Voices

There’s no other bike trail quite like it. The Eklutna Lakeside Trail – a relatively flat, gravelly trail ringed by mountains – hugs the pristine, preternaturally turquoise waters of Eklutna Lake for 8 miles.

The lake is both a boon and a bane to the trail. Despite offering stunning views and occasional close encounters with wildlife, Eklutna Lake has been known to turn on the trail with vengeance...

Rick Sinnott

Confusion over the potential airspace restrictions during the President’s upcoming visit has presented a case study in how little understood Alaska’s aviation environment remains to many in the Lower 48.

With little information coming from official sources at first, rumors about what might happen reverberated through Alaska's aviation community, fueling worries over how businesses and long-planned trips could be affected...

Colleen Mondor

I would like to address the issue of oil spills in the Chukchi Sea lease areas offshore Barrow in the fall. Federal rules require that drilling cease by Sept. 28. This is based on the idea that sea ice will encroach on the drilling site by Nov. 1 and the one month between the two dates will provide sufficient time for a relief well to be drilled. That is an inaccurate interpretation of ice edge behavior. There is not a one-month window for drilling a relief well but a window that starts closing Oct.1 and is closed by Nov. 1. On average one might expect a 15-day drilling opportunity and not the entire month of October...

Bill Stringer

Twelve presidents have visited Alaska while serving in office, going back to Warren G. Harding in 1923, who made the journey to drive the golden spike for the Alaska Railroad, the first major federal public works project in the territory.

While President Barack Obama's plans to visit Alaska next week are founded on the science, geography and politics of climate change, past presidential visits have been mere pit stops, with the exception of the 1971 meeting of President Richard M. Nixon and Emperor Hirohito of Japan in Anchorage and the 1984 meeting of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II in Fairbanks...

Dermot Cole

The president’s visit to Alaska this week highlights the economic opportunity and concern for the future of Arctic people’s cultures and the environment in the face of changing climate and increased human activity. Recognizing that nations like Russia and China are moving forward with Arctic economic development, facilitating exploration and development in Alaska would enhance national, economic and energy security, benefit the people of the north and the United States as a whole and position us well to exercise global leadership.

While these benefits are clear, there remain diverse views on how to balance opportunities with environmental stewardship...

Jan W. Mares

Along with all the logistical preparations for President Obama’s visit here beginning today, we’ve seen the advance political posturing and public messaging that highlights so much of our countries’ increasingly misdirected debate on natural resource development, energy and environmental policies. This debate is increasingly driven by people from various perspectives trying to praise, condemn and twist the value of government policies to fit their specific agendas...

David Parish

Sipping morning caffeine in a favorite chair the other day, I became aware of something remarkable: On the other side of the window, not 10 feet away, a hummingbird was working methodically among the many nasturtium blossoms in one of the planters in my wife’s garden, gathering nectar...

Steve Haycox

Mr. President, thank you for planning to spend three days visiting and exploring our great state of Alaska. No sitting president has done this since Warren Harding in 1923. We think it could be transformative for us Alaskans, as well as the nation. You’ll have the chance to see and experience the Great Land as few Americans do, and hopefully you will fly away with a new appreciation of how important Alaska is to the future of America...

Alice Rogoff

As I cogitated about the recent Rasmuson Foundation-financed poll purporting to show Alaskans are in a dither to have the Legislature abandon deep spending cuts and, instead, pile on “revenue enhancements,” I remembered Albert Einstein’s admonition: “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

The Rasmuson Foundation has anted up something like $250 million over the years to make Alaska a better place, but, have no doubt, it needs government to continue spending and plans to invest $2 million more to persuade the public it should do just that...

Paul Jenkins

One morning in the fall of 2001, I was examined skeptically by a table of Iñupiat business leaders in a hotel coffee shop, sizing me up to determine if they would assist me in writing a book about climate change. They wanted to know if I was an anti-oil environmentalist before their community would cooperate with me.

Setting out to write “The Whale and the Supercomputer” in 2001, I started with no preconceptions about climate change or oil development. I was lucky enough to arrive when Native leaders were making their own decisions about the changes they were seeing in the environment. I told the story of their realization alongside my own...

Charles Wohlforth