The New Year will bring a new fight over Sealaska’s lands-selection legislation. The bill, which will be reintroduced in the new Congress, could determine the future of tens of thousands of acres of Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.
Backers say the measure will revitalize a troubled timber industry and help villages struggling to sustain their economies. Opponents say it will destroy valuable wildlands and hurt tourism, subsistence hunting and commercial fishing.
This month, CoastAlaska reporters are taking a look at some of the controversies surrounding the bill, which was a major issue in last year’s U.S. Senate race. In our first report, Ed Schoenfeld examines why Sealaska is seeking new land selections.