Nathaniel Herz, Northern Journal

Nathaniel Herz, Northern Journal

Nathaniel Herz is a freelance reporter who’s spent a decade as a journalist in Alaska, including stints at the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Public Media. His articles published in the Alaska Beacon first appeared in his newsletter, Northern Journal, at

Google map of Tyonek

A new wind project takes shape outside Anchorage, as AIDEA mulls options for struggling oil field

By: - July 12, 2023

Alaskans are in full summer mode, and I am too. I just finished a week-long reporting trip on the Seward Peninsula that featured multiple boat rides and scenic drives and I’m getting ready to head out to help some friends at a very small commercial fishing business across Cook Inlet. Thanks to Starlink, I’ll still […]

These wind turbines are near Delta Junction. (Alaska Energy Authority photo)

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy removes university researcher from energy task force leadership post

By: - June 22, 2023

Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has removed the university researcher who was helping lead his energy task force. Gwen Holdmann, a senior researcher at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power and an associate vice chancellor at University of Alaska Fairbanks, was notified earlier this month that she’d been removed from Dunleavy’s Energy Security Task […]

Trollers fish for salmon in Sitka Sound. (Photo by Berett Wilber)

In ‘major victory’ for Southeast Alaska trollers, federal appeals panel reverses fishery closure

By: - June 21, 2023

A federal appeals panel issued a last-second ruling Wednesday that will allow this summer’s Southeast Alaska troll chinook salmon fishery to open as scheduled July 1 — reversing a lower court ruling that would have kept the $85 million industry off the water. “It’s a major victory,” Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang said […]

Ellie Rubenstein, left, moderates a discussion at Alaska Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy's energy conference in Anchorage last month. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz/Northern Journal)

Dunleavy’s investment whisperer, a death on the North Slope

By: - June 14, 2023

This week’s digest of short news items from across Alaska includes items on the death of a North Slope oil industry engineer who was working for a Hilcorp contractor, an investor who’s been quietly acting as a volunteer advisor to Alaska’s governor, and a high-profile Ambler road opponent who’s now joined forces with the road’s […]

A Chinook salmon is seen in an undated photo. (Photo by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS)

Washington-based conservation group wants Endangered Species Act protections for Alaska king salmon

By: - June 8, 2023

A Washington-based conservation group whose actions have already caused the closure of an iconic Southeast Alaska fishery is now planning to ask the federal government to list several Alaska king salmon stocks under the Endangered Species Act. Last month the Wild Fish Conservancy formally notified the state of Alaska of its plans to file the […]

Sitka-based troller Jeff Farvour fishes last month in the waters outside his home town. (Photo by Max Graham/Northern Journal)

No relief for beleaguered Southeast Alaska trollers as judge rejects request to keep fishery open

By: - May 30, 2023

A federal judge has rejected a request to allow a staple Southeast Alaska king salmon fishery to proceed this summer while an appeal challenging its court-imposed closure plays out.  Richard Jones, a U.S. District Court judge in Washington state, denied the request by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration to set aside his own ruling from […]

A 200-mile road project would connect Ambler Metals’ proposed copper mine to the Dalton Highway. (Alaska Division of Mining, Land and Water map)

Ambler delays, a North Slope tax dispute and growing opposition to Alaska’s LNG project

By: - May 27, 2023

In this week’s digest of short news items from across Alaska, there are some updates on delays to the Ambler mine and road projects, a simmering tax dispute involving Hilcorp and the North Slope Borough and a new obstacle for the Alaska LNG gas pipeline project.  The executive leading development of a major mine in […]

A screen capture from the campaign website of Jim Nordlund, Shaina Kilcoyne and Susanne Fleek-Green, who ran as “clean energy candidates” for the Chugach Electric Association board of directors. Nordlund and Fleek-Green were elected, while Kilcoyne narrowly missed out on a seat to incumbent board chair Bettina Chastain.

Anchorage’s electric utility elects two “clean energy” board candidates, reelects incumbent chair

By: - May 22, 2023

Members of Chugach Electric Association, the Anchorage-based cooperative utility that generates nearly half of urban Alaska’s power, rejected one incumbent and elected two new board members who campaigned on an aggressive shift toward renewable energy in an election that ended Friday. The election of challengers Susanne Fleek-Green and Jim Nordlund, who campaigned as “clean energy […]

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks about the state's spring revenue forecast on March 21, 2023, at the Atwood Building in Anchorage. (Photo by Sophia Carlisle/Alaska Beacon)

Gov. Dunleavy and Kim Kardashian in the same place? A new tourism lodge in Girdwood?

By: - May 19, 2023

This is my weekly digest with short items of news from across Alaska. It’s time for some news doughnuts — my analogy for these high-calorie pieces of information. This week, I’ve got items on a new Girdwood tourism venture led by some familiar names, a major Anchorage-area trail project, renewable energy feuding and some seafood business […]

Golden Valley Electric Association’s Eva Creek wind project is near Healy. (Alaska Energy Authority photo)

As natural gas shortage looms, Alaska utilities and advocates feud over renewable power bill

By: - May 12, 2023

Even before Alaska GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveiled a bill to require the state’s utilities to generate more power from renewable sources, executives were springing into action. Four months before Dunleavy introduced his legislation, the state official who would be responsible for pushing it was already hearing from utility leaders who were worried the governor’s […]

Herb Schroeder is seen in an undated photo. (University of Alaska system photo)

Alaska’s university system says two science education leaders are on administrative leave

By: - May 5, 2023

One of Alaska’s pioneers in science education is on “non-disciplinary administrative leave” along with one of his deputies as part of “confidential administrative processes,” a University of Alaska Anchorage official said Thursday. The status of Herb Schroeder, the founder and director of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, is “in accordance with standard operating […]

A troller plies the waters of Sitka Sound earlier this year. (Photo by Max Graham)

To protect orcas, federal judge orders closure of iconic Southeast Alaska troll fishery

By: and - May 3, 2023

A federal judge issued an order Tuesday that appears to close an iconic Southeast Alaska salmon fishery for at least the summer season — a decision that threatens hundreds of jobs and a $30 million industry in response to a conservation group’s lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed by the Washington state-based Wild Fish Conservancy, seeks to […]