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Don L. Scruggs, 86, died July 15, 2014, in Sun City, Arizona.
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11/6/2013
Waterways

It is imperative that Alaska retain control over state-owned navigable waters in and adjacent to federal land.

To that end, the state attorney general's office has filed a request that the U.S. Supreme Court review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision extending control over fishing and hunting to the federal government on the state's navigable waters.

Control is the operative word. Statehood gave Alaska the title to the land under its waters and the right to control the waters and the resources in them. This control extended to waterways on federal land.

A 1999 regulation took away from the state control of the navigable waters in deference to the feds. The Ninth Circuit supported the regulation.

The outcome has been conflicts and confusion about whether state or federal laws pertain to fishing, hunting and resource conservation on state-owned navigable waterways.

The Ninth Circuit's ruling means that federal laws apply to state-owned waterways.

The feds shouldn't be allowed to write regulations that conflict with state's rights to use, manage, conserve and protect its waters.

Additionally, the state — all states — should manage state-owned waterways.

This is one of the many examples in which the feds should give the power to the states. The feds should oversee only what the states cannot.

Alaska is capable of overseeing its own navigable waters.