By Dawnell Smith Significant court rulings can come in small but potent packages,...
Defending public lands and wildlife for everyone
Eighty percent of Alaska is public land. This includes national parks, forests, refuges, and wilderness areas teeming with life and healthy populations of animals like whales, wolves, caribou, moose, bears, wolverines, salmon and a diverse array of fish, birds, small mammals, and insects. Many of these species are unique to the state or have been endangered or eliminated from areas in the rest of the country.
Under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Alaska gained substantial protections for lands deemed important to the nation. Agencies regulate some of these lands for multiple uses and face intense pressure from the industry to allow resource extraction in protected areas. The demand for increased motorized access, new road construction, oil and gas exploration and extraction, large-scale industrial mining, aggressive predator control measures like brown bear baiting, and other exploitive activities threaten these lands and the flora and fauna dependent on them. Trustees keeps a watchful eye on how state and federal agencies enforce the laws and regulations meant to safeguard our public lands and resources.