SECTION 1. STATEMENT OF POLICY. It is the policy
of the State to encourage the settlement of its land and the
development of its resources by making them available for
maximum use consistent with the public interest.
SECTION 2. GENERAL AUTHORITY. The legislature shall
provide for the utilization, development, and conservation
of all natural resources belonging to the State, including
land and waters, for the maximum benefit of its people.
SECTION 3. COMMON USE. Wherever occurring in their
natural state, fish, wildlife, and waters are reserved to
the people for common use.
SECTION 4. SUSTAINED YIELD. Fish, forests, wildlife,
grasslands, and all other replenishable resources belonging
to the State shall be utilized, developed, and maintained on
the sustained yield principle, subject to preferences among
SECTION 5. FACILITIES AND IMPROVEMENTS. The
legislature may provide for facilities, improvements, and
services to assure greater utilization, development,
reclamation, and settlement of lands, and to assure fuller
utilization and development of the fisheries, wildlife, and
SECTION 6. STATE PUBLIC DOMAIN. Lands and interests
therein, including submerged and tidal lands, possessed or
acquired by the State, and not used or intended exclusively
for governmental purposes, constitute the state public
domain. The legislature shall provide for the selection of
lands granted to the State by the United States, and for the
administration of the state public domain.
SECTION 7. SPECIAL PURPOSE SITES. The legislature may
provide for the acquisition of sites, objects, and areas of
natural beauty or of historic, cultural, recreational, or
scientific value. It may reserve them from the public domain
and provide for their administration and preservation for
the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people.
SECTION 8. LEASES. The legislature may provide for
the leasing of, and the issuance of permits for exploration
of, any part of the public domain or interest therein,
subject to reasonable concurrent uses. Leases and permits
shall provide, among other conditions, for payment by the
party at fault for damage or injury arising from
noncompliance with terms governing concurrent use, and for
forfeiture in the event of breach of conditions.
SECTION 9. SALES AND GRANTS. Subject to the
provisions of this section, the legislature may provide for
the sale or grant of state lands, or interests therein, and
establish sales procedures. All sales or grants shall
contain such reservations to the State of all resources as
may be required by Congress or the State and shall provide
for access to these resources. Reservation of access shall
not unnecessarily impair the owners' use, prevent the
control of trespass, or preclude compensation for damages.
SECTION 10. PUBLIC NOTICE. No disposals or leases of
state lands, or interests therein, shall be made without
prior public notice and other safeguards of the public
interest as may be prescribed by law.
SECTION 11. MINERAL RIGHTS. Discovery and
appropriation shall be the basis for establishing a right in
those minerals reserved to the State which, upon the date of
ratification of this constitution by the people of Alaska,
were subject to location under the federal mining laws.
Prior discovery, location, and filing, as prescribed by law,
shall establish a prior right to these minerals and also a
prior right to permits, leases, and transferable licenses
for their extraction. Continuation of these rights shall
depend upon the performance of annual labor, or the payment
of fees, rents, or royalties, or upon other requirements as
may be prescribed by law. Surface uses of land by a mineral
claimant shall be limited to those necessary for the
extraction or basic processing of the mineral deposits, or
for both. Discovery and appropriation shall initiate a
right, subject to further requirements of law, to patent of
mineral lands if authorized by the State and not prohibited
by Congress. The provisions of this section shall apply to
all other minerals reserved to the State which by law are
declared subject to appropriation.
SECTION 12. MINERAL LEASES AND PERMITS. The
legislature shall provide for the issuance, types and terms
of leases for coal, oil, gas, oil shale, sodium, phosphate,
potash, sulfur, pumice, and other minerals as may be
prescribed by law. Leases and permits giving the exclusive
right of exploration for these minerals for specific periods
and areas, subject to reasonable concurrent exploration as
to different classes of minerals, may be authorized by law.
Like leases and permits giving the exclusive right of
prospecting by geophysical, geochemical, and similar methods
for all minerals may also be authorized by law.
SECTION 13. WATER RIGHTS. All surface and subsurface
waters reserved to the people for common use, except mineral
and medicinal waters, are subject to appropriation. Priority
of appropriation shall give prior right. Except for public
water supply, an appropriation of water shall be limited to
stated purposes and subject to preferences among beneficial
uses, concurrent or otherwise, as prescribed by law, and to
the general reservation of fish and wildlife.
SECTION 14. ACCESS TO NAVIGABLE WATERS. Free access
to the navigable or public waters of the State, as defined
by the legislature, shall not be denied any citizen of the
United States or resident of the State, except that the
legislature may by general law regulate and limit such
access for other beneficial uses or public purposes.
SECTION 15. NO EXCLUSIVE RIGHT OF FISHERY. No
exclusive right or special privilege of fishery shall be
created or authorized in the natural waters of the State.
This section does not restrict the power of the State to
limit entry into any fishery for purposes of resource
conservation, to prevent economic distress among fishermen
and those dependent upon them for a livelihood and to
promote the efficient development of aquaculture in the
SECTION 16. PROTECTION OF RIGHTS. No person shall be
involuntarily divested of his right to the use of waters,
his interests in lands, or improvements affecting either,
except for a superior beneficial use or public purpose and
then only with just compensation and by operation of law.
SECTION 17. UNIFORM APPLICATION. Laws and regulations
governing the use or disposal of natural resources shall
apply equally to all persons similarly situated with
reference to the subject matter and purpose to be served by
the law or regulation.
SECTION 18. PRIVATE WAYS OF NECESSITY. Proceedings in
eminent domain may be undertaken for private ways of
necessity to permit essential access for extraction or
utilization of resources. Just compensation shall be made
for property taken or for resultant damages to other