HJR 17: Opposing the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 17 01 Opposing the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, H.R. 3283, 108th 04 United States Congress, was introduced in the United States House of Representatives and 05 would have authorized the United States Forest Service, the United States Bureau of Land 06 Management, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the 07 United States Bureau of Reclamation to charge visitor fees for recreation on publicly owned 08 land; and 09 WHEREAS H.R. 3283 was not voted on separately in the United States House of 10 Representatives and was not introduced in, did not have hearings in, and was not approved by 11 the United States Senate, but instead was attached to the omnibus spending bill, H.R. 4818, 12 108th United States Congress, as an appropriation rider; and 13 WHEREAS the 108th United States Congress enacted H.R. 4818, and the Federal 14 Lands Recreation Enhancement Act is now codified as 16 U.S.C. 6801 - 6814; and 15 WHEREAS the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act includes criminal 16 penalties and is substantive legislation that fundamentally changes the way public land in the

01 state is funded and managed; and 02 WHEREAS the concept of paying fees to use public land is contrary to the idea that 03 public land belongs to the people of the state and is land where every person is granted access 04 and is welcome, a concept that has been and should remain in place; and 05 WHEREAS recreational fees constitute double taxation and bear no relationship to 06 the actual costs associated with recreational use such as hiking, picnicking, observing wildlife, 07 or scenic driving on state roads and public rights-of-way; and 08 WHEREAS the fees imposed by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act are 09 a regressive tax that places an undue burden on the people living in rural areas adjacent to or 10 surrounded by large areas of federal land and discriminates against lower-income and 11 working Alaskans by placing financial obstacles in the way of their enjoyment of public land; 12 and 13 WHEREAS the public land access fees in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement 14 Act are highly controversial and are opposed by hundreds of organizations, several state 15 legislatures, and millions of rural Americans; and 16 WHEREAS the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act establishes an 17 interagency pass that may be used to cover entrance fees and recreational amenity fees for 18 federal public land and water, disregarding the substantially different ways in which national 19 parks and other federal public land are managed and funded; and 20 WHEREAS the limited means of expressing opposition to and the lack of public 21 debate in the implementation of the fee program raises the concern that some citizens may be 22 deterred from visiting and enjoying public land in the state and throughout the United States; 23 and 24 WHEREAS tourism is an important industry to the state, and the imposition of 25 recreational use fees will have a negative effect on state and local economies; 26 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature demands that the Federal Lands 27 Recreation Enhancement Act, which was enacted on December 8, 2004, be repealed and that 28 no recreational fees authorized under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act be 29 imposed to use federal public land in the state. 30 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 31 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States

01 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Gale Norton, United States Secretary of the 02 Interior; the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 03 Honorable Bill Frist, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Harry Reid, Minority 04 Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Tom DeLay, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of 05 Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of 06 Representatives; the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. 07 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 08 delegation in Congress; and, by electronic transmission, all other members of the 109th 09 United States Congress.