Letter: Millett’s claims of overreach by feds isn’t based on facts

Rep. Millett’s warning about the federal National Ocean Policy (ADN, May 13) perpetuates the tired theme of “federal overreach” that has been a regrettable watchword of the Parnell administration. Ignored is the fact that the federal government has legal jurisdiction and management responsibilities for the oceans that extend far beyond the state of Alaska’s narrow territorial authority.

Particularly curious is Rep. Millett’s “broken promise” claim: “When Alaska became a state 53 years go, the federal government made promises to relinquish lands that it subsequently failed to keep.” Please tell us, Rep. Millett, where are these lands? What were these promises? 

As a person somewhat familiar with Alaska public land issues over the past 42 years, I am unaware of any federal land transfer required by the Alaska Statehood Act that has not already occurred, or which is not in that process. Perhaps Rep. Millett is just perpetuating Wally Hickel’s shopworn theme that lacked any basis in law or reality, then or now.

— T. E. Meacham