HB 1: "An Act declaring the Arctic policy of the state."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 1 01 "An Act declaring the Arctic policy of the state." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 04 to read: 05 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT. (a) The legislature finds that 06 (1) the state is what makes the United States an Arctic nation; 07 (2) the entirety of the state is affected by the activities and prosperity in the 08 Arctic region, and conversely, the Arctic region is affected by the activities and prosperity in 09 the other regions of the state; 10 (3) residents of the state, having lived and worked in the Arctic region for 11 decades, have developed expert knowledge regarding a full range of activities and issues 12 involving the region; 13 (4) residents of the state recognize the risks that come with climate variability 14 and emerging threats to ecosystems, as well as increased maritime activity, but are optimistic 15 that the skillful application of expertise, coupled with circumpolar cooperation, will usher in a
01 new era of economic and resource development that will improve the quality of life for 02 residents of the state; 03 (5) the development of the state's natural resources in an environmentally and 04 socially responsible manner is essential to the development of the state's economy and to the 05 well-being of the residents of the state; 06 (6) respect for the indigenous peoples who have been the majority of the 07 inhabitants of the Arctic region for thousands of years and who depend on a healthy 08 environment to ensure their physical and spiritual well-being is critical to understanding and 09 strengthening the Arctic region; 10 (7) the United States, other nations, and international bodies, including the 11 Arctic Council, are rapidly developing Arctic strategies and policies, and therefore it is 12 essential that both the state and the nation communicate the reality, richness, and 13 responsibility that comes with being in the Arctic, including communicating the need to 14 provide safety, security, and prosperity to the region; 15 (8) it is essential for the state and federal government to strengthen their 16 collaboration on Arctic issues, including coordination when creating strategies, policies, and 17 implementation plans related to the Arctic, as both continue to engage in international 18 circumpolar activity; 19 (9) the state should develop and maintain capacity, in the form of an official 20 body or bodies within the executive or legislative branch, or both, to develop further strategies 21 and policies for the Arctic region that respond to the priorities and critical needs of residents 22 of the state. 23 (b) It is the intent of the legislature that this declaration of Arctic policy 24 (1) be implemented through statutes and regulations; 25 (2) not conflict with, subjugate, or duplicate other existing state policy; 26 (3) guide future legislation derived from the implementation strategy 27 developed by the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission; 28 (4) clearly communicate the interests of residents of the state to the federal 29 government, the governments of other nations, and other international bodies developing 30 policies related to the Arctic. 31 * Sec. 2. AS 44.99 is amended by adding a new section to read:
01 Sec. 44.99.105. Declaration of state Arctic policy. (a) It is the policy of the 02 state, as it relates to the Arctic, to 03 (1) uphold the state's commitment to economically vibrant 04 communities sustained by development activities consistent with the state's 05 responsibility for a healthy environment, including efforts to 06 (A) ensure that Arctic residents and communities benefit from 07 economic and resource development activities in the region; 08 (B) improve the efficiency, predictability, and stability of 09 permitting and regulatory processes; 10 (C) attract investment through the establishment of a positive 11 investment climate and the development of strategic infrastructure; 12 (D) sustain current, and develop new, approaches for 13 responding to a changing climate; 14 (E) encourage industrial and technological innovation in the 15 private and academic sectors that focuses on emerging opportunities and 16 challenges; 17 (2) collaborate with all levels of government, tribes, industry, and 18 nongovernmental organizations to achieve transparent and inclusive Arctic decision- 19 making resulting in more informed, sustainable, and beneficial outcomes, including 20 efforts to 21 (A) strengthen and expand cross-border relationships and 22 international cooperation, especially bilateral engagements with Canada and 23 Russia; 24 (B) sustain and enhance state participation in the Arctic 25 Council; 26 (C) pursue opportunities to participate meaningfully as a 27 partner in the development of federal and international Arctic policies, thereby 28 incorporating state and local knowledge and expertise; 29 (D) strengthen communication with Arctic Council permanent 30 participants, who include and represent the state's indigenous peoples; 31 (E) reiterate the state's long-time support for ratification of the
01 Law of the Sea Treaty; 02 (3) enhance the security of the state through a safe and secure Arctic 03 for individuals and communities, including efforts to 04 (A) enhance disaster and emergency prevention and response, 05 oil spill prevention and response, and search and rescue capabilities in the 06 region; 07 (B) provide safe, secure, and reliable maritime transportation in 08 the areas of the state adjacent to the Arctic; 09 (C) sustain current, and develop new, community, response, 10 and resource-related infrastructure; 11 (D) coordinate with the federal government for an increase in 12 United States Coast Guard presence, national defense obligations, and levels of 13 public and private sector support; and 14 (4) value and strengthen the resilience of communities and respect and 15 integrate the culture and knowledge of Arctic peoples, including efforts to 16 (A) recognize Arctic indigenous peoples' cultures and unique 17 relationship to the environment, including traditional reliance on a subsistence 18 way of life for food security, which provides a spiritual connection to the land 19 and the sea; 20 (B) build capacity to conduct science and research and advance 21 innovation and technology in part by providing support to the University of 22 Alaska for Arctic research consistent with state priorities; 23 (C) employ integrated, strategic planning that considers 24 scientific, local, and traditional knowledge; 25 (D) safeguard the fish, wildlife, and environment of the Arctic 26 for the benefit of residents of the state; 27 (E) encourage more effective integration of local and 28 traditional knowledge into conventional science, research, and resource 29 management decision making. 30 (b) It is important to the state, as it relates to the Arctic, to support the strategic 31 recommendations of the implementation plan developed by the Alaska Arctic Policy
01 Commission and to encourage consideration of recommendations developed by the 02 Alaska Arctic Policy Commission. Priority lines of effort for the Arctic policy of the 03 state include 04 (1) promoting economic and resource development; 05 (2) addressing the infrastructure and response capacity gap in the 06 Arctic region; 07 (3) supporting healthy communities; and 08 (4) strengthening a state-based agenda for science and research in the 09 Arctic. 10 (c) In this section, "Arctic" means the area of the state north of the Arctic 11 Circle, north and west of the boundary formed by the Porcupine, Yukon, and 12 Kuskokwim Rivers, all contiguous seas, including the Arctic Ocean, and the Beaufort, 13 Bering, and Chukchi Seas, and the Aleutian Chain, except that, for the purpose of 14 international Arctic policy, "Arctic" means the entirety of the state.