H.R. 513 and S. 131 - Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2017

H.R. 513 and S. 131 - Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2017 – Alaska’s Congressman Young and Senator Lisa Murkowski sponsored these identical bills to fast-track an exchange of Alaska Mental Health Trust lands with substantial public safety concerns and high community use values for productive timberlands on the Tongass National Forest. This approach ignores the need for informed public engagement from affected communities. These bills were introduced before the exchange between the Forest Service and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority was finalized and seek to fast-track the land swap. The bill does not address the fundamental problem that clearcutting Southeast Alaska’s old-growth forests to generate revenue for Alaska’s mental health beneficiaries is an outdated model for revenue generation.

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