[HELP] Alaska Bill Text

00                       HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 17                                                                     
01 Opposing the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.                                                                  
02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
03       WHEREAS the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, H.R. 3283, 108th                                          
04 United States Congress, was introduced in the United States House of Representatives and                                
05 would have authorized the United States Forest Service, the United States Bureau of Land                                
06 Management, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the                             
07 United States Bureau of Reclamation to charge visitor fees for recreation on publicly owned                             
08 land; and                                                                                                               
09       WHEREAS H.R. 3283 was not voted on separately in the United States House of                                     
10 Representatives and was not introduced in, did not have hearings in, and was not approved by                            
11 the United States Senate, but instead was attached to the omnibus spending bill, H.R. 4818,                             
12 108th United States Congress, as an appropriation rider; and                                                            
13       WHEREAS the 108th United States Congress enacted H.R. 4818, and the Federal                                     
14 Lands Recreation Enhancement Act is now codified as 16 U.S.C. 6801 - 6814; and                                          
15       WHEREAS the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act includes criminal                                          
16 penalties and is substantive legislation that fundamentally changes the way public land in the                          
01 state is funded and managed; and                                                                                        
02       WHEREAS the concept of paying fees to use public land is contrary to the idea that                              
03 public land belongs to the people of the state and is land where every person is granted access                         
04 and is welcome, a concept that has been and should remain in place; and                                                 
05       WHEREAS recreational fees constitute double taxation and bear no relationship to                                
06 the actual costs associated with recreational use such as hiking, picnicking, observing wildlife,                       
07 or scenic driving on state roads and public rights-of-way; and                                                          
08       WHEREAS the fees imposed by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act are                                    
09 a regressive tax that places an undue burden on the people living in rural areas adjacent to or                         
10 surrounded by large areas of federal land and discriminates against lower-income and                                    
11 working Alaskans by placing financial obstacles in the way of their enjoyment of public land;                           
12 and                                                                                                                     
13       WHEREAS the public land access fees in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement                                 
14 Act are highly controversial and are opposed by hundreds of organizations, several state                                
15 legislatures, and millions of rural Americans; and                                                                      
16       WHEREAS the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act establishes an                                             
17 interagency pass that may be used to cover entrance fees and recreational amenity fees for                              
18 federal public land and water, disregarding the substantially different ways in which national                          
19 parks and other federal public land are managed and funded; and                                                         
20       WHEREAS the limited means of expressing opposition to and the lack of public                                    
21 debate in the implementation of the fee program raises the concern that some citizens may be                            
22 deterred from visiting and enjoying public land in the state and throughout the United States;                          
23 and                                                                                                                     
24       WHEREAS tourism is an important industry to the state, and the imposition of                                    
25 recreational use fees will have a negative effect on state and local economies;                                         
26       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature demands that the Federal Lands                                 
27 Recreation Enhancement Act, which was enacted on December 8, 2004, be repealed and that                                 
28 no recreational fees authorized under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act be                                   
29 imposed to use federal public land in the state.                                                                        
30       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President                              
31 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States                              
01 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Gale Norton, United States Secretary of the                             
02 Interior; the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the                            
03 Honorable Bill Frist, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Harry Reid, Minority                            
04 Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Tom DeLay, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of                                
05 Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of                                       
06 Representatives; the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S.                                       
07 Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska                                       
08 delegation in Congress; and, by electronic transmission, all other members of the 109th                                 
09 United States Congress.                                                                                                 

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