Jan 20, 2010
Here’s what AB has so far….
We were able to reach Senator Begich’s office this week and speak to a Legislative Aide who is familiar with both the process and declaration itself.
Part of the reason the actual declaration took so long is that there is not a set group of procedures or rules for how this process is supposed to work. As any good government division should do, NOAA wanted to sit down and make some rules so that there would be an outline to follow. Most of the funding following formulated requests have been fulfilled through ear marks. This is a process the federal administration has declared that they want to get rid of.
With the official declaration there is now the work to decide what types of aid and programs should be requested. Work has started on this task by the various agencies and organizations who deal with Yukon area issues.
The Senator’s office will continue to work with them until a complete plan is formed. It will most likely be run through one of the more umbrella groups serving the Yukon region and its people.
Everything from research, economic development, to direct aid will be discussed and a plan draft formulated.
It then will be presented to Congress for funding. The push is to try and include it in this round of budget talks.
There is also a state component, due to the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA), which matches the federal aid with 25% of our monies. This will take coordination with the state Legislative body and Governor’s office to calculate and complete.
We will continue to work to find out what is being worked on, what is suggested and how the time-line is progressing.