CSHJR 17(RES): Opposing the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

00 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 17(RES) 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 the 108th United States Congress enacted H.R. 4818, and the Federal 10 Lands Recreation Enhancement Act is now codified as 16 U.S.C. 6801 - 6814; and 11 WHEREAS the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act includes criminal 12 penalties and is substantive legislation that fundamentally changes the way public land in the 13 state is funded and managed; and 14 WHEREAS the concept of paying fees to use public land is contrary to the idea that 15 public land belongs to the people of the state and is land where every person is granted access 16 and is welcome, a concept that has been and should remain in place; and

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

01 Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of 02 Representatives; the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. 03 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 04 delegation in Congress; and, by electronic transmission, all other members of the 109th 05 United States Congress.