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Alaska Editorials

Last Updated May 23, 2018 at 7:40 pm EDT

Here is a sampling of Alaska editorials:

May 23, 2018

Ketchikan Daily News: States’ rights

It’s about states’ rights.

The National Park Service has proposed aligning federal and state rules regarding hunting and trapping on national preserves in Alaska.

The Obama administration imposed restrictions beyond the state’s in 2015. President Trump is proceeding to repeal those rules.

A 1994 state law dealing with wild predators, such as bears and wolves, allows for their control in order to maintain populations of their prey.

In 2015, the park service pointed out that federal law doesn’t allow for predator control for the purpose of protecting prey. The service also opposed government interference in the predator-prey dynamic.

The service, under the direction of a new administration, now favours following state practices in regard to predators within national preserves.

The park service would like to allow the taking of black bears, including sows and cubs, with artificial light at den sites; permit baiting both black and brown bears; taking wolves and coyotes, including pups, during the denning season; taking swimming caribou and caribou from powerboats; and allowing the use of dogs to hunt black bear.

Whether one agrees with predator control or not, the bigger issue is states’ rights. States should decide how to manage the wildlife within their borders.

Government is most likely to be more responsive to the public at its lower levels. If Alaskans, who inhabit the land along with the wildlife, see a need for predator control, they have better access to the state government to express their views. They also are more likely to be heard.

If Alaskans are against predator control, then they — once again — are more likely to be listened to when they speak up if they address state government.

Alaskans can debate predator control. But Alaskans should agree on state control.

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May 19, 2018

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: UAF addresses Native ‘linguistic emergency’

Alaska Native languages are in peril. But the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Rural and Community Development is stepping up to the challenge. Faculty and staff have already put together a conference, called the Alaska Native Language Revitalization Institute, that will begin Monday to tackle the problem.

A report published earlier this year brought much needed attention to the dwindling number of fluent language speakers. Some languages are at greater risk than others. For example, Upper Tanana and Haida have fewer than 10 fluent speakers remaining, while there are closer to 10,000 speakers of Central Yup’ik. The Alaska Native Language Preservation Advisory Council’s report also made a grim prediction that Alaska’s 20 indigenous languages would be extinct or dormant by the end of the century if they continue to decline at the current rate.

On April 28, Alaska legislators passed a concurrent resolution urging Gov. Bill Walker to sign a “linguistic emergency” order to bring attention to this impending disaster. As of Friday, Gov. Walker had not signed the order.

The faculty and staff at the College of Rural and Community Development deserve a round of applause for their quick response. The four-day conference will feature 140 instructors teaching these languages: Yup’ik, Inupiaq, Tlingit, Haida, Gwich’in, Dena’ina, Ahtna, Deg Xinag, Sugpiaq/Alutiiq and Denaakke’.

Instructors from the University of Hawaii Hilo’s College of Hawaiian Language will also offer insight from their own work in revitalizing Hawaiian languages.

Registration is closed, but you can still livestream the Alaska Native Language Revitalization Institute and see the schedule at uaf.edu/rural/anlri.

If you have any interest in learning one of Alaska’s indigenous languages, brushing up on a language you already know or want to know more about how you can help, be sure to tune in..