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SJM107....................................................by TRANSPORTATION BACKCOUNTRY AIRSTRIPS - Stating findings of the Legislature and requesting the Congress of the United States to preserve access to, and the historic use of, backcountry airstrips by introducing into Congress legislation which will preserve backcountry landing strips on currently-owned federal lands and any future federal acquisition of lands, to ensure the greatest amount of public access to public recreational lands by designating as "public use" all nonmilitary aircraft landing areas located on federally-managed lands and to limit the ability of the federal government to place use limits or require special use permits for using any backcountry airstrip. 02/13 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing 02/16 Rpt prt - to 10th Ord 02/17 10th Ord - ADOPTED - voice vote Floor Sponsor - Bailey Title apvd - to House 02/18 House intro - 1st rdg - to Transp 02/25 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg 02/26 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg 03/01 3rd rdg - ADOPTED - 63-5-2 AYES -- Andersen, Barraclough, Barrett, Bauer, Bayer, Bedke, Bell, Black, Block, Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Campbell, Cannon, Clark, Collins, Crow, Cuddy, Deal, Denney, Douglas, Eberle, Edmunson, Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(18), Field(23), Gagner, Garrett, Harwood, Jaquet, Jones, Kellogg, Kulczyk, Lake, Langford, Martinez, McGeachin, McKague, Meyer, Miller, Mitchell, Moyle, Naccarato, Nielsen, Raybould, Ridinger, Roberts, Robison, Rydalch, Sali, Schaefer, Shepherd, Skippen, Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson, Trail(Bennett), Wills, Wood, Mr. Speaker NAYS -- Henbest, Langhorst, Pasley-Stuart, Ringo, Sayler Absent and excused -- Ring, Shirley Floor Sponsor - Roberts Title apvd - to Senate 03/02 To enrol 03/03 Rpt enrol - Pres signed 03/04 Sp signed 03/05 To Secretary of State
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]] Fifty-seventh Legislature Second Regular Session - 2004 IN THE SENATE SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 107 BY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE 1 A JOINT MEMORIAL 2 TO THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF 3 THE INTERIOR, THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES 4 IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION REPRESENTING 5 THE STATE OF IDAHO IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES. 6 We, your Memorialists, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 7 State of Idaho assembled in the Second Regular Session of the Fifty-seventh 8 Idaho Legislature, do hereby respectfully represent that: 9 WHEREAS, ground and road access to the Idaho backcountry is very limited 10 and the Idaho backcountry airstrip system provides remote access for tourism, 11 recreation, mail and supply delivery, fire suppression, law enforcement, mili- 12 tary training, search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response and 13 in-flight emergencies; and 14 WHEREAS, backcountry aircraft landing strips enable people who are other- 15 wise physically unable, or who are constrained by time or finances, to access 16 remote areas and to enjoy the outdoor opportunities Idaho has to offer; and 17 WHEREAS, the Idaho backcountry airstrip system is unique and is an impor- 18 tant asset to Idaho because it creates jobs and economic enhancements by draw- 19 ing tourism and recreational visitors from all fifty states and numerous for- 20 eign countries; and 21 WHEREAS, forty-five of the sixty-two Idaho backcountry public use 22 airstrips are located on lands managed by the federal government; and 23 WHEREAS, the federal Central Idaho Wilderness Act of 1980, Public Law 24 96-312, allows continued use of airstrips which were in use prior to the 25 wilderness designation and does not allow the closure of such airstrips with- 26 out the express written concurrence of the state of Idaho; and 27 WHEREAS, the state of Idaho has issued a notice that it is appealing the 28 decision of the Forest Supervisors of the Bitterroot, Nez Perce, Payette and 29 Salmon-Challis National Forests to select a management alternative which ren- 30 ders four airstrips unserviceable and closes yet another airstrip; and 31 WHEREAS, the federal government continues to act in such a way as to 32 establish a disturbing trend that is circumventing federal law and is effec- 33 tively closing airstrips or is denying access to many airstrips for use by the 34 general public; and 35 WHEREAS, one method being used by the federal government to deny access to 36 backcountry airstrips located on federally-managed lands lying both within and 37 outside of wilderness areas is to change designation of the airstrip from 38 "public use" to "private use" or "emergency use only," thereby sharply 39 curtailing or eliminating general use of these airstrips and forcing air traf- 40 fic to be concentrated at other airstrips; and 41 WHEREAS, in concentrating air traffic and increasing use at fewer 42 airstrips, the federal government is not only limiting access of specific out- 43 door areas, but the federal government's stated objective is to assess use 44 limits at public airstrips and require a special use permit; and 2 1 WHEREAS, another method used by the federal government to close existing 2 airstrips is to purchase land containing an airstrip and have the previous 3 private owner remove airstrip designation from the description of the prop- 4 erty prior to the sale so that when ownership of the land transfers to the 5 federal government, no airstrip transfers with the title; and 6 WHEREAS, many of these existing backcountry airstrips which were privately 7 owned and open to general public use and provided access to recreational areas 8 are no longer available because the federal government is implementing its 9 stated standard of not converting any newly-acquired private airstrips to pub- 10 lic use airstrip facilities; and 11 WHEREAS, yet another method being used by the federal government to effec- 12 tively close airstrips is to intentionally omit certain airstrips from pub- 13 lished, official airport identification locator maps and wilderness maps. 14 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Second Regular Ses- 15 sion of the Fifty-seventh Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Rep- 16 resentatives concurring therein, that we urgently request the Congress of the 17 United States to preserve access to, and the historic use of backcountry 18 airstrips by introducing into Congress legislation which will preserve 19 backcountry landing strips on currently-owned federal lands and any future 20 federal acquisition of lands. 21 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that to ensure the greatest amount of public access 22 to public recreational lands, the Congress of the United States is strongly 23 urged to designate as "public use" all nonmilitary aircraft landing areas 24 located on federally-managed lands. 25 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that to further ensure the greatest amount of pub- 26 lic access to public recreational lands, the Congress of the United States is 27 strongly urged to limit the ability of the federal government to place use 28 limits or require special use permits for using any backcountry airstrip. 29 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate be, and she is 30 hereby authorized and directed to forward a copy of this Memorial to the 31 United States Secretary of Agriculture, the United States Secretary of the 32 Interior, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Repre- 33 sentatives of Congress, and the congressional delegation representing the 34 State of Idaho in the Congress of the United States.