Legislature(1999 - 2000)

02/03/1999 03:05 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
              SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                   February 3, 1999                                                                                             
                      3:05 P.M.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford, Chairman                                                                                                  
Senator Robin Taylor, Vice Chairman                                                                                             
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Jerry Mackie                                                                                                            
Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                              
Senator Sean Parnell                                                                                                            
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
All Members Present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 7                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to the University of Alaska and university land,                                                               
and authorizing the University of Alaska to select additional state                                                             
land."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     -MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5                                                                                                   
Opposing the closure of the former Mount McKinley portions of                                                                   
Denali National Park and Preserve to snowmachine use.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     -MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2                                                                                              
Relating to management of Alaska's wildlife and fish resources.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     -SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SB 7 - See Resources Committee minutes dated 1-25-99 and 2-1-99.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SJR 5 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SCR 2 - No previous action to record.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Mel Krogseng, Staff                                                                                                         
Senator Taylor                                                                                                                  
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Staff to sponsor of SB 7.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jerry Luckhaupt, Attorney                                                                                                   
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
130 Seward, Ste 409                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 7.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ross Coen, UAF Student                                                                                                      
Staff Member, Northern Alaska Environmental Center                                                                              
218 Driveway St.                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 7.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Jane Angvik, Staff Assistant/Special Projects                                                                               
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
3601 C Street                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, AK 99503-5921                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 7.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wendy Redman, Vice President                                                                                                
University Statewide System                                                                                                     
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
Wood Center                                                                                                                     
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6640                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 7.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Brett Huber, Staff                                                                                                          
Senate Resources Committee                                                                                                      
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SJR 5.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Stan Leaphart, Executive Director                                                                                           
Citizens Advisory Commission on Federal Areas                                                                                   
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
3700 Airport Way                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, AK 99709-4699                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Tina Cunning                                                                                                                
ANILCA Program Coordinator                                                                                                      
Department of Fish and Game                                                                                                     
333 Raspberry Rd.                                                                                                               
Anchorage, AK 99802-5526                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SJR 5.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Kevin Hite, Vice President                                                                                                  
Alaska State Snowmobile Association                                                                                             
8050 Summerset Dr.                                                                                                              
Anchorage, AK 99518                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Joe Gauna                                                                                                                   
Anchorage Snowmobile Club                                                                                                       
7421 Silver Birch Dr.                                                                                                           
Anchorage, AK 99502                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Mike Eastham                                                                                                                
Snomads Club                                                                                                                    
P.O. Box 3646                                                                                                                   
Homer, AK 99603                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Bill Eastham, President                                                                                                     
Mat-Su Motormushers                                                                                                             
HC 03, BX 8286                                                                                                                  
Palmer, AK 99645                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 5.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-7, SIDE A                                                                                                               
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
         SB   7-INCREASE LAND GRANT TO UNIV. OF ALASKA                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to                                                               
order at 3:05 p.m. and announced SB 7 to be up for consideration.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEL KROGSENG, staff to Senator Taylor, sponsor of SB 7, noted                                                               
the proposed committee substitute was LS0072\H, Luckhaupt, 2/3/99.                                                              
She explained that this bill would give to the University of Alaska                                                             
250,000 acres of state land to help fulfill the idea of a land                                                                  
grant college.  She passed around maps and little dots which                                                                    
represented just a little more than the proposed acreage.  She                                                                  
noted that some of the changes proposed by the Division of Lands                                                                
have been incorporated into the bill.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt the committee substitute to SB 7.                                                                 
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT, Legislative Counsel, explained that section 5 on                                                                 
page 4 is new and deals with how the land is selected.  He                                                                      
explained that the legislature has to approve the list of                                                                       
selections during the next regular session or it automatically goes                                                             
into effect.  The provisions about what land cannot be selected by                                                              
the University have not changed - those that are subject to an                                                                  
existing mineral or oil and gas lease, permit, prospective sight,                                                               
or any of those things cannot be selected.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
After the date of selection by the University, before the                                                                       
University would actually receive patent title to the lands, the                                                                
State can still issue mining and oil and gas leases (mineral                                                                    
extraction) and the revenue from those leases goes to the State                                                                 
until the University actually receives title.  In prior years there                                                             
was an inconsistency with how those revenues were to be treated -                                                               
specifically with regards to leases that were entered into after                                                                
the date of selection and before the University received conveyance                                                             
of the lands.  Originally, there were to be no leases issued after                                                              
a selection to resolve the issue of who the revenue went to.  That                                                              
was felt to unduly bind both interests in getting these lands into                                                              
production.  These changes are in 365 (a) and (d).                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Another section regarding oil and gas that's different provides                                                                 
that the University doesn't receive any oil and gas revenues for                                                                
five years after the effective date of this act.  The University                                                                
could select lands that are subject to other leases and sales; for                                                              
example, timber sales.  The State would continue to get the                                                                     
revenues because they are the ones who issued the lease and were                                                                
managing the land.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR congratulated Mr. Luckhaupt on doing a good job of                                                               
rewriting the bill and correcting a lot of problems that were in                                                                
the previous legislation. He said the format flows and makes some                                                               
sense.  It also complies with a lot of requests they have received                                                              
from the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 200                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PARNELL asked what other kinds of leases could the land be                                                              
subject to and the University still be able to select it.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. KROGSENG suggested grazing leases.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT suggested recreational sights, non-profits,                                                                       
easements, and rights-of-way.  He didn't think the University would                                                             
want to select lands that were subject to encumbrances like those,                                                              
however.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
On page 10, line 6 the bill deals with encumbrances.  During the                                                                
term of the lease the University doesn't get management of the                                                                  
land.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. KROGSENG explained that the new draft tries to be more                                                                      
consistent with general principals of land management.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT explained that he tried to come up with a process                                                                 
where the revenues went with whomever was managing the land.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 350                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSS COEN, student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks,                                                                  
opposed SB 7.  As a student he recognizes the importance of                                                                     
adequate funding for the University, but he is vehemently opposed                                                               
to this short-sighted funding plan and backhanded assault on the                                                                
environment.  The University is not a land management agency and                                                                
should not be placed in the position of harvesting natural                                                                      
resources simply in order to survive.  It excludes the public from                                                              
participating in the process and might irrevocably harm the                                                                     
environment.  He used the Yakutaga clear cut as an example.  This                                                               
bill will close or restrict access to 250,000 acres for hunting,                                                                
fishing, skiing, etc.  The University requires more funding;                                                                    
however, he supports it coming from the appropriations process, not                                                             
short-sighted land give-aways.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked how long he was a resident of the Fairbanks                                                              
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. COEN answered for approximately three years and he was a                                                                    
resident of Alaska for two years before becoming a student.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. JANE ANGVIK, Department of Natural Resources, said she                                                                      
appreciated the efforts to address some of their concerns; however                                                              
the administration is still opposed to this legislation and                                                                     
believes that the University must be able to acquire income.  She                                                               
has been advised that Senator Murkowski and Secretary Babbit have                                                               
had some communication with respect to the Governor's proposal for                                                              
a portion of the federal receipts from the National Petroleum                                                                   
Reserve Alaska (NPRA)to be provided to the University of Alaska. So                                                             
there may be hope on the federal front.  She said they hadn't had                                                               
time to go through the committee substitute, but would provide them                                                             
with a revised fiscal note.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. WENDY REDMAN, Vice President for the University Statewide                                                                   
System, said she appreciated Mr. Luckhaupt's work on this bill over                                                             
the years.  She wanted to correct and clarify in response to some                                                               
comments that the University didn't use local hire in its Yakutaga                                                              
timber sale.  In fact, all of the University's land contracts                                                                   
require local hire.  They also provide, at their own expense, local                                                             
training for people within the community if they want to be hired                                                               
by the project.  She said the destruction by the timber harvest at                                                              
Cape Yakutaga was absolutely incorrect and continuing with that                                                                 
kind of misinformation doesn't help at all.  She emphasized that                                                                
the University has not ever been charged with any kind of                                                                       
environmental destruction.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR compared the amount of acreage to the McNeil River                                                               
Bear Refuge which has a little over 200,000 acres.  He thought our                                                              
children should have at least the same amount of land as the bears                                                              
have.  He said that comments that the revenues derived from lands                                                               
would not be supplemented are completely false.  This legislature                                                               
has always supported the University and will continue to do so, but                                                             
they want the University to have the land grant basis that it was                                                               
supposed to have had at inception.  He added, but for a couple of                                                               
small changes that happened at statehood, our University would have                                                             
had a million acres.  Instead, the State acquired it with the                                                                   
assumption that we would do something with that acreage to support                                                              
the University.  Instead we are supporting the general fund.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Frankly, SENATOR TAYLOR said, he would like to eliminate the entire                                                             
selection process and do it much like the federal government did,                                                               
which is to say every 16 and 32nd section within a township went to                                                             
education.  That's how most of the western states acquired their                                                                
education lands which they manage to help support their school                                                                  
systems.  He said Texas now has such valuable lands in education                                                                
that they are not only paying for all their university costs, but                                                               
they are paying a portion of the k through 12 costs, also.  Whether                                                             
Senator Murkowski is successful or not in his efforts to get the                                                                
additional 500,000 acres out of the federal domain, this bill would                                                             
grant the University the right to select 250,000 acres.  The two                                                                
bills are compatible and he has worked with Senator Murkowski's                                                                 
staff on his bill which will be submitted soon.  However, the bills                                                             
are not dependent on each other.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass CSSB 7 with individual                                                                             
recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                               
           SJR 5-SNOWMACHINE USE IN DENALI NAT'L PARK                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced SJR 5 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 470                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRETT HUBER, Senate Resources Committee Aide, said SJR 5 is                                                                 
designed to send a clear message to the Department of Interior, the                                                             
National Park Service, and our congressional delegation that the                                                                
Alaska State Legislature opposes the closure of Denali National                                                                 
Park and Preserve to snowmachine access outside of the process set                                                              
forward by law.  An equally important message carried by this                                                                   
resolution is a message to Alaskans that the Legislature is in                                                                  
support of their continued use of their public lands.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. STAN LEAPHART, Executive Director, Citizens Advisory Commission                                                             
on Federal Areas, supported SJR 5.  As a brief background, he                                                                   
explained that Mt. McKinley National Park was created in 1917 and                                                               
sometime in the mid-to-early 1970's the Park was closed to                                                                      
snowmachine use.  However, in 1980 ANILCA expanded the Park from                                                                
its former 2 million acres to over 6 million acres opening the Park                                                             
and all the other parks that were created to snowmachine use (as                                                                
well as to the use of motor boats, airplanes, and other non-                                                                    
motorized surface transportation methods for traditional                                                                        
activities).  The Act, itself, does not define "traditional                                                                     
activities."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In June 1981, the National Park Service adopted its first set of                                                                
permanent regulations to implement ANILCA making it very clear that                                                             
the section on snowmachine use applied to all park units in Alaska,                                                             
including the pre-1980 park areas.  That was confirmed when in 1983                                                             
the Park Service proposed to close some portions of Denali National                                                             
Park to snowmachine use.  They weren't proposing as comprehensive                                                               
a closure as they are today and it was to protect key wildlife                                                                  
concentration areas.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEAPHART explained that at the time it was clear that the                                                                   
Agency recognized that ANILCA had opened the Park to snowmachine                                                                
use.  Those regulations were never finalized.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
In 1986, the Department of Interior adopted regulations                                                                         
implementing Title 11 of ANILCA and the section we're concerned                                                                 
with today is the section 11.10(a).  The Park Service in 1981 had                                                               
adopted regulations implementing that section in 1981.  The 1986                                                                
Department of Interior regulations replaced them.  Comments from                                                                
the public suggest that the authorization to use snowmachines did                                                               
not apply to the pre-1980 parks and monuments.  Department of                                                                   
Interior responded that it was their determination that their                                                                   
interpretation that there was no exception for the pre-ANILCA                                                                   
areas.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
In 1990, they saw the first written evidence of closing the Park to                                                             
snowmachines in the superintendent's compendium for Denali National                                                             
Park.  This is a tool used by the Park Service to list areas that                                                               
may be closed to camping, boating, or any number of things.  His                                                                
Commission was most interested in the part that closed the Park to                                                              
snowmachiners.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEAPHART said there were other compendiums for other parks and                                                              
they tried to get the Park Service to clean up some of the                                                                      
procedural flaws and have had very little movement other than the                                                               
standardization of the form that they use to write the compendia.                                                               
One of the major points they raised with the Park Service was their                                                             
failure to follow the process that's outlined in ANILCA which                                                                   
involves making findings and determinations that use of                                                                         
snowmachines in that particular park area would be detrimental to                                                               
park resources before they could actually do a closure.  Alaskan                                                                
park units and wildlife refuges are open to these sorts of                                                                      
activities unless they are specifically closed through regulatory                                                               
action.  This is very different from the lower-48 units where these                                                             
kinds of activity are prohibited unless they are authorized through                                                             
regulatory actions.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Even though they brought this to the attention of the Park Service                                                              
whose own attorneys advised them that they would not prosecute any                                                              
citations, the Park Service continued to discourage public use by                                                               
posting signs along the highway, putting fliers on windshield and                                                               
by contacts with park rangers.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
In early 1997, the Park superintendent and head ranger formally                                                                 
discussed shutting down snowmachine use.  They held that the ANILCA                                                             
authorizations did not apply to the old part of the Park, that                                                                  
snowmachine use was not traditional and could not, therefore, be                                                                
allowed and they were making no provision to do studies or findings                                                             
to support the closure.  This is about the time that snowmachine                                                                
groups started getting involved.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
In November 1998, the Park Service announced they were going to                                                                 
temporarily close the old Park to snowmachine use while they                                                                    
considered additional permanent closures for the entire Park.  What                                                             
took him most by surprise was their efforts to justify the proposal                                                             
with no finding of resource damage and no documentation of impacts                                                              
- none of the procedural requirements outlined in ANILCA.  It was                                                               
based on a collection of misinformation and half-truths.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEAPHART said he had spoken this morning with Congressman                                                                   
Young's staff for the Resources Committee and they were provided a                                                              
draft press release by the National Park Service stating that the                                                               
closures would be effective tomorrow and they had made a finding                                                                
which he found was a compilation of studies that were done in other                                                             
park areas.  The findings were based on the potential for impacts                                                               
rather than actual impacts for Denali National Park.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. TINA CUNNING, ANILCA Program Coordinator, explained that in the                                                             
final rules of management of park units passed in June 17, 1981 it                                                              
states "perfected snowmachine users should note that the                                                                        
legislative history of Section 11.10(a) defines a traditional                                                                   
activity in terms of its generally occurring in a park area prior                                                               
to its designation."  It goes on to cite both the House and Senate                                                              
Committee reports that adopt that definition.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
An activity that is generally occurring in the area includes                                                                    
perhaps hunting, fishing, and trapping which is of foremost                                                                     
interest to her agency, but also wildlife viewing and some general                                                              
recreation.  It was an essential part of the compromise agreement                                                               
under ANILCA that the traditional lifestyle and activities of                                                                   
Alaskan residents be protected in exchange for the establishment of                                                             
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-7, SIDE B                                                                                                               
Number 590                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
104 million acres of conservation system units in addition to the                                                               
already existing conservation system units in Alaska which were                                                                 
redesignated and expanded under ANILCA.  Therefore, these                                                                       
definitions apply to all units.  They went through a grueling                                                                   
process with all the interior agencies and the Forest Service                                                                   
towards the adoption of the access regulations to implement Title                                                               
11 of ANILCA between 1982 and the final rules in 1986.  The Alaska                                                              
Land Use Council, the work groups representing all the State                                                                    
agencies, the native corporations, AFN, and the federal agencies                                                                
went through what was intended in all the pieces of ANILCA relating                                                             
to access.  When they adopted the final rule making in September 4,                                                             
1986 in the preamble the Department of Interior says, "Other                                                                    
comments suggest that the provisions of this section should not                                                                 
apply to parks and monuments which predated ANILCA."  The argument                                                              
is made that Congress did not intend to open the pre-ANILCA area to                                                             
the uses described in Section 11.10(a) since these pre-ANILCA areas                                                             
had been closed to such uses prior to the enactment of ANILCA.                                                                  
Interior does not find any statutory support for this position                                                                  
since Section 11.10(a) provides no exceptions to the pre-ANILCA                                                                 
areas.  Accordingly, no exception for pre-ANILCA areas is provided                                                              
for in these regulations.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
The regulations, then, go on in Section 13.30 to describe the very                                                              
specific closure process including a finding of detriment to                                                                    
resources, and a closure period.  A temporary closure cannot exceed                                                             
12 months.  Anything beyond that is a permanent closure.  If there                                                              
is a permanent closure, there must be a formal process and a                                                                    
finding made to reopen it.  It's going to be very important to                                                                  
watch the language in the rule being published tomorrow.  It                                                                    
states, "...a temporary closure of one to three years."  So there                                                               
is already a problem.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 558                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The important thing for ADF&G is the continuation of access for                                                                 
hunting, fishing, and trapping activities.  Many millions of acres                                                              
in Alaska were expanded, designated, or reestablished as                                                                        
conservation system use under ANILCA that would come under the                                                                  
process the Park Service developed here.  There would be problems                                                               
with other units trying to follow suit.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CUNNING explained there was a similar situation in a Kodiak                                                                 
Refuge where the Fish and Wildlife Service manager was interested                                                               
in closing snowmachine use.  In that case, with much encouragement,                                                             
he was able to work with the local snowmachine group to come up                                                                 
with an agreement of where they would and would not travel so as                                                                
not to impact denning bears.  They are continuing to have their                                                                 
snowmachine activities without detriment to the resources in that                                                               
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
A precedent of making a finding that an activity is traditional or                                                              
not or that there is resource damage without having had studies                                                                 
could set a precedent for Kodiak, Kenai, the Alaska Peninsula, the                                                              
Yukon Delta Refuge, and other parks and refuges across the State.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR asked other than our passage of this resolution,                                                                 
what other action might the legislature take to cause the federal                                                               
government to abide by the laws they, themselves, made.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CUNNING said she couldn't advise on that, but she knows that                                                                
some snowmachine groups have been in communication regarding filing                                                             
litigation.  Because of the impacts she foresees coming down the                                                                
line for many Alaskan residents we would want to engage in                                                                      
conversation with the administration policy makers to consider the                                                              
possibility of joining that.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the administration is contemplating                                                                     
litigation to defend the rights of snowmachiners.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEVIN HITE, Vice President, Alaska State Snowmobile                                                                         
Association, responded that he had sent two letters to the                                                                      
administration requesting input and help on the issue as they see                                                               
it and to join their lawsuit which seems inevitable.  They haven't                                                              
had any response so far.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HITE said his Association supports the resolution 100 percent.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOE GAUNA, Anchorage Snowmobile Club, said he works with Mr.                                                                
Hite on this issue.  He said they have never had one response from                                                              
the National Park Service.  The Ccurry Ridge Riders from "up North"                                                             
asked him to send their support for the resolution as did the owner                                                             
of Ardor Art Recreation Distributors.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR said he is sincere in asking his question.  The                                                                  
legislature is standing "begging" a federal official who doesn't                                                                
choose to listen to us anyhow to please do what the law says.                                                                   
Surely there must be some other alternative and if litigation is                                                                
the only way to go, we should be supporting these people.  If the                                                               
administration doesn't do it, we should fund it through legislative                                                             
council.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 476                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked Mr. Leaphart how many people serve on the                                                                 
Citizens Advisory Commission and was this a Board or Commission                                                                 
action.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEAPHART answered, "Essentially, yes."  There are 16 members,                                                               
one is vacant right now.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MIKE EASTHAM, Snomad Snowmachine Club, supported SJR 5.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BILL EASTHAM, President, Mat-Su Motormushers, strongly                                                                      
supported SJR 5.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSS COEN said that he is speaking now as a staff member of the                                                             
Northern Alaska Environmental Center which opposes SJR 5.  He                                                                   
understands that with the passage of ANILCA that access was allowed                                                             
in the park for traditional uses.  This was so that land owners                                                                 
could reach home sights and provide access for subsistence uses.                                                                
He questioned how recreational snowmachining could be qualified as                                                              
a traditional use since it didn't exist in the Park before 1980.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. COEN stated that the Park Service received 1,392 comments                                                                   
(nation-wide) from individuals during the comment process.                                                                      
However, 1,220 or 87 percent of them supported the Park Service's                                                               
decision to close the Park to snowmachining.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KEVIN HITE responded that the public process in Fairbanks had                                                               
over 400 positive comments and 700 opposing the actions.  He said                                                               
this issue is obviously going to be litigated and strongly                                                                      
encouraged the legislature's participation in a lawsuit.  The                                                                   
Alaska State Snowmobile Association has retained Mr. Bill Horn, one                                                             
of the initial authors of ANILCA, as legal counsel and he has very                                                              
eloquently countered every Park Service false finding.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 376                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN noted that the comments in their packets were from                                                              
Anchorage and Fairbanks and the area they are discussing is in the                                                              
Denali Borough.  She called the Denali Borough to see what their                                                                
position is on the resolution and they hadn't taken a position,                                                                 
because they were unaware of it.  She was concerned that the                                                                    
resolution, dated January 27, 1999 is just referred to Resources                                                                
and goes to the full body for a vote.  She didn't want to exclude                                                               
anyone from testifying, especially those people who reside in that                                                              
area and have used it traditionally.  This is why she will vote "no                                                             
recommendation."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said he had a lot of long-term friends in that                                                                 
area and all of them were opposed to the D2 lands bill in 1980.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN noted it was written January 27 and there are only                                                              
support letters and asked if the information had been put out to                                                                
the general public.  She asked if there were any letters that were                                                              
non-supportive.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HUBER responded that they provided state-wide notice and met                                                                
the notice requirements for today's hearing.  They also did a press                                                             
release on the introduction of the resolution and in addition                                                                   
received other E-mail messages in support of the bill today that                                                                
were dropped off to her staff probably an hour previous to today's'                                                             
meeting.  They had not received any messages, E-mails, POMs,                                                                    
letters, or faxes in opposition to the resolution.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 280                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass SJR 5 from committee with individual                                                               
recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD adjourned the meeting at 4:25 p.m.                                                                             

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