Alaska is home to some of the world's most unforgiving and harsh environments.
This last week there was an individual who was lost or missing somewhere in Alaska. A similar incident occurred the week before and unfortunately, next week there is high probability someone will go missing or become lost again. It's one of the costs of living in this incredible land.
Whether these lost or missing individuals are hunters, trappers, fishermen, recreation-seekers or travelers, there are volunteers in every region of Alaska who step up and help our Alaska State Troopers and local authorities search miles and miles of waterways, wilderness areas, avalanches and urban areas. Although safety practices and precautions are followed rigorously, these volunteers are put at additional risk of injury and harm by the nature of the activity, search and rescue.
With the support of many in Alaska's House of Representatives, House Bill 320 was approved and is now being considered by our Alaska State Senate. HB 320 will by law help protect one of our state's most valuable resources, search and rescue volunteers and their families. Every community in Alaska has someone who has either been lost or missing in Alaska and/or has a person who has volunteered to help search for someone lost or missing, usually both.
On behalf of search and rescue volunteers around the state, I extend a note of appreciation for the efforts of our state legislators in helping provide an additional safety net for these dedicated volunteers and their families.
President, Alaska Search and Rescue Association