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Friday, July 9, 2021

Joe Miller Thinks You’re Not Very Smart.

By Legal Eagle
Apparently, Joe Miller doesn’t read The Mudflats.  Or if he does, he skips over my posts because he has already “mastered the law” (insert sarcastic chuckle).  So what is our favorite divorce lawyer saying today?  To paraphrase – screw the Alaska Constitution and Statehood Act, we want our land back!

Yes, Mr. Miller still hasn’t learned his lesson (or stopped talking in the third person, but that’s a separate, non-legal issue).  He recently told his hometown paper that despite the inflammatory Teabagger rhetoric that he used during the primary, he’ll request money from the federal government until we get our land back from them.  Given that this will never happen, I believe that it’s safe to call Joe Miller a flip-flopper.

Primary position: we will take NO money from the feds.

Current postition: we’ll take money from the feds until they give us our land back, which will never happen, so we will ALWAYS take money from the feds.

“The federal government needs to honor the promises made at statehood and transfer control of our land and resources to the people of Alaska,” Miller said. “Until that process is complete, I will fight for Alaska to get necessary federal dollars; however, it is imperative that we as Alaskans not settle for a few paltry crumbs from the federal table.”

Ahh, the promises made at statehood….if only Joe Miller had taken a look at the Alaska Statehood Act! But why read the text when you can just spout off talking points?

Now Mr. Miller hasn’t spent much of his life in Alaska, being a guy who was born and raised in Kansas.  But perhaps before running for statewide office in Alaska, he should brush up on some Alaskan history.  Because I’m a generous sort, I’ll give him the Cliff Notes of Alaskan statehood:

Alaska had a fairly small population when it became a state in 1959.  Due to its small tax base, Congress did not think that Alaska could generate enough revenue to finance its state government.  As a result, Congress included two measures in Alaska’s statehood act to assist in financing the government.  First, sixty percent of the land in Alaska — 225 million acres — was set aside as federal land.  Importantly, should any minerals be developed on this federal land, including oil, the federal government would give 90% of the mineral lease profits to Alaska.  This practice continues to this day. See Section 28 of the Alaska Statehood Act.

Once again, had Joe Miller ever bothered to read the Alaska Statehood Act, he might have learned a little about the “promises made at statehood:”

(a) The last sentence of section 9 of the Act entitled “An Act to provide for the leasing of coal lands in the Territory of Alaska, and for other purposes”, approved October 20, 1914 (48 U.S.C. 439), is hereby amended to read as follows: “All net profits from operation of Government mines, and all bonuses, royalties, and rentals under leases as herein provided and all other payments received under this Act shall be distributed as follows as soon as practicable after December 31 and June 30 of each year: (1) 90 per centum thereof shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury to the State of Alaska for disposition by the legislature thereof; and (2) 10 per centum shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of miscellaneous receipts.”  (

So, in addition to other federal monies flowing into the state, the federal government also gives us 90% of its profits from mineral development on federal lands?  Damn feds. Stop giving us money!

In addition to this rather generous clause, Congress also included a provision allowing Alaska to select 104 million acres (28% of the total land in Alaska) from the “unreserved and unoccupied land” in the state.  The idea was that once the federal government had transferred title of this land to the state, the state would then be able to develop the resources on it to fund its government.  See Alaska Statehood Act, Section 6.

Hmm, so of these two measures, which one hasn’t been fulfilled, Mr. Miller? The federal government holds 65% of the land in the State of Alaska.  The State holds approximately 24%.  The remaining lands in this state are held privately.   I don’t know of any claims that Alaska isn’t getting its 90%.  Where are the broken promises, Joe?

Now, I’m not claiming to have been around in 1959 to know what promises were supposedly made that aren’t contained in the act.  But I’m pretty damn sure that Joe Miller, born on May 10, 1967 in Kansas, was also not around at statehood. I’d love for him to enlighten us; after all, according to Joe, once the federal government fulfills these promises, the money ends.  I know that I’m not the only Alaskan that would like to plan for that day.  Unless, of course….Mr. Miller was LYING.  (Say it ain’t so, Joe!)

It is readily apparent that in addition to being clueless when it comes to constitutional law, Joe Miller also isn’t very good with statutory construction.  It is a fundamental tenet of statutory construction that when a judge is reviewing the text of a law, if it is plain and straightforward on its face, then he or she does not bring in any additional or outside evidence (somewhat akin to the parol evidence rule in contracts, which prevents a party to a written contract from presenting evidence that contradicts or adds to the written terms of the contract).  Could anything be more clear than Section 4 of the Alaska Statehood Act?

Bottom line: Joe Miller is simply talking about what Joe Miller thinks that Alaskans want to hear.  For the Tea Party crowd, he is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to the federal government.  For rational Alaskans, who recognize our dependency on federal dollars and the need to develop this very young state, he is saying, “Oh, I’ll take federal money…but just until we get all of our land back.”  In reality, the United States government has not made a single promise regarding Alaska’s statehood that it has not kept, and there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of getting “our” land back from the federal government.

Joe Miller thinks that he’s fooling us when he says, “Oh, I’ll just take federal money until they keep their promises and give us our land back.”  We’re smarter than that, Alaska.



56 Responses to “Joe Miller Thinks You’re Not Very Smart.”
  1. InOhio says:

    First — how’s-come Palin didn’t get “your land” back? Not even a peep about it from the grizzley granny….

    Second — how’s-come AK is getting 90% from OUR (Me a Tax Payer) Resources!!!! I’m going to start hitting my senator to take back OUR 90%. It’s bad enough the straight up 1.8 ROI on taxes and the crude/gas taxes passed on, but now I’m double paying 90% of that as [(a) covering costs to Exxon and (b) lost tax revenue to AK]??? Why do I have to pay state taxes and AK also!

    I like this site… so don’t take it personally… but AK is a big rip-off to us taxpaying non-ril-mericans in the lower 48.

    • St. Elias says:

      Ohio—You state — “how’s-come AK is getting 90% from OUR (Me a Tax Payer) Resources!!!!”

      Alaska is not getting 90% anymore. Read the post directly above yours. It is down to 50% and could even go lower. Back in our Territorial Days, leading up to statehood, there was a lot of concern that Alaska’s slim population could not generate enough revenue to sustain itself as a state, so the federals were pretty benevolent and gave us a generous portion of their royalty revenue from natural resource extraction. Federal oil royalties in Cook Inlet, discovered in the 1950s, pays us 90%. Over the years the state has filed a number of lawsuits challenging the federal government for not honoring their original obligations in the act. I’m not certain what arguments the U.S. Supreme Court used in determining that the feds are not locked in on the 90% royalty clause. Perhaps, because that stehood act language refers specifically to “coal mines” on federal lands.

      Furthermore, there is a lot of history here that folks have forgotten or ignored with respect to the statehood act. For instance, in the late 1980s there were the D-2 battles. Alaska was prevented then from claiming its land under the act becasue the feds wanted to pull out 130 million acres for other federal purposes. When this was all settled, some said all Alaska got to claim was mountain tops.

      You indicate that AK is a big rip-off for taxpaying Americans. You are probably refering to the argument that Alaska gets about six dollars back from the federals for every one it pays in. True. However, bear in mind that 65% of the prime land in Alaska is owned by the federal government. Much of this is in National Parks, National Forests, Monuments, etc. In 1980, when ANILCA was settled, the amount of land in the United States, in conservation status, doubled. It costs to support all of this. If the people of the U.S. want to own all this land for the purposes of having a huge zoo to visit, then they have to pay for it. In addition, Alaska is widely regarded as being the first line of defense for the lower 48. Therefore, a huge and expensive military presence is here. If folks in the lower 48 don’t like this, then shut the bases down and get out. I could go on and on. But when you get right down to it, Alaska probably only practically gets back a dollar for every dollar it pays in if you discount all this land and other stuff up here owned and operated by American taxpayers in the lower 48.

  2. St. Elias says:

    From BLM:

    Federal Oil and Gas in Alaska

    Oil and gas leasing on Alaska’s Federal lands onshore is concentrated in two regions: the Cook Inlet Region on both sides of the Cook Inlet and in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A). Exploration and production in the Cook Inlet Region began in the 1950’s and continues to contribute to Alaska’s economy and Alaska’s energy needs. Exploration in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska has three distinct exploration periods; the first two were government-led efforts from 1945-1952 and 1975-1981 and resulted in several discoveries but no sustainable production. The third period of exploration has followed the 1999 – 2008 lease sales in the NPR-A. This exploration has resulted in several discoveries. First production of oil and gas from the NPR-A will likely occur in 2014.

    The BLM administers the Federal oil and gas leasing program and issues permits for geophysical exploration, operation permits to drill oil and gas wells, and authorizations to construct pads and install production facilities. Oil companies pay lease bonuses and lease rentals to the BLM for the leasing of lands and pay royalties for oil and gas production. The State of Alaska receives 90% of these bonuses, rentals and royalties from the lands in the Cook Inlet Region and 50% of the bonuses, rentals, and royalties from the NPR-A.

    NOTE THE 50%

  3. St. Elias says:

    Hey, I detest Joe Miller probably more than most. But on ANWR royalties, get real, some in Congress have even went so far to suggest that Alaska get as little as 5% of the royalties if ANWR goes. Here is a fact for you:

    *Myth: The state of Alaska will get 90 percent of any royalties from oil production in ANWR’s Coastal Plain.
    Reality: The federal government won litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States which allows congress to determine the share of revenues with the State of Alaska. Congress wants 50/50.

  4. Fred says:

    Very interesting. Please give us more information. How many mines and how many oil rigs are on Federal lands and how much revenue is that bringing in for the State of Alaska? Sorry to be a burden, if you don’t have time I will understand.

  5. Nick Danger says:

    Questions for Joe Miller:

    1. When did he graduate West Point?
    2. Release his DD-214. What units did he serve in?
    3. Let’s see the Bronze Star citation. Says a decorated combat veteran—what combat?
    4. Why does his webpage not mention he graduated from Yale Law School, it just says law school?
    5. What’s with the hipster pseudo-beard?

  6. renegade says:

    I was there in ’59 but must admit I didn’t know all the facts that Legal Eagle has so eloquently presented. This should certainly help stop the Kansas Carpetbagger if only this information gets widely distributed. So good luck, Legal Eagle, spread the word far and wide…please, please, please. Joe Miller MUST be stopped.

  7. MinNJ says:

    You, Legal Eagle, are brilliant and a joy to read. Thank you so much for the pleasure.

  8. North of the Range says:

    The JM view of the world, with inspiration from Burma Shave: (I just wish I knew how to do bold italics script for the last line…)

    Alaska Statehood
    It’s just grand
    We’ll take Fed money
    AND keep the land
    *Hey Buddy, Shave*

  9. leenie17 says:

    I’m beginning to believe that some of these politicians think we’re still living in the days of the Pony Express and the telegraph, when lies told during a campaign didn’t catch up to you until your term was half over.

    With the instantaeous fact-checking ability of the ‘intertubes’, and everybody and their mother in posession of camera and video-capable phones, you just can’t get away with lies the way you used to. Darn technology!

    Welcome to the 21st century…where your lies and your incompetence WILL be exposed!

  10. Molly says:

    I guess it could be worse: you could have Christine O’Donnell running for senate.

  11. dreamgirl says:

    Limited is long for the shortbus-crowd. Miller is loser on so many levels. Jeez, he needs a clue. (a human one, not a corporate one, what a human douche)

  12. physicsmom says:

    Agree, Legal Eagle. This is well done and deserves broader distribution. Hope you can muster the contacts to make it happen. I’m sure AKM can help. Good luck to you and to Scott McAdams.

  13. beth says:

    What A Fan From Chicago said.

    Seriously, Legal Eagle — This is the *real* Common Sense ALL Alaskans *need* to be exposed to!

    This info [and the one previously…hopefully more to come?] NEEDS to get out there. It’s all polite and factual…should be no trouble at all for blue-haired SScheck-getting granny to understand, nor should it be difficult for double-barrel shotgun totin’, snow-machine racin’, 3rd-generation AK-Bubba to understand, either.

    Neither piece has high-falutin’ ‘fancy’ words thrown in — ain’t no snobbery and elitism…but when one of them Latinish legal-type words does have to creep in, you explain it all so well, even a Piper could understand it.

    And with the added bit of oh-so-sly humour in your pieces, not only will you be (well) educating Alaska’s voters about the total ineptitude and idiocy that is Joe Miller, you’ll be giving them a head start on laughing their heads off at how truly stupid the ‘lawyer’ (from Kansas!) is for even *thinking* he could represent the good citizens of the 49th State.

    So, what you say, LE, gwinna be the Thomas Paine for this election? Gwinna push the pieces? beth.

  14. A Fan From Chicago says:

    Legal Eagle, this is great information on a sympathetic blog but you really need to move this forward (and your previous legal take on Joe Miller’s deficiencies.) Have you sent both posts to the
    Scott McAdams campaign? As a letter to the editor of the newspapers? As a part of local and statewide Democratic Party newsletters? To the DSCC? To the major print sites like Politico, HP, etc.

    I’m guessing you have, so forgive me for asking but want to cover all the bases. I don’t want to sound like Palin in the aftermath of the Couric interviews where Sarah thought you folks in Alaska were underestimated and uninformed.

    But I think a lot of races are in play and our sides decision makers are looking for some facts that make them look again at any race. Sounds like the national party aparatus doesn’t see this seat as worth the effort but you guys may convince them to at least pay attention, or even take a better look.

    Don’t just send the info blindly. Work contacts, find a name or phone number. Ask Begich. You know how to do it. The odds are so against McAdams on paper but I think a really dedicated, creative, grassroots effort that can garner some national and institunal support could really stir things up.

    Let’s get going ladies. Get the word out far and wide and be sure and let us know how it’s going. Mr. Miller should be denied access to The World’s Most Deliberative Body (boy those days are gone) if only because he is so seriously Folically Challenged.

    Joe, how ’bout a Shave and A Haircut? Two Bits.

    This guy cannot be a United State Senator.

  15. ks sunflower says:

    Though you are right about the group that attended or support the Palin/Beck event, it’s great to see this information get out there for the younger demographic voters. Children and grandchildren had a huge effect on voters in 2008. Legal Eagle has done a fantastic job in conveying the key points in such a way that almost anyone can understand the key points. I think more people will be turned off Joe Miller’s bait-and-switch tactics and see his “stands” for what they are in the next month if people start buzzing about what they’re learning here.

  16. Mo says:

    Thanks, Legal Eagle, that was deliciously informative.

    For the “This is who we are” crowd that attended the Palin/Beck bore-a-thon, however, it’s all irrelevant. Tribal identity validation is what they want. Lies will do nicely – cognitive dissonance requires them.

  17. Enjay in E MT says:

    Don’t ya just hate it when the SPIN gets stopped on a dime due to those those nasty FACTS?

    • ks sunflower says:

      Oh, yeah, so sad. Those facts will trip up the right-wingers every time, unless they have lots of experience in treading through deep do-do. High steppers each and every one.

  18. Jen says:

    You really don’t get a pass Mr. Miller! Ignorance of the law is not a defense. And we have screen shots of all your past web posts. There is no hiding from your recorded ignorance.

  19. Thanks for all the details about Alaska’s statehood. I’m also from Kansas, though I’m 18 years older than Joe. So I remember when Alaska became a state. But never in any of my years in school were we taught anything about the details of who did what with the land. We had a mandatory Kansas history course in 8th grade and World and American history courses in high school (very disappointing, since I looked forward to both, as someone very interested in history). But no courses on Alaska history or government.

    One thing I always do when I go to a new city, state or country is to do a little research about the history and culture. Apparently Joe moved to Alaska and just decided to make up his own reality without any research. As someone with a law degree, it would seem he’d know that someone would be fact checking his remarks. Alaska is smarter than that, but clearly Joe Miller is not.

    • I wasn’t disappointed that I had World and American History classes – I had looked forward to them for years. What was disappointing was that they were taught by ineffectual teachers. My American History teacher was a coach who knew only what was in the book – that sort of incomplete version of history that makes students think history is useless and boring. I entertained myself that year by asking questions to which I knew the answers and was pretty sure he didn’t. That’s how bored I was in the class – usually I didn’t talk at all, but it was so much fun to see him squirm and then finally have to admit he didn’t know. 😉

      • ks sunflower says:

        It is almost a foregone conclusion that coaches will be expected to teach history classes. As we moved around the country, we found the same attitude from school administrators – trying to get double-duty out of every teacher whether or not they were really qualified in a specific area. All you need to be regarded as quality in some areas is just a few college hours in it. This is not true in every school district but in the ones who have limited funds or limited vision school boards, they will cut corners this way.

        • benlomond2 says:

          our coaches taught Driver’s Ed….our History teachers were GREAT !! if a bit eccentric,,, my junior year teacher was a TR fan… and in College, we had a French Revolution nut, that wore different clothes of the period every class , a Britsh Dragoon, a Spanish peasent, A French infantryman… totally amazing..

  20. GoI3ig says:

    We can all hope he’ll click his ruby colored cowboy boots together three times and say, “there’s no place like home.” Go back to Kansas my little pretty!

    • CO almost native says:

      While Western Kansas might, those in the Lawrence-Kansas City area hope Alaska will keep him, thank you very much. Besides, if Joe is a carpetbagger, they usually went South. Maybe he’s directionally challenged– along with historically challenged.

    • ks sunflower says:

      No, no Kansas doesn’t want or need Joe Miller. We already one too many wackos in our state and local government and with Senators Brownback (who is going to run for Governor of Kansas this fall) and Roberts and all the right-wing Representatives – gees, we’re drowning in right-wingers, but Joe goes beyond the crazies we’re used to – please, please, please just keep him and make sure he suffers a humiliating defeat in November. Pretty, pretty please.

  21. LoveMydogs says:

    Now he is pandering to the Leasa folks.

    I wonder how that will go over with the teabaggers? What about all of the people who said (after the election) that they voted for him because they think that we should “keep it local”?

    Just another politician…nothing to see here folks.

    Sorry, Joe, I don’t think you can have it both ways anymore because your BFF, SP, has got these people all riled up about “big government” (not that she wasn’t addicted to pork). Maybe he is just freaked out after attending the screeching weekend and starting to realize the crazy that he has gotten into bed with.

    And where does a Kansas carpetbagger get off not knowing anything about the history of this state? Where are the people who were around at statehood? Why aren’t they weighing in on this? Did they ALL die this year?

    In the meantime, there is a letter to the editor in this morning’s newspaper stating that, in spite of attending one of Leasa’s town halls on health care last summer to beg for help with her sick kid, and in spite of PO’s health care reform, a “middle class” Mom still cannot afford insurance.
    “Last year I had the honor of speaking to Senator Lisa Murkowski at the Soldotna Home Town Meeting. I also had the privilege of having Senator Mark Begich call my home to discuss what issues our family faces with concern to healthcare. So one year and one “Healthcare Reform” later and where are we? We are still middle class and uninsured. As a mother, I have worked diligently advocating and piecemealing coverage for my children. We utilized COBRA insurance that was offered after winter seasonal work came to an end. With the help of federal stimulus money we were able to afford this COBRA insurance. Senator Murkowski’s staff helped me navigate insurance brokers. Due to a pre-existing childhood illness, ACHIA is our only option at this time. We are still priced out of having private healthcare and do not have any at this time.”

    And you can vote on the question of the week and leave a comment at their poll on whether SP would be an effective POTUS here: So far it is 71% No to 29% yes.

  22. Memaw says:

    Ratfish – In addition to all the points that you mentioned, let us not forget that this same Joe Miller wants us to elect him to an office within the federal legislative system.

    So, is Joe going to work for free or pull a Paylin and just quit, thus reducing the size of federal government?

  23. Ratfish says:

    Joe Miller’s education was paid by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    Joe Miller’s salary as an Army officer for his shorter-than-obligated stunt was paid by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    Joe Miller’s salary as a part-time state judge was paid by the STATE GOVERNMENT.

    Joe Miller’s salary as a part-time federal magistrate was paid by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    Joe Miller’s salary as a Fairbanks borough attorney was paid by the LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

    What does Joe Miller say he wants to cut? THE GOVERNMENT.

    • 1smartcanerican says:

      Plus, Joe Miller wants his next job to be paid by the government also, too – along with a government retirement plan and government health care until he dies.

      It sounds like Joe Miller is a government man all the way!

    • ibwilliamsi says:

      Like Sarah, Joe has figured out that the best money to be made by people trained by the Federal Government is in the private sector. At best he’d be a one term Senator. Then he’ll head for the book tour.

    • lee says:

      Does he receive disability payments for his disability? If so, isn’t that the Federal Gov?

    • physicsmom says:

      Didn’t he also claim to be a teacher for some period of time? That’s also a local government job. It just kills me that if he wins, he will get a giant pension and health care from even a one-term stint with the Feds. For someone who disdains the government “trough” he sure is willing to partake of it. Aaack!

  24. Ratfish says:

    I’m still waiting for Joe Milker to explain why he QUIT the Army well before fulfilling the active service obligation imposed upon West Point graduates in return for having their educations paid by …the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

  25. Megaera says:

    Joe-Joe, you’re not in Kansas anymore! (What DID he study at West Point and Yale anyway?)

  26. This is a tremendous series, LE.

  27. bubbles says:

    thanks AKM. as clear and concise a history lesson as one could hope for. that’s why i come here. i learn so much. on the blog or the forum there is always something interesting to learn.

  28. Wolf Pack says:

    So Joe’s a communist who, like Sowah, wants to suck at the teat of Big Government.

  29. Jaime from Wasilla says:

    In a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” that means that WE the people ARE the government. Miller and his supporters who hate government clearly hate themselves. They need a big old hug, …and some therapy, …and some better anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds.

    • Lacy Lady says:

      I think they need a Kick in the Ass —-rather than a hug.
      Guess I am in a bad mood today–as I received a notice that medicare did not pay or approve the meds I received at the ER when I broke my wrist. So I am to pay this as Blue Cross Blue shield will not pay anything that medicare does not approve.
      When a person goes to the ER with a broken bone–they are to just suck it up???? Give me a break——sorry about the pun.

  30. nswfm says:

    You know he’s appealing to the people and is a hypocrite flip flopper, but nonetheless, I hope people don’t vote for him in the General Election. He’s pandering, but to some people that works. See the fools who attended the Glenn Beck show in Anchorage. People voted for $P, too.

  31. Writing from Alaska says:

    Great post – and thank you for helping others of us clarify our understanding of Alaska history! Very much appreciated and nice to have the specifics to support the intense uneasiness about this ‘character’.

    • St. Elias says:

      Well, maybe not so accurate:

      Click on

      This is Order Code RL 31115 “Legal Issues Related to Drilling for Oil and Gas in ANWR”

      Go to pages CRS-32, CRS-33, and CRS-34 These are the last three pages.

      I do agree though, this Miller is bad, bad, bad, for our state, for us, my kids and grandkids.

      • St. Elias says:

        Legal Eagle suggested: “The idea was that once the federal government had transferred title of this land to the state, the state would then be able to develop the resources on it to fund its government.” “Hmm, so of these two measures, which one hasn’t been fulfilled, Mr. Miller? I don’t know of any claims that Alaska isn’t getting its 90%. Where are the broken promises, Joe?”

        For response to the 90% Fed. royalties question, see post directly above. For Fed. land transfer reneging, read on:

        Gov. Jay Hammond says it best: “When I became governor in 1974 little had been done to resolve “d-2″ and the inability to acquire our state lands was becoming an ever more festering sore on Alaska society.” The d-2 lands issue remained unresolved through the 1970s.” “In 1971 Congress enacted the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, it awarded 44 million acres of Alaska land to the Natives. (Land previous avaliable for state selection.)” “Another clause was inserted in that act, specifying additional federal land be set aside as parks or refuges in the national interest, a federal freeze was put on all state land selections.”

        From Alaska History and Cultural studies: “In March 1972, Secretary Rogers C.B. Morton withdrew the 80 million acres in areas that the conservation lobby, and officials in the Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and had recommended. He also set aside 45 million acres for study, for possible future conservation units, 40 million acres around villages and in traditional areas for Native selection, and set aside an additional 3 million acres from which Natives could select as “make-up lands” if any of the conservation withdrawals took traditional Native lands. Finally, the Secretary designated 35 million acres for the state to select. Further state selections would have to wait until the conservation and Native selections were complete. I It was an extraordinary action that surprised most people. It was more than the conservationists had hoped for, and it was in line with ANCSA It also seemed to freeze Alaskans out of the process and made many Alaskan angry.

        “Soon afterward the state filed a suit challenging the federal withdrawals.A planning commission began its work, taking testimony recommending resolution of a number of federal/state conflicts. The state withdrew its lawsuit, in exchange for the right to make some immediate selections in areas that had been set aside for conservation. Three months later, in December 1973, the Secretary forwarded his final recommendation for conservation withdrawals to Congress; they totaled over 83 million acres. This time the state was not as angry for even though officials had not been permitted to select all the lands they wished, the Secretary had left most of the lands the state wanted available.

        But more difficulties arose: “Having provisional approval of 26 million acres, and the promise of an 35 million more already agreed upon,, the state still had 43 million acres to complete its entitlement under the statehood act. State leaders had nervously watched as Congress wrestled with the size and location of the proposed Alaska units, wondering what would be left when they were through. Andrus understood there was an agreement that the state would wait until Congress passed an Alaska act before moving ahead on the last round of selections. But the state didn’t wait. In early November, the state filed an application with the BLM for 41 million acres. Nearly one quarter of the selections were in proposed new federal conservation units.”

        “Andrus did not wait. Two days later he withdrew nearly 111 million acres of Alaska land, using the authority of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Andrus named 40 million of the withdrawn land as study areas, preventing mineral or other commercial activity. At the request of the Agriculture Secretary, President Carter suspended the operation of public land laws on 11 million acres of the existing Tongass National Forest. Then, two weeks later, President Carter withdrew 56 million more acres in Alaska, using the authority of the 1906 Antiquities Act, placing the land in 17 new national monuments. That brought the total Carter administration withdrawals to 154 million acres, which were to last three years. Without a doubt it the most dramatic and sweeping withdrawal of public lands in the history of the nation, and it left Alaskans in a state of confusion.”

        But: In the 1980 elections Reagan became president, with a Republican majority to the Senate. When the new Congress took office in January, there were fewer delegates in favor of a strong environmental bill than there was in the 96th Congress. There was now no chance of getting approval of Udall’s H.R. 39. Accepting this reality, two weeks after the election Udall asked the House to approve the Senate bill. They did so by voice vote. On December 2, 1980, President Carter signed into law the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.”

        “Mr. Udall gives In,” the Anchorage Times announced.”

        “ANILCA was sweeping legislation, it set aside 104 million acres of Alaska land in a variety of new conservation units; 56.4 million were classified as wilderness.”

        With the passage of time, however, and now, several decades later, support for the vision of ANILCA has increased, even among former detractors in Alaska — as the spectacular parks, monuments, refuges and other areas set aside by the 1980 legislation have become a significant boon to Alaska tourism and the State’s economy.

  32. John says:

    The truth is so limiting. He doesn’t like politicians who just say what people want to hear, regardless of the facts. So, he just tells us what he thinks we want to hear regardless of the facts.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Love that “[t]he truth is so limiting.” Poor Joe, struggling under that burden, finding so many ways to get out from under. Must drain his energy so.

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