Controversial Land Trade on Hold in Yukon Flats

A decision on whether or not to swap potentially oil-rich, protected land in the Yukon Flats with private wetlands will not be reached for another year. Appraisals will be underway to determine whether or not the controversial trade is fair.

"In the swap, the Fish and Wildlife Service would get at least 150,000 acres of Doyon land within the refuge, and Doyon would give up another 56,500 acres of land it owns inside the refuge that was selected as part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1970.

Doyon would get 110,000 acres of refuge lands believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves with subsurface drilling rights to another 97,000 acres of adjacent land. The Native corporation would also get to select lands outside the refuge in exchange for the ANCSA-selected lands it gives up in the refuge."

"The swap is opposed by environmentalists and many residents in Yukon Flats villages, who fear development in the refuge and the effects it will have on hunting, fishing and wildlife habitat."

Full Story: Federal agency postpones decision on Yukon Flats swap
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