Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/06/2004 09:10 AM House CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS                                                                            
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                         April 6, 2004                                                                                          
                           9:10 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Carl Morgan, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                                    
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly Wolf, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Tom Anderson                                                                                                     
Representative Albert Kookesh                                                                                                   
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 308                                                                                                              
"An Act related to exchanging public land for privately held                                                                    
riverbank and stream bank lands."                                                                                               
     - MOVED HB 308 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 308                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXCHANGE PUBLIC LAND FOR STREAM BANK LAND                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GARA                                                                                              
05/08/03       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/03       (H)       CRA, RES                                                                                               
03/04/04       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/04/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/04/04       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/06/04       (H)       CRA AT 9:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke as the sponsor of HB 308.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 04-11, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  CARL  MORGAN  called  the  House  Community  and  Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  9:10  a.m.                                                               
Representatives Morgan,  Kott, Samuels,  and Cissna  were present                                                               
at the call to order.                                                                                                           
HB 308-EXCHANGE PUBLIC LAND FOR STREAM BANK LAND                                                                              
CHAIR MORGAN announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 308,  "An Act related  to exchanging  public land                                                               
for privately held riverbank and stream bank lands."                                                                            
Number 0071                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA, Alaska  State Legislature, sponsor of HB
308,  said  that  he  would   appreciate  the  committee  members                                                               
reporting HB  308 from committee so  that he can educate  as many                                                               
members  of  the  House  as possible.    This  legislation  would                                                               
educate  folks with  regard  to the  concept  that public  access                                                               
along fishing streams is going to  be lost.  He acknowledged that                                                               
HB 308 has  a large fiscal note, but informed  the committee that                                                               
the Alaska Department  of Fish & Game (ADF&G) has  agreed to work                                                               
with him over  the summer in order to develop  the most efficient                                                               
way  to   preserve  public  access  along   Alaska's  riverbanks.                                                               
Representative Gara  informed the  committee that the  concept of                                                               
trading privately  held land to  obtain public access  to streams                                                               
and riverbanks is supported within  ADF&G.  However, there has to                                                               
be a way to do so without such a high price tag.                                                                                
Number 0184                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  asked  if  the state  has  ever  had  any                                                               
provision with  regard to  access to  streams, rivers,  and other                                                               
water frontage.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE GARA replied  that the state has done  a good job,                                                               
and  therefore the  state  has public  access  rights along  most                                                               
state  lands.   However, there  are no  public access  rights for                                                               
pre-statehood  private lands,  federal lands,  and private  lands                                                               
conveyed  to private  parties before  the mid  1970s.   There are                                                               
many  classes  of land  for  which  there  is no  public  access,                                                               
including most of the lands along  some of the more popular Parks                                                               
Highway streams.  For example,  those lands with no public access                                                               
include parts of  Willow Creek, Montana Creek,  Anchor River, and                                                               
Copper River.   He pointed out  that the state has  only required                                                               
public access to and along lands since the 1970s.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  surmised  then  that  those  using  those                                                               
rivers and streams would be trespassing.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  replied yes,  noting that  much of  the land                                                               
hasn't been developed yet.                                                                                                      
Number 0426                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA pointed  out that access is an  issue for a                                                               
state that  relies on tourism,  and therefore before  these lands                                                               
are developed is the time to think about it.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  replied yes, adding  that after the  land is                                                               
developed it will be too expensive for the state to get back.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS announced that  he agreed with the concept                                                               
of HB 308.                                                                                                                      
Number 0506                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  moved to report  HB 308 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 308 was reported  from the                                                               
House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                        
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Community  and Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 9:14 a.m.                                                                                                          

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