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March 6, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The Senate resumes consideration of a judicial nomination. The House considers a bill that includes a continuing resolution for government spending for the remainder of fiscal 2013 as well as Defense and Military Construction-VA appropriations measures.
Come hear a COL panel involving Brendan Kelly (OSTP), Joel Clement (DOI), Frank Herr (ONR), Michael Kearns (National Ocean Industries Assoc.) and Bill  Mowitt (Staffer, Sen. Begich) discuss this topic, moderated by John Farrell (USARC). This panel is part of the 2013 Public Policy Forum sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

capital House to Skip Town Because of Storm. The House is skipping town early because of a snowstorm headed for the nation's capital. Republican leaders sent a notice to members late Tuesday afternoon announcing that the House would hold votes on Wednesday morning and then depart for the week. The change means that lawmakers will vote a day earlier than expected on a stopgap spending bill keeping the federal government open through the end of September. The House had been scheduled to meet on Thursday before leaving for the weekend. The Hill


Climate Challenges Face Obama's EPA and Energy Nominees. Reflecting his intent to tackle climate change in his second term, President Obama picked two Washington veterans who've been wrestling with such issues for years. Obama on Monday announced the selection of the Environmental Protection Agency's clean air chief Gina McCarthy, 58, to head the agency and MIT professor Ernest Moniz, 68, to lead the Energy Department. In making the long-expected picks, Obama said, "they're going to be making sure that we're investing in American energy, that we're doing everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change." Federal Times


Salmon Objections Mount as FDA Review Genetically Engineered Salmon. Every summer since 1979, Kim Hubert has fished for sockeye salmon in Alaska's Bristol Bay. It's a family business in tiny Togiak that has, from time to time, also employed his wife and three children. Hubert and his 21-year-old daughter work the nets now. They're small permit holders who may catch and sell thousands of salmon in their nets each year, depending on the success of the run. Anchorage Daily News


Aerial Wolf Hunt in Upper Koyukuk River to Boost Moose Numbers. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game pulled the trigger on another Interior wolf reduction program during the weekend. Wildlife biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Saturday began shooting wolves from a helicopter around Allakaket and Alatna, a pair of rural villages on the upper Koyukuk River, about 200 miles northwest of Fairbanks. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


BLM: Not Trying to Avoid Well Clean-Up in Alaska. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is not trying to avoid cleaning up abandoned wells in the Alaska Arctic by having them declared historic preservation sites, an agency spokeswoman said Tuesday. The suggestion was raised with a draft report on so-called legacy wells in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Notations for some of the sites in the draft - including one described as having a large amount of solid waste that poses a threat to local residents traveling through for subsistence purposes - referred to BLM preparing "a determination of eligibility" under the National Historic Preservation Act. BLM-Alaska spokeswoman Erin Curtis said this is standard for sites older than 50 years old. She said it doesn't mean the sites will be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and even if they are, she said it doesn't mean BLM wouldn't be able to clean them up. Anchorage Daily News


Plan Guides Protection for Tribal Sacred Sites. Four federal agencies and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have come up with a plan for improving the protection of sites held sacred by American Indians and Alaska Natives. The plan announced Tuesday stems from a memorandum of understanding signed in December by the council and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy and Interior. They all agreed to work together over the next five years to protect sacred sites as well as improve access for tribal members to sites that are on federal land. Anchorage Daily News


UAV Bill Clarifies When Drone Use is Illegal in Alaska. The debate on drones has reached the Alaska Legislature.Rep. Scott Kawasaki proposed a bill Tuesday that would limit when and how unmanned aerial vehicles can be used in the state. HB159 also would make evidence acquired by a UAV without proper authorization inadmissible in court. Anchorage Daily News


Officials: Number of Beetle-Killed Trees Declining. U.S. Forest Service officials say the number of trees being killed by pine beetle infestation is on the decline, in part because the insects have eaten themselves out of house and home. The beetles burrow under the bark of pine trees to lay eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the inner layer of bark, killing the tree. An aerial survey in 2010 showed beetle-killed trees on 9.2 million acres of public and private land in Western states, including nearly 2 million acres in Idaho. Anchorage Daily News


Polar bear Canada Inuit, Conservationists Oppose Polar Bear Trade Crackdown. Proposals to ban trade in polar bear furs will do little to ensure the animals' long-term future, Canada's Arctic Inuit and two major conservationist groups both say. The United States wants the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) to list the bears as endangered at its meeting in Bangkok this week, a move that would prohibit international trade in their body parts and fur. But the Inuit say that would slash one of the few sources of income they have. There are about 50,000 Inuit in Canada, most of them living in small remote northern settlements. Reuters

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      


US-Canadian Arctic Roundtable, March 7, 2013 (Washington, D.C.). The event is hosted by the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER). The roundtable will provide an opportunity for regional stakeholders to learn more about the role of our Federal Governments in the Arctic and the potential impacts on Alaska, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. A remarkable group of participants and speakers will join the roundtable including, Alaska's U.S. Congressional Delegation and several legislators from PNWER jurisdictions.  They will be joined by Ambassador Gary Doer, Government of Canada and representatives from the U.S. State Department; and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission will attend as well. As PNWER's Arctic Caucus continues to look for solutions to the shared challenges of its three jurisdictions, this meeting will present an opportunity for caucus members and federal representatives to have a dialogue about key priorities for Arctic policy and economic development. The Roundtable will be moderated by Matt Morrison, PNWER Executive Director.


The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots).


The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.


Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, March 12-13, 2013, Washington, D.C. The Standing Committee of the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region will hold its next meeting in March. One of the main priorities of the Standing Committee was originally to support the establishment of the Arctic Council. The new organization, representing the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA) and the European Parliament was founded on 19 September 1996. Since then the Committee has worked actively to promote the work of the Council. The Committee participates in the meetings of the Arctic Council as an observer.


Lecture: Melting Ice: What is happening to Arctic sea ice and what does it mean for us? March 20, 2013, Washington DC.
The National Research Council is sponsoring the 14th annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, to be given by Dr. John Walsh of the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks. The lecture, which starts at 5:30 pm in the Baird Auditorium, in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (10th Street and Constitution entrance) is free, and open to the public, but
pre-registration, for planning purposes, would be appreciate. Please contact Pamela Lewis ( with questions.


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics." 


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.

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