Home » Dawnell Smith
Nurturing lawyers to protect Alaska’s and the planet’s future

We know our work goes beyond our issues and lawsuits, and includes supporting and nurturing attorneys who want to pursue work in environmental law now and into the future. Our post-graduate fellowship program allows recent law school graduates or established attorneys to get experience and mentorship in all facets of our work. Here, we share a Q&A with Rachel Briggs, who joined us as a fellow in 2019 and later became a Trustees attorney.… Read More

The island life of Kenai Refuge brown bears

Every year, Alaskans head to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for boating, hiking, fishing, spotting animals, and much more. An increasing number of people are calling the Kenai Peninsula home, too. A few hundred brown bears call the peninsula home as well—and human expansion and human-caused deaths of those bears pose a huge risk to that population.… Read More

Moving the needle on climate action and Arctic health

August brought good news for the Arctic and planet when a federal court voided illegally issued permits for the ConocoPhillips’ Willow oil and gas project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. And September brought more good news when the Interior Department directed the Bureau of Land Management to reevaluate the destructive Trump-era 2020 management plan that would open up protected areas of the Reserve to oil and gas and further driving up carbon emissions.… Read More

Alaska News Brief August 2021: When the raspberries pop

The raspberries in my yard started to pop this week, sweet and plump, and fiery purple fireweed blooms started to reach their peak. It gets dark now, too, and animals fervently prepare for winter—as do we. 

August tells me to gather and process food, button up summer projects, finish chores, prepare for winter, and soak up the last warmth of sunny (though cooler) days every chance I get. Predictably, and also suddenly, summer’s end foretells itself via wilted flowers and late season blossoms, growth surges and decay.… Read More

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