Russian officials and NPS Alaska Regional Director meet.
National Park Service Alaska Regional Director Sue Masica met with Amirkhan M. Amirkhanov, Deputy Director of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, on June 8. Amirkhanov, Masica, and Shared Beringian Heritage Program staff discussed opportunities for cooperation and coordination and the possible designation of a transboundary protected area in the Bering Strait region. The Russian Federation is moving toward designation of a federal park in the Russian Far East that would serve as the Russian component of an international protected area if one were to be established. They expect to have the federal park designated in early 2011. While no decisions were made, the meeting led to a greater understanding between the two leaders on issues of mutual concern.
Amirkhanov was in Alaska at the invitation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to attend scientific meetings in Anchorage on the status of populations and harvest of polar bears. Following the meetings, he continued on to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Bilateral Commission Environmental Working Group to discuss a variety of issues.