Capital Outdoor Week, held March 2-6 in Juneau, will focus on Alaska’s $3.2 billion outdoor recreation sector.
The five-day event features a calendar full of committee hearings and legislative office visits during the day and events open to the public at night.
“Alaska’s outdoor recreation industry is an unsung economic powerhouse,” said Lee Hart, founder of the Alaska Outdoor Alliance and organizer of the upcoming event, in a news release. “Federal government statistics show Alaska has the seventh largest outdoor recreation economy in the United States and outpaces all other states in rate of growth.
Hart and a delegation that includes representatives of business interests, outdoor-focused nonprofits and leaders from federal entities like the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service will focus their messages on opportunities to grow the economy through policies and projects that open doors for expansion of the sector.
“It’s time for our leaders to recognize that outdoor recreation deserves greater investment that can create jobs, stimulate rural economic development and provide the vital underpinnings for a thriving tourism industry,” Hart said.
Free and public events scheduled for the week include:
• AOA Juneau Rendezvous, Open House and State of the Industry, 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Downtown Library, 192 Marine Way.
• Climate Smart Planning for Changing Landscapes, 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Downtown Library, 192 Marine Way. This event will feature guest speakers Don Striker, acting regional director for the National Park Service; and James King, regional director for Recreation, Lands and Minerals for the U.S Forest Service.
• Lunch & Learn: Alaska’s Unsung Economic Powerhouse, noon- 1 p.m. Wednesday, Alaska State Capitol, 120 Fourth St., Room 106.
• Audubon Alaska presents “Regenerative Tourism & the Southeast Alaska Birding Trail — Discussion and Tour,” 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Four Points Sheraton, 51 Egan Drive. The event is BYOBinoculars, but some loaners will be available.
• Wildlife Wednesday, 7-8 p.m., University of Alaska Southeast, 11066 Auke Lake Way. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Tory Rhoades will talk about using scent detection dogs to locate brown bat overwintering habitat.
• U.S. Forest Service Fireside Lecture Series, “The Salmon Way: An Alaska State of Mind,” 6:30 p.m. Friday, Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, 6000 Glacier Spur Road. The speaker will be author and photographer Amy Gulick.
Learn more about events during the week online at https://alaskaoutdooralliance.org/calendar.