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Kerttula hopeful for coastal zone bill this year

JUNEAU — House Democratic leader Beth Kerttula says she's hopeful that legislation will be introduced this year to re-establish a coastal management program.

Kerttula says she's heard that something is being worked on. Last week, Rep. Bryce Edgmon, chairman of the House Bush Caucus, said he expected a coastal management bill to be introduced but didn't know who would do it or what it would look like.

The voluntary coastal zone program lets states put conditions on certain activities on federal lands and waters.Alaska had a program for decades, but it ended in 2011, after the Legislature and governor failed to come to terms on its reauthorization.

A ballot initiative seeking to re-establish a program failed last August.

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