCHU – Valdez
The next generation of fishermen in Prince William Sound is starting to press for winter fisheries.

Nearly 400 regulations up for consideration by Board of Fisheries
Ellen Lockyer, APRN – Anchorage
The Alaska Board of Fisheries took public testimony over the weekend on a wide scope of commercial and sport fishing interests. 391 regulatory proposals are before the fish board now meeting in Anchorage during the panel’s 2007-2008 session.

Students lobbying legislature for dramatically expanded University support
Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau
University of Alaska students are lobbying the Legislature this week for full funding for the university. 65 sharply-dressed students from the Coalition of UA Student Leaders have been meeting with the governor and lawmakers to highlight the needs of academic programs, financial aid and deferred maintenance for neglected campuses.

Yukon Quest vet checks completed ahead of big race
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Yukon Quest mushers are going through final preparations in anticipation of Saturday’s start. Race dogs were examined by veterinarians over the weekend in Fairbanks and Whitehorse.

Columbia University returning music rights to Alaska Natives in Barrow
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
A Columbia University professor is working to return the ownership rights of more than 100 songs performed in Barrow in the 1940s to the Inupiat Cultural Heritage Center. The songs were recorded by Laura Bolton, a 20th century folk music collector. She released 6 of the songs in 1955 with Folkways Records on an album called “The Eskimos of Hudson Bay and Alaska.”