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Senators Support Kantishna Micro Hydro Project

Legislation would spur development of project

U.S. Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski today introduced legislation that would facilitate the permitting and construction of a micro hydro project inside the non-wilderness part of Denali National Park. The bill directs the National Park Service to issue a special use permit to speed construction and provides authority to exchange ten acres of Doyon owned land in the Kantishna area with the National Park Service.

"This land trade just makes sense.  The micro hydro project will be better for the park in terms of air quality and reduced truck traffic, provide a better experience to the visitor and will be better for Doyon's bottom line," Begich said.

"Alaska has an abundance of renewable energy resources and this micro-hydro project allows Alaskans with land inholdings in Denali National Park to develop cheaper energy sources.  In addition, this project will protect the park's environment by reducing noise disturbances for wildlife and improving air quality in the park by reducing congestion on the Denali Park Road.  Hydro-power is a clean renewable source of energy that I believe can play a vital role in our energy future and it makes sense to allow its development within the park's boundaries," Murkowski said.

The project, consisting of a small weir on Eureka Creek would provide power to the Kantishna Roadhouse, a backcountry lodge owned by Doyon Limited.  Located 100 miles within the park, the lodge is not connected to any utility grid and generates its own power.  The micro hydro project, consisting of 50 w power plant, a small impoundment dam and a pipeline would allow Doyon to substantially reduce their diesel consumption. 

Eureka Creek is not a fish bearing stream.  The National Park Service assisted in the drafting of the legislation and welcomes both the project and additional lands it would gain from Doyon in the land trade.

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