By Rep. Dan Ortiz
May 11, 2017
The land exchange is a win-win-win: protection of our viewsheds, enhancement of the timber industry, and helping to fund Alaska’s mental health programs.
The bill will protect lands vital to recreation and tourism, such as Ketchikan’s Deer Mountain. At the same time, the swap will make available other lands of comparable value to the timber industry, which will allow for time-sensitive, new-growth logging. Sustaining the timber industry is particularly beneficial to Southeast Alaska’s economy.
Lastly, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority will also gain resources and revenue from these lands to fund programs that serve some of the most vulnerable people in Alaska. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority provides funding to programs and services across the state that benefit people with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injuries, and substance abuse disorders.
I’m excited to see the positive effects of this bill right in our backyard, from protecting Deer Mountain to enhancing the timber industry to supporting mental health programs.
Rep. Dan Ortiz
Received May 10, 2017 - Published May 11, 2017
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