NPR reports that Trump administration transition officials ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut in half its staff attending the Alaska Forum on the Environment.
- EPA Halves Staff Attending Environmental Conference In Alaska, by Rachel Waldholz and Bill Chappell, NPR (February 10, 2017).
NPR reports that EPA transition official Doug Ericksen blamed the cutback on excessive travel costs even though some of the attendees cut work just blocks away from the meeting site.
The Alaska Dispatch News said that the cuts came just three days before the Forum, which has met for at least 19 years. The meeting agenda included the effects of climate change on subsistence fishing and how to help coastal communities threatened by erosion and sea-level rise decide whether, and when, to relocate.
- EPA officials pulled from Anchorage conference after Trump team weighs in by Christopher Flavelle, Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Alaska Dispatch News (Feb. 9, 2017)
The news quotes Melinda Pierce, legislative director for the Sierra Club:
This raises important questions about government transparency and public access to important information.