Proposed Klutina Lake settlement terms preserve public access
Glennallen, Alaska – Ahtna, Incorporated (Ahtna) and the State of Alaska are currently involved in productive settlement negotiations that involve lands in the Klutina Lake area off the Richardson Highway. This settlement would resolve a longstanding legal dispute that dates back to 2009. No party has agreed to the settlement and the terms of the settlement have not been finalized. However, substantial progress in negotiations has been made on a settlement framework.
No part of the settlement framework would deny the public the convenient access it has enjoyed to Klutina River, Klutina Lake, and nearby State land that is accessed over Ahtna’s property. Indeed, Ahtna and the State could not agree to any such limitation without the participation of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which has not been a party to the negotiation. The settlement would certainly not cut off access over State land, but the settlement would require recognition by the public that the desires of the majority for convenient access are not superior to the rights of property owners to control the use of their land.
Ahtna permits recreational use on Ahtna lands for fees no higher than what is charged by the State of Alaska for the same use on State lands. While the State of Alaska and Ahtna have had disagreements about the specific nature and scope of easements on the Klutina Lake Road, the parties have always agreed that the public should have access to the area. Ahtna is optimistic that the settlement is part of a collaborative and cooperative spirit that will benefit its shareholders, the general public, and the State of Alaska.
Ahtna is not available for any further comment on this matter until the settlement is finalized.