Land Exchange Update
Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office continues to work to obtain both federal and state legislation to authorize a land exchange between the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the USFS. This is an equal value land exchange with approximately 20,580 acres of USFS land for 18,313 acres of Trust lands in Southeast Alaska. Congressional bills S.131 and HR. 513 are introduced and sponsors are trying to enact the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2017 before this summer. In the Alaskan Legislature, HB 155 has moved through House Resources and SB 88 has passed Senate Resources, with expected enactment within the month. This exchange will make substantial areas of both old growth and young growth timber available for harvest with the potential to earn the Trust $40 – $60 Million over the next 20 years.
The land exchange will help the TLO increase revenue production from Trust-owned land, which supports vital mental health services for Alaskan beneficiaries. The exchange also would protect important viewsheds and watersheds as well as provide timber desperately needed to keep the Southeast timber industry alive.
The exchange requires both federal and state legislation and bills have been introduced in each legislative body.
- House Bill 155
- Senate Bill 88
- S. 131
- HR 513
The Trust Land Office and Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority conducted a series of informational meetings in Southeast Alaska communities in late March and early April, to discuss the proposed land exchange between the Trust and the US Forest Service. The meetings were held in Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, Klawock and Wrangell. The Trust Land Office provided a presentation on the land exchange and answered questions from local residents.
Cape Fox Lodge, Ketchikan
Radio interview in Ketchikan
Sons of Norway Hall, Petersburg
Harrigan Centennial Hall, Sitka