Alaska Governor Seeks to Streamline Development with Administrative Order 281
In response to the economic changes occurring in Alaska due to low oil prices, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signed Administrative Order 281 in early March to explore and streamline development opportunities in the state, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office. The order specifically cites the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC), the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA), and the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) as agencies that will look for ways to increase efficiencies.
“It’s important that members of these economic development agencies play an active role in finding opportunities to improve both effectiveness and efficiencies,” says Walker in the press release. “As the state scales back on spending, we must also diversify our economy. I look forward to seeing the recommendations put forth by AEA, AIDEA and AHFC on the most efficient way to do so.”
The three agencies employ 440 people and have $3.2 billion in net assets.
“The Department of Administration is leading an effort to look at efficiencies, effectiveness and enhanced economic development opportunities as it relates to the work of the three corporations mentioned in the administrative order,” says AIDEA External Affairs Officer Karsten Rodvik. “The process is in its very early stages, making it too early to identify any ways that cost savings might be achieved. We are working with the Department of Administration to identify potential opportunities that can further maximize economic development resources.”
The order also aims to identify development opportunities across a range of industries, including power generation and infrastructure, and engage with stakeholders in the tribal, public, private and nonprofit sectors.
Skanska-Hunt Removed From Washington State Convention Center Project
The Washington State Convention Center Addition project team has removed general contractor and construction manager Skanska-Hunt from the project after selecting the contractor last year, according to a press release put out by the convention center. The team will retain current subcontractors assigned to the project and does not anticipate significant delays in the delivery schedule.
The project team will re-issue a the construction request for qualifications for the Seattle convention center addition in the next few months. Pine Street Group L.L.C. is the development manager for the project, which will approximately double the size of the convention center.
“We’ve worked with the contractor for more than six months and have determined they are not the right fit for this project,” says Pine Street Group Managing Partner Matt Griffin in the release. “We will extend the schematic design process and then restart the contractor selection process to find the best fit and value for WSCC’s investment.”
Griffin declined to comment further on the situation when reached for comment.
Study Identifies Landslide Prone Regions in Oregon
The State of Oregon Department Geology and Mineral Industries created a Landslide Susceptibility Map for the state to identify regions that are prone to the natural disaster. The map can help cities, communities and counties identify areas that are at risk for landslides in the future.
The department created the map by culling information from existing data sets that include a Generalized Geologic Map, Landslide Inventory and a Slope Map. According to the study, “Because it is impossible to create detailed landslide hazard maps for the entire state due to lack of data and resources, w e created this landslide susceptibility overview map as a way to help prioritize areas in Oregon for future detailed efforts.”
The map identifies the northwestern corner of the state near Clatsop as a region very susceptible to landslides, with other isolated pockets ranked Very High checkered throughout the state. To view the entire map, visit
Tongass National Forest Halts Saddle Lake Timber Sale
Tongass National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart put a hold on the Saddle Lake, Alaska, timber sale in order to allow for the completion of a supplemental environmental review and a review of public comments. The decision comes in response to appeals filed by environmental groups, including Greenpeace, GSACC (Greater SE Alaska Conservation Community), Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity and The Boat Company, according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity.
The groups opposed a draft project decision that called for 47 million board feet of logging on Revilla Island in southeast Alaska.
The decision did not halt the creation of a 1.1-mile road to connect logging roads on the island. It also allows for the construction of a proposed pass to aid spawning salmon.