Environmental stories that take place in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Many of the men and women working construction in Mertarvik this summer are from Newtok or nearby villages. Keeping the crew local is one way the Newtok Village Council is saving money on home construction. A roof truss is placed on a home in Mertarvik,
Katie Basile / KYUK

Around 130 people made the move to the new community of Mertarvik last October. That still leaves most of the village’s residents in Newtok, wondering when a new house will be built for them. 

A junk vehicle in Bethel.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel residents can apply online for the city to remove two junk vehicles from their yards for free. Applicants must have a current utility account with the city to qualify.

Dean Swope / KYUK

NovaGold, one of the companies developing the proposed Donlin Gold mine, has filed a lawsuit against a short-selling research firm. That firm released a report in May opining that the proposed Donlin Gold mine would not be built, and that NovaGold was overvalued. 

Fire Burns Down Aniak River Lodge

Jun 19, 2020
Courtesy of Alaska State Forestry Division.

A fire destroyed a river lodge and guest cabins on the Aniak River about 25 miles upstream from the community of Aniak. The fire, which ignited June 16, spread into nearby wildlands. Alaska Division of Forestry spokesperson Tim Mowry says that the agency was notified and responded the night of June 16.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Ahead of the Native corporation's annual shareholder meeting in July, some Calista Corporation shareholders are circulating a petition for a vote on the proposed Donlin Gold mine. Calista owns the mineral rights to the mining prospect. 

Courtesy of Alaska Interagency Coordination Center

Bethel residents might notice a smoky haze enveloping the town. That’s because four wildfires are burning near coastal communities in Southwest Alaska. The largest of these started burning on May 30 about 40 miles southeast of Chevak, and has grown to nearly 11,000 acres as of June 9. 

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Donlin Gold has announced plans to restart its drilling program as the state loosens coronavirus health mandates and travel restrictions. 

Lightning ignited a tundra fire on May 30, 40 miles southeast of the coastal community of Chevak. It’s one of 15 fires caused by lightning in Alaska this past weekend.

Dean Swope / KYUK

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is reviewing the right-of-way lease for the Donlin Gold mine’s proposed gas pipeline after the agency approved it in January 2020.

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Ten tribes have sent a letter protesting the proposed Donlin Gold mine to the two companies trying to build it in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The letter comes as one of the companies, Novagold, is preparing to deliver its annual report to its shareholders this weekend.