WHEREAS, Alaska is blessed with many indigenous plants that color its great landscape, abundant wildlife that provides residents with bountiful and life-sustaining resources, and native species that support the delicate balance of our functioning ecosystems; and
WHEREAS, the introduction and spread of harmful non-native species, also known as invasive species, can alter operations of established natural systems, including the flow of water, the pattern of wildland fires, the intensity of floods, the flow of nutrition, and the strength of biodiversity; and
WHEREAS, the effects of invasive species on Alaska’s natural world can damage our land and water, harm the health of both humans and wildlife, affect the productivity of our natural resources, inhibit management of resources in Alaska, and erode Alaska’s attractiveness as a tourism destination; and
WHEREAS, as a result of global commercialization and frequent human travel, invasive species are increasingly becoming more difficult to prevent and control in much the same way as the novel coronavirus is spreading in the current global pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the prevention of invasive species is far less costly than the removal of a species once it has arrived or established. An educated public is highly effective at detecting invasive species early; and
WHEREAS, the Alaska departments of Fish and Game, Natural Resources, Environmental Conservation, and Transportation and Public Facilities work cooperatively with stakeholders to protect the state by striving to prevent, detect, manage, and eradicate invasive plants, animals, and aquatic species to protect Alaska’s unique and valuable resources, and ultimately, the Alaskan way of life; and
WHEREAS, a population that is informed of the risk of, vigilant against the appearance of, and empowered to counter the nascent threat of invasive species represents a far more cost-effective response than spending millions of dollars to manage, control, and eradicate established infestations.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim June 14-20 2020 as:
Alaska Invasive Species Awareness Week
in Alaska, encourage all Alaskans to learn more about, and contribute to, the prevention of invasive species in our Great State, and thereby support a broad, efficient and effective effort to protect the health and integrity of Alaska’s natural systems and human populations.