Home » Dawnell Smith
From tidepools to tussocks

Having grown up in large cities, my idea as a kid about “getting outside” looked pretty different than it does to me today. Getting outside often meant biking around my neighborhood or the city with my dad — versus mountain biking in the Chugach Mountains today.… Read More

It’s choice, not fate, on climate. Alaska News Brief April 2023.

Too many pandemic lessons have gotten lost as the engine of  “normal” revs back up. COVID awareness around the deep unfairness and unhealthiness baked into our economic and social systems has been swept under the rug of consumption and record profits and business as usual.

Even the lessons about how to prepare for deadly pandemics, wildfires, and storms has been forgotten in the rush to “get back at it.”

But business is not usual. Life is not “normal.” We’re already in a pot of hot water that’s set to boil, and we’re still resistant to change.… Read More

Litigation 101: What’s a motion for a preliminary injunction and how did ours play out in our Willow litigation?

Motions can ask the judge to do an array of things, like changing where the case is heard, telling one party to release evidence or information to another, or agree to decide a case without oral argument. In our lawsuit challenging the approval of the Willow oil and gas project in U.S. District Court, we sought a preliminary injunction to stop ConocoPhillips from permanently and irreparably doing harm in the western Arctic while the court rules on our case.… Read More

Why we like a proposed Park Service rule prohibiting destructive hunting practices on national preserves

In 2020 we went to court to stop a U.S. National Park Service rule from allowing sport hunting activities like brown bear baiting on national preserves in Alaska. We won in 2022 when a U.S. District Court judge found the rule unlawful and sent it back to Park Service to fix. Now there’s a new proposed rule and there’s a lot to like about it. … Read More

Finding joy on mountain ridges

When I was little, my mother asked my brother and I to go on a hike up Mount Abraham with her for Mother’s Day. Part way up the mountain, I planted myself on a rock on the side of the trail and absolutely refused to go any further. They summited; I stayed on that rock.… Read More

How a week of news tastes like a soggy cabbage sandwich: Alaska News Brief March 2023

I took some time off to see my family in early March. Within a day of returning, it felt like I hadn’t left at all.

Instead, I felt like someone delivered a soggy old cabbage sandwich made up of somewhat good news stuffed with clearly bad news. I’m as hungry for good news as anyone, but this dish tastes bitter.… Read More

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