Bethel Democrat to Lead PNWER Arctic Caucus

Representative Bob Herron, a Democrat from Bethel was elected the chairman of the Arctic Caucus during the 25th summer summit of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, or PNWER.

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The organization gathered in Big Sky, Montana this week. PNWER is a partnership comprised of industry and five U.S. states, three Canadian provinces and the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. As chairman, Herron will help educate policy makers in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa on arctic issues.

David Ramsay is the Minister of Justice and Industry for the Northwest Territories and the current President of PNWER. He says the Arctic Caucus is an important body for raising the economic profile of the north.

“Market access, infrastructure, energy cost, especially in rural and remote communities. The Northwest Territories is no different and faces similar challenges as Alaska so we’re going to continue to work on ways to try to find investment into the Arctic and that includes Alaska, the NWT and the Yukon.”

Ramsay says their November meeting in Yellow Knife will focus on the needs of the arctic as development ramps up. The PNWER meetings wrapped up Thursday.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori