Earthjustice Weighs in on Murkowski Bill S. 3269
Proposal grants land transfer from Tongass National Forest
Earthjustice, a legal nonprofit that has for years worked to defend the Tongass National Forest from logging and has represented Alaska Native tribal governments, conservation groups, and others in litigation, issued the following statement on S. 3269, the Unrecognized Southeast Alaska Native Communities Recognition and Compensation Act, proposed by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski:
“Earthjustice takes no position on Senator Murkowski’s bill, which would grant lands from the Tongass National Forest to five newly formed Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act corporations,” said Carole Holley, managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Alaska Regional Office. “We recognize that Alaska Native peoples have suffered from historic injustices, including dispossession of their lands. We support Indigenous-led initiatives to steward lands sustainably for current and future generations. We also recognize the ecological value of the lands at issue in the legislation, which include inventoried roadless areas, productive old growth, and high value wildlife habitat. These lands are critical for Alaska Native traditional and cultural uses, carbon sequestration, healthy watersheds, and supporting sustainable communities. We welcome future opportunities to partner with Tribes and others to protect the values of these lands going forward.”
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