Legislature(2013 - 2014)BUTROVICH 205

03/11/2014 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION


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01:36:29 PM Start
01:36:41 PM SB211
02:22:15 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
*+ SB 211 STATE LAND AND MATERIALS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
+= SB 178 PASSENGER VEHICLE RENTAL TAX TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
                SB 211-STATE LAND AND MATERIALS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:36:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR EGAN announced SB 211 to be up for consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:37:16 PM                                                                                                                    
DANA OWEN,  staff to the Senate  Transportation Committee, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska, explained  that  they  were                                                               
asked by  the Department of Transportation  and Public Facilities                                                               
(DOTPF) and Department of Natural  Resources (DNR) to introduce a                                                               
bill to clarify ambiguity  in AS 02, AS 35, and  AS 38. The first                                                               
two  put  DOTPF  in  charge of  state  lands  for  transportation                                                               
infrastructure  and  public  facilities;  Title 38  puts  DNR  in                                                               
charge of state lands generally.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  said  this  bill  intends to  clear  up  perceived  conflicts                                                               
between the  different titles and  to improve  efficiency without                                                               
sacrificing any  public input.  It also  clarifies the  rules for                                                               
disposals when DOTPF  no longer needs a piece of  land for public                                                               
purposes.  The map  he passed  out to  each of  them was  the map                                                               
reference in  the SAFT-LU Act of  2005, which details all  of the                                                               
parcels affected by section 16 of this bill.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:39:15 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN BENNET, Chief,  Northern Region Right of  Way, Department of                                                               
Transportation  and Public  Facilities  (DOTPF), Juneau,  Alaska,                                                               
explained that SB 211 changes  the relationship between the DOTPF                                                               
and  the DNR  with  respect to  the  acquisition, management  and                                                               
disposal  of  lands  they require  for  airports,  highways,  and                                                               
public facilities.  Considering that  30 percent  of the  land in                                                               
Alaska is  owned by the  state, one  can imagine that  they often                                                               
need  to  acquire them  for  the  materials for  building  public                                                               
facilities and  other projects. He  said the bill  repeats itself                                                               
three times because they are  essentially applying the same three                                                               
primary provisions to all of their authorities.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Essentially  the first  major provision  clarifies  that the  DOT                                                               
holds the primary  authority to manage the surface  estate of its                                                               
facilities.  This  relates  to  the  existing  rights-of-way  for                                                               
highways,  airports and  public  facilities, which  clears up  an                                                               
ambiguity in the  law that broadened the  question sometimes: who                                                               
had the lead management role of Alaska lands: the DOTPF or DNR.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The second primary  provision of the bill is  that three separate                                                               
statutes  across  their authorities  deal  with  the disposal  of                                                               
lands that  have been  deemed excess  to the  department's needs,                                                               
but they all  have slightly different language and  in some cases                                                               
result  in unintended  consequences. So,  this bill  will provide                                                               
uniform language across the three different authorities.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He explained  that the combination  of the first  two provisions,                                                               
the disposals  and the  one that vests  surface estate  in DOTPF,                                                               
will  actually go  to  solve some  problems  that adjoining  land                                                               
owners have had  when they have accidentally  encroached into the                                                               
state's right-of-way. For example, some  structure was built in a                                                               
highway easement  that DOTPF  manages and owns;  so they  said it                                                               
could be resolved  by vacating the easement, but  then they found                                                               
out that DNR owns the  underlying fee estate. So, effectively all                                                               
they  have done  is transfer  the problem  to DNR,  and sometimes                                                               
their  rules  make   it  difficult  to  resolve.   With  the  two                                                               
provisions,  DOTPF  would  be  able  to  unilaterally  deal  with                                                               
resolving these types of problems.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:42:21 PM                                                                                                                    
The third general provision goes  to the acquisition of new lands                                                               
from DNR for  airports, highways, and public  facilities. This is                                                               
modeled  on their  exiting procedure  for acquisition  of federal                                                               
lands (BLM and Forest Service  lands) for the state's federal aid                                                               
highway projects. The process provides  that Federal Highways has                                                               
the authority  to appropriate BLM  and Forest Service  lands that                                                               
are necessary  for these  projects. They  give the  agencies four                                                               
months to comment, and if they  haven't made the transfer in that                                                               
time they  will execute the deed  to the state of  Alaska, a very                                                               
efficient process  for acquisition  of lands.  That is  what they                                                               
want their relationship with DNR to be.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Beyond  that there  is another  DNR provision  in that  they also                                                               
need to acquire materials (sand  and gravel) for virtually all of                                                               
their  projects. The  process now  is complex  in that  the DOTPF                                                               
contracts with  DNR to  acquire the  materials (paying  for them)                                                               
currently.  The   contracts  have   limited  terms   and  limited                                                               
quantities;  the  result is  that  they  are constantly  lapsing,                                                               
requiring reauthorizations  that delay  their projects.  This new                                                               
provision  will  recognize  that the  state-owned  materials  are                                                               
appropriate to be used on  state-owned infrastructure by a state-                                                               
owned entity like DOTPF. It makes  sense to allow DOTPF to access                                                               
these state material sites without  going through the contracting                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:44:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BENNET said  the bill has a few other  provisions; one has to                                                               
do with the Alaska Railroad  (ARRC). From time to time, primarily                                                               
on  large  capital improvement  projects  (CIP),  DOTPT needs  to                                                               
acquire a  piece of land from  the ARRC and they  need to acquire                                                               
it  in   fee.  It  cannot  transfer   title  without  legislative                                                               
approval. They  believe this to  be an unintended  consequence in                                                               
that while  the legislature may  have wanted to have  controls on                                                               
the  Railroad divesting  its interests,  they did  not intend  to                                                               
delay public  projects by having  a transfer to DOTPF  fall under                                                               
the  same umbrella.  So,  this provision  would  just allow  this                                                               
transfer  of  title  from  the   Railroad  to  DOTPF  for  public                                                               
transportation  projects and  would not  require approval  of the                                                               
legislature for that transfer.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:45:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Another section  transfers the Happy  Valley and  Franklin Bluffs                                                               
Camps, the old  TAPS properties from DNR to  DOTPF. DOTPF applied                                                               
for these  sites 20  years ago recognizing  they were  needed for                                                               
the  maintenance and  operations  of the  Dalton  Highway and  in                                                               
anticipation  of enhanced  resource development  and construction                                                               
of the  gas pipeline.  They have  been unsuccessful  in obtaining                                                               
the transfer  of these lands  because they were also  selected by                                                               
the  North Slope  Borough as  part of  the Municipal  Entitlement                                                               
Program. But  because of competing  interests, neither  party has                                                               
received title to the lands.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Their  point  of  view  is  that these  lands  are  public  lands                                                               
necessary  for public  purposes,  and that  should have  priority                                                               
over competing municipal entitlements. He  estimated a third to a                                                               
half  of the  municipal entitlement  lands will  remain available                                                               
for transfer to the North Slope Borough.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:47:13 PM                                                                                                                    
The  final  provisions  have  to  do  with  reciprocal  easements                                                               
between the State of Alaska and the Forest Service in Southeast.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:47:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SEAN LYNCH,  Attorney, Department  of Law (DOL),  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
explained  that  the  reciprocal  easements in  the  two  federal                                                               
highway bills back  Section 44.07 of SAFT-LU  enacts a reciprocal                                                               
exchange of  easements: the State  of Alaska received  19 highway                                                               
and utility easements  across the Tongass National  Forest and in                                                               
exchange the federal government  received just over 100 submerged                                                               
land   easements   for   log  transfer   facilities,   to   their                                                               
recreational  sites  and  trail  heads.  The  state  and  federal                                                               
government have  since exchanged easements, but  because of DNR's                                                               
present regulations,  the state  easements that  were transferred                                                               
to  the federal  government have  a 55-year  limitation. So,  the                                                               
Forest Service  has placed  a 55-year  limitation on  the state's                                                               
highway  and  utility  easements.   The  state  is  preparing  to                                                               
develop,  and some  are  close to  construction,  and the  Forest                                                               
Service has  assured us if  we removed our 55-year  limitation on                                                               
their state easement over submerged  lands they will do the same.                                                               
So, Section  16 would  allow the DNR  commissioner to  remove the                                                               
55-year  limitation  upon  his  finding that  it's  in  the  best                                                               
interests of the state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  asked what questions he  anticipates critics could                                                               
raise about this.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:50:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BENNET answered  the one provision that had  the most concern                                                               
was  the one  to transfer  the Happy  Valley and  Franklin Bluffs                                                               
sites to DOTPF, even though he  believes strongly that it is most                                                               
important  they are  reserved for  public purposes.  Clearly they                                                               
are competing  with the North  Slope Borough for those  lands and                                                               
so, he would expect some concern on their part.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Also, the  focus of bill  is on relationship  with DNR. He  had a                                                               
hard  time understanding  why they  have such  a complex  process                                                               
that  allows the  state to  use state-owned  property for  state-                                                               
owned facilities. He  wasn't sure where they  would get criticism                                                               
for creating efficiency.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said folks think of DNR  as the steward of a lot of                                                               
public land and  public resources and here  they are transferring                                                               
land to  the organization  that builds  things. So,  they perhaps                                                               
taking land from a more protected  source and putting it into the                                                               
exploiters and that  it is a backdoor way to  getting at mining a                                                               
lot of  gravel and a lot  of the public process  gets missed. And                                                               
who  knows if  the feds  will  reciprocate on  the 55-year  deal.                                                               
Somebody will think their ox got  gored, and where was the public                                                               
hearing process.  In streamlining, you've  cut the public  out of                                                               
the deal.  Does the North Slope  Borough know this bill  is going                                                               
through?                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNET answered he didn't think so.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said it would seem that they would be interested.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH  said the reason  this bill  was introduced so  late is                                                               
because they  worked through  every possible  angle with  DNR. He                                                               
was right  that DNR  at its heart  is a  conservation department,                                                               
and its  decision to do nothing  is a safe decision.  But for one                                                               
thing  this bill  only addresses  the transfer  of public  domain                                                               
land -  the general multi-purpose  lands of the State  of Alaska.                                                               
DNR  also  manages  school  lands,  Mental  Health  Trust  lands,                                                               
preserves,  critical  habitat  areas,  all of  which  are  single                                                               
purpose government  sites, and none  of those lands  are affected                                                               
and none of them could be  transferred under this bill. This bill                                                               
would only transfer the multiple use sites.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Most   of  DOTPF's   work  is   modifying  existing   facilities:                                                               
lengthening  airports, straightening  curves on  roads, and  that                                                               
type  of thing.  Most of  the  acquisitions are  small strips  of                                                               
land,  including  most  of  its disposals.  When  they  are  done                                                               
lengthening an airport  and need to dispose the other  end of the                                                               
airport, there are small parcel disposals.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
People might be concerned about  the large projects like the road                                                               
to Nome.  In large parcels this  act only exempts DOTPF  from the                                                               
Alaska  Lands   Act,  38.05,  provisions.   DNR  does   its  land                                                               
classifications through 38.04. So, any  type of new designation -                                                               
the road to Nome is a great example  - if the DOTPF wants to plan                                                               
a road  to Nome  it has  to go  through that  land classification                                                               
with DNR.  So, there is  still an  entire public process  in that                                                               
classification to set up that  right-of-way. Once the legislature                                                               
has  funded  construction  is  when  they  can  go  through  this                                                               
acquisition process. Even  the exchange of land  under this bill,                                                               
the four-month exchange  does have a public  notice provision. It                                                               
becomes  a DOTPF  engineering decision;  they  basically set  the                                                               
center  line of  their  ports or  highways  and the  right-of-way                                                               
parameters are set by regulation or  law. DOTPF posts that on the                                                               
public  notice system,  like any  other state  decision and  it's                                                               
open to challenge. These aren't secret no public process deals.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:57:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH  asked  if  this   bill  changes  any  permitting                                                               
requirements for activities to take place on the involved land.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNET  asked if he  was referring to  the case of  the Happy                                                               
Valley and the  Franklin Bluff transfer where  there are existing                                                               
leases and permits.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH answered that he meant more globally.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  DYSON  interrupted  to clarify  his  point  saying  that                                                               
permitting  for   DNR  is   pretty  tough.   The  land   and  the                                                               
responsibility  come  to  DOTPF   and  their  reduced  permitting                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH said  this bill  became controversial  because it                                                               
has a huge  effect on permitting and they are  being sensitive to                                                               
that. Are there some lurking issues around permitting?                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:58:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BENNET  said it's different.  All the  permitting regulations                                                               
and statutes that  DNR operate under once they  transfer the land                                                               
won't apply to  DOTPF, because DOTPF has its  own authorities for                                                               
permitting within  highways and  airports and  such, and  in most                                                               
respects, those  permitting constraints  are through  the federal                                                               
funding agencies and they really crack the whip with compliance.                                                                
Permitting processes are available  for those for different types                                                               
of things: in highways it may  be signs and driveways, at certain                                                               
encroachments. DOTPF  has permitting processes but  they are just                                                               
different.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH  said Mr. Bennet  just explained the  DOTPF permitting;                                                               
the  DNR   permitting  (addressed  in  section   1,  the  airport                                                               
provision that  repeats itself in highways  and public facilities                                                               
in sections  6 and  9. Page  2, line 3,  clearly states  that DNR                                                               
retains  its  entire  permitting  authority upon  the  terms  and                                                               
conditions of DOTPF. So, if there  is a mineral exploration or an                                                               
oil and  gas exploration lease  and it  goes for an  entire tract                                                               
that  includes  part  of  the airport,  that  permit  will  stay.                                                               
Nothing in this Act would change  that permit, but if they wanted                                                               
to drill at the end of the  runway, under this Act, now DOTPF has                                                               
primary authority for  the end of the runway, so  they need DOTPF                                                               
height  restrictions for  operations  of the  airport, and  DOTPF                                                               
would condition the permit in that way.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:01:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP  said they  have to  permit highways  with federal                                                               
funds the same way as always  and there are over 40 permits, both                                                               
federal and  state, that  DOTPF has to  jump through  before they                                                               
can  execute the  project. So,  that's a  load right  there. It's                                                               
interesting that  we are  copying federal law  for a  change. The                                                               
TAPS corridor material  sites will have to be  extended, and this                                                               
bill would streamline that?                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNET answered  yes; this bill would  streamline the process                                                               
for material sites on DNR lands.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:03:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BISHOP  said  he  was familiar  with  Happy  Valley  and                                                               
Franklin Bluffs and  he knew there were operators  working out of                                                               
there  with aircraft  and guide  pack  horses and  would they  be                                                               
afforded the same courtesies they have now?                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BENNET answered yes; they  recognize the existing DNR permits                                                               
and  leases  there and  the  bill  provides  that those  will  be                                                               
transferred  over to  the airport  leasing program  who are  very                                                               
familiar with permitting those types of activities.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:04:32 PM                                                                                                                    
DICK MYLIUS,  representing himself, Anchorage, Alaska,  urged the                                                               
committee  to  reject or  significantly  revise  SB 211  as  this                                                               
legislation does not  protect the public interest  on state lands                                                               
and section 16 may be  unconstitutional. As background he said he                                                               
had worked  in the DNR's Division  of Mining, Land and  Water for                                                               
29 years where he dealt with many  of the issues in this bill and                                                               
agreed that state  land should be used whenever  possible to meet                                                               
the  transportation  facility  needs  of Alaskans  and  that  the                                                               
process to  transfer state  land from DNR  to DOTPF  is sometimes                                                               
cumbersome. He  was also aware  that DOTPF is  sometimes troubled                                                               
by  DNR  decisions regarding  land  and  the conditions  DNR  may                                                               
attach to the land.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
However, this  legislation removes  any discretionary  ability by                                                               
DNR  to address  public concerns,  competing resource  interests,                                                               
and  even some  valid  claims by  other parties  to  the land  in                                                               
question. The  bill says  what DOTPF wants  DOTPF gets:  if DOTPF                                                               
asks the commissioner  of DNR to transfer a parcel  of state land                                                               
for  an  airport,  road,  gravel  pit, or  other  use,  DNR  will                                                               
transfer the land  within four months. The language in  Sec. 3, 5                                                               
and 8 all say DNR "shall"  transfer these lands that are selected                                                               
by DOTPF. This includes gravel  or other materials on state land.                                                               
This a problem  because state land isn't  just for transportation                                                               
uses, and sometimes sites selected  by DOTPF have prior competing                                                               
land claims or public interests.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MYLIUS said  the North Slope Borough  has existing selections                                                               
at Happy  Valley and Franklin  Bluffs and existing  selections on                                                               
gravel  pits near  the  airport at  Dead  Horse. The  legislation                                                               
directs DNR  to transfer these parcels  to DOTPF if they  ask for                                                               
them. Even if  the intent of DNR or the  legislature is to reject                                                               
those municipal  selections of these  lands, four months  (in the                                                               
bill) is not adequate time for  DNR to issue a decision to reject                                                               
the North Slope Borough selection,  allow for the required public                                                               
notice  and   comment,  and  resolve  likely   appeals  from  the                                                               
municipal  government.  The  state  has  obligations  to  fulfill                                                               
municipal   entitlements  of   other   municipalities  as   well,                                                               
including some  that have  interests in lands  that DOTPF  has an                                                               
interest  in.  For example,  the  Municipality  of Anchorage  has                                                               
outstanding rights  to certain state  lands in an  agreement that                                                               
was  reached between  DNR and  the Municipality  many years  ago.                                                               
Some   of   these  parcels   are   adjacent   to  the   Anchorage                                                               
International  Airport that  are not  currently available  to the                                                               
Municipality but  someday could  be. This bill  could potentially                                                               
override some of those provisions.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
In addition  to these  concerns, under  the existing  process DNR                                                               
looks  at  adjacent  land  uses  and  access  concerns  prior  to                                                               
transferring  land  to  DOTPF. This  bill  would  eliminate  this                                                               
process. For  example DOTPF applied  to DNR  for a gravel  pit at                                                               
Coldfoot that was adjacent to  a residential area, and DNR worked                                                               
with  them to  either find  a better  site or  had the  option of                                                               
conditioning the  use of  the gravel pits  by requiring  DOTPF to                                                               
retain buffers or  restrict hours of use for the  site. DOTPF was                                                               
not  particularly receptive  to these  concerns, but  because DNR                                                               
was the land  manager and had to go through  a public process, it                                                               
was able to deal with the local resident's concerns.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Under the existing process, DNR  can reserve easements for public                                                               
use through DOTPF  sites to ensure that access is  not blocked by                                                               
public facilities or  even condition transfers to  DOTPF with the                                                               
requirement to  provide alternative  access. Under  SB 211  it is                                                               
doubtful  that  DNR could  attach  such  conditions to  the  land                                                               
transfer.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:08:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Finally, section 16 requires special  attention by the committee.                                                               
Mr. Mylius said the reciprocal  easements referred to stem from a                                                               
little-known provision  in the SAFT-LU  bill Section  16 referred                                                               
to MAP 92337; this map  shows approximately 135 public access and                                                               
log  transfer   sites  on  state   tidelands  that  were   to  be                                                               
transferred  to the  Forest Service  in  return for  a number  of                                                               
transportation  and corridor  easements  across Tongass  National                                                               
Forest  lands. Several  years  ago, DNR,  DOTPF,  and the  Forest                                                               
Service agreed  on a  public process  to establish  the easements                                                               
that would be  transferred from the state to  the Forest Service.                                                               
To date, according to DNR 66  of the 135 sites have been approved                                                               
but another 67 have not.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Many  of  these  easements  that  have  not  been  processed  are                                                               
potential  facilities, and  some  of these  are important  public                                                               
access sites  that should  remain in the  state's hands  and have                                                               
Forest Service management. Also,  the process required the Forest                                                               
Service to submit  an actual application to DNR  to better define                                                               
the area they  wanted as MAP 92337, and they  have not applied to                                                               
DNR  for  these  67  unprocessed sites.  His  concern  about  the                                                               
constitutionality is  that this  legislation appears  to transfer                                                               
those remaining  67 sites  to the Forest  Service with  no public                                                               
notice as required by Article 8, Section 10 of the Constitution.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:10:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Finally, Mr.  Mylius said  this legislation  has two  zero fiscal                                                               
notes but it is  hard to believe there is no  cost to issue these                                                               
envisioned  land   transfers,  especially  the   easements  under                                                               
Section 16.  DNR has been  trying to  reduce its backlog  of work                                                               
and this  adds a bunch  of work  with no additional  resources to                                                               
address it.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:11:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON said  he was in favor  or what he was  trying to do                                                               
and guessed that Mr. Bennet would have some good answers.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:12:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BENNET responded  that this bill protects  all valid existing                                                               
rights  with regard  to existing  permits,  leases, and  existing                                                               
rights issued by DNR. With  regard to reducing the administrative                                                               
overhead,  they are  saying that  DNR by  virtue of  transferring                                                               
these public  domain lands to single  purpose government purposes                                                               
-  these  transportation uses  -  they  are  not required  to  go                                                               
through this  multiple use  management process,  and this  is the                                                               
point he differed from Mr. Mylius on.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH  pointed out  that section  3 on  page 2,  lines 29-30,                                                               
states the title  that is being transferred from DNR  to DOTPF is                                                               
subject to  valid existing  rights, and that  is repeated  in the                                                               
other sections.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
On the constitutionality  issue of the easements  or the workload                                                               
of the easement transfers, DNR  representatives could talk to the                                                               
easements  that  have   been  issued,  but  Mr.   Lynch  said  he                                                               
understood that the easements that  were transferred with the log                                                               
transfer facilities  required a written recorded  easement, but a                                                               
DNR determination was made years  back that trailheads and cabins                                                               
were public  access easements  and the  Forest Service  needed to                                                               
record an  easement for  them. That's why  half are  recorded and                                                               
half are  not. So,  the exchange of  easements has  actually been                                                               
completed and  this would  allow the  DNR commissioner  to remove                                                               
the 55-year limitation.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EGAN found no questions for Ed Fogels.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FAIRCLOUGH asked  why the state put  a 55-year limitation                                                               
and why it is not valid today.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LYNCH explained  that  the Alaska  Lands  Act envisions  the                                                               
transfer of interests  from the state to a third  party, which is                                                               
really this bill's  broader purpose, and the Alaska  Lands Act is                                                               
a  poor   fit  for  interagency  land   transfers.  That  55-year                                                               
limitation is so the state  does not divest its interest, because                                                               
there  may be  another  future  use that  is  required under  the                                                               
sustainable yield  concept in  the Constitution.   The  reason it                                                               
does not  work in this instance  is because of the  limitation it                                                               
puts  on  the  state.  If   we  build  roads  and  utility  lines                                                               
connecting Ketchikan to Shelter Cove,  the life of the road could                                                               
exceed  55  years, so  a  longer  interest  is needed  for  those                                                               
infrastructure improvements.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:16:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FAIRCLOUGH   said  another  piece  of   legislation  was                                                               
circling  that  had to  do  with  Native  land allotments  -  so,                                                               
subject to  "valid existing rights" -  page 2, line 29  & 30. She                                                               
was  an amend  on that  bill because  it says  "all" and  she was                                                               
worried about  mandating something  they couldn't  follow through                                                               
on and this is just another layer on top of those transfers.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON said regarding the  55-year provisions on easements                                                               
that DNR is working on  establishing historic trails and he hears                                                               
anecdotally but  consistently that  it is  the state's  burden to                                                               
prove to  the feds that  those existing right-of-ways  are there.                                                               
The feds  seem to  not be  sympathetic in  granting them  and are                                                               
more  than zealous  in forcing  the state  to go  a long  ways in                                                               
establishing  them. Do  any  of these  easements  fall into  that                                                               
category?                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LYNCH answered  the easements  on the  map in  their packets                                                               
have been  enacted by Congress.  The odd  quirk is they  told the                                                               
Forest Service you "shall" give  these easements to the state and                                                               
Congress  did  not  place  a  55 year  limitation  on  them.  The                                                               
reciprocal easement  was a Forest Service  determination based on                                                               
what Congress granted. But the state's answer is no.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:19:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  asked why just  exempt just DOTPF in  section 14,                                                               
the   Railroad  provision   that  exempts   DOTPF  from   needing                                                               
legislative approval of land transfers.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH  explained that the  purpose of this provision  is when                                                               
the legislature  directs DOTPF to improve  the Fairbanks airport,                                                               
for instance, there  is an appropriation and a  direction tied to                                                               
it. And  DOTPF requires fee  title because of the  FAA's security                                                               
requirements. DOTPF had to purchase  it from the Railroad and the                                                               
Railroad had to  come to the legislature and  get that conveyance                                                               
of land authorized. He didn't  know of another other state agency                                                               
that is in the same  position with the legislature directing them                                                               
to deliver a project.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SB 211 was held in committee.                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB211-DOT-SWDES-3-8-14.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB211-DNR-MLW-3-8-14.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB 211 Bill Summary.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB 211 Glenn MP 118 N ROW Plans.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB 211 Old Glenn Hwy.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB 211 Sectional Analysis.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB 211 Sponsor Statement Letterhead.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB 211 Comments - Milles 031214.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211
SB 211 Comments andTestimony - Mylius 031114.pdf STRA 3/11/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 211