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Stevens rider pays Native friends $2.5M for land

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) inserted a rider in an appropriations bill to pay an Alaska Native family $2.5 million for their allotment.

The arrangement has drawn scrutiny because the 160-acre plot is owned by the family of Arctic Slope Regional Corp. President Jacob Adams, a supporter of Stevens. But Adams' sister, Marie Adams Carroll, said she approached Stevens' office not her well-connected brother.

Stevens is justifying the payout since the land was used by the military as a dumping site prior to being allotted to the Adams family. The family never knew until 2000, Carroll said. The U.S. Air Force is delaying a cleanup, she said.

An appraisal the family obtained put the value of the land at $1.9 million. An estimate of the cleanup is $1.6 million.

The rider in S.2559 does not mention the Adams family by name. It reads:
SEC. 8026. In addition to amounts provided elsewhere in this Act, $2,500,000 is hereby appropriated for `Operation and Maintenance, Air Force' for acquisition by the United States Air Force of Native Allotment F-14589: Provided, That in consideration of its unauthorized use and contamination of Native Allotment F-14589, consisting of 159.7 acres, at Oliktok Point, Alaska, the United States Air Force shall acquire Native Allotment F-14589 by payment of $2,500,000 to the current owners of the Native Allotment.

Get the Story:
Barrow woman defends value of land (The Anchorage Daily News 7/11)
Stevens defends federal buyout of Arctic allotment (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 7/10)