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Alaska Public Lands Legislation Letter to the Members of the House of Representatives.

May 14, 1979

You and your colleagues in the House of Representatives will soon cast the most important conservation vote of this century. Your vote on the Alaska lands bill is an opportunity to determine the protection and use of millions of acres of Federal land and resources in America's last frontier.

The Udall-Anderson substitute bill is balanced. It will allow development of nearly all of Alaska's oil and gas resources and most of its other minerals as well. It will allow timber production and related employment to increase. Valid mining claims will be honored. The fishing industry will be protected. Extensive sport hunting opportunities are preserved. And the Udall-Anderson bill protects what is essential to Alaska's native cultures, scenic wonders and abundant wildlife.

The other bills before the Congress are unacceptable. In these bills, the Arctic National Wildlife Range—the calving grounds and migratory route for the last great caribou herd—would be threatened by oil and gas exploration activities. Two of the most significant Alaska National Monuments—Admiralty Island and Misty Fiords—would be chopped in half. There are many other objectionable features of these bills which Administration officials have enumerated.

After the 95th Congress adjourned I took a number of steps to protect Alaska lands, including the establishment of 17 National Monuments covering 56 million acres. Legislative action offers Congress the opportunity not only to designate the Federal lands in Alaska but also to provide for tailor-made management schemes which in some cases are more lenient than the current situation. However, should legislation not strike an appropriate balance in Alaska, I will not hesitate to continue administrative protections.

This is an issue where the pressures of the moment must not be allowed to outweigh our responsibilities to future generations. I urge you to support the Udall-Anderson bill.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to each Member of the House of Representatives.
The text of the letter was released on May 15.

Jimmy Carter, Alaska Public Lands Legislation Letter to the Members of the House of Representatives. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249302

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