SCR 3: Establishing the Joint Committee on Access and Federal Overreach; and recommending that the Governor establish a working group to consider establishing a permanent office or authority to preserve state sovereignty.
00 SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 3 01 Establishing the Joint Committee on Access and Federal Overreach; and recommending 02 that the Governor establish a working group to consider establishing a permanent office 03 or authority to preserve state sovereignty. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS, in recognition of the powers reserved to the states and people under the 06 Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the State of Alaska has a right to 07 review and voice concerns to federal authorities about actions taken by the federal 08 government that encroach on state affairs to a deeper and greater extent than permitted by 09 law; and 10 WHEREAS, in the Alaska Statehood Act, the State of Alaska received a grant of 11 103,350,000 acres of land to provide for the newly formed state to be economically self- 12 supporting; and 13 WHEREAS the legislature has cause for concern when federal officials and 14 departments overreach their constitutional and lawful mandate and compromise the capacity 15 of state government, through measures such as
01 (1) abrogating the "No More Clause" of the Alaska National Interest Lands 02 Conservation Act; 03 (2) the use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency of 04 administrative decisions to involve itself in the permitting process of development projects 05 occurring exclusively on state land; 06 (3) the implementation of the National Ocean Policy with regard to arctic 07 shores and the reach of the mandate traversing coasts into inland waterways of the state; and 08 (4) the use on state lands and waterways by federal officials of the Endangered 09 Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act, adversely affecting the state's right 10 to determine how to harvest its own resources according to its constitutional mandate; and 11 WHEREAS the federal government refuses to recognize its responsibility for 12 allowing an environmental disaster in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska by its own 13 actions of creating and failing to reclaim the more than 110 remaining "legacy wells," while 14 denying to the state the ability to actualize state resources under the claim of responsible 15 stewardship; and 16 WHEREAS the legislature recognizes that numerous Alaskans in the private sector 17 are being required to respond to federal overreach in the conduct of business, industrial, 18 subsistence, and recreational activities; and 19 WHEREAS the legislature recognizes there are numerous public sector entities 20 engaged in responding to federal overreach, including but not limited to the Citizens' 21 Advisory Commission on Federal Areas, the interagency Public Access Assertion and 22 Defense Unit, the Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act Program in the 23 Department of Natural Resources, attorneys in the Department of Law, and the Alaska Health 24 Care Commission in the Department of Health and Social Services; and 25 WHEREAS the legislature finds that the state requires a process whereby the attorney 26 general, in consultation with executive branch departments, reviews and reports to the 27 legislature regarding federal statutes, regulations, presidential orders, and secretarial orders 28 that may exceed the authority of the United States Congress under the Constitution of the 29 United States and that may unfairly limit the authority of the state, so that the legislature may 30 consider appropriate action; and 31 WHEREAS the state has a strong interest in securing rights-of-way and easements
01 across federal and other land to allow access for subsistence and recreational hunting and 02 fishing and outdoor recreation, to lower transportation costs for heating fuel, groceries, and 03 other goods and services, to provide for medical care and emergency medical evacuation 04 routes, and to provide access for exploration and production of natural resources essential to 05 the creation of good jobs that pay wages that can support a family; and 06 WHEREAS, as a territory and then a state, a number of federal laws, including R.S. 07 2477, granted Alaska a legal right and opportunity to establish and vest a right-of-way or 08 easement across federal and other land; and 09 WHEREAS several federal laws, including the Alaska National Interest Lands 10 Conservation Act, protect valid existing rights of access and provide an opportunity to 11 establish access; and 12 WHEREAS the state has a strong interest in gathering and preserving evidence of 13 rights-of-way and easements and asserting claims to rights-of-way or easements, as it has 14 done in AS 19.30.400; and 15 WHEREAS the state is engaged in an ongoing effort to collect aerial imagery and 16 digital elevation mapping data of the entire state; and 17 WHEREAS state government and residents of the state who have contributions to 18 make to the collection, preservation, identification, and assertion of rights-of-way and 19 easements would benefit from an electronic central repository, accessible on the Internet, that 20 included maps and images of trails and roads and provided an opportunity for members of the 21 public to input data, including Global Positioning System coordinates and other Global 22 Positioning System information, pictures, maps, and other documentation of existing and 23 potential rights-of-way and easements; and 24 WHEREAS, because identification and assertions of rights-of-way and easements 25 affect all concerned property owners, all parties involved in a claim for access would benefit 26 from a repository of information on rights-of-way and easements, as well as the establishment 27 of methods for alternative dispute resolution to resolve claims for rights-of-way and 28 easements; 29 BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that a Joint Committee on 30 Access and Federal Overreach is established to 31 (1) review federal statutes, regulations, presidential executive orders, and
01 secretarial orders that create compulsory federal legislation that directs certain state action or 02 requires the state to pass legislation to be in compliance; 03 (2) review federal statutes, regulations, presidential executive orders, and 04 secretarial orders that, in reliance on art. I, sec. 8, Constitution of the United States, or any 05 other legal authority, overreach and that unfairly burden the lives of Alaskans or adversely 06 affect the development of the land, economy, infrastructure, and resources of the state; 07 (3) consider matters of access to federal and other lands referred to the 08 committee by a legislator, a committee, the governor, a department, or a concerned member 09 of the public, to ensure that matters regarding federal overreach and access that adversely 10 affect the people of the state or the State of Alaska's constitutional obligation to maximize its 11 resources for the maximum benefit of all Alaskans are identified and investigated; 12 (4) review federal statutes in effect during the period Alaska was a territory 13 along with current statutes and compile a comprehensive list of federal statutes granting 14 rights-of-way or easements that may have vested or that may currently provide opportunities 15 for assertion of rights-of-way or easements; 16 (5) review databases and records in the possession of the state and federal 17 governments and other persons relating to the historical use of roads and trails in the state, 18 including those identified in AS 19.30.400, and provide recommendations to the legislature 19 for development of a summary of databases and other records to be gathered and preserved in 20 an electronic repository on the Internet that may be accessed by the public and that will 21 provide the public an opportunity to comment on data concerning roads and trails and to 22 upload to the repository evidence of established use of roads and trails in the state; 23 (6) review and report on current policy positions being taken by federal 24 agencies regarding assertions of rights-of-way and easements across federal land in the state 25 and the effects of those policies on residents of the state; 26 (7) review and report on efforts by other states to establish rights-of-way and 27 easements across federal land, including methods used by other states to gather evidence of 28 R.S. 2477 and other historical rights-of-way and easements and the types of documentation 29 and other evidence required of other states that have brought suit to establish rights-of-way 30 and easements; 31 (8) review and identify amendments to federal law or changes to federal
01 agency policy that would assist states in identifying and establishing rights-of-way and 02 easements across federal land by a reasonable and fair administrative process; 03 (9) meet during legislative sessions and between sessions and hold public 04 hearings if the committee considers hearings desirable; 05 (10) hire consultants and experts; and be it 06 FURTHER RESOLVED that the membership of the Joint Committee on Access and 07 Federal Overreach shall be composed of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or the 08 speaker's designee, and three members of the house appointed by the speaker, one of whom 09 shall be a member of the minority caucus of the house, and the President of the Senate, or the 10 president's designee, and three members of the senate appointed by the president, one of 11 whom shall be a member of the minority caucus of the senate; and be it 12 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Joint Committee on Access and Federal Overreach 13 shall submit reports to the legislature and the governor by January 15, 2014, and January 15, 14 2015, containing recommendations concerning how to contain federal overreach and 15 identifying legislation that the committee determines is appropriate to respond to federal 16 overreach; and be it 17 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature encourages the governor, 18 using existing resources, to form a working group made up of private and public sector 19 members, including members from the legislature, to make recommendations and advise the 20 legislature at the beginning of the Second Regular Session of the Twenty-Eighth Alaska State 21 Legislature regarding the formation, composition, placement, and budget needs of a 22 permanent office or authority charged with preserving state sovereignty by increasing the 23 effectiveness of state and private sector responses to federal overreach and, where 24 appropriate, facilitating and enhancing the exchanges of information among the legislature, 25 state agencies, and the private sector related to federal overreach; and be it 26 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Joint Committee on Access and Federal Overreach 27 shall terminate on January 15, 2015, unless extended.