Gov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark signed a Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday morning committing to cooperation on transboundary issues, particularly related to concerns in Southeast over mines on the Canadian side of the border.
The MOU will create a Bilateral Working Group on the Protection of Transboundary Waters that will facilitate the exchange of best practices, marine safety, workforce development, transportation links and joint visitor industry promotion. It will also explore other areas for cooperation such as natural resource development, fisheries, trade and investment and climate change adaptation.
The neighboring U.S. state and Canadian province will work together on water quality monitoring, scientific information exchanges, resource sharing and facilitating access to information and soliciting input from First Nations, Alaska Native Tribes, and other stakeholders.
Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott will lead the Alaska side of the working group and the Minister of Environment and Minister of Energy and Mines will lead the BC side.
“As our next door neighbor, Canada plays a significant role in many Alaska industries, including trade, transportation, and tourism,” Walker said. “This MOU underscores that connection, and I thank British Columbia Premier Clark for her support and cooperation in advancing this important relationship