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Notice

Notice of Application for a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest for Lands Underlying Whitefish Lake and Its Outlet in Alaska

Action

Notice.

Summary

The State of Alaska (State) has filed an application with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest from the United States in those lands underlying Whitefish Lake and its outlet in southwestern Alaska. The State asserts that Whitefish Lake and its outlet were navigable and unreserved at the time of statehood; therefore, title to the submerged lands passed to the State at the time of statehood (1959). The lake and its outlet are partially within the exterior boundaries of the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, created by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, 96 of December 2, 1980, and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

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DATES: Back to Top

All comments to this action should be received on or before October 27, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Comments on the State of Alaska application or the BLM Draft Summary Report must be filed with the Chief, Branch of Survey Planning and Preparation (AK-9270), Division of Cadastral Survey, BLM Alaska State Office, 222 West 7th Avenue, #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513-7504.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

For further information contact Ralph Basner, Navigable Waters Specialist, 907-271-3329; 222 West 7th Avenue, #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513; e-mail rbasner@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual; or visit the BLM Recordable Disclaimer of Interest Web site at http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/rdi.html.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

On March 10, 2006, the State filed an application for a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest pursuant to Section 315 of the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act of 1976, and the regulations contained in 43 CFR Subpart 1864 for the lands underlying Whitefish Lake and its Outlet (AA-086375). A Recordable Disclaimer of Interest, if issued, will confirm that the United States has no valid interest in the subject lands. This notice is to notify the public of the pending application and the State's grounds for supporting it. The State asserts that this river system is navigable; therefore, under the Equal Footing Doctrine, the Submerged Lands Act of 1953, the Alaska Statehood Act, the Alaska Right of Way Act of 1898, and other title navigability law, ownership of these lands underlying the river automatically passed from the United States to the State at the time of statehood in 1959.

The State's application, AA-086375, is for the submerged lands encompassed by the ordinary high water line of Whitefish Lake within the following townships and ranges in the Seward Meridian: Township 14 North, Range 60 West; Township 15 North, Ranges 59-60 West. The State also submitted application for the submerged lands within the bed of the Whitefish Lake Outlet between the ordinary high water lines of the left and right banks of the Outlet, beginning at its source, Whitefish Lake, in the SW1/4SW1/4of Section 3 in Township 15 North, Range 60 West, Seward Meridian, Alaska; thence west-northwest to its confluence with two other unnamed streams in the NE1/4SW1/4of Section 1 in Township 15 North, Range 61 West, Seward Meridian Alaska.

On February 11, 2010, the State amended Section I (Description of Waterways), clarifying its application for a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest for the lands underlying Whitefish Lake and the entirety of its outlet, from Whitefish Lake to its confluence with the Kuskokwim River. In its amended application, the State claims to own the land underlying Whitefish Lake and its outlet (from where it flows out of Whitefish Lake to where it flows into the Kuskokwim River). The State did not identify any known adverse claimant or occupant of the affected lands.

A final decision on the merits of the application will not be made before October 27, 2011. During the 90-day period, interested parties may comment on the State application, AA-086375, and supporting evidence. Interested parties may also comment during this time on the BLM Draft Summary Report. The State application and the BLM Draft Summary Report may be viewed on the BLM Recordable Disclaimer of Interest Web site at http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/rdi.html, or in the BLM Public Room located at 222 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99513.

Comments filed with the BLM Division of Cadastral Survey, including names and street addresses of commenters, will be available for public inspection at the BLM Alaska State Office (see ADDRESSES above), during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

If no valid objection is received and all else is proper, a Disclaimer of Interest may be approved stating that the United States does not have a valid interest in these lands.

Authority: Back to Top

Craig Frichtl,

Chief, Branch of Survey Planning and Preparation.

[FR Doc. 2011-19218 Filed 7-28-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-JA-P

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