A message from the Executive Director:
I’m frequently asked if I enjoy my job. While representing Alaska’s miners certainly has its challenges, I can say unequivocally that I absolutely love being your Executive Director. It is a distinct privilege to enjoy the united nature of a trade association, in which at any point we have over 1,500 people willing to band together to ensure the success of our industry.
Thumbing through this issue, you’ll see perfect examples of that. As our fight against the harmful fish habitat initiative intensifies, we’ve needed to be at multiple events across our State, and our members have jumped at the chance to help. This was most evident on the recent July 4 holiday, where the campaign participated in parades in Kenai, Juneau, North Pole, and Wasilla. Over 75 of our members were seen waving signs, passing out candy, and educating on the negative consequences this measure will have. I had the pleasure to spend July 4 in Juneau for the first time, and for those of you that have never done so: that is one incredible parade. Volunteers from Coeur’s Kensington Mine and Hecla’s Greens Creek Mine constructed huge floats with signage about the contributions of Alaska’s miners, and of course, information about how Ballot Measure 1 could hurt the incredible benefits that come from mining in Alaska.
Elsewhere in this issue you’ll see an overview of the most recent Alaska Minerals Commission report in which a body of mining experts, nominated by the Legislative and Executive branches, produces policy recommendations for a flourishing mining industry in our state. Since it was founded by pillars of our industry like Karl Hanneman and Earl Beistline, AMA members have served to steer mining policies in the right direction. AMA members perform similar duties on the BLM-Alaska Resource Advisory Council, numerous transition teams, various issue-focused working groups, and they help support Alaska Resource Education to educate young minds on the importance of minerals in our lives.
When the call comes in to help our industry and Alaska, miners always answer. It’s my very favorite part of us. There is something I hate about my job. That is saying goodbye to the powerhouses and legends that define the Alaska miner. Just recently we’ve mourned the passing of Helen “Beaver” Warner, Carola Young, and Jim Whitlock. It’s so hard to lose the institution that these individuals brought to AMA, however, we must ensure our present and future membership retains the knowledge and benefits from their contributions.
It is imperative we grow our family, particularly young and/or new to AMA individuals who have the energy, fresh ideas, and curiosity to learn from our longtime members. We’d love your help with that. If you have colleagues, friends, and otherwise mining-associated folks that aren’t currently involved in AMA, please encourage them to join AMA as either a business or an individual. See information in this issue on our current recruitment challenge, which encourages our existing members to bring in new members, with a sweet little perk of two Alaska Airlines tickets to reward you, perhaps on a frigid day in January!
If you’re already a member but your involvement consists of reading this publication each month, please don’t forget there are numerous opportunities to get involved in AMA’s efforts. AMA’s State and Federal Oversight Committees meet regularly to monitor and advocate on policy changes that impact miners from all regulatory agencies we work with. We have Committees to plan our Annual Convention in November and Spring Biennial Convention in Fairbanks on even-numbered years. There’s also numerous fairs, parades, and other volunteer opportunities to pitch in – you’ll get these notices via the weekly Executive Director report. New committee members and volunteers are always welcomed with open arms and much appreciated.
I hope that you’re meeting at our family table throughout the year at our branch meetings in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Haines, Juneau, and Nome. These are the best way to stay connected with your fellow members regularly, and of course, our Annual Convention, a reunion really, is right around the corner. Your continued involvement in AMA is our industry’s continued success. Thank you!
Deantha Crockett Executive Director