Berners Bay land swap rips off Alaskans

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, September 26, 2004

With its beauty and abundant wildlife, Berners Bay is one of Juneau's wild jewels. Providing the public with recreational, hunting and fishing opportunities, it is also home to the Auk Kwaan's sacred ancestral lands. I oppose Sen. Murkowski's Cape Fox land swap bill, and I urge fellow Alaskans to speak out against it.

Murkowski's bill would grant Cape Fox and Sealaska up to 12,000 pristine acres of the Tongass in Berners Bay in exchange for 3,000 clear-cut acres near Ketchikan.

The bill is stalled in the Senate, however, Sen. Stevens may force the bill through this week by attaching it to a spending bill. Alaskans must speak out to prevent the public's wild lands from being opened forever for mining, logging and development.

To trade 12,000 pristine acres for 3,000 acres that are largely clear-cut violates the public trust. Who is Sen. Murkowski representing, anyway? She's not listening to her constituents; she's ripping them off.

Cliff Lobaugh


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