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Political Reaction to Obama Administration's National Strategy for the Arctic

Herron, McGuire Comment on the National Strategy for the Arctic Region
State Seal of Alaska.
State Seal of Alaska. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Friday, May 10th, 2013 @ 1:57PM

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 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.”

Rep. Young Comments on Obama Administration National Strategy for the Arctic 
Washington, D.C., May 10 -

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young released the following statement today in response to the Obama Administration’s release of their National Strategy for the Arc
Alaska Rep's reception area
Alaska Rep's reception area
(Photo credit: Drama Queen)
tic Region, a ten year plan of strategic priorities by the United States in the Arctic:

“Finally!  It’s about time that the Administration acknowledged the importance of a strong presence in the Arctic.  From to shipping to tourism, power projection to resource development, I am glad that the Administration has at least released something that reflects our need to be a leader in the Arctic.  I was also pleased to see the White House pay special attention to building and maintaining a strong relationship with Alaska Natives on Arctic issues.”

“Just this week I testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee about the need to expand Arctic training in Alaska.  We are an Arctic nation because of Alaska, and yet we are woefully unprepared to be an active participant in the Arctic theater.  We learned a hard lesson during the Korean War about fighting in an Arctic environment because we weren’t ready for the Arctic conditions.  This new policy guidance is an important first step, but we must remember, it is just the first step.”

FRIDAY MAY 10 2013
Murkowski Responds to National Arctic Strategy
As Senator’s Trip to Arctic Council Approaches, She Welcomes Seeds of Arctic Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed the administration’s Strategy for the Arctic Region, to set a tone for the Arctic Council’s meeting next week in Sweden – wh
English: Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator
English: Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ere she has been invited to join Secretary of State John Kerry due to her leadership on Arctic issues on Capitol Hill.  She offered the following response:

“I welcome the release of the Administration’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region, identifying strategic priorities for the United States in the Arctic Region for the next 10 years – and their top line acknowledgement that America is an Arctic Nation.  As the Strategy notes, issues such as circumpolar maritime transit, greater access to resources, and the needs of the indigenous people of the Arctic are coming to the forefront and the Arctic’s importance to the United States as a nation demands greater attention.

“I agree with the assertion that the Strategy must promote greater unity of effort between Federal departments and agencies, and the State of Alaska and those living in the Arctic region.  I look forward to working with the Administration and the National Security Staff as it develops its implementation plan this summer in order to ensure those commitments are met and that the Arctic is viewed as a national issue and not just a regional one.”

Next week will be Senator Murkowski’s second straight trip to the Arctic Council meetings, held every other year.  In 2011, she joined then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Nuuk, Greenland in a historic trip when Clinton and Murkowski became the first Secretary of State and Senator to attend an Arctic Council meeting.

Additionally, Murkowski has continued her educational campaign on Capitol Hill and around the world encouraging Americans to pursue an Arctic Future as an Arctic Nation.

ADN with comment from Sen Begich (pawall) ......In April, a federal working group recommended that the Obama administration adopt a science-based approach to managing the region. Now, said Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, the challenge is to commit to paying for icebreakers, Arctic ports and the research that's vital to sustainable management of the region.

"I'm pleased this administration responded to our request to recognize the enormous opportunities and challenges in a changing Arctic," Begich said in a statement. "Until now, the U.S. was the only Arctic nation lacking a formal strategy and effort to coordinate federal agencies in their approach to the Arctic.".....