Conservation groups are asking for endangered species protection for yellow cedar trees in Alaska. The trees have been dying off in portions of Southeast over the past century. Scientists say it’s likely due to a warming climate and lack of snow cover for vulnerable roots.
The groups say logging also poses a threat to the cedar trees on the Tongass National Forest.
Kiersten Lippmann is a biologist with The Center for Biological Diversity and says the cedar decline in Southeast Alaska is drastic.
“The reason we’re doing this now is we’re seeing, especially in Alaska, the timber industry is targeting the remaining living cedar,” Lippmann said. “It’s kind of like when the buffalo were dying out, people would go out and hunt the last buffalo because it was their last chance to get them.”
Other petitioners are the Boat Company, Greenpeace and the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will review the petition to determine whether the species status deserves further review. That finding is supposed to take 90 days.
There’s only one plant in Alaska on the endangered species list – that’s the Aleutian shield fern, which is found on Adak Island.
- The City and Borough of Juneau Lands Committee will discuss a proposal to give Indian Point, also known as Auke Cape, back to the Auk'w Kwaan at its Oct. 23 meeting.
- Jeremie Shaun Tinney, 39, was sentenced to 220 days in prison and fined $3,000 for failing to stop for a peace officer, driving while intoxicated, and assault during the Dec. 3, 2016, incident.
- A lawsuit filed in federal court this week seeks to remove the residency requirement for people gathering signatures for state ballot initiatives.
- For the second time in two years, a Skagway political figure has been ordered to pay a fine for incomplete financial disclosures. Assembly hopeful Dan Henry failed to disclose substantial debt on his candidate paperwork. He will still be able to run for office in the upcoming election.