Alaska News Brief February 2023. I'm still shoveling. Let the celebration begin!
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Alaska News Brief February 2023. I’m still shoveling. Let the celebration begin!

Here we are, well into Alaska’s notorious faux spring, where we’re so excited about the returning light that we forget we’ve got another two or three months of deep winter.

Snow pile at the office lot. Photo by Dawnell Smith

If you love snow, Anchorage sure has it. I don’t mean to pour water on those fired up about playing in snow, but I’d be happy to do less shoveling. Especially since I’ve mostly run out of places to put it and I’m having trouble throwing snow that high!

I guess that’s the state of play for Trustees, too. There’s a flicker of light showing the path to an end to reliance on fossil fuel extraction that does harm to local people and undermines the climate action necessary for heading off disaster and suffering. There’s renewed light on Indigenous land stewardship and better ways of managing the ways people use and interrelate with land and animals. There’s notably less shine on climate denial and more on what to do about it.

And, also, there’s still so much more digging to do. Thankfully, we’re doing it together.

Our work with partners and coalitions continues to deepen. Our litigation work continues to move through federal courts, magistrate processes, appeals, and even to the Supreme Court.

When spring does finally come, you can bet we’ll still be shoveling, and that’s okay.

The promise of spring gives us nourishment even in the depths of February. We’re joyful because there is so much to celebrate and so many people working alongside us.

Plus, we can and do gather again in person to reacquaint ourselves with each other and our social nature, our relational trust and commitments. With that in mind, we invite you to a hardy welcome to 2023.

A kombucha toast is always better with friends. Photo by Dawnell Smith

If you’re in Anchorage, stop by our new midtown office between 4:30 and 7 pm on Feb. 23 to join our welcome party. We’ll have food and drinks, and plenty of parking for cars and bikes alike!

It’s like a house-warming party for our Trustees’ gathering space. Yes, we made the move last summer, but it took time to get settled and make it feel like home.

I think about how Trustees now approaches its 50th anniversary in 2024 with more appreciation than ever of the power of people coming together. That’s the story of our founding and the story of our success. It isn’t always easy or comfortable or fast, but it always centers on people working together to protect Alaska and bring light to future generations.

We’ll keep you up-to-date on how our 50th anniversary committee intends to plan, research, create, and share stories and events related to our work, issues, partners and clients over the last half century. Our welcome party this week kicks off that period of reflection and intention about how we can work together again, and again, and again. No matter how much shoveling we need to do.

PS. Thanks to supporters like you, we can continue fighting to protect Alaska’s land, water, air, wildlife and

The bad news can be made good, the good news better. Stop Willow and protect the Arctic Refuge.

Photo courtesy NPS.

What’s up with rules around hunting bears and wolves on federal lands in Alaska?

USFWS photo.

Litigation 101: What’s a magistrate and how did one’s findings imperil already vulnerable polar bears?

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