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Joyfully pressing the pause button: Alaska News Brief November 2022

I don’t know about you, but I need a break.

It’s been a long slog through the election season with its bombardment of calls, texts, emails, and junk mail, and I really feel the loss of sunlight, too. It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to unplug long enough to really relax.

I’m excited, though, because soon I get to scuba dive again in Loreto, Mexico, on the Gulf of California north of La Paz. But before I get to that, I want to reflect on a few great things that have happened here at Trustees since Election Day.… Read More

Between a rock and a hard place: the road to Ambler

In the first piece in our series on mining in Alaska, we talked about how the push for green energy mining could replace one catastrophe with another.

The Ambler road project is the poster child. The project is being promoted by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a state agency with little to no legislative oversight, an insulting lack of public transparency, and a rigid agenda impervious to good sense.… Read More

Joanna is finishing her legal fellowship. She has words.

Two years ago, I left my position as a disability rights attorney to follow a vastly different pursuit —conservation.

It was an exciting and daunting move that has been well worth the transition. The last few years have been packed with professional growth and new perspectives. It’s been incredibly rewarding and I’m finishing my two-year fellowship a better and more inspired advocate.… Read More

A trip to the South Brooks Range makes the Ambler road threat palpable

One of the things that most struck me in flying across the proposed Ambler road route was just how complex the waterways are across the Southern Brooks Range. Waters flow down off the mountains of the Brooks Range and crisscross the vast valleys down below. In just the distance between Coldfoot and Iniakuk Lake, we flew over countless winding rivers, streams, and lakes.… Read More

Stories can teach, stories can lie: Alaska News Brief April 2022

It doesn’t take long spending time with dogs, bears, birds and bees to know they communicate. Some animals even manipulate. Only human animals uniquely share knowledge, wisdom, tall tales and lies through stories. The writer Margaret Atwood describes the origin of storytelling as the coupling of language with concepts of the past, present, and future to help people learn about what happened before—to teach people things to avoid having to learn by trial and error every time.… Read More

Biden administration recognizes some, not all, legal problems with Ambler road approvals

The Biden administration failed to rescind permits for the Ambler road proposal while refusing to acknowledge the full and long list of legal problems with the Interior Department’s approval process.
This means the applicant, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, can continue funding and working on the project with outside corporate mining interests.… Read More

An Arctic wish list with 2022 resolve

Our work feels less frantic and chaotic than it did a year ago. Nonetheless, the divisive 2020 election that led to an insurrection slashed any hope of taking a break from staying vigilant about defending democracy, ensuring climate action, and sustaining the health of Alaska’s lands and waters.

Yes, a lot has changed in 2021, with real hope that climate policy will honor and prioritize frontline communities and Indigenous ways of life. Yet the Biden administration continues to defend Trump era decisions and actions that threaten Alaska communities, animals, and landscapes. … Read More

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