I recieved this Last spring, Senate Bill 85 was introduced in the Alaska State
Legislature by Senator Ralph Seekins. The bill would allow ATVs to be operated
in the Dalton Highway corridor by repealing that portion of AS 19.40.210 which
prohibits ATV use in the Dalton corridor. (AS 19.40.210 presently allows ORVs
within the Dalton corridor only for oil and gas exploration, development, or
transportation and for access to mining claims.)
Many people from different regions and different interest groups testified
against the change and the bill did not make it out of committee. However, the
bill, as well as a second unfortunate piece of legislation described below, is
now being revisited in hearings around the state, presumably so that they can be
rushed through the legislature without delay next year.
Come early! If you’d like to leave early, arrive early to get on the
testimony list. With your help, we can show the Senate Resources Committee why
ORV use should remain restricted within the Dalton Highway corridor.
PLEASE ADDRESS SENATOR SEEKINS AT ONE OF THESE MEETINGS!
- FAIRBANKS. Tuesday October 11, City Hall, 6:30 p.m.
- NOME. Monday October 10, Old St. Joseph's Church 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
- COLDFOOT. Wednesday October 12, Coldfoot Camp 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- BARROW. Friday October 14, 2:00 p.m. North Slope Borough Chambers
- CHUGIAK. Saturday October 15, 3:00 p.m. Peters Creek Christian Center
KEY PROBLEMS WITH SB85:
- Security & public safety issues (we've seen what can happen when
someone decides to shoot the pipeline)
- Lack of funding for enforcement and increased demands on Public Safety and
Fish & Game (this vast region is currently under the management of just ONE game
warden and ONE state trooper, and the bill has NO funding associated with it)
- Lack of funding for road improvements such as creating pull-offs, and
risks to truckers from increased traffic and/or parked vehicles on the
- No funding for backcountry rescue of individuals who get lost, stuck,
or stranded with their ATVs
- Increased hunting pressure, breaking long-standing promises to local
residents (remember that authorization for the Haul road in the 70s stipulated
that it would remain forever closed to public access; opened to public access in
1994 was a broken promise; SB 85 adds insult)
- Habitat damage from ground-contact vehicles (tundra damage from ATVs
takes moments to appear and decades to recover)
- Threats to research funding at Toolik Field Station (valuable
experiments representing years worth of work and data could be
- United opposition from local communities, including Barrow, Wiseman,
and Anaktuvuk Pass
- Loss of one of the few areas where high-quality hunting on foot is
IN ADDITION -- Senate Bill 170:
At the same set of meetings, the Senate Resources Committee will address a
second piece of legislation, Senate Bill 170. This bill would change state law
such that revenue from the sale of hunting,
trapping, and sport fishing licenses, tags, stamps, and permits would
not only have to benefit sport hunting and fishing resources (as is
already the case) but would have to be separately tracked at every
stage, and never mixed with other revenues. This is also a problematic
bill, for the following reasons:
- Many scientifically based management actions by Fish and Game might
benefit all users, or whole ecosystems; it is impossible and
unreasonable to expect the benefits to be separated in the manner
suggested by SB170
- The extra financial tracking and accounting would waste time and
create more paperwork rather than increase efficiency
- The bill redefines "fish" and "game" as only including species "for which the
Board of Game has adopted regulations authorizing consumptive
use or that the Board of Game has authorized the department to manage,"
thus leaving a potential gap in protections for species that don't meet
- The bill also transfers the power to define a species as endangered
from the Commissioner of Fish and Game to the Boards of Fish and Game.
It is unclear why this would be a useful change, or why it is being
PLEASE ATTEND THESE HEARINGS!
Your concerns and your values need to be heard! Please show up early for the
best opportunity to speak.
And figured it'd be of some importance. I, personally, don't want ATV's allowed in there. Any other opinions with back up? Agree?