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ANILCA ACCESS: STATE MUST ACT!

Alaska Land Rights Network
Mar. 17, 2004

Your signature is needed on a petition to Governor Murkowski:

Because it's time...

For ACTION by the State of Alaska to defend access in conservation system units!

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reconsidered and now granted the appeal brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation, on behalf of ALL ALASKANS and in particular, the Pilgrim family of McCarthy which has been locked in a crucial battle with the National Park Service. Last April, the NPS closed the only road to the Pilgrims’ property a few days after the family revealed plans to bring in materials to replace their home destroyed by fire. As a result, the Pilgrims and their 15 children have been forced to live in a poorly insulated mine cabin all winter.

BUT THIS PRECEDENT-SETTING CASE IS NOT ABOUT THE PILGRIMS. THEY ARE ONLY THE MOST RECENT VICTIMS OF TWENTY YEARS OF BROKEN ANILCA PROMISES MADE BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO THE PEOPLE OF ALASKA. Two of MANY MORE examples:

Slana Trail Closures NPS holds community meeting ostensibly to solicit ideas from residents on what to do about ORV trail damage. When Doug Frederick demonstrates a protection solution and sends photos to Regional Director Arnberger he is charged with a crime! In trial, the NPS admitted they really didn't want the trails fixed, just closed, and that the real [unannounced] purpose of the meeting was to be able to say they held an ANILCA trail closure meeting.

King Cove Road
Kathy Hoff was the only licensed nurse in the village of King Cove. So in 1980 when a fireman was seriously injured and required medical treatment that village facilities couldn't provide, she accompanied him on a tragic plane flight to Anchorage that crashed after taking off from King Cove's airstrip in bad weather, killing Kathy, the fireman and two others. Kathy's story is not unique.

Since 1981, eleven people have been killed trying to fly out in the poor weather conditions that plague isolated King Cove. Many of these deaths would not have occurred if the village had been allowed to improve a route connecting it to the town of Cold Bay, which has a safe all-weather airport. But the U.S. Department of the Interior has refused the residents' desperate pleas for a road because it would pass through seven miles of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Environmental groups claim it would damage "critical wildlife habitat" even though the single-lane gravel road would only skirt a tiny portion of the refuge and the village offered an exchange to add land to the refuge.

Rural residents and land users in Alaska's national parks, wildlife refuges and national forests have expressed our concerns to the Department of the Interior. Yet access to our homes, recreation and subsistence areas is still being denied! We need the State of Alaska’s help!

Recently boasting to relatives and supporters of an NPS harrassment victim who had been dragged into court, a senior NPS manager said:

"ANILCA is only 20 years old. As for motorized access of Wrangell St. Elias, if park staff had its way there would be nothing allowed, no ATVs, nothing! The state has totally backed off in supporting you. Why are the [state officals] silent?" [Federal courthouse lobby, Anchorage, December 19, 2003]

NOTE:

When the Feds extinguish access, they are seizing property value! Even the new Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority realizes the importance of restoring property rights lost under the former dictator, Saddam Hussein. They recently opened an office called the Iraqi Property Claims Commission.

We think the state may be ready to act but needs a strong expression of support from Alaskans.

SHOW THAT SUPPORT FOR ACCESS BY ELECTRONICALLY SIGNING THIS REQUEST TO GOVERNOR MURKOWSKI TO INTERVENE IN THE MC CARTHY CREEK RS 2477 [PILGRIM] CASE.

This case will define access rights for all -- ALL OVER THE STATE OF ALASKA. IT'S IMPORTANT TO ACT NOW!

HOW TO HELP

Please read the petition below and add your name, town and email address if you agree. Also, please share the petition with others.

AUTHORIZATION TO ADD SIGNATURE TO PETITION [Click here and add this info]

NAME ______________________________

TOWN ______________________ (if out of state give location of your land)

EMAIL _________________ If no email give phone: _________________


To Governor Frank Murkowski - March 24, 2004

WE THE UNDERSIGNED CITIZENS AND LAND OWNERS OF THE WRANGELL ST ELIAS NATIONAL PARK AREA AND THE STATE OF ALASKA

It's time for the State of Alaska to defend access in conservation system units and stand up for the promises made to the people of this state in the Alaska National Interest Lands and Conservation Act (ANILCA). Please intervene in the McCarthy Creek RS2477 and inholder access case (Hale v. Norton) and take a much more active and aggressive role in other ongoing ANILCA access rights defenses and assertions.

LIST OF NAMES COMMUNITIES


This appeal is an effort of Residents of the Wrangells and the Alaska Land Rights Coalition.

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ALASKA LAND RIGHTS COALITION

"Working for common-sense public lands management and justice for Alaska landowners and land users"

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - Fax: 360-687-2973 -
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office:
507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-210-2357 - Fax: 202-543-7126
email: landrightsnet@aol.com

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