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ANILCA Hearing: Comment letter

Posted by Northern Center at Dec 04, 2015 07:00 PM |

Senate Energy & Natural Resource Committee Hearing to receive testimony on implementation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, including perspectives on the Act’s impacts in Alaska and suggestions for improvements to the Act.

This testimony was submitted Testimony submitted by The Wilderness Society nn behalf of: Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Wilderness League, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Arctic Connections, Audubon Alaska, Alaskans FOR Wildlife, Eyak Preservation Council, Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Denali Citizens Council, Cook Inlet Keeper, Defenders of Wildlife, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, and Wilderness Watch.

Senate Energy & Natural Resource Committee Hearing to receive testimony on implementation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, including perspectives on the Act’s impacts in Alaska and suggestions for improvements to the Act, December 3, 2015.

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act is a landmark law that benefits the nation and Alaska by protecting lands and natural resources of national interest and Alaska’s unique cultural and subsistence heritage. ANILCA is the result of nearly a decade of debate after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was passed. It embodies significant and unique compromises on the part of many stakeholders during a historic juncture in Alaska and the nation’s history. As the single largest land-protection bill in American history, ANILCA identified the lands and resources of greatest national interest and forever shaped how conservation system units and wilderness lands are managed in Alaska - a state with millions of acres that contain exceptional scientific, scenic, cultural, wildlife, geological and historical values – and how customary and traditional or subsistence uses and activities can continue on these units and other Alaska federal lands. 

Long before Alaska was a state, there was widespread recognition of the extraordinary natural resource values present in Alaska. Early researchers and writers drew attention to Alaska’s remarkable natural resources, and Alaska’s first protected areas were established long before statehood in 1959, including the Tongass and Chugach National Forests, Mt. McKinley National Park, among others. Other national interest lands and their values would be protected for the benefit of all Americans.

Read the full comment letter here.

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