News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Coghill
For Immediate Release: October 02, 2017
Senators Disappointed by 9th Circuit’s Decision in Water Rights Case
ANCHORAGE – Members of the Alaska Senate Majority today expressed disappointment with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Sturgeon v. Masica, a case centered on Alaskans’ right to manage their navigable waterways.
The court ruled that the federal government “properly exercised its authority to regulate hovercraft use on the rivers within conservation system units in Alaska” when it prevented John Sturgeon from using his hovercraft to access moose hunting grounds.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised,” said Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole. “The plain language of the law was acknowledged by the US Supreme Court and, yet again, ignored by the 9th Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously said that the 9th Circuit’s interpretation of ANILCA, Section 103(c) was inconsistent with both the text and context of ANILCA.”
The ruling is subject to review by the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned a significant number of decisions from the 9th Circuit in recent years.
"This decision exemplifies the 9th Circuit's lack of understanding about the State of Alaska and its sovereignty over our land and waters,” said Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage. “As a result, this segment of the judicial branch is rewriting existing law based on a lack of information. I remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will overturn this decision.”
For more information, contact Senate Majority Press Secretary Daniel McDonald at (907) 465-4066.
News & Videos more >
ANCHORAGE – A bill to protect Alaskans from the adverse health effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace was signed into law this week by Gov. Bill Walker....
ANCHORAGE – Today, Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka), chairman of the Legislative Budget & Audit Committee, sent the Department of Law a criminal referral for the unauthorized leak of a...
ANCHORAGE – Sen. Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) today announced he will serve on the National Petroleum Council (NPC) following his appointment to the board by the Secretary of the Department...
ANCHORAGE – A bill to reduce the state’s regulatory burden on barbers, hairdressers, hair braiders and those with student loans was signed into law today by Gov. Bill Walker....
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today adjourned the second session of the 30th Alaska Legislature, sine die.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today passed a bill to restore access rights to private homesteaded property owners in the James Dalton Highway corridor.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today passed legislation providing students across Alaska access to the best curriculum in the world.
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today took another step toward clean and affordable natural gas in Fairbanks and North Pole with the passage of legislation extending the bonding...
JUNEAU – The Alaska Legislature today concurred with the final version of the state operating budget for Fiscal Year 2019, totaling $3.1 billion in unrestricted general funds (UGF) for...
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today approved a program to resolve nearly $1 billion owed to small oil and gas companies and reinvigorate work in the state’s oil patch....
Find your Senator full map
- Chugiak/Peters Creek
- Eagle River
- Jewel Lake, Kincaid, Turnagain, Lake Hood, Sand Lake, Spenard, Dimond, Campbell Lake
- Midtown, Dimond, Huffman, Klatt, Southport, Bayshore, Oceanview
- Huffman, O'Malley, Abbott, Loop, Independence Park, East Dowling
- Northeast Anchorage, Anchorage Hillside, Indian, Bird, Girdwood and Portage
- Downtown, Airport Heights, Fairview, Government Hill, Mountain View, Russian Jack, South Addition
- Spenard, Midtown, UMed
- Muldoon, JBER, College Gate, Nunaka Valley, Wonder Park
- Palmer, Butte, Eklutna, Fairview, Lazy Mountain Knik, Gateway
- Wasilla, Meadow Lakes, Knik Big Lake, Point MacKenzie, Goose Bay, North Fairview
- Mat-Su, Delta Junction, Valdez, Copper River Valley, Talkeetna, Valdez
- North Pole, Farmers Loop
- UAF & University West, Chena Ridge, Kenny Lake, Tok, Copper Center & Tanana
- Adak, Bethel, Cold Bay, Cantwell, King Cove, Nenana, Hooper Bay, Sand Point & Unalaska
- Barrow, Nome, Kotzebue, Northeast + Northwest Alaska