The U.S. Forest Service won’t be facilitating a controversial old growth timber sale in the Tongass National Forest. At least, not in the immediate future. The agency received zero bids on the Kuiu Island timber sale before its closing deadline on Tuesday.
The forest service tried to sell these trees in 2016, but did not receive any offers back then either — even after all of the wood was approved for export.
The agency made changes to this latest version of the sale, reducing it by half and removing some of the more sensitive watershed areas.
But, the sale still faces a lawsuit filed by conservation groups and a tour company over its outdated environmental analysis.
One of the plaintiffs in the case says old growth logging in the Tongass is a practice that needs to end.
- The Alaska State Council on the Arts closed its doors Monday, making Alaska the only state without an arts council. Gov. Mike Dunleavy used a line-item budget veto to eliminate the council's funding of $2.8 million. Alaska lawmakers fell short last week in attempts to override the vetoes.
- The University of Alaska system is known as a leader in climate change research, studying melting permafrost to shrinking glaciers. But there’s growing uncertainty about the future of such projects with steep cuts to state funding.
- The civil rights group claims that the move by the governor infringes on the separation of powers laid out in Alaska's constitution. Dunleavy said he vetoed the court system funding because the state Supreme Court has ruled that Medicaid funds can be used to pay for abortions.
- Sarah James’ desire to preserve the Neetsa’ii Gwich’in way of life drove her into the thick of the battle over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.