It seems that not all of the right questions are being asked about the possible use of the railroad easement at the Fish Creek estuary for either a residential privacy screen or a public recreational trail.
The Alaska Railroad Corp. holds an easement only for railroad purposes over this property. There is a question whether the possible use of ARRC’s easement for either a private residential screen or alternatively for a recreational trail is legally within ARRC’s ‘railroad’ purposes for its easement.
ARRC does not hold fee title to this property but only a surface easement.
The underlying landowner holding fee title, whoever that may be, must consent to the use of this tract as a privacy screen or as a recreational trail because its use for nonrailroad purposes will increase the legal burden on the underlying landowner’s property rights.
To date, I have seen no consideration given in this discussion to the underlying landowner’s right to consent to, or deny, either of these proposed non-railroad uses.
— T. E. Meacham
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