Legislature(2005 - 2006)
2005-04-12 Senate JournalFull Journal pdf
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 removed. 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 Facilities Fiscal Note No. 2, zero, Department of Public Safety Fiscal Note No. 3, zero, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs The bill was referred to the Rules Committee.