Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media
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Zachariah Hughes reports on city & state politics, arts & culture, drugs, and military affairs in Anchorage and South Central Alaska. zhughes [at] alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8424 | @ZachHughesAK About Zachariah

How will small Native communities in rural Alaska balance traditional life with the pressures of modernization? That was the question community leaders focused on during the second day of discussions on the proposed road to the Ambler Mining District. Download Audio

Starting Wednesday, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority—or AIDEA—is holding two days of meetings in Kotzebue about a proposed 200-mile road through the interior to the Ambler Mining District.

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. Download Audio

The state says it will cost as much as $400 million to build a controversial proposed mining road to Ambler. But some opponents of the road think that figure is too low. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

The early break-up of sea ice has left winter gold-dredging operations scrambling to haul equipment back to shore – and not everyone has fared well so far. Download Audio

Village Public Safety Officers will soon be able to carry fire arms if Governor Sean Parnell signs a measure approved this morning in the Senate. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

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. Download Audio

The Alaska Business Development Center spent last week coordinating free tax assistance across the state. Teams of two and three volunteers travel to small bush communities to help residents prepare tax returns. Download Audio

Earlier in March, 1.2 million pounds of Tanner crab were caught in the Southeast’s commercial fishery, the biggest haul in over a decade. But in the Bering Straits region the winter season for Red King Crabs has been abysmal. Download Audio

Health groups took advantage of Iditarod visitors last week by holding a vaccination drive at the Nome Recreation Center. Download Audio