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U.S. Forest Service "Adding Insult to Injury" in Alaska, Murkowski Morning Meeting April 16, 2013

U.S. Senate Events 

Forest Service “Adding Insult to Injury” in Alaska

Alaskan Impact: The U.S. Forest Service manages 22 million acres of national forest lands in Alaska, including nearly all of the land in Southeast.  The economic wellbeing of Southeast Alaska is wholly dependent on responsible and active management of those national forest lands.  As the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today Senator Murkowski focused on the very real question of whether those SE Alaska communities have a future under the Obama administration.

6:00am AKDT

Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee

Topic: United States Forest Service 2014 Budget

Testimony From:

·         U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell

CLICK to watch closing statement

Murkowski: “Maybe the Forest Service has outlived its purpose.”

Sequestration Politics in Alaska’s Skies?

Alaskan Impact: Alaska’s skies are our highways, so we worry that they are being treated like a “political football” in sequestration, as some industry insiders suspect.  Senator Murkowski worried about the administration using the budget cut process for “political theatrics” – which is why she supported a bipartisan proposal to give federal agencies some leeway in how and where cuts were made.  Today, the Senate Commerce committee sought answers on sequestration.

10:30am AKDT

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing 

Topic: “Safety in the Skies”

Testimony From:

·            FAA Administrator Michael Huerta;

·            Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board

WATCH the entire hearing online: commerce.senate.gov

On the Hill

Detecting Mental Issues before they Become Problems

Alaskan Impact:  Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee passed the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act that included Senator Murkowski’s components focused on early detection and treatment of mental issues in youth.  Today, an Alaskan from Wrangell will participate in a panel discussion on the importance of curbing the staggering statistics associated with mental health.

6:00am AKDT

Mental Health Liaison Group Panel Discussion

Topic: "Bridging the Gaps, Improving Mental Health Access and Care: Early Detection, School-based Access and Workforce Development."

Testimony from:

·         Mark Walker, Alaska Island Community Services (Wrangell, Alaska)

·         Teo-Carlo Straun, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow, Yale School of Medicine

·         Arthur Evans Jr. Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services.

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