Allow me to brag for a moment.
Back in September 2019, reporter Elizabeth Jenkins published a very beefy investigation into how federal dollars were being spent in Alaska on the effort to exempt the state from the Roadless Rule. She boiled the results of her records requests down to one simple question: Faced with an important decision on the Tongass, why is the federal government supporting Alaska’s timber industry?
After seeing Elizabeth's story, two members of Congress wanted to know the answer, too. And so they requested a federal investigation.
Last week, the results of that investigation came out, finding that the Forest Service had indeed acted illegally when it gave money to the state of Alaska in the form of a firefighting grant that was used instead on the Roadless Rule exemption.
As an editor who has had to follow along with all the intricate and frankly difficult-to-understand twists and turns of this story, the conclusion was deeply satisfying. Elizabeth has moved on from KTOO, but the impact of her reporting may end up being very long-lasting. I'm really proud of her work.
-- Jennifer Pemberton, KTOO Managing Editor