January 18, 2016

Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office
2600 Cordova Street, Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99503

Via email to: mhtlo@alaska.gov

To Whom It May Concern:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing in support of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office Executive Director’s determination that it is in the best interest of the Alaska Mental Health Trust (MHT) and its beneficiaries to complete a negotiated ground lease of certain Trust land to Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. (UCM).

RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

RDC supports issuance of a ground lease (#9200635) to UCM for access and transportation of coal connected with the State of Alaska, Division of Mining, Land, and Water, Coal Regulatory Program permitted Wishbone Hill Coal Project, Permit Numbers 01-89-796 and 02-89-796.

The 25-year lease, will provide the MHT a $13,110 minimum annual payment, with potential for more if a project on the land comes to fruition.

The lease proposes to improve and maintain access across 95 acres of Trust land along an existing pioneer mine access road for the planned mine haul road. Under the Coal Regulatory Program permits, UCM will need to restrict public access within the proposed lease area for the purposes of public safety and to maintain compliance with the active Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Air Quality Control Minor Permit (AQ1227MSS04) regarding the permitted Ambient Air Quality Boundary.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments.

Sincerely,

Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.