Sealaska Land Bill
By Chasina Worman
April 14, 2010
As an Alaskan resident and commercial fisherman, I am writing
to voice my opposition to the Sealaska Bill (S.881) . This legislation
will be detrimental to Southeast Alaska. Sealaska has selected
prime parcels, that are currently public lands, that they would
like. Some names around Ketchikan that my family and I frequent
and enjoy are: Dog bay, Naha, Clover Creek, Shrimp Bay, Burns
Narrow, Bostwick, Gravel Point (Duke Isand), Chasina Pt., just
to name a few. Plus an additional 46 acres in Misty Fjords. This
land will become private and will be owned by a native corporation.
This legislation gives land that the public uses and enjoys to
a timber centric corporation.
The bill selects lands that are used and enjoyed by local residents
for their ecological, subsistence and recreational values outside
of the original ANSCA selection box. Right now this land maybe
enjoyed by everyone. By giving this land to a private company
you are excluding the rights of all who visit and use this land.
Sealaska has chosen sites with roads built and maintained by
our tax dollars, that are outside of the ANCSA settlement act.
ANCSA allows Sealaska to select from boundaries of land that
are around traditional native villages. I do not agree with the
reasoning that these lands are not reasonable. Sealaska has chosen
the cream of the crop in their land selection. Is this bill about
fulfilling ANSCA or making Sealaska incredibly wealthy? Once
this land is given away it will be gone for all.
I am also concerned about the sacred sites in Misty Fjords.
This land is currently protected. Once this land is given way,
what is to protect it from becoming tribal lands, or sold?
I urge those considering this bill to consider what is best for
all and not just the few. Giving this land to a for-profit corporation
will cause a rift in Southeast Alaska, setting neighbors against
each other. You are not giving the land to the native people,
it is being given to a business. The shareholders in Sealaska
have little say in what the corporation decides. This bill is
not restoring anyone heritage. Please do not make this mistake,
it will impact the fishing, subsistence, and environment of our
great state and ruin many lives. The north end of Prince of
Wales will become a waist land.
I urge you to kill this bill, it is an injustice to all Alaska
residents and visitors. Please vote no.
About: "Alaskan Fisherman,
Ketchikan, Alaska Resident"
Received April 11, 2010 - Published
April 14, 2010
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