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APRN: Hearings start on Alaska Native corporation land bill

"he Sealaska Native Corporation was in Washington Wednesday making its case to select lands in the Tongass National Forest. It’s a fight that’s been going on for years, and one that’s caused intense controversy in southeast Alaska.

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski acknowledged how divisive the issue has been.

Murkowski supports Sealaska’s land selections, and has authored a bill that has backing on the other side of the political aisle from Democratic Senator Mark Begich. Murkowski introduced a revised Sealaska lands bill last month after hearing an outcry from some Southeast Alaskans upset that Sealaska would take lands currently used for hunting, fishing, and tourism, and deemed ecologically sensitive.

The current bill would let the corporation choose from among 79,000 acres on Prince of Wales and Koscuisko Islands, mostly for timber use, and additional lands would be set aside for tourism and as sacred or cultural sites."

Get the Story:
Sealaska Raises Land Selection Issue in Washington DC (Alaska Public Radio Network 5/25)

Also Today:
Timber industry dies without land deal, Sealaska tells panel (The Anchorage Daily News 5/26)
Assembly 'has concerns' about Sealaska legislation (KCAW 5/25)

House Committee Notice:
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1408 (May 26, 2011)

Senate Committee Notice:
PUBLIC LANDS AND FORESTS HEARING ANNOUNCEMENT: to receive testimony on the following bills: S. 233, S. 268 S. 375, S. 714, and S. 730 (May 25, 2011)

Related Stories:
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Subcommittee schedules hearing on Alaska Native land bill (5/19)
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Opinion: Alaska Native corporation trying to redo land settlement (8/6)
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Alaska Native corporation land bill generates controversy (4/13)
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Editorial: Alaska Native lawmaker jumped over the line (1/26)
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