Performance Details

Department of Natural Resources

Mission

Develop, conserve and maximize the use of Alaska’s natural resources consistent with the public interest. Alaska Constitution Article 8; AS 03, AS 27, AS 38, AS 40, AS 41, AS 43.90, AS 14.30.740

Core Services

  • Foster responsible commercial development and use of state land and natural resources, consistent with the public interest, for long-term wealth and employment.
  • Mitigate threat to the public from natural hazards by providing comprehensive fire protection services on state, private and municipal lands, and through identifying significant geologic hazards.
  • Provide access to state lands for public and private use, settlement, and recreation.
  • Ensure sufficient data acquisition and assessment of land and resources to foster responsible resource and community development and public safety.

Arrow GraphicResults

Core Services
A: Department Result  Details >
A1: Foster responsible commercial development and use of state land and natural resources, consistent with the public interest, for long-term wealth and employment.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Award oil, gas, and geothermal leases within nine months of sale to advocate responsible exploration of oil, gas, and geothermal resources in Alaska.
  • TARGET #2: Facilitate and improve regulatory and lease compliance monitoring of AS.38.35 pipelines
  • TARGET #3: Coordinate the review, permitting, and monitoring of natural and renewable resource development, transportation and other specialized projects consistent with the missions of the department and participating state agencies.
  • TARGET #5: All right-of-way applications and permits reviewed and adjudicated within the timeframe agreed to with the applicant/lessee or as required by law.
  • TARGET #6: Provide stable or increasing economic benefit from the use of trees and forests on state land by selling state timber to forty or more Alaskan businesses.
  • TARGET #7: Increase awareness of Alaska Grown products and market options, and expand gross farm product sales.
  • TARGET #8: Operate the Forest Resources and Practices Act program to achieve 100% implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs).
  • TARGET #9: Promote safer boating behaviors on Alaska's waters.
A2: Mitigate threat to the public from natural hazards by providing comprehensive fire protection services on state, private and municipal lands, and through identifying significant geologic hazards.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Publish reports or maps providing improved assessment of geologic hazards that could pose significant risks to public safety or infrastructure
  • TARGET #2: Contain more than 90% of wildland fires at less than 10 acres within Alaska’s heavily populated areas (Critical and Full Management Options) in accordance with the Alaska Interagency Wildland Fire Management Plan.
  • TARGET #3: Provide wildland fire training to agency personnel, fire departments and urban and rural communities.
  • TARGET #4: Fill the firefighting needs for the average fire season with Alaskan firefighters.
A3: Provide access to state lands for public and private use, settlement, and recreation.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Process 100% of new applications received for the use of state land and water resources.
  • TARGET #2: Submit Recordable Disclaimers of Interest (RDI) applications on 5 water bodies to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in order to defend state title of the submerged land acquired at statehood.
  • TARGET #3: Receive lands determined each year to be essential to the state’s economic development. These would include lands containing oil and gas, mineral or forest resources, lands selected for municipal entitlements and lands necessary to eliminate inholdings.
  • TARGET #4: Provide accessible, clean, safe, and well-maintained park facilities for Alaska residents and visitors by reducing deferred maintenance needs in park units.
  • TARGET #5: Collect fees necessary to reach authorized program receipt funds in the Parks Management and Access budget; annually evaluate and if necessary, raise fees in order to reach program receipts authorization.
A4: Ensure sufficient data acquisition and assessment of land and resources to foster responsible resource and community development and public safety.  Details >
  • TARGET #1: Publish reports on energy-related geology that assist the energy industry and state agencies in exploring for and managing energy resources on state-interest lands
  • TARGET #2: Publish airborne geophysical survey data for Alaska's minerals-interest lands

Performance Detail


A: Result - Department Result

A1: Core Service - Foster responsible commercial development and use of state land and natural resources, consistent with the public interest, for long-term wealth and employment.
    
Target #1: Award oil, gas, and geothermal leases within nine months of sale to advocate responsible exploration of oil, gas, and geothermal resources in Alaska.


Percent of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Leases Awarded Within Nine Months of Sale
Fiscal Year YTD Total
FY 2017
100%
FY 2016
100%
FY 2015
100%
FY 2014
99%

Analysis of results and challenges: FY 2017: The Leasing Section awarded 100% of leases within nine months of sale. Leases resulting from the North Slope sale were awarded within nine months; Beaufort Sea leases were awarded within five months; and leases from the Cook Inlet sale are on track to meet the nine-month goal.

FY2016: The Asset Management Section awarded 100% of leases within nine months of sale.

FY2015: The Asset Management Section awarded 100% of leases within nine months of sale. Leases resulting from the North Slope sale were awarded within eight months. Beaufort Sea leases were awarded within eight months.

FY2014: The Leasing Section awarded 100% of leases within nine months of sale. Leases resulting from the North Slope sale were awarded within two months. Beaufort Sea leases were awarded within two months. Alaska Peninsula leases were awarded within five months. Leases from the Cook Inlet sale are on track to meet the nine-month goal. In addition, the division also awarded 72 leases from the conversion of the Nenana Basin and Susitna Basin No. 1 exploration licenses. New oil and gas lease award processes resulted in 97% of leases meeting the goal of issuance within nine months of the lease sale. Complex issues such as state-federal boundary disputes prevented the division from meeting the goal for the remaining oil and gas leases.



    
Target #2: Facilitate and improve regulatory and lease compliance monitoring of AS.38.35 pipelines

Methodology: Combined Compliance & Oversight Monitoring of AS 38.35 pipelines included four types of reports prior to FY2014: surveillance, assessments, lease compliance, and engineering and design. In FY2014 the requirements were reduced to three report types with the consolidation of lease compliance and surveillance reports; therefore the graph shows a decrease in actions for FY2014 and subsequent years.

Compliance & Oversight Monitoring Actions of AS 38.35 Pipelines
Fiscal Year YTD Total
FY 2017
281
FY 2016
325
FY 2015
293
FY 2014
297
FY 2013
541

Analysis of results and challenges: FY2017: The State Pipeline Coordinator Section (SPCS) applied a systematic approach to lease compliance inspections based on lessee annual reports and proposed work plans. Each field inspection is conducted according to a project mission developed around lease stipulations and the lessee’s work plans. The SPCS has implemented a Geospatial Information System (GIS) platform for gathering field data and pipeline system data while conducting inspections. This GIS platform serves as a database by which pipeline environmental, health, and safety data is aggregated and used to communicate concerns and progress to the lessees via inspection reports.
    
Target #3: Coordinate the review, permitting, and monitoring of natural and renewable resource development, transportation and other specialized projects consistent with the missions of the department and participating state agencies.

Methodology: Graph illustrates the number and types of projects OPMP Coordinators manage.


OPMP Coordinated Projects
Fiscal Year Mining Oil and Gas Transportation Renewable
FY 2017
12
6
1
1
FY 2016
14
7
1
1
FY 2015
18
14
4
2
FY 2014
17
8
4
2
FY 2013
17
4
4
2

Analysis of results and challenges: Analysis of results and challenges: OPMP’s large project coordination core service is a networked program that builds on the combined regulatory authorities and expertise of state, federal and local government agencies. OPMP’s coordination service provides a consistent and predictable permitting process for large, complex natural resource development projects while reducing conflicts and redundancies for regulatory agencies.

The number and types of projects coordinated by OPMP annually indicates relative demand for the program, but it also gives OPMP perspectives on industry and market trends in Alaska. The increases in projects coordinated from FY2013 through FY2015 correlates with an increase in requests for focused permit coordination within the oil and gas sector (i.e. coordination of a single permit in some instances). The decrease in coordinated oil and gas projects from FY2015 to FY2017 represents completion of the focused permitting workload. The decrease in coordinated mining projects from FY2015 to FY2017, however, represents a slowdown in mineral exploration activities statewide, as well as OPMP completing coordinated reviews for two proposed mines in the Transboundary Region of British Columbia.

OPMP’s principle challenge is maintaining sufficient organizational capacity (i.e. staffing, budget resources, etc.) to adjust to fluctuations in coordinated project workloads. Such fluctuations are often driven by factors outside OPMP’s control (i.e. economic conditions, regulatory changes, commodity process, investment trends, etc.), but are an important metric for OPMP to gauge relative demand for large project coordination services.


Related links:
   • See DNR Office of Project Management and Permitting


    
Target #4: Offer 200 parcels of land at auction.


Analysis of results and challenges: The annual sealed bid auction was held July 12, 2016, offering 246 parcels (2,122 acres).

Auction parcels are a mix of new subdivision lots and reoffers of previous sales. Potential reoffer parcels may need hazmat cleanup, trespass removal and title clearance. All potential reoffer parcels need to be reappraised. Some potential reoffers have improvements, such as access or utilities.

Each year, some parcels intended for auction are dropped because of various complications creating delays, such as survey completion, access, wetlands, title concerns, archaeological discoveries, borough and DOT/PF requirements, trespass and hazardous materials which need to be addressed before sale.

NOTE: In calendar year 2013, the annual auction was moved from June (FY2013) to July (FY2014), which accounts for the fact that there were no land sales in 2013. In addition, a special discount auction was offered in FY2014, accounting for the high parcel number in FY2014.
    
Target #5: All right-of-way applications and permits reviewed and adjudicated within the timeframe agreed to with the applicant/lessee or as required by law.

Methodology: Applications and requests include lease applications, lease amendments, lease transfers, field permits and requests for material sales contracts.

Analysis of results and challenges: FY2017: The State Pipeline Coordinator Section (SPCS) developed electronic permitting application processes and moved a bulk of correspondence to electronic format. Additionally, the SPCS streamlined review and drafting time for permits, water use authorizations and construction authorizations for projects identified in annual work plans. The SPCS was able to decrease the amount of time necessary to deliver completed permits and authorizations. Much of the timing in processing authorizations relies on the applicant/lessee submitting complete information; through structured communication procedures, lessees and SPCS work closely together to reduce time needed for authorizing work.
    
Target #6: Provide stable or increasing economic benefit from the use of trees and forests on state land by selling state timber to forty or more Alaskan businesses.

Methodology: Division of Forestry

Analysis of results and challenges: The number of purchasers of state timber sales has returned to historic levels after spiking in 2009 and 2010, two years with many new entrants into the commercial firewood business. Since FY2005, timber sales to mills in Southeast has been a division priority to help offset sharp declines in federal timber sales. Pacific Logging and Lumber of Ketchikan permanently shut its doors in late 2010, due to lack of federal timber supply. State timber supply continues to be critical to the Viking Lumber mill in Klawock, the last remaining mid-sized mill in Southeast. Commercial firewood demand continues at a high level, however the market has matured and the number of firms participating has decreased.
    
Target #7: Increase awareness of Alaska Grown products and market options, and expand gross farm product sales.

Methodology: Reported on an annual basis from Alaska Agricultural Statistics.

Monetary Value of Agriculture Products Sold (in millions)
Year YTD Total
2016
$33.9
2015
$33.8
2014
$31.9
2013
$30.0
2012
$30.8
2011
$31.7
2010
$30.8
2009
$31.9
2008
$32.4
2007
$33.0

Analysis of results and challenges: The data provided comes from surveys conducted throughout the year by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services.


    
Target #8: Operate the Forest Resources and Practices Act program to achieve 100% implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs).

Methodology: BMP implementation compliance is measured as the percentage of BMPs rated 4 or higher out of a perfect score of 5 in field inspections of forest operations.

Forest Resources & Practices Act Program: Displayed as the Rating of Best Management Practices Implementation by Region per Year
Year Coastal Southcentral Interior
2016
93%
99%
99%
2015
97%
97%
94%
2014
96%
93%
85%
2013
96%
98%
80%
2012
98%
98%
92%
2011
100%
90%
91%
2010
95%
100%
93%
2009
92%
100%
70%
2008
95%
98%
92%

Analysis of results and challenges: Best Management Practices (BMPs) are designed to prevent adverse impacts from forest operations on fish habitat and water quality, and to ensure prompt reforestation following harvest. Compliance with the BMPs is high statewide. Improved scores in the interior reflect improved maintenance of forest roads on the Tanana Valley State Forest. The division intends to continue to focus on improved maintenance of forest roads. The division uses compliance monitoring results to identify training needs. Training emphasizes specific BMPs with relatively low ratings and targets operators with a history of compliance issues. BMPs for maintenance of active and inactive roads are a current training focus. The increased demand for firewood is likely to result in additional training needs for new operators who are unfamiliar with the Forest Resources & Practices Act.
    
Target #9: Promote safer boating behaviors on Alaska's waters.

Methodology: Average percentage of adult life jacket wear rate 2013-2016

Adult Life Jacket Wear Rate Percentages Powerboats National vs. Alaska (2013-2016)
Year National Average Alaska Average YTD Total
Average
5
15.3
20.3

Analysis of results and challenges: Results of observational life jacket wear rate studies conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard shows adult life jacket wear is now higher in Alaska than it is nationally.

A2: Core Service - Mitigate threat to the public from natural hazards by providing comprehensive fire protection services on state, private and municipal lands, and through identifying significant geologic hazards.
    
Target #1: Publish reports or maps providing improved assessment of geologic hazards that could pose significant risks to public safety or infrastructure

Methodology: Number of peer-reviewed reports or maps published during the fiscal year assessing geologic hazards that pose significant risks to public safety.

Published New Reports on Geologic Hazards that Pose Significant Risks to Public Safety
Fiscal Year Fiscal Year Total Target
FY 2018

12
FY 2017
16
12
FY 2016
18
16
FY 2015
18
12
FY 2014
12
16
FY 2013
13
18
FY 2012
12
12
FY 2011
9
5
FY 2010
4
4
FY 2009
5
2
FY 2008
4
2

Analysis of results and challenges: Preventing economic losses and threats to public safety from natural disasters is closely tied to our understanding of the risks presented by Alaska’s complex geology. Mitigation of these risks can only come about through detailed geologic investigations that increase our understanding of natural hazards and timely distribution of that information. Growing population and increasing development in Alaska create significant demands for acquiring new geologic data and distributing it in a timely fashion. DGGS hazards-related programs evaluate coastal flooding and erosion, earthquakes and active faulting, climate-related hazards, volcano hazards and other geologic hazards such as permafrost degradation and landslides along infrastructure corridors.

In FY2017, DGGS published 16 new reports and peer-reviewed publications on geologic hazards. Tsunami inundation maps were published for King Cove, Cold Bay, Nikolski, Chignik, Chignik Lagoon, and Sand Point; coseismic permanent flooding maps were published for Unalaska and Akutan; and a protocol for storm surge water level observations was developed, providing valuable tools to state community and emergency planners. Geologic maps, which included significant and complex areas of unconsolidated earth materials, were published for the Sagavanirktok and Toolik river drainages, Shaktoolik area, and part of the Tolovana mining district. Published engineering-geologic studies included reports on slope instability impacting the Richardson Highway at Tonsina and potentially active faults along the route of the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP). Other reports on wave-induced dune erosion, slope instability along the Dalton Highway, and Alaska glacier characteristics contributed to our understanding of the behavior of geologic surface processes in a changing climate. The Volcanology Section responded to over 50 explosive eruptions from Bogoslof volcano. Response activities include issuance of volcanic eruption alerts in collaboration with USGS and UAF colleagues, 24/7 seismic and satellite monitoring, detailed record keeping of eruptions and impacts, and maintaining current information on the public website, Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Related links:
   • DGGS Engineering Geology program
   • Alaska Volcano Observatory
   • Guide to Geologic Hazards in Alaska


    
Target #2: Contain more than 90% of wildland fires at less than 10 acres within Alaska’s heavily populated areas (Critical and Full Management Options) in accordance with the Alaska Interagency Wildland Fire Management Plan.

Methodology: DOF Protection Areas only. Source: Integrated Fire Management System (IFM)and AICC Predictive Service fire spread sheet

Analysis of results and challenges: Critical Management Option encompasses communities while the Full Management Option encompasses wildlands near communities. Critical areas are designated as the highest priority areas/sites for suppression action and assignment of available firefighting resources due to the immediate threat to human life and primary residences. The division successfully suppressed all but two fires in Critical at less than 10 acres (98% success rate). The division was successful with 77% of the suppression of fires in Full with 9 fires exceeding 10 acres.

The percentage of fires kept at 10 acres or less in these populated areas reflects the success of initial attack efforts. Factors impacting this success include early detection, short response time, weather and fuels conditions, and the availability of firefighting resources including the local fire departments.

In 2017, 170 fires started within the area of state protection. Rural and remote fires occurring in Full and Critical Fire Management protection are harder to support due to the limit of early detection and the difficulty in accessing the fire. In many cases these remote fires are only accessible by aerial suppression forces. Firefighting resources are also limited during peak fire danger and each new fire start must be evaluated as to the immediacy of the threat to values in the area. In certain cases, the decision is made not to immediately suppress the fire due to higher priorities within the state.

    
Target #3: Provide wildland fire training to agency personnel, fire departments and urban and rural communities.

Methodology: performance measures: local offices: total students refresher, red card; statewide: 300 level, OSHA, Safety

Analysis of results and challenges: A broad range of training is provided to firefighters, ranging from introductory classes for first year firefighters to advanced training for returning firefighters and fire managers. Efficient, cost effective, safe, and successful initial attack relies on the highly trained seasonal firefighters, structure/volunteer local fire departments, local Emergency Firefighters (EFF) and crews. Annual training and certification ensures the availability of this workforce when needed during fire activity and meets national standards which qualify them for further fire assignments.

The division provides extensive training to not only state employees but also to cooperators such as local government employees. There were 1565 cooperators were trained in wildland fire by the division. Fire management necessitates the use of a large number of emergency firefighters (EFF) who also require appropriate training. In 2017, the division trained over 1500 EFFs. In 2017, two new safety classes were offered: bear/gun and boat. The plan for 2018 is to add online OSHA training to ensure compliance. After this year's issues the plan is to add additional aviation/ hazardous material handling for personnel assigned to the ramps/helibase.

The challenge for the division is to ensure that the training provided is meeting the needs of firefighters and managers on Alaska fires. This challenge is currently met with a training staff that plans, coordinates, and provides specific fire courses designed to develop Alaska’s firefighters for the future. These courses are provided to the inter-agency fire community which provides leverage for the division to provide extensive opportunities to its employees and cooperators.

Related links:
   • Division of Forestry Firefighting Resources


    
Target #4: Fill the firefighting needs for the average fire season with Alaskan firefighters.

Methodology: Alaska Interagency Coordination Center from ROSS reports.
Resource Ordering Support System - only those individuals placed on a resource order are counted. Individuals utilized locally on initial attack are generally not placed on a resource order.


Percent of Alaskan Crews & Individuals Assigned to Alaska Fires / Total Needed
Year AK Indiv. Assigned % AK Individuals AK Crews Assigned % AK Crews
2017
1,484
95%
70
100%
2016
1,797
94%
116
66%
2015
2,634
50%
448
48%
2014
320
66%
31
75.6%
2013
1,521
74.7%
94
81.2%
2012
725
95.3%
65
100%
2011
2,017
83.5%
122
89.1%
2010
484
55.8%
83
85.3%
2009
1,443
68.8%
60
77.0%
2008
807
90.7%
52
98.0%

Analysis of results and challenges: Department Order 017 identifies that the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry provide a strong initial attack, management and support capability to assure maximum efficiency is achieved for an average fire years based on the historical fire occurrence. As the complexity and length of the fire season increases, the need for experienced personnel to manage these fires has become even more critical. Extensive knowledge and training is necessary to make timely decisions about strategy and tactics. This is more critical as the urban interface environment grows as does the responsibilities to protect lives, homes and communities. A successful program requires a trained, experienced Alaskan firefighting workforce combined with infrastructure, equipment and logistical support.

During the 2017 fire season, approximately 1,624 people, including crew members and individuals, were requested to work on Alaska fires. There were 1,484 orders for individuals filled and 1,414 Alaskans were able to fill these orders (95%). There were 26 overhead and 44 smoke jumper boosters from the Lower 48 filled the remaining orders. There were 70 crew orders filled with Alaskan crews (100%) with each crew containing 20 crew members.

The division’s need for Lower-48 firefighting resources (agency crews, contract crews, and individuals with advanced training to meet initial and extended attack suppression objectives) should be replaced with increased in-state capacity to provide jobs to Alaskans. In 2017, the division filled 32 non-permanent positions. The Academy funded 15 positions and the Department of Labor funded 18. The Department of Labor filled three Initial Attack Modules in Copper River, Mat Su, and McGrath. These IA modules were utilized local assigned areas and elsewhere. The Copper River IA module assisted Tok during their critical fire weather period. The McGrath module was assigned to multiple incidents. The MSS (Mat Su) module was used on several Mat Su fires and staffed a local Type 6 engine. In all, both Academy and Department of Labor personnel filled 62 initial attack assignments, including 32 in Alaska and 81 Lower 48 assignments.

Of the 32 positions, 4 had previously attended the State of Alaska Advanced Wildland Firefighting Academy and 3 applied for and received permanent positions within the division. The positions have provided opportunities for academy graduates to put into action the skills and knowledge obtained in this training,

This Advanced Academy program has provided training and experience for future leaders and managers of wildland fire in Alaska. As an added benefit, Alaska crews and individuals that have had advanced training work in reducing fire risk via mitigation of fuels in urban and rural villages as identified in Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs). Material from these fuel reduction projects have provided communities with biomass fuels for residential and commercial applications.

The challenge for the Division of Forestry is to maintain the number of firefighting crews to provide fire protection into the future. Currently, only one of the division's three advanced firefighting crews is partially federally funded. The crew is funded at about a third of the amount of funding needed to support the crew for a wildland fire season. The other two agency crews are dependent upon competitive federally funded Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) grant projects to maintain capacity. As these funds diminish, other funding sources must be found to continue to fill the firefighting needs of the State of Alaska.

Related links:
   • Division of Forestry Employment Opportunities



A3: Core Service - Provide access to state lands for public and private use, settlement, and recreation.
    
Target #1: Process 100% of new applications received for the use of state land and water resources.

Methodology: Includes permits, leases, easements, easement vacations, trespass, material sales, unorganized borough plats, interagency land management agreements, water rights, temporary water use authorizations, and instream flow reservations.

Analysis of results and challenges: The numbers reflected in the chart as issued are not a direct subset of the new applications because some cases are issued from applications received in previous years.

During the last year, there was an increase in authorization issuance productivity even though a substantial amount of time has been spent working on IT Unified Permit project solutions to improve efficiencies in the long run. Staff time has also been diverted to work on complex cases that are resistant to solution.

Included in this number are trespass cases which do not start with an application, but require the adjudicatory work. The numbers are not reflective of early entry authorizations that allow applicants to use and construct on state land before final issuance of easements and leases.

Each new authorization issued creates a new workload of contract administration, billing, monitoring, compliance and close out, all of which is not reflected in these numbers.

The division expects there to be more applications in future years as the state strives to bring in additional entitlement acres with high development potential each year and DMLW moves to improve tracking and resolution of previously unauthorized uses which could be legitimately permitted.

The division's stewardship responsibilities that do not involve issuing an authorization are constant. The substantial amount of time staff spends on these issues takes them away from their duties to process authorizations.

In general, many types of businesses received authorizations that allowed use of state land for financial gain. Authorizations in this component benefit utility, oil and gas, mining, commercial recreation, tourism, fishing, construction and other development industries by giving them legal access to the state owned and managed land, water and resources. If the division is not able to issue these authorizations in a timely manner, these same industries are adversely affected. Often businesses cannot plan their operations; get investment capital, insurance, or loans if they do not have required land authorizations.
    
Target #2: Submit Recordable Disclaimers of Interest (RDI) applications on 5 water bodies to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in order to defend state title of the submerged land acquired at statehood.

Methodology: This counts number of RDI applications formally submitted. The preliminary step of submitting draft applications is not shown. One RDI may have multiple rivers and lakes included.

Analysis of results and challenges: During FY2017, BLM has had an enormous backlog of RDI applications from DMLW from previous years. These include, but are not limited to, the Arolik River System, the George River, the Goodnews River System, the Eek River System, the Kanektok River, Kagati Lake, Pegati Lake, the Kisaralik River, Kisaralik Lake, the Taku River, the Fortymile River, Lake Becharof, and Egegik River. BLM made very, very little progress on processing these RDI applications for the entirety of FY2017 including applications that had been pending for a decade or more. BLM’s slow progress on the RDI applications is illustrated by the fact that it took BLM almost an entire calendar year to get the approvals to post a routine notice in the Federal Register for the George River that BLM staff has conceded it navigable and is further illustrated by the fact that BLM did not grant or deny a single RDI for the entire fiscal year.

Owing to this federal backlog that is beyond the control of DMLW, it was determined (upon request of BLM) to defer filing any new RDI applications until such time as BLM could process the pending RDI applications. DMLW has additional state waters (approximately 175 rivers and lakes) in queue for which it intends to seek RDIs as soon as BLM makes progress on the backlog of pending applications. The RDI applications for many of these rivers are already written and ready for submission. Until such time as BLM devotes the necessary time and resources to the timely processing of DMLW RDI applications, it seems pointless to continue adding to the federal bureaucratic logjam – particularly when there are other means available (state navigability determinations and federal quiet title civil actions) that clear state title more expeditiously. As soon as BLM makes some progress on the pending RDI applications, DMLW will gladly file new RDI applications.

All of work performed in the RDI program is being conducted along with necessary field work, discovery, depositions and trial preparations for pending navigability and easement litigation, state navigability determinations, internal assignments relating to other state projects and public inquires and complaints concerning interference with public access. All of the foregoing demand considerable staff time and resources (the PAAD Section within DMLW that is principally tasked with these assignments presently has only five employees) that must be balanced against demands of the RDI program.
    
Target #3: Receive lands determined each year to be essential to the state’s economic development. These would include lands containing oil and gas, mineral or forest resources, lands selected for municipal entitlements and lands necessary to eliminate inholdings.

Methodology: Includes lands containing oil and gas, mineral or forest resources, lands selected for municipal entitlements, and lands necessary to eliminate inholdings.

Analysis of results and challenges: In FY2017, The Realty Services Section (RSS) reviewed and received title to 1,806 acres of new statehood entitlement land. RSS continues to review and relinquish low priority land selections, duplicate selections and selected lands that US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has already conveyed in order to reduce our increasing over-selection acreage. FY2018 will continue to see resources directed toward reviewing the state's remaining selections and priorities and working on projects targeted toward improved working relationships with the federal government on all state selection issues. RSS continues to work on federal mining claim conversions requests to bring those lands into state ownership.

To date, the state has acquired approximately 101 million acres of the 106 million acres to which it is entitled as a result of Alaska statehood and various other federal laws. This leaves an outstanding balance of approximately 5 million acres that the state has yet to receive. The majority of these acres are currently unavailable to the state because they are encumbered by federal withdrawals or Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act selections. In FY2018, RSS will work with BLM and other state agencies to identify potential areas in which federal withdrawals may be lifted, and accordingly allow our selections to attach. To decrease our over-selection acreage during FY2017, RSS reviewed and relinquished 42,882 acres of Mineral Selections and General Selections that either had already been conveyed or were selected under multiple grants.

RSS provides a mission critical function for the DNR, DMLW. The prudent and diligent selection, and acquisition of land allows the future development of resources. It is critical that accurate records are maintained on all land brought into state ownership.

Challenges continue to include slow BLM responses to processing state priority conveyances and other title related issues, staffing fluctuations and training, auditing and reprioritization of 18 million acres of state selected lands and BLM's inability to lift public land orders so that our state selections fall into place.
    
Target #4: Provide accessible, clean, safe, and well-maintained park facilities for Alaska residents and visitors by reducing deferred maintenance needs in park units.


Parks Deferred Maintenance
Fiscal Year DM Funding DM Backlog
FY 2018
0
$65,270.0
FY 2017
0
$66,631.5
FY 2016
0
$59,584.6
FY 2015
$1,313.0
$59,987.8
FY 2014
$2,772.0
$59,694.6
FY 2013
$3,200.0
$59,626.5
FY 2012
$2,075.0
$59,663.0
FY 2011
$3,480.0
$60,581.0
FY 2010
$6,000.0
$65,822.6

Analysis of results and challenges: With current reduced funding levels the division continues to work on the highest priority deferred maintenance projects affecting life, health and safety.
    
Target #5: Collect fees necessary to reach authorized program receipt funds in the Parks Management and Access budget; annually evaluate and if necessary, raise fees in order to reach program receipts authorization.

Methodology: *Other revenue represents Commercial Use Permits, Park Use Permits, Boat Launch Fees, and Boat Launch Decals.

Revenue Collected on Park User Fees (In Thousands)
Fiscal Year Camping Cabins Parking Other Rev.* GF/PR Auth
FY 2017
642.3
550.8
1,436.3
1,445.0
3,429.9
FY 2016
571.5
569.9
1,272.0
1,276.8
3,426.6
FY 2015
373.2
561.5
1,145.3
1,136.8
3,336.1
FY 2014
329.5
445.1
996.9
978.1
2,822.2
FY 2013
284.7
420
779.5
1,113.3
2,618.4
FY 2012
292.1
401.5
866.3
1,108.9
2,466.3
FY 2011
304.5
375.5
703.7
904.5
2,381.7
FY 2010
315.8
356.6
761.9
916.5
2,323.8
FY 2009
305.6
341.8
611.5
1,028.4
2,269.4
FY 2008
292.4
334.7
599.3
1,115.5
2,234.0
FY 2007
269.0
309.6
668.1
1,059.5
2,156.7

A4: Core Service - Ensure sufficient data acquisition and assessment of land and resources to foster responsible resource and community development and public safety.
    
Target #1: Publish reports on energy-related geology that assist the energy industry and state agencies in exploring for and managing energy resources on state-interest lands

Methodology: Number of new reports published on energy-related geology during the fiscal year.

New Reports Published on Energy-Related Geology
Fiscal Year Fiscal Year Total Target
FY 2018

7
FY 2017
4
8
FY 2016
16
12
FY 2015
17
11
FY 2014
9
9
FY 2013
9
5
FY 2012
6
7
FY 2011
2
1
FY 2010
9
7
FY 2009
0
6
FY 2008
8
6

Analysis of results and challenges: Publicly available detailed geologic knowledge is important for energy resource development and management. This information must result from the most modern analyses and incorporate all available data in order to identify frontier areas of energy exploration on state lands. A critical component of this effort is the publication of geologic reports on a wide range of energy sources.

During FY2017, the Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys published four reports providing new geologic data to assist oil and gas exploration throughout Alaska, which fell below the target of eight reports. One report addressed the stratigraphy of the Naknek Formation in lower Cook Inlet, highlighting implications for unconventional reservoir potential in the basin; two reports addressed the reservoir potential of sandstones in the uplands surrounding the Yukon Flats basin and their significance for reservoir potential in the subsurface of the basin; the fourth report describes outcrop analogs to gas-bearing formations in upper Cook Inlet. Due to budget constraints, DGGS limited energy-related field work in FY2017 to road-accessible exposures in the eastern part of the Nenana basin resulting in fewer energy-related reports. The four published reports provide new data on the conventional and unconventional petroleum reservoir potential of Cook Inlet and Yukon Flats basins.

Related links:
   • DGGS Energy Resources program


    
Target #2: Publish airborne geophysical survey data for Alaska's minerals-interest lands

Methodology: Number of square miles of new airborne geophysical surveys of minerals-interest lands published during the fiscal year.

Square Miles of Published Minerals-Related Airborne Geophysical Data
Fiscal Year Square Miles Target
FY 2018

5,500
FY 2017
0
3,430
FY 2016
4,552
4,500
FY 2015
2,318
2,300
FY 2014
2,176
2,500
FY 2013
1,267
1,200
FY 2012
850
800
FY 2011
742
700
FY 2010
653
640
FY 2009
442
400
FY 2008
965
750

Analysis of results and challenges: Much of Alaska’s lands with high mineral-resource potential have poorly exposed geology due to tundra and tree cover. Airborne geophysical surveys measure physical properties of the earth; these properties correspond to various geologic features and measurements are not affected by vegetation. Airborne geophysical survey data are invaluable for guiding subsequent ground-based geologic mapping, sampling and associated mineral-assessment work. Only about 28 percent of prioritized mineral-bearing state lands have been geophysically surveyed and The Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) is committed to acquiring data in remaining areas of the state that have high mineral-resource potential subject to availability of funding.

In FY2017, DGGS contracted for a new federally-funded airborne geophysical survey covering about 3,430 square miles in the Porcupine River area in northeastern Alaska. This dataset is scheduled for public release in early FY2018. DGGS anticipates receiving federal funding to manage an airborne geophysical survey in FY2018 and also plans to publish 2,104 square miles of geologic-hazard-related airborne geophysical survey data covering the Goldstream valley near Fairbanks and the Yukon River bridge crossing.

The state-funded Strategic and Critical Minerals (SCM) project (FY2013-2015) allowed DGGS to annually publish more than twice the amount of airborne geophysical data published in prior years under the state’s annually funded, Airborne Geophysical/Geological Mineral Inventory (AGGMI) program. Budget cuts in FY2016 eliminated both the SCM project and AGGMI program, and the lack of identified future funding means that no further state-funded airborne geophysical surveys of mineral districts are planned.

Related links:
   • DGGS airborne geophysics program


 

Current as of November 16, 2017