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Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Sends Letter of Intent to Key Leaders in Washington, DC

Letter offers initial guidance and articulates assumptions, interests, considerations of the AAPC

ANCHORAGE-Today, the Co-Chairs of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC), Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, and Representative Bob Herron, D-Bethel, sent a letter to National Security Advisory Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry introducing the AAPC while sharing the Commission’s intent, assumptions, and scope of work.

“Alaskans are quick to recognize both the opportunity and risk inherent to increased activity in the Arctic,” said Senator McGuire.  “We need to make sure our voices and heard and considered.  This letter conveys our conviction that the state is an active and willing leader and partner in Arctic decision making, bringing expertise and resources to the table.”

Commission members say the compelling reason for the Letter of Intent is the recent flood of Arctic policies and strategies that directly impact Alaska now and in the future.  The letter outlines three key assumptions and eight important considerations that frame the Commission’s future process.

"It was important for the Commission to announce itself to our federal partners, who are moving  fast on Arctic policy,” said Representative Herron.  “The good news is that the White House and State Department seem eager to cooperate with the Commission, the State of Alaska, and indigenous peoples on formulating an Alaskan Arctic policy. It will be the Commission's job to ensure that policy makes sense for Alaska and Alaskans.”

To read the letter and its attachments, click here.

The Commission also plans to create a detailed Alaska Arctic policy report that will further inform the public and policy-makers about the principles with which Alaskans will approach the promise of the Arctic, making “North to the Future” a lasting commitment to all Americans.  That report is due to the full Legislature in January 2015. A preliminary report is due in January, 2014.

The Commission, made up of 26 Commissioners, including 10 Legislators and 16 experts from throughout the state, is examining several areas to develop the state’s Arctic Policy including: governance, resource development, science and research, energy, planning and infrastructure, security, marine transportation, and fisheries.

The Commission’s next meeting will be in Unalaska on August 28-29.

For more information, please contact Jesse Logan in Senator McGuire’s office at 907-269-0250, or Rob Earl in Representative Herron’s office at 907-269-0126.

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