Arctic Update Header
May 22, 2013



The Senate will consider legislation to reauthorize farm, agriculture and conservation programs.  The House will consider a Keystone XL pipeline approval measure and several items under suspension of the rules. 


Coast Guard Releases its "Arctic Strategy." Yesterday morning the Commandant of the Coast Guard gave an address under the auspices of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.  At the event, Admiral Papp announced the release of the Coast Guard's Arctic strategy.  More information, and a link to that document, is available for download here. 


navy Top House Republican Tells Navy to Scrap "Fantasy" Shipbuilding Plan. A top House Republican is demanding that the Navy face up to fiscal realities by overhauling its shipbuilding plan.  Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee, said the Navy is living in a "fantasy land" by putting forward a 30-year shipbuilding plan when the service can't guarantee funding beyond five years. The Hill 


University of Alaska Plans Sequestration Strategy.When Carla Beam prepared a report on the so-called "fiscal cliff" for the University of Alaska Board of Regents in December, she found unexpected inspiration in a Looney Tunes clip. Wile E. Coyote's legs would keep churning in the old cartoons, whether he was running off a ledge or still had the ground beneath him. Today it looks like a good metaphor for UA, which will need to work harder to claim its share from a shrinking pool of federal dollars. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Cultures Collide in Bethel Court With Future of Kuskokwim Kings Hanging in Balance. The strangely cathartic business of assembly-line justice ground its way through a state court here Tuesday as one by one the defendants from last summer's fishery revolt on the Kuskokwim River appeared before a judge to say their piece and await their sentencing. Alaska Dispatch 


Drone (firefighting) FAA's Concerns Hold Up Use of Wildfire Drones. As wildfire season begins in Western landscapes that were covered in smoky haze for weeks at a time last summer, the federal government's firefighters are exploring the use of small remote-controlled drones with infrared cameras that could map a fire's size and speed, and identify hot spots, a particular danger. Anchorage Daily News 


Captain: Winter Transit of Kulluk Across Gulf of Alaska was Possible. A vessel captain in charge of towing Shell's troubled oil drilling rig, the Kulluk, when it left a Seattle shipyard back in June said Tuesday that the gear was more than strong enough, the crews were qualified and that under the right conditions, a winter transit through the Gulf of Alaska could have been done safely. Anchorage Daily News


Nunavut Spending Far Less Than Yukon or Northwest Territories on Education. A report from Statistics Canada shows that the eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut spends significantly less on students than the Northwest Territories (NWT) or Yukon Territory. In the 2008-2009 school year, Nunavut spent $15,428 per student in kindergarten to grade 12. That's far above the Canadian average of $11,044, but also far below the amounts spent on students in NWT and Yukon. Governments there spent $22,784 and $19,499 per student, respectively. Alaska Dispatch


An Arctic Economic Boom? Not So Fast, Analysts Say. Two Finnish analysts warn that due to its enormous risks, the world's Arctic regions won't likely experience a big boom in shipping or gas and oil development any time soon. In the paper, published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, analysts Harri Mikkola and Juha K