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SB 310: "An Act relating to the management and sale of state timber; relating to the classification of state land that would preclude harvesting of timber or would designate harvesting of timber as an incompatible use; relating to the administration of forest land, proposals for state forest, and the determination of sustained yield; and providing for an effective date."

00 SENATE BILL NO. 310                                                                                                     
01 "An Act relating to the management and sale of state timber; relating to the                                            
02 classification of state land that would preclude harvesting of timber or would                                          
03 designate harvesting of timber as an incompatible use; relating to the                                                  
04 administration of forest land, proposals for state forest, and the determination of                                     
05 sustained yield; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
07    * Section 1.  AS 38.05.112 is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                        
08  Sec. 38.05.112.  BEST INTERESTS DETERMINATION; IDENTIFICATION.                                                        
09 In determining whether the sale of timber will be in the best interests of the state under                              
10 AS 38.05.035(e), the department shall consider the standards set out in AS 41.17.060.                                   
11 Before authorizing the sale of timber on state land, the department shall identify the                                  
12 land involved and actions proposed in sufficient detail so as to inform the public of                                   
13 the nature and location of the proposed sale and operations.                                                            
14    * Sec. 2.  AS 38.05.113(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
01  (c)  Sales under 500,000 board feet [THE DEPARTMENT MAY ADOPT                                                       
02 REGULATIONS EXEMPTING SMALL] and emergency sales are exempt from the                                                  
03 requirements of this section.                                                                                           
04    * Sec. 3.  AS 38.05 is amended by adding a new section to article 4 to read:                                         
05  Sec. 38.05.122.  FOREST MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS.  (a)                                                                   
06 Notwithstanding the requirements of AS 38.05.110 - 38.05.120 or another provision                                       
07 of this chapter, the commissioner, under the procedures set out in this section, may                                    
08 enter into a forest management agreement with a person to authorize the person to                                       
09 enter on the state forest land covered by the agreement for the purposes of selecting,                                  
10 harvesting, and regenerating timber in a manner consistent with sustained yield.  A                                     
11 portion of a state forest that is covered by a final forest management agreement is                                     
12 exempt from the requirements of an operational level forest inventory and management                                    
13 plan under AS 41.17.230.                                                                                                
14  (b)  At least once each calendar year, the commissioner shall solicit proposals                                       
15 for forest management agreements on state forest land. The commissioner shall provide                                   
16 notice of the solicitation to all persons who have requested notification and may                                       
17 provide for any additional notice that the commissioner determines is appropriate.                                      
18 Regardless of whether the commissioner has solicited proposals under this subsection,                                   
19 a person may submit a proposal for a forest management agreement to the                                                 
20 commissioner at any time for consideration.                                                                             
21  (c)  The commissioner shall evaluate proposed agreements submitted under (b)                                          
22 of this section. In evaluating a proposed agreement, the commissioner shall consider                                    
23 the                                                                                                                     
24   (1)  financial feasibility of the proposed agreement;                                                                
25   (2)  technical and financial qualifications of the proposer;                                                         
26   (3)  stumpage payments offered to be paid;                                                                           
27   (4) economic benefits from the proposed agreement to the region in                                                   
28 which the land that is to be covered by the agreement is located;                                                       
29   (5)  economic benefits to state forest land under the proposed                                                       
30 agreement; and                                                                                                          
31   (6)  other factors that the commissioner determines are relevant and                                                 
01 appropriate.                                                                                                            
02  (d)  After evaluating proposed agreements under (c) of this section, the                                              
03 commissioner may designate a tentatively successful proposed agreement. If a                                            
04 tentatively successful proposed agreement is designated, the commissioner shall make                                    
05 a written finding that sets out facts and applicable law to support the commissioner's                                  
06 conclusion that                                                                                                         
07   (1)  land or timber covered by the tentatively successful proposed                                                   
08 agreement is not reasonably necessary to provide sustained harvest for a sawmill or                                     
09 wood processing facility using that land or timber at the time the proposed agreement                                   
10 was evaluated, or that a final agreement can adequately address those needs; and                                        
11   (2)  the tentatively successful proposed agreement will best serve the                                               
12 interests of the state.                                                                                                 
13  (e)  The commissioner shall provide notice under AS 38.05.945(b) and (c) of                                           
14 a finding under (d) of this section and designation of a tentatively successful proposed                                
15 agreement.  The commissioner shall solicit comments from the public concerning each                                     
16 tentatively successful proposed agreement.  The commissioner may solicit                                                
17 recommendations from state and local government agencies on a tentatively successful                                    
18 proposed agreement.                                                                                                     
19  (f)  If a tentatively successful proposed agreement is designated under (d) of                                        
20 this section, the commissioner, after considering comments and recommendations                                          
21 received under (e) of this section, may proceed to develop a proposed final agreement                                   
22 between the proposer and the state. A proposed final agreement                                                          
23   (1)  may provide for terms, conditions, and limitations determined by                                                
24 the commissioner to be in the public interest;                                                                          
25   (2)  must contain                                                                                                    
26   (A)  the initial term of the agreement, which may not exceed 20                                                     
27 years;                                                                                                                  
28   (B)  provisions regarding extension of the term of the agreement;                                                   
29 an extension may not exceed 20 years;                                                                                   
30   (C)  the stumpage prices for the timber;                                                                            
31   (D)  provisions regarding compensation from the proposer for                                                        
01 scaling services required in order to account for timber sold;                                                          
02   (E)  provisions regarding compensation, if required by the                                                          
03 department, for state services provided to administer the agreement;                                                    
04   (F)  provisions regarding responsibilities for construction and                                                     
05 maintenance of access roads necessary to manage the land that is to be covered                                          
06 by the agreement;                                                                                                       
07   (G)  provisions regarding consideration for the sale of material                                                    
08 obtained from state land for the construction of access roads on the land that                                          
09 is to be covered by the agreement;                                                                                      
10   (H)  provisions regarding responsibilities for reforestation and                                                    
11 silvicultural practices on land that is to be covered by the agreement;                                                 
12   (I)  a statement that activities under the agreement are governed                                                   
13 by the provisions of AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17                                                    
14 applicable to operations on state land;                                                                                 
15   (J)  provisions for the submission and approval of periodic                                                         
16 operational plans for activities authorized or required by the agreement;                                               
17   (K)  requirements for reports and submission of information to                                                      
18 the department regarding performance under the agreement; and                                                           
19   (L)  procedures for enforcement and termination of the                                                              
20 agreement.                                                                                                              
21  (g)  The form of the proposed final agreement developed under (f) of this                                             
22 section must be approved by the attorney general before the agreement is signed by                                      
23 the commissioner.  After approval by the attorney general under this subsection, the                                    
24 commissioner and the proposer may sign the proposed final agreement.                                                    
25  (h)  Proposed agreements submitted under this section are confidential and are                                        
26 not open to public inspection or disclosure under AS 09.25.120. However, if the                                         
27 commissioner selects a tentatively successful proposed agreement under (d) of this                                      
28 section, all documents regarding that proposed agreement and all other competing                                        
29 proposed agreements, as well as a subsequent final agreement and all documents                                          
30 leading up to that agreement, are public records and are open for inspection under                                      
31 AS 09.25.120.                                                                                                           
01  (i)  All right, title, and interest in or to timber or material in or on land covered                                 
02 by a final forest management agreement remains with the state until the timber or                                       
03 material has been cut or severed, determined as to volume, removed from the site, and                                   
04 paid for in compliance with the agreement. Timber or material that is not removed                                       
05 from land covered by a final forest management agreement within the period specified                                    
06 by the agreement or by an extension of the agreement remains the property of the                                        
07 state.                                                                                                                  
08  (j)  An interest in a final forest management agreement may not be assigned                                           
09 without the prior written consent of the commissioner.  An assignment without the                                       
10 prior written consent of the commissioner is void.  The commissioner may not consent                                    
11 under this subsection unless the assignment is of the entire interest in the final forest                               
12 management agreement.                                                                                                   
13  (k)  The activities conducted under a final forest management agreement are                                           
14 governed by AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17 applicable to                                               
15 operations on state land.                                                                                               
16  (l)  In this section,                                                                                                 
17   (1)  "agreement" means a forest management agreement;                                                                
18   (2)  "proposer" means the person who submitted a proposed forest                                                     
19 management agreement under (b) of this section;                                                                         
20   (3)  "sustained yield" has the meaning given in AS 41.17.950.                                                        
21    * Sec. 4.  AS 38.05.300(a) is amended to read:                                                                       
22  (a)  The commissioner shall classify for surface use land in areas considered                                         
23 necessary and proper.  This section does not prevent reclassification of land where the                                 
24 public interest warrants reclassification, nor does it preclude multiple purpose use of                                 
25 land whenever different uses are compatible.  If the area involved contains more than                                   
26 640 contiguous acres, state land, water, or land and water area may not, except by act                                  
27 of the state legislature, (1) be closed to multiple purpose use, or (2) be otherwise                                    
28 classified by the commissioner so that (A) mining, mineral entry or location, mineral                                 
29 prospecting, or mineral leasing, or (B) harvesting of timber, is precluded or is                                      
30 designated an incompatible use, except when the classification is necessary for a land                                  
31 disposal or exchange or is for the development of utility or transportation corridors or                                
01 projects or similar projects or infrastructure, or except as allowed under (c) of this                                  
02 section.                                                                                                                
03    * Sec. 5.  AS 38.05.300(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
04  (c)  Notwithstanding (a)(2) of this section, if the commissioner considers it                                         
05 necessary and proper, the commissioner may provide by order for an interim                                              
06 classification that precludes, or designates as an incompatible use, mining, mineral                                    
07 entry or location, mineral prospecting, [OR] mineral leasing, or harvesting of timber.                                
08  Within 10 days after the convening of each regular legislative session, the                                            
09 commissioner shall transmit to the legislature for consideration all the interim                                        
10 classification orders issued under this subsection during the preceding calendar year.                                  
11 Unless the legislature approves by law an interim classification contained in an order                                  
12 transmitted under this subsection, that order expires on the 90th day of that legislative                               
13 session or upon adjournment of that session, whichever occurs first.  Approval by the                                   
14 legislature of an interim classification satisfies the requirement of (a) of this section                               
15 for an act of the state legislature.                                                                                    
16    * Sec. 6.  AS 41.17.060(b) is amended to read:                                                                       
17  (b)  With respect to state, municipal, and private forest land, the following                                         
18 standards apply:                                                                                                        
19   (1)  to the maximum extent possible, all applicable data and information                                             
20 of applicable disciplines shall be updated and used in making decisions relative to the                                 
21 management of forest resources;                                                                                         
22   (2)  environmentally sensitive areas  shall be recognized in the                                                     
23 development of regulations and best management practices that are designed to                                           
24 implement  nonpoint source pollution control measures authorized under this chapter;                                    
25   (3)  administration of forest land shall consider marketing conditions and                                           
26 other economic constraints affecting the forest landowner, timber owner, or the                                         
27 operator;                                                                                                               
28   (4)  to the fullest extent practicable, harvested forest land shall be                                               
29 reforested, naturally or artificially, with trees of a type expected to grow into [SO                                 
30 AS TO RESULT IN A SUSTAINED YIELD OF] merchantable timber [FROM THAT                                                    
31 LAND]; if artificial planting is required, silviculturally acceptable seedlings must first                              
01 be available for planting at an economically fair price in the state; and                                               
02   (5)  significant adverse effects of soil erosion and mass wasting on                                                 
03 water quality and fish habitat shall be prevented or minimized.                                                         
04    * Sec. 7.  AS 41.17.060(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
05  (c)  With respect to state and municipal forest land only, the following                                              
06 standards also apply:                                                                                                   
07   (1)  forest land shall be administered for the multiple use of the                                                   
08 renewable and nonrenewable resources and for the sustained yield of the renewable                                       
09 resources of the land in the manner that  best provides for the present needs and                                       
10 preserves the future options of the people of the state;                                                                
11   (2)  a system of allocating predominant uses or values to particular units                                           
12 within a contiguous area of land shall reflect in reasonable proportion the various                                     
13 resources and values present in that area;                                                                              
14   (3)  to the extent its capacity permits, forest land shall be administered                                           
15 so as to provide for the continuation and expansion of businesses [, ACTIVITIES,                                      
16 AND LIFESTYLES] that  are dependent upon or derived from forest resources;                                              
17   (4)  timber harvesting is limited to areas where data and information                                                
18 demonstrate that natural or artificial reforestation techniques will result in the                                      
19 production of a sustained yield of merchantable timber from that area;                                                  
20   (5)  there may not be  significant impairment of the productivity of the                                             
21 land and water with respect to renewable resources;                                                                     
22   (6)  allowance shall  be made for scenic quality in or adjacent to areas                                             
23 of substantial importance to the tourism and recreation industry; and                                                   
24   (7)  allowance shall be made for important fish and wildlife habitat.                                                
25    * Sec. 8.  AS 41.17.090(a) is amended to read:                                                                       
26  (a)  Operations on municipal or private forest land shall be reviewed under                                         
27 this section for consistency with the policies and provisions of this chapter and                                       
28 regulations adopted under this chapter.                                                                                 
29    * Sec. 9.  AS 41.17.090(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
30  (c)  Before beginning operations on municipal or private forest land, the                                           
31 operator shall provide the state forester with a detailed plan of operations. The detailed                              
01 plan of operations must include                                                                                         
02   (1)  a description of the proposed operations, identifying the land                                                  
03 involved and the action proposed in sufficient detail to inform the public of the nature                                
04 and location of the proposed operations; the description must include a map and must                                    
05 be in a form suitable for duplication;                                                                                  
06   (2)  the name, address, and approving signature of the forest landowner,                                             
07 timber owner, and operator; and                                                                                         
08   (3)  other information required in the regulations adopted under this                                                
09 chapter.                                                                                                                
10    * Sec. 10.  AS 41.17.118(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
11  (b)  The commissioner may impose additional riparian protection standards for                                         
12 timber harvest operations through the adoption of land use plans under AS 38.04.065                                     
13 and under forest management plans and reports under [AS 38.05.112 AND]                                                  
14 AS 41.17.230.                                                                                                           
15    * Sec. 11.  AS 41.17.200 is amended to read:                                                                         
16  Sec. 41.17.200.  STATE FOREST PURPOSES.  The purpose of AS 41.17.200                                                  
17 - 41.17.230 is to permit the establishment of designated state-owned or acquired land                                   
18 and water areas as state forests.  The primary purpose in the establishment of state                                  
19 forests is the development of commercial forest land under the principles of                                           
20 sustained yield and multiple use while perpetuating [PERPETUATION OF]                                                  
21 personal, commercial, and other beneficial uses of resources through multiple-use                                       
22 management.                                                                                                             
23    * Sec. 12.  AS 41.17.200 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                              
24  (b)  In managing a state forest the commissioner shall                                                                
25   (1)  allow for the fullest possible access to, and use of, the natural                                               
26 resources, including timber, game, and minerals;                                                                        
27   (2)  maintain forest growth at a high level of productivity; and                                                     
28   (3)  restrict the public use of the land and its resources only when                                                 
29 necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.                                                                    
30    * Sec. 13.  AS 41.17.210(a) is amended to read:                                                                      
31  (a)  The governor may propose to the legislature the establishment of state                                           
01 forests consisting primarily of commercially valuable forest land determined by the                                     
02 governor to be necessary for retention in state ownership for management under the                                      
03 principles of multiple use and sustained yield [AND CONSISTENT WITH                                                     
04 AS 38.04.005].  The proposal of the governor must include a report and                                                  
05 recommendations of the commissioner including                                                                           
06   (1)  a preliminary forest inventory;                                                                                 
07   (2)  a summary of the testimony offered at public hearings held on the                                               
08 management of the proposed state forest in communities proximately located to a                                         
09 proposed state forest;                                                                                                  
10   (3)  [THE FINDINGS OF THE COMMISSIONER ON ANTICIPATED                                                                
11 INCOMPATIBILITIES OF USES DESCRIBED IN AS 38.05.112(c) UNDER                                                            
12 AS 38.05.112(d);                                                                                                        
13   (4)  WRITTEN COMMENTS FROM APPROPRIATE STATE                                                                         
14 AGENCIES ON THE COMPATIBILITY OF THE USES DESCRIBED IN                                                                  
15 AS 38.05.112(c) WITHIN THE PROPOSED STATE FOREST;                                                                       
16   (5)]  an estimate of the cost of a full implementation of an operational                                             
17 level forest inventory and the management plan.                                                                         
18    * Sec. 14.  AS 41.17.400(c) is amended to read:                                                                      
19  (c)  The [IN ADDITION TO THE USES DESCRIBED IN AS 38.05.112(c),                                                     
20 THE] commissioner may establish transportation corridors within the Tanana Valley                                       
21 State Forest.                                                                                                           
22    * Sec. 15.  AS 41.17 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                     
23  Sec. 41.17.920.  DETERMINATION OF SUSTAINED YIELD.  In determining                                                    
24 sustained yield for forestry purposes, the department shall consider all relevant factors                               
25 that a prudent forester would use based on techniques known at the time of the                                          
26 determination.  The department shall consider the use of variable periodic output for                                   
27 appropriate situations, including salvage cuts of killed or damaged trees, when the                                     
28 particular timber unit is too small to be harvested economically in annual or frequent                                  
29 entries over a rotation period, or to increase health, productivity, or timber yields.                                  
30    * Sec. 16.  AS 38.05.113(b) is repealed.                                                                             
31    * Sec. 17.  This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).