JUNEAU -- The Alaska Legislature has passed a measure aimed at ensuring future public access to fishing streams.
HB144 calls for the Department of Natural Resources to provide annual reports detailing its efforts and plans to maintain or improve access to and along fishing streams.
The measure, which cleared the House last year, passed the Senate on Monday.
Bill sponsor Rep. Les Gara says the program would encourage voluntary land trades or purchases with willing landowners. The goal is for public easements to travel to and along fishing streams, particularly in areas where access might otherwise be lost.
Gara says the measure wouldn't take land from anyone who doesn't want to trade for other public land. Instead, he says, it would encourage the department to look for areas to secure public access easements.