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HCS CSSB 310(FIN): "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(FIN)                                                                            
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 timber that must be removed for the purpose of                                      
07 a permit, right-of-way, or easement issued under AS 38.05.850 or isolated sales of                                    
08 less than 50,000 board feet [PERSONAL USE TIMBER HARVEST], until a                                                     
09 site-specific forest land use plan has been adopted.  A forest land use plan is required                                
10 whether or not a regional or area land use plan under AS 38.04.065(a) or a forest                                       
11 management plan under AS 41.17.230 has been adopted.                                                                    
12  (b)  The commissioner shall base a forest land use plan on the best available                                         
13 data, including information provided by other agencies [DESCRIBING THE                                                  
14 IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE                                                            
01 FOREST ACTIVITIES ON THE TIMBER BASE AND ON OTHER RESOURCES                                                             
02 AND USES].                                                                                                              
03  (c)  A forest land use plan shall consider [IN ADDITION TO] the                                                     
04 requirements of AS 38.04.065(b) only for areas where a land use plan under                                             
05 AS 38.04.065(a) or a forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has not been                                             
06 adopted.  Regardless of whether there is a land use plan or a forest management                                         
07 plan, each [, A] forest land use plan shall consider                                                                   
08   (1)  commercial timber harvesting, including related activities;                                                     
09   (2)  harvesting of forest products for personal use;                                                                 
10   (3)  fish and wildlife habitat, including                                                                            
11   (A)  identification and protection of important wildlife habitat;                                                   
12   (B)  retention of riparian, wetland, and ocean-shoreline                                                            
13 vegetation critical for fish and wildlife habitat; [AND]                                                                
14   (C)  classification of water bodies according to physical                                                           
15 characteristics; and                                                                                                   
16   (D)  the use of silvicultural practices, commercial timber                                                          
17 harvest, and related activities to maintain and enhance the quantity and                                                
18 quality of fish and wildlife habitat;                                                                                  
19   (4)  uses of forest land for nontimber purposes, including                                                           
20   (A)  recreation, tourism, and related activities;                                                                   
21   (B)  mining, mining claims, mineral leaseholds, and material                                                        
22 extraction;                                                                                                             
23   (C)  uses of fish and wildlife;                                                                                     
24   (D)  agriculture, including grazing; and                                                                            
25   (E)  other resources and uses appropriate to the area, including                                                    
26 compatible traditional uses;                                                                                            
27   (5)  soil characteristics and productivity;                                                                          
28   (6)  water quality; and                                                                                              
29   (7)  watershed management.                                                                                           
30  (d)  A management plan prepared by the commissioner under AS 41.17.230                                               
31 or AS 38.04.065 must consider and permit the uses described in (c) of this section.                                    
01 If the commissioner finds that a permitted use is incompatible with one or more other                                   
02 uses in a portion of a state forest, the commissioner shall, consistent with                                           
03 AS 41.17.200, affirmatively state in the management plan that finding of                                               
04 incompatibility for the specific area where the incompatibility is anticipated to exist                                 
05 and the time period when the incompatibility is anticipated to exist together with the                                  
06 reasons for each finding.  If the commissioner finds that the use described in (c)(1)                                  
07 of this section is incompatible, or otherwise restricts that use, the commissioner                                      
08 shall also describe the data used to justify the incompatibility and the benefits of                                    
09 the restriction.                                                                                                       
10    * Sec. 2.  AS 38.05.113(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
11  (c)  Sales under 500,000 board feet [THE DEPARTMENT MAY ADOPT                                                       
12 REGULATIONS EXEMPTING SMALL] and emergency sales are exempt from the                                                  
13 requirements of this section if public notice of the proposed sale is provided in the                                  
14 manner specified in AS 38.05.945(b).  Exempt sales, other than emergency sales,                                       
15 under this subsection may not exceed 1,000,000 board feet in a calendar year in                                         
16 each region.                                                                                                           
17    * Sec. 3.  AS 38.05 is amended by adding a new section to article 4 to read:                                         
18  Sec. 38.05.122.  FOREST MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS.  (a)                                                                   
19 Notwithstanding the requirements of AS 38.05.110 - 38.05.120 or another provision                                       
20 of this chapter, the commissioner, subject to the approval of the legislature under (i)                                 
21 of this section and under the procedures set out in this section and if not inconsistent                                
22 with a land use plan then in effect, may enter into a forest management agreement                                       
23 with a person to authorize the person to enter on the state forest land covered by the                                  
24 agreement for the purposes of selecting, harvesting, and regenerating timber in a                                       
25 manner consistent with sustained yield.                                                                                 
26  (b)  At least once each calendar year, the commissioner shall, unless the                                             
27 commissioner provides a written finding to the governor that market or other                                            
28 conditions make it unlikely that such a solicitation will be accepted, solicit proposals                                
29 for forest management agreements on state forest land. The commissioner shall identify                                  
30 the forest land included in the solicitation of proposals.  The land identified may                                     
31 include land covered by a cooperative resource management or development agreement                                      
01 under AS 38.05.027 subject to the approval of the owner of any land other than state                                    
02 land.  The commissioner shall provide notice of the solicitation to all persons who                                     
03 have requested notification and may provide for any additional notice that the                                          
04 commissioner determines is appropriate. Regardless of whether the commissioner has                                      
05 solicited proposals under this subsection, a person may submit a proposal for a forest                                  
06 management agreement to the commissioner at any time for consideration.  The                                            
07 commissioner may not consider unsolicited proposals for a parcel of land covered by                                     
08 a solicited proposal until the commissioner has completed the review and determination                                  
09 required under this section concerning the solicited proposals.                                                         
10  (c)  The commissioner shall solicit comments from the public and from state                                           
11 agencies, including the commissioner of fish and game, for a proposed agreement                                         
12 unless the evaluation under (d) of this section indicates it is unlikely that the proposed                              
13 agreement will be selected as a tentatively successful proposed agreement.  The                                         
14 comment period under this subsection may not be less than 30 days nor more than 60                                      
15 days.                                                                                                                   
16  (d)  The commissioner shall evaluate proposed agreements submitted under (b)                                          
17 of this section. In evaluating a proposed agreement, the commissioner shall consider                                    
18 the                                                                                                                     
19   (1)  effect of the agreement on the following:                                                                       
20   (A)  commercial timber harvesting, including related activities;                                                    
21   (B)  harvesting of forest products for personal use;                                                                
22   (C)  fish and wildlife habitat, including                                                                           
23   (i)  identification and protection of important wildlife                                                           
24 habitat;                                                                                                                
25   (ii)  retention of riparian, wetland, and ocean shoreline                                                          
26 vegetation critical for fish and wildlife habitat;                                                                      
27   (iii)  classification of water bodies according to physical                                                        
28 characteristics; and                                                                                                    
29   (iv)  the use of silvicultural practices, commercial timber                                                        
30 harvest, and related activities to maintain and enhance the quantity and                                                
31 quality of fish and wildlife habitat;                                                                                   
01   (D)  uses of forest land for nontimber purposes, including                                                          
02   (i)  subsistence, personal, recreational, and commercial                                                           
03 uses of fish and wildlife;                                                                                              
04   (ii)  recreation, tourism, and related activities;                                                                 
05   (iii)  mining, mining claims, mineral leaseholds, and                                                              
06 material extraction;                                                                                                    
07   (iv)  agriculture, including grazing; and                                                                          
08   (v)  other resources and uses appropriate to the area,                                                             
09 including compatible traditional uses;                                                                                  
10   (E)  soil characteristics and productivity;                                                                         
11   (F)  water quality; and                                                                                             
12   (G)  watershed management;                                                                                          
13   (2)  value of the area for the long-term production of timber;                                                       
14   (3)  commitments of the proposer to hire Alaskans;                                                                   
15   (4)  intent of the proposer to process a value added product within the                                              
16 state;                                                                                                                  
17   (5)  experience of the proposer in the forest products industry;                                                     
18   (6)  necessary public access for uses described in (1) of this subsection;                                           
19   (7)  financial feasibility of the proposal;                                                                          
20   (8)  technical and financial qualifications of the proposer;                                                         
21   (9)  stumpage payments offered to be paid;                                                                           
22   (10)  economic benefits and liabilities from the proposed agreement to                                               
23 the region in which the land that is to be covered by the agreement is located;                                         
24   (11)  extent to which the proposed agreement provides for processing                                                 
25 in the state of the timber harvested, to the extent permitted by law;                                                   
26   (12)  economic benefits and liabilities to the state and to the state forest                                         
27 land under the proposed agreement;                                                                                      
28   (13)  timber inventory; and                                                                                          
29   (14)  other factors that the commissioner determines are relevant and                                                
30 appropriate.                                                                                                            
31  (e)  After evaluating proposed agreements under (d) of this section, the                                              
01 commissioner may designate a tentatively successful proposed agreement.  A proposed                                     
02 agreement may not be designated under this subsection until public comment has been                                     
03 solicited and evaluated under (c) of this section.  A tentatively successful proposed                                   
04 agreement may not be designated unless the commissioner includes, and makes a                                           
05 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;                                            
11   (2)  the tentatively successful proposed agreement covers no more land                                               
12 or timber than is necessary to make the proposed agreement economically sustainable                                     
13 over the life of the proposed agreement;                                                                                
14   (3)  the revenue to be received from the tentatively successful proposed                                             
15 agreement will exceed the direct costs of the proposed agreement to the state and that                                  
16 the sale of timber under the proposed agreement is not for less than fair market value;                                 
17 and                                                                                                                     
18   (4)  the tentatively successful proposed agreement will best serve the                                               
19 interests of the state and is consistent with applicable land use and management plans                                  
20 then in effect.                                                                                                         
21  (f)  The commissioner shall provide notice under AS 38.05.945(b) and (c) of                                           
22 a finding under (e) of this section and designation of a tentatively successful proposed                                
23 agreement at least 90 days prior to entering into a final agreement.  The commissioner                                  
24 shall solicit comments from the public and from state and local government agencies,                                    
25 including the commissioner of fish and game, on a tentatively successful proposed                                       
26 agreement for at least 90 days after the provision of notice under this section.  The                                   
27 tentatively successful proposed agreement for which the commissioner solicits                                           
28 comments from the public under this subsection must contain the proposed terms,                                         
29 conditions, limitations, and information that are required to be contained in the                                       
30 proposed final agreement and the final agreement set out in (g) of this section.  If a                                  
31 tentatively successful proposed agreement includes land within a municipality, the                                      
01 commissioner shall submit the tentatively successful proposed agreement to the                                          
02 municipality to determine if the agreement is consistent with municipal land use plans.                                 
03 The municipality shall make a consistency determination within 60 days of receipt of                                    
04 the tentatively successful proposed agreement and, if the agreement is not consistent                                   
05 with municipal land use plans, specifically set forth the provisions of the agreement                                   
06 that are not consistent.                                                                                                
07  (g)  If a tentatively successful proposed agreement is designated under (e) of                                        
08 this section, the commissioner, after considering comments and recommendations                                          
09 received under (f) of this section, may proceed to develop a proposed final agreement                                   
10 between the proposer and the state.  A tentatively successful proposed agreement, a                                     
11 proposed final agreement, and the final agreement                                                                       
12   (1)  shall provide for terms, conditions, and limitations determined by                                              
13 the commissioner to be in the public interest;                                                                          
14   (2)  must be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with                                                       
15 municipal land use plans if the agreement includes land within a municipality;                                          
16   (3)  must contain                                                                                                    
17   (A)  the initial term of the agreement, which may not exceed 20                                                     
18 years;                                                                                                                  
19   (B)  provisions requiring sale of the timber for at least fair                                                      
20 market value as evidenced by an appraisal and provisions requiring periodic                                             
21 reappraisal of the value of the timber;                                                                                 
22   (C)  provisions requiring the proposer to pay the full cost of the                                                  
23 state scaling services necessary to account for timber sold under the agreement;                                        
24   (D)  provisions requiring the proposer to pay for state services                                                    
25 necessary for permitting, planning, monitoring, administering, and                                                      
26 implementing the agreement;                                                                                             
27   (E)  provisions requiring the proposer, at the discretion of the                                                    
28 state, to pay for the construction and maintenance of access roads necessary to                                         
29 manage the land that is to be covered by the agreement;                                                                 
30   (F)  provisions guaranteeing necessary public access for uses                                                       
31 described in (d)(1) of this section;                                                                                    
01   (G)  provisions requiring that, at the discretion of the state, the                                                 
02 surface of the access roads shall be removed and the access roads shall be                                              
03 reforested, with the costs paid by the proposer;                                                                        
04   (H)  provisions for the location and construction standards of                                                      
05 necessary harvest access roads within the area covered by the agreement;                                                
06   (I)  provisions requiring the processing of the timber in the state                                                 
07 if that is the highest and best use of the timber as determined by the                                                  
08 commissioner and if permitted by law;                                                                                   
09   (J)  provisions requiring the proposer, at the discretion of the                                                    
10 state, to pay for the purchase of material obtained from state land for the                                             
11 construction of access roads on the land that is to be covered by the agreement;                                        
12   (K)  provisions requiring the proposer to perform reforestation                                                     
13 and silvicultural practices on state land that is to be covered by the agreement;                                       
14   (L)  a statement that activities under the agreement are governed                                                   
15 by the provisions of AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17                                                    
16 applicable to operations on state land;                                                                                 
17   (M)  provisions requiring the submission and approval of                                                            
18 biennial operational plans for activities authorized or required by the                                                 
19 agreement;                                                                                                              
20   (N)  requirements for reports and submission of information to                                                      
21 the department regarding performance under the agreement;                                                               
22   (O)  procedures for enforcement and termination of the                                                              
23 agreement;                                                                                                              
24   (P)  provisions requiring an operational level forest inventory                                                     
25 every two years; and                                                                                                    
26   (Q)  provisions requiring the proposer to reforest, stabilize,                                                      
27 monitor, and meet other obligations; these provisions shall include bonding,                                            
28 letter of credit or standby letter of credit, or other security that the                                                
29 commissioner determines to be adequate to protect the public interest.                                                  
30  (h)  The commissioner shall solicit a final review of the proposed final                                              
31 agreement from state agencies, including the commissioner of fish and game.  State                                      
01 agency review under this subsection to be considered by the commissioner must be                                        
02 submitted within 10 days of receipt of the solicitation.                                                                
03  (i)  Within 10 days of the convening of a regular legislative session, the                                            
04 governor shall transmit to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of                                  
05 representatives any proposed final forest management agreements.  If the legislature,                                   
06 by joint resolution, fails to disapprove a final forest management agreement within 45                                  
07 days, it is considered approved.                                                                                        
08  (j)  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.  If the forest management agreement covers nonstate land under an                                     
11 agreement authorized under AS 38.05.027, the owner of the land must approve the                                         
12 agreement.  After approval by the attorney general under this subsection and                                            
13 consideration of the final agency review under (h) of this section, the commissioner                                    
14 and the proposer may sign the proposed final agreement.                                                                 
15  (k)  When the commissioner solicits public comment under (c) of this section,                                         
16 and at all times thereafter, the proposed agreements are public records and are open                                    
17 to public inspection and disclosure under AS 09.25.120.  Prior to solicitation of public                                
18 comment under (c) of this section, proposed agreements submitted under this section                                     
19 are confidential and are not open to public inspection or disclosure under                                              
20 AS 09.25.120.                                                                                                           
21  (l)  All right, title, and interest in or to timber or material in or on land covered                                 
22 by a final forest management agreement remains with the state until the timber or                                       
23 material has been cut or severed, determined as to volume, removed from the site, and                                   
24 paid for in compliance with the agreement. Timber or material that is not removed                                       
25 from land covered by a final forest management agreement within the period specified                                    
26 by the agreement or by an extension of the agreement remains the property of the                                        
27 state.                                                                                                                  
28  (m)  An interest in a final forest management agreement may not be assigned                                           
29 without the prior written consent of the commissioner.  An assignment without the                                       
30 prior written consent of the commissioner is void.  The commissioner may not consent                                    
31 under this subsection unless the assignment is of the entire interest in the final forest                               
01 management agreement.  The commissioner shall consider all of the factors of this                                       
02 section when making a determination concerning an assignment.                                                           
03  (n)  The commissioner shall strictly enforce the provisions of the final                                              
04 agreement.  The commissioner shall perform a review of the operator's performance                                       
05 under the agreement as part of the biennial operating plan approval process.  Upon the                                  
06 completion of three-quarters of the total term of the agreement, the commissioner shall                                 
07 review the operation and performance of the agreement and determine whether it is in                                    
08 the best interest of the state to renew the agreement.  If the commissioner determines                                  
09 that it is in the best interest of the state, the commissioner shall solicit and evaluate                               
10 proposals, as provided in this section, for renewal of the agreement, including a                                       
11 proposal from the current operator.                                                                                     
12  (o)  The activities conducted under a final forest management agreement are                                           
13 governed by AS 41.17 and regulations adopted under AS 41.17 applicable to                                               
14 operations on state land.                                                                                               
15  (p)  In this section,                                                                                                 
16   (1)  "agreement" means a forest management agreement;                                                                
17   (2)  "proposer" means the person who submitted a proposed forest                                                     
18 management agreement under (b) of this section;                                                                         
19   (3)  "sustained yield" has the meaning given in AS 38.04.910.                                                        
20    * Sec. 4.  AS 41.17.060(c) is amended to read:                                                                       
21  (c)  With respect to state and municipal forest land only, the following                                              
22 standards also apply:                                                                                                   
23   (1)  forest land shall be administered for the multiple use of the                                                   
24 renewable and nonrenewable resources and for the sustained yield of the renewable                                       
25 resources of the land in the manner that  best provides for the present needs and                                       
26 preserves the future options of the people of the state;                                                                
27   (2)  a system of allocating predominant uses or values to particular units                                           
28 within a contiguous area of land shall reflect in reasonable proportion the various                                     
29 resources and values present in that area;                                                                              
30   (3)  to the extent its capacity permits, forest land shall be administered                                           
31 so as to provide for the continuation and expansion of businesses, activities, and                                    
01 lifestyles that are dependent upon or derived from forest resources;                                                    
02   (4)  timber harvesting is limited to areas where data and information                                                
03 demonstrate that natural or artificial reforestation techniques will result in the                                      
04 production of a sustained yield of merchantable timber from that area;                                                  
05   (5)  there may not be  significant impairment of the productivity of the                                             
06 land and water with respect to renewable resources;                                                                     
07   (6)  allowance shall  be made for scenic quality in or adjacent to areas                                             
08 of substantial importance to the tourism and recreation industry; [AND]                                                 
09   (7)  allowance shall be made for important fish and wildlife habitat; and                                           
10   (8)  to the fullest extent practicable, harvested forest land shall be                                             
11 reforested, naturally or artificially, so as to result in a sustained yield of                                          
12 merchantable timber from that land; if artificial planting is required,                                                 
13 silviculturally acceptable seedlings must first be available for planting at an                                         
14 economically fair price.                                                                                               
15    * Sec. 5.  AS 41.17.060 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
16  (d)  With respect to private forest land only, to the fullest extent practicable,                                     
17 harvested forest land shall be reforested, naturally or artificially.  If artificial planting                           
18 is required, silviculturally acceptable seedlings must first be available for planting at                               
19 an economically fair price.                                                                                             
20    * Sec. 6.  AS 41.17.200 is amended to read:                                                                          
21  Sec. 41.17.200.  STATE FOREST PURPOSES.  The purpose of AS 41.17.200                                                  
22 - 41.17.230 is to permit the establishment of designated state-owned or acquired land                                   
23 and water areas as state forests.  The primary purpose in the establishment of state                                  
24 forests is the perpetuation of personal, commercial, including encouraging the                                         
25 development of commercial forest land under the principles of sustained and                                             
26 multiple use, and other beneficial uses of resources through multiple-use management.                                  
27   * Sec. 7.  AS 41.17.200 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                                
28  (b)  In managing a state forest the commissioner shall                                                                
29   (1)  allow for the fullest possible access to, and the multiple use of, the                                          
30 natural resources, including timber, fish, game, and minerals; the allowance under this                                 
31 paragraph shall take into account the interests of private landowners;                                                  
01   (2)  maintain forest growth at a high level of productivity; and                                                     
02   (3)  restrict the public use of the land and its resources only when                                                 
03 necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.                                                                    
04    * Sec. 8.  AS 41.17.060(b)(4) is repealed.