March 25, 2021 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, in coordination with Mayor Harry Brower, Jr of the North Slope Borough (NSB) and Commissioner Doug Vincent-Lang of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) today announced the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance cooperation on common issues related to fish, wildlife, and their uses.
“Life changing decisions are being made in Washington D.C., by individuals and groups who do not live on the North Slope. These decisions are occurring without consultation or respect to both the Inupiaq people – who have lived in the Arctic for tens of thousands of years – or the State of Alaska,” said Governor Dunleavy. “They are also affecting the State of Alaska’s and the NSB’s long-term economic health and viability. This MOU between ADF&G and the North Slope Borough will enable further cooperation and work to advance critical issues, especially studies of fish and wildlife, and impacts of resource development for the North Slope residents. A strong, stable, and sustainable North Slope economy is good for the North Slope and good for the State of Alaska.”
“The people of the North Slope need to have greater control and influence about decisions that affect the resources we depend on,” said NSB Mayor Harry Brower. “These subsistence resources were vital to our smallest villages during the COVID-19 shutdown and prevented some of our most vulnerable residents from being malnourished when air travel was halted. Enhancing the communication, coordination, and collaboration between the NSB and ADF&G is an important step in this process. I want to thank Commissioner Vincent-Lang and Governor Dunleavy for their efforts on making this happen and we look forward to continuing our partnership.”
“It is more imperative now than ever to look for ways to enhance cooperation on common issues facing us,” ADF&G Commissioner Vincent-Lang states. “This includes how marine mammals, which are important subsistence resources to residents of the NSB, are managed under Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.”
This MOU adds to ongoing collaborative efforts on Alaska’s North Slope to ensure local residents have a meaningful voice on issues affecting them, including the Voice of the Arctic Iñupiat.
A signed copy of the MOU can be found here.