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SB 88: "An Act relating to standards for forest resources and practices; and providing for an effective date."

00                             SENATE BILL NO. 88                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to standards for forest resources and practices; and providing for an                                  
02 effective date."                                                                                                        
03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
04    * Section 1.  AS 41.17.087(b) is amended to read:                                                                  
05            (b)  The commissioner shall adopt regulations that specify the standards under                               
06       which a variation will be granted for harvesting timber within the riparian area of                               
07                 (1)  a low gradient Type I-A [A] water body with a width of five feet or                            
08       less; and                                                                                                         
09                 (2)  other appropriate water body types.                                                                
10    * Sec. 2.  AS 41.17.116 is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                         
11            Sec. 41.17.116.  Riparian standards for private land.  (a)  Private forest land                            
12       adjacent to the following types of waters and located in Region I is subject to the                               
13       riparian protection standards established in this subsection:                                                     
14                 (1)  along a Type I-A water body,                                                                       
01                      (A)  operations within 100 feet of the water body or to the break                                  
02            of the slope, whichever area is smaller, shall be conducted in compliance with                               
03            slope stability standards established in regulations adopted under this chapter;                             
04            and                                                                                                          
05                      (B)  harvest of timber may not be undertaken within 66 feet of                                     
06            the water body;                                                                                              
07                 (2)  along a Type I-B water body,                                                                       
08                      (A)  operations within 100 feet of the water body or to the break                                  
09            of the slope, whichever area is smaller, shall be conducted in compliance with                               
10            slope stability standards established in regulations adopted under this chapter;                             
11            and                                                                                                          
12                      (B)  harvest of timber may not be undertaken within 66 feet of                                     
13            the water body or to the break of the slope, whichever area is smaller;                                      
14                 (3)  along a Type I-C water body,                                                                       
15                      (A)  operations within 100 feet of the water body or to the break                                  
16            of the slope, whichever area is smaller, shall be conducted in compliance with                               
17            slope stability standards established in regulations adopted under this chapter;                             
18            and                                                                                                          
19                      (B)  the operator shall, where prudent, retain low value timber                                    
20            within 25 feet of the water body or to the limit of the area described in (A) of                             
21            this paragraph, whichever area is greater, where the width of the water body is                              
22                           (i)  greater than 13 feet at the ordinary high water mark;                                    
23                 or                                                                                                      
24                           (ii)  greater than eight feet at the ordinary high water                                      
25                 mark if the channel is incised;                                                                         
26                 (4)  along a Type I-D water body,                                                                       
27                      (A)  operations within 50 feet of the water body or to the break                                   
28            of the slope, whichever area is smaller, shall be conducted in compliance with                               
29            slope stability standards established in regulations adopted under this chapter;                             
30            and                                                                                                          
31                      (B)  the operator shall, where prudent, retain low value timber                                    
01            within 25 feet of the water body or to the limit of the area described in (A) of                             
02            this paragraph, whichever area is greater, where the width of the water body is                              
03                           (i)  greater than 13 feet at the ordinary high water mark;                                    
04                 or                                                                                                      
05                           (ii)  greater than eight feet at the ordinary high water                                      
06                 mark if the channel is incised.                                                                         
07            (b)  Private forest land adjacent to the following types of waters and located in                            
08       Region III is subject to the riparian protection standards established in this subsection:                        
09                 (1)  along a Type III-A water body, harvest of timber may not be                                        
10       undertaken within 66 feet of the water body;                                                                      
11                 (2)  along a Type III-B water body, harvest of timber may not be                                        
12       undertaken within 33 feet of the water body; between 33 feet and 66 feet from the                                 
13       water body, up to 50 percent of standing white spruce trees having at least a nine-inch                           
14       diameter at breast height may be harvested without requiring a variation;                                         
15                 (3)  along a Type III-C water body, harvest of timber within 100 feet of                                
16       the water body must be located and designed primarily to protect fish habitat and                                 
17       surface water quality as determined by the department with due deference to the                                   
18       Department of Fish and Game.                                                                                      
19            (c)  The commissioner shall adopt regulations for private land in Region II that                             
20       designate the areas that are subject to riparian protection standards and the restrictions                        
21       on timber harvesting operations within those areas that are necessary for their                                   
22       protection under the management goals established in AS 41.17.115.                                                
23            (d)  In this section,                                                                                        
24                 (1)  "low value timber" means timber that the owner or operator                                         
25       determines, at the time of harvest, to be uneconomic to harvest and market;                                       
26                 (2)  "prudent" means that the requirement can be met using reasonably                                   
27       available means or technology, that complying with the requirement is not likely to                               
28       create significant impairment of the productivity of the land and water, and that the                             
29       cost of achieving the requirement is not out of proportion to the benefits that can                               
30       reasonably be expected to be achieved in the particular situation.                                                
31    * Sec. 3.  AS 41.17.118(a) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                      
01            (a)  The riparian standards for state land are as follows:                                                   
02                 (1)  on state forest land managed by the department that is located in                                  
03       Region III,                                                                                                       
04                      (A)  along a Type III-A water body, harvest of timber may not                                      
05            be undertaken within 100 feet of the water body, except that, between 66 feet                                
06            and 100 feet from the water body, harvest of timber may be undertaken where                                  
07            consistent with the maintenance of important fish and wildlife habitat as                                    
08            determined by the department with the concurrence of the Department of Fish                                  
09            and Game;                                                                                                    
10                      (B)  along a Type III-B water body, harvest of timber may not                                      
11            be undertaken within 50 feet of the water body; between 50 feet and 100 feet                                 
12            from the water body, up to 50 percent of standing white spruce trees having at                               
13            least a nine-inch diameter at breast height may be harvested;                                                
14                      (C)  along a Type III-C water body, harvest of timber within                                       
15            100 feet of the water body must be consistent with the maintenance of                                        
16            important fish and wildlife habitat as determined by the department with due                                 
17            deference to the Department of Fish and Game;                                                                
18                 (2)  on state forest land managed by the department that is in Region I                                 
19       or Region II,                                                                                                     
20                      (A)  harvest of timber may not be undertaken within 100 feet                                       
21            immediately adjacent to an anadromous or high value resident fish water body;                                
22                      (B)  between 100 and 300 feet from the water body, harvest of                                      
23            timber may occur but must be consistent with the maintenance of important                                    
24            fish and wildlife habitat as determined by the department with due deference to                              
25            the Department of Fish and Game.                                                                             
26    * Sec. 4.  AS 41.17.119 is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                       
27            Sec. 41.17.119.  Minimum riparian standards for other public land.  The                                    
28       riparian standards for other public land are as follows:                                                          
29                 (1)  in Regions I and II, harvest of timber may not be undertaken within                                
30       100 feet of an anadromous or high value resident fish water body;                                                 
31                 (2)  in Region III, the standards are the same as for state land under                                  
01       AS 41.17.118 and regulations adopted under this chapter.                                                          
02    * Sec. 5.  AS 41.17.950(13) is amended to read:                                                                    
03                 (13)  "riparian area" means                                                                             
04                      (A)  the areas subject to riparian protection standards                                        
05            [SPECIFIED] in AS 41.17.116(a) and (b) on private land in Regions I and III                          
06            [THE COASTAL FOREST OF SPRUCE OR HEMLOCK];                                                                   
07                      (B)  the areas subject to riparian protection standards                                        
08            [SPECIFIED] in regulations adopted by the commissioner under                                                 
09            AS 41.17.116(c) [AS 41.17.116(b)] on private land in Region II [OUTSIDE                              
10            THE COASTAL FOREST OF SPRUCE OR HEMLOCK];                                                                    
11                      (C)  the area 100 feet from the shore or bank of an anadromous                                     
12            or high value resident fish water body on state land managed by the department                               
13            and on other public land;                                                                                    
14    * Sec. 6.  AS 41.17.950(19) is amended to read:                                                                    
15                 (19)  "Type I-A [A] water body" means, in Region I, an anadromous                               
16       water body that [IS]                                                                                              
17                      (A)  is a stream or river of any size having an average gradient                               
18            of eight percent or less, with banks held in place by vegetation, channels that                              
19            are not incised, and a substrate composed of rubble, gravel, sand, or silt;                              
20                      (B)  consists of wetlands and lakes, including their outlets; and                              
21                      (C)  is an estuarine area delimited by the presence of salt-                                   
22            tolerant vegetation;                                                                                         
23    * Sec. 7.  AS 41.17.950(20) is amended to read:                                                                    
24                 (20)  "Type I-B [B] water body" means, in Region I, an anadromous                               
25       water body that does not meet the definition of a Type I-A [A] water body; [AND]                              
26    * Sec. 8.  AS 41.17.950(21) is amended to read:                                                                    
27                 (21)  "Type I-C [C] water body" means, in Region I, a water body that                           
28       is not anadromous, that is a tributary to a Type I-A [A] or Type I-B [B] water body,                      
29       and that has a gradient of 12 percent or less;                                                                    
30    * Sec. 9.  AS 41.17.950(22) is amended to read:                                                                    
31                 (22)  "Type I-D [D] water body" means, in Region I, a water body that                           
01       is not anadromous, that is tributary to a Type I-A [A] or Type I-B [B] water body, and                    
02       that has a gradient greater than 12 percent.                                                                      
03    * Sec. 10.  AS 41.17.950 is amended by adding new paragraphs to read:                                              
04                 (23)  "backwater slough" means a water body that                                                        
05                      (A)  has sluggish flow, is warm in summer, and is typically only                                   
06            connected to the main stem or a side channel at one end of the water body;                                   
07                      (B)  carries river current only under high water conditions; and                                   
08                      (C)  may have only a seasonal connection to the main stem or                                       
09            side channel;                                                                                                
10                 (24)  "glacial," with respect to a water body, as used in the phrases                                   
11       "glacial high value resident fish water body" and "glacial anadromous water body,"                                
12       means that, under normal conditions, a water body receives significant surface flow                               
13       from a glacier; "glacial," with respect to a water body, includes a water body that                               
14       receives a mix of glacial water and water from other sources;                                                     
15                 (25)  "nonglacial," with respect to a water body, as used in the phrases                                
16       "nonglacial high value resident fish water body" and "nonglacial anadromous water                                 
17       body," means that, under normal conditions, a water body does not receive significant                             
18       surface flow from a glacier;                                                                                      
19                 (26)  "ordinary high water mark" means the mark along the bank or                                       
20       shore up to which the presence and action of the tidal or nontidal water are so common                            
21       and usual, and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to leave a natural line                                
22       impressed on the bank or shore and indicated by erosion, shelving, changes in soil                                
23       characteristics, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, or other distinctive physical                             
24       characteristics;                                                                                                  
25                 (27)  "Region I" means all land in Southeast Alaska, plus all land that is                              
26       south of the crest of the Chugach Mountains and Saint Elias Mountains and east of a                               
27       line running from the crest of the Chugach Mountains to O'Malley Peak, then                                       
28       southerly to Gull Rock, then southwesterly to the eastern junction of Skilak Lake Road                            
29       and the Sterling Highway, then southwesterly to the mouth of the Fox River, then                                  
30       southwesterly through Kachemak Bay to Mt.  Douglas, plus all land on the Alaska                                   
31       Peninsula between Mt.  Douglas and Cape Kumliun that is east of the crest of the                                  
01       Aleutian Range, plus all islands in the Gulf of Alaska north of 56 degrees 23 minutes                             
02       North latitude;                                                                                                   
03                 (28)  "Region II" means all land in the state south of the Nutzotin                                     
04       Mountains and Mentasta Mountains, south of the Alaska Range, and east of the                                      
05       Aleutian Range, except for the area within Region I and peninsular and island land                                
06       south of Cape Kumliun;                                                                                            
07                 (29)  "Region III" means all land in the state outside of Regions I and                                 
08       II;                                                                                                               
09                 (30)  "Type III-A water body" means, in Region III, a                                                   
10                      (A)  nonglacial high value resident fish water body greater than                                   
11            three feet in width at the ordinary high water mark;                                                         
12                      (B)  nonglacial anadromous water body; or                                                          
13                      (C)  backwater slough;                                                                             
14                 (31)  "Type III-B water body" means, in Region III, a glacial high value                                
15       resident fish water body or a glacial anadromous water body; "Type III-B water body"                              
16       does not include a glacial backwater slough;                                                                      
17                 (32)  "Type III-C water body" means, in Region III, a nonglacial high                                   
18       value resident fish water body that is less than or equal to three feet in width at the                           
19       ordinary high water mark  and that does not contain anadromous fish.                                              
20    * Sec. 11.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
21 read:                                                                                                                   
22       TRANSITION:  REGULATIONS.  (a)  To the extent that the regulations are not                                        
23 inconsistent with the language and purposes of this Act, regulations relating to forest                                 
24 resources and practices adopted by the Department of Natural Resources under AS 41.17 and                               
25 in effect before the effective date of secs. 1 - 10 of this Act remain in effect and may be                             
26 administered and enforced by the Department of Natural Resources.                                                       
27       (b)  Notwithstanding sec. 13 of this Act, the Department of Natural Resources may                                 
28 proceed to adopt regulations to implement this Act.  The regulations take effect under                                  
29 AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the effective date of the statutory                             
30 change.                                                                                                                 
31    * Sec. 12.  Section 11(b) of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).                              
01    * Sec. 13.  Except as provided in sec. 12 of this Act, this Act takes effect September 1,                          
02 2003.