Public land giveaway

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

The bottom line is that Murkowski's bill S.2222 decides for Juneau residents that we will give away 12,000 acres of prime forest, exceptional wildlife habitat, traditional, and recreational public lands in Berners Bay for 3,000 acres of abused logged off lands way down near Ketchikan! What kind of sense does this make?

Most people I know work hard enough for their quality of life here that they'd never dream of throwing it all away. These are local public lands that Murkowski wants to give away to the Cape Fox and Sealaska Corporations. These lands would then be subject to the whims and wishes of these corporations.

If Juneau folks let this bill S.2222 pass than we'll be literally "giving it all away" for nothing! These are currently public lands, not private corporation lands, and I am personally not willing to give up our backyard without a fight.

This is a mind-boggling unreasonable proposal for our Senate to even consider. For the 21st century this is archaic political management of our commonly held lands. Have we come nowhere since the Dark Ages of peasants subject to the wealthy few ruling the land with an iron fist? It is preposterous of Murkowski to even conjure up this proposal in the first place. It's even more arrogant that he put it forth publicly and that the Senate is considering it. And this is the guy who wants to be Alaska's new governor? In my eyes, he does not represent Juneau or respect the lives of the people who live here and value the integrity of this setting we've chosen for our homes. He hasn't even held a hearing in Alaska on the issue.

If we let this bill S.2222 pass then soon enough we may see that those same logged off lands near Ketchikan we are disrespectfully expected to shut up and settle for, will become the reality of the "new" Berners Bay under Cape Fox/Sealaska dominion.

Tom Lee


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