April 13, 2010
With both the environmental and economic tides turning against clear-cutting in the Tongass National Forest, two members of Congress have nonetheless written legislation to give up to 85,000 acres of prime forest land to an Alaska corporation, all but about 20,000 acres of it for clear-cutting. The bill by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, both Republicans from Alaska, is as cynical as it is ill-timed. The company that would receive the land, Sealaska Corp., is owned by Alaska Natives; the giveaway would be part of a long-standing settlement that was never finalized because of environmental concerns.
April 12, 2010 |
Decades after many of America's national forests have been tamed into tree farms and campgrounds, the Tongass National Forest stands as a reminder of what wilderness once was. Beneath its 800-year-old stands of Sitka spruce and Western hemlock lurks a mossy hush, a thick, verdant silence. But even the 17-million-acre crown jewel of the national forest system has not been immune to the demands of the dollar. Years of heavy logging laid bare large swaths of the forest, especially on Prince of Wales Island, where entire hillsides were shaved by clear cuts.
August 24, 2009 |
Green Bay has a black police officer for the first time in the 152-year history of its department. Solomon Ayres starts the first phase of a 17-week training regime this week. Ayres says he expects some resistance from both black and white residents, but thinks his life experiences will help defuse difficult situations and make him open to different points of view. Census figures show that African Americans make up about 2.5% of Green Bay's more than 98,000 people. The department has 177 officers, including 15 women, four American Indians or Alaska natives and one Latino.
July 31, 2009 |
It has always been a match made in peril: One of the biggest copper and gold mines in the world perched in the watershed above Bristol Bay, Alaska -- the last, best refuge for millions of Pacific wild salmon. The proposed Pebble Mine would dwarf all the others operating in the Alaskan wilderness and generate up to 9 billion tons of ore, most of which would have to be sifted and disposed of near the ponds and streams that feed into Bristol Bay.
September 7, 2008 |
Hubert Kokuluk squints with his one good eye to examine the tiny polar bear he has just carved from a fragment of walrus tusk. He isn't happy with the yellowish hue, but good ivory is hard to come by these days, since quickly melting sea ice has made it extremely difficult for his Inupiaq Eskimo community to carry out the traditional annual spring walrus hunt. Though walruses are federally protected, Alaska Natives have subsistence rights to hunt them and rely on the meat, skin, intestines and tusks -- for food, clothing and boat coverings and to carve the ivory jewelry and souvenirs that are a significant source of income.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2008 |
Ellen Evak Paneok, 48, credited as the first native female bush pilot in Alaska, died March 2 at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The cause of death was not announced. Born in Bedford, Va., Paneok grew up in Kotzebue and Anchorage in what she called less than ideal circumstances. She told a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News that she began flying in the mid-1970s to "save my life." She said that elders in her village would mull over the words "Eskimo?