Sen. Murkowski Provision Protecting Alaska Native Veteran Allotment Signed into Law
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today welcomed enactment of legislation protecting a privately owned subsistence cabin on an Alaska Native veteran allotment within the Yukon-Delta National Wildlife Refuge.
President Obama on Tuesday signed into law the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act (S. 404), which contained language by Murkowski to protect a subsistence cabin in the Andreanoff wilderness portion of the Yukon-Delta National Wildlife Refuge from demolition by federal authorities.
“The signing of this legislation rights a wrong by the federal government that threatened to unjustly punish one Alaska family,” Murkowski said. “The Alstrom family – through no fault of their own – found themselves at odds with a massive federal bureaucracy that had incorrectly conveyed land within a wilderness area. I’m happy my office was able to find a solution that protected the Alstrom’s traditional subsistence cabin, while minimizing the impact to the refuge.”
In 2008, William Alstrom was granted an Alaska Native veterans’ allotment of 80 acres within the Alaska refuge. In 2011, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notified Alstrom that approval for the cabin had mistakenly been issued in a federally designated wilderness area and would have to be moved.
After settlement negotiations between Alstrom and federal officials, Murkowski introduced language granting Alstrom title to the land on which the subsistence cabin was constructed. Alstrom agreed to give up a second allotment parcel in exchange for a similar plot of land outside the wilderness boundary.