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ACF announces new Executive Director

Michael Barber

Michael Barber

ACF is pleased to announce that Michael Barber has been selected as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective August 10, 2015. Barber will replace Ann Rothe who announced her planned retirement earlier this year.

Click here to read the full announcement.


$250,000 Awarded for Indigenous Conservation Efforts

Now entering its fourth year of grantmaking to support indigenous conservation efforts, in June 2015 the Alaska Native Fund awarded $249,965 in grants to support the efforts of 13 Alaska Native organizations and 1 Alaska Native individual working across the state to address the critical conservation issues affecting their cultures, communities and economic opportunities. Click here for the press release and here for a complete list of 2015 ANF grants awarded.

President Proposes Wilderness Designation for Arctic Refuge

Arctic Refuge ©Steve Chase USFWS

On January 25, 2015, the Obama Administration made a major announcement that it is proposing additional wilderness designations for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and its Coastal Plain as part of the newly released Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Refuge. Click here to see the official White House message.

What the Latest Court Decision means for Bristol Bay

A federal judge ruled on November 24, 2014 to temporarily halt any U.S. EPA decisions regarding whether or not to protect Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine until a recent lawsuit brought against them by the Pebble Ltd. Partnership is resolved. This will likely delay the EPA’s final decision, which was expected by February 4, 2015. Read the Alaska Dispatch article here.

Fortunately, the judge’s ruling doesn’t negate the science the EPA is using to demonstrate the impact this mine would have on the watershed, or take away from the public process the EPA utilized to engage those who would be most impacted by it. ACF and our partners remain cautiously optimistic the EPA will succeed in overcoming this latest hurdle and exercise its authority under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay. We will continue to keep you updated on any major developments.

Protect Bristol Bay – Update

Chikuminuk Lake in Bristol Bay ©Michael Melford

The public comment period on The EPA’s proposed determination for the Bristol Bay watershed closed on September 19, during which time Alaskans submitted an estimated 20,000 public comments asking for Clean Water Act protection for Bristol Bay. Read more here

Whats Next?  The EPA has announced they’ll have a decision no later than Feb. 4, 2015 on either withdrawing the Proposed Determination or preparing a Recommended Determination. Click here for a visual idea of where the process is.  The Feb. 4 date immediately above refers to Step 3 in the flow chart.

What can you do?  There have been bills introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives seeking to stop this work by The EPA by altering the Clean Water Act itself.  Please contact your members of Congress to ask them to protect the Clean Water Act so The EPA may finish the job of protecting Bristol Bay.