The Need to Stop S. B. 881
By Eric Muench
March 12, 2010
The people of Southeast Alaska need to know what is in Senate
Bill 881, sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski and Nick Begich,
and the subject of a meeting Saturday, March 13 at the Borough
Assembly Chambers. So far much of it appears to be unknown to
It is not what you have been told by the senators or by Sealaska
Corporation. Among other hidden provisions (besides the conveyance
of tens of thousands of acres of Economic Development lands)
are the conveyance of Sacred, Cultural, Traditional and Historic
sites and Traditional and Customary Trade and Migration Routes
and also Archeological Sites, Cultural Landscapes , and Natural
Features with Cultural Significance . These can be chosen up
to 2400 acres worth and approximately 186 of them are shown scattered
all over Southeast Alaska on Map Attachments B and C. Another
1200 acres worth of them can be chosen in the future but have
not yet been identified in the S.B.881 maps. By the way, none
of those terms are defined in the Bill. Imagine, if you will,
what a natural feature of cultural significance might be taken
to mean. Also there is to be conveyance of an additional 5000
acres of Native Futures sites for Traditional and Recreation
purposes. Fifty of these are shown on the Map Attachment D and
they can be used for commercial tourist purposes.
All of these sites are to be removed from public lands and become
the property of the private for-profit Sealaska Corporation.
If this bill passes in its current form the heads of bays and
inlets all over Southeast and almost every attractive cove and
anchorage and trailhead and will be off limits to the general
public. Section 4 (d) (1) (D) (ii) allows Sealaska to regulate
access by posting the land. Even though they total just about
8,600 acres, these are choke points that would practically prevent
public access to millions of acres of Tongass National Forest.
This bill is being considered
by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. But our
senators have chosen not face their constituents by holding Committee
field hearings in Alaska. Instead they are sending staff for
Saturday s town hall style meeting where our comments can be
recorded and boxed up and stacked in some congressional store
room where the senators who will vote on the bill may or may
not choose to see them.
Anyone with an interest in Alaska land use should show up at
the meeting and object not only to the bill but also to the lack
of proper public process in its consideration and demand that
Committee field hearings be held in Southeast Alaska.
About:: "Southeast resident
since 1962 who wants to keep valuable public use sites in public
Received March 12, 2009 - Published
March 12, 2010
Murkowski Announces Sealaska lands
bill Meeting in Ketchikan
- Saturday, March 13: 12 p.m. 3 p.m. at the Ketchikan Borough
Assembly Chambers - 1900 First Ave. - in the former White Cliff
School building. - More...
Saturday - March 06, 2010
Sen. Murkowski Announces Sealaska Lands
Bill Meetings - U.S.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced Friday a series of town
meetings on the Sealaska lands bill to be held on Prince of Wales
Island and in Southeast Alaska the week of March 8. - More...
Saturday AM - February 27, 2010
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