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 House passed a resolution that limits committees to working on bills that raise or spend state revenue. House Democrats raised concerns that the rule change would reduce transparency.
- The Juneau School District is facing a sixth year of budget cuts, and it’s handling the budget process a little differently than it has in recent years.
- The new rule won't go into effect until late 2016 at the earliest, but importers would have to track where fish were caught, the type of gear used and where it was landed.
- Anchorage is tied for first as the prime destination for ferrying summer tourists, according to a new report by the McDowell Group.