The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved a bill by Sen. Frank Murkowski that would allow Native corporations Sealaska and Cape Fox to trade about 3,000 acres of land near Ketchikan for 2,600 acres of U.S. Forest Service land near Berners Bay in Juneau.
Titled the Cape Fox Land Entitlement Act of 2002, Senate Bill 2222 now goes to the full Senate for floor action.
Murkowski is an Alaska Republican and a candidate for governor.
Berners Bay, about 45 miles northwest of downtown Juneau, is the site where Idaho-based mining company Coeur Alaska hopes to reopen the Kensington and Jualin multi-metal mines.
The bill was revised after a June congressional hearing, clarifying that the land exchange must be of equal value and guaranteeing no net loss of old-growth reserve acreage in Tongass National Forest.