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Denali National Park Improvement Act Sponsored By Rep. Young Advances Out of Natural Resources Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Natural Resources Committee today marked up a number of energy and public lands bills, including H.R. 586, the Denali National Park Improvement Act, introduced earlier this year by Alaskan Congressman Don Young, and S. 157, the Senate’s version of the bill sponsored by Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski. S.157 passed the Senate earlier this year.

“I am glad to see these bills advance from the Committee and move one step closer toward being enacted into law,” Rep. Young said.  “This legislation will do a variety of positive things for Denali National Park, and I look forward to swift final passage in the very near future.”

Both bills were reported from the Committee by unanimous consent. S.157 will now head to the House floor, where upon passage it will then be sent to the President for his signature.

Kantishna Micro-Hydro Project:

This legislation would allow the Doyon Native Corporation to build a micro-hydroelectric project inside Denali National Park and Preserve to power Kantishna Roadhouse, a backcountry lodge the Fairbanks based Native Corporation owns 100 miles inside the Park. Also, the bill facilitates a small land exchange to clear a path for this project. This facility would displace diesel generation currently used to power the Roadhouse. 

Natural Gas Pipeline: 

H.R. 586 would authorize a right-of-way along the seven mile portion of the Parks Highway that runs through Denali National Park. This would allow an easier path for a potential natural gas pipeline to reach Southcentral Alaska.

Naming Talkeetna Ranger Station in Honor of Athabascan Climber:

Finally, H.R. 586 would name the Talkeetna Ranger station after Walter Harper, the first person to summit Mt. McKinley.  The Talkeetna Ranger Station is the home of Denali National Park's mountaineering rangers, and is located roughly 100 miles south of the entrance to the park in the town of Talkeetna. Anybody who intends to attempt a climb of Mt. McKinley is required to first stop at the Talkeetna Ranger Station for their permit and mountain orientation.

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