DNR Revised Mission Statement

February 22, 2012

Governor Sean Parnell

Alaska State Capital Building

P.O. Box 110001

Juneau, AK 99811-0001


Commissioner Daniel S. Sullivan

Dept. of Natural Resources

550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1400

Anchorage, AK 99501


Dear Governor Parnell and Commissioner Sullivan:


The purpose of this letter is to express the objections of the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition (AQRC) to the changes made by Commissioner Sullivan in the wording of the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) mission statement.


The previous mission statement sets forth the concept of two different balances among competing interests: first, how to use Alaska’s natural resources and, secondly, who is  to be the beneficiary. The “use” concept incorporates three distinct policy objectives: to develop, to conserve and to enhance while the “benefits” concept includes two distinct beneficiaries: existing and future Alaskans.


In contrast, the new wording eliminates all concept of balance among “uses” or between “beneficiaries”. It sets forth a single concept of “use”- “to develop…for maximum use and benefit”. While the phrase “consistent with the public interest” could be interpreted to allow natural resources to be reserved for the use of future Alaskans, that is a matter of interpretation; not a clear mandate.


AQRC believes the change in the wording of the mission statement represents a major policy switch which may well lie beyond the authority of the Executive Branch.


AQRC is a state-wide, non-profit organization with approximately 500 members/supporters which seeks to maintain quiet places for Alaskans and its wildlife on public lands. We object to the changes in DNR’s mission statement for we believe they significantly impact both the very resource values of our public lands which AQRC seeks to maintain and protect and the beneficiaries of those resources.  AQRC’s vision statement is: “Alaska is a place where people appreciate and protect natural quiet and natural sounds”. Our mission statement reads: “The mission of AQRC is to maintain and restore natural sounds and natural quiet in Alaska through advocacy and education for the benefit of people and wildlife.” We believe the new wording with its singular focus on “develop now” is not compatible with the breadth of the resource values embodied in the state’s public lands.


AQRC requests that you rescind the changes to the wording of DNR’s mission statement.


Sincerely yours,



Susan Olsen, President

Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition


P.O. Box 202592

Anchorage, AK 99520