SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Lands Bill: Push is still on
By Gretchen Goldstein


May 24, 2012


If you do not receive a Corporation newsletter, you may think that Sealaska’s land-grab Bill, S 881/HR 1408, has died a merciful death.  Attacked by local, State and Federal land managers, Alaska Natives, private hunting, caving and environmental groups, and Southeast residents facing the loss of their living in the name of job creation, one might hope that our elected official would abandon the outdated proposal.

Not so. The push is still on.

About three quarters of a billion dollars was awarded to Sealaska Corporation in reparation for lands lost, before the Native Claims Settlement Act was even passed.  Many considered this monetary settlement to be in lieu of a land settlement.  Maybe this is why Sealaska received less land than Native Corporations which did not get a multi-million dollar reparation settlement.  And maybe this is why Sealaska Corporation and the Bill’s supporters should not try to grab the best of what is left of old-growth timber in Southeast, claiming an unfulfilled promise on the part of the Federal Government.

We, the people, have done everything possible to get the Corporation to finalize its land selections.  We are long past Congress’s 2008 final, final selection deadline.  But Sealaska got BLM to put actual finalization on hold, and there it hangs.  Action from BLM is years overdue.

Stop our elected officials from taking valuable public land and resources from all of us in order to give more than they are owed to a private, for-profit corporation.   E-mail as many Congresspeople as possible to vote against S 881/HR 1408.


Gretchen Goldstein
Port Protection, AK


Received May 23, 2012 - Published May 24, 2012



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