Craig discuss Tongass laws

    Craig, Alaska (KINY) The Craig City council raised concerns about federal forest land bills.

    The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Improvement Act of 2017 would create Alaska native corporations in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Tenakee and Haines.  Each new corporation would select over 23,000 acres for ownership.  The areas must be of historical, cultural, traditional and of economic importance to Alaska natives in these communities.

    The bill calls for the production of a study to  evaluate impacts to Chugach Alaska Corporation (the regional ANCSA corporation for Prince William Sound area and portions of the Gulf of Alaska) resulting from Federal law or State or Federal land acquisitions.  If the study finds impacts and makes  recommendations to address those impacts, the Federal government and Chugach may exchange up to 500,000 acres, with Chugach potentially eligible to receive traded land from any “viable” Federal land in the United States.

    Council members said things would change too much and too fast on Prince of Wales Island.

    Another bill would convert the forest’s timber program to primarily young growth trees over the course of the next 15 years.  This decision generated controversy, as there is ongoing debate as to whether the transition from old growth to young growth trees is practical over the next 15 years, or if the transition should take place over a longer period of time, say 30 to 40 years, when many young growth trees will have reached their
    maximum annual growth.

    U.S Senator Lisa Murkowski has moved to prevent implementation

    The council voiced concerns over losing land on Prince of Wales Island and threats to the subsistence lifestyle.

    The council also approved  a 10 year extension to Seaborn Seafood to create a seafood processing business in the JT Brown
    Industrial Park.

    The business will create up to 10 jobs.

     

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