Revenue forecast up on oil prices, but production short of forecast

Income will be up but oil production will be down, according to the state’s Spring Revenue Forecast released March 16.

Department of Revenue officials project the State of Alaska will take in roughly $2.3 billion in unrestricted General Fund revenue during the current 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, which would be an increase of $256 million and $212 million per year, respectively, from the financial forecast issued last fall.

A new state fiscal year starts each July 1.

INSIDE REAL ESTATE: Do your homework before buying lot

Alaskans love their land. And we have lots of land as the largest physical state in the nation with more than 663,300 square miles, but the amount of fully private land is less than 1 percent because 99 percent of Alaska’s land is owned by the government or Native corporations.

Halibut fishery poised to open as NMFS works on 2018 catch limits

Alaska’s halibut fishery is set to open this month, but the final quota was still not completely set as of March 14, even as fishermen began to receive permits in the mail.

Indications, however, are that the quota will decrease this year compared to last.

Under regulations published by the National Marine Fisheries Service this month, the fishery will open March 24 and run through Nov. 7. But the total catch limits remain unknown.

As habitat initiative debate swirls, ADFG outlines current best practices

The Alaska Supreme Court will still have its say, but there’s a good chance voters will be asked whether or not the state should overhaul its permitting regime for construction projects impacting salmon habitat.

It’s the latest battle in the ongoing debate over how far the state should go to protect its prized fish resources while at the same time promoting development of the state’s renowned petroleum and mineral resources.

FISH FACTOR: Discarded nets find new use; still waiting on halibut quotas

More big bundles of old fishing nets will soon be on their way from Dutch Harbor to Denmark to be remade into high-end plastics. It will be the second batch of nets to leave Dutch for a higher cause and more Alaska fishing towns can get on board.

Last summer a community collaborative put nearly 240,000 pounds, or about 40 nets, into shipping vans that were bound for a Danish “clean tech” company called Plastix. The company refines and pelletizes all types of plastics and resells them to makers of water bottles, cell phone cases and other items.

Cook Inlet salmon plan back in front of federal council in April

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will continue its discussion of who should manage Cook Inlet salmon fisheries, and how, at its April meeting in Anchorage.

The council is continuing court-ordered work to develop a federal fishery management plan, or FMP, for the salmon fisheries currently managed by the state in Cook Inlet, including creation of a new salmon management committee.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Time for conversation on climate change and resource development

For too long, there has been an awkwardness in the way Alaskans talk about climate change and resource development in the same conversation. But there is no question on the very real impacts of climate change on Alaskans, nor in the continued need for resource development in this state.

This administration voices our commitment to not only deal with the impacts of climate change on the health and safety of our citizens and our environment, but also to provide our people a meaningful future with safe communities, quality education, a strong economy and good jobs.


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