WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Alaska is rich in natural resources that can be exploited using "thoughtful and wise management," U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said.
Jewell, who worked in the oil industry in the late 1970s and early 80s, announced plans to visit Alaska this week, her first visit since taking office early this year.
Jewell said she plans to travel Friday with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to a wildlife refuge area and then head to the North Slope and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska with Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, the following day.
Murkowski has pressed for more oil drilling in her state. Begich has stood behind plans for more natural gas developments.
Jewell said she was looking forward to meeting with state and local leaders to discuss state resources.
"These conversations are critical as we continue to chart a course for thoughtful and wise management of these natural and energy resources -- using the best available science and integrating cultural, environmental and economic factors in decision-making about development and conservation," she said in a statement Tuesday.