Monthly Archives: February 2008

Davis: Sealaska selections will restore tribal lands

Extended testimony of Herman Davis, Coho Clan leader, before the Sitka assembly Tuesday night (2-26-08). Davis, and other tribal elders, characterize Sealaska's new land selections as part of an ongoing repatriation effort.

Assembly ousts long-range planning chairman

With little discussion, the Sitka assembly last night (Tue 2-26-08) removed Jim “Steff” Steffen from the Long Range Planning Commission. The move marked the second ouster of a high profile commission chair in the last year. Planning & Zoning chair Pat Hughes was replaced last April.

Sealaska Corporation amends lands transfer bill

Southeast Alaska’s regional Native Corporation, Sealaska, is making major changes to a controversial lands transfer bill. While the Sitka Tribe of Alaska has endorsed the bill, the legislation has met significant opposition from the wider Sitka community. Hoping to earn broader support, Sealaska has withdrawn its claims to two land selections within the Sitka Community Use Area and is doing away with 15-mile access zones around Native Enterprise Sites.

Interview: TLMP an important tool for diverse management

The so-called TLMP "adjustment" was the direct result of a 2005 ruling from the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which found that the Forest Service had significantly overestimated the market demand for Tongass timber. Tongass supervisor Forrest Cole talks with CoastAlaska's Ed Schoenfeld about how he believes the amended plan remains a vital tool for diverse management (for the environmental perspective see the interview with Andrew Thoms).

Interview: TLMP amendment a "missed opportunity"

This January the Forest Service released the first major revision of the Tongass Land Management Plan in a decade. The conservation community is disappointed in the amended plan, and believes the Forest Service missed a chance to reassess its management strategy in a new economy where timber plays a far smaller role than in the past. Sitka Conservation Society director Andrew Thoms speaks with KCAWs Robert Woolsey (for the Forest Service perspective, see the interview with forest supervisor Forrest Cole).

AGIA roadshow travels to Sitka

About fifteen Sitkans turned out Wednesday evening (2-20-08) to hear one of Gov Palin's three gasline teams explain the basics of AGIA -- the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. The team covering Southeast this week included Commissioner of Revenue Pat Galvin, and Kurt Gibson, the deputy director of the Division of Oil & Gas.

ZENN makes car history in Sitka — Not!

History has just turned a corner in Southeast. A little over a month after two electric ZENN cars debuted in Kodiak, one of the “Zero Emmission No Noise” vehicles has appeared in Sitka. But, as Robert Woolsey reports, the new ZENN is not the first electric car in Sitka. That prize was awarded over thirty years ago.

Friendship and "revolving door" cloud Sawmill Cove transaction

For several assembly members on Friday (2-15-08), Silver Bay Seafoods CEO Rich Riggs's background as public works director gave them assurance to move ahead on the dock sale. The situation with Mayor Marko Dapcevich -- a close friend of Riggs's -- was less clear. Dapcevich opted to participate in deliberations on the issue, despite a challenge from another assembly member that he could not be impartial. Here's how Dapcevich and Riggs tried to clear the air:

Testimony: Proposed dock sale unpopular with public

The assembly's decision to give Silver Bay Seafoods five acres of industrial waterfront property in Sawmill Cove had few fans among the public who testified at Friday's (2-15-08) meeting. An excerpt of some of the testimony.

"Wet" avalanche closes Blue Lake Road

A massive snowslide sometime in the past week has blocked Blue Lake Road. It’s possible that warming temperatures over the past few days are as much to blame for the avalanche as the heavy snows earlier in the month.