Legislature(2005 - 2006)

2005-04-12 Senate Journal

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2005-04-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0900
SB 85                                                                                             
The Resources Committee considered SENATE BILL NO. 85 "An                                           
Act repealing the ban on the use of certain off-road vehicles within                                
five miles of the right-of-way of the James Dalton Highway; and                                     
providing for an effective date" and recommended the adoption of the                                
following Resources Committee Letter of Intent:                                                     
                               Letter of Intent                                                    
  The legislature acknowledges the provision of Article VIII,                                       
  Sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Alaska State Constitution.  These                                      
  sections provide, seriatim, that:                                                                 
       (1) it is the policy of the State to encourage the settlement of                             
            its land and the   development of its resources by making                               
            them available for maximum use consistent with the                                      
            public interest;                                                                        
       (2) the legislature shall provide for the utilization,                                       
            development, and conservation of all natural resources                                  
            belonging to the State, including land and waters, for the                              
            maximum benefit of its people; and                                                      
       (3) wherever occurring in their natural state, fish, wildlife                                
            and waters are reserved to the people for common use.                                   
  The legislature thus recognizes that it is the policy of the state to                             
  encourage the development of its land and resources, but in a                                     
  manner that recognizes the collective interests of the people as the                              
  owners of these lands and resources.  It is consistent with the                                   
  public interest that resources be developed responsibly - not                                     
  ruined or plundered.                                                                              
  It is the intent of the Legislature, by removing the AS 19.40.210                                 
  blanket prohibition of all recreational off-road vehicles on the                                  
  lands within the Dalton Highway corridor north of the Yukon                                       
  River bridge, to encourage and provide for a broad range of                                       
  public access alternatives to public lands consistent with the                                    
  multiple use principle and to do so in concert with modern                                        
  principles of stewardship.                                                                        

2005-04-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0901
  However, it is not the intent of the legislature to allow unfettered                              
  or irresponsible use of off-road vehicles on either public or                                     
  private lands.  And, in the case of the lands north of the Yukon                                  
  River bridge, the legislature is aware that time will be needed for                               
  the appropriate federal and state land and resource managers to                                   
  design and implement plans that balance access with care for the                                  
  lands and resources.  Therefore, it is also the intent of the                                     
  Legislature to allow sufficient time for State and Federal land and                               
  resource managers to develop and implement appropriate land use                                   
  and resource management plans for the Dalton Highway corridor                                     
  and adjacent lands before the current statutory prohibition is                                    
  With the foregoing in mind, the effective date for this bill is 12                                
  months following the date of passage into law.  Following                                         
  consultation with the appropriate land and resource managers, it is                               
  the understanding of the Legislature that this 12-month delay is                                  
  sufficient time for the agencies and boards to complete their                                     
  processes - all of which include public hearings - and to have                                    
  their respective land use and resource use plans in place prior to                                
  the removal of the prohibition.                                                                   
  It is also the intent of the Legislature that, if the 12-month delay is                           
  not sufficient time for the orderly completion of the public                                      
  process necessary to implement appropriate land and resource                                      
  management plans, it will meet in regular session and extend the                                  
  effective date for an additional period not to exceed 12 months.                                  
Signing no recommendation: Senator Wagoner, Chair; Senators                                         
Guess, Dyson, Stedman. Signing do pass: Senators Seekins, Ben                                       
Stevens. Signing do not pass: Senator Elton.                                                        
The following previously published fiscal information applies:                                      
 Fiscal Note No. 1, zero, Department of Transportation and Public                                   
 Fiscal Note No. 2, zero, Department of Public Safety                                               
 Fiscal Note No. 3, zero, Department of Military and Veterans                                       
The bill was referred to the Rules Committee.