Southeast Alaska lawmakers are giving Gov. Bill Walker’s spending plan mixed reviews. Some are ready to change the way government is funded, while others are not.
The year 2015 saw the beginnings of major changes to the Alaska Marine Highway, the Tongass National Forest and the possible future of transboundary mines.
The Alaska Marine Highway System is not changing its rules for children traveling solo anytime soon. Rules proposed a year ago have not been implemented.
Coastal Alaskans told state officials why the ferry system needs to be maintained during a meeting Friday (10-23-15) afternoon in Sitka.
If budget cuts eliminate a state matching-grant program for marine facilities, Sitka could have to close one of its boat harbors. At least three are scheduled for work over the next 10 years.
The U.S. State Department will not propose putting Southeast Alaska’s transboundary mine conflict before the International Joint Commission. That’s the U.S.-Canada panel that addresses cross-border water issues.
Mike Coffey, a longtime Department of Transportation manager, will soon be in charge of the agency’s Southeast and Southwest Alaska operations.
Some conservationists want President Obama’s climate change agenda to include Southeast Alaska’s rain forest.
Sitka sits on a different chunk of the Earth’s crust than the rest of Alaska. Decades of scientific research have led to a report and map showing where the faults lie.