WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 157, the Denali National Park Improvement Act, introduced earlier this year by Senator Lisa Murkowski and passed by the Senate in June 2013. Passing by voice vote, S. 157 now heads to the President’s desk for his signature. S.157 was introduced concurrently with Rep. Young’s H.R. 586, which passed the House Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent earlier this summer.
“This legislative package will do a variety of positive things for Denali National Park, and I am pleased to see S. 157 pass so swiftly in the House ,” said Rep. Young. “I wish to thank my friend and colleague Senator Lisa Murkowski for her continued leadership on this bill that will help develop much needed renewable energy within the park, allow for a natural gas right-of-way, and also honor Walter Harper, an Athabascan who was the first person to summit Mt. McKinley.”
Kantishna Micro-Hydro Project:
This legislation would allow the Doyon Native Corporation to build a micro-hydroelectric project inside Denali National Park and Preserve to power Kantishna Roadhouse, a backcountry lodge the Fairbanks based Native Corporation owns 100 miles inside the Park. Also, the bill facilitates a small land exchange to clear a path for this project. This facility would displace diesel generation currently used to power the Roadhouse.
Natural Gas Pipeline:
S. 157 will authorize a right-of-way along the seven mile portion of the Parks Highway that runs through Denali National Park. This would allow an easier path for a potential natural gas pipeline to reach Southcentral Alaska.
Naming Talkeetna Ranger Station in Honor of Athabascan Climber:
S. 157 will name the Talkeetna Ranger station after Walter Harper, the first person to summit Mt. McKinley. The Talkeetna Ranger Station is the home of Denali National Park's mountaineering rangers, and is located roughly 100 miles south of the entrance to the park in the town of Talkeetna. Anybody who intends to attempt a climb of Mt. McKinley is required to first stop at the Talkeetna Ranger Station for their permit and mountain orientation.