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Introduction

Joseph Rudd, Alaska Mineral Development (1978)

Many share the view that between Alaska and the Rocky Mountain states there exist important areas of common concern — great dependence upon the land in both cultural and economic activities, major involvement in finding and producing much of the mineral wealth of the country, large areas of public land managed by the federal government and sparse population with a relatively small voice in Washington.

Each of these areas of common concern is exaggerated in Alaska and I believe the papers to be presented here, focusing on Alaska, will also be relevant when you consider the problems and development in the other Rocky Mountain states. At least in part because of Alaska's geographic isolation, its recent entry both into the Union and into the big leagues of mineral activity, and its reliance upon a handful of economic bases, some of the problems common to other states are found in a relatively pure form in Alaska.

The handling of the Native settlement is an example. Although by no means simple, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was constructed without significant complication arising from treaties, reservations, special legislation and the like.

The d-2 situation is another example. The land directly involved is almost entirely federally owned with few private inholdings or private rights attached to it — and of course, the lack of defined private i