Alaska Arctic Policy Commission wraps up two days of work sessions and public testimony
December 11, 2013
The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC) is made up of 26 Commissioners, including 10 Legislators and 16 experts from throughout the state. The Commission is co-chaired by Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) and Representative Bob Herron (D-Bethel).
“This group has done a great job in a short amount of time,” said Senator McGuire. “Few things are as important for Alaska’s future as crafting a comprehensive Arctic Policy and influencing Federal Arctic policy.”
In order to gather information, data, and public input for the report, the AAPC has met five times over the past year. The meetings took place in communities all across Alaska including Juneau, Barrow, Unalaska, Fairbanks and Anchorage. During the meetings, commissioners prioritized strategic recommendations as well as discussing what the Legislature and the Parnell Administration can do to craft sensible policy for Alaska’s Arctic.
“I was pleased with how the Commission came together and shaped this draft report. The report is critical in positively guiding federal Arctic policy and working toward the goal that Alaskans will have a seat at the table when decisions which will change our future are made,” said Representative Herron. “All the legislators on the Commission look forward to talking with our colleagues this coming session about everyone gaining an ‘Arctic footing’, or understanding, and to receive their feedback forward on the continuing work on the January 30, 2015 final report.
One of the most important aspects of the AAPC’s work will be positively influencing federal Arctic policy so that the needs of Alaskans come first.
The Alaska Northern Waters Task Force (1 & 2) was created by the Legislature in 2011 and tasked with an initial examination of the issues brought forward by the opening of Alaska’s Arctic waters. Per the Task Force’s recommendation, the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission was legislatively created by HCR 23 (1 & 2) in April 2012, and held its first meeting March 23, 2013. The Commission will carry on the work of the Northern Waters Task Force in more detail, and create an actionable Arctic policy for Alaska.
The Commission’s Preliminary Report will be released January 30th, 2014 in Juneau. The Commission is tasked with submitting its final report in January 2015.