By Johnnie Laird
March 08, 2010
I want to make a few statements about this legislation.
If this passes into Law ... 11 sites within the Misty Fjords Wilderness Area will transfer from the public domain to private ownership of a for profit 'true corporation' .... 3 sites along the Behm Canal and 1 site near the mouth of Thorn Arm will transfer from the public domain to private ownership of a for profit 'true corporation' ... those are just a few of over 250 sites from Yakutat to the south tip of Prince of Wales Island that will be handed over to Sealaska. Many of those sites are at the mouth of Sockeye run creeks and rivers, including the Karta River on Prince of Wales Island. Will these sites become Sealaska's normal 'no trespass' policy?
Sealaska's selections outside the withdrawal areas identified in ANCSA include many of the best remaining hunting, fishing, subsistence and tourism related use areas on the Tongass. There are approximately 65,000 acres within Enterprise Sites that will be intensively logged and round log exported, 5,000 acres at 47 Futures Sites developed for conducting tourism operations and 2,400 acres for 206 Cultural and Traditional Sites.
The defining language for the Future (behm & thorne arm sites) and Cultural (misty fjords sites) Sites contains no limits on the scope or scale of infrastructure or site visitations allowed.
As currently written, this bill would have tremendous impact on tourism operations in Southeast Alaska. Although there is public support for the completion of the Sealaska lands selection process, there has been much opposition to the bill as written, as well as to the lack of formal opportunity for public input.
A majority of towns in SE Alaska have officially come out opposed to this legislation.
I cannot express how important it is for you to come to the Ketchikan or POW Island meetings and voice you opinion on this legislation.
Received March 03, 2009 - Published March 08, 2010
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