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Sen. Murkowski Announces Signing of Denali Park Improvement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced that President Obama has signed into law the Denali Park Improvement Act.

“I commend President Obama, as well as my Senate and House colleagues, for working together to enact the Denali bill into law,” Murkowski said. “Sen. Wyden and I have sought to keep up the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s long history of being among the most productive committees in the Senate, so it’s encouraging to see our hard work come to fruition.”

The Denali Park Improvement Act is the first Alaska-specific legislation signed into law in the 113th Congress. The Senate approved the bill in June; the House passed it on Sept. 10. The legislation (S. 157) includes the following measures:

  • A land exchange for the Kantishna Hills micro-hydroelectric project.

A 10-acre land exchange allowing Doyon Ltd. to build a small hydropower project to supply electricity to the Kantishna Roadhouse in Denali National Park and Preserve, reducing the amount of diesel used in the park.

  • The permitting of a natural gas pipeline along the Parks Highway through Denali National Park and Preserve.

Permits a natural gas pipeline to be buried in the utility corridor of the Parks Highway for the seven miles the road passes through Denali National Park and Preserve – allowing an apples-to-apples comparison with a possible Richardson Highway route.

  • Renaming the National Park Service’s Talkeetna Ranger Station in honor of Athabascan climber Walter Harper.

Renames the Talkeetna Ranger Station after Alaskan Native Walter Harper, who was the first man to summit North America’s highest peak. Harper was a member of the team that included Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens and Robert Tatum, which was the first to reach the south summit of the mountain. The Talkeetna Ranger Station is home to Denali’s mountaineering rangers and a mandatory stop for anyone planning to climb the mountain.

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