* A subcommittee of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has scheduled a hearing this week titled “Preparing for Maritime Transportation in a Changing Arctic.” The Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, chaired by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), will examine emerging transportation issues including increases in vessel traffic and the resulting need for updates in waterway management, infrastructure investment, and domain awareness. Right now, witnesses include Mr. Willie Goodwin, Chairman, Arctic Waterways Safety Committee, Ms. Kathy Metcalf, President and CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America and Captain Ed Page, Executive Director, Marine Exchange of Alaska. The witness list could change.
* The Conservation Fund has an important meeting coming up next week in West Virginia dealing with “gateway communities,” which the Fund defines (for its work) as communities that border publicly owned lands such as national and state parks and forests, communities that often struggle to “balance the need for economic growth with the desire to protect their natural ecosystems, landscapes, and cultural heritage.” The meeting is something of a first for the Fund, the complete title is the”Inaugural National Summit for Gateway Communities.” It has an interesting set of sponsors, including the Federal Highway Administration, the RV Industry Association and the US Forest Service. The draft Agenda is strong and focused on how to get real work done. You can click here to see about attending but you might be too late – registration is limited to 200 people!
* Agreed: deadlines are a pain. Massachusetts was supposed to release its report from the “Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth” by December 1, which, of course, was Saturday. The report will present the Commission’s analysis and advice to help the Governor assess likely impacts on transportation between 2020 and 2040 caused by changes in technology, climate, land use, and the economy. The Commission was established January 23; which is when somebody set that deadline (probably thought it would never get here…).