Elaine Main, UA Land Business Manager, was able to attend the 2019 Mid-Session Summit in Juneau from February 12-13^th. Southeast Conference exists to undertake and support activities that promote strong economies, healthy communities and a quality environment in Southeast Alaska.
“I recognized a strong contingent of Haines residents at the conference and was happy to see and hear Haines Mayor, Jan Hill introduce speakers during one of the sessions. I also heard Haines mentioned during Senator Murkowski’s video when she referenced heli-skiing in reference to how Alaska needs to take tourism from just summer months into winter.”
The conference covers a wide-range of topics that concern both the Haines community and the University of Alaska, as a significant land-owner in Southeast Alaska. This includes forest management, biomass, UA scholarships, transportation issues and carbon credits to name a few.
Elaine attended a presentation by Sealaska CEO, Anthony Mallott about Sealaska’s balanced land management and how they have been able to develop a significant carbon project. She also attended a talk given by Brian Kleinhenz on Forest Carbon Offsets. This is a subject we’ve heard raised at several of our meetings in Haines.
“The forest projects in the carbon market are evolving and we’re doing our homework and consulting experts in this field to fully understand carbon credits as it may pertain to University Lands.”
Overall, the report card for the Southeast Alaska economy contains its share of negative numbers. This includes a continued loss in population as well as a decrease in employment in government, seafood, construction, and timber industries. This report coupled with the recent proposed Alaska state budget cuts provides for a challenging road ahead.
“As the UA Land office moves forward, we are cognizant of our responsibility to develop our lands responsibly as we look to bring in revenue. The University is celebrating its 102nd anniversary this year and we want to be here for another 100 years.”