The promise of Spring. Alaska News Brief March 2024
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The promise of Spring. Alaska News Brief March 2024


It’s an honor to be standing in for Vicki while she’s off communing with whales, and I’m realizing how very big a job it is. We are so fortunate to work with such a dedicated, smart, and thoughtful leader. With the help of the rest of our talented management team, she keeps us motivated, financially stable, and achieving important conservation goals that will help protect Alaska’s wildlife, ecosystems, and communities for generations to come.

It’s been a long winter. How are you? Photo by Teresa Clemmer

Over the past few months, our team has put in tremendous efforts, in collaboration with our clients and partners, to submit legal and technical comments, file legal briefs, and argue in court. We got good news this month when an appeals court required a federal agency to fix legal problems with a regulation that allows oil operators to harass polar bears.

Meanwhile, we’re waiting with bated breath to see the federal government’s final environmental impact statements on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic Refuge, smack in the middle of caribou calving grounds and polar bear habitat; the boondoggle Ambler road project, which would cut a destructive path across many watersheds in the foothills of the Brooks Range and fragment caribou habitat vital to local communities; and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act D1 land withdrawals that have been protecting 28 million acres of public lands across Alaska from oil, gas, and mining for more than 50 years.

We’re also anticipating rulings from the Ninth Circuit concerning the Willow oil and gas project.  As if that’s not enough, we’re also expecting to see final decisions soon concerning the National Park Service’s hunting rules and the Bureau of Land Management’s special area regulations in the Western Arctic.

Stay tuned! This spring and summer should be full of interesting news. The lawyers and staff are keeping busy behind the scenes on many other important projects and cases too.

Spring begins in Alaska! Photo by Teresa Clemmer

While we’re in working-and-watching mode, we’re also enjoying the unique rituals of an Alaskan spring. The weather is alternating between extremes—bitter cold and windy one week, and warmer with slush, mud, and ice the next. Break out those ice chippers, shoe cleats, and lots of windshield wiper fluid!

Around my house, we’ve been seeing flocks of handsome redpolls zipping around, moose mamas bulging around the middle, eagles soaring overhead, and the occasional fox hanging around our now-empty chicken coop. Spring fever has a lot of us itching to travel to sunny destinations, visit family, and get a jump on summer.

We’re also excited that the 50th anniversary events are coming up soon, including a concert in May in Anchorage, a trip to Gates of the Arctic in June, a fish cookout in September, and a winter party in December.  It’s a great opportunity to show our appreciation to our loyal supporters, who have kept us going all these years.

So long for now, and thanks for all the fish (and wildlife and communities) you’ve helped us protect!

PS. Thanks to supporters like you, we can continue fighting to protect Alaska’s land, water, air, wildlife and people.



Polar bear cub on the North Slope in 2019. Photo by Bridget Psarianos.

Appeals court ruling is good news for polar bears

The Porcupine Caribou Herd in water, the plain, the mountains behind.

The Porcupine Caribou Herd. Photo by Florian Shulz.

What’s new with Arctic Refuge litigation, plus the return of the Pebble monstrosity

You’re invited to our 50th anniversary bash with the Super Saturated Sugar Strings and Witty Youngman

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