EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"ANCHORAGE -- U.S. Forest Service researchers have confirmed what has long been suspected about a valuable tree in Alaska's Panhandle: Climate warming is killing off yellow cedar."
"The commissioner of [Alaska's] Department of Natural Resources wants to change the agency's mission statement, and the proposed changed is not sitting well with at least one lawmaker and conservation groups who are worried about a pro-development bent."
"Sea ice is encroaching unusually early on the central Bering Sea, threatening to grind Alaska's economically important snow crab fishery to a halt at the peak of the season, leaving crabbers facing major losses."
"In a new package of policies criticized even by some hunters, the Alaska Board of Game on Tuesday opened the door to aerial gunning of bears by state wildlife officials. It also debated a measure that would allow more widespread snaring of bears — including grizzlies, which are officially considered threatened across most of the U.S."
"Royal Dutch Shell has been on a six-year crusade to drill in Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast, and has spent about $4 billion on the effort so far without drilling a single well. But the company took one more bureaucratic baby step forward this week toward drilling in the Chukchi Sea later this year. An appeals board of the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday rejected four challenges brought by Alaska Native entities and environmental groups like Earthjustice to block Clean Air Act permits covering airborne emissions from industrial operations."
Can southwest Alaska make money from its rich mineral deposits without destroying the Bristol Bay fishery that is currently an economic mainstay?
"In a sign that the Obama administration is willing to clear the regulatory decks for oil drilling in Alaska's remote Arctic waters, the Interior Department on Friday gave a conditional green light allowing Royal Dutch Shell PLC to explore for oil this summer in Alaska's Chukchi Sea."
"The worst was over on Thursday for an 'epic' winter storm that pounded Alaska's west coast with wind and snow and sent a 10-foot surge of seawater into Nome, officials said, leaving residents to assess the damage."
"ANCHORAGE -- An 'epic' storm was bearing down on western Alaska on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said, warning that it could be one of the worst on record for the state."
"WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana -- An ant species common to the mainland United States that is known for its tropical smell has invaded Hawaii for the first time. A population of odorous house ants, Tapinoma sessile, has been found at an upland site on the island of Maui. Also called stink ant, and coconut ant, these ants got their names because they invade houses and smell like coconut when smashed."
"Back in February, the Parnell administration told a judge that Cook Inlet beluga whales didn't need the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act because the state was perfectly capable of protecting them itself, in part because of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. But in a notice belatedly filed in the case Friday, the Alaska attorney general's office acknowledged the state had lost that conservation and enforcement tool four months ago."
"The Yukon River is delivering upwards of five tons of mercury a year to the Arctic environment, likely in response to a warming climate, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey announced Tuesday."
"The leaseholder for a controversial coal mine proposed in the Matanuska Valley has withdrawn its application for a state air quality permit for a second time, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation and the company, Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc."
"BARROW, Alaska — The ancient whale hunt here is not so ancient anymore. 'Ah, the traditional loader,'one man mumbled irreverently. 'Ah, the traditional forklift.'"
"In a high-stakes battle that pits gold and copper against fish, members of Congress are scrapping over a plan to build one of the world's largest open pit mines in southwest Alaska."