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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

S.340 Transfers Public Wildlife Habitat to Private Ownership

By Bruce Baker


May 13, 2013
Monday PM

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s S.340 would transfer some of the highest quality old-growth wildlife habitat on the Tongass National Forest to Sealaska Corporation for clear-cut logging.  The bill is not necessary to fulfill Sealaska’s land selection entitlement under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).  It is a poor conservation tradeoff, and it is certainly NOT in the public interest.

I’m a retired Deputy Director of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s Habitat Division and have been involved in Southeast Alaska forest management issues for 40 years.  I’ve seen first-hand that Sealaska’s wildlife habitat protection is woefully inadequate, to put it kindly.  The provisions in S.340 come nowhere close to requiring the level of fish and wildlife habitat protection that is required by federal laws and regulations which apply to national forest land.  S.340 should not be passed by Congress.

Bruce Baker
Juneau, Alaska


Received May 09, 2013 - Published May 13, 2013



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