Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

02/06/2019 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
03:30:07 PM Start
03:30:40 PM Presentation: Statehood Land Entitlement and Public Access Projects
05:00:28 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Department of Natural Resources Update on Public
Access Assertion & Defense Issues & Alaska
Statehood Act Federal Land Conveyances by Brent
Goodrum, DNR Deputy Commissioner & James Walker,
DNR Public Access Assertion & Defense Unit
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        February 6, 2019                                                                                        
                           3:30 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Chris Birch, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator Lora Reinbold                                                                                                           
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: STATEHOOD LAND ENTITLEMENT AND PUBLIC ACCESS                                                                      
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
BRENT GOODRUM, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Natural Resources                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of statehood land                                                                    
entitlement and obstacles.                                                                                                      
JESSIE ALLOWAY, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                      
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Alaska Department of Law                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of the state's efforts                                                               
to protect and defend state title to submerged lands and                                                                        
navigable waters.                                                                                                               
JAMES H. WALKER, Manager                                                                                                        
Public Access Assertion and Defense Unit                                                                                        
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Natural Resources                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided an overview of  the state's efforts                                                             
to  protect  and  defend  state  title  to  submerged  lands  and                                                               
navigable waters.                                                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:30:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CHRIS BIRCH called the  Senate Resources Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order  at 3:30 p.m. Present at the  call to order were                                                               
Senators  Kiehl, Kawasaki,  Giessel, Coghill,  Bishop, and  Chair                                                               
^PRESENTATION:  Statehood  Land  Entitlement  and  Public  Access                                                               
   PRESENTATION: Statehood Land Entitlement and Public Access                                                               
3:30:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BIRCH announced  that  the committee  will  hear from  the                                                               
Department of  Natural Resources on  two issues: number  one, the                                                               
state's efforts  to assert and  preserve public access  on roads,                                                               
trails, and  waterways; secondly,  an update  on the  transfer of                                                               
federal lands under the statehood act.                                                                                          
3:31:32 PM                                                                                                                    
BRENT GOODRUM, Deputy Commissioner,  Alaska Department of Natural                                                               
Resources,   Anchorage,   Alaska,   said   the   statehood   land                                                               
entitlement and public access projects  are a team effort between                                                               
departments,   the  Legislature,   and  the   Administration.  He                                                               
affirmed that  statehood land entitlement  and public  access are                                                               
critically important  to the state  for today and years  to come.                                                               
Land and resource access are core to what Alaska is and does.                                                                   
He addressed the presentation's topics as follows:                                                                              
   • Statehood land entitlement and obstacles.                                                                                  
   • Public Land Order 5150.                                                                                                    
        o Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) corridor.                                                                         
   • Efforts to enforce the lawful western boundary of Arctic                                                                   
     National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the controversy                                                                        
     involving the Canning and Staines rivers.                                                                                  
   • Efforts to protect and defend Alaska's title to its                                                                        
     submerged lands and navigable waters.                                                                                      
   • Efforts to protect and defend Alaska's RS 2477 and other                                                                   
     trail networks.                                                                                                            
3:33:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD joined the committee meeting.                                                                                  
3:33:29 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
3:43:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH called the committee back to order.                                                                                 
DEPUTY   COMMISSIONER    GOODRUM   addressed    "Statehood   land                                                               
entitlement" as follows:                                                                                                        
   • Alaska Statehood Entitlement:                                                                                              
        o 105,775,500 acres:                                                                                                    
             square4 Patented: 68,070,100 acres (64 percent):                                                                   
                  • Survey work is done.                                                                                        
             square4 Tentative approved: 32,438,100   acres   (31                                                               
                  • State has management authority, but survey                                                                  
                    work is not done for acreage confirmation;                                                                  
                  • Survey corrections adds to the state's                                                                      
             square4 Remaining entitlement: 5,267,300 (5 percent).                                                              
He said Alaska  is generally the exception to most  any rule. For                                                               
land  entitlement  the  state was  granted  105.8  million  acres                                                               
through  the Statehood  Land  Entitlement Act  as  well as  other                                                               
authorizations. Alaska's  land entitlement includes  both surface                                                               
and mineral estate.                                                                                                             
He  said the  Statehood  Act  also made  the  provisions for  the                                                               
Submerged  Lands  Act of  1953  and  the equal  footing  doctrine                                                               
applicable  to Alaska.  An additional  30 million  to 40  million                                                               
acres of tidelands and submerged  lands were added to the state's                                                               
land  estate  as  well  as  3  million  to  6  million  acres  of                                                               
shorelands underlying the state's navigable waterbodies.                                                                        
He said the  Alaska National Interest Lands  Conservation Act was                                                               
another  important  piece  of legislation  that  established  the                                                               
state's  ability to  "topfile"  the state's  selections of  lands                                                               
that were not available for selection.                                                                                          
3:46:05 PM                                                                                                                    
DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER GOODRUM  addressed  "Obstacles to  statehood                                                               
land entitlement:  TAPS withdrawal,  Public Land Order  5150 (PLO                                                               
5150),"  encompassing 1.74  million acres  of Topfile  Priority I                                                               
acres  and part  of the  Central Yukon  Resource Management  Plan                                                               
that the  Bureau of Land Management  (BLM) is working on.  BLM is                                                               
working  on   two  plans:   Bering  Sea-Western   Interior  Plan,                                                               
anticipated  to be  the first  plan that  the federal  government                                                               
will release; and the Central Yukon Resource Management Plan.                                                                   
He said  one of the  recent challenges with  plans is the  use of                                                               
the  "areas  of  critical  environmental  concern"  (ACEC)  where                                                               
certain  provisions are  put upon  areas to  restrict activities.                                                               
ACEC  has become  larger in  scope and  more problematic  for the                                                               
state's intended use or access.  The use of ACEC, particularly in                                                               
the eastern  interior, was excessive  but there is  potential for                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL pointed out that  Deputy Commissioner Goodrum did                                                               
not  reference  "wilderness  characteristics"   as  it  bumps  up                                                               
against  the "no  more" clause  in the  Alaska National  Interest                                                               
Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) guarantees.                                                                                     
3:48:20 PM                                                                                                                    
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  GOODRUM continued  to address  "Obstacles to                                                               
statehood  land   entitlement:  Public  Land  Orders   (PLO)  and                                                               
military withdrawals." He  said PLO 5150 is the  most obvious and                                                               
critical land order. If BLM  were to choose in their alternatives                                                               
to lift the PLO,  the state could look to bring  in close to one-                                                               
million acres of high priority  lands that provides access to the                                                               
North Slope,  Ambler Road, Chandalar  Mining District,  and other                                                               
areas. The state should see the PLO lifted within the near term.                                                                
He  said to  Senator Coghill's  point, the  presence of  PLOs and                                                               
military withdrawals  quite often  pull lands  out of  the public                                                               
domain  and are  quite  often viewed  as  "small 'W'  wilderness"                                                               
because they  restrict other  activities; when  public landowners                                                               
are  on,  they  prevent  mining activities  or  the  location  of                                                               
minerals.  The state  has encouraged  the  federal government  to                                                               
life PLOs  that no longer serve  the purpose for which  they were                                                               
originally established, many have been in place for decades.                                                                    
3:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
He  addressed "Obstacles  to statehood  land entitlement:  Alaska                                                               
Native  Claims   Settlement  Act  (ANSCA)  selections"   and  the                                                               
"17(d)(I)  withdrawals."   The  withdrawals  were   intended  for                                                               
studying  classification and  are  still  present throughout  the                                                               
state and are  one of the major reasons that  some of the highest                                                               
priority lands are unavailable to the state for selection.                                                                      
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  GOODRUM referenced "Public land  order 5150"                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
   • Established in 1971 to create a utility and transportation                                                                 
     corridor along the general route of the Trans-Alaska                                                                       
     Pipeline System (TAPS) from the North Slope to Valdez.                                                                     
   • Approximately 1.5 million acres in the central Yukon region                                                                
     including the TAPS pipeline.                                                                                               
   • Vital transportation and access corridor.                                                                                  
   • Vital for liquid natural gas (LNG) pipeline.                                                                               
   • Important access to highly mineralized areas; e.g., Ambler                                                                 
He said in  reference to a PLO, 709 acres  were lifted during the                                                               
past year  that was  located adjacent  to the  Fort Knox  Mine, a                                                               
parcel that  was known  as the  "Gilmore Parcel."  The additional                                                               
land could mean an extended operating  life of the Fort Knox Mine                                                               
for  another decade.  The Alaska  Mental  Health Trust  Authority                                                               
benefits from the lifted parcel and will realize $24 million.                                                                   
He summarized  that there is 5.3  million or more acres  left and                                                               
the best  use of the  land is  to continue to  identify resources                                                               
that  will allow  the state  to continue  to build  jobs and  the                                                               
3:52:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BISHOP asked  how much  of the  5 million  acres may  be                                                               
encumbered, awaiting approval.                                                                                                  
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER GOODRUM answered  that BLM only conveys state                                                               
land when the state asks for.  The turnaround time when a request                                                               
is  given  is  generally  quite  fast  for  a  high  priory  land                                                               
SENATOR BISHOP  asked how  many applications  does DNR  have from                                                               
Alaskans  wanting to  transfer federal  mining claims  into state                                                               
mining claims.                                                                                                                  
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER GOODRUM  answered that he will  follow up and                                                               
provide Senator Bishop with the number.                                                                                         
3:56:02 PM                                                                                                                    
DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER   GOODRUM  referenced  the   "ANWR  boundary                                                               
dispute" as follows:                                                                                                            
   • 20,000 acres of uplands on the western boundary of ANWR.                                                                   
   • 3,000 acres of tidal and submerged lands along the Beaufort                                                                
     Sea coastline in proximity to Point Thomson.                                                                               
   • New importance with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs                                                                   
     Act of 2017.                                                                                                               
He  detailed  that  pre-statehood,  the U.S.  Fish  and  Wildlife                                                               
Service submitted  an application  in 1957  to create  the Arctic                                                               
Wildlife  Range,  now   known  as  ANWR.  In   1960  the  federal                                                               
government  published the  federal register  notice for  PLO 2214                                                               
which described what the range would  look like. In the 1960s BLM                                                               
started to do survey work in  the area; around that same time the                                                               
state had  put a general  grant selection  on the same  lands, an                                                               
initial decision was made by  BLM that tentatively approved lands                                                               
to the  state immediately to the  west of the Canning  River. The                                                               
state asked the  federal government to clarify  where exactly the                                                               
boundary was, but  BLM corrected its answer and took  some of the                                                               
acreage back  when it referenced  their survey work.  He provided                                                               
the committee with details on  the continued boundary dispute and                                                               
noted that  as of May  2018, the state  and BLM made  their final                                                               
briefings  to  the Interior  Board  of  Land Appeals  (IBLA)  for                                                               
resolution with a possible ruling  expected within the next 18 to                                                               
24 months.                                                                                                                      
He  explained that  the ruling  on the  ANWR boundary  dispute is                                                               
important due to the Tax Cuts  and Jobs Act of 2017 that modified                                                               
the revenue  sharing agreement  within the  coastal plain  from a                                                               
90:10 split  from state  to federal  to a  50:50 split.  There is                                                               
potential that  the federal  government may  not choose  to lease                                                               
areas that  are in contention  with the  state, the aspect  is if                                                               
the state  were to  rightfully own  the contended  boundary area,                                                               
the state  would have full  management authority and  the ability                                                               
to generate all the revenues that come from that land.                                                                          
4:01:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH asked  if the boundary dispute will hold  up the ANWR                                                               
lease sale.                                                                                                                     
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER  GOODRUM opined  that the  federal government                                                               
will  decide to  de-risk any  decision they  have going  forward.                                                               
Potentially the  federal government  may choose  to not  make any                                                               
definitive determination with the ANWR land.                                                                                    
DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER GOODRUM  referenced that  Tax Cuts  and Jobs                                                               
Act of  2017 and noted there  was a limitation of  2,000 acres of                                                               
disturbance  for  production  or support  facilities  on  federal                                                               
land.  Whether  the  land  is  federal, or  state  land  is  also                                                               
important to future development of the coastal plain area.                                                                      
4:03:26 PM                                                                                                                    
JESSIE  ALLOWAY, Assistant  Attorney  General, Natural  Resources                                                               
Section,  Alaska Department  of Law,  Juneau, explained  that the                                                               
state owns  all submerged lands  underlying navigable in  fact or                                                               
tidally  influenced waterways.  Navigable  in fact  is a  federal                                                               
test.  Four   things  are  focused   on  when  trying   to  prove                                                               
   1. The waterway must be capable or susceptible to use as a                                                                   
     highway for commerce:                                                                                                      
        a. Whether people or goods can be transferred on the                                                                    
        b. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the 1980s told                                                                 
          the state in the Gulkana River case that the                                                                          
          transportation  of  people  as  commercial  guides  was                                                               
          sufficient transportation for the purpose of commerce.                                                                
   2. Whether the waterway must be usable for transportation                                                                    
     conducted in customary modes of trade and travel on water:                                                                 
        a. Type of watercraft that is used.                                                                                     
        b. Navigability for fact the focus is on the date of                                                                    
        c. Supreme Court has told the state that evidence of                                                                    
          current-day travel may be used on the waterway if the                                                                 
          watercraft being used today are materially similar to                                                                 
          the watercraft that existed at the time of statehood:                                                                 
            i. Alaska has an advantage to other states because                                                                  
               the state's statehood is 1959.                                                                                   
           ii. Some of the litigation involves canoes, but the                                                                  
               state has evidence of airboat usage prior to                                                                     
          iii. The disagreement with BLM is generally over                                                                      
               jetboats, but  the state  has evidence  of jetboat                                                               
               use both in Anchorage  and Fairbanks prior to 1959                                                               
               so  the state  says jetboat  use is  relevant, BLM                                                               
               says jetboat use is not relevant.                                                                                
   3. Whether the waterway is in its natural and ordinary                                                                       
     condition, it must be navigable in its natural or ordinary                                                                 
        a. Under the federal test regarding a navigable waterway,                                                               
          the federal government can go  in and dredge a waterway                                                               
          making  it navigable  and then  they can  reach in  and                                                               
          regulate  the   waterway  via  their   commerce  clause                                                               
          powers, the  state cannot  do that;  that gets  back to                                                               
          whether the present-day use is relevant.                                                                              
        b. If a   waterway  has  been   dredged  and   made  more                                                               
          navigable,  then  the  state  cannot  necessarily  just                                                               
          focus on  present-day use  as easily as  if it  had not                                                               
          been dredged, for example:                                                                                            
            i. The Mosquito Fork litigation was in its natural                                                                  
               and ordinary  condition so an argument  can easily                                                               
               be made  to the court that  DNR navigated Mosquito                                                               
               Fork in 2012 in  an inflatable raft carrying 1,000                                                               
               pounds  because  the  waterway  was  in  the  same                                                               
               condition as it  was in 1959, that  means the same                                                               
              thing could have been done in 1959.                                                                               
  4. Whether the river was navigable at the time of statehood.                                                                  
4:07:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ALLOWAY referenced "Methods to clear state title to                                                                         
submerged lands under navigable waters" as follows:                                                                             
   • Federal quiet title litigation:                                                                                            
        o State  is  generally   litigating  against  the  United                                                               
   • Recordable Disclaimers of Interest (RDI):                                                                                  
        o Ligation against the United States.                                                                                   
        o RDI  is  an  administrative  process  that  the  United                                                               
          States has where they can disclaim their interest.                                                                    
        o DNR will  file an application  and say, "We  think this                                                               
          is  a state-owned  waterway because  it is  a navigable                                                               
        o BLM does their research and  will either agree with the                                                               
          state and issue an RDI or not agree with the state.                                                                   
   • State court litigation.                                                                                                    
She   addressed   "Recent   examples   of   federal   quiet-title                                                               
litigation" as follows:                                                                                                         
   • Mosquito Fork River:                                                                                                       
        o Litigation closed.                                                                                                    
        o First case the state recently  filed in its recent push                                                               
          to quiet-title the submerged lands.                                                                                   
        o State litigated for three years.                                                                                      
        o United States ultimately disclaimed their interest.                                                                   
        o The  state received  a court  decision saying  that the                                                               
          United States had acted in bad faith by pursing                                                                       
          frivolous legal arguments.                                                                                            
        o State received a $600,000 award in attorney's fees.                                                                   
        o Important case  because the ligation was  a springboard                                                               
          for most of the state's recent success.                                                                               
   • Stikine River:                                                                                                             
        o Litigation closed.                                                                                                    
   • Knik River:                                                                                                                
        o Ongoing litigation.                                                                                                   
        o BLM  purported  to  convey  portions   of  the  bed  to                                                               
        o State asked BLM to reconsider.                                                                                        
        o BLM did not want to reconsider in a timely fashion.                                                                   
        o State filed a litigation.                                                                                             
        o The United  States did disclaim  their interest  in the                                                               
          Knik River.                                                                                                           
   • Delta River:                                                                                                               
        o State followed up with a 180-day notice.                                                                              
        o Before the state files a  litigation against the United                                                               
          States, the state must give the United States 180 days                                                                
          of notice.                                                                                                            
        o 180-day  notice allows  the United  States to  consider                                                               
          whether they will defend their title or disclaim their                                                                
        o United States  recognized the state's  ownership before                                                               
          litigation was filed.                                                                                                 
   • Fortymile River:                                                                                                           
        o West Fork and Dennison Fork.                                                                                          
        o 180-day notice was filed on four rivers:                                                                              
             square4 West Fork,                                                                                                 
             square4 Dennison Fork,                                                                                             
             square4 Middle Fork of the Fortymile River,                                                                        
             square4 North Fork of the Fortymile River.                                                                         
        o Prior  to the  expiration  of the  180-day notice,  BLM                                                               
          issued revised navigability determinations finding the                                                                
          West Fork and Dennison Fork navigable.                                                                                
        o BLM has not  addressed the state's claims  to the North                                                               
          Fork and the Middle Fork of the Fortymile River:                                                                      
             square4 October 2018 the state filed a quiet-title action                                                          
               to clear title to the North Fork and Middle Fork                                                                 
             square4 State has not received an answer back from the                                                             
               United States, delay was due to the recent                                                                       
               government shutdown. Answer is due by the end of                                                                 
               February 2019.                                                                                                   
   • Kisaralik River:                                                                                                           
        o State of Alaska followed up with a 180-day notice.                                                                    
        o United States  recognized the state's  ownership before                                                               
          litigation was filed.                                                                                                 
        o Kisaralik  was unique  because the  state had  filed an                                                               
          application for  an RDI,  BLM denied  the RDI,  BLM was                                                               
          asked  to  reconsider,  BLM said  they  were  going  to                                                               
          reconsider  but was  asked  by the  state  to do  their                                                               
          reconsideration within  180 days or a  litigation would                                                               
          be filed.                                                                                                             
        o BLM  reconsidered their  decision within  180 days  and                                                               
          granted DNR's RDI application.                                                                                        
MS. ALLOWAY referenced "Pending and intended navigability                                                                       
litigation" as follows:                                                                                                         
   • DNR recently filed quiet title action (QTA) litigation                                                                     
     against the federal government on the North Fork and Middle                                                                
     Fork of the Fortymile River.                                                                                               
   • DNR filed 180-day notice of intended litigation to clear                                                                   
     its  title to  the  submerged lands  underneath the  Koyukuk                                                               
     River  (South Fork),  Koyukuk River  (Middle Fork),  Bettles                                                               
     River,  Dietrich River,  Birch Creek  and Beaver  Creek that                                                               
     will expire soon:                                                                                                          
        o State is  waiting to hear  back whether BLM  intends to                                                               
          go forth with their claim of ownership or potentially                                                                 
         issue a new revised navigable determinations.                                                                          
   • DNR intends to file additional 180-day notices on more                                                                     
     rivers and lakes soon.                                                                                                     
4:11:47 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES  H. WALKER,  Manager, Public  Access Assertion  and Defense                                                               
Unit, Division  of Mining, Land  and Water, Alaska  Department of                                                               
Natural Resources, Anchorage, Alaska,  addressed "We still have a                                                               
long way to go," in his presentation as follows:                                                                                
   • Alaska has cleared title to only a small fraction of its                                                                   
     submerged lands under navigable waters statewide with its                                                                  
     combined efforts to date:                                                                                                  
        o Approximately  14  percent  of  submerged  lands  under                                                               
          navigable lakes.                                                                                                      
        o Approximately  6  percent   of  submerged  lands  under                                                               
          navigable rivers.                                                                                                     
   • Find ways to speed up clearing title:                                                                                      
        o Negotiations  and agreements  with the  U.S. Department                                                               
          of the Interior (DOI) and BLM.                                                                                        
        o Moving away from "historical" evidence of navigability                                                                
          and more towards a "susceptibility" model.                                                                            
MR. WALKER  said DNR is  working on a way  to do "basin  wide" or                                                               
"watershed wide"  determinations of  navigable waters  based upon                                                               
sound science and  sound law in the hope that  the department can                                                               
use the information to effectively clear title more quickly.                                                                    
4:13:29 PM                                                                                                                    
He  addressed  "Recordable  Disclaimer   of  Interest  (RDI)"  as                                                               
   • Congress provided a "quick and easy" way to clear title                                                                    
     where the United States does not claim title.                                                                              
   • Secretary of DOI (BLM is delegee) is authorized by Federal                                                                 
     Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) to an RDI.                                                                          
   • BLM has the authority to disclaim the United States'                                                                       
     interest in submerged lands under navigable waters where                                                                   
     there is no pre-statehood reservation.                                                                                     
   • RDI is BLM's preferred method of handling titles.                                                                          
He  explained that  the RDI  process is  allowed pursuant  of the                                                               
FLPMA that works  as a quick-claim deed. When there  has not been                                                               
a valid  pre-statehood withdrawal,  the state  applies to  BLM to                                                               
get a  quick-claim deed to  say that BLM  has no interest  in the                                                               
specified submerged lands with an  agreement that the water above                                                               
the submerged  lands are navigable.  He said BLM prefers  the RDI                                                               
process  because  the process  is  administrative  rather than  a                                                               
lawsuit confrontation.  RDI has  been successful over  the years;                                                               
however, the process has been "painfully" slow and expensive.                                                                   
He  addressed  "Some  recent   successful  RDI  applications"  as                                                               
   • Kanektok River;                                                                                                            
   • Kagati Lake;                                                                                                               
   • Pagati Lake;                                                                                                               
   • George River System;                                                                                                       
   • Kisaralik River;                                                                                                           
   • Lake Minchumina;                                                                                                           
   • Kantishna River;                                                                                                           
   • Taku River;                                                                                                                
   • Lake Becharof and Egegik River:                                                                                            
        o Lake Becharof:                                                                                                        
             square4 The state's second largest lake after Iliamna:                                                             
             square4 Covers a surface area of over 450 square miles.                                                            
             square4 Average depth of 100 feet.                                                                                 
             square4 Deepest depth is over 400 feet.                                                                            
             square4 Alaska had to wait several years and pay $10,000                                                           
               for BLM to tell the state that the lake was                                                                      
MR. WALKER reiterated  that the RDI process can  be a frustrating                                                               
process  that is  slow  and involves  "A lot  of  red tape."  The                                                               
department is  proceeding with  the RDI  process and  Ms. Alloway                                                               
will address possibilities for improvement.                                                                                     
He addressed "Possible light at the  end of the tunnel" and noted                                                               
the "Knik River litigation" with  DOJ and BLM for improvements to                                                               
the RDI process.                                                                                                                
4:16:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ALLOWAY  addressed  the  "Knik   River  mediation  case"  as                                                               
   • United States disclaimed their interest.                                                                                   
   • Ms. Alloway filed a motion to establish the state's status                                                                 
     of a "prevailing party:"                                                                                                   
        o A quirky legal theory that allowed the state to get                                                                   
         the attorneys' fee in the Mosquito Fork case.                                                                          
 • Litigation resulted in the state receiving $400 in costs.                                                                    
   • United States appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of                                                                       
     Appeals regarding the state's prevailing-party status and                                                                  
     $400 in costs.                                                                                                             
   • The state's ownership is not at issue.                                                                                     
   • During mediation the United States reached out and asked to                                                                
     work with DNR to find ways to improve the RDI process to                                                                   
     make it more likely that the state will file an RDI rather                                                                 
     than filing litigation.                                                                                                    
   • The case commenced a year ago and remains in the courts.                                                                   
   • The state is waiting for the United States to provide a                                                                    
     proposal in writing so that the new administration can be                                                                  
She affirmed  Mr. Walker's  assessment that  the RDI  process has                                                               
problems and detailed as follows:                                                                                               
   • When the state previously filed an RDI application, the                                                                    
     state would have to pay BLM to engage in their own research                                                                
     to determine whether the United States is going to claim                                                                   
     their interest.                                                                                                            
   • The state opined that its payment was unreasonably high.                                                                   
   • The RDI application process had no timeline which BLM had                                                                  
     to act; some applications had no decisions for five to ten                                                                 
     years after filing.                                                                                                        
MS. ALLOWAY  explained that  the state  uses litigation  to speed                                                               
the title process as follows:                                                                                                   
   • The state files a complaint and then the United States must                                                                
     figure out whether to claim or disclaim an interest on                                                                     
     their "own dime."                                                                                                          
   • The court imposes a deadline.                                                                                              
   • The state can decide whether to grant an extension or if                                                                   
     the process is taking too long the state can go to the                                                                     
     judge and say a decision is needed.                                                                                        
She explained  that the RDI  application cost is  being discussed                                                               
in  the mediation  as  well  as whether  the  state  can have  an                                                               
agreement  with BLM  on some  of the  legal issues;  for example,                                                               
what is  a "customary boat" and  does two-way traffic need  to be                                                               
shown. The United  States will take a position that  it must be a                                                               
highway with  two-way traffic, the state  contends that "floating                                                               
down" is  suffice with reference  to "log drives" that  the Ninth                                                               
Circuit had already decided on  as being sufficient evidence. She                                                               
noted  saying  to  the  United States  that,  "Logs  don't  float                                                               
upstream, so it's one-way traffic and that's sufficient."                                                                       
4:20:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALKER  explained that if a  "new going forward" with  BLM is                                                               
achieved regarding  the RDI program,  the state will ramp  up its                                                               
applications. An RDI  list was provided to BLM  for the immediate                                                               
future.  The state  is looking  for  a commitment  from BLM  that                                                               
possibly leads  to costs  being waived. The  state would  have to                                                               
pay application  fees and necessary  statutory notice  costs such                                                               
as  publishing in  newspapers; however,  the state  would not  be                                                               
taxed for all of BLM's processing and administrative fees.                                                                      
He  said  the  state  is  also asking  BLM  to  devote  necessary                                                               
capacity to  processing RDI  applications so  that the  state can                                                               
get results in a timely fashion.  BLM once had 13 dedicated staff                                                               
working on navigability  issues, currently there is  1 person who                                                               
is working on applications as part of his duties.                                                                               
He summarized  that the Knik  mediation is about  capacity, cost,                                                               
and what  legal standards are  going to be applied  pertaining to                                                               
the navigability question.                                                                                                      
MR. WALKER said  the state will continue with its  efforts on the                                                               
RDI program  and referenced the  "New Batch of  RDI Applications"                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
   • Johnson River System,                                                                                                      
   • Unuk River,                                                                                                                
   • Alsek River,                                                                                                               
   • Kwethluk River,                                                                                                            
   • Tuluksak River,                                                                                                            
   • Fog River,                                                                                                                 
   • Kanuti River,                                                                                                              
   • Andrefsky River,                                                                                                           
   • Anvik River,                                                                                                               
   • Hogatza River,                                                                                                             
   • Kateel River,                                                                                                              
   • Tozitna River,                                                                                                             
   • Takslesluk-Kayigyalik Lake System.                                                                                         
He said the  new batch of applications goes  to Senator Coghill's                                                               
question  about  various  land   planning  on  what  the  federal                                                               
government is doing. The department  will ask colleagues in state                                                               
government what rivers  are important to have  a clear definition                                                               
of state  title to or  what rivers have  not had a  title cleared                                                               
and whether the department proceeds  with an RDI to provide title                                                               
clarity to assist state efforts  in the planning process. Many of                                                               
the  rivers being  looked at  by  the department  are within  the                                                               
terms of  litigation as being  within the Public Land  Order 5150                                                               
corridor  and   elsewhere  within  the  Central   Yukon  Resource                                                               
Management Plan that Deputy Commissioner Goodrum addressed.                                                                     
4:22:49 PM                                                                                                                    
He addressed  the third way  to attempt  to clear state  title to                                                               
submerged    lands   is    through   the    "state   navigability                                                               
determinations" as follows:                                                                                                     
   • Historically made by DNR primarily for intergovernmental                                                                   
   • A recent affirmative example is the Middle Fork of the                                                                     
     Koyukuk River.                                                                                                             
   • A recent negative example is Kongiganak Lake.                                                                              
   • The state plans to expand the navigability program to clear                                                                
     state title.                                                                                                               
   • Determinations will include painstaking scientific and                                                                     
     legal analysis.                                                                                                            
   • State navigability determinations will be used as a                                                                        
     predicate for active state management of state property, to                                                                
     act "like owners."                                                                                                         
   • "Susceptibility" and    "Physical   Characteristics"   vs.                                                                 
     historical proof.                                                                                                          
   • Allows the State of Alaska to change the narrative and                                                                     
     assert ownership.                                                                                                          
MR.  WALKER  noted  that the  state  navigability  determinations                                                               
process is  within the state's  control and is  an administrative                                                               
matter. The state has increasingly  sought to apply its thinking,                                                               
approach, efforts,  and views for  making the  state navigability                                                               
determinations in  the hopes  that the process  will start  a new                                                               
narrative with its colleagues on  the federal side that the state                                                               
in fact owns the submerged lands.                                                                                               
4:24:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KIEHL asked  if  the  state navigability  determinations                                                               
process  was  an  initial  step  to  filing  an  RDI  or  towards                                                               
MR.  WALKER replied,  "kind of  all of  the above."  He explained                                                               
that if the  state issued a state  navigability determination and                                                               
the federal government objected and  sued, validity in the courts                                                               
would  be  on  the  terms  set by  the  state.  Also,  the  state                                                               
navigability determination could also be  used as a predicate for                                                               
an RDI application and could also  be used in federal quiet title                                                               
litigation as well.                                                                                                             
SENATOR KIEHL  replied that  he may follow  up later  whether the                                                               
state navigability  determination puts the permit  holder, when a                                                               
permit is issued, at greater risk.                                                                                              
MR.  WALKER addressed  the  "Navigability Metrics  Classification                                                               
Project"  and explained  that the  intent is  to speed  the title                                                               
clearing  process by  assessing a  basin in  its entirety  rather                                                               
than a  river segment-by-segment. He detailed  "The Challenge" as                                                               
     We  need to  establish a  scientific and  authoritative                                                                    
     manner to demonstrate reliably  which rivers, lakes and                                                                    
     other waters  within a particular basin  are "boatable"                                                                    
     using data  and other  factors available  remotely that                                                                    
     minimizes  reliance  upon  the  historical  record  and                                                                    
       avoids in-depth, multi-year analysis of the actual                                                                       
     segment at issue.                                                                                                          
4:28:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALKER referenced "The  factors influencing 'boatability'" as                                                               
   • Catchment size,                                                                                                            
   • Length/duration of the open-water season,                                                                                  
   • Strahler Stream Order Classification,                                                                                      
   • Precipitation,                                                                                                             
   • Hydrography,                                                                                                               
   • Flow rate,                                                                                                                 
   • Width,                                                                                                                     
   • Gradient,                                                                                                                  
   • Channel pattern,                                                                                                           
   • Substrate,                                                                                                                 
   • Dimensions of the watercraft,                                                                                              
   • Reasonableness of portage.                                                                                                 
He addressed "Scholarship upon which to build" as follows:                                                                      
   • Fish passage studies;                                                                                                      
   • Hydrological exceedance modelling for bridges, culverts,                                                                   
   • Efforts of other states to categorize and inventory rivers                                                                 
     and lakes;                                                                                                                 
   • Principles of hydraulic geometry.                                                                                          
He summarized that the  intent is to come up with  a way that the                                                               
state can reliably say that  the rivers within a particular basin                                                               
are, are not, or may be navigable.                                                                                              
He  addressed the  "Strahler Stream  Order Hierarchical  Network"                                                               
that  identifies  a river  through  "orders"  from its  headwater                                                               
stream, "first  order," down  to a  river's higher  stream order,                                                               
the  "tenth order."  The modeling,  which is  true anywhere,  can                                                               
classify rivers throughout the United States.                                                                                   
He  addressed the  "Steam Order  Classification in  the Lower  48                                                               
States" and noted a map  that identified the "Strahler Order" for                                                               
major  rivers  such  as the  Mississippi,  Ohio,  Tennessee,  Rio                                                               
Grande, etcetera.  The "Strahler Order" application  has not been                                                               
done throughout  Alaska and that  is what the state  is currently                                                               
4:30:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALKER addressed applying the  "Strahler Order" to the "Yukon                                                               
River Basin," the "Fortymile River  Basin," the "Mosquito Fork of                                                               
the Fortymile River  Basin," the "Dennison Fork  of the Fortymile                                                               
River,"  and the  "Kandik  Nation Rivers"  as  compared to  other                                                               
basins throughout the Lower 48:                                                                                                 
   • The Yukon River drains 330,000 square miles (fourth largest                                                                
     in North America).                                                                                                         
   • The Yukon River is a less than a third of the Mississippi                                                                  
     drainage area but has more than 40 percent of the annual                                                                   
     flow of the Mississippi.                                                                                                   
   • Numerous smaller drainages of the Yukon River contain large                                                                
     river systems that are navigable.                                                                                          
He  explained  that  the previously  mentioned  "Strahler  Order"                                                               
rivers with certain "orders" had  navigability declared by courts                                                               
that could be applied to other rivers.                                                                                          
He addressed "How to use" the navigability metrics as follows:                                                                  
   • The State of Alaska intends to use its work with the                                                                       
     Navigability Metrics Project in two ways:                                                                                  
        o Seek federal partnerships (USGS, etcetera) to apply                                                                   
          the    system   statewide    and   thereby    establish                                                               
          navigability   for   title   purposes   basin-by-basin,                                                               
         watershed-by-watershed, drainage-by-drainage.                                                                          
        o Utilize    the    system    in    state    navigability                                                               
          determinations   and   in   peer-reviewed   papers   to                                                               
          establish the scientific benchmark for establishing                                                                   
4:33:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH  asked if the  determination is strictly  centered on                                                               
navigability or is  there latitude to look at  other historic and                                                               
purposeful use of the same waterway.                                                                                            
MS.  ALLOWAY explained  that the  courts  have said  to focus  on                                                               
navigability like a boat or water-driven craft.                                                                                 
SENATOR   KAWASAKI  asked   what  the   impact  on   navigability                                                               
determination will be due to increased glacial melting.                                                                         
MS. ALLOWAY replied  that the focus would have to  be on "natural                                                               
and  ordinary  conditions." She  noted  that  in the  Knik  River                                                               
litigation that  high water levels  were addressed, and  the same                                                               
subject  would  have to  be  used  with a  hydrologist  regarding                                                               
glacial-fed streams prior  to and after statehood as  well as the                                                               
melting's impact  on navigability. An  argument could be  made on                                                               
both  sides whether  glacial  melting is  a  manmade change.  The                                                               
legal question  is whether  glacial melting  is the  "natural and                                                               
ordinary condition" as the world changes.                                                                                       
4:36:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL offered  that streams and rivers  are not ditches                                                               
and noted  that significant water  contributions often  come from                                                               
ground water. She asked how  ground water contribution for rivers                                                               
is identified by the Strahler classification.                                                                                   
MR. WALKER  replied that  ground water would  be included  in the                                                               
"precipitation factor."  He concurred that subsurface  waters are                                                               
going to  affect the flow  of any given  river and would  also be                                                               
He  added that  the department  intends  to publish  a series  of                                                               
articles in scientific journals for  its work on the navigability                                                               
metrics  methodology  to  receive  support  from  scientists  and                                                               
hydrologists through  a peer-reviewed process.  Scientific papers                                                               
will  include subjects  such as  a comprehensive  listing of  all                                                               
types of  boats that were  used at  the time of  statehood within                                                               
the   state  to   establish   whether   current  watercraft   are                                                               
substantially similar, the methodologies  the state is using, and                                                               
other topics.                                                                                                                   
He noted  that disclaimers have  been continually used  after the                                                               
decision  on the  Mosquito Fork  decision, the  result frustrates                                                               
the  state's   ability  to   establish  good-case   law,  binding                                                               
precedent that can be used.  In the absence of binding precedent,                                                               
the state  will seek to  establish a precedent in  the scientific                                                               
literature  rather  than  receiving  precedent  through  a  court                                                               
4:39:46 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ALLOWAY  clarified in the  Mosquito Fork litigation  that the                                                               
state did not  receive a decision from the court  that the United                                                               
States recognized navigability or disclaimed their interest.                                                                    
She   referenced  Senator   Kiehl's   question  on   navigability                                                               
determinations and  noted a recent  situation where DNR  issued a                                                               
state  navigability determination  to allow  mooring-buoy permits                                                               
for public  users to access submerged  lands in a lake  for float                                                               
plane  tie-ups. She  noted that  she argued  in litigation  as to                                                               
whether  DNR  has  the authority  to  exercise  their  management                                                               
authority when there  is no court decision saying that  a lake is                                                               
navigable in fact.  The court agreed with the  argument made that                                                               
DNR is responsible  for managing state land and  the state cannot                                                               
be put  into a situation  where everything must be  quiet titled,                                                               
especially  when managing  public-user conflicts.  The court  did                                                               
not want  to go  so far  as to quiet  title in  an administrative                                                               
appeal, but the court said  the DNR's decision was not arbitrary,                                                               
it  was reasonable  and followed  the  law; because  of that  the                                                               
court upheld  commissioner's decision  to issue  the mooring-buoy                                                               
permits for public access to the lake.                                                                                          
MS. ALLOWAY addressed "Protecting  and defending Alaska's RS 2477                                                               
and other trail network" litigation issues as follows:                                                                          
   • The Dickson case,                                                                                                          
   • The Klutina Lake Road case,                                                                                                
   • Eklutna partnership for 17(b) easement access in Knik River                                                                
     Public Use Area,                                                                                                           
   • The Chicken RS 2477 federal litigation.                                                                                    
She explained that an "RS 2477"  is a federal land grant that the                                                               
state could accept in two  ways: an affirmative state act through                                                               
the  territory or  through the  state, or  by public  use. Public                                                               
users  or the  state  would accept  a  right-of-way over  federal                                                               
public lands that are unappropriated.                                                                                           
4:42:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALKER addressed "The Dickson Case" as follows:                                                                             
   • An iconic RS 2477 right-of-way for the Iditarod National                                                                   
     Historic Trail transportation corridor that traverses much                                                                 
     of Alaska.                                                                                                                 
   • Out-of-state landowners attempted to block the trail that                                                                  
     crosses their property and then sued to quiet title.                                                                       
   • The State of Alaska won on all issues after a multi-week                                                                   
     trial in the Superior Court and recovered a significant                                                                    
     portion of its attorney's fees and costs.                                                                                  
   • Alaska Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court's                                                                         
   • This favorable opinion will be useful precedent in future                                                                  
He  summarized  that  the  Alaska   Supreme  Court  affirmed  all                                                               
substantive areas.  The state was awarded  approximately $250,000                                                               
in attorneys' fees that the court remanded for clarification.                                                                   
4:43:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ALLOWAY addressed the "Klutina Lake Road Case" as follows:                                                                  
   • Highly contested litigation against Ahtna, Inc:                                                                            
        o Filed in 2008.                                                                                                        
        o Important case that touches on all the important                                                                      
          issues in an RS 2477 litigation:                                                                                      
             square4 State is arguing that acceptance occurred by                                                               
               public use by "gold rush" users in 1898-1899 and                                                                 
               use throughout the early 20th century.                                                                           
             square4 State is arguing that the state affirmatively                                                              
               accepted by entering into a contract to build the                                                                
               Brenwick-Craig Road from the Richardson Highway                                                                  
               to Klutina Lake in the 1960s.                                                                                    
   • Important victories for the State of Alaska on aboriginal                                                                  
     title, the width of the right-of-way, etcetera:                                                                            
        o State has tried to settle the litigation with Ahtna,                                                                  
          most recent in 2016 that Ahtna's board ultimately                                                                     
        o Since 2016 there have been a couple of important                                                                      
          decisions in favor of the state:                                                                                      
             square4 Court ruled that if the state can establish the                                                            
               existence of an RS 2477, it will be 100 feet wide                                                                
               as a matter of law via state statute.                                                                            
             square4 Court rejected Ahtna's claim of aboriginal title:                                                          
                  • Ahtna argued that the right-of-way grant was                                                                
                    not unappropriated federal land because of                                                                  
                    their claim of aboriginal title, so the RS                                                                  
                    2477 could never attach:                                                                                    
                       o The counter to the argument is the                                                                     
                         Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act                                                                    
                         (ANCSA) extinguished aboriginal title                                                                  
                         and the RS 2477 attached.                                                                              
                  • The court agreed with the state's argument                                                                  
                    and rejected Ahtna's motion for a partial                                                                   
                    summary judgement.                                                                                          
   • Pending motion for summary judgment on the existence of RS                                                                 
     2477 from Richardson Highway to state land on the north                                                                    
     shore of Klutina Lake:                                                                                                     
        o Court has issued a decision, a partial motion for                                                                     
          summary judgement  ruling in  favor of Ahtna  that said                                                               
          an RS 2477 is only  for ingress or egress where camping                                                               
          or engaging in any activities  are not allowed in an RS                                                               
          2477; however,  there is a  potential appeal  point for                                                               
          the state:                                                                                                            
             square4 Klutina Lake Road can access the Klutina River,                                                            
               the river is a transportation corridor.                                                                          
                  • Does not make sense for the court to say                                                                    
                    that  someone  would  have   to  get  on  the                                                               
                    Richardson  Highway   and  drive   to  Valdez                                                               
                    without having  an opportunity to  access the                                                               
                    other   transportation   corridor  via   boat                                                               
   • Trial date for remaining issues in April of 2019:                                                                          
        o Trial is starting April 15, 2019.                                                                                     
        o State has filed a motion for summary judgement to                                                                     
          establish the existence  of the RS 2477;  that has been                                                               
          briefed with  oral argument  scheduled on  February 21,                                                               
        o State is making an alternative argument where the                                                                     
          judge could rule:                                                                                                     
             square4 The state has the entire RS 2477 based on the                                                              
               "gold rush."                                                                                                     
             square4 Partial motion could be granted for summary                                                                
               judgement that the state has an RS 2477 for the                                                                  
               Richardson Highway to Klutina Lake based upon the                                                                
               1964 contract.                                                                                                   
                  • State would have to litigate after that                                                                     
                    point would be from Klutina Lake around the                                                                 
                    north shore to state-owned land, the north                                                                  
                    shore access.                                                                                               
4:48:32 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ALLOWAY addressed "Chicken RS 2477 Litigation" as follows:                                                                  
   • Historic litigation to preserve the State of Alaska's RS                                                                   
     2477 right-of-way network on federal lands (Fortymile River                                                                
     Wild and Scenic Corridor):                                                                                                 
        o Litigation has been hung-up with appeals and part of                                                                  
          the  issue was  that  the RS  2477  leaves Chicken  and                                                               
          travels north  through a "native allotment."  The court                                                               
          said it did not have  jurisdiction over the quiet title                                                               
          action in the native allotment.                                                                                       
   • State of Alaska seeking important federal caselaw regarding                                                                
     the existence and validity of state transportation                                                                         
     corridors on federal lands:                                                                                                
        o Over the last two years the state has been proceeding                                                                 
          condemnation  action to  ensure or  perfect the  public                                                               
          access via the  native allotment so that  the state can                                                               
          proceed against the federal government.                                                                               
        o In September 2018, the state received a favorable                                                                     
          decision  in  the  condemnation proceedings  where  the                                                               
          judge said that there was an authority and necessity                                                                  
          for a just compensation award of $8,400.                                                                              
        o The case has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court                                                                 
          of Appeals.                                                                                                           
        o The state has filed a motion to lift the stay on the                                                                  
          part of the case against the federal government, the                                                                  
          court granted the motion.                                                                                             
        o The state will proceed against the federal government                                                                 
          to try the quiet title to the RS 2477s.                                                                               
SENATOR COGHILL asked if the  court saw the "native allotment" as                                                               
private property or federal holding property.                                                                                   
MS.  ALLOWAY answered  private property.  She  detailed that  the                                                               
"native   allotment"  is   private  property   but  the   federal                                                               
government has an  interest that results in a  "legal quirk" that                                                               
deprives the  federal court  of jurisdiction.  The state  has not                                                               
given up its  claims to the RS 2477 across  the native allotment;                                                               
however, the state cannot quiet title  to them. To make sure that                                                               
there was  no conflict  with public users  and public  users were                                                               
not being put  into risk, the state bought the  RS 2477s that the                                                               
state  already had  in  order  to pursue  the  rest  of the  case                                                               
against the federal government.                                                                                                 
4:51:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WALKER address  "Knik  River Public  Use  Area Friday  Creek                                                               
17(B) Easements" as follows:                                                                                                    
   • Highly popular Knik River Public Use Area.                                                                                 
   • Controversy dating to 1980s.                                                                                               
   • Historic agreement between the State of Alaska and the                                                                     
     Native Corporation (Eklutna, Inc.) concerning 17(b) access.                                                                
   • Important concessions to the State of Alaska include dual                                                                  
     crossings of Friday Creek and agreement that submerged                                                                     
     lands belong to the State of Alaska:                                                                                       
        o Two crossings of Friday Creek were agreed upon due to                                                                 
          the creek's unpredictability.                                                                                         
   • Vital public access preserved in perpetuity.                                                                               
   • A blueprint for the future:                                                                                                
        o Hope is to work with user groups addressing the native                                                                
          corporations directly in a spirit of compromise going                                                                 
          forward to balance private property rights and public                                                                 
4:54:53 PM                                                                                                                    
He  addressed  "Non-binding  RS 2477  determinations  for  routes                                                               
across federal lands" as follows:                                                                                               
   • State of Alaska is working with the federal government to                                                                  
     preserve RS 2477s across federal lands.                                                                                    
   • State of Alaska believes having RS 2477s recognized is in                                                                  
     the best interest of the state so that users know where to                                                                 
     go and how to get there.                                                                                                   
   • There has been, as seen in the "Chicken litigation," a                                                                     
     historic resistance on the federal government's part to                                                                    
     recognize RS 2477s.                                                                                                        
   • The hope is that with the new leadership in the U.S.                                                                       
     Department of Interior will issue, through appeal, non-                                                                    
     binding RS 2477 determinations across federal land to                                                                      
     preserve them.                                                                                                             
   • No new RS 2477s can be created.                                                                                            
SENATOR  REINBOLD commented  that her  hope is  that the  federal                                                               
government fights as  hard for rights in the Arctic  as it fights                                                               
the State  of Alaska. She  encouraged Ms. Alloway and  Mr. Walker                                                               
to fight  for the traditional use  in the winter as  well because                                                               
Alaskans move  around year-round.  She commended Ms.  Alloway and                                                               
Mr. Walker  for their presentation  and said the State  of Alaska                                                               
has an "amazing team."                                                                                                          
4:57:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL addressed  areas  of  environmental concern  and                                                               
opined  that  the  Federal  Land Policy  and  Management  Act  is                                                               
trumping  what was  agreed  to in  the  Alaska National  Interest                                                               
Lands Conservation  Act (ANILCA). He  asked if the state  has any                                                               
legal action  and if there  is anything that the  Legislature can                                                               
do to assist in asserting the "no more" clause found in ANILCA.                                                                 
MS. ALLOWAY  replied that she is  not aware of any  legal action.                                                               
The  Department of  Law has  someone within  the department  that                                                               
focuses on ANILCA  to make sure timely comments  are submitted to                                                               
federal agencies.                                                                                                               
SENATOR  COGHILL remarked  that the  Public Access  Assertion and                                                               
Defense Unit will be leaned on  to, "Make sure good background is                                                               
brought to bear." The Federal  Land Policy and Management Act has                                                               
a lot of impact on both recordable disclaimers and RS 2477s.                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  opined that the committee's  hearing is valuable                                                               
because   Senator  Bishop   is  chair   of  the   Senate  Finance                                                               
subcommittee for DNR and the  Public Access Assertion and Defense                                                               
Unit along  with the Department  of Law is  the kind of  team the                                                               
Legislature needs  to keep  in place and  funded to  continue the                                                               
fight for statehood rights.                                                                                                     
CHAIR   BIRCH  thanked   the   department   for  an   informative                                                               
presentation  and "fighting  the  good fight"  on  behalf of  all                                                               
Alaskans and  defending and asserting  the state's  public access                                                               
rights, something that is very important.                                                                                       
5:00:28 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Birch adjourned  the  Senate  Resource Standing  Committee                                                               
meeting at 5:00 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DNR Presentation - Statehood Land Entitlement and Public Access Projects - 2.6.19.pdf SRES 2/6/2019 3:30:00 PM