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Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Announces New Member

Rep. Nageak to replace Rep. Neuman on commission

March 31, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission today announced that House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, has appointed Representative Benjamin Nageak, D-Barrow, to replace Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Su-Valley, on the Commission which is co-chaired by Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, and Rep. Bob Herron, D-South Bering Sea.

“As a legislator who represents an Arctic region, Representative Nageak is already familiar with many of the issues the Commission is working on,” Herron said. “The Commission appreciates Rep. Neuman’s participation over the past year and in particular his contributions to the wildlife section of the Preliminary Report. We welcome Representative Nageak to the AAPC.”

“Rep. Nageak is a wonderful addition to the AAPC,” McGuire said. “It was great to see him at the Commission meeting in Barrow last June. Arctic issues are a passion for Rep. Nageak and we could not have found a member with more on-the-ground life experience in the Arctic. We welcome him aboard and look forward to his contribution.”

Rep. Nageak was an enthusiastic participant when the AAPC met in his home town of Barrow on June 12-13.

“I’m very excited to be appointed to the Commission, whose work is so important to the region I represent and all of Alaska,” Nageak said. “I’ve been following the Commission’s work with great interest, and am really looking forward to serving.”

Bennie Nageak is a lifelong Alaskan who was born in Kaktovik, Alaska. He is currently serving his first term as an Alaska State Representative for the Arctic region, House District 40. Nageak served in the U.S. Army from 1970-1972 and returned home to begin a long career in public service. In his own region he worked for the North Slope Borough in the Assessing Department, and as Director of the Department of Wildlife Management. He served as North Slope Borough Assemblyman (1995-1996) and then Mayor (1996-1999).

“I support the decision; Rep. Nageak is well qualified as a natural hunter, former whaling co-captain, and is quite familiar with arctic issues,” North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower said. “His contributions as a Commission member will be invaluable to the residents throughout the Great State of Alaska. Thank you.”

“I want to thank the other members of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission for their work on this important issue,” Neuman said. “As a team we spent many hours researching Alaska’s position in the Arctic and how that makes the United States an Arctic Nation. Knowing my colleague’s energy and insight in the Arctic, it was important that Rep. Nageak replace me on the Commission. I look forward to assisting him and the commission as an Ex-Officio member.” The Co-chairs thank Representative Neuman for his service on the Commission.

The AAPC's preliminary report is available for public comment at www.akarctic.com. The commission will meet next in Anchorage on May 6-7, 2014.

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