CSHB 40(RES): "An Act relating to voluntary land trades, purchases, and leases to enhance public access to certain streams for fishing, hunting, and recreational activities."
00 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 40(RES) 01 "An Act relating to voluntary land trades, purchases, and leases to enhance public 02 access to certain streams for fishing, hunting, and recreational activities." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 16.05 is amended by adding a new section to read: 05 Sec. 16.05.096. Identification of privately held land along fishing 06 waterways. (a) Subject to (h) of this section, before July 1 of each year, the 07 commissioner shall submit to the commissioner of natural resources a list of land 08 along the following fishing waterways and additional waterways identified under (e) 09 of this section where access to the waterways is impeded by private land ownership: 10 (1) adjacent to or near Montana Creek, Goose Creek, Little Willow 11 Creek, and Willow Creek above the Parks Highway; 12 (2) along Anchor River and Deep Creek on the Kenai Peninsula; and 13 (3) along the Salcha River located off the Richardson Highway. 14 (b) When identifying land for the list in (a) and (e) of this section, the
01 commissioner shall 02 (1) solicit and review input from the public concerning land that may 03 be included on the list; and 04 (2) exclude land from the list if the commissioner is notified that the 05 owner is unwilling to allow or negotiate public access. 06 (c) Factors to be considered by the commissioner when identifying land to be 07 listed under (a) and (e) of this section include whether 08 (1) private land ownership prevents or may prevent in the future public 09 access to a section of the waterway for its fishing, hunting, or other recreational 10 attributes; and 11 (2) public access to a section of the waterway would significantly 12 enhance the public's enjoyment of that waterway. 13 (d) In reviewing land for identification under (a) and (e) of this section, the 14 commissioner shall give priority to land leading to and along fishing waterways that 15 (1) is reasonably accessible, including by backcountry hiking or off- 16 road vehicle, from the state's road system; 17 (2) is undeveloped and may be acquired by the state through purchase 18 or trade. 19 (e) After considering the factors in (c) of this section and establishing priority 20 under (d) of this section, the commissioner may add land to the list along a waterway 21 not listed in (a) of this section. 22 (f) The decision by the commissioner to include or exclude land on the list in 23 (a) of this section is within the discretion of the commissioner and is not subject to 24 appeal. The commissioner shall, however, make the list proposed to be submitted to 25 the commissioner of natural resources publicly available before submission of the list 26 and shall consider public comment before submission of the list. 27 (g) The commissioner may remove land from the list described in (a) of this 28 section if the owner of the land is no longer interested in a voluntary sale, trade, or 29 other transfer of an interest for the purpose of providing access to a waterway. 30 (h) The commissioner is not required to submit a new list of land under (a) of 31 this section if
01 (1) the existing list includes two or more meander miles of land along 02 fishing waterways; or 03 (2) no land is available for which the owner voluntarily is willing to 04 allow or negotiate public access. 05 (i) In this section, "fishing waterway" means a waterway that contains wild 06 sport fish or fish of a species, physical size, and abundance that may support a sport, 07 commercial, personal use, or subsistence fishery. 08 * Sec. 2. AS 38.50 is amended by adding a new section to read: 09 Sec. 38.50.015. Access to fishing waterways. (a) After receiving from the 10 commissioner of fish and game a list prepared under AS 16.05.096 that identifies land 11 along fishing waterways where access to the waterways is or may in the future be 12 impeded by private land ownership, the commissioner may proceed to acquire public 13 access to waterways across those lands. Nothing in this section expands the right of 14 eminent domain for a public use beyond the uses authorized under AS 09.55.240. 15 (b) The commissioner may use money from the public access fund established 16 under AS 38.05.874 for the purchase or lease of an easement, purchase of land, 17 purchase or lease of another property interest in land, or costs related to land trades to 18 obtain a property interest in land identified under AS 16.05.096. Money from the 19 public access fund may not be used to obtain a property interest in land identified 20 under AS 16.05.096 through the exercise of the right of eminent domain. 21 (c) The commissioner may not obtain a property interest in land under this 22 section unless the commissioner has made not less than an equivalent acreage of state 23 land available for disposal for private use under AS 38.05.050 in the same fiscal year. 24 (d) An agreement for a public access easement may allow the owner of the 25 land granting the easement to develop the land subject to the rights granted by the 26 easement. 27 (e) Before February 1 of each year, the commissioner and the commissioner of 28 fish and game shall submit to the legislature a plan to acquire public access to fishing 29 waterways through trade or purchase for the following fiscal year. The plan must 30 include a minimum access to not less than a total of two and not more than five 31 meander miles along fishing waterways unless this amount of land is unavailable for
01 sale or lease from a willing land owner. Within 60 days after receiving a written 02 request from a landowner requesting the removal of the landowner's land from the list 03 to be acquired under the plan, the commissioner shall remove the landowner's land 04 from the list, even if the removal leaves less than two meander miles along fishing 05 waterways. 06 (f) The commissioner or the commissioner of fish and game may close or 07 restrict public access acquired under this section if necessary to protect habitat along a 08 fishing waterway. 09 (g) In this section, 10 (1) "fishing waterway" has the meaning in AS 16.05.096; 11 (2) "meander mile" means a distance of one mile measured following 12 the course of a waterway. 13 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 14 read: 15 LAND TO BE CONSIDERED FOR FIRST LIST. Notwithstanding the discretion of 16 the commissioner of fish and game under AS 16.05.096, as enacted in sec. 1 of this Act, the 17 commissioner of fish and game shall submit to the commissioner of natural resources before 18 July 1 following the effective date of this Act a description of land 19 (1) adjacent to or near Montana Creek above the Parks Highway on waterways 20 that are open to trout and grayling fishing; and 21 (2) along Anchor River on the Kenai Peninsula where the waterways are open 22 to steelhead, salmon, Dolly Varden, or trout fishing.