Republican News

Republican News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today welcomed the National Park Service’s decision to develop regulations recognizing the rights of subsistence users to collect wild berries, birch bark, seaweed, beach grass, and other renewable traditional foods and handcraft material in Alaska’s national parks.

“This decision – while long overdue – is a small step in the right direction. It finally brings the National Park Service’s rules into alignment with the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act’s goal of ensuring Alaskans can continue to live a subsistence lifestyle despite the prevalence of federally managed land in the state,” Murkowski said. “The truth is that rural residents have been carrying out these activities on their traditional lands for generations, but it’s important that federal regulations reflect and respect that reality. I thank the National Park Service for listening to me on this issue.”

The new regulations will officially recognize the rights of subsistence users to collect resources to make and use handicrafts for personal or family uses, to barter them, or to sell them as customary trade.

Murkowski, Alaska’s senior senator and the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has continually pressed federal land managers to improve subsistence management in Alaska.