Alaska Sportsmen Criticize Public Lands Seizure Bill

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Alaska State Flag

Backcountry Hunters and AnglersANCHORAGE, Alaska -( Backcountry Hunters & Anglers’ Alaska chapter is levying criticism against a bill being considered by the state legislature that would enable the state’s seizure of all publicly owned lands and waters located within Alaska’s borders.

H.J.R. 25 would petition Congress to alter the Alaska Statehood Act to “recognize the State of Alaska’s constitutional right to maintain ownership over all land, water, assets, resources, and activities within the state’s boundaries.” Rep. David Eastman introduced the measure on Wednesday during a special session in the legislature.

Alaskan sportsmen described the measure as anti-public lands, anti-sportsmen and a nonstarter.

“Public land owners in Alaska and throughout the United States have made ourselves clear,” said BHA Alaska Chair Larry Bartlett, who lives in Fairbanks. “We champion wild public lands, and we expect some of the quiet, hard to reach places to remain for future great grandchildren. Representative Eastman did not introduce his bill during the regular session of the legislature for good reason: It’s both unpopular and infeasible.

“It’s time our elected officials drop the anti-sportsman rhetoric and work with us on real public land management solutions,” Bartlett continued, “solutions that will benefit Alaska’s people, our economy and our longstanding hunting and fishing traditions.”

The state regularly offers for sale lands and waters under its ownership. Currently the Alaska Department of Natural Resources is making available for purchase 48 parcels located all across the state.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on State Affairs for further consideration.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.


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Jim S

The right answer is to return control of most federal land to the states. The BHA runs on the belief that the feds are more restrictive in how land can be used. When has the federal government actually led the way in any program? Do not believe what the BHA publishes

Paul Fitch

If one reads and believes the Constitution, one cannot condone the Federal Government claim to all the land it does. I’m not sure which crooked politician(s) first withheld ownership of lands within a state boundary after statehood was established. It appears that “We the People” are faced with the decision of which set of crooks we distrust the least. While the Federal Government controls this land we have Harry Reid getting kickbacks from the Chinese for the use of “Federal Land” for a solar farm and Hillary getting millions of dollars for selling our Uranium to the Russians. On the… Read more »


WHY do thse corrupt politicians of BHA insist FedGov own/control all public lands? What do they do with the long history o f states who properly manage public lands? These clowns only want FedGov to control these lands, and FedGov have a very abysmal record when it comes to (mis)managing public lands. These SHOULD be left to the decisionmaking process of the PEOPLE of the State of ALaska