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Governor and University Officials Craft Land Bill


February 06, 2005

Fairbanks, Alaska - Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced Friday that he will introduce legislation that transfers 260,000 acres of state land to the University of Alaska system.

"This land transfer will help fulfill the promise of a true land grant university. It provides a portfolio of income and educational properties to deliver to the University of Alaska both a steady and strong funding stream and the tools to expand its research capabilities," Murkowski said.

The legislation creates a streamlined transfer of lands that have been selected by the University of Alaska over the course of the last year. It would supplant Senate Bill 7, passed in 2000, which created a complicated land transfer process estimated to last ten years and cost $17 million. Governor Murkowski's proposal is expected to take three years to complete and cost less than five percent of the previous estimate.

"This land transfer strengthens the University of Alaska's ability to prepare its students for the jobs of the future," Murkowski said.

Governor Murkowski announced the legislation during a press conference at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. In attendance were several University Regents along with DNR Commissioner Tom Irwin, UAF Chancellor Steve Jones and University President Mark Hamilton.

"We appreciate the commitment, cooperation and support from the Governor and the Department of Natural Resources for its help in developing this proposal," Hamilton said.

In conjunction with the state efforts, Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced legislation to grant 250,000 acres of federal land to the University of Alaska with provisions to match additional acreage with the state land grant on a one-to-one ratio. Overall, these efforts will help the University achieve the goal of being one of the premier land grant universities in the nation.

Source of News:

Office of the Governor
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Ketchikan, Alaska