SJR 15 - Related to Federal land designations

Before House Resources
Testimony provided by Marleanna Hall
March 3, 2014

Good afternoon my name is Marleanna Hall. I am a Projects Coordinator for the Resource Development Council. I’m calling in today to testify in support of the Committee Substitute for SJR 15.

RDC is a membership funded, statewide business association representing forestry, oil and gas, mining, tourism, and fishing industries. It is a policy of RDC to advocate for access to and across lands in Alaska for resource and community development. RDC is concerned the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the creation of the Beringia International Park (Beringia) will create another level of bureaucracy inhibiting access to areas in Alaska.

Additionally, this bill is timely, given the MOU has yet to be signed by the President. Input from those most knowledgeable about Alaska and Alaska’s resources should not be ignored. The MOU could seriously jeopardize the ability to access resources that fall in and around Beringia. In addition, past federal government promises assured access to allow resource development in this area and others not set aside through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). The passage of ANILCA in 1980 withdrew 106 million acres of federal lands in Alaska into conservation system units. Today, Alaska accounts for 70 percent of all national park lands in the United States, as well as 53 percent of federally designated Wilderness.

RDC urges you to pass the Committee Substitute for SJR 15 out of House Resources and thanks you for your consideration of these comments.