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Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman.
The Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act includes a provision that I offered as an amendment on the House floor in February. The amendment to the omnibus Public Access and Lands Improvement Act passed the House by voice vote, and I am pleased it has come before the House again as part of the Senate-passed legislation.
During the debate on that measure, I told a story that led to this provision, and how the Federal Government failed one of my constituents, Mr. William Alstrom, endangering his Alaska native veterans allotment and the cabin
he and his family built on their own effort on his land the Federal Government conveyed to him and then took back due to a bureaucratic error.
At its core, fixing issues like this is one we are all sent here to Washington to accomplish, and the way in which this has been fixed, merely months after I was first made aware of this issue, is an example of how Congress should function as we work together.
Today, after the House sends S. 404 to the President, I am pleased that William and his family can put this headache behind them, and William can put his time to better use by continuing to serve St. Mary's, Alaska, as mayor and president of his village corporation.
May I, again, thank the chairman, the ranking member, the two Senators, and the total Larsen delegation for this legislation, especially recognizing the mudslide.
But I hope we all recognize that the Federal Government is not a good manager of land. There are too many times that logic does not prevail and too many times they are being sued by interest groups that understand logic. I am suggesting respectfully, as the chairman has said, we ought to work together, both parties together, on solving land issues that are really created by our own government--both sides. I have been under eight Presidents, and I have watched these Presidents all not take into consideration individuals, their rights, their prerogatives, as free Americans.
So I, again, thank you for the efforts put forth in this legislation. I commend the chairman and ranking member for the work they put forth, and God bless you.
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