Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205

02/03/2010 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES

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<Bill Hearing Postponed>
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
        SB 195-MAKE GOLDSTREAM PUBLIC USE AREA PERMANENT                                                                    
3:35:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR   WIELECHOWSKI   announced  SB   195   to   be  up   for                                                               
SENATOR THOMAS, sponsor of SB  195, explained that the Goldstream                                                               
Public Use  Area (GPUA) was  first established by  Senator Bettye                                                               
Fahrenkamp  and Representative  Mike Davis  in 1990  in order  to                                                               
preserve  the recreational  opportunities,  traditional uses  and                                                               
atmosphere of  the local neighborhoods.  He emphasized  that this                                                               
measure  is not  repealing  the establishment  of  the GPUA,  but                                                               
rather it is  a repeal of the  sunset that was placed  on it when                                                               
it  was originally  put  in place.  He said  it  is scheduled  to                                                               
sunset on July 1, 2010 unless SB 195 is passed this session.                                                                    
He  said  GPUA  encompasses  nearly  2000  acres  of  state  land                                                               
bordered by  Sheep Creek Rd. to  the east, Goldstream Rd.  to the                                                               
north and  the Steese  Highway to  the west. This  is home  to an                                                               
ever-growing  network  of  trails   that  connect  users  to  the                                                               
Chatanika River Valley and White  Mountains in the Fairbanks area                                                               
all from  location central to  the Fairbanks population  base. It                                                               
is passively  managed by the  state and trails are  maintained by                                                               
volunteers at  no cost to  taxpayers. He  said that all  uses are                                                               
allowed in the GPUA and it is used year-round.                                                                                  
3:38:13 PM                                                                                                                    
The repeal of  the GPUA's sunset clause is  actively supported by                                                               
the  Alaska  Outdoor  Council, Alaska  Dog  Mushing  Association,                                                               
Alaska Miners  Association, Nordic Ski Club  of Fairbanks, Alaska                                                               
Trapper's Association, Skijoring  and Polk Association, Fairbanks                                                               
Snow  Travelers,  Northern  Area   State  Parks  Advisory  Board,                                                               
Fairbanks  North  Star  Borough  Trails  Advisory  Board,  Alaska                                                               
Trails, Interior  Trails Preservation Coalition,  Interior Alaska                                                               
Land  Trust,  Arctic Audubon  Society,  and  the Fairbanks  Daily                                                               
He said their packets include  nearly 100 letters of support from                                                               
people who use the area.                                                                                                        
3:40:30 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked if anyone is opposed to this.                                                                              
SENATOR THOMAS replied no.                                                                                                      
3:41:08 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER YUHAS,  Legislative Liaison,  Alaska Department  of Fish                                                               
and Game (ADF&G), said the  department supported SB 195. She said                                                               
the GPUA area's model works  well; it serves both consumptive and                                                               
non-consumptive  users,  motorized  and non-motorized,  and  they                                                               
would like to see it used more often.                                                                                           
3:41:56 PM                                                                                                                    
DICK  MYLIUS,  Director,  Division  of Mining,  Land  and  Water,                                                               
Department of Natural Resources (DNR),  supported SB 195. He said                                                               
GPUA is  entirely managed by  his division and mentioned  that it                                                               
is open to  mining. It has been a success.  The biggest impact of                                                               
a public use  area designation, he stated, is  that it guarantees                                                               
that the  land will  remain in  state ownership.  So the  one use                                                               
that isn't  allowed is land sales  - one of the  original intents                                                               
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
3:42:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WAGONER joined the committee.                                                                                           
3:42:54 PM                                                                                                                    
RICHARD   BISHOP,   representing  himself,   Fairbanks,   Alaska,                                                               
supported SB 195.  He said he lives about two  miles as the Raven                                                               
flies  from  the  Goldstream  Valley.  He  was  involved  in  the                                                               
original proposal  for the GPUA in  1989 when it came  to his and                                                               
others' attention  that the Valley's  access was  threatened with                                                               
deterioration due to the breakup  of homesteads and the potential                                                               
for state land disposals in that area.                                                                                          
He said the area lies in a broad  flat area of the Valley that is                                                               
largely  underlain by  permafrost. So  it didn't  turn out  to be                                                               
very  good for  homesteading  or for  structures.  Yet there  was                                                               
quite a  bit of interest in  the state making land  available for                                                               
homes and other  development. It appeared that  these lands would                                                               
be put  up for  disposal which  would interfere  with traditional                                                               
public  uses  of the  area.  One  of  the  things they  tried  to                                                               
emphasize is  to not  preclude uses  that had  been traditionally                                                               
carried  on  there as  long  as  they  were consistent  with  the                                                               
purposes of the public use area  which were to provide access for                                                               
the public  and maintain  the fish  and wildlife  habitats, which                                                               
were  very good.  Twenty  years of  use  have shown  it  to be  a                                                               
wonderful  asset; it  is largely  self sustaining  and is  widely                                                               
used by all the uses Senator Thomas mentioned.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  thanked everyone for their  testimony, and                                                               
finding  no further  testimony  announced that  SB  195 would  be                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 104 Bill Packet.pdf SRES 2/3/2010 3:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 195 - Bill Packet.pdf SRES 2/3/2010 3:30:00 PM
SB 195