Dunleavy Administration Announces Successful Completion of Land Exchange
Posted & Edited by MARY KAUFFMAN
October 11, 2021
“In the face of ever-increasing restrictions from the Biden Administration on the Southeast timber harvest, I am proud to announce this success,” said Governor Dunleavy. “This sale will not only increase supply for the timber harvest, but it will also directly enhance Alaska’s mental health system by supporting our local mental health treatments.”
The land exchange process began in 2011 which was conducted in two phases. The first phase was completed in 2019, which protects old-growth stands, viewshed and trail lands near Ketchikan for timberlands. Federal legislation authorized the land exchange, which was enacted into law in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017. Following more than 15 years of planning, the second and final phase was completed through the Dunleavy administration in conjunction with the congressional delegation and the Trust Land Office.
Through timber sales in Alaska on the acquired timberlands, AMHT raises revenue for the mental health services in the state. The Dunleavy administration is supporting mental health resources for those who need them the most. This land exchange is providing a return to the Trust that will support programs and initiatives for years to come.
This equal value land exchange transferred 18,494 acres of Federal land to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (Trust) in Naukati, Hollis, and Shelter Cove (north of Ketchikan). In exchange, the Trust transferred 17,980 acres of land to the United States in Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, Sitka, Juneau, No Name Bay, and Meyers Chuck.
The land exchange will help the Trust Land Office increase revenue production from Trust-owned land, which supports vital mental health services for Alaskan beneficiaries. Additionally, the land exchange is providing timber desperately needed to keep the Southeast timber industry viable. The land exchange is a bridge, supporting the timber industry in Southeast Alaska as it transitions from an old-growth to a young-growth industry. Timber operations will directly support local jobs and benefit the economies of POW and Ketchikan.
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