Lands bill meeting moved to April 19

Posted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

JUNEAU - The date of a public meeting in Juneau on the Sealaska Lands Bill has been moved to April 19 to accommodate Tuesday's roundtable on forest planning.

Territorial Sportsmen, which is sponsoring the meeting on the Sealaska Lands Bill, agreed to change its meeting date to avoid scheduling conflicts, Board Director Ron Somerville said.

The bill has not had a public airing in Juneau, so the Territorial Sportsmen decided to host one.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall. It will start with a presentation by Sealaska Corp. and include time for questions and comments, Somerville said.

Comments will be documented and made available to Alaska's Congressional delegation and the governor.

"The idea is for a civil interchange," Somerville said.

The bill would transfer about 85,000 acres of federal lands to the regional Native corporation, which wants to conduct timber harvests on a majority of the property. The proposal has generated controversy among residents on Prince of Wales Island in the southern part of the region.

A U.S. Forest Service roundtable meeting set for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall remains in place.

The agency is hosting the meeting in Juneau - one of nine regional meetings around the country - to gather input on a new planning rule.

The rule governs the way forest plans are written for all the nation's forest and grasslands, or 163 million acres managed by the Forest Service.

For more information on Tuesday's meeting, contact facilitator Jan Caulfield at or 523-4610.

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