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Alaska marine highway taskforce recommends shrinking fleet, forward funding the ferry system

The group tasked with reshaping the future of the state-run ferry system is recommending the creation of an executive board, fewer vessels, and at least two years of forward funding for the cash-strapped ferries. The Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping Work Group wrapped up eight months of work this month and has forwarded its ideas to the governor’s office. The report has not yet been released to the public. Tom Barrett, a retired Coast Guard admiral and pipelines services executive, chaired the...

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Changing a federal rule isn’t simple, but the Trump administration is on the verge of doing it. Last month it started a 30-day clock to completely exempt Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule.

Pebble is now less than a month away from its deadline to submit a new mitigation plan to show how it's going to make up for the wetlands damage expected from construction of the mine. The plan is key to obtaining a federal permit, and Pebble says it will meet that deadline, but the secretly recorded "Pebble Tapes" have triggered additional scrutiny about the state’s apparent assistance with the plan.

The group tasked with reshaping the future of the state-run ferry system is recommending the creation of an executive board, fewer vessels, and at least two years of forward funding for the cash-strapped ferries. The Alaska Marine Highway Reshaping Work Group wrapped up eight months of work this month and has forwarded its ideas to the governor’s office. 

Gambell is having the region’s largest outbreak of Covid-19. On October 4, the community had 29 cases being reported. Residents in Gambell are living in lockdown with limited resources.

(Editor’s note: This story was originally published by KNOM in Nome on October 4. Some data may be out out of date as of this re-publishing)

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