Coming to UAA in May: 2017 National Conference of Citizen Review Panels

The 2017 national conference of Citizen Review Panels (CRPs) will be held on the UAA campus May 10-12, hosted by the Alaska Citizen Review Panel and sponsored by a number of organizations inside and outside UAA. Diwakar Vadapalli, assistant professor of public policy at ISER, chairs the Alaska panel, and ISER is sponsoring the keynote speaker, Debra Schilling Wolfe, a nationally recognized expert on child welfare and executive director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Federal law requires all states to establish CPRs, to help protect children from abuse and neglect. The panels give the public opportunities to comment on policies of the agencies responsible for protecting children, and they also review child-protection policies and make recommendations for change.

To learn more about the conference and how to register, download the flier (PDF, 377KB).

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Effect of Alaska Fiscal Options on Children and Families

How might steps Alaska's state government takes to balance its budget affect Alaska families? Different ways of closing the state's $3 billion budget gap—the result of lower oil prices and dwindling oil revenues—will have different effects on households with and without children, according to a new report by Matthew Berman and Random Reamey of ISER. They looked specifically at how state income, sales, or property taxes and a cut in Permanent Fund dividends would affect incomes of households with and without children.

They found that a cut in PFDs would be by far the costliest measure for households with children—compared either with what they would pay under any of the tax measures, or with what PFD cuts would cost households without children. Households with children would pay about 2.5 times more of their per-person incomes than those without children, for every $100 million of revenue raised.

Download the summary (PDF, 696KB) or the report (PDF, 702KB), Effects of Alaska Fiscal Options on Children and Families. If you have questions, call Matthew Berman, professor of economics, at 907-786-5426

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Understanding Water Rights in Alaska

No one has automatic rights to use water in Alaska: the state constitution defines water as a public resource, and the state government decides who can use water, how much, and for what. That's true on both public and private land, and for all landowners—government agencies, businesses, and individual Alaskans.

Anyone who wants to use a significant amount of water has to apply to the state for water rights. A new paper by Marie Lowe and Linda Leask of ISER explains the basics of water rights in Alaska: what they are, when you need them, how to apply for them, and how many have been issued so far.

Download the paper, Understanding Water Rights in Alaska (PDF, 637KB). A supplemental file (PDF, 3.9MB) of some cited references is also available. If you have questions, get in touch with Marie Lowe, associate professor of public policy, at mlowe@alaska.edu or 907-786-6534.

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Lunchtime Talk: A Framework for Valuing Commercial and Recreational Fisheries

Commercial and recreational fisheries are very different: the commercial fishery is a resource extraction, processing, and retailing industry; the recreational fishery is a form of outdoor recreation, influenced not only by the availability of fish but by the environmental setting and other factors aside from fish. How can we make a fair comparison of their economic value?

Gordon Gislason, a fisheries economist from Vancouver, British Columbia, talks about a framework he has developed for analyzing and comparing the economic value of the two kinds of fisheries. As a case study, he estimated the commercial and recreational values of Chinook salmon in Pacific Canada. Please join us to hear what he found.

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