Alaska lawmakers reduce goals for polar bear conference

Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010

ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Legislature's proposal for a conference and a public relations campaign on the listing of polar bears as a threatened species has been dialed back.

The modified request for proposals still call for a conference featuring experts on the listing, but the new goal is to assess what the Endangered Species Act will cost Alaska.

The successful bidder would also be called on to recommend whether a public relations campaign using results of the conference would be useful.

Lawmakers authorized spending up to $1.5 million on the contract. Proposals are under review by the Legislative Council, chaired by Valdez Republican Rep. John Harris.

Some lawmakers say Endangered Species Act listings could affect Alaska economic development, especially offshore drilling.

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