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Department of Interior

Balash takes job with oil company that seeks big Alaska project

Sep 10, 2019

A high-level Alaskan appointee in the Trump administration who pushed to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil leasing -- is taking a job with an oil company that seeks to develop a major project in Alaska.

Joe Balash is an assistant secretary at the Interior Department who oversaw the Bureau of Land Management. He left his job without saying whether he had taken a new job elsewhere

ANWR also on Governor's list of topics to discuss with Presidnet

Gov. Bill Walker said he plans to emphasize the importance of the state being able to develop its resources during President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Alaska.

Walker told reporters he anticipates some one-on-one time with Obama and plans to raise  the issue of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with Obama.

Sovereignty over tribal lands the subject of Gov. Walker meetings in rural Alaska

In 2006 tribes sued the federal government over the right to transfer tribal lands into federal ownership, or trust status, which would give tribes wider control over laws and management of lands, while restricting the power of the state. Trust status also has tax implications. The state of Alaska argued Alaskan tribal rights to apply to put land into trust were extinguished by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

State's request for a delay is an attempt to find a political fix, according to tribes' attorney

Governor Bill Walker’s administration is seeking a delay in a long-running tribal sovereignty case, saying it wants to form a working group to explore policy issues and potential alternatives to continued litigation. But the tribes’ attorney says the state’s request for a delay is just a ploy to get around its loss in court.

Tribes’ attorney says state of Alaska seeks to delay a ruling it has little chance of winning on appeal

Alaskan tribes allowed to exercise same rights as lower 48 tribes

Tribes in Alaska are celebrating a decision that allows them to apply to have lands placed into trust status with the federal government. The Department of Interior issued regulations settling a long-running dispute between Interior, the state of Alaska, and tribes over an interpretation of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA). 

Vote!

It's always important to vote and get your voice heard, but today's election has a couple of races that are very close, making every vote potentially the one that could decide whether Democrats stay in the majority in the U.S. Senate, and whether Alaska will have a  new Governor in January.

State election officials testifying in court said they work hard to help Native language speakers and to recruit bilingual outreach workers.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill asks SBA for information that would show if 2011 requirements for Alaska Native corporations engaged in federal contracting are working.

The comment period on a proposed rule that would allow the Dept. of Interior to accept applications to place land in Alaska in trust.

The U.S. Department of Interior is asking for public comments on a new policy that will allow it to take land into trust for Alaska Native tribes. Trust lands cannot be sold, nor taxed. Tribes say the change will bring them one step closer to self-determination.

After a court ruling that the Department of Interior (DOI) improperly excluded Alaska tribes from a process long available to lower 48 tribes, DOI announced a proposal that would allow it to accept Alaska tribal lands into trust. Although any action is years in the future, the change would provide certain protections to those lands.

A study on the depletion of herring in Southeast Alaska is prompting discussions on whether and how it may be possible to replenish their numbers.