The top official overseeing Alaska’s national forests is leaving her job.
Regional Forester Beth Pendleton will retire in April after eight years in the position. She oversaw the U.S. Forest Service’s Alaska region during development of a controversial Tongass Land Management Plan that’s being challenged in Congress.
Pendleton also served as acting associate chief of the agency during the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration.
Forest Service officials announced her retirement plans Friday in a press release.
Officials also named David Schmid as her replacement, in an acting capacity.
Schmid is deputy regional forester for the agency’s Northern Region, based in Montana. He also worked in Alaska’s Tongass and Chugach national forests for more than 20 years. He begins his new Alaska job in mid-April.
The state’s two national forests total 22 million acres of land in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska.
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- The Alaska Department of Revenue forecasts $187.3 million less in state revenue this year than it did in the spring. The department released the forecast on Friday.
- In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.
- Anchorage natural gas company ENSTAR is asking state regulators to allow it to bill its customers to recover $1 million in costs from last year's major earthquake.
- “We know many, many people are going to lose benefits because of this,” says Cara Durr with the Food Bank of Alaska.