HJR 37: Relating to management of public land and resources in the state.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 37 01 Relating to management of public land and resources in the state. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS Alaska entered the Union as a state on equal footing with the original 13 04 colonies and other states upon ratification in 1958 of the Alaska Statehood Act, establishing 05 by Compact with the citizens of Alaska fundamental principles regarding the transfer of 06 federal land into state ownership, as well as the terms and conditions for the management of 07 federal land, fish and wildlife, and the division of land-based and resource-based revenue in 08 the new state; and 09 WHEREAS the principles of equal footing and equal protection of the laws entitle the 10 state and its people to the same rights, duties, and privileges accorded to other states and to 11 citizens of those states; and 12 WHEREAS, in addition to the Alaska Statehood Act, a suite of federal laws presently 13 define the relative authorities and responsibilities for state and federal land and resources in 14 the state, including the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the Alaska National Interest 15 Lands Conservation Act, which relate specifically to Alaska, and the General Mining Act of 16 1872, the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration
01 Act of 1966, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, which apply to all 02 states; and 03 WHEREAS, among the clear understandings documented in those Acts and others, 04 the state could acquire resource-rich land with the opportunity to study and develop it; share 05 in the revenue from the development of federal land; exercise state sovereignty over land and 06 resources, including the management of fish and wildlife and the submerged land that passed 07 to the state at statehood; have reasonable access to and across federal land, particularly when 08 necessary to use or access land owned by the state, Native corporations, and private 09 individuals; and engage in traditional activities on land retained by the federal government; 10 and 11 WHEREAS, under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, particularly 12 secs. 101 and 1326, the federal government committed that no further large-scale 13 administrative designations would burden the land and users, and that undesignated federal 14 public land would be managed for multiple-use with the state sharing in the revenue derived 15 from activities and development; and 16 WHEREAS the federal government has repeatedly disregarded, misconstrued, and 17 abrogated the commitments contained in those Acts, denying the state's entitlement to land 18 granted at statehood by withdrawing land from selection, relegating the state to the back of 19 the line for land selections and transfers, and refusing to study, monitor, or develop resources 20 or provide certainty to the state on revenue sharing; and 21 WHEREAS, in contradiction of those Acts, the federal government frequently fails to 22 consider or accommodate the needs and interests of affected users of federal land in the state 23 by adopting prohibitive land-use classifications, plans, and decisions, sweeping policies, 24 permit programs, fees and costs, and direct restrictions on access to federal land for traditional 25 and customary uses, mining, subsistence, hunting and fishing, trapping, economic activities, 26 travel between communities, and recreation; and 27 WHEREAS state land and resource management, particularly management of fish 28 and wildlife and ownership of submerged land, were key elements of the Alaska Statehood 29 Act and were preserved in subsequent Acts, but have nonetheless been continuously 30 challenged and abrogated by unilateral federal action; and 31 WHEREAS those actions break faith with the people of Alaska and the laws
01 established to safeguard their interests, creating a reasonable doubt as to the state's ability to 02 rely upon the constancy of other federal commitments regarding land and resources in the 03 state; and 04 WHEREAS the state's limited recourse for seeking reversal of decades of iterative 05 losses and the demonstrated inability of federal agencies consistently to implement federal 06 law in the state have compelled the state to demand fundamentally new arrangements 07 concerning the resolution of navigable water and submerged land claims, adjudication of RS 08 2477 rights-of-way, apportionment of federal land, and management of land remaining in 09 federal hands; and 10 WHEREAS the state Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management Areas 11 in Alaska has been monitoring these issues for decades, and, through its legally impaneled 12 subcommittee, the Alaska State Lands Advisory Group, has examined and discussed available 13 remedies, including work undertaken by other western states to resolve similar challenges, 14 and has recommended a draft petition establishing a legislative and executive action agenda 15 for the state to pursue with the federal government; 16 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature appreciates the work of the 17 Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management Areas in Alaska and the Alaska State 18 Lands Advisory Group, and the support given to their efforts to examine the federal-state 19 relationship on public land in the state by the Office of the Governor, the Department of Law, 20 the Department of Natural Resources, the Conference of Western Attorneys General, the 21 Alaska Congressional delegation, the American Lands Council, and other states; and be it 22 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports filing the petition 23 submitted by the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management Areas in Alaska, 24 including asking the federal government, in cooperation with state agencies, to dedicate the 25 resources necessary to facilitate the appropriate transfer of the remaining state land 26 entitlement to the state as provided by the Alaska Statehood Act, in order to bring the 27 important land selection process back on track; and be it 28 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature welcomes the transfer of 29 ownership or management of federal land to the state in parcels specifically negotiated 30 between the two parties, prioritizing expansion of the state's forest and state management of 31 mineral leasing and oversight; and be it
01 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports creating an 02 expedited process to resolve uncertainty in the adjudication of navigable waters, submerged 03 land, and RS 2477 rights-of-way; and be it 04 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports considering 05 filing with the federal judiciary appropriate amici curiae briefs that could result in transferring 06 management consent, control, or ownership of additional federal land to the state, with the 07 caveat that the state intends to maintain the status of certain conservation system units 08 previously established by federal legislation; and be it 09 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes that the state's 10 agreement under sec. 4 of the Alaska Statehood Act, stating the "said State and its people do 11 agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to any lands or other property 12 not granted or confirmed to the State or its political subdivisions by or under the authority of 13 this Act, the right or title to which is held by the United States or is subject to disposition by 14 the United States, and to any lands or other property, (including fishing rights), the right or 15 title to which may be held by any Indians, Eskimos, or Aleuts (hereinafter called natives) or is 16 held by the United States in trust for said natives," continues to be effective unless the United 17 States Congress or the federal judiciary finds that the equal protection of the laws or other 18 rights enjoyed by the state or the many states suborn or modify that agreement; and be it 19 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 20 Congress to reinstate and fund the Alaska Land Use Council established under Title XII of the 21 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act as a group representing state and federal 22 land management agencies and Alaska Native corporations to consider cooperative land and 23 resource management agreements; and be it 24 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to 25 enter into those agreements, with the caveat that any federal land use plan, regulation, policy, 26 or program that objectively serves to perpetuate reduced use and access, or that newly reduces 27 use and access, lacking express Congressional direction, shall be subject to state approval, 28 such as by ratification of the Alaska State Legislature, before taking effect; and be it 29 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the federal 30 government and the state to establish and maintain a trust-beneficiary relationship on federal 31 land where revenue sharing is available, and urges that federal land management agencies be
01 required by the United States Congress or by Executive Order to work with the states to better 02 forecast resource revenue shared from federal land within the borders of the states, and, where 03 revenue is shared from development, to develop a greater trust relationship with the states and 04 greater fiduciary protections for the states; and be it 05 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to 06 renew funding and support for the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management 07 Areas in Alaska and the state Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act 08 implementation program, and support state interdepartmental programs to assist in realizing 09 and protecting from further loss the promises of statehood, including defense of RS 2477 10 rights-of-way, easements, and navigable water through a rebuttable presumption of valid state 11 ownership; and be it 12 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature remains dedicated to 13 protecting the environment of the state and adjoining water, to maintaining our natural capital, 14 and to working with the federal government to establish greater certainty for Alaskans, 15 agencies, visitors, and resource development investors. 16 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President 17 of the United States; the Honorable Michael R. Pence, Vice President of the United States and 18 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Ryan Zinke, United States Secretary of the 19 Interior; the Honorable Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 20 Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 21 Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Charles E. 22 Schumer, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Chair of the 23 U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. 24 Senator, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska 25 delegation in Congress; and all other members of the 115th United States Congress.