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.

Bethel resident Beverly Hoffman is one of several people informing the community about the Stand For Salmon initiative.
Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

In the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, the stakes are especially high for the controversial Stand for Salmon ballot initiative because it could kill one of the biggest proposed gold mines in the world: the Donlin Mine. 

Public comments for the water quality certification permit for the Donlin gold mine are due July 13.

A deadline is quickly approaching for an important state water quality permit that the proposed Donlin gold mine needs to begin operations. The mine would be one of the biggest in the world if completed. 

By July 13, all public comments must be submitted to the Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, for the state water quality certification permit.

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Orutsararmiut Native Council held their first public demonstration against the proposed Donlin gold mine on June 22, 2018, becoming the first tribe to do so in the region. The mine would be built in a region where many residents practice subsistence and would be one of the biggest in the world once completed.

Calls about public intoxication slowed down in the weeks after AC Quickstop Liquor store closed.

Bethel became a different town after the AC Quickstop liquor store opened in 2016. Police and emergency services reported strained resources and higher calls for public intoxication. Residents say that Pinky’s Park was littered with broken glass and passed out people, but much of that has changed since the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board refused to renew AC's liquor license in May and the store abruptly shut down. 

  Orutsararmiut Native Council has made its stance against Donlin Gold official. The tribe’s governing body marched in Bethel last Friday against the proposed gold mine, which would be located north of Crooked Creek on a tributary of the Kuskokwim river. The Donlin gold mine would be one of the biggest in the world if completed.

Gov. Walker signed Senate Bill 148 on June 22, 2018. The bill will help villages to run background checks on future police officers, but it is voluntary for village police officers.
Courtesy of Yuut Elitnaurviat

Governor Bill Walker visited Bethel last week to sign Senate Bill 148 into law. The bill allows the Alaska Police Standards Council to work with villages to conduct background checks for future police officers. But for tribal police officers, it will be voluntary. 

The site for the proposed Donlin gold mine.
Dean Swope / KYUK

The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to roll back a regulation requiring that hard rock mining companies pay for clean up is sparking a new legal battle between Alaska and environmental groups.

The Emmonak Women’s Shelter got some good news last week: enough money to keep operating past July 1. The shelter received $437,000 from the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA), through the state Department of Public Safety, to continue operating for the next 12 months. 

Russian Mission saw one of its worst spate of runway vandalism in April.
Jim Duffy

The Alaska Department of Transportation has a problem: it’s hard to keep people from breaking runway lights in rural airports, especially in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The state is trying to mitigate this through a series of public service announcements, posters on bulletin boards, and outreach to villages, as the lack of working runway lights can keep flights from landing.