"Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has once again revived a proposed land exchange that would clear the way for a controversial gravel road to be built through wilderness within Alaska's Izembek National Wildlife Refuge."
Alaska and Hawaii
"The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a hub for Arctic climate research, and a magnet for top scientists and international collaborations—and it's in trouble. Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy has slashed the university system's state funding by more than 40 percent, and efforts in the legislature to restore the money have so far failed."
"Alaska’s heat wave is driving wildfires and melting glaciers, choking the state’s biggest cities with smoke and bloating rivers with meltwater."
"Exceptionally warm ocean temperatures have melted sea ice off Alaska’s coasts far earlier than normal this year, alarming scientists and rural residents worried about the impacts to seals, seabirds and fish they hunt."
While environmental journalists often focus on regulatory wrestling matches in Washington, D.C., a seasoned New York Times investigative reporter argues the most important stories are those in the real communities where bureaucratic impacts are felt. Three-time Pulitzer winner Eric Lipton makes the case for public service in journalism that tells the environment story from the outside in.
"Alaska’s wettest region is experiencing an extreme drought for the first time in recorded history, climate scientists say."
"Environmentalists in Alaska filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block a Trump administration plan to open vast swaths of the nation’s largest national forest to logging, nearly a third of it in old-growth timber."
Do we need a bill to criminalize attacks against those who report the news? Some Dems in Congress think so. And the Interior Department is at the center of a conflicts over freedom of information involving lobbying contacts with the newly confirmed secretary. The latest WatchDog has those developments, plus more.
The latest release of the annual endangered rivers list provides boatloads of environmental reporting angles, including climate change-related threats like flooding and drought. This week’s TipSheet has the backstory and the new top-10 list, plus 10 suggested starting points for stories and a half-dozen key reporting resources.