WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Interior announced there was a need to take a careful look at the arctic landscape in Alaska for the sake of better management.
"The arctic's unique ecosystem calls for a landscape-scale approach to management that cuts across agencies, jurisdictions, and boundaries," Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes said in a statement.
"We need to work toward a long-term management framework for the arctic that recognizes both the resource potential of the region and the irreplaceable natural resources it contains."
The Interior Department hosted a delegation from the federal government's science community to chart an ecosystem-based management framework for the Alaskan arctic.
Hayes said the meeting focused on ways to balance the need for greater domestic energy resources and responsible environmental management.
Last month, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he saw "great promise" in the resource base in Alaska. In the arctic frontier, he said, "a cautious approach" would support the goal of increasing domestic oil and natural gas production.
The American Petroleum Institute estimates as much as 700,000 barrels of oil per day could be produced from Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi seas for 40 years.
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