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.
- The vote allows road projects and other construction to move forward. It was the only piece of business for the six-hour special session.
- Derek Sikes is an associate professor of entomology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and insect curator at the Museum of the North. He said populations of various types of bugs can vary widely from year to year.
- Federal authorities are charging a Utah man in the murder of his wife aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Southeast Alaska. Kenneth Ray Manzanares, 39, of Santa Clara, Utah, is charged in the death of Kristy Manzanares, who died Tuesday.