Murkowski Announces Upcoming Town Hall Meetings on Sealaska Land Exchange Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced the latest round of informational meetings to gather public comment on the Sealaska lands bill.

The meetings are set during the President’s Day congressional recess for Feb. 21-22 in Ketchikan and Craig on Prince of Wales Island. McKie Campbell, staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Republican staff, will be on hand to discuss the latest draft of the proposed land exchange.

• Ketchikan – Monday, Feb. 21, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ketchikan Borough Assembly Chambers on Whitecliff Drive.

• Craig – Tuesday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Craig High School Auditorium.

Murkowski pointed out that the bill language being released for comment is still in the drafting stage and may undergo further changes before being introduced in the 112th Congress.

“Given the comments on the Sealaska bill last fall, it’s clear that some additional changes in the bill are needed,” Murkowski said. “Releasing this draft now, before introduction, is designed to renew discussion about a bill that I still firmly believe deserves to be adopted by Congress before the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.”

The Sealaska bill, re-titled the Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act, is designed to allow the Sealaska Corp.’s more than 20,000 shareholders to select the last of the roughly 80,000 acres of land they were promised under the claims settlement act of 1971.

Full details of the proposed legislation are available on Murkowski’s Senate office web site: https://www.murkowski.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=SealaskaLandBill