HJR 7 - Opposing the proposed designation of an Aleutian Islands National Marine Sanctuary

February 4, 2015

The Honorable Representative Stutes
Chairwoman, House Fisheries Committee
State Capitol, Room 416
Juneau, AK 99801

Re: RDC Support for HJR7


Dear Representative Stutes,

The Resource Development Council (RDC) is writing in support of House Joint Resolution No. 7, “Opposing the proposed designation of an Aleutian Islands National Marine Sanctuary.”

RDC is a statewide, non-profit, membership-funded organization founded in 1975. The RDC membership is comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, timber, tourism, and fisheries industries, as well as Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to link these diverse interests together to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

This wide-sweeping proposal would have designated sanctuary status for 554,000 square nautical miles, making it the largest marine protected area in U.S. waters and one of the largest in the world. This proposed designation was never discussed on a community level, and threatens the livelihoods of those Alaskans living and working throughout the Aleutian Islands, particularly those employed in the fishing industry.

Further, the waters near and around all of Alaska are effectively managed by a number of local, state, and federal organizations to include the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, Alaska Board of Fish, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. An additional layer of protection is unnecessary and places an unreasonable burden on the economy of the Aleutians.

RDC looks forward to passage of HJR7.

Resource Development Council for Alaska