The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

 
 

By Robert Reisner
Clear Creek 

Navigating highways of commerce and navigable policy

Op-Ed

 


The comments stated in the following are the opinion of Robert Reisner and do not represent the Seward/Bear Creek Flood Service Area board.

(This article views, statements, opinions and facts are the views of Bob Reisner and is not endorsed by the SBCFSA, nor wishes to be discovered by AK-DNR.)

Greetings my fellow citizens,

In this article we will investigate AK-DNR’s “Highway of Transportation” and their current “Navigable Policy.” So get your beverage and snack and possibly your blood pressure pills.

In the early/mid-1980s AK-DNR adopted a change of the former federal policy that had been in place since long before statehood, this was called the “Highway of Commerce.” Its policy on this was navigable waterways for commerce i.e.: commercial traffic that could carry multiple tons of goods, provisions and many people. AK-DNR’s description change was one word to ”Highways of Transportation.” This completely changed the time-old navigation policy to allow any and all types of watercraft that could carry 1,000 pounds of people and/or provisions (i.e.: changed from commercial to personal use).

This placed the ownership of all rivers, streams, lake, pond, slough, creek, bay, sound, estuary, inlet, strait, passage, canal, sea or ocean under the State of Alaska. This was never put to a hearing or vote to the citizens of Alaska. For citizens in Alaska living beside any of the above mentioned description means that you may very well be paying taxes on these waterways with your purchase of adjoining property (lands).

AK-DNR has claimed ownership over all ancient streams and adjoining lands. You couldn’t find broader terms. AK-DNR’s attorneys and staff are having a field day with their “Navigation Policy,” redrawing property lines to conform to 1959 photos. This has caused an uproar throughout Alaska.

AK-DNR can, and have in many of their navigational determination on Alaska’s streams and creeks, left the waterway with their mode of water transport when encountering an obstruction, traveled on land and after passing the obstruction area of the stream or creek, re-entered and proceeded on. This also qualifies as “navigable.” AK-DNR has also employed the same practice to quality one pone, not big enough to hold a decent-sized hockey game in, to connect to another similar pond and then declared the whole as navigable. Not too long ago one of our local citizens was told by a DNR manager, “if a minnow can swim in it, it is navigable.” Amazing.

Should AK-DNR travel up your waterway to make a navigable determination do not try to stop or detain them. If you do you will be fined for the cost of this expedition, charged with a crime and serve jail time. This for defending your legal property rights from unwanted trespassers.

When AK-DNR claims waterways navigable they then become a “public access” area and can legally be used by any and all people. Should you be paying taxes on any part of this waterway and it even being on your survey map, title, deed and registered with the state, you are paying for general public access.

When asked about these ancient stream claims, adjoining land depth of impact, portaging watercrafts and overt dictatorial protection, we get the AK-DNR patented reply, “That’s above my pay grade.”

The why is what confounded me. What they had in their mind I could not find in my own ... until this realization. What for what brings income to them, break what they can ... what they can’t ... set those parts against one another to weaken. This is nothing more than greed, one of the seven deadly sins. Brutally apparent in AK-DNR’s operational procedures. Unknown to many ... until now.

The moment allows for only one question: will we of Alaska be targets for AK-DNR’s rectal penetration? By not grabbing ankles you declare yourself interested. What’s your posture?

I previously mentioned the Citizens of Alaska versus AK-DNR class action lawsuit in Juneau. Currently the case is being determined if it should be heard in the state or federal court. All but one previous case was held in the state court. Every case has been decided in AK-DNR’s favor. This case differs from the previous cases. It is to prove that their “Navigation Policy” under AK-DNR’s “Highway of Transportation” violates several statues in the Submerged Land Act (1953) and the Alaska Statehood Act (1958). Since both are federal acts it is logical that the case be heard in a federal court. If the case is held in a federal court, we may have something like, “Let’s make a deal.” If it is to be held in a state court we’ll have something like, “You bet your gluteus maximus.”

AK-DNR is getting ready. They are being represented by the prestigious law firm of “Dewey Ph----you & Howe.” Expect tricks, slight of hand, smoke and mirrors. One may ever pull a rabbit out of their hat. The plaintiffs with their attorney and Mountain States Legal Foundation have an Elmer Fudd who believes in belt-fed ammo ... frickacky anyone?

I say palsy the minds who crafted it, palsy the hands that drafted this, and palsy the mouths who recited this AK-DNR “Highway of Transportation” and “Navigation Policy.” They broke several federal laws and I say, let those responsible be prosecuted in a federal court with the utmost rigor of the law. Of course this won’t happen ... but perhaps it should.

Please check your rain gutters. Trapped water could have AK-DNR skinning up a ladder to make a navigable determination. That last part might be a little “tongue in cheek” ... but not by very much.

 

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