Polar Bears

A federal court in Alaska refused to block ConocoPhillips from constructing roads and a gravel mine in the National Petroleum Reserve. Environmental groups claimed the construction would harm a critical polar bear habitat, but the Fish and Wildlife Service determined there was only a “minimal possibility” polar bears would be harmed over the 30-year project.

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Eminent Domain

The Ninth Circuit upheld a ruling in favor of Alaska’s Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation in an eminent domain proceeding relating to land taken to connect public trails, finding the lower court properly relied on an appraisal report to determine just compensation for the land belonging to two sisters that was acquired under the Alaska Native Allotment Act.

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Emergency Hunts

A federal court in Alaska denied the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the opening of hunts in remote communities in the state to address Covid-19-related food shortages. The state claims the Federal Subsistence Board violated the Open Meetings Act and other statutes by delegating authority to local land managers to open emergency hunts.

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Drill Permits for Arctic Refuge Slated to Close Out Trump’s Term

As it makes its reluctant exit from the White House, the Trump administration will issue a call to enterprising oil and gas developers eyeballing Alaska: the time is now to secure drilling rights in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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