Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk


Krysti Shallenberger reports on climate, energy and natural resources development for KYUK. She travels to Alaska by way of Washington D.C., where she was an editor at Utility Dive, a trade publication, and a reporting fellow at E&E News. Krysti also reported in Wyoming, Montana and Alabama. She holds a master's in journalism from the University of Montana, focusing on natural resource and environmental issues.

The Donlin Gold mine could be one of the biggest mines if completed.
Dean Swope / KYUK

Donlin Gold received a handful of state permits on Jan. 2, 2020 that move the company closer to operating its gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, according to Alaska Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Dan Saddler. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Russian Orthodox Church has begun its Slaviq celebrations in Bethel, when members and non-members go door-to-door singing and feasting to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebration lasts a week and combines Yup’ik and Orthodox Christian traditions.

Open holes puncture the Kuskokwim River near Bethel in the early December 2019.
Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Temperatures in Bethel and the surrounding villages plunged below zero at the end of December and have stayed there, freezing pipes and backing up sewage. Despite the cold stretch that brought the year to an end, 2019 is the warmest year on record for Bethel. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

In recent years, climate change has meant the ice necessary for the Ice Road forms later, breaks up earlier, and isn’t as thick. Travelers have died falling in the river or open holes. Now Search and Rescue volunteers in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta grapple with unpredictable river conditions.

The Bethel Native Corporation has given out its annual distribution from the Bethel Elkartaa Settlement Trust.

Last week, the U.S. Marshals Service took a trip out to Bethel and nearby communities to make sure that registered sex offenders were complying with restrictions, such as living where they are required to live. They also were traveling to ensure that outstanding warrants were dealt with, according to Rochelle Liedike, the Deputy U.S. Marshal in Alaska.

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

For the last two decades, mining companies have been working to develop the massive Donlin Gold prospect in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. And most of that time, the development has claimed support from neighboring communities. But that’s changing as tribes, organizations, and communities have begun opposing the mine development and organizing. 

Eleven people in Bethel have been charged with illegally obtaining painkillers after a three-day investigation at the Bethel Post Office this summer.