"Congress Probes Land Deal in Alaska's Tongass Forest"

"WASHINGTON -- For decades, conservationists, the U.S. Forest Service, tribes, Native corporations and the people who live in the Tongass National Forest have warred over how to manage the vast temperate rain forest that covers most of southeast Alaska.

The fight resurfaces in Washington this week, as the Native corporation Sealaska makes a case to a Senate committee that it should be able to pick new acreage outside of the original land grants it never took ownership of.

The company's choices are controversial, in part because they include valuable old-growth timber that many would like to see off limits to logging. Some local groups also have concerns about how Sealaska plans to address important cultural locations in the acres it wants, including places that are part of their ancestral history."

Erika Bolstad reports for McClatchy Newspapers May 23, 2011.

The hearing will be Tuesday, May 25, at 2:30 pm ET, livestreamed on the Senate Energy Committee website

Source: McClatchy, 05/24/2011