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April 25, 2018

Parnell Gets Fish Slapped

When one grapples for a visual allegory of what happened to the Parnell administration this week, it’s hard to think of anything more appropriate than this: That’s Sean Parnell on the right, and the Anchorage Superior Court on the left. The Superior Court ruled that the constitutional rights of Alaskans have been violated by the current administration when Parnell & Co. refused to process a four-year-old application to reserve water in the Chuitna River watershed for wild salmon. “Today’s ruling is a victory for every Alaskan who wants to protect wild salmon and the Alaskan way of life,” said Ron…

Gov Parnell Smacks Down Feds

Yesterday, a “Federal Overreach Summit” began in Anchorage. For two days, lawmakers and administration officials will gripe about the “feds” and what is described as intrusion into Alaska’s affairs. But the federal overreach discussed on the first day of the summit didn’t touch on Stand Your Ground law, or issues of reproductive choice, or gay marriage, or even voting rights which have been so much in the news as of late. This federal overreach is quite specific, and gets to the heart of what this administration considers important. It’s all about land use and resource extraction. A Department of Natural…

And Now, a Message from Gov. Sean Parnell

Governor Parnell and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, headed up by Daniel Sullivan, rejected a petition on Friday filed by local citizens seeking to protect wild Alaska salmon streams from coal strip mining in Upper Cook Inlet. And by Upper Cook Inlet, I mean directly across from Anchorage in the villages of Tyonek and Beluga. The massive Chuitna Coal project would need to drain wetlands, and completely remove productive salmon streams which are home to all five species of Alaskan salmon in a totally unprecedented act that would make all salmon streams in the state vulnerable to the bulldozer…

Parnell – Dug in Like a Tick

Well, I’m surprised. Gov. Sean Parnell announced Friday that he will run for governor again. “Fantastic! I get to vote for Sean Parnell as governor again!” said no one within earshot of me ever. The anticipation of his announcement, and the speculation around it, was fierce. Would he give Mark Begich a run for his money for the U.S. Senate? Would he figure his work was done, having succeeded in passing a bill to give billions to oil companies for no guarantees, and just start picking out wallpaper for a K Street office? He’s dug in like a tick. I…

Oyster Roundup – Shame Fail, Salmon Fail & More

 ~Thick and fast they came at last, and more, and more, and more! Some news nibbles. Eat ’em raw. Pro-Salmon Petition Denied The Commissioner of Fish & Game has rejected a petition signed by more than 6,000 Alaskans asking for a law that would prohibit coal mining activities that destroy salmon streams, because right now, that doesn’t exist. Commissioner Cora Campbell says that her department could already do that, if they felt like it. In Upper Cook Inlet, PacRim Coal is currently submitting permit applications that would create the state’s largest coal strip mine. “PacRim’s plan would set a historic…

Good News for Chuitna Salmon

I present to you, in the middle of chaos and frustration… (drum roll please)… a small victory! In a decision issued February 25, 2013, the Alaska Superior Court ruled that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) violated its own rules by denying Alaskans’ their right to keep water in streams to protect wild salmon runs. The decision in Chuitna Citizens Coalition vs. Dan Sullivan, Commissioner, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, takes on special importance as the Alaska legislature considers bills introduced by Governor Parnell (HB 77/SB 26) which will strip Alaskans of their right to protect “instream flows,” which are…

Foreign Interests Attack Alaska’s Voice

  Here it comes. We knew it would happen. Because it always does. This time, the Alaska citizens’ initiative that’s in the cross-hairs of multinational corporations is the August 28th Ballot Prop #2, which would bring back Alaskans’ ability to have input into decisions made regarding management of our coastline. Local input. Kind of a no-brainer. Coastal Zone management worked fine for decades, but recently the Parnell administration and big moneyed interests let it go… Now, we have no say, even though we have more coastline than the rest of the nation combined. It’s all up to the feds. Makes no…

Les Gara Stands Up for Alaska’s Salmon – Where is Captain Zero?

“Destroying a wild salmon stream to sell coal to China is about the worst idea in Alaska’s proud history of salmon protection.  We’ve always promoted responsible mines.  But this one is irresponsible,” said Representative Les Gara, of state plans allowing dredging of eleven miles of the Chuitna River’s tributaries to keep moving forward. We couldn’t agree more. On October 26, Gara wrote to Governor Sean Parnell and Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan (no relation to the hinky Mayor) seeking proof of any wild salmon streams that have been so badly dredged, and that have fully recovered.  So far……

Clueless Racist Casey Reynolds of KFQD Speaks to Environmentalists

There are some times when you tune in to right wing radio in this town, and the jaw-dropping willful ignorance is so overwhelming, so stupefying, so abhorrent, that no commentary is necessary. There are times when all you have to do is print a little bit of transcript, and let them out themselves for who they are. This could be one of those times. I really don’t have to say anything. I could just print a paragraph for you – a few lines spewed forth from the yammering maw of right wing talk show host Casey Reynolds on KFQD 750am…

Governor Sean Parnell Supports Destruction of Thriving Salmon Habitat for Coal

Mudflats readers will remember coverage over the last year of the issue of the “Unsuitable Lands Petition” that Cook Inletkeeper and the Chuitna Citizens Coalition submitted to the state. Basically, what this petition did was to put forth the idea that certain areas are just plain unsuitable for coal strip mining – specifically the areas directly on either side of the Chuit River (above), and its tributaries that were deemed “important salmon habitat” for Cook Inlet. The petition, if successful, would ensure that a narrow ribbon of land – 50 feet on either side of tributaries, and 100 feet on…