I received a petition on Alaska:https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Ad ... on&id=1269
I then hit the reply button and asked how this would affect Native Americans directly or indirectly and got the following response:
"Thank you for your inquiry. While we respect Sealaska’s right to secure its remaining land entitlement pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (“ANCSA”), S. 730/H.R. 1408 would rewrite basic provisions of that agreement. Under ANCSA, Sealaska Corporation has already made its final land selections of about 63,000 acres within the designated “inside the box” selection areas that Sealaska itself expressly supported and requested in a 1976 ANSCA amendment passed into law.
S. 730/H.R. 1408 would eliminate those agreed upon “inside the box” withdrawal areas and allow this single corporate stakeholder to gain control and ownership of new areas of the Tongass – in different locations and configurations – which would have a number of adverse impacts on the residents and communities who depend on the resources of the Tongass National Forest.
The timber acreage that Sealaska is selecting includes both very rare large-tree old growth stands and high value second growth, along with $50M worth of taxpayer funded roads and infrastructure. These selections would overlap significantly with the lands the Forest Service needs to bridge from old growth logging to second growth logging as it works to transition southeast Alaska to a more sustainable economy based on ecosystem restoration, fishing, and tourism.
The legislation also authorizes Sealaska to select up to 5000 acres of “futures sites” and up to 3,600 acres of “sacred sites” without any prohibition of commercial development on those small parcel lands. For the sacred sites, it also restricts public access and prohibits activities if “incompatible with the use and enjoyment of the land by Sealaska.” As a result, the State of Alaska Citizens’ Advisory Commission on Federal Areas – a formal commission made up of members appointed by the Governor and the state legislature – along with a number of local Alaskans, fishermen, sportsmen and outfitting guides, and traditional tribal members and villages have voiced their opposition to the bill."