Young plans formal voice on Alaska resource issues

Posted: Friday, January 05, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Don Young may be losing the chairman's gavel of the House Resources Committee, but he still plans to have an extra say when Alaska issues come up.

Young said Wednesday he will lead an ''Alaska task force'' as part of his duties as a continuing member of the committee. The committee's new leader, Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, has approved of the task force.

Young had to step down as chairman of the full committee at the end of the last Congress because of House Republican rules that limit members to six years at the helm.

Greg Thom, Young's spokesman, said the structure of the task force is ''still being fleshed out.'' It will not be a full subcommittee, but it will have other congressmen as members, Thom said.

It will also have staff. Chris Fluhr, a Resources Commitee legislative staff member, will be in charge.

Legislation affecting Alaska specifically will be sent to the task force, Thom said. For example, the task force will not review the entire Magnuson-Stevens Act, which creates the fishing management structure for U.S. ocean waters, during its expected renewal in this Congress. But the task force would look at any Alaska-specific language in the renewing legislation, Thom said.

Legislation affecting Alaska Natives also will be reviewed by the task force, Thom said.

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