Resource Development Council

RDC Testimony:
SJR 15 - Related to Federal land designations

Before Senate Resources
Testimony provided by Marleanna Hall
February 8, 2014

Good morning Chairwoman Giessel and members of the committee.

My name is Marleanna Hall. I am a Projects Coordinator for the Resource Development Council.

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 SJR 15 out of Senate Resources and thanks you for your consideration of these comments.