Send a Comment on Murkowski's ANCSA Senate Bill 1481 - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Send a Comment on Murkowski's ANCSA Senate Bill 1481

POW Report sources have said that public comments for this bill are DUE FEBRUARY 21!  (Although, i'm sure if this bill goes forward comments will still be added)

And you may send your comment either in opposition or support to:

If you aren't aware, the "skinny" (if you will) is that this bill if passed will give 100,000 acres of  Public State Land to a handful of NEW Native Corporations.

[The Bill is Here]

Pertinent Information for Southeast and Prince of Wales

Section 7, allows Cook Inlet Region, Inc., the Alaska Native regional corporation based in southcentral Alaska, to select 43,000 acres of federal lands in Alaska outside the boundaries of the Cook Inlet Region. These lands may come from within a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System in the State (other than the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and could include Legislated Land Use Designation (LUD) II roadless wildlands on the Tongass National Forest.

Section 10 establishes new “urban” Native Corporations in Southeast Alaska for Alaska Native residents from the communities of Haines, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Tenakee, and Wrangell. Once “recognized,” these for-profit corporations can select 23,040 acres of high value, “local,” public lands from the Tongass. As drafted, Section 10:

Directs the Secretary of Interior to offer “local areas of historical, cultural, traditional, and economic importance to Alaska Natives” from the five communities and “give preference to land with commercial purposes;” 
Mandates economic development of lands no matter their importance for customary and traditional or historical uses; 
Expressly fails to safeguard Tongass lands previously protected by Congress in perpetuity as Legislated LUD IIs (“roadless wildlands”) in the 1990 Tongass Timber Reform Act and the 2014 Sealaska Land Entitlement Finalization Act. 
Section 11, Opens the Season for Certain Alaska Native Veterans to Select 160-acre Allotments, changes the bipartisan solution reached on this issue in 1998 and 2000. The section makes all lands on the Tongass National Forest, other than National Monuments, available for allotments, including lands previously designated as Wilderness and Legislated LUD II lands. In 1998 and 2000, SEACC supported equitable treatment for Alaska Native Veterans who missed the opportunity to obtain an allotment due to their service in the Vietnam War.

Section 11, however, essentially establishes a new land entitlement on the Tongass instead of straightforwardly correcting for a missed opportunity.

Section 11 also authorizes compensatory acreage for Native Corporations that voluntarily relinquish lands in order to make such lands available for Veteran allotments. Such compensation is not currently provided for under existing law. ANCSA provided that all lands approved for allotments within four years of its enactment were to be deducted from the pool of lands available for selection by the regional corporations. To the extent this legislation reopens Native allotment applications pending on the date of ANCSA’s enactment in 1971, it makes no sense to treat regional corporate lands differently now.

More information may be [found here]

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