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Public Comments Submitted Online

Eastern Tanana Area Plan

Topic: Public Scoping Comments

Date Submitted:  July 16, 2009, 8:01 AM
Comment:  Thanks to you and the rest of the DNR staff who came to Delta Junction to explain the current Eastern Tanana Area Plan. We would like to offer the following comments/suggestions to be used for formulating the next plan:

- Land classified as agricultural land should be designated so that it must remain as agricultural land - even after it is turned over to cities, boroughs, native organizations, universities or mental health trusts, etc. Agricultural land is needed to provide a stable food supply for the state. There is not enough agricultural land in the state to do this. More land needs to be classified as agricultural.

- Expand the northern boundary to include the four townships at the Yukon River Bridge. This land should be classified as agricultural land.

- Wood Bison is an endangered species and if introduced, will prevent the development of the land where they are/roam to be used for other purposes.

- Land that is West of Delta Junction, approximately across from the Tanana River Bridge is known as Delta West and is a future agricultural area. Adjacent to this area, there are some private farms there currently, the largest is the Whitestone Community. The Alaska Railroad may cross the river, which could provide access to the land. In addition, Forestry is putting in a winter road for timber access which has the possibility of becoming a public road.

Date Submitted:  June 22, 2009, 10:27 AM
Comment:  I'm writing in support of the re-evaluation of the Yukon-Tanana Basin Area and the Eastern Tanana Area. It needs to be revised in support of the current economic factors, and to provide a sufficient land base for the development and conservation of the state's natural resources.

The Tanana valley contains the largest blocks of undeveloped agricultural land in the state.

Less than 5% of the food grown in Alaska is consumed in Alaska. More land needs to be put into production to support a growing population and new land must be made available so food production can increase.

Date Submitted:  June 12, 2009, 8:20 AM
Comment:  How would you like to see state lands used?

Make it easy to use any public lands or waters for alternate energy sources - wind, hydrokenetic (whatever that means), solar farms, etc.

Any other comments?

See map 3-5 in the 1991 plan. There is a 20 acre parcel of land (N1/2NE1/2NE1/4, Sec 36, T1N,R1E, FM) that should somehow be disposed of, either through your DNR disposal programs or transferred to FNSB so that they could sell it or something. This parcel is immediately west of Herning Subdivision, has power nearly to its eastern border, and the remnants of a road through it. It is hillside property and should be classified as residential (it was in the 1985 plan).

Date Submitted:  May 19, 2009, 8:40 AM
Comment:  Thank you for the opportunity to provide the Department of Natural Resources, Resource Assessment & Development Section scoping comments on the revision of the eastern portion of the Tanana Basin Area Plan and future uses of state lands in this region.

Pure Nickel Inc. is a mineral exploration company which holds 2,452 state claims and 581 federal claims covering approximately 180,000 acres of land in sub-region 5, East Alaska Range of the Eastern Tanana Area Plan (ETAP). The attached map shows a rough approximation of Pure Nickel's claims outlined within a red border imposed on the ETAP map, the property is also referred to as the MAN property.

As part of the public scoping planning phase of the process, Pure Nickel would like to comment that it would like to see the land remain designated as active use so that the state lands in this region can be accessed for mineral exploration and eventual mine development.

Since 1997 Pure Nickel and its predecessor company Nevada Star Resource Corp. have invested over $20 million in exploration on the MAN property and believe that the area holds great promise for a nickel and platinum group element (PGE) discovery. As you may be aware these minerals play a major role in many industrial processes. PGEs are vital to many industrial and mechanical processes requiring emission amelioration and reduction. Due to their catalytic properties, PGEs are used in vehicle catalytic converters, fuel cell technology and other important applications. Thus, the supply of PGEs is vital for environmental protection initiatives.

It is important to note the positive economic impact of exploration on the local communities in which we operate. This year's exploration budget is approximately $5 million. Much of the budget will be spent with Alaskan based suppliers and service providers. Local lodges, equipment suppliers, food and fuel providers, helicopter operators, laborers and natural resources consulting firms have and will continue to participate in the development of the property. In addition, Pure Nickel makes claim maintenance payments to the state totaling $328,030, as well as federal claim maintenance of $72,500.

Pure Nickel is extremely conscious of the environmental impact of its activities. Routinely, our drilling programs have been helicopter supported to minimize environmental impact. This year Pure Nickel has commissioned a base line water sampling program and will follow up with annual water sampling programs. In addition, Pure Nickel also commissioned and published an initial report on caribou migration and will build further study into caribou migration in subsequent exploration programs. We are pleased to enclose a copy of the caribou migration report, along with a copy of our environmental guidelines.

Pure Nickel is committed to a transparent process on environmental issues. We have reached out to local environment groups and Native Americans. We plan on face to face meetings with these groups during the month of June. Our approach is to keep them informed of our intentions and conduct ourselves in an environmentally responsible fashion.

Pure Nickel's vision is to develop an important mineral resource on the MAN claims and that by designating these lands as active use for mineral development along with support for maintaining and eventually expanding the existing transportation corridors work can continue on the MAN property which will stimulate growth in support and primary mining industries, and provide employment opportunities and a stable source of revenue for the state.

Thank you again for the opportunity to provide input to you. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Department of Natural Resources.

Included with comment: Map; Report: Preliminary Report on Caribou Migration, Nelchina Basin, Alaska; Booklet: Pure Nickel Inc. Environmental Objectives and Guidelines

Date Submitted:  May 19, 2009, 8:08 AM
Comment:  I understand that you recently met with Tanacross, Inc.'s land management consultant, Meg Hayes, regarding scoping for the Easter Tanana Basin Area Plan, which is an update of the 1985 Tanana Basin Area Plan. I also understand that you intend to meet with the people of Tanacross in the fall to learn more about their use of state lands. I have a few comments to keep in mind while you are completing your scoping process.

One suggestion Tanacross, Inc. made many years ago was to keep land disposal parcels located close to Tok as a way of minimizing:

impacts on subsistence resources;

wildland fire fighting expenses;

trespass; and

unauthorized harvesting of privately owned resources (timber & firewood).

Obviously the proximity of land disposal areas to the gas pipeline easement is important. Tanacross, Inc. suggests that the State would want to minimize the number of land owners in the gas pipeline alignment, once it is determined.

Tanacross, Inc. also expects that the State of Alaska would not use double standards when dealing with its citizens in general (Native allotment applicants vs. land disposal applicants). It is somewhat incongruous that DNR is looking for new land sale disposal areas at the same time it refuses to recognize the valid existing rights of Native allotees.

I am looking forward to hearing more about your project and its possible impacts on the people in the Upper Tanana. Please coordinate your visit through Tanacross, Inc.'s Administrative Assistant, Sherry Sparks, at the telephone number listed above.

Date Submitted:  May 6, 2009, 11:34 AM
Comment:  How do you use state land? recreation, fishing, 4 wheeling, camping

How would you like to see state lands used? Same as above. I think state land access is important to Alaskans. I would like to see a more agressive effort to move agricultural land into private ownership and encourage farming activities. I also think that land designated as Ag land should either be preserved from selection by boroughs, native claims, Mental Health or University or it should maintain its ag covenants after being selected.

Date Submitted:  May 6, 2009, 11:13 AM
Comment:  We here in Alaska are at the end of the transportation food chain, subject to the whim of weather, road conditions, oceans and shippers, not to mention the political climate. Anything we can do to enhance the opportunity to produce our own food should be encouraged not detracted from. Though the years there have been valiant efforts, some more successful than others, to establish an agricultural base in Alaska. By removing ag land from the equation only creates one more obstacle. Government entities should do everything within their power to encourage the production of our own food. Thank you.


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