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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness

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Monday, April 22, 2024   

Conservation groups are rejoicing over the decision Friday by the Biden administration to reject a proposed mining road in Alaska.

The 211-mile Ambler Road would have sliced through the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, severing the migration route for a Western Arctic Caribou herd.

Alex Johnson, interior Alaska director for the National Parks Conservation Association, said it was important for the feds to take a stand in Alaska so mining interests do not start eyeing other national parks.

"This is a very expensive, destructive and just highly speculative project that does not in any way support our clean energy goals as a country," Johnson contended. "And ultimately would permanently threaten the health and well-being of local communities and the tribes."

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski slammed the decision, warning it could limit jobs and tax revenues for Alaska by preventing exploration for minerals she said are important to national security, like copper, cobalt, gallium and germanium.

Jayme Dittmar, a photographer and filmmaker from Fairbanks, said the road would have been very disruptive to the 66 Native American villages along the proposed route.

"That'd be 168 trucks passing through close vicinity to the villages," Dittmar pointed out. "There would be hundreds of bridges built. It would dismantle a subsistence livelihood that's been in place for thousands and thousands of years."

The road was seen as a negative for tourism to the Brooks Range area. According to the Alaska Travel Industry Association, Californians make up 9% of visitors to Alaska.

Disclosure: The National Parks Conservation Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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