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Sen. Murkowski’s Staff Meets with Alaskans to Discuss Sealaska Lands Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is reviewing comments collected at recent meetings in Southeast Alaska with members of her staff on legislation to complete Sealaska Corp.'s land selections under the 40-year-old Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

"While there are varying opinions on the correct course of action here, the discussions have been productive and have provided valuable insight into the thoughts and concerns of the local residents who would be most affected by this legislation," Murkowski said. "It's always difficult when we're talking about land allocations in the Tongass since someone cares about every single acre in the forest. But I continue to believe we can find a solution that allows us to advance the bill."

Murkowski's staff have held a number of public meetings over the past year that have resulted in revisions to the legislation. In late February, her staff held another round of public meetings in Ketchikan and Craig, resulting in additional changes. The current draft, along with detailed maps, can be found at: http://murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=SealaskaLandBill

The final version of the bill will likely be introduced in the Senate by the end of March. The bill is then expected to receive a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee later this session. While no additional meetings are scheduled in Alaska, continuted input on the bill is welcomed. Comments can be directed to the following address:

Senate Energy & Natural Resource Committee
Attn: Chuck Kleeschulte       
304 Dirksen Office Building                              OR Chuck_Kleeschulte@energy.senate.gov
Washington, DC 20510

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