I grew up in Utah but moved to Alaska 13 years ago. Since arriving here I’ve learned many things including: (1) Alaskans want development of natural resources while insisting it be done in a responsible manner; (2) some of the gold mined in Alaska is refined in Utah prior to being sold in world markets; (3) Alaska depends on resource development for over 80 percent of the state budget and over 60,000 full-time jobs (this doesn’t count the seasonal and part-time jobs).

Alaska is a wonderful place. The scenery is spectacular; the people will help anyone in need. As President Obama is visiting Alaska, he will likely further restrict access in Alaska and the ability of Alaskans to grow our economy, develop our resources and take care of each other. Please encourage Utah’s senators and representatives in Washington to oppose the administration’s efforts to hurt Alaska.

Alaskans should be allowed to develop our resources; we will do it responsibly and in a manner that benefits not only us, but Utahns, the nation and the world.

Michael Jesperson

Anchorage, Alaska