Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, July 19, 2018

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USFWS quietly allows land survey in Izembek; Enviros call foul

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

Conservation groups say the Interior Department has gone behind the public’s back to conduct a land survey in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, in the area of the proposed King Cove road.

Endangered Species Act overhaul could put Alaska’s polar bears in crosshairs

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The Trump administration announced revisions to the Endangered Species Act to make it easier for developers to navigate the law. Environmental groups criticized the proposal.

Feds join governor in ending Juneau road extension

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Walker announced in 2016 that he wasn’t going ahead with the project. But the new Federal Highway Administration decision finalizes that choice.

Anchorage officials employ new methods to clear away illegal homeless camps

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Officials in Anchorage are pushing forward with a new plan to more quickly clear away unlawful camps in the city’s parks and greenbelt. Critics say homeless people in the camps are trashing the woods, committing crime and making the city’s public trails feel less safe. But others say the encampments are one of the only options for people with no where else to go.

Feds request public input on National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska oil leasing

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The federal government is asking the public for input on this year’s oil and gas lease sale in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), an Indiana-sized area of land on the North Slope.

DNA shows Eagle River bears shot after maulings were not to blame

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

DNA from the bears that were shot did not match DNA evidence at the scene of the June maulings near the end of Hiland Road, said Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh.

Tlingit & Haida tight-lipped about project near Eaglecrest

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

Since mid-June, heavy machinery has been clearing about 20 acres leased by Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Association of Alaska. The tribe has only given clues about its plans for the Douglas Island property.

Anchorage pilot dies, two suffer injuries in Willow plane crash

Emily Russell, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Alaska State Troopers identified the pilot as 24-year-old Colt Richter of Anchorage. Richter was flying for Anchorage-based Regal Air.

Panel finds Alaska lawmaker violated ethics law

Associated Press

A legislative ethics panel says it found by “clear and convincing evidence” that an Alaska lawmaker violated ethics law by disclosing the existence of a complaint that was considered confidential.

A woman seeks Don Young’s seat in Congress. And she’s never been to Alaska

Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homer

Out of the field of six candidates running to unseat U.S. House Rep. Don Young this fall, there is one candidate who’s never set foot in Alaska.

How bold? Governor’s climate action team talks emissions reduction goals and education

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Governor Bill Walker’s Climate Action Task Force met Wednesday to discuss a draft document that could influence the state’s climate change policy in the future.