Today Governor Mike Dunleavy introduced two lands bills: one which would increase opportunity for Alaskans to acquire state land for recreational sites and another to improve the efficiency of state land disposals.
“One of my goals since entering public office has been to reduce regulatory red tape and bureaucracy. These two bills will do both, and as a result it will be simpler for Alaskans to own a piece of the Last Frontier,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy.
Remote Recreational Sites
SB198 seeks to make it possible for more Alaskans to obtain state land as recreational sites, either by permit, lease, or purchase. While many Alaskans would like to own or have an interest in state land, only 10% of the State’s land entitlement is in private ownership.
Current law requires most state land to be sold or leased to the highest bidder. This legislation simplifies the process and exempts remote recreational sites from a requirement for a formal, written best interest finding.
The legislation also allows members of the public to nominate land for remote recreational sites on state land not currently in use. This proposed legislation aligns with the Governor’s priority to reduce regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles and put more state land into Alaskans’ hands.
State Land Surface Disposals
SB199 provides Alaskans with additional methods to acquire or lease state lands.
The bill authorizes the Department of Education and Early Development and the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to directly dispose of surface land, rather than first transferring the land to the Department of Natural Resources for completion of the land conveyance.
The bill also increases the cap on the Land Disposal Income Fund, adds a new statute relating to leases and sale of state land for commercial development, and incorporates amendments to ease covenant restrictions on land conveyed for agricultural purposes. Lastly, the bill updates and improves provisions relating to DNR’s land disposal procedures.
Companion bills for SB198 and SB199 will be introduced in the House of Representatives.