It was the first of a series of meetings to gather facts about the transboundary river. The task force was created by Juneau legislators in response to community concerns about proposed resource development on both the U.S. and Canadian side.
The most immediate project is Tulsequah Chief Mine at the headwaters of the Taku River. Canadian company Chieftain Metals plans to re-open the mine in 2014, and is barging equipment and supplies from Juneau to the mine. Alaska has no jurisdiction over the Canadian mine, nor does the state require a permit to barge up and down the river.
The eight-member task force will be learning about the health of the river, the agencies responsible for industrial traffic and spill response, and the effectiveness of state and federal laws and regulations. The group will be writing a report to Juneau lawmakers, who will make recommendations on river protections to the state legislature.
The second meeting of the Taku River Fact-Finding Task Force is Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon in room 519 of the state capitol.
- While much of the recent focus has been on the opioid crisis, a report found that alcohol use causes more economic damage.
- Eight Arctic nations, six circumpolar indigenous groups, and over 30 representatives from other countries and organizations participate in the intergovernmental forum.
- A tsunami warning drill takes place once a year, and one village in Southeast has not forgotten the importance of being ready when disaster strikes.
- Nome turns into a bit of a carnival when the Iditarod winner mushes into town. For nearly a week, racers continue arriving before the banquet that officially concludes each year’s Iditarod.