July 9, 2012
ALCOM Public Affairs
9480 Pease Avenue, Suite 120
JBER, AK 99506-2101
Via email to email@example.com
Re: Comments on Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) Modernization and Enhancement – Draft Environmental Impact Statement
To Whom It May Concern:
The Resource Development Council (RDC) is writing in response to the request for comments and information for the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC) Modernization and Enhancement Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.
RDC submitted a letter March 3, 2011 explaining it recognized the importance of military training but is concerned that sufficient economic impact studies were not conducted prior to the release of the JPARC Modernization and Enhancement EIS. RDC urged the military to work with the Alaska Miners Association and other stakeholders (such as tourism) to develop an EIS that achieves maximum benefit for resource industries, public access, and military training needs. Overall, it does not appear these concerns were addressed.
Additionally, RDC requests mitigation measures be developed with stakeholders, to include:
- Prevention of mid-air collisions by developing a minimum altitude for military training aircraft;
- Improvement of radar and communications systems so that civilian stakeholders and military personnel operating in training areas are better informed;
- Reduce the Unmanned Vehicle Aircraft corridors to the minimum airspace needed, and mitigate use of these areas to reduce or eliminate the impact to resource development activities in the area;
- Consider making the most use of federal areas not designated for mineral resources, instead of lands with mining or other activities.
The potential economic impacts of the proposals in the EIS will likely be overly burdensome for not only large projects, but also for the “mom and pops” projects in the areas. RDC supports multiple-use of Alaska’s land, air, and resources, and advocates for increased access for resource and community development.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important issue.
Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.