Author: Emily Files

Haines Assembly indicates concern for wildlife in heliski map decisions

At meeting Tuesday, the Haines Assembly indicated that it wants to prioritize wildlife conservation in heliski map decisions. The assembly is working to establish a new process to vet heliski map amendment requests. One major question is how much weight will be given to new studies of wildlife habitat that sometimes overlaps with ski terrain. https://khns.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/25HeliskiwINTRO.mp3 There’s one line in the heliski map ordinance that’s caused the most debate so far. It says borough staff will superimpose recommendations from the Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Council on the ski area map. The goat council is a professional organization made...

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Haines tribe works to purchase vacant dock

A Haines tribe is in the final stages of buying a local dock that has gone unused for years. The Chilkoot Indian Association sees the Portage Cove dock as an economic development opportunity and a chance to keep a piece of land in tribal hands. https://khns.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/24HainesDockwINTRO.mp3 The dock is about a quarter mile down the road from Haines’ only cruise ship dock. A distinctive red and gray building at the entrance sits empty and the float where a tour boat used to tie up has been removed. The facility has been vacant for at least five years. In 2012,...

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Skagway Assemblyman amends disclosure statement following complaint against different official

Negotiations a few years back between Skagway officials and a private company are back in the spotlight. A citizen complaint with a state agency drew attention to officials’ failure to disclose amenities they received on the out-of-state trips. https://khns.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/23POFDwINTRO.mp3 A few years ago, Skagway officials traveled to Florida for talks with a company called TWC Enterprises. TWC is also known as ClubLink. It is the parent company of White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, which leases a large share of Skagway’s tidelands. The two parties were negotiating terms of a potential new lease. The contract was ultimately rejected by...

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New winter tours, heliski map ordinance on Haines Assembly agenda

Haines’ newly elected officials will take their seats Tuesday night. The election results are set for certification at the beginning of the assembly meeting. It won’t mean much change in the makeup of the body. Incumbent Mayor Jan Hill was re-elected, and two appointed assembly members, Stephanie Scott and Sean Maidy, were voted in. Brenda Josephson is the only brand new member. She will take the seat currently occupied by Ron Jackson, who did not run for re-election. The assembly will consider whether to permit new winter backcountry tours. Alaska Mountain Guides wants to offer snowmachining tours, along with...

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Recently elected Skagway leaders propose ending waterfront negotiations

Two newly seated Skagway officials called the recent election a “mandate” to change course on waterfront lease talks. The new mayor proposed tabling negotiations with the town’s major tidelands leaseholder. But not everyone on the assembly is ready to do that. https://khns.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/20SBAwINTRO.mp3 Monica Carlson came to her first meeting as mayor with a bold idea. “What I propose is halting negotiations,” Carlson said. She said the city should cut its losses and stop talking with White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad about a new lease. White Pass is a tourist excursion that has leased city tidelands since the 1960s....

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