Southeast Conference Mid-Session Summit Highlights
Canadian & Southeast Alaska Issues
March 17, 2005
Highlighting this year's list of speakers will be Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Denali Commission co-chair Jeff Staser, USDA-Rural Development State Director Bill Allen, USFS Regional Forester Dennis Bschor and the newly appointed Director of Marine Operations Robin Taylor.
"Each year, we take on new topics for our communities, agency partners and businesses," said Murray Walsh, SEC President. "We pretty much cover everything that has to do with economic development in our region: from energy to natural resources, from roads and ferries to health and social services. We are all inter-connected."
To complement this, Walsh noted that SEC is reaching out more to Canadian counterparts. This year's Mid-Session Summit will include cross-border topics such as mines, renewable resources, salmon fisheries, fiber optics, community updates, rail links and other transportation issues. Canadian registrants and speakers this year come from Prince Rupert, Prince George, Vancouver, and Stewart, BC, Whitehorse, YT, and Worsley and Peace River, AB.
The conference also will have presentations on regional economic statistics and trends, the University of Alaska lands bills, small energy projects, mining projects, fisheries legislation, new timber and wood waste projects, the cruiseship head-tax initiatives, Juneau and Sitka access projects, challenges and opportunities for health care, household hazardous waste and others.
"And we're going to be talking a lot of trash," said Rollo Pool, executive director for Southeast Conference. "Solid waste is one of our hottest programs right now. We have two grants that will help us develop a regional plan and create a legal framework should there be enough community enthusiasm to develop a regional project under a solid waste authority."
The first two-days of meetings focus on topics of SEC's eight committees. The Wednesday session concludes with a panel of legislators from Southeast Alaska. The final day, Thursday, is reserved for board meetings of SEC, SE Alaska mayors and regional Chambers of Commerce directors and managers.
The public is invited. Attendance for the conference is $35 for members and $50 for non-members and includes all sessions, luncheon on Wednesday, and evening events. More information is available online at www.seconference.org.
Southeast Conference, which was founded in 1958, holds two meetings each year: a Mid-Session Summit in Juneau and the annual meeting in another community. The SEC annual meeting will be in Wrangell from Sept. 26-29.
Note: Southeast Conference is an active partner with federal funding agencies, the State of Alaska, communities and non-profit organizations as the region plans for tomorrow. The organization is the State-designated Alaska Regional Development Organization (ARDOR), the federally-designated Economic Development District (EDD), and the federally-designated Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) for Southeast Alaska. The organization recently completed paperwork to be a Regional Council for the Workforce Investment Board.
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