UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT ALASKA PROPOSED TERMINATION OF CHUITNA RIVER PUBLIC EASEMENTS AA-6707-D AA-6707-EE In accordance with Departmental easement policy and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Sec. 17(b) regulations found at 43 CFR 2650.4-7, notice is hereby given that the Bureau of Land Management is reviewing a proposal to terminate public easements reserved in Interim Conveyance (IC) No. 1605 issued to Tyonek Native Corporation. EASEMENTS PROPOSED FOR TERMINATION: a. (EIN 50 D9) An easement twenty-five (25) feet in width for an existing trail from the Pan Am Road in Sec. 20, T. 12 N., R. 11 W., Seward Meridian, southerly to EIN 51 D9. b. (EIN 51 D9) A one-half (½
acre site easement on the left bank of the Chuitna River upland of the mean high waterline in Sec. 29, T. 12 N., R. 11 W., Seward Meridian.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has determined that the Chuitna River is non-navigable within IC 1605 and 1606. Courts have defined navigable waters as "used, or are susceptible of being used, in their ordinary condition, as highways for commerce, over which trade and travel are or may be conducted in the customary modes of trade and travel on water." Based upon review of the lands conveyed by IC No. 1605, the easements described above have been determined to be unnecessary because they do not provide access to publicly owned lands or major waterways as defined in 43 CFR 2650.0-5 (o)&(r).
Major waterways as defined in 43 CFR 2650.0-5(o) are "[A]ny river, stream, or lake which has significant use in its liquid state by watercraft for access to publicly owned lands or between communities. Significant use means more than casual, sporadic or incidental use by watercraft, including floatplanes, but does not include use of the waterbody in its frozen state by snowmobiles, dogsleds or skiplanes." Publicly owned lands as defined in 43 CFR 2650.0-5(r) is "[A]ll Federal, State, and municipal corporation (including borough) lands or interests therein in Alaska, including public lands as defined herein, and submerged lands as defined by the Submerged Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1301, et seq." There are two criteria required in order for the BLM to determine if the Chuitna River is considered a major waterway: 1) does the river support significant use by watercraft and 2) if so, has this significant use utilized the river as a transportation corridor for access to publicly owned lands or between communities. The BLM found that the above criteria were not met and the Chuitna River was determined not to be a major waterway.
Copies of these determinations and the related easement maps may be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage Field Office, 4700 BLM Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507 or by calling (907) 267-1246
Written comments on this proposal must be received by June 30, 2011.
The BLM will hold two open house meetings to receive public comment on the proposed termination:
1. June 15, 2011, 6-8 p.m., at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center, 11471 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, Alaska
2. June 16, 2011, 6-8 p.m., at the BLM Anchorage Field Office, 4700 BLM Road, Anchorage, Alaska.
Comments must be addressed to Matthew S. Varner, Acting Field Manager, Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage Field Office. Include the serial number noted above and send to Bureau of Land Management, Anchorage Field Office, 4700 BLM Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507. After the notice period is completed, the BLM will review the comments and make a determination. If you have questions, contact Stephen Fusilier, Lands Branch Manager, at (907) 267-1252
. Published: June 1, 2011