ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Sen. Lisa Murkowski is calling it a bi-partisan collaboration — members on both sides of the aisle joined the president as he signed the Natural Resources Management Act into law Tuesday.
As chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Murkowski helped secure the legislation that she says will have big impacts on Alaska. This means Alaska's public federal lands are open for use, and that includes opening a right of way for a natural gas pipeline through Denali National Park.
"The right-of-way for the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline — when that pipeline is ready to roll, we don't want anything to stand in the way,” Murkowski said. “We want to have dealt with this land easement issue, and so now that's taken care of. That also has been a long time coming."
Murkowski worked with other members of congress to secure this package for five years. The legislation includes 124 bills relating to land, water management, conservation, and access for sports men and women.
It includes many items of importance to Alaska, like the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Murkowski says compromise was a big part of securing the bill, but that overall it's a win for Alaska.
“It’s called compromise. It’s called building a package that has some balance,” Murkowski said. “And that’s what we worked to achieve was balance, not only between Republicans and Democrats, it was balance between the House and the Senate.”
For more information on the bi-partisan lands package, visit the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources website.