800 YearsApril 13, 2010
Here’s a nice video from the LA Times on the logging of the Tongass Forest, and specifically covering a proposal by Murkowski and Young to transfer up to 85,000 acres of Tongass forest to Sealaska Corp., which, as it happens, is owned by 20,000 members of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Tribes. So this is actually an interesting twist on forestry battles, raising questions about native american sovereignty and local versus corporate exploitation of forests. The full article is here.
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The new proposal would give Sealaska not only prime forest lands on northern Prince of Wales Island — much of it already designated for timber harvest by the U.S. Forest Service — but $60 million worth of roads the Forest Service built over the years to open up the region for logging.
The proposal has drawn fire in a way hardly seen since the early settler days, pitting many of the non-Native homesteaders, fishermen and eco-tourism operators against Native leaders, who say that after decades of outside companies exploiting the Tongass, it is time for Alaska Natives to get more than the leftover lands nobody else wanted.