PRESIDENT SIGNS OMNIBUS PUBLIC
LANDS MANAGEMENT ACT
March 30, 2009
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today attended the White
House ceremony of President Obama's signing of the Omnibus Public
Lands Management Act of 2009 (H.R. 146).
"This legislation preserves important public lands for future
generations without unnecessarily blocking our ability to tap
our natural resources," Murkowski said. "It's a good
example of how we in Congress can find success through hard work
The package, which Murkowski championed and helped guide through
the Senate, designates more than 2 million acres of wilderness
in nine states and more than 1,000 miles of national wild and
scenic rivers. The bipartisan bill, which was supported by a
broad coalition of sportsmen and outdoor groups, contains more
than 160 public lands bills, including several provisions of
significance to Alaska.
"This package is hugely beneficial to individual communities,
especially in western states where the federal government owns
so much of the land," Murkowski said.
Murkowski helped add language to the package protecting access
to hunting, fishing, trapping and recreational shooting on public
lands. The language also reaffirms the right of states to manage
fish and wildlife populations, as well as hunting, trapping and
fishing activities on public lands.
Among the Alaska provisions in the package:
- A provision allowing for the
establishment of a Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage
Area to promote local tourism. The provision would authorize
the Secretary of the Interior to provide $1 million a year, for
a maximum of $10 million over 15 years, to promote tourism of
the Kenai Fjords National Park and Turnagain Arm.
- A provision authorizing the
Secretary of the Interior to determine whether a land exchange
between the state of Alaska and the King Cove Native Corp. and
the U.S. Department of the Interior is in the public interest.
The exchange - the state would receive about 1,800 acres
for giving title of nearly 62,000 acres to the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service has been sought by residents of King Cove
for more than 20 years to provide emergency access to the all-weather
airport in Cold Bay.
- An amendment to the Alaska
Natural Gas Pipeline Act authorizing the federal coordinator
to establish fees that could be spent without further appropriation
from Congress for activities authorized under current law.
- Land conveyance to City of
Coffman Cove. Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to convey
to the city of Coffman Cove a 12-acre parcel of U.S. Forest Service-owned
land within the city.
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