“Landless” legislation passes committee for the first time in history

By Hannah Flor
KFSK Community Radio Alaska
December 15, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALASKA — “Landless” legislation passed a new milestone on December 14 after winning approval of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee. The bill still has a long way to go to become law. But if it does, it would return land to the original occupants of five Alaska Native communities in Southeast Alaska. Those communities were left out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. Senator Lisa Murkowski, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement that the omission was “hampering their ability to support development and opportunity while protecting their traditional ways of life. Alaskans have been trying to right this wrong for 51 years.” ANCSA put millions of acres of land in the control of more than 200 newly formed local and regional Alaska Native corporations. …Opponents have voiced concerns that the new corporations would log their land, clearcutting swaths of what had been the Tongass National Forest.

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