Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared this statement following the announcement of a proposed rule by the Department of Interior to allow individual Alaska Natives and Alaskan tribes to place land into trust.
"The proposed rule issued by the Department of Interior today certainly caught me off guard, said Congressman Don Young. "This Administration made absolutely no effort to engage in a substantive dialogue with the many parties involved, particularly Alaska's Native community, prior to its decision to move forward with the rulemaking. Given that this policy change has the potential to upend 43 years of legislative and legal precedent, I will be carefully and thoroughly reviewing the proposal along with the involved stakeholders before commenting on its impact. Commenting at this point would be entirely premature, as well-intentioned federal policies often never translate to our way of life in Alaska. I shared these concerns with Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn today following his announcement, including the need for clarifications on how this decision will specifically impact existing law."