State wants to own Taku River

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The move would basically amount to a quick claim deed for the river bottom.

    The Federal Bureau of land management said the state has applied for a recordable disclaimer of interest for the Taku River from Tide Water to Canada.

    Jack Frost, Navigitable Water expert for the Federal Bureau of Land Management said to get the designation the state must prove the river is navigatable, "They provided evidence to support that fact.  They provided barge use in particular which is very strong evidence."

    Other proof is commercial boat traffic, fishing and recreational boat traffic that use the river.

    Frost said the public will not see many impacts from this move, "I don't believe there will be any impact for people.  What we are doing is confirming that the state received title to the bed of the Taku River at the date of statehood January 3, 1959."

    The state has done the process before on eight different waterways in southeast Alaska.  Some applications they let stand and didn't pursue.

    One possible change would be water quality standards with the federal government no longer playing a role.

    Frost said water quality policy would be up to the state.

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