Our senior senator is immune to the twin diseases of arrogance and corruption so contagious in Washington right now. She has demonstrated quiet leadership during a time when loud, shrill voices draw attention and money. At a time when the national media prefer slogans and similes over excellence and staying on the job, Lisa has been all anyone could hope to see in the US Senate.
The job we need done in Washington doesn't generate tabloid headlines. Working with people we know and trust always makes sense. New people, untested by responsibility and elected office, are bound to have flaws and traits undiscovered during the election process. Strong talk can be followed by weak performance once in office, and Alaska voters know more about that today than we did in 2008 and in 2006.
In Southeast there's been prolonged discussion and occasional rancor over legislation specifying where and how Sealaska Corporation can select remaining land entitlements, and I find myself a member of organizations that are on every side of the issue. However, there's one viewpoint that hasn't been voiced. As a professional forester for 40 years, and as a Certified Forester who has extensively looked at Tongass NF and Sealaska land, I can say there is no doubt whatsoever that Sealaska does a superior and outstanding job of forest management. Sealaska practices extensive silviculture, produces peer-reviewed research, tailors harvesting decisions to the land, and buffers sensitive areas more extensively than required by law. Alaska forest practices law, now 20 years old, remains outstanding natural resource law, and Sealaska manages its land to an even higher standard to increase long term shareholder value.
But perhaps more importantly, Sealaska produces value today where federal ownership would produce much less for all Alaskans. Not only jobs but more deer and other resources are produced because of Sealaska forest management. And trees are a renewable resource. All three of our people in Congress have worked this legislation, and no matter how unlucky the process has been, Sen. Murkowski has staked out the high ground through her hard work.
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