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CSSB 310(RES): "An Act relating to the management and sale of state timber and relating to the administration of forest land."

00 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 310(RES)                                                                                         
01 "An Act relating to the management and sale of state timber and relating to the                                         
02 administration of forest land."                                                                                         
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1.  AS 38.05.112(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
05  (c)  A forest land use plan shall consider [IN ADDITION TO] the                                                     
06 requirements of AS 38.04.065(b) only for areas where a land use plan under                                             
07 AS 38.04.065(a) or a forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has not been                                             
08 adopted.  Regardless of whether there is a land use plan or a forest management                                         
09 plan, each [, A] forest land use plan shall consider                                                                   
10   (1)  commercial timber harvesting, including related activities;                                                     
11   (2)  harvesting of forest products for personal use;                                                                 
12   (3)  fish and wildlife habitat, including                                                                            
13   (A)  identification and protection of important wildlife habitat;                                                   
14   (B)  retention of riparian, wetland, and ocean-shoreline                                                            
01 vegetation critical for fish and wildlife habitat; and                                                                  
02   (C)  classification of water bodies according to physical                                                           
03 characteristics;                                                                                                        
04   (4)  uses of forest land for nontimber purposes, including                                                           
05   (A)  recreation, tourism, and related activities;                                                                   
06   (B)  mining, mining claims, mineral leaseholds, and material                                                        
07 extraction;                                                                                                             
08   (C)  uses of fish and wildlife;                                                                                     
09   (D)  agriculture, including grazing; and                                                                            
10   (E)  other resources and uses appropriate to the area, including                                                    
11 compatible traditional uses;                                                                                            
12   (5)  soil characteristics and productivity;                                                                          
13   (6)  water quality; and                                                                                              
14   (7)  watershed management.                                                                                           
15    * Sec. 2.  AS 38.05.113(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
16  (c)  Sales under 500,000 board feet [THE DEPARTMENT MAY ADOPT                                                       
17 REGULATIONS EXEMPTING SMALL] and emergency sales are exempt from the                                                  
18 requirements of this section if public notice of the proposed sale is provided in the                                  
19 manner specified in AS 38.05.945(b).  Exempt sales, other than emergency sales,                                       
20 under this subsection may not exceed 1,000,000 board feet in a calendar year in                                         
21 each region.                                                                                                           
22    * Sec. 3.  AS 38.05 is amended by adding a new section to article 4 to read:                                         
23  Sec. 38.05.122.  FOREST MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS.  (a)                                                                   
24 Notwithstanding the requirements of AS 38.05.110 - 38.05.120 or another provision                                       
25 of this chapter, the commissioner, under the procedures set out in this section and if                                  
26 not inconsistent with a land use plan then in effect, may enter into a forest                                           
27 management agreement with a person to authorize the person to enter on the state                                        
28 forest land covered by the agreement for the purposes of selecting, harvesting, and                                     
29 regenerating timber in a manner consistent with sustained yield.                                                        
30  (b)  At least once each calendar year, the commissioner shall solicit proposals                                       
31 for forest management agreements on state forest land. The commissioner shall provide                                   
01 notice of the solicitation to all persons who have requested notification and may                                       
02 provide for any additional notice that the commissioner determines is appropriate.                                      
03 Regardless of whether the commissioner has solicited proposals under this subsection,                                   
04 a person may submit a proposal for a forest management agreement to the                                                 
05 commissioner at any time for consideration.  The commissioner may not consider                                          
06 unsolicited proposals for a parcel of land covered by a solicited proposal until the                                    
07 commissioner has completed the review and determination required under this section                                     
08 concerning the solicited proposals.                                                                                     
09  (c)  The commissioner shall solicit public comment for a proposed agreement                                           
10 unless the evaluation under (d) indicates it is unlikely that the proposed agreement will                               
11 be selected as a tentatively successful proposed agreement.  The public comment                                         
12 period under this subsection may not be less than 30 days nor more than 60 days.                                        
13  (d)  The commissioner shall evaluate proposed agreements submitted under (b)                                          
14 of this section. In evaluating a proposed agreement, the commissioner shall consider                                    
15 the                                                                                                                     
16   (1)  effect of the agreement on the following:                                                                       
17   (A)  commercial timber harvesting, including related activities;                                                    
18   (B)  harvesting of forest products for personal use;                                                                
19   (C)  fish and wildlife habitat, including                                                                           
20   (i)  identification and protection of important wildlife                                                           
21 habitat;                                                                                                                
22   (ii)  retention of riparian, wetland, and ocean shoreline                                                          
23 vegetation critical for fish and wildlife habitat; and                                                                  
24   (iii)  classification of water bodies according to physical                                                        
25 characteristics;                                                                                                        
26   (D)  uses of forest land for nontimber purposes, including                                                          
27   (i)  recreation, tourism, and related activities;                                                                  
28   (ii)  mining, mining claims, mineral leaseholds, and                                                               
29 material extraction;                                                                                                    
30   (iii)  uses of fish and wildlife;                                                                                  
31   (iv)  agriculture, including grazing; and                                                                          
01   (v)  other resources and uses appropriate to the area,                                                             
02 including compatible traditional uses;                                                                                  
03   (E)  soil characteristics and productivity;                                                                         
04   (F)  water quality; and                                                                                             
05   (G)  watershed management;                                                                                          
06   (2)  necessary public access for uses described in (1) of this subsection;                                           
07   (3)  financial feasibility of the proposed agreement;                                                                
08   (4)  technical and financial qualifications of the proposer;                                                         
09   (5)  stumpage payments offered to be paid;                                                                           
10   (6)  economic benefits from the proposed agreement to the region in                                                  
11 which the land that is to be covered by the agreement is located;                                                       
12   (7)  economic benefits to state forest land under the proposed                                                       
13 agreement; and                                                                                                          
14   (8)  other factors that the commissioner determines are relevant and                                                 
15 appropriate.                                                                                                            
16  (e)  After evaluating proposed agreements under (d) of this section, the                                              
17 commissioner may designate a tentatively successful proposed agreement.  A proposed                                     
18 agreement may not be designated under this subsection until public comment has been                                     
19 solicited under (c) of this section.  A tentatively successful proposed agreement may                                   
20 not be designated unless the commissioner includes, and makes a written finding that                                    
21 sets out facts and applicable law to support the commissioner's conclusion, that                                        
22   (1)  land or timber covered by the tentatively successful proposed                                                   
23 agreement is not reasonably necessary to provide sustained harvest for a sawmill or                                     
24 wood processing facility using that land or timber at the time the proposed agreement                                   
25 was evaluated, or that a final agreement can adequately address those needs; and                                        
26   (2)  the tentatively successful proposed agreement will best serve the                                               
27 interests of the state and is consistent with applicable land use or management plans                                   
28 then in effect.                                                                                                         
29  (f)  The commissioner shall provide notice under AS 38.05.945(b) and (c) of                                           
30 a finding under (e) of this section and designation of a tentatively successful proposed                                
31 agreement at least 90 days prior to entering into a final agreement.  The commissioner                                  
01 shall solicit comments from the public and from state and local government agencies                                     
02 on a tentatively successful proposed agreement.                                                                         
03  (g)  If a tentatively successful proposed agreement is designated under (e) of                                        
04 this section, the commissioner, after considering comments and recommendations                                          
05 received under (f) of this section, may proceed to develop a proposed final agreement                                   
06 between the proposer and the state. A proposed final agreement                                                          
07   (1)  shall provide for terms, conditions, and limitations determined by                                              
08 the commissioner to be in the public interest;                                                                          
09   (2)  must contain                                                                                                    
10   (A)  the initial term of the agreement, which may not exceed 20                                                     
11 years;                                                                                                                  
12   (B)  the stumpage prices for the timber;                                                                            
13   (C)  provisions regarding compensation from the proposer for                                                        
14 scaling services required in order to account for timber sold;                                                          
15   (D)  provisions regarding compensation, if required by the                                                          
16 department, for state services provided to administer the agreement;                                                    
17   (E)  provisions regarding responsibilities for construction and                                                     
18 maintenance of access roads necessary to manage the land that is to be covered                                          
19 by the agreement;                                                                                                       
20   (F)  provisions regarding consideration for the sale of material                                                    
21 obtained from state land for the construction of access roads on the land that                                          
22 is to be covered by the agreement;                                                                                      
23   (G)  provisions regarding responsibilities for reforestation and                                                    
24 silvicultural practices on land that is to be covered by the agreement;                                                 
25   (H)  a statement that activities under the agreement are governed                                                   
26 by the provisions of AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17                                                    
27 applicable to operations on state land;                                                                                 
28   (I)  provisions for the submission and approval of biennial                                                         
29 operational plans for activities authorized or required by the agreement;                                               
30   (J)  requirements for reports and submission of information to                                                      
31 the department regarding performance under the agreement;                                                               
01   (K)  procedures for enforcement and termination of the                                                              
02 agreement;                                                                                                              
03   (L)  provisions for existing public access;                                                                         
04   (M)  an operational level forest inventory every five years; and                                                    
05   (N)  provisions for deactivation or termination, that may include                                                   
06 bonding, to ensure reforestation, stabilization, monitoring, and other residual                                         
07 obligations.                                                                                                            
08  (h)  The form of the proposed final agreement developed under (g) of this                                             
09 section must be approved by the attorney general before the agreement is signed by                                      
10 the commissioner.  After approval by the attorney general under this subsection, the                                    
11 commissioner and the proposer may sign the proposed final agreement.                                                    
12  (i)  When the commissioner solicits public comment under (c) of this section,                                         
13 and at all times thereafter, the proposed agreements are public records and are open                                    
14 to public inspection and disclosure under AS 09.25.120.  Prior to solicitation of public                                
15 comment under (c) of this section, proposed agreements submitted under this section                                     
16 are confidential and are not open to public inspection or disclosure under                                              
17 AS 09.25.120.  When the commissioner selects a tentatively successful proposed                                          
18 agreement under (e) of this section, all documents regarding that proposed agreement                                    
19 and all other competing proposed agreements, as well as a subsequent final agreement                                    
20 and all documents leading up to that agreement, are public records and are open for                                     
21 inspection under AS 09.25.120.                                                                                          
22  (j)  All right, title, and interest in or to timber or material in or on land covered                                 
23 by a final forest management agreement remains with the state until the timber or                                       
24 material has been cut or severed, determined as to volume, removed from the site, and                                   
25 paid for in compliance with the agreement. Timber or material that is not removed                                       
26 from land covered by a final forest management agreement within the period specified                                    
27 by the agreement or by an extension of the agreement remains the property of the                                        
28 state.                                                                                                                  
29  (k)  An interest in a final forest management agreement may not be assigned                                           
30 without the prior written consent of the commissioner.  An assignment without the                                       
31 prior written consent of the commissioner is void.  The commissioner may not consent                                    
01 under this subsection unless the assignment is of the entire interest in the final forest                               
02 management agreement.  The commissioner shall consider all of the factors of this                                       
03 section when making a determination concerning an assignment.                                                           
04  (l)  Upon the completion of three-quarters of the total term of the agreement,                                        
05 the commissioner shall review the operation and performance of the agreement and                                        
06 determine whether it is in the best interest of the state to renew the agreement.  If the                               
07 commissioner determines that it is in the best interest of the state, the commissioner                                  
08 shall solicit and evaluate proposals, as provided in this section, for renewal of the                                   
09 agreement, including a proposal from the current operator.                                                              
10  (m)  The activities conducted under a final forest management agreement are                                           
11 governed by AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17 applicable to                                               
12 operations on state land.                                                                                               
13  (n)  In this section,                                                                                                 
14   (1)  "agreement" means a forest management agreement;                                                                
15   (2)  "proposer" means the person who submitted a proposed forest                                                     
16 management agreement under (b) of this section;                                                                         
17   (3)  "sustained yield" has the meaning given in AS 38.04.910.                                                        
18    * Sec. 4.  AS 41.17.060(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
19  (c)  With respect to state and municipal forest land only, the following                                              
20 standards also apply:                                                                                                   
21   (1)  forest land shall be administered for the multiple use of the                                                   
22 renewable and nonrenewable resources and for the sustained yield of the renewable                                       
23 resources of the land in the manner that  best provides for the present needs and                                       
24 preserves the future options of the people of the state;                                                                
25   (2)  a system of allocating predominant uses or values to particular units                                           
26 within a contiguous area of land shall reflect in reasonable proportion the various                                     
27 resources and values present in that area;                                                                              
28   (3)  to the extent its capacity permits, forest land shall be administered                                           
29 so as to provide for the continuation and expansion of businesses, activities, and                                    
30 lifestyles that are dependent upon or derived from forest resources;                                                    
31   (4)  timber harvesting is limited to areas where data and information                                                
01 demonstrate that natural or artificial reforestation techniques will result in the                                      
02 production of a sustained yield of merchantable timber from that area;                                                  
03   (5)  there may not be  significant impairment of the productivity of the                                             
04 land and water with respect to renewable resources;                                                                     
05   (6)  allowance shall  be made for scenic quality in or adjacent to areas                                             
06 of substantial importance to the tourism and recreation industry; and                                                   
07   (7)  allowance shall be made for important fish and wildlife habitat.                                                
08    * Sec. 5.  AS 41.17.200 is amended to read:                                                                          
09  Sec. 41.17.200.  STATE FOREST PURPOSES.  The purpose of AS 41.17.200                                                  
10 - 41.17.230 is to permit the establishment of designated state-owned or acquired land                                   
11 and water areas as state forests.  The primary purpose in the establishment of state                                  
12 forests is the development of commercial forest land under the principles of                                           
13 sustained yield and multiple use while perpetuating [PERPETUATION OF]                                                  
14 personal, commercial, and other beneficial uses of resources through multiple-use                                       
15 management.                                                                                                             
16    * Sec. 6.  AS 41.17.200 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
17  (b)  In managing a state forest the commissioner shall                                                                
18   (1)  allow for the fullest possible access to, and use of, the natural                                               
19 resources, including timber, fish, game, and minerals; the allowance under this                                         
20 paragraph shall take into account the interests of private landowners;                                                  
21   (2)  maintain forest growth at a high level of productivity; and                                                     
22   (3)  restrict the public use of the land and its resources only when                                                 
23 necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.