Sen. Murkowski Applauds Committee Approval of Three Alaska Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced that several Alaska lands bills cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which she is the ranking Republican.

The Salmon Lake Land Selection Resolution Act ratifies a settlement between the state of Alaska, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bering Straits Native Corp., completing land conveyances promised in the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

"Alaska Natives have spent decades fighting for the land they were promised under ANCSA," Murkowski said. "All sides have come together in reaching this compromise. It's my sincere hope that with passage of this bill the issues that have complicated land and wildlife management will be left behind and the corporation's shareholders will finally realize the economic and cultural benefits of their land."

The committee also passed the National Volcano Warning and Monitoring System Act, which creates a volcano early warning system under the Unites States Geologic Survey to monitor in real-time the most dangerous volcanoes.

"This bill creates a framework for studying volcanoes and responding to eruption threats," Murkowski said. "Just this spring a volcanic eruption stranded many air travelers, including my sons, in Alaska. While we cannot control volcanoes, the least we can do is further our knowledge and awareness of eruptions that can change lives and causes economic damage."

A bill sponsored by Murkowski to extend the time limit for construction to start on the National Law Enforcement Museum by three years, until November 2013, also passed the committee. The museum would honor the thousands of police, state troopers, sheriffs and other officers who have died protecting all of us.

The bills now must be passed by the full U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives before being signed into law by the president.

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