Legislature(2001 - 2002)

2002-02-19 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2002-02-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2224
SJR 36                                                                                            
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36 BY THE SENATE RULES                                                  
COMMITTEE BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR,                                                               
          Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the                                         
          State of Alaska relating to providing for priorities for                                  
          and among subsistence uses in the allocation of fish,                                     
          wildlife, and other renewable resources.                                                  
was read the first time and referred to the Resources, Judiciary and                                
Finance Committees.                                                                                 

2002-02-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2225
The following fiscal information was published today:                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 1, Office of the Governor                                                          
Governor's transmittal letter dated February 14:                                                    
Dear President Halford:                                                                             
Today I am introducing an innovative approach to resolving an issue                                 
that has haunted Alaskans for more than a decade -- the permanent                                   
protection of subsistence. Probably more than any single issue, our                                 
failure to resolve subsistence has contributed to the growing divide                                
between urban and rural Alaskans. This approach protects the                                        
importance of subsistence for rural Alaskans first, and then recognizes                             
the needs of those urban residents who have a customary and                                         
traditional use of fish and game resources. It is a fresh and widely                                
supported starting point for achieving a permanent resolution to                                    
This proposal is built on the hard work of many Alaskans. Last                                      
August, I convened 42 prominent Alaskans from all walks of life --                                  
business, civic, religious, Native -- in the Subsistence Leadership                                 
Summit. By demonstrating an overwhelming sense of unity and a new                                   
level of understanding, respect, and agreement, they re-ignited the                                 
hope of bringing Alaskans together. The Summit made a major                                         
contribution to helping find a solution to the long-standing subsistence                            
To build on the work of that summit, I then asked 11 Alaskans -- most                               
of them members of the Summit -- to craft a potential subsistence                                   
amendment to the Alaska Constitution. That group succeeded in                                       
writing the constitutional amendment that I am offering today in this                               
resolution. It will protect the lifeblood that subsistence is to the                                
cultural, spiritual, economic and physical well being of rural Alaskans.                            
I am asking that we place this constitutional amendment before the                                  
public for a vote, allowing Alaskans to take a major step toward                                    
bridging the divide that has separated our urban and rural residents.                               

2002-02-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 2226
We have debated and struggled with the subsistence issue for far too                                
many years. We must finally act to protect the subsistence way of life                              
and regain state management of all fish and wildlife uses throughout                                
Alaska. Alaskans have the right to vote on this constitutional                                      
amendment, and the need for the chance to do so. I encourage your                                   
prompt action on this resolution.                                                                   
Tony Knowles