ANCHORAGE - U.S. Rep. Don Young's House Resources Committee has ordered the Justice Department to turn over documents related to a canceled Tongass timber contract.
This time, the subject is its termination of Alaska Pulp Co.'s 50-year contract to harvest timber from the Tongass National Forest. The 1994 decision eliminated about 1,500 jobs in Southeast Alaska, according to the Alaska Congressional Delegation. Alaska Pulp later sued in the U.S.
The Seattle Times and the Anchorage Daily News cite an Alaska Department of Labor report claiming market conditions shut down Alaska's pulp mills. That's a fairy tale. What shut them down is explained in a U.S. Court of Claims record: Alaska Pulp Company v. United States, No. 95-153C.
It's time to turn things around after 40 years of failures.
From a historical point of view, Sealaska's final selection of 85,000 acres - the focus of considerable controversy - is a small matter, especially compared to what might have been.
WASHINGTON - A 1994 decision to cancel Tongass National Forest and other timber contracts could cost the federal government as much as $1.5 billion.
The following editorial appeared in Thursday's edition of the Ketchikan Daily News:
In 1971, when Sealaska was formed, I was 18 years old. I remember my father talking of the "land claims" and how this deal with Congress would be for the good of the Tlingit people.
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