February 27, 2018

Testimony of Carl Portman
Deputy Director, Resource Development Council,
Before House Special Committee on Fisheries
HB 272, An Act Establishing the Tangle Lakes State Game Refuge

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Good morning. My name is Carl Portman, Deputy Director of the Resource Development Council (RDC). I am testifying today to express RDC’s opposition to House Bill 272, An Act Establishing the Tangle Lakes State Game Refuge.

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.

It is a position of RDC to encourage the exploration and responsible development of Alaska’s natural resources. Creating a new refuge will restrict or eliminate the potential opportunities in the Tangle Lakes area, including mineral development and tourism. Further, it will create new restrictions to land use at a time when our state faces fiscal and other challenges. 

Alaska already contains over 70 percent of the nation’s national park lands, 84 percent of its national wildlife refuge lands, two of the nation’s largest national forests, the two largest state parks in the union, and a number of other state conservation units. RDC believes the Tangle Lakes area should continued to be managed for multiple use, where recreation and other potential uses, including mining, can coexist, as they do elsewhere in our state. Instead of creating yet another refuge in Alaska, we must focus on ways to show that our state is “open for business” and that Alaskans are serious about growing our economy, 

In closing, we urge you and the members of the House Fisheries Committee to oppose HB 272.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on HB 272.