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Every month the Trustees for Alaska monthly Alaska Brief newsletter contains the latest news in the fight for conservation and environmental law.

Drilling and mining are economic vampires: Alaska News Brief October 2023

I’ve been thinking about metal and mineral mining a lot these days, and the relentless pressure to extract, extract, extract from Alaska. That the world is rife with news of war and violence only deepens the pressure.

Here’s the truth about metals mining. The industry is barely regulated and has prevented any meaningful reform at the federal level for nearly 150 years. It pays nothing to extract from public lands, with enormous impacts on Indigenous communities. It is the single largest source of toxic waste in the United States, with hardrock mines having contaminated an estimated 40 percent of Western U.S. watersheds. In fact, Red Dog tops the toxic release inventory and has for decades.… Read More

Successes and milestones: It’s time to throw a party! Alaska News Brief September 2023

We’re closing out the 2023 fiscal year with high hopes for continued headway in protecting Alaska’s Arctic, clean water, salmon, bears, wolves, the integrity of public lands, and so much more.

As we segue into 2024, we reach a Trustees milestone that we will be celebrating—with all of you. We’ve been playing a key legal role in protecting Alaska land, water, animals, and people for nearly 50 years.

It’s time to throw a giant party—and we’re on it!… Read More

The light always returns: Alaska News Brief June 2023

Earlier this month, I joined my mom on her last—for now—“bucket list” adventure. We took the train to the Canadian Rocky Mountains for two days from Vancouver to Banff, going from an urban landscape and rainforest into high desert into boreal forest. Then we rented a car to spend some time in Lake Louise and Calgary. Stunning! And, because life works this way, I caught a virus at the end of this short-but-sweet trip.… Read More

Hooray, spring has come! Alaska News Brief May 2023

There’s a meme that’s been going around Alaska for months now. It captures the progression of seasons—from winter to fool’s spring to second winter to the spring of deception to third winter to mud season. When Anchorage got 1.7 inches of snow on May 3rd, I figured we were well into the spring of discontent.… 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

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

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. 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.… Read More

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