Sealaska lands bill could get House floor vote next week

Associated PressJune 15, 2012 

JUNEAU -- The full U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on bill that includes a land selection measure for a Southeast Alaska Native corporation.

The Sealaska bill from Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young was rolled into the bigger package with 14 other bills this week.

CoastAlaska reports Young's bill would allow Sealaska to choose federal lands outside limits established in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Sealaska says it will expand the corporation's timber base and allow for future development.

Critics include environmental groups and towns. They say it's a giveway to the Native corporation and could damage salmon streams, disrupt tourism and cause conflicts with subsistence rights.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is working on her own version of a bill for the Senate.

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