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Governor Talks Alaska Issues With Interior Secretary


November 07, 2005

(Washington, D.C.) - Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski met with Interior Secretary Gale Norton last Thursday to discuss several federal issues affecting Alaska, including greater access to Glacier Bay and Denali national parks.

"It was good to have the opportunity to elevate a number of important issues directly to Secretary Norton and I look forward to seeing these issues addressed adequately to satisfy the concerns of Alaskans," Murkowski said.

Governor Murkowski is seeking a decision by the National Park Service to increase to two per day the number of cruise ship and ferry entries into Glacier Bay. Alaskans ought to have the right and the means to see this spectacular area and they could easily do it on a state ferry with no adverse environmental impacts," Murkowski said. The governor discussed the need for state ferry access to the Bartlett Cove fuel dock.

Governor Murkowski advised Secretary Norton on state progress toward improving the Stampede Trail and other issues affecting access into Denali National Park. The improvements will eventually reach the northern boundary of the park, leading to enhanced tourism and other road related activities.

In other subjects, the state remains intent on affecting a land exchange with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a narrow strip of wilderness land in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to link King Cove and Cold Bay. The state is proposing to exchange 4,402 acres of its own land in the Kinzarof Lagoon for a 206-acre swath of land to build a road between the two communities.

The governor also raised the issue of exchanging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land on Chirikof Island for unspecified state land in order to protect the herd of cattle present there.

Governor Murkowski also reiterated the state's support for Mineral Management Service recommendations to provide for responsible oil and gas leasing off the Alaska coast that protects traditional subsistence activities. The governor concluded the meeting with an update on natural gas pipeline negotiations.


Source of News:

Office of the Governor



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