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November 22, 2017

Pebble is Back

When I was 19 years old I was in a boat accident. I spent about 18 minutes in the ocean. I have never recovered from that cold exposure. Oh, I know people have been half frozen and made it back all in good order. I, however, get to experience it over and over again. It’s like my body thermometer has PTSD and the moment I start getting a little chilly it thinks we’re floating in the Gulf of Alaska again surrounded by kelp eels. We all have triggers that suck us back into situations scattered about our lives. A friend…

​EPA Should Stand its Ground and Protect the World’s Greatest Salmon Runs

Whenever I give presentations outside of Alaska, I always ask the audience, “How many of you like salmon?” Most hands in the room go up. Then I ask, “How many of you have heard of Copper River Reds?” Many of the hands still remain up. But when I ask, “How many of you have heard of Bristol Bay salmon?” almost all hands go down. And then I tell them the odds are 2:1 that they have eaten some. Nearly half of the commercially-caught Sockeye salmon in the world comes from the Bristol Bay region. The science explaining why Bristol Bay is the…

ATL Chats w/ Alaskan Photog Carl Johnson

This week we try something different. This week we’re going to spend out time interviewing just on panelists. This will be the beginning of a new interview series we’re trying out. For the first interview episode we talk to Alaskan nature photographer Carl Johnson. He’s been working on a long term book project Where Water Is Gold about the area would be effected by the creation of the Pebble Mine. A mine that would wipe out a shocking percentage of the worlds pacific salmon. That’s the kind of salmon that you actually want to eat. You can check out Carl’s stunning aurora photos and all his…

Carl Johnson’s “Where Water is Gold” Book Launch Party

January 14th, 2017 – 6pm to 9:30pm – Taproot Book launch party for “Where Water is Gold: Life and Livelihood in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.” Presentations by Vic Fischer, Alaska Constitutional Convention Delegate, commercial fishermen, contributing writers, and photographer Carl Johnson.  [RSVP on Facebook] Join us for stories, photos, and video from people like commercial fishermen and homesteaders and enjoy a glimpse into this amazing region. Partake in some salmon from Bristol Bay! Partners in this event include the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and the National Parks Conservation Association. Proceeds from the event will go toward these organization’s efforts to protect the…

Court Delivers Double-Whammy Over Pebble

Friday, the Alaska Supreme Court issued two decisions that will have far-reaching impacts about how the Department of Natural Resources conducts business in hard rock mineral exploration, and the ability of the State and others to chill opposition. While the two cases involved the Pebble Prospect exploration, neither will impact the development of that mine. Background In 1988, Teck Cominco drilled the first exploration wells in what would become the 360 square-mile Pebble Prospect. By 2010, ownership of the Pebble claims would change hands from Teck Cominco to Northern Dynasty Minerals to the Pebble Limited Partnership. Collectively, those entities would…

Court Sees Value in Protecting Bristol Bay

Before the Bristol Bay Forever Initiative was ever printed on statewide ballots, it had to defend a legal challenge from an individual named Richard Hughes, the Alaska Miners Association, and the Council of Alaska Producers. The Alaska Supreme Court issued an oral decision allowing that initiative to go to the ballot. Today, the Court issued a written order justifying its decision, Hughes v. Treadwell, Slip Op. No. 6981 (Alaska Supreme Court, Jan. 30, 2015). In order for a citizen ballot initiative to be valid in Alaska, it must avoid certain prohibited topics.  Under Article XI, section 7, it may not engage in an appropriation…

John Oliver on The Salmon Cannon – ‘We Can Do Great Things’

John Oliver on his always excellent HBO show, Last Week Tonight discovered a thing called ‘the salmon cannon.’ For those not in the salmon transportation industry it’s a “series of tubes” if you will, created by Whooshh (yes, whooshh) that allows salmon to be propelled over or around a dam. The system is currently being used in the Northwest where communities are trying to repopulate the blocked rivers that once held plentiful salmon runs. John Oliver creates his own and decides to shoot salmon across the TV world with some amazing cameos by actors, TV News broadcasters and one famous animated Dad. Mmmmm, salmon.

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

Alaska Juneau Empire – EPA extends decision-making on mining proposal The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will take more time to review comments on a proposal that would restrict large-scale mining near the headwaters of a world-premier salmon fishery. Vice.com – We Spoke to the Alaskan Reporter Who Quit Her Job On Live TV to Run a Weed Dispensary Last night, after hosting a segment on the effort to legalize weed in Alaska, local KTVA news anchor Charlo Greene quit her job in true “f**k you, f**k you, you’re cool” fashion. Charlo went off script and told her Alaskan audience, on live TV, that she…

Debates on Prop 4: Bristol Bay Forever

Debates on Prop 4: Bristol Bay Forever, are taking place across the state in preparation for the election on November 4th. Now is your chance to learn more and show your support for Bristol Bay. If you are unable to attend in person, call in with questions and statements of support. You can listen in live at  http://akl.tv, call in toll-free to testify at (855) 463-5009, or submit comments by email to bbaycomments@alaska.gov. We hope to see you there! Thursday, Sept. 18 — Ketchikan Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly Chambers, Whitecliff Building 1900 1st Avenue, Suite 144 4-6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22 — Kodiak Kodiak Island Borough Assembly Chambers 710 Mill Bay…

Pebble Mine is Really Sorry (They Got Caught)

These past few weeks have been bad ones for the Pebble Partnership and its attorneys. Here’s the statement issued last week by Pebble Limited Partnership, the Pebble Mines Corp. and Jermain, Dunnagan & Owens, their law firm, the defendants, and the Renewable Resources Coalition, the plaintiffs, in a long-running lawsuit. RELATED: AK Beat: Billionaire mining investor says Pebble “will not be built” The “Renewable Resources Coalition and Pebble Limited Partnership have today announced a settlement of their litigation pending in Los Angeles. In that litigation, Renewable Resources Coalition alleged that Pebble had unlawfully purchased its confidential records and information from…