Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

04/12/2017 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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Audio Topic
01:31:58 PM Start
01:33:44 PM SB58
01:40:46 PM Confirmation Hearings
03:22:48 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General
-- Public Testimony on Appointee --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 58 DEPT OF LAW: ADVOCACY BEFORE FERC TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 58 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 12, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 58                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Department of Law public advocacy                                                                       
function to participate in matters that come before the Federal                                                                 
Energy Regulatory Commission."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 58 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Attorney General of the State of Alaska                                                                                    
          Jahna Lindemuth                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  58                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DEPT OF LAW: ADVOCACY BEFORE FERC                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/13/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/13/17       (S)       RES, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
03/20/17       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/20/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/20/17       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/22/17       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/22/17       (S)       Moved  SB 58 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/22/17       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (S)       RES RPT  2DP 4NR 1AM                                                                                   
03/23/17       (S)       DP: GIESSEL, COGHILL                                                                                   
03/23/17       (S)       NR: HUGHES, VON IMHOF, STEDMAN, MEYER                                                                  
03/23/17       (S)       AM: WIELECHOWSKI                                                                                       
04/10/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
04/10/17       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/10/17       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/12/17       (S)       JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CLYDE "ED" SNIFFEN, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                  
Regulatory Affairs and Public Advocacy (RAPA)                                                                                   
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 58 on                                                                    
behalf of the administration.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JAHNA LINDEMUTH, Designee                                                                                                       
Alaska Attorney General                                                                                                         
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as Alaska Attorney General                                                                      
Designee.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
NIESJE STEINKRUGER, representing herself                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of the confirmation of                                                               
Jahna Lindemuth to the position of Alaska Attorney General.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALAN LEMASTER, representing himself                                                                                             
Copper River Salmon Charters                                                                                                    
Gakona, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified during the confirmation hearing of                                                              
Jahna Lindemuth to the position of Alaska Attorney General.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY BISHOP, representing herself                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to the confirmation                                                               
of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT OGAN, representing himself                                                                                                
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to the confirmation                                                               
of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL GERAGHTY, representing himself                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of  the confirmation of                                                             
Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PATTY BARBER, representing herself                                                                                              
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT: Stated  opposition  to  the confirmation  of                                                             
Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KENNY BARBER, representing himself                                                                                              
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Stated  that  he  does   not  support  the                                                             
confirmation of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK DERRICK, representing himself                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to  the confirmation                                                             
of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG COMPEAU, representing himself                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: During the  confirmation hearing for Attorney                                                             
General Lindemuth,  he asked  why she does  not believe  the R.S.                                                               
2477 case against Ahtna is worth defending.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DOUG VINCENT-LANG, representing himself                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: During the  confirmation hearing for Attorney                                                             
General  Lindemuth, he  asked the  committee  to get  her on  the                                                               
record committing to reach out  to all potentially affected users                                                               
on all R.S. 2477 cases going forward.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
GARY STEVENS, representing himself                                                                                              
Chugiak, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated that  he opposes the  confirmation of                                                             
Attorney General Lindemuth.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RICK ALLEN, Director                                                                                                            
Office of Public Advocacy                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Stated  support  for  the  confirmation  of                                                             
Attorney General Lindemuth.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAREY MILLS, representing himself                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT: During  the confirmation  hearing for  Jahna                                                             
Lindemuth as  Alaska Attorney General,  testified that  the court                                                               
issued a decision recently in  his longstanding R.S. 2477 case in                                                               
which the state chose not to intervene.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE WILLIAMS, representing herself                                                                                        
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION   STATEMENT:  Testified   in  strong   support  of   the                                                             
confirmation of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COONS, representing himself                                                                                                
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Stated  that   he  strongly  opposes  Jahna                                                             
Lindemuth for Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MIKE TINKER                                                                                                                     
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Association (AWCA)                                                                                 
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: During the  confirmation hearing for Attorney                                                             
General Lindemuth, testified that  the public does not understand                                                               
the decision to  settle and fears losing ground  on access issues                                                               
to resources along the Klutina Lake Road.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KAREN GORDON, representing herself                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to  the confirmation                                                             
of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LARRY SMITH, representing himself                                                                                               
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of  the confirmation of                                                             
Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to  the confirmation                                                             
of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
LAWRENCE ARMOUR, Mayor of Klawock;                                                                                              
Tribal Administrator for Klawock Cooperative Association                                                                        
Klawock, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of  the confirmation of                                                             
Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
AL BARRETTE, representing himself                                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to  the confirmation                                                             
of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
GREGORY RAZO, representing himself                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of  the confirmation of                                                             
Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
NICOLE BORRROMEO, Executive Vice President and General Counsel                                                                  
Alaska Federation of Natives                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of  the confirmation of                                                             
Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD BISHOP, representing himself                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to  the confirmation                                                             
of Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska Attorney General.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SUE ZAJAC, representing herself                                                                                                 
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT: During  the  confirmation  hearing of  Jahna                                                             
Lindemuth as  Alaska Attorney  General, cautioned  against making                                                               
any arbitrary decisions about access  along the Klutina Lake Road                                                               
before getting to know the area.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
1:31:58 PM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR  JOHN   COGHILL  called   the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:31  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Dunleavy, Costello, Wielechowski,  and Chair                                                               
Coghill. Senator Kelly arrived during introductions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
            SB  58-DEPT OF LAW: ADVOCACY BEFORE FERC                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:33:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL announced the consideration  of SB 58 and noted the                                                               
proposed amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CLYDE  "ED"  SNIFFEN,   Assistant  Attorney  General,  Regulatory                                                               
Affairs  and Public  Advocacy (RAPA),  Department  of Law  (DOL),                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska, said  he presented  SB  58 on  Monday and  he                                                               
didn't have anything to add.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:34:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI moved Amendment 1, labeled 30-GS1875\A.1.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL objected for an explanation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
    OFFERED IN THE SENATE           BY SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI                                                                     
          TO:  SB 58                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2, following "Commission":                                                                                  
          Insert  "; and  relating  to  the regulatory  cost                                                                  
     charge"                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 3:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Section 1. AS 42.08.380(a) is amended to read:                                                                   
                    (a)  Each year, a person operating an                                                                       
          in-state natural  gas pipeline under  this chapter                                                                    
          shall  pay to  the  commission  a regulatory  cost                                                                    
          charge  if the  pipeline for  which the  charge is                                                                    
          assessed  is  subject  to  this  chapter  and  the                                                                    
          commission  has taken  action on  the pipeline  or                                                                    
          certificate  under this  chapter during  the prior                                                                    
          fiscal  year. The  amount of  the regulatory  cost                                                                    
          charge  may not  exceed the  sum of  the following                                                                    
          percentages   of   gross  revenue   derived   from                                                                    
          operations in the state:                                                                                              
                    (1)  0.7 percent to fund the operations                                                                     
          of the commission; and                                                                                                
                    (2) 0.23 [0.17] percent to fund                                                                         
          operations of  the public advocacy  function under                                                                    
          AS 42.04.070(c)   and   AS 44.23.020(e)   in   the                                                                    
          Department of Law."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 2"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  explained that  the amendment  increases to                                                               
.23  percent the  regulatory cost  charge (RCC)  funding for  the                                                               
Department  of  Law   RAPA  Section.  That  is   the  amount  the                                                               
department indicated it would need  to fully fund the RAPA budget                                                               
without relying on the general fund.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked Mr. Sniffen if he had seen the amendment.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SNIFFEN answered no, but  that is the rough number Department                                                               
of Law has presented. It would  result in another $700,000 in the                                                               
regulatory cost charge  that the Department of Law  would be able                                                               
to look to for funding.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked him to  confirm that this would result                                                               
in a savings to the general fund.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SNIFFEN  said that  is  correct,  but the  amendment  should                                                               
probably be  in AS 42.06,  the pipeline RCC statute,  rather than                                                               
AS 42.08.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:37:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL asked what Title 42 addresses.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:37:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   said  he  received  the   amendment  from                                                               
legislative legal late  last night and this is  where the drafter                                                               
said the amendment should be placed.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:37:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL maintained his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:38:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said he would  withdraw Amendment 1 and give                                                               
everyone an opportunity to think it over.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:38:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  moved  to  report   SB  58,  version  A,  from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL announced that without  objection SB 58 is reported                                                               
from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                          
                      CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
1:40:46 PM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR  COGHILL  reconvened the  meeting  and  announced the  next                                                               
order of business  would be to continue  the confirmation hearing                                                               
for the Governor's  appointee to the position  of Alaska Attorney                                                               
General. He summarized  that the primary discussion  has been the                                                               
issue of  [the R.S. 2477  right-of-way access from  Copper Center                                                               
to Klutina Lake]. He thanked  Attorney General Designee Lindemuth                                                               
for providing his office with  extensive information on the topic                                                               
and meeting with him on three separate occasions.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He said  the purpose today  is to give Attorney  General Designee                                                               
Lindemuth an opportunity  to talk about the  discussions over the                                                               
past  several weeks,  take  public testimony,  and  allow her  to                                                               
respond to the testimony.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:42:12 PM                                                                                                                    
JAHNA LINDEMUTH, Alaska Attorney  General Designee, Department of                                                               
Law (DOL), said  she would go over her background  and talk about                                                               
the case before  there is public testimony. She  advised that she                                                               
is a lifelong  Alaskan, other than leaving  for undergraduate and                                                               
law  school. She  takes her  citizenship, responsibilities  as an                                                               
Alaskan, and  duties as  attorney general  very seriously.  "I am                                                               
honored to serve as Alaska's Attorney General."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She noted  that at  the last  hearing she  talked about  the many                                                               
hats  the  attorney general  wears  depending  on the  particular                                                               
issue. Depending  on the  circumstance, the  governor can  be the                                                               
client, or an independent board  or commission can be the client.                                                               
When there is  a lawsuit involved, as in the  Klutina case, there                                                               
is a statute  that gives the attorney general  the sole authority                                                               
to  run  that case  and  settle  that  case  if he/she  deems  it                                                               
appropriate. "Again, I'm not going  to pursue a case or recommend                                                               
settlement in a case unless I  think it's in the best interest of                                                               
all Alaskans. That's the primary client  that I serve - the whole                                                               
state of Alaska."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
She directed  attention to the  Alaska Department of Law  List of                                                               
Federal  Issues and  Conflicts that  she distributed  earlier. It                                                               
summarizes the status of the  federal issues the state is dealing                                                               
with.  "So  we're  pressing  full  steam  ahead  on  all  of  the                                                               
different  cases we  have against  the  federal government."  She                                                               
noted  that many  of  the  cases have  updates  since the  recent                                                               
change   from    the   Obama   Administration   to    the   Trump                                                               
Administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:44:55 PM                                                                                                                    
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  clarified that  the Klutina  case is                                                               
against  the private  party Ahtna,  not  the federal  government.                                                               
This case involves access rights on  24 miles of road from Copper                                                               
Center  to  Klutina Lake.  The  state  has been  in  right-of-way                                                               
litigation  with  Ahtna for  over  eight  years. With  the  trial                                                               
pending,  the  parties again  looked  at  whether some  interests                                                               
could align  making settlement possible. Speaking  as someone who                                                               
has 20 years  of commercial litigation experience,  she said this                                                               
is a normal  part of any case that is  moving forward. Being able                                                               
to evaluate cases and decide what  is in the best interest of the                                                               
state is expertise she brings to this position.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Over the last  eight years there have been  two previous attempts                                                               
to  settle with  Ahtna. At  that time  the parties  were too  far                                                               
apart; Ahtna was  not willing to give on the  critical issue of a                                                               
100 foot right-of-way  under R.S. 2477. "That is  the basic right                                                               
that  we insisted  be  a part  of any  settlement."  This is  the                                                               
difference  between now  and the  failed  settlement attempts  in                                                               
past  years. While  there is  no  settlement at  this point,  DOL                                                               
insisted on  including key  terms in  the settlement  before they                                                               
released the trial date.  "When and if we get to  a place where I                                                               
believe that we  are getting what we want out  of the settlement,                                                               
and that we're ensuring access  for future Alaskans and that's in                                                               
the best  interest of all  Alaska, that's a settlement  that I'll                                                               
be  recommending that  we move  forward on  and sign."  She would                                                               
confer with  the governor and other  three commissioners involved                                                               
to ensure that they agree with  her judgement. "But at the end of                                                               
the  day it's  my  call  on whether  we  move  forward with  that                                                               
settlement."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH explained that before  the settlement                                                               
document is signed,  it will be put  out for at least  30 days of                                                               
public comment  and testimony. The  comments from the  public and                                                               
the legislature  will be evaluated,  and a determination  will be                                                               
made  on  whether  additional  negotiations  need  to  occur  and                                                               
whether  the state  should  move  forward. "So  we  won't have  a                                                               
signed deal until we have  completely evaluated the input we have                                                               
received from the public."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:49:29 PM                                                                                                                    
She explained  that the two  issues at play  in the case  are the                                                               
existence of an  easement and the use of the  easement. The state                                                               
first has to  prove - based on historical use  before 1976 - that                                                               
an  R.S.  2477  actually  exists. This  fact  and  time-intensive                                                               
exercise  poses some  risk, but  the Department  of Law  believes                                                               
this case  is a winner  and is asserting a  100-foot right-of-way                                                               
in any settlement.  The second outstanding issue is  what use can                                                               
be made  of that R.S.  2477. It is  not to the  state's advantage                                                               
that Judge Guidi  ruled several years ago that  access is limited                                                               
to driving from point A to  point B along the right-of-way but no                                                               
stopping, fishing, or camping, which  the state has and continues                                                               
to assert should be included.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She underscored  that the  state has already  lost that  issue in                                                               
this case.  Even if the R.S.  2477 is proved in  trial, the state                                                               
would  still need  to appeal  Judge Guidi's  order to  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court. What is important  to recognize, she said, is that                                                               
Ahtna  is a  private party  and  private rights  are involved  so                                                               
there is  real risk of losing  that order in this  case. She said                                                               
she  would like  to  see  the court  make  a strong,  precedence-                                                               
setting case  about state's  rights sometime  in the  future, but                                                               
here the intent is to avoid a precedent-setting event.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL  LINDEMUTH  highlighted  that  Governor  Walker                                                               
issued a  press release to  clarify what  key terms the  state is                                                               
insisting  be included  in  the settlement.  This  is a  100-foot                                                               
state-controlled  R.S. 2477.  It is  not  a federally  controlled                                                               
17(b)  easement.  She  expressed confidence  that  once  Alaskans                                                               
review the settlement  documents their fears will  be allayed and                                                               
they will  agree that the settlement  is in the best  interest of                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:53:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY  agreed with  the chair  that the  Attorney General                                                               
and her office has been  very responsive since the first hearing.                                                               
He said  it is frustrating,  but he understands that  it wouldn't                                                               
be wise or  appropriate to ask probing questions  about this case                                                               
because it is active.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:55:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  agreed with Senator  Kelly and predicted  that the                                                               
public testimony would sound cautionary.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:55:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI summarized that  the dispute centers on what                                                               
can be done along the R.S. 2477 right-of-way.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL   LINDEMUTH  clarified   that  there   are  two                                                               
disputes.  One is  whether  the  R.S. 2477  even  exists and  the                                                               
second is what can be done along the right-of-way.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI observed  that the  state argued  that this                                                               
area was historically used for  boat launching, camping, and day-                                                               
use  sites, whereas  Ahtna  asserted that  access  is limited  to                                                               
simple ingress and egress along the route.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  agreed;  the state  argued that  the                                                               
historical use was  part of the R.S. 2477, but  Ahtna argued that                                                               
as a legal matter under R.S. 2477 it is ingress/egress.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL added  that what makes a strong case  for the state                                                               
is that historical use is embedded in the R.S. 2477.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI   summarized  that   R.S.  2477   sets  the                                                               
easements  as of  1976. Judge  [Guidi] made  a finding  that R.S.                                                               
2477 only  grants the right  to pass over  the land; it  does not                                                               
and cannot convey the right  to develop the land for recreational                                                               
and commercial purposes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH said  the state  absolutely disagrees                                                               
with that finding.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  pointed out  that the  state is  stuck with                                                               
that judge's order; if the case  went to the Alaska Supreme Court                                                               
the  state could  get a  bad decision  that would  have statewide                                                               
impact.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH agreed;  if the Alaska  Supreme Court                                                               
ruled  against the  state that  would impact  this R.S.  2477 and                                                               
others.  She  added,  "If  we  do  reach  that  settlement  we're                                                               
actually securing those very access  rights that we are insisting                                                               
on here."  She said  her goal  is to make  sure that  the current                                                               
users experience very little disruption.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL observed  that Ahtna  wants to  be respected  as a                                                               
property owner; an R.S. 2477 does that but the question is how.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:00:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  summarized  that  Ahtna is  asking  for  a                                                               
simple 60-foot-wide,  24-mile-long [17(b)] easement from  point A                                                               
to  point B,  whereas  the  state is  arguing  that the  easement                                                               
should   be  100   feet  wide   and  provide   opportunities  for                                                               
recreational day use.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH agreed with the summary.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  her to  convey what  Governor Walker                                                               
publicly stated must be included in a settlement.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  responded  that  the most  important                                                               
tenet is a  100-foot right-of-way maintained by  the state. There                                                               
will be  boat launches, fishing opportunities,  and camping along                                                               
the right-of-way. The  distinction is that Ahtna will  be able to                                                               
charge  a  reasonable fee  for  camping  on Ahtna  land.  Certain                                                               
campers are leaving trash on their  land, and the state is trying                                                               
to balance the rights of both parties.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  her perspective of the  facts in this                                                               
case.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH said the  state has very good facts on                                                               
the historical existence  of the R.S. 2477. The main  risk in the                                                               
case is  if Judge Guidi's order  is upheld on appeal.  That would                                                               
be a problem for all the R.S. 2477s in the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:03:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if the  appeals court would  hear the                                                               
case de  novo or if  Judge Guidi's interpretation would  be given                                                               
deference.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL asked if settling this case would set precedence.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  clarified:  1)  that the  settlement                                                               
will not  create precedence for any  other case, and 2)  that the                                                               
state  intends to  pursue  all its  R.S.  2477 rights  statewide.                                                               
"This is not a new change in  policy or how the state is handling                                                               
R.S.  2477s."  Addressing  Senator Wielechowski's  question,  she                                                               
said  Judge Guidi's  order raises  a  legal issue  that would  be                                                               
resolved  de novo;  but  that  lower court  order  and the  legal                                                               
analysis would  be very important if  the state were to  lose the                                                               
case and  appeal it to  the Alaska  Supreme Court. A  future R.S.                                                               
2477 case  would be a  better case to  take up on  appeal because                                                               
there would  be a different  superior court judge who  would make                                                               
his/her own  legal analysis  of the case;  they would  not follow                                                               
Judge Guidi.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KELLY asked  why the Klutina case would  not be precedent                                                               
setting.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH explained that reaching  a settlement                                                               
means that the  parties have evaluated the risks in  the case and                                                               
agreed to resolve their dispute  in a particular way. The parties                                                               
are  not conceding  their rights;  what the  state is  doing here                                                               
does not mean it would do the same thing for anybody else.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:05:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO asked  her to  talk about  the significance  of                                                               
this being an R.S. 2477 across  private property and if the state                                                               
would have taken  a different approach if it  were across federal                                                               
land.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  said the  court approaches  the case                                                               
very differently  when it is  a state versus federal  issue. When                                                               
there is private  property involved, the court is  more likely to                                                               
weigh in favor of the property  owner versus the state. The state                                                               
has an  R.S. 2477 case  pending in  the Chicken area  against the                                                               
federal government,  which the  state hopes  will result  in good                                                               
court orders and create good precedent.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  if  her  final  decision  would  be                                                               
unilateral or  based on  the opinions of  the Governor  and three                                                               
commissioners.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:07:25 PM                                                                                                                    
ATTORNEY GENERAL LINDEMUTH said that  in this particular case she                                                               
will only recommend settlement if she  believes it is in the best                                                               
interest of  the state. "When  I recommend settlement,  I'll then                                                               
talk it through  with the other three  commissioners - Department                                                               
of  Transportation, Department  of  Natural  Resources, Fish  and                                                               
Game -  and the Governor.  And I want to  make sure we're  all on                                                               
the  same page  and  that we  all  agree that  it's  in the  best                                                               
interest of Alaskans."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:09:05 PM                                                                                                                    
NIESJE  STEINKRUGER,  representing  herself,  Fairbanks,  Alaska,                                                               
reviewed  her  professional career  as  an  attorney and  current                                                               
position on the  superior court bench. She said  she met Attorney                                                               
General Lindemuth  in her professional capacity  on two occasions                                                               
and was  struck by her  professionalism and integrity.  She comes                                                               
from  a civil  law  background,  but has  paid  attention to  the                                                               
criminal division and learned the  issues related to [Senate Bill                                                               
91]. "This is not the usual  AG in Alaska. Alaska is fortunate to                                                               
have a  competent lawyer  with supervising  litigation experience                                                               
running the Department of Law."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:14:32 PM                                                                                                                    
ALAN   LEMASTER,  representing   himself,  Copper   River  Salmon                                                               
Charters, Gakona, Alaska,  said he has been an  outfitter who has                                                               
operated on  the Klutina off-and-on  for over 35 years.  He spoke                                                               
of the importance of maintaining  access to the Klutina River for                                                               
boating and  fishing as well  as camping along  the right-of-way.                                                               
He explained  that he launches  his rafts into the  Klutina River                                                               
at no cost where the river  encroaches on the right-of-way and he                                                               
pays Ahtna's fee  whenever he uses their land.  He stated support                                                               
for  Ahtna's right  to charge  a reasonable  fee for  the use  of                                                               
their land and the 100 foot right-of-way under R.S. 2477.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:17:52 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY  BISHOP,  representing  herself, Fairbanks,  Alaska,  stated                                                               
that  she  is  not  confident  that  Attorney  General  Lindemuth                                                               
supports the state's  commitment that all people  are entitled to                                                               
equal rights and opportunities. She  cited three actions that she                                                               
views   as  contrary   to  the   Alaska   Constitution:  1)   she                                                               
participated in  developing the  Memorandum of  Agreement between                                                               
the Interior  Department and an Ahtna  Intertribal Commission; 2)                                                               
she supports settlement  of the R.S. 2477 Klutina  matter; and 3)                                                               
she dropped  the state's  case opposing  tribes placing  lands in                                                               
trust.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:21:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT OGAN,  representing himself,  Palmer, Alaska,  testified in                                                               
opposition  to  the confirmation  of  Jahna  Lindemuth as  Alaska                                                               
Attorney  General. He  reviewed his  legislative career  and work                                                               
with the Department  of Natural Resources including  the years he                                                               
managed  the  various  disciplines  that  supported  the  Klutina                                                               
litigation.  He  opined  that  the  Klutina  case  has  the  best                                                               
historical  use of  any R.S.  2477 case  in the  state, and  that                                                               
settling is not  in the best interest of the  state. He described                                                               
Judge  Guidi's ruling  as unfortunate  and posited  that Attorney                                                               
General Lindemuth should be very aggressive in appealing it.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:25:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  GERAGHTY,   representing  himself,   Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
reviewed his  39 year legal  career in Alaska including  his two-                                                               
year   service   as   attorney   general   during   the   Parnell                                                               
Administration.  He described  Attorney  General  Lindemuth as  a                                                               
skillful  attorney and  wholeheartedly endorsed  her appointment.                                                               
"The state  is fortunate to  have an  attorney of her  caliber in                                                               
that  position."  Regarding  the  controversy  over  the  Klutina                                                               
settlement,  he said,  "Any attorney  general worth  his/her salt                                                               
will  always  explore  opportunities  to  resolve  cases  at  the                                                               
appropriate time  based upon the  calculus of weighing  the risks                                                               
involved and  whether there  is a  compromise available  that can                                                               
accommodate  the critical  needs of  the people  of Alaska."  The                                                               
little he  knows about the Klutina  case leads him to  believe it                                                               
is  a  good settlement  that  achieves  the fundamental  goal  of                                                               
access for Alaskans. The larger point,  he said, is that it would                                                               
be a  tragic mistake to  make a  single settlement the  basis for                                                               
challenging Jahna Lindemuth's confirmation as attorney general.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:31:01 PM                                                                                                                    
PATTY  BARBER,  representing   herself,  Palmer,  Alaska,  stated                                                               
opposition  to  the confirmation  of  Jahna  Lindemuth as  Alaska                                                               
Attorney  General.  She   mentioned  unequal  representation  and                                                               
asked, "If  this case against  Ahtna has  been going on  for over                                                               
eight years,  shouldn't someone have  found out that the  road is                                                               
an R.S. 2477 by now?"                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:31:48 PM                                                                                                                    
KENNY BARBER,  representing himself, Palmer, Alaska,  stated that                                                               
he  does  not support  the  confirmation  of Jahna  Lindemuth  as                                                               
Alaska Attorney General because she  doesn't appear to believe in                                                               
the Alaska Constitution.  He maintained that the  state is losing                                                               
a lot of land and rights because of the Klutina litigation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHUCK  DERRICK, representing  himself, Fairbanks,  Alaska, stated                                                               
that  Attorney  General  Lindemuth  has  ignored  the  rights  of                                                               
Alaskans by agreeing to settle  with Ahtna and removing R.S. 2477                                                               
designation in favor of a  100-foot easement where Ahtna controls                                                               
access and activities  that were guaranteed under  R.S. 2477. She                                                               
has placed  the wishes of  one special interest above  the rights                                                               
of  all Alaskans,  he  asserted. He  expressed  concern that  the                                                               
settlement  could   affect  dipnetters  who  use   another  state                                                               
easement between  O'Brien and  Haley Creek  to access  the Copper                                                               
River.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG  COMPEAU, representing  himself,  Fairbanks, Alaska,  asked                                                               
Attorney General Lindemuth  why she wants to pursue  an R.S. 2477                                                               
case against the  federal government like the one  in the Chicken                                                               
area to  set precedent,  but doesn't believe  the R.S.  2477 case                                                               
against Ahtna  is worth defending  after spending eight  years in                                                               
litigation and close to $1 million of taxpayer money.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:36:14 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG  VINCENT-LANG,  representing   himself,  Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
stated  that  the role  of  the  Alaska  Attorney General  is  to                                                               
represent  the  interests  of   all  Alaskans.  Attorney  General                                                               
Lindemuth has the responsibility to  reach out to all potentially                                                               
affected Alaskans  on issues of  importance, but she  never asked                                                               
potential users for advice, concerns  or possible remedies in the                                                               
Klutina case  before entering into  private settlement  talks. He                                                               
asked  the committee  to get  Attorney General  Lindemuth on  the                                                               
record committing to reach out  to all potentially affected users                                                               
on all  cases going forward.  He said  he is encouraged  that she                                                               
has  begun to  reach out  to individuals,  but would  like in  on                                                               
record  what the  bar is  for  walking away  from the  settlement                                                               
talks.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:39:14 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY STEVENS, representing himself,  Chugiak, Alaska, stated that                                                               
he  opposes the  confirmation of  Attorney General  Lindemuth and                                                               
agrees with the testimony of Mr. Bishop and Mr. Ogan.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  ALLEN,  Director,  Office of  Public  Advocacy,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, stated  support for the confirmation  of Attorney General                                                               
Lindemuth. He knows her in  a professional capacity and considers                                                               
her a friend. He has worked  with many lawyers during his 20-year                                                               
legal  career and  she  is  one of  the  smartest  and most  hard                                                               
working lawyers  he has  ever had the  pleasure of  working with.                                                               
She  is  also a  skilled  manager.  She  is deeply  committed  to                                                               
serving  the state  and Alaskans  are lucky  to have  an attorney                                                               
general of her caliber.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:41:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CAREY MILLS, representing  himself, stated that he  is a litigant                                                               
in the 40-mile Station Eagle Trail  R.S. 2477 case that the state                                                               
chose not  to intervene  in. He related  that the  district court                                                               
recently ruled  that the  Alaska statutes  that were  approved on                                                               
August 3,  1988 recognized the  40-Mile Station Eagle  Trail. The                                                               
court said  that as long as  the state recognizes the  trail, the                                                               
court would accept it until there  is proof otherwise. He read an                                                               
excerpt  from the  order. Customary  usage is  a key  element. He                                                               
said he doesn't  know enough about Attorney  General Lindemuth to                                                               
make a determination, but he  does understand the need to resolve                                                               
litigation.  "If she  is resolving  the litigation  by settlement                                                               
that  protects those  rights that  the  R.S. 2477  ensures us,  I                                                               
would applaud her."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:44:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE  WILLIAMS, representing  herself, Seattle,  Washington,                                                               
stated that she was born and  raised in Alaska and knows Attorney                                                               
General Lindemuth  in both a professional  and personal capacity.                                                               
She is  a strong advocate  for her clients  and she knows  how to                                                               
make  informed decisions.  She is  held in  high regard  by other                                                               
attorneys and  is highly skilled.  Alaskans should be  honored to                                                               
have her as attorney general, she said.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:47:58 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE COONS, representing himself,  Palmer, Alaska, stated that he                                                               
strongly  opposes  Jahna  Lindemuth   for  Attorney  General.  He                                                               
disagreed with her  closed door negotiations on  R.S. 2477 access                                                               
litigation; questioned  her ability to successfully  litigate the                                                               
R.S.  2477 matter  concerning access  to  Chicken trails  through                                                               
federal lands; noted that she is  a graduate of the University of                                                               
California, Berkeley that has "a  long history of extreme liberal                                                               
thought  and action";  questioned  whether she  and the  Governor                                                               
would side  with "eco-wackos"  in his  remaining term  since they                                                               
did not  join other states  in filing lawsuits against  the Obama                                                               
administration  on   carbon  tax;   and  stated  support   for  a                                                               
constitutional  amendment  that   supports  an  elected  attorney                                                               
general.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:51:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  TINKER, Alaska  Wildlife  Conservation Association  (AWCA),                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska, advised that  his subdivision in the Fairbanks                                                               
North Star  Borough accesses  over private  property via  an R.S.                                                               
2477. He  said AWCA has a  40-year interest in access  issues and                                                               
believes  that  settlement of  the  Ahtna  case is  controversial                                                               
because the  public does  not understand  the decision  and fears                                                               
losing ground  on access  issues to  resources along  the Klutina                                                               
Lake  Road. He  highlighted  the importance  of Attorney  General                                                               
Lindemuth's statement that the settlement  is only on the Klutina                                                               
Lake  Road. Keep  that in  mind, he  said, because  the testimony                                                               
opposing the settlement may be overwhelming.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:56:07 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN   GORDON,   representing    herself,   Fairbanks,   Alaska,                                                               
maintained  that instead  of asserting  state sovereignty  on the                                                               
established  R.S. 2477  right-of-way on  the Klutina  State Road,                                                               
Attorney   General  Lindemuth   appears  to   have  resorted   to                                                               
negotiations  behind  closed  doors   and  is  relinquishing  the                                                               
state's rights to appease Ahtna  Corporation. "Negotiating away a                                                               
state asset  we already own  is unconscionable. I fear  the state                                                               
would soon be giving away more  R.S. 2477 trails across the state                                                               
if we  cavalierly not take this  one to the mat."  She emphasized                                                               
that the  AG's office has  not been open  about this case  and it                                                               
hasn't  helped in  the eyes  of Alaskans.  Some look  at it  as a                                                               
betrayal  of  Alaskans  and  the  Alaska  Constitution  that  she                                                               
negotiated  a memorandum  of agreement  (MOA)  between the  Ahtna                                                               
Intertribal  Resource  Commission  and  the  U.S.  Department  of                                                               
Interior.  She concluded,  "I ask  that she  not be  confirmed as                                                               
Alaska's Attorney General."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:59:05 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY SMITH, representing himself,  Homer, Alaska, stated that he                                                               
has been  working on  resource issues  in Alaska  since statehood                                                               
and  he  sympathizes  with Alaskan's  concerns  about  access  to                                                               
resources, homes,  and livelihoods.  He expects  Attorney General                                                               
Lindemuth  to  help  with  these   things.  She  is  a  woman  of                                                               
independent  judgement who  has  firm  recommendations from  many                                                               
respected  legal voices  and that  makes a  large impression.  "I                                                               
would ask you to send her confirmation right along."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:00:28 PM                                                                                                                    
ROD  ARNO, Executive  Director, Alaska  Outdoor Council,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska,  said AOC's  hope was  that  20 years  from now  Alaskans                                                               
would still be talking about Attorney General Lindemuth's pit-                                                                  
bull defense  of state sovereignty  and the common use  clause of                                                               
the Alaska  Constitution. However,  those hopes have  been dashed                                                               
by events  since she took  office. He  said the AOC  supports the                                                               
sovereign  right  of the  state  to  manage and  allocate  public                                                               
resources, but state  sovereignty is being eroded bit  by bit. He                                                               
pointed out  that the last  AG quit  when the third  floor agenda                                                               
differed from  the policies the  legislature set, but  AOC cannot                                                               
say that Attorney  General Lindemuth would follow  the same path.                                                               
He cautioned  that if  you see the  erosion of  state sovereignty                                                               
and  the Klutina  Lake Road  as a  pattern, then  do not  confirm                                                               
Jahna Lindemuth as Alaska's Attorney General.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:03:33 PM                                                                                                                    
LAWRENCE ARMOUR,  Mayor of Klawock  and Tribal  Administrator for                                                               
Klawock  Cooperative Association,  Klawock,  Alaska, opined  that                                                               
every  once  in   a  while,  an  attorney  comes   along  who  is                                                               
universally  recognized  as  the  best in  jurisprudence  and  is                                                               
extremely  qualified   as  an  administrator.   Attorney  General                                                               
Lindemuth  personifies  those attributes.  She  is  a strong  and                                                               
ethical litigator, an  inspiring leader, and is able  to manage a                                                               
large staff. She will serve the state with distinction.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:05:49 PM                                                                                                                    
AL BARRETTE, representing himself,  Fairbanks, Alaska, said he is                                                               
testifying in  opposition to the confirmation  of Jahna Lindemuth                                                               
as  Alaska  Attorney  General.  He said  the  settlement  has  no                                                               
precedence, but it will ensure  that the next R.S. 2477 right-of-                                                               
way to  be compromised  will be the  Chitna dipnetting  trail. He                                                               
stressed that the  trail into the Klutina  area is well-developed                                                               
and  documented and  the state  should move  forward through  the                                                               
court case.  "I think  it's one  of the  better court  cases I've                                                               
seen for R.S. 2477 rights-of-way."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:07:25 PM                                                                                                                    
GREGORY RAZO,  representing himself,  Anchorage, Alaska,  said he                                                               
has  practiced law  in Alaska  for  33 years  and knows  Attorney                                                               
General  Lindemuth to  be a  highly qualified  attorney. Speaking                                                               
from his perspective  as a member of the  Alaska Criminal Justice                                                               
Commission, he said that during  her tenure on the commission she                                                               
has  been  a  strong  advocate for  public  safety  and  victims'                                                               
rights, and has always asserted  the Department of Law's concerns                                                               
over  the   commission's  review  of  Alaska   criminal  law  and                                                               
policies. "She's done  a good job and, in my  opinion, she should                                                               
be confirmed as Attorney General."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:08:25 PM                                                                                                                    
NICOLE BORRROMEO,  Executive Vice President and  General Counsel,                                                               
Alaska Federation of Natives, Anchorage,  Alaska, stated that AFN                                                               
has submitted  a letter in  support of the confirmation  of Jahna                                                               
Lindemuth as  Alaska Attorney General,  so her comments  would be                                                               
brief.  She said  she  wanted  to echo  the  testimony of  former                                                               
Attorney  General  Geraghty  in  full.  "She  is  a  very  strong                                                               
candidate for  the position and  fully capable of  leading Alaska                                                               
in the right direction."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:09:15 PM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD BISHOP,  representing himself, Fairbanks,  Alaska, stated                                                               
that he has  been involved with Alaska's  natural resource issues                                                               
for 40  years as a biologist  and a public interest  advocate and                                                               
he  is mad  that Attorney  General Lindemuth  seeks consensus  on                                                               
issues at  the expense of  Alaskans. He said  he is fed  up with:                                                               
fumbling federal  overreach; insidious internal  special interest                                                               
imprecations   [sic];  and   the  erosion   of  Alaskans'   equal                                                               
protection under  the state  constitution. He  concluded, "Alaska                                                               
needs  a  champion  -  not  an  architect  of  cloying  consensus                                                               
regarding  such  issues  as:  fee  to  trust  tribal  lands;  the                                                               
Interior Department/Ahtna MOA; and R.S. 2477 issues."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:12:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SUE  ZAJAC, representing  herself,  Eagle  River, Alaska,  stated                                                               
that she  has enjoyed the Klutina  Lake Road in all  four seasons                                                               
since she  moved to  Alaska 47  years ago. It  is the  only four-                                                               
season road along  the Richardson Highway. Speaking  as a 33-year                                                               
resident  of  the  Copper River  Valley,  she  cautioned  against                                                               
making any arbitrary  decisions before getting to  know the area.                                                               
"Please go out there. If you were limited to a 100-foot right-                                                                  
of-way, you wouldn't like it," she said.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL asked  the individuals  who had  not testified  to                                                               
submit  their   written  comments.  He  asked   Attorney  General                                                               
Lindemuth to address some of the concerns that were articulated.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:15:55 PM                                                                                                                    
ATTORNEY  GENERAL LINDEMUTH  clarified that  the state  is not  a                                                               
part of the  Ahtna MOU with the U.S. Department  of Interior that                                                               
several  testifiers mentioned.  Rather, she  and Bruce  Dale with                                                               
the Alaska Department of Fish and  Game attended a meeting to ask                                                               
those parties to make certain  changes to their agreement to make                                                               
it  clear that  the state's  management  of state  fish and  game                                                               
resources statewide was  not impinged. "We filed  a whole lawsuit                                                               
over this  so I'm not  going to  let some agreement  impact those                                                               
rights."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Regarding the  Klutina Lake Road  case, she agreed with  Mr. Ogan                                                               
and other  callers that  there is strong  historical use  of that                                                               
road. That type of evidence is  what the state would use to prove                                                               
a 100-foot  state-maintained R.S. 2477. Establishing  that in the                                                               
settlement eliminates  any risk of the  judge thinking otherwise.                                                               
"We are actually securing those rights  into the future if we are                                                               
able to reach that in a settlement."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Regarding  the  number  of  R.S. 2477s  on  federal  land  versus                                                               
private land, she  said a 2014 memo in the  material she provided                                                               
today references that  the state has 20,000 linear  miles of R.S.                                                               
2477 right-of-way. DNR estimated at  the time that 50 percent was                                                               
private land, which implies that 50 percent was federal land.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She said she is happy to hear  that there is a recent decision in                                                               
Mr. Mills' R.S. 2477 case  that the prior administration declined                                                               
to intervene in.  "We will look for that and  look for what order                                                               
was entered in his case to see if it's relevant here."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ATTORNEY GENERAL  LINDEMUTH said the public  is rightly concerned                                                               
about the  Klutina River Road  case and potential  settlement. It                                                               
is an  important state right.  However, there has  been confusion                                                               
and  misunderstanding about  the  final terms  because the  final                                                               
terms agreement has not been put out for public comment.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The  comment  period will  be  meaningful  and we  will                                                                    
     consider  the comments  we receive  from the  public. I                                                                    
     think  some of  the  comments we  got  today were  very                                                                    
     helpful and I expect that  the next comment period will                                                                    
     allow us  to better negotiate  and have a  better final                                                                    
     agreement if we  can reach one. My goal here  is to act                                                                    
     in the best  interest of all Alaskans  in pursuing this                                                                    
     settlement. And my  goal is to preserve  access, not to                                                                    
     give it away.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
She  asked the  people who  disagree with  her in  this case,  to                                                               
judge her  entire record. This  is one case amongst  hundreds she                                                               
has  been  involved  with  as  Attorney  General.  She  concluded                                                               
saying:                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  last eight  months has  been a  true pleasure  and                                                                    
     I've  really  enjoyed  my  time  as  Alaska's  Attorney                                                                    
     General.  I think  it's  an honor  and  a privilege  to                                                                    
     serve this  state and I  look forward to  continuing my                                                                    
     service  if confirmed.  I ask  that I  be confirmed  as                                                                    
     Attorney General.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL  thanked Attorney General Lindemuth  and emphasized                                                               
the  interest in  preserving the  right of  access in  Alaska. He                                                               
asked anyone who didn't have  an opportunity to testify to submit                                                               
their comments in writing and he would post it to BASIS.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:21:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Off the record                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:22:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  reconvened meeting  and stated that  in accordance                                                               
with  AS  39.05.080,  the  Senate  Judiciary  Standing  Committee                                                               
reviewed  the  following  and  recommends  the  confirmations  be                                                               
forwarded to  a joint session for  consideration: Alaska Attorney                                                               
General - Jahna  Lindemuth and Commissioner of  the Department of                                                               
Public Safety - Walt Monegan.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He   reminded  members   that  signing   the  reports   regarding                                                               
appointments  to  boards  and  commissions  in  no  way  reflects                                                               
individual members'  approval or  disapproval of  the appointees,                                                               
and  that  the  nominations  are merely  forwarded  to  the  full                                                               
legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:22:48 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Coghill  adjourned the Senate Judiciary  Standing Committee                                                               
meeting at 3:22 p.m.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AG Confirmation - Letter - Johnston.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Bickley.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Letter - Tangen.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Derrick.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Gordon.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Heidkamp.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Iverson.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Kilbourn.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Mary Bishop.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Miller.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Pagano.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Peterson.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Richard Bishop.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Rowell.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Sturgeon.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Support - Alaska Regional Coalition.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Support - Berkowitz.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Support - Monegan.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Supporting Document - Letter to Sen Egan.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Supporting Document - 2002 Klutina Road AG Opinion.pdf SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Supporting Document - Federal Issues as of April 10 2017.pdf SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Supporting Document - 16.05.10 order granting motion for partial summary judgment.pdf SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Support - AFN.pdf SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Support -Fjelstad.pdf SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Support - AACOP.pdf SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Carhart.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Schwanke.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Arno.pdf SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM
AG Confirmation - Opposition - Coons.PDF SJUD 4/12/2017 1:30:00 PM