Posted by: Aandeiyeen | June 26, 2009

Letters to the Forest Service

Dear Yakutat stakeholders,

If you have concerns about how mineral exploration and potential mining development in the Forelands could affect your livelihoods and the future of Yakutat, I’d encourage you to write a letter to the Forest Service to highlight these concerns. Should you choose to write, please copy the letter to SEACC and other organizations (ie, Southeast Regional Subsistence Advisory Council, YTT, Senators, Representatives, etc). I can draft something up or suggest talking points if you need help (getting started is half the battle!). Ultimately though, the more personal and tailored the letter is to your concerns- the stronger the effect.

Antiquated federal law (Mining Law of 1872) gives mining top priority for land use on public lands, even if it is already being used (e.g. commercial and traditional hunting and fishing). The Forest Service will cater to this law if there is no strong outcry from effected communities.

Yakutat residents: fishermen, hunters, guides, bush pilots, traditional and customary users, clans from Dry Bay (where Geohedral has been concentrating), etc- speak out! This land may be public domain but it is in our backyard, it is our traditional homeland, and we should have a powerful voice in deciding how it’s used.

Factsheet on the Forelands can be found here.

Jennifer Hanlon

Forest Service contact info:
Lee Benson
Yakutat District Ranger
U.S. Forest Service
712 Ocean Cape Road
Yakutat, AK 99689


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