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

00 HOUSE CS FOR 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 is amended to read:                                                                       
05  Sec. 38.05.112.  FOREST LAND USE PLANS.  (a)  The department may not                                                  
06 [SELL OR] harvest timber, except for isolated sales of less than 50,000 board feet                                    
07 [PERSONAL USE TIMBER HARVEST], until a site-specific forest land use plan has                                           
08 been adopted.  A forest land use plan is required whether or not a regional or area land                                
09 use plan under AS 38.04.065(a) or a forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has                                       
10 been adopted.                                                                                                           
11  (b)  The commissioner shall base a forest land use plan on the best available                                         
12 data, including information provided by other agencies [DESCRIBING THE                                                  
13 IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE                                                            
14 FOREST ACTIVITIES ON THE TIMBER BASE AND ON OTHER RESOURCES                                                             
01 AND USES].                                                                                                              
02  (c)  A forest land use plan shall consider [IN ADDITION TO] the                                                     
03 requirements of AS 38.04.065(b) only for areas where a land use plan under                                             
04 AS 38.04.065(a) or a forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has not been                                             
05 adopted.  Regardless of whether there is a land use plan or a forest management                                         
06 plan, each [, A] forest land use plan shall consider                                                                   
07   (1)  commercial timber harvesting, including related activities;                                                     
08   (2)  harvesting of forest products for personal use;                                                                 
09   (3)  fish and wildlife habitat, including                                                                            
10   (A)  identification and protection of important wildlife habitat;                                                   
11   (B)  retention of riparian, wetland, and ocean-shoreline                                                            
12 vegetation critical for fish and wildlife habitat; and                                                                  
13   (C)  classification of water bodies according to physical                                                           
14 characteristics;                                                                                                        
15   (4)  uses of forest land for nontimber purposes, including                                                           
16   (A)  recreation, tourism, and related activities;                                                                   
17   (B)  mining, mining claims, mineral leaseholds, and material                                                        
18 extraction;                                                                                                             
19   (C)  uses of fish and wildlife;                                                                                     
20   (D)  agriculture, including grazing; and                                                                            
21   (E)  other resources and uses appropriate to the area, including                                                    
22 compatible traditional uses;                                                                                            
23   (5)  soil characteristics and productivity;                                                                          
24   (6)  water quality; and                                                                                              
25   (7)  watershed management.                                                                                           
26  (d)  A management plan prepared by the commissioner under AS 41.17.230                                               
27 or AS 38.04.065 must consider and permit the uses described in (c) of this section.                                    
28 If the commissioner finds that a permitted use is incompatible with one or more other                                   
29 uses in a portion of a state forest, the commissioner shall, consistent with                                           
30 AS 41.17.200, affirmatively state in the management plan that finding of                                               
31 incompatibility for the specific area where the incompatibility is anticipated to exist                                 
01 and the time period when the incompatibility is anticipated to exist together with the                                  
02 reasons for each finding.  If the commissioner finds that the use described in (c)(1)                                  
03 of this section is incompatible, or otherwise restricts that use, the commissioner                                      
04 shall also document the finding with sound scientific or economic data that clearly                                     
05 proves the incompatibility and the benefits of the restriction.                                                        
06    * Sec. 2.  AS 38.05.113(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
07  (c)  Sales under 500,000 board feet [THE DEPARTMENT MAY ADOPT                                                       
08 REGULATIONS EXEMPTING SMALL] and emergency sales are exempt from the                                                  
09 requirements of this section if public notice of the proposed sale is provided in the                                  
10 manner specified in AS 38.05.945(b).  Exempt sales, other than emergency sales,                                       
11 under this subsection may not exceed 1,000,000 board feet in a calendar year in                                         
12 each region.                                                                                                           
13    * Sec. 3.  AS 38.05 is amended by adding a new section to article 4 to read:                                         
14  Sec. 38.05.122.  FOREST MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS.  (a)                                                                   
15 Notwithstanding the requirements of AS 38.05.110 - 38.05.120 or another provision                                       
16 of this chapter, the commissioner, under the procedures set out in this section and if                                  
17 not inconsistent with a land use plan then in effect, may enter into a forest                                           
18 management agreement with a person to authorize the person to enter on the state                                        
19 forest land covered by the agreement for the purposes of selecting, harvesting, and                                     
20 regenerating timber in a manner consistent with sustained yield.                                                        
21  (b)  At least once each calendar year, the commissioner shall solicit proposals                                       
22 for forest management agreements on state forest land. The commissioner shall identify                                  
23 the forest land included in the solicitation of proposals.  The land identified may                                     
24 include land covered by a cooperative resource management or development agreement                                      
25 under AS 38.05.027 subject to the approval of the owner of any land other than state                                    
26 land.  The commissioner shall provide notice of the solicitation to all persons who                                     
27 have requested notification and may provide for any additional notice that the                                          
28 commissioner determines is appropriate. Regardless of whether the commissioner has                                      
29 solicited proposals under this subsection, a person may submit a proposal for a forest                                  
30 management agreement to the commissioner at any time for consideration.  The                                            
31 commissioner may not consider unsolicited proposals for a parcel of land covered by                                     
01 a solicited proposal until the commissioner has completed the review and determination                                  
02 required under this section concerning the solicited proposals.                                                         
03  (c)  The commissioner shall solicit public comment for a proposed agreement                                           
04 unless the evaluation under (d) of this section indicates it is unlikely that the proposed                              
05 agreement will be selected as a tentatively successful proposed agreement.  The public                                  
06 comment period under this subsection may not be less than 30 days nor more than 60                                      
07 days.                                                                                                                   
08  (d)  The commissioner shall evaluate proposed agreements submitted under (b)                                          
09 of this section. In evaluating a proposed agreement, the commissioner shall consider                                    
10 the                                                                                                                     
11   (1)  effect of the agreement on the following:                                                                       
12   (A)  commercial timber harvesting, including related activities;                                                    
13   (B)  harvesting of forest products for personal use;                                                                
14   (C)  fish and wildlife habitat, including                                                                           
15   (i)  identification and protection of important wildlife                                                           
16 habitat;                                                                                                                
17   (ii)  retention of riparian, wetland, and ocean shoreline                                                          
18 vegetation critical for fish and wildlife habitat; and                                                                  
19   (iii)  classification of water bodies according to physical                                                        
20 characteristics;                                                                                                        
21   (D)  uses of forest land for nontimber purposes, including                                                          
22   (i)  recreation, tourism, and related activities;                                                                  
23   (ii)  mining, mining claims, mineral leaseholds, and                                                               
24 material extraction;                                                                                                    
25   (iii)  uses of fish and wildlife;                                                                                  
26   (iv)  agriculture, including grazing; and                                                                          
27   (v)  other resources and uses appropriate to the area,                                                             
28 including compatible traditional uses;                                                                                  
29   (E)  soil characteristics and productivity;                                                                         
30   (F)  water quality; and                                                                                             
31   (G)  watershed management;                                                                                          
01   (2)  value of the area for the long-term production of timber;                                                       
02   (3)  extent that local hire will be increased;                                                                       
03   (4)  intent of the proposer to process a value added product within the                                              
04 state;                                                                                                                  
05   (5)  experience of the proposer in the forest products industry;                                                     
06   (6)  necessary public access for uses described in (1) of this subsection;                                           
07   (7)  financial feasibility of the proposal;                                                                          
08   (8)  technical and financial qualifications of the proposer;                                                         
09   (9)  stumpage payments offered to be paid;                                                                           
10   (10)  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   (11)  extent to which the proposed agreement provides for processing                                                 
13 in the state of the timber harvested, to the extent permitted by law;                                                   
14   (12)  economic benefits to state forest land under the proposed                                                      
15 agreement;                                                                                                              
16   (13)  timber inventory; and                                                                                          
17   (14)  other factors that the commissioner determines are relevant and                                                
18 appropriate.                                                                                                            
19  (e)  After evaluating proposed agreements under (d) of this section, the                                              
20 commissioner may designate a tentatively successful proposed agreement.  A proposed                                     
21 agreement may not be designated under this subsection until public comment has been                                     
22 solicited under (c) of this section.  A tentatively successful proposed agreement may                                   
23 not be designated unless the commissioner includes, and makes a written finding that                                    
24 sets out facts and applicable law to support the commissioner's conclusion, that                                        
25   (1)  land or timber covered by the tentatively successful proposed                                                   
26 agreement is not reasonably necessary to provide sustained harvest for a sawmill or                                     
27 wood processing facility using that land or timber at the time the proposed agreement                                   
28 was evaluated, or that a final agreement can adequately address those needs; and                                        
29   (2)  the tentatively successful proposed agreement will best serve the                                               
30 interests of the state and is consistent with applicable land use or management plans                                   
31 then in effect.                                                                                                         
01  (f)  The commissioner shall provide notice under AS 38.05.945(b) and (c) of                                           
02 a finding under (e) of this section and designation of a tentatively successful proposed                                
03 agreement at least 90 days prior to entering into a final agreement.  The commissioner                                  
04 shall solicit comments from the public and from state and local government agencies                                     
05 on a tentatively successful proposed agreement.                                                                         
06  (g)  If a tentatively successful proposed agreement is designated under (e) of                                        
07 this section, the commissioner, after considering comments and recommendations                                          
08 received under (f) of this section, may proceed to develop a proposed final agreement                                   
09 between the proposer and the state. A proposed final agreement and the final                                            
10 agreement                                                                                                               
11   (1)  shall provide for terms, conditions, and limitations determined by                                              
12 the commissioner to be in the public interest;                                                                          
13   (2)  must contain                                                                                                    
14   (A)  the initial term of the agreement, which may not exceed 20                                                     
15 years;                                                                                                                  
16   (B)  the stumpage prices for the timber;                                                                            
17   (C)  provisions requiring compensation from the proposer for                                                        
18 scaling services required in order to account for timber sold;                                                          
19   (D)  provisions requiring compensation for state services                                                           
20 provided to administer the agreement;                                                                                   
21   (E)  provisions regarding responsibilities for construction and                                                     
22 maintenance of access roads necessary to manage the land that is to be covered                                          
23 by the agreement;                                                                                                       
24   (F)  provisions requiring the processing of the timber in the state                                                 
25 if that is the highest and best use of the timber as determined by the                                                  
26 commissioner and if permitted by law;                                                                                   
27   (G)  provisions regarding consideration for the sale of material                                                    
28 obtained from state land for the construction of access roads on the land that                                          
29 is to be covered by the agreement;                                                                                      
30   (H)  provisions requiring the proposer to be responsible for                                                        
31 reforestation and silvicultural practices on land that is to be covered by the                                          
01 agreement;                                                                                                              
02   (I)  a statement that activities under the agreement are governed                                                   
03 by the provisions of AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17                                                    
04 applicable to operations on state land;                                                                                 
05   (J)  provisions requiring the submission and approval of biennial                                                   
06 operational plans for activities authorized or required by the agreement;                                               
07   (K)  requirements for reports and submission of information to                                                      
08 the department regarding performance under the agreement;                                                               
09   (L)  procedures for enforcement and termination of the                                                              
10 agreement;                                                                                                              
11   (M)  provisions for existing public access;                                                                         
12   (N)  an operational level forest inventory every five years; and                                                    
13   (O)  provisions requiring the proposer to reforest, stabilize,                                                      
14 monitor, and meet other residual obligations upon deactivation or termination;                                          
15 these provisions may include bonding.                                                                                   
16  (h)  The form of the proposed final agreement developed under (g) of this                                             
17 section must be approved by the attorney general before the agreement is signed by                                      
18 the commissioner.  If the forest management agreement covers nonstate land under an                                     
19 agreement authorized under AS 38.05.027, the owner of the land must approve the                                         
20 agreement.  After approval by the attorney general under this subsection, the                                           
21 commissioner and the proposer may sign the proposed final agreement.                                                    
22  (i)  When the commissioner solicits public comment under (c) of this section,                                         
23 and at all times thereafter, the proposed agreements are public records and are open                                    
24 to public inspection and disclosure under AS 09.25.120.  Prior to solicitation of public                                
25 comment under (c) of this section, proposed agreements submitted under this section                                     
26 are confidential and are not open to public inspection or disclosure under                                              
27 AS 09.25.120.  When the commissioner designates a tentatively successful proposed                                       
28 agreement under (e) of this section, all documents regarding that proposed agreement                                    
29 and all other competing proposed agreements, as well as a subsequent final agreement                                    
30 and all documents leading up to that agreement, are public records and are open for                                     
31 inspection under AS 09.25.120.                                                                                          
01  (j)  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  (k)  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.  The commissioner shall consider all of the factors of this                                       
13 section when making a determination concerning an assignment.                                                           
14  (l)  The commissioner shall strictly enforce the provisions of the final                                              
15 agreement.  Upon the completion of three-quarters of the total term of the agreement,                                   
16 the commissioner shall review the operation and performance of the agreement and                                        
17 determine whether it is in the best interest of the state to renew the agreement.  If the                               
18 commissioner determines that it is in the best interest of the state, the commissioner                                  
19 shall solicit and evaluate proposals, as provided in this section, for renewal of the                                   
20 agreement, including a proposal from the current operator.                                                              
21  (m)  The activities conducted under a final forest management agreement are                                           
22 governed by AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17 applicable to                                               
23 operations on state land.                                                                                               
24  (n)  In this section,                                                                                                 
25   (1)  "agreement" means a forest management agreement;                                                                
26   (2)  "proposer" means the person who submitted a proposed forest                                                     
27 management agreement under (b) of this section;                                                                         
28   (3)  "sustained yield" has the meaning given in AS 38.04.910.                                                        
29    * Sec. 4.  AS 41.17.060(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
30  (c)  With respect to state and municipal forest land only, the following                                              
31 standards also apply:                                                                                                   
01   (1)  forest land shall be administered for the multiple use of the                                                   
02 renewable and nonrenewable resources and for the sustained yield of the renewable                                       
03 resources of the land in the manner that  best provides for the present needs and                                       
04 preserves the future options of the people of the state;                                                                
05   (2)  a system of allocating predominant uses or values to particular units                                           
06 within a contiguous area of land shall reflect in reasonable proportion the various                                     
07 resources and values present in that area;                                                                              
08   (3)  to the extent its capacity permits, forest land shall be administered                                           
09 so as to provide for the continuation and expansion of businesses, activities, and                                    
10 lifestyles that are dependent upon or derived from forest resources;                                                    
11   (4)  timber harvesting is limited to areas where data and information                                                
12 demonstrate that natural or artificial reforestation techniques will result in the                                      
13 production of a sustained yield of merchantable timber from that area;                                                  
14   (5)  there may not be  significant impairment of the productivity of the                                             
15 land and water with respect to renewable resources;                                                                     
16   (6)  allowance shall  be made for scenic quality in or adjacent to areas                                             
17 of substantial importance to the tourism and recreation industry; [AND]                                                 
18   (7)  allowance shall be made for important fish and wildlife habitat; and                                           
19   (8)  to the fullest extent practicable, harvested forest land shall be                                             
20 reforested, naturally or artificially, so as to result in a sustained yield of                                          
21 merchantable timber from that land; if artificial planting is required,                                                 
22 silviculturally acceptable seedlings must first be available for planting at an                                         
23 economically fair price.                                                                                               
24    * Sec. 5.  AS 41.17.060 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
25  (d)  With respect to private forest land only, to the fullest extent practicable,                                     
26 harvested forest land shall be reforested, naturally or artificially.  If artificial planting                           
27 is required, silviculturally acceptable seedlings must first be available for planting at                               
28 an economically fair price.                                                                                             
29    * Sec. 6.  AS 41.17.200 is amended to read:                                                                          
30  Sec. 41.17.200.  STATE FOREST PURPOSES.  The purpose of AS 41.17.200                                                  
31 - 41.17.230 is to permit the establishment of designated state-owned or acquired land                                   
01 and water areas as state forests.  The primary purpose in the establishment of state                                  
02 forests is the development of commercial forest land under the principles of                                           
03 sustained yield and multiple use while perpetuating [PERPETUATION OF]                                                  
04 personal, commercial, and other beneficial uses of resources through multiple-use                                       
05 management.                                                                                                             
06    * Sec. 7.  AS 41.17.200 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
07  (b)  In managing a state forest the commissioner shall                                                                
08   (1)  allow for the fullest possible access to, and use of, the natural                                               
09 resources, including timber, fish, game, and minerals; the allowance under this                                         
10 paragraph shall take into account the interests of private landowners;                                                  
11   (2)  maintain forest growth at a high level of productivity; and                                                     
12   (3)  restrict the public use of the land and its resources only when                                                 
13 necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.                                                                    
14    * Sec. 8.  SEVERABILITY.  Under AS 01.10.030, if AS 38.05.122(d)(11) or (g)(2)(F), or                                
15 the application of those provisions to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the                                 
16 remainder of this Act and its application to other persons or circumstances shall not be                                
17 affected.                                                                                                               
18    * Sec. 9.  AS 41.17.060(b)(4) is repealed.