The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an Alaska water rights case for the second time.
On Monday, the court agreed to review Alaska hunter John Sturgeon’s case. That case grew from a 2007 incident when National Park Service rangers confronted Sturgeon and said he couldn’t operate his hovercraft in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.
The issue at the core of the Sturgeon case is a fight over control of rivers in Alaska. Specifically, who has the authority to regulate state navigable waters within conservation units in the state.
Those conservation units are things like national parks and preserves, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers.
Sturgeon challenged the federal government’s authority to regulate in those areas and State of Alaska has weighed-in on his side. But several other groups have written briefs to the court as well, including one attorney who says that if Sturgeon wins, the federal subsistence priority could be affected.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
Never miss the important parts with insightful (and entertaining) news from The Signal, the best weekly Alaska news email.
- An email from Alaska's former first lady sheds new light on the actions that drove Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott from office, suggesting he may have invited a woman into his room, newly released emails show.
- A new Alaska group hopes to overhaul the state's oil and gas tax credit system through a ballot initiative called the Fair Share Act.
- Alaska regulators are considering whether the state should continue replenishing a rural telephone and internet service fund or shut it down.
- Hunters said the proposed Ambler Road would be closed to the public, while conservationists said it would hurt caribou and other wildlife needed by area villages.