Archive for the ‘Mark Begich’ Category

Disaster declared – now what?

January 20, 2010

Secretary Locke's letter to Governor Parnell

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.

Jan 20, 2010

Begich, Murkowski, Young: Next Step in Fishery Disaster – Recovery

January 18, 2010

Jan 18, 2010

In May 2009 the federal Alaska Delegation,  Senators Mark Begich, Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young, signed a joint letter asking Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to declare a fisheries disaster in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.  The three officials praised the recent announcement by Secretary Locke to issue a Disaster Declaration for the Yukon River Chinook salmon fishery for 2008 and 2009:

US Senator Mark Begich:

“I am very pleased Secretary Locke has answered our requests and those of Western Alaska fishermen to declare a disaster after complete fishery failures in 2008 and 2009.  This declaration recognizes the hardships imposed on Alaskans in this region by the closure of commercial and subsistence fishing for Chinook for the past two years.

My staff and I have worked closely with the Commerce Department for a number of months on this issue and I appreciate the Secretary’s recognition of the magnitude of the disaster.

Residents who live in this remote region of our state face some of the highest costs of living in the nation. With heating oil at $8 per gallon this past winter, residents reported having to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families. The fishery collapse has made these already dire circumstances substantially worse.

This announcement from Secretary Locke while visiting Alaska comes as great news. Our next step will be to move forward on funding to support the disaster declaration.”

US Senator Lisa Murkowski:

“I am pleased that the Department of Commerce has determined a commercial fishery failure for the Yukon River Chinook salmon run. The poor runs in 2008 and 2009 have had a devastating impact on the commercial and subsistence fisheries and the declaration authorizes the Department to work to restore the fishery. I look forward to working with local communities, the State of Alaska and Commerce Secretary Locke to find resources to assist in the recovery and restoration of the Chinook fishery.”

US Representative Don Young:

“I am very pleased Secretary Locke has answered the requests of the Governor, the Congressional delegation and those of the Yukon River fishermen to declare a disaster for the Yukon River King Salmon run,” said Rep. Young.  “This decision recognizes the suffering by Alaskans in this region caused by the low returns of King Salmon over the past two years.  I will continue to work with the delegation, along with the state, and the local community however I can, to assist in the recovery and restoration of the fishery.”

Thanks to all three for bringing national attention to the hardships the fishery failures have brought to the Y-K Delta. We’ll be looking forward to learning more about sources of funding to support the disaster declaration.

US Commerce Secretary visiting Anchorage tomorrow, Jan 15

January 14, 2010

Jan 14, 2010

This just in…
by The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke plans to discuss trade and rural development opportunities when he visits Anchorage this week. 

Friday’s trip with U.S. Sen. Mark Begich also is set to include a meeting with officials aimed at raising awareness of the upcoming 2010 Census. There’s a lot at stake with the decennial count, which helps decide federal representation and funding.

Begich’s office says the visit comes just weeks before the first count of the census begins in Alaska.

WHO: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK)

EVENT DETAILS: 9:00 A.M.Fri., Jan. 15, 2010

Roundtable Discussion with Alaska Business Leaders on Trade Expansion
Captain Cook Hotel
Endeavor Room
939 W. 5th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501

11:45 A.M.Fri., Jan. 15, 2010

Anchorage Census Office Tour and Complete Count Committee (CCC) Meeting
Census Office
Airport Business Park
2000 W. International Rd., Suite C-6
Anchorage, AK 99502