State officials criticize federal land management plan

    The Bureau of Land Management's plan designates 1.7 million acres for possible resource extraction, while the other 4.8 acres of federal land remains closed to mining.

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The federal government's new plan to open up one-quarter of the land it manages in eastern Alaska to mining and oil development has received criticism from state officials and leaders who say it restricts development in the state.

    The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the Bureau of Land Management's plan released in July designates 1.7 million acres for possible resource extraction, while the other 4.8 acres of federal land remains closed to mining.

    The plan is different from a draft version in 2012, which recommended a majority of the land be used for resource development.

    State Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Elizabeth Bluemink says the department is concerned about the "restrictions and withdrawals identified in the plan."

    Several tribal governments have voiced support for the federal plan.

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