Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society
President Barack Obama is expected to visit Anchorage, Alaska on Monday, where according to the White House he will address the State Department's GLACIER conference focused on a conversation around the Arctic and climate change. His visit to communities nearby will allow him to see first-hand the impacts that Native villagers and Alaskan communities are facing on a daily basis.
"America’s Arctic is one of the planet’s greatest natural treasures, rich in wildlife and the culture of Native communities that depend upon wildlife for their survival. While it seems remote, it is a bellwether for how we approach energy development in the face of climate change for the rest of the country.
“Obama’s visit comes at a historic time for management of our public lands, especially the Arctic. We have a generational opportunity to reshape the trajectory for whether, where and what kinds of energy we develop and use with common-sense reforms that modernize antiquated policies to ensure we don’t have to make a false choice between the energy we need and the places that we love. We have to act immediately to take advantage of the opportunity to chart our future.”