Sealaska Lands Bill meeting to be held in Juneau

Posted: Monday, April 05, 2010

JUNEAU - Territorial Sportsmen, an interest group with 1,800 members in Juneau, will host a public meeting on the Sealaska Lands Bill on April 13 at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall.

Board Director Ron Somerville said the group wants to provide a forum for Juneau residents to learn about the bill and pose questions to Sealaska executives. Sealaska is the regional Native corporation.

The bill currently in the Energy and Natural Resources committees of both sides of Congress transfers about 85,000 acres of federal land to the company to complete its land selections promised by the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Most of the property is located on Prince of Wales Island but parcels are scattered all over Southeast Alaska. The company intends to conduct timber harvests on a majority of the lands, and plans to acquire sacred cultural sites and other lands it calls "futures sites" for long-term economic income.

Somerville said his organization has some questions and concerns about the bill but hasn't yet taken a position on it.

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