by Sue Deyoe ~ September 1st, 2011
DENALI PARK -The non-profit watchdog organization for Denali National Park has filed a lawsuit against the Alaska Department of Natural Resources concerning gas exploration north and east of Denali National Park.
The Denali Citizens Council filed its opening brief in Alaska Superior Court on Friday against DNR’s award of an exploration license on approximately two hundred and eight thousand acres of state lands in the Denali Borough adjacent to Denali National Park.
According to DCC President Nancy Bale, the brief details the legal deficiencies in the decision to grant Usibelli Coal Mine a license to drill for gas, including coalbed methane. The group feels as if there are no meaningful protections for neighborhoods.
The license process in the Healy Basin has been on going for close to a decade. Gas development in the Healy and Stampede area was first proposed in 2003.
The state does not comment on legal matters while under consideration in the courts.