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Herron, McGuire Comment on the National Strategy for the Artcic Region

Friday, May 10, 2013, Bethel, Alaska – Representative Bob Herron and Senator Lesil McGuire commented today on the newly released Obama Administration’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region.

The Strategy focuses on three areas: advancing security interests, pursuing responsible Arctic region stewardship and strengthening international cooperation.  

A letter from President Obama accompanying the policy report says “We will seek to prioritize and effectively integrate the work of Federal departments and agencies with activities that are already underway in the State of Alaska and at the international level. And we will partner with the State of Alaska and Alaska Natives, as well as the international community and the private sector, to develop innovative solutions and new ways of operating.”

Administration officials will be convening roundtable discussions in Alaska in mid-June to discuss implementation of the National Strategy. The initial meetings will include high-level Administration officials from the White House and key agencies.

“To the Obama Administration, we say yes, we are here, ready and looking forward to these conversations in our home sovereign,” Herron, D-Bethel, said. “I was encouraged to see on page three of the Strategy document, the importance of consultation and coordination with Alaska Natives is specifically mentioned – it’s a sentiment I’m sure many of my constituents and Alaska Natives across the state appreciate.”   

McGuire and Herron, the Co-chairs of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC), invite any Administration officials to join them at the next AAPC meeting in Barrow June 12-13. The meeting can also be watched live on www.akleg.tv. The Co-chairs offer their assistance in helping make the Administration’s roundtable discussions in June as productive as possible. 

“I’m pleased to see this Strategy released and hope it represents a new, high-level interest by the Obama Administration in the Arctic,” McGuire said. “As Co-chairs of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC), Rep. Herron and I look forward to engaging the Administration on all levels, and to helping shape the National Arctic Strategy from an Alaskan perspective.”

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