A long-time Kodiak resident and environmentalist has been appointed to a newly created task force to consider northern water issues.
Former school teacher and fisherman, charter vessel operator Dave Kubiak, was appointed to the Northern Waters Task Force by Senate President Gary Stevens. Stevens is also Kodiak’s state senator who represents Kodiak and parts of the Kenai Peninsula.
The 11-member task force was created by the legislature this year. It is comprised of local, state, and federal officials from Alaska’s coast regions. The task force will facilitate the creation of a joint federal and state entity to coordinate U.S. and Alaska interests that result from the warming of Arctic waters.
Areas expected to be addressed include fishing, transportation through the pole regions, national security issues, and resource development in the newly accessible Arctic regions.
In a press release, House Speaker Mike Chenault said that creation of the task force allows the legislature to bring in regional leaders from all aspects of government to work with residents, businesses and interests in the Arctic region. It is a way to give all areas a voice and a stake in the outcome as various state and federal agencies bring forward policies addressing the newly opening waters.
The group will hold public meetings in areas feeling impacts of warming waters first-hand and make recommendations to the legislature in January 2012.