U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Keeps the "Bay" in Glacier Bay

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 6, 2005
Contact:   Jim Stratton, Director, NPCA Alaska Region, 907-277-6722, ext. 23; 907-229-9761 (cell)


U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Keeps the "Bay" in Glacier Bay

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) applauds the U.S. Supreme Court for today’s ruling over ownership rights of the submerged lands and tidelands in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

The ruling -— in response to a five-year-old case filed by the state of Alaska, which staked claim to all of the tidal lands and submerged marine lands within Glacier Bay -- finally puts to rest the state’s persistent claims of ownership.

“With today’s ruling, the Supreme Court has kept the ‘Bay’ in Glacier Bay,” said NPCA’s Alaska Regional Director Jim Stratton. “To think the park could function without the bay is a direct affront not only to its name, but also to the motivations of President Coolidge, who established the park in 1925.”

Last year, NPCA filed an amicus brief in the case rebuking the state of Alaska’s claim by detailing the impact that increased boat traffic and the reversal of the $24-million buy-out of commercial fishing permits would have on Glacier Bay, if the state were to win its case for ownership. NPCA warned these actions would detrimentally impact the park’s marine mammal populations, including its humpback whales.

“Given the world class marine resources alive and well in Glacier Bay, today’s ruling by the Supreme Court settles once and for all who’s clearly the most appropriate organization to manage and protect these resources into the future -— the National Park Service, not the State of Alaska,” Stratton said.

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