By BECKY BOHRER — Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska — A state advisory panel is holding a summit this month on Alaska's relationship with the federal government and areas of perceived overreach by the feds.
Republican Sen. John Coghill of North Pole said Thursday that the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Areas isn't interested in just having a complaining session during the Aug. 12-13 summit in Anchorage. Coghill serves on the panel, and said there are several goals for the meeting.
During the last session, in which the issue of perceived overreach occupied a fair bit of time in the GOP-controlled Legislature, Coghill said it became apparent there needed to be a history review to better understand agreements the state had made with the feds, as well as court cases, rather than address the issue through piecemeal resolutions.
The upcoming summit is expected to include such an overview, he said, along with looking at where the federal government is pushing the limits and improving relationships with the feds.
Stan Leaphart, the commission's executive director, said in a release this week that the intent is to develop an "action plan" that can be implemented by the Legislature, governor and congressional delegation.
The federal government is the dominant landowner in Alaska, a factor in the love-hate relationship the state has with the feds. Republican Gov. Sean Parnell hasn't been shy about pushing back on issues in which he argues the feds have overstepped their bounds.
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