Joining ASRC in the petition are the State of Alaska, the North Slope Borough, the Northwest Arctic Borough, the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope and NANA Regional Corporation.
“This is yet another example of federal overreach threatening the quality of life and economic viability of Alaska Native communities,” said Rex A. Rock Sr., ASRC president and CEO. “The Ninth Circuit’s decision will have detrimental effects on growth and sustainability in our region, at a time when the state’s economy is already on unstable ground.”
Rock continued, “By accepting uncertain 100-year climate projections as the basis for a threatened listing, the appellate court has undermined the statutory requirement that threats to a species be foreseeable. The Ninth Circuit’s permissive standard for the listing of species not only creates unnecessary regulatory burdens on the North Slope, but sets the stage for additional species to be considered for ESA listing throughout the entire state.”
“If the ESA listing for bearded seals were to stand, it would require us to recover a population that has not yet declined,” said Bruce Dale, Director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “That is simply not possible and a poor use of resources.”
“We are deeply concerned by this decision, just as we were five years ago,” said North Slope Borough Mayor Harry K. Brower, Jr. “We want to work together with industry and government agencies to protect the subsistence rights of our people, protect the environment, and develop all the resources of the North Slope in a responsible manner. We support this court petition, but we are always ready to meet and discuss a way forward.”
In 2013, Alaska Native entities, the State of Alaska, and the oil and gas industry filed lawsuits challenging the NMFS listing decision. The Alaska District Court vacated the bearded seal listing in the summer of 2014, concluding that “forecasting more than 50 years into the future is simply too speculative and remote.” NMFS appealed the ruling.
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation is owned by and represents the business interests of the Arctic Slope Iñupiat. Since opening enrollment in 1990 to Alaska Natives born after 1971, the corporation’s shareholder base has nearly tripled, growing from the 3,700 original enrollees to around 13,000 today. Corporate headquarters are based in Barrow, Alaska, with administrative and subsidiary offices located in Anchorage and throughout the United States. ASRC, along with its family of companies, is the largest Alaskan-owned company, employing approximately 11,000 people worldwide. The company has six major business segments: petroleum refining and marketing, energy support services, construction, industrial services, government services and resource development.
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SOURCE Arctic Slope Regional Corporation