The management of offshore oil and gas resources is a sensitive issue -- perhaps more so in Alaska, with its pristine environment and vast mineral resources, than anywhere else. The issues are complex and the better all parties understand these issues, the better the resulting decisions are likely to be.
In the interests of promoting this understanding, the Alaska Region is committed to maintaining open and transparent communications with key stakeholders -- particularly Alaska's Native organizations and Tribal Governments, which today carry on the traditions that have enriched Alaska since time immemorial.
These ongoing efforts -- including community meetings, public hearings, and other special activities - are documented here.
STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS - 2015
Feb. 9, 2015 - Mar. 2: BOEM hosted 11 public meetings in Alaska to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to speak directly with BOEM staff and provide comments regarding the Programmatic EIS for the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
Nov. 17 - Dec. 4: BOEM's Alaska OCS Region hosts hearings in Kotzebue, Point Hope, Wainwright, Anchorage, Barrow and Fairbanks on the Lease Sale 193 draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (the meeting in Point Lay was canceled due to a scheduling conflict). Transcript.
Feb. 13: Harry Brower (left), chairman of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, listens as Dr. Dee Williams, supervisor of the Environmental Sciences Management Section in BOEM’s Alaska Region, addresses the AEWC’s annual Whaling Captains’ Mini-Convention in Anchorage. Williams and Dr. Peter Winsor of the University of Alaska Fairbanks described a new BOEM-funded Arctic Tracer Release Experiment in the Chukchi Sea. The experiments will test technologies and capabilities to map non-toxic dye plumes. The team will coordinate 2013 and 2015 field efforts with NOAA's Environmental Response Management Application and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and provide project updates for AEWC leaders. BOEM photo by Michael Haller.
Oct. 18: Matt Blazek, a program analyst with the Leasing Office of BOEM's Alaska Region, discusses the challenges of teaching Science, Technology and Math (STEM) courses with Cynde Hill, president of the Alaska Science Teachers Association, at the Alaska Math & Science Conference at East Anchorage High School here Oct. 18, 2013. The conference's theme was "Changing Climates: Tracking Trends"; BOEM staff attended as representatives of an agency deeply involved Arctic science. BOEM photo by Michael Haller.
Sept. 17-19: BOEM Alaska OCS Region’s Leasing & Plans Regional Supervisor David Johnston speaks to more than 240 attendees of the Alaska Cold Regions Oil Pipeline Conference outlining the challenges the energy industry faces in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. One of several federal panelists, Johnston provided insight into BOEM’s missions and recent and near-term activities in the Arctic. BOEM photo by Michael Haller.
Sept. 16-19: North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower introduces panelists during the 2013 Alaska Oil & Gas Congress in Anchorage. BOEM Alaska OCS Region Deputy Regional Director Sharon Warren, center right, (joined by BLM Alaska Region Director Bud Cribley) described current exploration activities and plans for Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf waters. BOEM photo by Michael Haller.
June 6-7: BOEM hosted public hearings in Barrow and Anchorage to get public input on the Department of the Interior's effort to develop new, Alaska-specific standards relating to the regulation of oil & gas exploration. The sessions were led by Tommy Beaudreau, BOEM's director and the Department of the Interior's acting assistant secretary for land and minerals management; and Pat Pourchot, the Secretary of the Interior's special assistant for Alaska. In addition, BOEM hosted several meetings on this issue with key stakeholders. TRANSCRIPTS: Anchorage | Barrow (Session 1, Session 2)
May 1- Anchorageand Kotzebue -BOEM participated in a briefing via teleconference to provide information on OCS activities in the Chukchi Sea to the Cape Krusenstern Subsistence Resource Commission (SRC). Deputy Regional Director Sharon Warren, left, led the presentation. She was joined by Leasing and Plans Regional Supervisor David Johnston, Oceanographer Dr. Heather Crowley, and BOEM Regional Director Dr. James Kendall. Not pictured is Mark Fesmire, Alaska Regional Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and BOEM Tribal and Community Liaison Michael Haller. The SRC members were gathered at the National Park Service office in Kotzebue. The commission is authorized as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. BOEM Photo
Apr. 10 - Barrow -Representatives of NMFS and BOEM met with Acting North Slope Borough Mayor Reed O'Hair for government-to-government consultations concerning the Supplemental Draft EIS for the Effects of Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic Ocean. NMFS, BOEM and the North Slope Borough are working together to ensure that information about the Supplemental Draft EIS is readily available, the process is transparent, and Traditional Knowledge is included within the content.
Apr. 2 – Anchorage – Presidential Management Fellow Matt Blazek, a program analyst in BOEM’s Alaska Region, gave a presentation at the University of Alaska Anchorage about the Presidential Management Fellowship Program.The program provides leadership development opportunities for advanced degree candidates. Blazek shared his knowledge of the application process and opportunities for students and recent graduates seeking employment with the federal government. BOEM Photo
Mar. 26-29 - Anchorage - BOEM Alaska Regional Director Dr. James Kendall spoke about the influence and impact of Traditional Knowledge in collaborative approaches to understanding and managing marine resources in the Arctic at the Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium. The symposium serves as a forum for information exchange in biology, management, economics, and processing of various fish species and complexes, as well as an opportunity for scientists from high-latitude countries to meet informally and discuss their work. BOEM Photo
Mar. 21 - Anchorage - BOEM Alaska Region representatives Dr. Dan Holiday, Matt Blazek and Michael Haller joined a team of six other judges to support one of the many local Science Fairs held annually across Alaska. Anchorage's Scenic Park School emphasizes in-depth understanding of science concepts, processes, and investigations. Students are encouraged to engage natural curiosities to discover and to learn the language of the sciences. BOEM Photo
Mar. 12 - Statewide - BOEM Alaska Region representatives joined other bureaus within the Department of the Interior from across the state of Alaska via video conference to coordinate efforts to improve public outreach and transparency. This unified strategy calls for increasing knowledge, understanding and awareness of public lands and the OCS. BOEM Photo
Mar. 5-7 - Anchorage -BOEM Alaska Region Director Dr. James Kendall, together with BSEE Alaska Region Director Mark Fesmire, participated in the National Marine Fisheries Service's Open Water Meeting. The meeting is designed to share the results of monitoring programs from the previous year; present monitoring plans for activities proposed for the upcoming open water season; and allow for input from Alaska Natives and other interested parties on previous and upcoming monitoring plans. BOEM Photo
Jan. 23 - Anchorage -BOEM joined the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program (ANSEP) in celebrating progress of recent graduates, current students, and youth in rural Alaska. Regional Director Dr. James Kendall, Deputy Regional Director Sharon Warren, Program Analysis Officer Michael Routhier and Tribal and Community Liaison Michael Haller, joined ANSEP Director Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder, special guest Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and more than 1,200 community members at ANSEP's annual dinner.
Feb. 4-7 - Anchorage - BOEM Alaska staff participated in the Alaska Forum on the Environment, giving presentations on oil and gas lease sales and air quality regulation. The annual forum seeks to promote more productive and efficient relationships between government agencies, businesses, organizations, tribes and the public. Here, Tribal and Community Liaison Mike Haller and Legal Technician Kaitlin Simenson meet with forum participants at the BOEM booth. BOEM Photo.
Feb. 4 - Barrow - Former North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta shares traditional knowledge with BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau at the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission meeting. Beaudreau participated in a federal panel and spoke to the more than 400 attendees about the Interior Department review of the 2012 Arctic exploration season. BOEM Photo.
Feb. 4 - Barrow - Representatives of the Department of the Interior, BOEM, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and Bureau of Land Management met with representatives of the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. ICAS members were invited to provide input as the Department of the Interior reviews the 2012 Arctic exploration season. BOEM Photo.
Feb. 4 - Barrow - BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau met with North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower and key members of her leadership team. Brower shared her perspective on activities in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and on the borough's collaboration with BOEM on scientific studies. Beaudreau expressed his appreciation for the good working relationship between BOEM and the borough. BOEM Photo.
Feb. 1 - Anchorage - Management of BOEM and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation discussed the 2012 Arctic exploration season. (From right), BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau, ASRC President Rex Rock Sr., ASRC Chairman Crawford Patkotak, ASRC Director of Resource Development Teresa Imm, BOEM Alaska Deputy Director Sharon Warren, ASRC Executive Vice President of Lands and Natural Resources Richard Glenn, BOEM Alaska Director James Kendall, (second row) BOEM Community Liaison Michael Haller, BSEE Field Operations Engineer Jim Lusher. BOEM Photo
Jan. 28-29 - Anchorage - BOEM participated in the Alaska Marine Science Symposium. The poster session featured information about numerous BOEM-funded projects, including the ShoreZone project, which has mapped 8,000 kilometers of coastal habitat. Integral to the success of this multi-year project are (from left) NOAA marine biologist Mandy Lindeberg, BOEM marine biologist Cathy Coon, and Archipelago Marine marine biologist Mary Morris. BOEM Photo.
Nov. 28, 2012 - Anchorage - Dr. Dee Williams, supervisor of the BOEM Alaska Region Environmental Sciences Management Section, participated in the Fireside Chat series at BLM's Campbell Creek Science Center. Williams spoke about how BOEM has been able to increase the role of Traditional Knowledge in research, assessment activities, and decision-making processes and the benefits this can bring for understanding and managing arctic ecosystems. Afterward, audience members commented that it was good to see "positive things happening with the government." Campbell Creek Science Center, BLM Photo.
Nov. 22, 2012 - Anchorage - The Arctic Sounder newspaper featured an article about a BOEM-funded social science study that has been adapted for classroom use. The North Slope Borough School District added maps, illustrations, and photographs and updated introductory material to the 1989 report Point Lay Biographies. The result is a middle school text book that tells the stories of four Inupiaq elders who lived in what is now Point Lay. In the book, the borough gratefully acknowledged BOEM's permission to adapt the original report. BOEM Sociocultural Specialist Chris Campbell with the original report and the adapted textbook. BOEM Photo.
Nov. 13-15, 2012 - Anchorage - BOEM Alaska Region Director Dr. James Kendall was among the presenters at the 2012 U.S. - Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum. He spoke on the use of science in BOEM decision making and reaffirmed the significant value of Traditional Knowledge in research and decision making. The biennial forum provides an opportunity for U.S. and Canadian regulators, industry, scientists, Native groups and others to discuss current research and the future direction of oil and gas activities. The North Slope Science Initiative, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Canadian counterparts co-hosted the event.BLM Photo
Nov. 7-8, 2012 - Anchorage - BOEM Alaska Region team members attended the Institute of the North's Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act Seminar. Alaska Program Coordinator with the Institute Karlin Itchoak (second from right), served as one of the key instructors. Attendees included BOEM Alaska Region Director Dr. James Kendall (right); Department of the Interior Regional Environmental Protection Assistant Grace Cochon (second from left); and BOEM Tribal and Community Liaison Michael Haller (left). In 1980, Congress passed ANILCA setting aside 106 million acres of federal lands in conservation system units. The seminar serves to increase understanding of the Act and to strengthen partnerships between federal agencies and Alaskans. BOEM Photo
Oct. 25, 2012 - Washington, DC - Dr. Dee Williams, Supervisor of the BOEM Alaska Region Environmental Sciences Management Section, discussed the importance of including Traditional Knowledge in scientific studies during the 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution. BOEM Photo
Oct. 16, 2012 - Anchorage - Dr. James Kendall, BOEM Alaska Region Director and other team members, met with Yukon Territory Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines & Resources, Brian Love, and YT Director of Oil & Gas, Ron Sumanik. Among the topics they discussed were consultation with Tribal leaders, permitting processes, and the roles and responsibilities of BOEM and BSEE in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.
Oct. 15, 2012 - Anchorage - Leaders of the newly formed Bering Straits Alliance received a special briefing on the potential for oil and gas exploration in and adjacent to the Federal waters of Norton Sound. Jeffery Loman, Special Assistant for BOEM Alaska Region, detailed results of research and exploration in the area that found little to no potential that would warrant further offshore exploration or development.
September 2012 - Cross Island - BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau accepted an invitation from Nuiqsut whaling captains to observe a traditional bowhead whale hunt. Beaudreau (left) and Isaac Nukapigak, a whaling captain and president of the board of directors of the Kuukpik Corporation, examine a map of whaling areas near this small island in Beaufort Sea. In designing potential oil and gas lease sales in the Arctic, BOEM considers subsistence use as well as a range of other critical factors, including resource potential and relevant environmental information. DOI Photo
September 20, 2012 - Barrow - James Watson, (second from right) Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and BSEE Alaska Region Director Mark Fesmire, (left) met with Native Village of Barrow President Tommy Olemaun (center), and other North Slope leaders to provide an informal report on observations of Shell's preparations for limited exploration activities in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. BSEE photo
Aug. 2012 - BOEM Ocean Science published a special edition focused on integration of Traditional Knowledge in BOEM's biological resource studies. The effort was led by BOEM Alaska Region's Environmental Sciences Management Section, with section supervisor Dee Williams serving as guest editor. BOEM Photo
Aug. 17, 2012 - Kaktovik / Point Lay - The BOEM North Slope ShoreZone Project teamed up with the "Sense of Place" filmmaking project. The ShoreZone project collects aerial coastal imagery to map shoreline habitats. The project team, with funding from the Arctic Slope Community Foundation and North Slope Borough, provided support to a community-based film project by taking community members on some flights. Elders reviewed the film and were interviewed by young local filmmakers. The elders shared stories related to the land and their observations of change. The collaboration provided an opportunity to integrate Traditional Knowledge into the ShoreZone project. ShoreZone Photo
June 24-28, 2012 - Anchorage - Chris Campbell, BOEM Alaska Region Sociocultural Specialist, gave a presentation at the National Marine Educators Association annual conference describing BOEM's efforts to identify subsistence use areas on the North Slope. She addressed how Traditional Knowledge influences planning and policy for the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf offshore the State of Alaska. BOEM Photo
May 22-23, 2012 - Kotzebue - BOEM and BSEE participated in an oil spill workshop hosted by the Northwest Arctic Borough, the Coastal Response Research Center and NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration. There were more than 50 participants from communities in the borough as well as government and non-government representatives. The meeting included discussions about community involvement in oil spill response; natural resource damage assessment, restoration and recovery; integration of local community and Inupiaq traditional knowledge in disaster response; and enhancing relationships between communities and government agencies regarding planning and preparation for potential oil spill response.
March 19-20, 2012 - Barrow - James Watson, Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and Mark Fesmire, Director of the BSEE Alaska Region, consulted with Mayor Charlotte Brower and her leadership team at the North Slope Borough. BSEE Photo
March 19-20, 2012 - Barrow - James Watson, Director of BSEE, and his team consult with Executive Director Doreen Lampe and other leaders of the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. The meeting provided an opportunity to listen to the concerns of Alaska Native leaders and to affirm BSEE's mission to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve offshore resources. BSEE Photo
Feb. 6-10, 2012 - Anchorage - BOEM Alaska Region team members reach out to the community at the Alaska Forum on the Environment. The forum provided an opportunity to learn stakeholders' positions on a range of environmental issues. BOEM Photo
December 2011 - Second round of public hearings on the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared in conjunction with the 2012-2017 Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program.
June 2011 - Hearings on the Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement prepared for Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale #193.
June 2011 National Ocean Council Listening Sessions.
February-March 2011 - First round of hearings on Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for 2012-2017 Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
November 2010 - Hearings on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement prepared for Chukchi Sea Oil and Gas Lease Sale #193.