Alaska Native corporation land bill generates controversy
A bill that would transfer land to the Sealaska, an Alaska Native regional corporation, has generated controversy among environmental groups and local officials.

Sealaska is entitled to land under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. The corporation hasn't been able to complete its selection due to land restrictions and other concerns.

The bill in Congress would authorize the transfer of 85,000 acres to Sealaska. Included is prime land within the Tongass National Forest that some say the corporation will abuse for its timber business.

"They've never been Earth-friendly in their logging, period," Michael Douville, a Tlingit who sits on the city council in Craig, told The Los Angeles Times. "By the time they're done with that land, it'll look like the moon."

Sealaska chairman, Alaska State Sen. Albert Kookesh (D), was recently reprimanded by the Alaska Legislature's Ethics Committee for comments he made to the Craig city council. He suggested the city's funding requests could be tied to its position on the land transfer bill.

Get the Story:
Divergent interests at loggerheads in spectacular Tongass National Forest (The Los Angeles Times 4/12)

Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization Act:
H.R. 2099 | S.881

Related Stories:
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Editorial: Reach compromise over Alaska Native land bill (3/31)
Witness list for House hearing on Alaska Native land bill (3/16)
House Resources Committee hearing on Alaska land bill (3/11)
Editorial: Alaska Native lawmaker owes public apology (3/5)
Alaska Native lawmaker apologizes for ethics violation (3/4)
Editorial: Alaska Native corporation's weak defense (1/28)
Editorial: Alaska Native lawmaker jumped over the line (1/26)
Alaska Native lawmaker faces complaint for remarks (1/25)
Trial for Alaska subsistence fishing delayed (10/6)
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