WHEREAS, the scenic mountains, meadows, rivers, and coastal bays of Alaska are prized for their diverse and abundant wild plants, fish, and wildlife; and
WHEREAS, Alaskans rely on native flora and fauna, cultivated crops, and local livestock to feed their families, meet cultural and traditional uses, sustain the economy, and support food security; and
WHEREAS, when non-native harmful species, known as invasive species, are introduced to the lands and waters within Alaska, they alter the balance of healthy ecosystems by disrupting food webs, displacing and preying upon valued indigenous species, reducing biodiversity, and altering ecosystems; and
WHEREAS, environmental disturbances caused by invasive species threaten the sustainability of native species, negatively impact the health or value of crops, promote wildfires, interfere with recreation, and alter water regimes, which causes floods and erosion; and
WHEREAS, invasive species are most often spread to Alaska via human-mediated pathways, including being transmitted by people, vehicles, equipment, and goods, but can also be translocated via natural means, such as wind, flood events, and ocean currents; and
WHEREAS, the most cost-effective and responsible approach to protect our lands, waters, and native organisms is to prevent the spread of invasive species when possible, and when unavoidable, appropriate management decisions must rely on early detection and strategic rapid response for control and eradication efforts to be successful; and
WHEREAS, the Alaska Departments of Environmental Conservation, Fish and Game, Natural Resources, and Transportation and Public Facilities work cooperatively with stakeholders to support the natural and unique environment in Alaska by preventing, detecting, managing, and eradicating invasive species in the many environments where they cause harm; and
WHEREAS, Alaskans who are informed about invasive species, motivated to report observations, and support state government in fulfilling their responsibilities to monitor for and respond to invasive species are essential to keeping the Alaska way of life sustainable.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim June 11 – 17, 2023 as:
Alaska Invasive Species Awareness Week
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans and visitors to learn about, prevent, report, and contribute to control of invasive species in the state.
Dated: June 11, 2023