July 2, 2021

Bureau of Land Management

Submitted via blm.gov

Re: Comments on the Draft East Alaska Resource Management Plan

To Whom It May Concern:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to comment on the Draft East Alaska Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment/Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

RDC is a statewide trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism 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 Alternative 2 of the draft FONSI, the Amendment to the East Alaska Management Plan, which would allow for an exchange of two parcels of land between Chugach Alaska Corporation (CAC) and the State of Alaska. The State has agreed to relinquish their selection of the land so the exchange could proceed, with the condition the 17(b) easement would be maintained which does allow public access. The exchange would have very minimal impact, if any, to public recreation. 

CAC has identified two parcels of BLM land near Thompson Pass that is adjacent to land owned by CAC and the Tatitlek Corporation. CAC would receive 1,280 acres of land. In exchange, CAC would convey to the National Park Service a 1,256 acres inholding entirely within the Wrangell-St. Elia National Park, a designated Wilderness Area which is of high value for their historical, scientific, educational, geologic and ecological benefits.  

RDC appreciates the opportunity to comment in support of Alternative 2.

Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.