Legislature(2021 - 2022)

2022-03-11 Senate Journal

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2022-03-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 1990
SB 227                                                                                                                        
SENATE BILL NO. 227 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                               
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                                                           
               "An Act relating to state ownership of submerged                                                                
                land within and adjacent to federal areas; and                                                                 
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
was read the first time and referred to the Resources Committee.                                                                
The following fiscal information was published today:                                                                           
 Fiscal Note No. 1, zero, Department of Natural Resources                                                                       
Governor's transmittal letter dated March 10:                                                                                   
Dear President Micciche:                                                                                                        
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to state ownership of                                                           
submerged lands and authority over navigable waters. This bill                                                                  
expands on existing law identifying the State’s title interest in                                                               
submerged lands underlying navigable waters at the time of statehood                                                            
by clarifying and affirmatively asserting the State’s ownership of those                                                        
submerged lands that came to be located within or adjacent to federal                                                           
areas pursuant to federal legislation enacted after statehood.                                                                  
The bill identifies 1,873 water bodies within and adjacent to federal                                                           
areas in which the State has a title interest to the submerged lands and                                                        
directs the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources                                                                 
(DNR) to conduct ongoing research to identify navigable waters in                                                               
federal areas to determine the State’s title interest to the submerged                                                          
land, and report annually to the Legislature any additions,                                                                     
modifications, or other changes to the list of waters in the bill. The bill                                                     
defines the legal and technical terms key to conducting this research                                                           
and codifies the criteria to be considered by the DNR Commissioner in                                                           
determining the State’s title interest in these submerged lands.                                                                

2022-03-11                     Senate Journal                      Page 1991
This bill declares Alaska’s constitutional title to the beds of navigable                                                       
waters and implements the United States Supreme Court decision in                                                               
Sturgeon v. Frost upholding the State’s title to submerged lands within                                                         
or adjacent to federal lands set aside after statehood. Alaska’s                                                                
navigable waters are her cultural and economic lifeblood, providing                                                             
travel corridors, fish and wildlife habitats, hunting and fishing                                                               
grounds, and recreational opportunities. Enactment of this measure                                                              
will advance our State’s ability to manage these submerged lands and                                                            
navigable waters in the best interests of Alaskans.                                                                             
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                        
Mike Dunleavy