Eastern Tanana Area Plan
(Revision of the eastern portion of the Tanana Basin Area Plan)
Planning and Management
The Resource Assessment and Development Section (RADS), within the Division of Mining, Land and Water, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has initiated the development of the Eastern Tanana Area Plan (ETAP). The existing area plan within the ETAP boundary, the Tanana Basin Area Plan (TBAP), developed in the early 1980's, adopted in 1985, and updated in 1991, is dated and needs revising to account for changes in land ownership; to reflect the current and anticipated economic, social and environmental conditions in the area; and to provide a sufficient land-base for the development and conservation of the state's natural resources.
The ETAP boundary contains approximately 6.5 million acres of general state owned and selected lands, plus over 1 million acres of Legislatively Designated Areas (LDA) located within the eastern portion of the existing TBAP boundary with the exception of the area around the Tangle Lakes Special Use Area. This area is excluded from the ETAP, primarily due to the area being functionally similar to other lands adjacent to the Denali Highway corridor. This area will now be included in a future plan for lands along the Denali Highway.
The remaining portion of the TBAP will now be addressed in the new Yukon Tanana Area Plan (YTAP) (see above link). Together, the ETAP and the YTAP will constitute the revision of the existing TBAP and will provide up-to-date management direction for the state owned and selected lands in the area. Both planning efforts are expected to take between 2 -3 years to complete. These plans will not affect federal, borough, Mental Health Trust, University, Native, or other private lands, and will not affect oil and gas lease sales or gas only lease sales.
Our state lands can provide many different resources to many different people, including fish, wildlife, water, timber, minerals, recreation and tourism opportunities, and settlement opportunities. There are many different ideas about how these state resources should be used, and sometimes these uses conflict with each other. However, if the land is managed carefully, many uses can occur in the same area.
Planning is a way of sorting through the possibilities for using state land, choosing those uses with the greatest benefits for all Alaskans, and involving the public in the process. The planning process provides a link between the citizens and the agencies charged with managing their land. All resources and uses are considered and evaluated in the process, and whenever possible guidelines are established that allow for multiple use.
DNR has latitude to decide how detailed a land use plan should be. On one hand, land use plans should provide enough guidance to ensure that development will be orderly and responsible and serve the long-term public interest. On the other hand, an area plan should provide DNR adequate flexibility in the future to consider the individual merits of proposed development projects.
Below is an outline of the major steps that will be taken to develop both the ETAP and the YTAP. The approximate timing for each step will periodically be updated, but please note that the recommended time frames may change, depending on circumstances that may arise.
- Gather Information. Information is collected about natural resources, present land use, land ownership, local history and economy. (a great deal of this is done in the beginning, but it occurs throughout the planning process)
- Identify Issues. Public Scoping Meetings are held to learn about local interests and issues with state lands. This also helps to get the word out that the planning process has begun. (Late April 2009 )
- Prepare Public Review Draft. Using resource information that has been gathered and public and agency comments, planning staff develops a draft plan.
- Public Review Period. The Public Review Draft is made available, and public meetings are held to discuss the draft, receive comments, and identify parts that may need to be changed.
- Prepare Final Draft. Based on comments during the public review period, a final draft is prepared.
- Adoption by Commissioner of DNR. Signs the plan which then guides management decisions on state land in the planning area.
What happens next?
DNR has held public meetings in eight communities to explain the planning process, gather information, and solicit your comments and input. We are now in the process of developing a Public Review Draft of the Eastern Tanana Area Plan. Due to the size of the planning area it may be some time before a draft of the plan is available for review. Come back to this site periodically to get updated information.
Ray Burger, ETAP, Project Manager
Department of Natural Resources
550 W. 7th Ave., Suite 1050
Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3579
Phone: (907) 269-8536
Fax: (907) 269-8915