Today U.S. Senator Mark Begich released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court decision today not to take up the State's appeal of the Katie John case.
"Today I stand by the Alaska Native community to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to hear the Parnell-Treadwell administration's appeal of the Katie John case. Today's decision means the subsistence priority under the Alaska National Interest Lands Act is upheld in navigable waters where the U.S. owns reserved water rights, or roughly 60 percent of inland waters. This is a huge victory for the heroic Katie John, her family and the entire Alaska Native community. Throughout Alaska's rural communities, subsistence hunting and fishing remains essential to the cultural and physical wellbeing for thousands of Alaskans and I'm committed to protecting that right."