Legislature(2011 - 2012)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/30/2011 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 8 FEDERAL REGULATIONS & EXECUTIVE ORDERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 8(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 10 NONCOMMERCIAL TRAILER REGISTRATION FEE TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 64 PERMANENT MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 105 SOUTHEAST STATE FOREST TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 140 APPROP: COMMUNITY QUOTA ENTITY LOAN FUND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 141 LOANS TO COMMUNITY QUOTA ENTITIES/PERMITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 164 INSURANCE: HEALTH CARE & OTHER TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 103 POWER PROJECT; ALASKA ENERGY AUTHORITY TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 104 ALASKA PERFORMANCE SCHOLARSHIPS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 120 AIDEA: NEW MARKETS TAX CREDIT PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 121 LOAN FUNDS:CHARTERS/MARICULTURE/MICROLOAN TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 125 ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 150 PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE ADULTS/MINORS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the Southeast State Forest; and                                                                        
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:48:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD  ROGERS, NATURAL  RESOURCES SPECIALIST,  DIVISION OF                                                                    
FORESTRY, DEPARTMENT  OF NATURAL  RESOURCES (DNR),  spoke in                                                                    
support of  HB 105. He  detailed that  the bill was  part of                                                                    
the state's  effort to ensure  that local  timber processing                                                                    
continued to be a part  of the Southeast Alaska economy. The                                                                    
majority  of  timber in  southern  Southeast  Alaska was  on                                                                    
federal  land,  but  federal timber  sales  had  drastically                                                                    
declined. Local  sawmills heavily  depended on  state timber                                                                    
for survival.  He relayed that  the Southeast  timber demand                                                                    
for  energy  had  been   increasing,  which  heightened  the                                                                    
importance of a secure timber  base for the region. The wood                                                                    
pellet  boiler  that  had recently  been  installed  in  the                                                                    
Sealaska  Corporation's   Juneau  building   illustrated  an                                                                    
increased movement towards the  commercial usage of wood for                                                                    
energy.  A  25,291  acre Southeast  State  Forest  had  been                                                                    
established in June  2010 as a result of the  passage of SCS                                                                    
HB  162(RES).  An additional  23,181  acres  of state  lands                                                                    
available for  timber harvest would  be added  the Southeast                                                                    
State  Forest  if  HB  105  became  law.  Consequently,  the                                                                    
Division of  Forestry would be  able to manage  the combined                                                                    
48,472 acres for a long-term  timber supply and would retain                                                                    
the lands  in state ownership  for multiple uses.  The lands                                                                    
would be managed as an  integrated unit according to a state                                                                    
forest  management plan  that would  be developed  through a                                                                    
public  process during  the following  two years.  The state                                                                    
forest designation  would ensure that the  productive forest                                                                    
lands would  remain in state ownership  and would contribute                                                                    
to the  long-term viability of  the timber based  economy in                                                                    
Southeast.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Rogers   discussed  that  in  2009   the  prior  forest                                                                    
inventory for the  lands had been updated by  DNR to include                                                                    
forest  management intent  language  per  the region's  area                                                                    
plans.   The   data   provided   the   required   supporting                                                                    
information regarding timber  volume, acreage, and allowable                                                                    
harvest.   The  allowable   harvest   for   the  lands   was                                                                    
approximately  8.3   million  board   feet  per   year.  The                                                                    
department  managed   over  150,000  acres  of   uplands  in                                                                    
southern Southeast Alaska; the state actively managed one-                                                                      
third of  the land  and supplied  wood to  local processors.                                                                    
The remaining  land was designated for  other uses including                                                                    
land  sales,  recreation,  water  resources,  and  fish  and                                                                    
wildlife  habitat   that  included  over  65,000   acres  of                                                                    
legislatively  designated state  marine  parks and  critical                                                                    
habitat  areas. He  voiced that  adding lands  to the  state                                                                    
forest would ensure that the  state's more suitable lands in                                                                    
Southeast  remained   available  for  contribution   to  the                                                                    
state's ongoing  timber sale program. A  significant portion                                                                    
of  the  state-owned  timberland  in  Southeast  Alaska  was                                                                    
inherited from the U.S. Forest  Service and was comprised of                                                                    
young, second-growth  stands. Compared to  unmanaged second-                                                                    
growth   stands,  actively   managed  second-growth   stands                                                                    
provided more  timber volume per  acre on  shorter rotations                                                                    
and could  result in improved  "deer browse." A  thinning of                                                                    
state lands  would increase timber yield  and timber supply.                                                                    
He elaborated  that thinning was a  long-term investment and                                                                    
was only  justified if  the land  continued to  be available                                                                    
for forest management. Timber sales  from the lands would be                                                                    
a mix  of domestic  and round log  export based  on economic                                                                    
conditions and locations. A 1984  U.S. Supreme Court Case of                                                                    
South-Central   Timber  Development   vs.  the   former  DNR                                                                    
commissioner  Esther Wunnicke,  established  that the  state                                                                    
could not  restrict round log  export due  to interpretation                                                                    
of the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:53:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers furthered  that the division had done  a good job                                                                    
encouraging local  manufacturing of  logs from  state timber                                                                    
sales in spite  of the legal constraints. He  stated that 87                                                                    
percent  of the  timber sold  from state  lands in  southern                                                                    
Southeast  over the  past six  years had  been processed  by                                                                    
Alaska manufacturers.  The proposed  additions to  the state                                                                    
forest included 23  parcels that were outlined  in a handout                                                                    
(copy on file).  Approximately 21 percent of  the lands were                                                                    
from 5 parcels  that had been previously  reserved pending a                                                                    
prior  legislative  attempt to  transfer  the  lands to  the                                                                    
University  of Alaska.  The legislation  had not  passed and                                                                    
the lands were freed for  the long-term forest management in                                                                    
the state  forest. The  bill included  general use  lands on                                                                    
the   Islands  of   Prince  of   Wales,  Tuxekan,   Gravina,                                                                    
Kosciusko,  Revillagigedo, Wrangell,  Suemez, Mitkof,  Kuiu,                                                                    
Dall, and Zarembo. Six of  the parcels were adjacent or near                                                                    
existing state forest parcels.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers  communicated that the  Division of  Forestry had                                                                    
worked  with the  Division  of Mining,  Land,  and Water  to                                                                    
identify  and exclude  lands that  were  priorities for  the                                                                    
state  land disposal  program. Additionally,  a consultation                                                                    
had been  initiated with the University  of Alaska Statewide                                                                    
Office  of  Land  Management and  university  officials.  He                                                                    
explained  that an  important difference  between the  state                                                                    
forest designation  and a transfer  of lands related  to the                                                                    
long-term public  ownership of  the lands compared  to other                                                                    
development  uses,  as  had been  contemplated  under  prior                                                                    
university  legislation.  Through  a consultation  with  the                                                                    
Department of Fish and Game  (DFG), the division had ensured                                                                    
that there  was internal alignment  on the list  of parcels.                                                                    
Several other parcels had been  considered in the division's                                                                    
due diligence;  however, they had not  been included because                                                                    
of known concerns or the potential for high controversy.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Rogers   continued  to   discuss  reasons   behind  the                                                                    
division's support of the legislation.  He relayed that fish                                                                    
habitat and water quality were  key components of the Forest                                                                    
Resources  and Practices  Act, which  included  a series  of                                                                    
regulations  that  would  apply  to the  management  of  the                                                                    
parcels. Stream buffers had a  no-cut 100 foot minimum width                                                                    
on  anadromous and  high-value  resident  fish streams;  the                                                                    
next 100 foot  to 300 foot zone could  allow timber harvest,                                                                    
but consistent  activity was  necessary for  the maintenance                                                                    
of important  fish and wildlife  habitat. He  discussed that                                                                    
area plans provided  for coastal buffers of 300  feet to 500                                                                    
feet  and   had  additional  recommendations   for  specific                                                                    
parcels. During  the development  of the management  plan, a                                                                    
significant consideration for the  Neets Bay parcel would be                                                                    
the maintenance of  water quality and quantity  for the fish                                                                    
hatchery operation at  the head of the bay.  He relayed that                                                                    
there had  been an  ongoing dialog about  the bill  with the                                                                    
Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers  discussed that the Southeast  State Forest would                                                                    
be managed  as a part  of the  state forest system  under AS                                                                    
41.17.200 through AS 41.17.230.  He read from subsection (a)                                                                    
of AS 41.17.200:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The  primary  purpose  in the  establishment  of  state                                                                    
     forests  is timber  management  that  provides for  the                                                                    
     production,  utilization, and  replenishment of  timber                                                                    
     resources  while  allowing  other  beneficial  uses  of                                                                    
     public land and resources.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers  detailed that in  addition to  timber management                                                                    
that  state forests  were open  to multiple  uses including,                                                                    
wildlife  habitat  and   harvest,  mineral  exploration  and                                                                    
development, transportation, recreation,  and tourism. State                                                                    
forest   lands  would   be  managed   consistent  with   the                                                                    
management intent  under the current Prince  of Wales Island                                                                    
and Central Southeast area plans.  He expounded that changes                                                                    
to management  intent would  require public  and interagency                                                                    
review  through the  adoption of  a State  Forest Management                                                                    
Plan under AS 41.17.230.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Rogers highlighted  that one  of the  other demands  on                                                                    
state  land  in  southern  Southeast  was  to  fulfill  land                                                                    
entitlements  for  new  municipalities. In  order  to  avoid                                                                    
conflict  with  the  Wrangell borough  entitlement,  HB  105                                                                    
specified  that the  new Wrangell  borough may  select state                                                                    
forest  land  within  the  borough  boundary.  The  boundary                                                                    
encompassed  three  parcels  in the  existing  state  forest                                                                    
(Crittenden  Creek and  Bradfield Canal  East and  West) and                                                                    
four  parcels  in  the bill's  proposed  additions  (Eastern                                                                    
Passage, Pat Creek, Pat Creek  uplands, and Earl West Cove).                                                                    
Lands that were vacant,  unappropriated, or unreserved prior                                                                    
to the establishment  of the state forest  would be included                                                                    
in  the calculation  of  the  municipal entitlement  acreage                                                                    
(but  may not  be  selected),  if additional  municipalities                                                                    
were incorporated before June 30, 2019.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:57:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers noted that DNR  had briefed many statewide groups                                                                    
and  entities  across  Southeast  Alaska  on  the  proposal,                                                                    
including  the  Board  of  Forestry,  SE  Conference,  local                                                                    
governments, and the various  groups that were participating                                                                    
in the  Tongass Futures  Roundtable. Letters of  support had                                                                    
been  received  from the  following  entities: the  City  of                                                                    
Coffman  Cove, Resource  Development Council,  Alaska Forest                                                                    
Association,  Alaska  Chapter  of the  Society  of  American                                                                    
Foresters,   Southeast   Conference,   Juneau   Chamber   of                                                                    
Commerce,  and   George  Woodbury  (Wrangell   resident  and                                                                    
forestry consultant).                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked whether  any sport, commercial, or                                                                    
other fishing organizations had taken  a position on HB 105.                                                                    
Mr.  Rogers did  not believe  that any  fishing organization                                                                    
had taken a position on the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wondered there would be  stream buffers                                                                    
in addition  to the  no-logging buffer zone  of 300  feet to                                                                    
500  feet that  would  exist along  some  coastal areas.  He                                                                    
asked whether only the forestry  act rules would apply or if                                                                    
there would be special rules on stream buffers.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Rogers   responded  that   the  Forest   Resources  and                                                                    
Practices Act  rules required  a 100  foot no-cut  buffer on                                                                    
each side  of both  anadromous and high-value  resident fish                                                                    
streams. There was  an additional 100 foot to  300 foot area                                                                    
of special  consideration where trees could  be harvested if                                                                    
it  could be  demonstrated that  there would  be no  adverse                                                                    
impact to the resources.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  queried whether  any of the  areas were                                                                    
in high value fishing streams.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Rogers  answered that  most  state,  federal, or  other                                                                    
lands  in   Southeast  had  high-value  fish   streams.  The                                                                    
division  worked closely  with DFG  to catalog  fish streams                                                                    
and  to  identify salmon  streams  that  may not  have  been                                                                    
included in  the official catalog; the  information was used                                                                    
to design  timber sales and to  protect fisheries resources.                                                                    
He   discussed  that   the  Neets   Bay  parcel   housed  an                                                                    
aquaculture  hatchery.   The  division  had  met   with  the                                                                    
hatchery staff; it would consider  the resources through the                                                                    
state's   forest  management   planning   process  and   the                                                                    
individual timber sale process.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:00:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wanted to be assured  that streams with                                                                    
important fish  habitat had buffer  zones that  exceeded 100                                                                    
feet.  His biggest  concern was  that the  minimum 100  foot                                                                    
buffers could  blow down in  windfall and were  sometimes up                                                                    
to three trees deep.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers replied that with  or without the bill, the lands                                                                    
inside  and  outside the  state  forest  were available  for                                                                    
timber  harvest and  subject to  the  same forest  practices                                                                    
rule  and planning  guidelines. Consideration  was given  to                                                                    
site specific  circumstances and  in some  cases protections                                                                    
may  have  exceeded  the statutory  requirements.  A  robust                                                                    
"effectiveness monitoring" program  existed under the forest                                                                    
practices  act and  the division  had done  research on  the                                                                    
effectiveness  of stream  buffers  in  conjunction with  the                                                                    
Department  of   Environmental  Conservation,  Environmental                                                                    
Protection  Agency,  Sealaska  Corporation, and  other  land                                                                    
owners. The  protection of fisheries  and water  quality was                                                                    
taken very seriously  and was factored into  the program for                                                                    
lands inside and outside of the state forest.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wondered why the bill  was necessary if                                                                    
the areas could  already be logged and  were currently under                                                                    
the same buffer zones.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers replied that the  bill established that the state                                                                    
was dedicated to  a long-term commitment and  tenure for the                                                                    
(new  growth to  growth to  harvesting) tree  cycle. With  a                                                                    
dedicated land base  that was not likely to  be disposed of,                                                                    
transferred to  a municipal government, or  used for another                                                                    
purpose, foresters would have the  ability to take the long-                                                                    
view, make  the necessary  investments, maximize  the growth                                                                    
on  the  lands  to  maximize yield,  and  provide  the  most                                                                    
economic benefit with the smallest footprint.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg wondered  what differences existed                                                                    
between state land and a  state forest that operated under a                                                                    
management plan.  He understood  that the state  lands would                                                                    
be designated  for inclusion in  the Southeast  State Forest                                                                    
and  because the  forest was  relatively new  there had  not                                                                    
been the opportunity to develop  a management plan through a                                                                    
public process.  He thought the management  plan process was                                                                    
effective and would serve multiple segments of the state.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rogers  responded that a  planning process  called "area                                                                    
plans" currently  existed for all  state land. The  lands in                                                                    
the Prince  of Wales  and the  Central Southeast  area plans                                                                    
were  in  a  "general  use"  classification  that  specified                                                                    
allowable uses, including forestry.  For a state forest, the                                                                    
area  plans  would   be  in  place  until   a  state  forest                                                                    
management  plan was  written. The  state forest  plan would                                                                    
have  similar elements,  but would  be more  focused because                                                                    
the  timeframe  would be  longer-term  and  the lands  would                                                                    
emphasize  forestry  use. He  explained  that  an area  plan                                                                    
typically  had a  shelf-life of  approximately 10  years; it                                                                    
could  be general  use  for  a decade  and  could change  to                                                                    
something  else   under  a  new   plan.  The   state  forest                                                                    
management  plans could  also be  modified, but  the primary                                                                    
forestry emphasis and multiple-use would not be modified.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thomas believed  that Senator  Lisa Murkowski  had                                                                    
started the Southeast State Forest  to subsidize the loss of                                                                    
federal timber for the small  timber mills that remained. He                                                                    
noted  that the  Alaska Forest  Resources and  Practices Act                                                                    
was  a  result  of  solicitation  to  former  Representative                                                                    
Adelheid  Herrmann  by  village and  regional  corporations.                                                                    
Representative  Herrmann  had   created  a  task-force  that                                                                    
passed the  Act in  a vote of  25 to 23.  He added  that the                                                                    
regional  and village  corporations  had  requested the  Act                                                                    
because they  had been criticized  for logging too  close to                                                                    
streams.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:08:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RON  WOLFE, MANAGER,  NATURAL  RESOURCES MANAGER,  SEALASKA,                                                                    
supported HB 105.  He discussed that the  population in most                                                                    
of the  villages and communities  in Southeast  had declined                                                                    
in  the  past  decade.  He relayed  that  populations  would                                                                    
continue to decrease and referred  to statistics included in                                                                    
his written  testimony (copy  on file).  Population declines                                                                    
adversely  impacted  property  values,   the  ability  of  a                                                                    
community to operate  basic items such as  schools, fuel and                                                                    
grocery  delivery,   transportation,  and   other  essential                                                                    
services. He emphasized  the need for all  of the industries                                                                    
in  Southeast  for survival  and  believed  that the  timber                                                                    
industry was a "mere shadow  of itself." The timber industry                                                                    
had changed  and currently the  timber supply came  from the                                                                    
Sealaska  Corporation,  the  Tongass  National  Forest,  the                                                                    
State of Alaska, and other  private landowners. He discussed                                                                    
that  the groups  depended on  each other  to create  enough                                                                    
"critical  mass  to hang  on,"  and  used the  same  logging                                                                    
contractors,  fuel  suppliers,  tug  operators,  and  entire                                                                    
infrastructure to support Southeast Alaska.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Wolfe  relayed  that  timber  sales  from  state  lands                                                                    
designated as  state forest  under the  bill, would  help to                                                                    
support  existing domestic  manufacture and  potential round                                                                    
log export.  Both markets were  important; round  log export                                                                    
could potentially  provide higher  revenues that  would make                                                                    
timber  sales  economic  and wood  designated  for  the  few                                                                    
remaining  domestic  sawmills   helped  their  survival.  He                                                                    
recapped  that  the  industry had  changed  and  that  those                                                                    
involved depended  on each other. He  disputed concerns that                                                                    
round  log  exportation  exported  jobs and  referred  to  a                                                                    
related McDowell Group report  that had been commissioned by                                                                    
Sealaska Corporation  (copy on  file). The report  had found                                                                    
that  round log  export and  domestic manufacturing  created                                                                    
the same number  of jobs on a per million  board foot basis.                                                                    
Jobs  related to  round  log export  came  from a  different                                                                    
source  and tended  to  be  in villages  that  did not  have                                                                    
sawmills,  which  made  the  employment  very  important  to                                                                    
communities such as  Kake, Hydaburg, and other.  In order to                                                                    
work,  individuals had  to move  to villages  with sawmills,                                                                    
such as  Craig and  Klawock. Domestic jobs  tended to  be on                                                                    
stevedoring,   sort-yard   manufacture,    and   other.   He                                                                    
reiterated  the   corporation's  support  for  HB   105.  He                                                                    
believed that the  reasons provided by Mr.  Rogers helped to                                                                    
explain why  the commitment of  a state forest  base allowed                                                                    
future  investment  and  provided  certainty  for  long-term                                                                    
planning related to forest management.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson wondered whether  it had become easier                                                                    
or  more  difficult  to  log  federal  grounds  for  use  in                                                                    
sawmills in Southeast.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Wolfe  replied  that  the   situation  in  the  Tongass                                                                    
National   Forest   was   not  good.   He   explained   that                                                                    
approximately 87  percent of  Southeast Alaska's  23 million                                                                    
acre land base did not  allow development and was designated                                                                    
as park,  roadless, or  wilderness lands.  Development could                                                                    
only  occur on  the  remaining area  provided that  resource                                                                    
protection  was   achieved,  including  the   Alaska  Forest                                                                    
Resources  and   Practices  Act,  Tongass   National  Forest                                                                    
management  plan,  the  Clean  Water  Act,  the  Bald  Eagle                                                                    
Protection Act,  and more. The  remaining 13 percent  of the                                                                    
Southeast acreage  supported the timber industry.  He opined                                                                    
that  people   in  Southeast  were   becoming  "conservation                                                                    
refugees."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:15:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  asked  whether the  no-logging  buffer                                                                    
zone  along stream  banks was  different  for private  lands                                                                    
than for public lands under  the Alaska Forest Resources and                                                                    
Practices Act. Mr. Wolfe replied in the affirmative.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara wondered  what the  buffer zone  was on                                                                    
private  lands. Mr.  Wolfe responded  that the  private land                                                                    
buffer zone  started with a  66 foot no-harvest  buffer, but                                                                    
when necessary the act allowed a more stringent standard.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  queried  whether  the  more  stringent                                                                    
standard came as  a result of negotiation  or a requirement.                                                                    
Mr.  Wolfe   answered  that   the  stringent   standard  was                                                                    
determined through negotiation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara wondered why  the corporation would ever                                                                    
agree  if the  state  proposed a  broader  buffer zone.  Mr.                                                                    
Wolfe explained  that the  Act allowed  the land  manager on                                                                    
the ground to make decisions  with the agencies. He detailed                                                                    
that a  wider zone may have  been a segment of  a negotiated                                                                    
process  that would  allow variation  harvest within  the 66                                                                    
foot buffer zone.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked whether  Sealaska would ever agree                                                                    
to  a request  from the  state that  would broaden  a buffer                                                                    
zone to protect a fish stream.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Wolfe replied  that he could not answer  the question in                                                                    
a  committee  hearing.  He described  that  in  relation  to                                                                    
stream protection  the Act allowed  decisions to be  made in                                                                    
the field with  professionals on the ground,  which was more                                                                    
desirable than  a cookie cutter  approach that  prescribed a                                                                    
minimum  buffer  zone.  He  opined  that  whoever  had  told                                                                    
Representative  Gara that  100 foot  buffers tended  to blow                                                                    
down was incorrect. Sealaska had  worked in conjunction with                                                                    
federal and  state agencies and  had approximately  20 years                                                                    
of  data based  on repeat  observations of  the same  stream                                                                    
that verified the effectiveness  of the Act buffer standards                                                                    
related to fish habitat protection.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  remarked  that there  was  established                                                                    
peer  reviewed literature  that indicated  the tendency  for                                                                    
small  buffer-zones to  blow  down in  high  wind areas.  He                                                                    
believed that the shade provided  by strong buffer-zones was                                                                    
important  for  fry,  smolt,  and   adult  fish.  Mr.  Wolfe                                                                    
responded  that  they  would respectfully  disagree  on  the                                                                    
point.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thomas  had been involved as  a village corporation                                                                    
president and  explained that compensation was  not received                                                                    
for the loss of timber on  any private lands that were given                                                                    
to  the state.  He  did  not think  that  many people  would                                                                    
devote  66  feet of  their  land  along  a lake,  river,  or                                                                    
stream.  Selective  cutting  of  trees was  allowed  with  a                                                                    
forest  manager or  forester and  large trees  in danger  of                                                                    
blowing down could be worth $60,000.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:21:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHELLY  WRIGHT,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  SOUTHEAST  CONFERENCE,                                                                    
spoke in  support of  HB 105. She  quoted a  proclamation by                                                                    
President Roosevelt:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     And now, first and foremost  you can never forget for a                                                                    
     moment what  is the object  of our forest  policy. That                                                                    
     is  not  to  preserve  the  forests  because  they  are                                                                    
     beautiful, though  that is good in  itself, not because                                                                    
     they  are  refuges  for  the   wild  creatures  of  the                                                                    
     wilderness, though that  too is good in  of itself; but                                                                    
     the primary  object of our  forest policy, as  the land                                                                    
     policy of  the United  States, is making  of prosperous                                                                    
     homes. It  is part  of the  traditional policy  of home                                                                    
     making in our country.  Every other consideration comes                                                                    
     as  secondary. You  yourselves have  got  to keep  this                                                                    
     practical object before your  minds; to remember that a                                                                    
     forest  which   contributes  nothing  to   the  wealth,                                                                    
     progress or safety of the  country is of no interest to                                                                    
     the government and should be  of little interest to the                                                                    
     forester.  Your  attention  must  be  directed  to  the                                                                    
     preservation of the forests, not  an end in itself, but                                                                    
     as a means of preserving  and increasing the prosperity                                                                    
     of the nation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wright read from her personal testimony:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The communities  in Southeast Alaska are  struggling to                                                                    
     survive. Part of the struggle  is a lack of jobs. There                                                                    
     used  to  be  a  timber industry  in  our  region  that                                                                    
     supported  our  communities...people had  wage  earning                                                                    
     jobs  and   financial  support  for  our   schools  and                                                                    
     infrastructure. We  depended on  this for  security and                                                                    
     for  our future.  Now our  industry is  almost gone...I                                                                    
     have been  told the timber  industry is a thing  of the                                                                    
     past...but  recently I  read an  article in  the Juneau                                                                    
     Empire    that    gave    me   indications    to    the                                                                    
     contrary...Seems the State  of Alaska's retirement fund                                                                    
     officials  are   looking  at  investing  in   a  timber                                                                    
     industry  in the  lower 48...to  make the  Alaska State                                                                    
     retirement  fund  more  secure they  are  investing  in                                                                    
     Timber  in the  Southeastern states  from Texas  to the                                                                    
     Carolinas...while  we sit  on 17  million acres  of the                                                                    
     Tongass National  Forest. That tells me  we are missing                                                                    
     the mark here in our  region. This state forest will be                                                                    
     a small way to stabilize  our investments in the future                                                                    
     of  our   communities.  Allowing  the  State   to  have                                                                    
     designated  lands to  manage  for  timber harvest  will                                                                    
     give  our  local  mills  a  little  more  security  and                                                                    
     therefore maybe be able to  employ a few more folks. We                                                                    
     are down  to one medium  sized mill on Prince  of Wales                                                                    
     Island and  9 or  10 mom and  pop mills  throughout the                                                                    
     region  that  rely  on  the bigger  mills  to  stay  in                                                                    
     business. We  are encouraged by the  progress the state                                                                    
     department  of  forestry  has made  with  its  industry                                                                    
     development  and with  the partnership  they have  with                                                                    
     the  Federal  Government.  However  these  efforts  are                                                                    
     almost unfortunately  too little too  late...our region                                                                    
     is  in   emergency  mode  now.  We   need  this  forest                                                                    
     designation  in order  to survive.  The existence  of a                                                                    
     timber   industry  in   Southeast  Alaska   depends  on                                                                    
     immediate action  to provide  a supply  of economically                                                                    
     viable sales. There has been  a concerted effort by the                                                                    
     State working  with the Forest  Service to  improve the                                                                    
     quantity  and  quality  of the  Forest  Service  timber                                                                    
     sales. This  effort continues but  has not  resulted in                                                                    
     the improvement  needed. There are 17  million acres in                                                                    
     the  Tongass  National  Forest…this  bill  will  secure                                                                    
     48,472  acres  for  timber harvest  management  by  the                                                                    
     Division of Forestry.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:25:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wright continued with her personal testimony:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     It is  a very small amount  of land in the  big picture                                                                    
     but  it  could  go  a   long  way  in  maintaining  the                                                                    
     stability  of  our people  in  Southeast  Alaska. As  a                                                                    
     representative of the  logging communities in Southeast                                                                    
     Alaska  I urge  you  to support  the  expansion of  the                                                                    
     Alaska State Forest and support  the passage of HB 105.                                                                    
     This designation will enable  the Department of Natural                                                                    
     Resources  Division of  Forestry to  sustainably manage                                                                    
     the  timber, fisheries,  wildlife, waters,  recreation,                                                                    
     and other  multiple benefits  that will  strengthen the                                                                    
     local  economy, provide  jobs, and  improve quality  of                                                                    
     life of  all Southeast  Alaska communities. And  I also                                                                    
     encourage  you...as representatives  for  the State  of                                                                    
     Alaska and individually...to continue  to look for ways                                                                    
     to assist  the Federal  Government in  implementing the                                                                    
     Tongass  Land  Management  Plan and  open  the  Tongass                                                                    
     National Forest to responsible resource development.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOHN SANDOR, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke in  favor of HB 105. He had                                                                    
been  a regional  forester for  the forest  service and  had                                                                    
served  as the  commissioner  of the  Department of  Natural                                                                    
Resources. The  bill would add  23,181 acres of  State lands                                                                    
to the  25,291 acre state  forest that had  been established                                                                    
the prior  year. He believed  that the state forest  was not                                                                    
large but would significantly  help the economy in Southeast                                                                    
Alaska's communities.  He recalled  that the  timber harvest                                                                    
level had been  420,000 million board feet in  1984 and that                                                                    
currently it  was less  than 50,000  million board  feet. He                                                                    
opined   that  the   reinstatement  of   the  2001   Clinton                                                                    
Administration's Roadless  Rule had  the potential  to limit                                                                    
resource  development  projects   on  all  Tongass  National                                                                    
Forest  areas.  He  expounded  that  two-thirds  of  the  27                                                                    
renewable   energy  projects   that  were   currently  being                                                                    
reviewed by  the forest service would  be adversely impacted                                                                    
by the  federal Roadless Rule. The  specific requirements of                                                                    
the  Roadless Rule  precluded the  extension of  power lines                                                                    
over roadless areas  and roads that led  to renewable energy                                                                    
projects.  He  emphasized that  the  adverse  impact on  the                                                                    
communities  of Southeast  Alaska would  be significant.  He                                                                    
relayed that  the Alaska-Canada  Energy Coalition  had asked                                                                    
the governor and the attorney  general to bring legal action                                                                    
against  the Roadless  Rule. He  discussed  that the  Alaska                                                                    
State  Forest  would   meaningfully  benefit  the  remaining                                                                    
sawmills in  Southeast Alaska and would  provide communities                                                                    
with new opportunities to improve  their economy and quality                                                                    
of life.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:30:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thomas  thanked Mr. Sandor for  his contribution to                                                                    
the timber industry. He reflected  on how the loss of timber                                                                    
jobs  in  Southeast  Alaska had  resulted  in  a  population                                                                    
decline of 17,000  individuals in the past 10  years. He had                                                                    
seen  how  the  loss  of  industry  had  adversely  impacted                                                                    
population in villages.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Sandor  commented  that the  Department  of  Labor  and                                                                    
Workforce  Development  projected  that  the  population  in                                                                    
Southeast  Alaska  would  decline  14 percent  by  2034.  He                                                                    
believed that the bill would help to reduce the decline.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thomas CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-chair  Fairclough  MOVED  to   report  HB  105  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note. There  being NO OBJECTION  it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB  105 was  REPORTED  out  of committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and  with  one previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
note: FN1 (DNR).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:43:20 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 103 - 15 Department of Law Outline of FERC and RCA Oversight.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 103
HB 103 - 14 Department of Law Outline of RCA Regulation.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 103
HB 103(ENE) Sectional Analysis - sequential.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 103
HB 103(ENE) Sectional Analysis - by subject.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 103
HB 103 - 06 Summary of Fiscal Notes.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 103
HB 103 - 03 Governor's Transmittal Letter.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 103
CSHB104(EDC)Sectional ACPE 3 21 11.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 Sectional SB43EDC012811 ACPE(2).pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
SB 43
SB43 HB104 one pagerFIN2.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
SB 43
HB104 AWIBAPSResolution.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 APS Chenault Transmittal.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
2-24_HB120_Bill-NMTC.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 120
2-24_HB120_HearingInformationSheet.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 120
2-24_HB120_SectionalAnalysis.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 120
2-24_HB120_WhitePaper.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 120
CSHB 121 Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 121
HB 121 - Alaskan Shellfish Grower's Association - Support.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 121
HB 121 - CCED - Letter of support - SWAMC.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 121
HB 121 - Shellfish Production Stats - West Coast.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 121
HB 121 - Treasures of the Tidelands - WA.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 121
HB 121-CCED-Letter of Support-Taco Loco.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 121
NCSL Revolving Loan briefing paper.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 125 Supporting Documents-Related Statutes.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 125
HB125 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 125
HB125 Supporting Documents-ABC Sunset Review.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 125
HB125 Supporting Documents-LB&A Subcom Rcmndtn ABC Board.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 125
HB 150 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 150
HB 150 Summary of changes.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 150
HB125-Summary of Changes.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 125
03-14-11 CTS 15051 John Lucking.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 150 AARP letter of support.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 150
HB 150 Proposed amendment.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 150
HB 150 Sectional Analysis 3-25-11.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 150
HB104 Sectional EDC012811 ACPE(2) HB 104.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
CSHB 8 Utah Em. Dom. Article.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB8-NEWFNLAW-CIV-03-18-11.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 Supremacy-10th Amend.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 stroke of pen.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 sponsor.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 Sectional.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 Null & Void article.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 NYC v FCC Syllabus.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 -HR0009A.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 Executive Orders Info.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB 8 CFR Costs.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB10-NEWFNDOA-DMV-03-18-11.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 10 AML Letter.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 10 Explanation of Changes.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 10 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105 Value Added 3.8.2011.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105 Vicinity Map 12-20-2010.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
CSHB164(L&C) Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 164
CSHB164(L&C) Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 164
HB 105 Trends Populations Projections 2010-2034.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105 Transmittal.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105 SE Land Summary 2.22.2011.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105 Public Briefing 1.24.2011.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105 Parcel Maps 12.20.2010.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105 Land Ownership and Mill Status.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB141_Sectional_Analysis.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB_141_Sponsor_Statement.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 141 NOAA Alaska Fisheries report 4pgs..pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 127 West Law AK Statutes LAW part 1.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 127
HB 127 West Law AK Statutes LAW part 2.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 127
HB104 NEW FN CS(EDC)-EED-ACPE-03-23-11.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 78 CS sponsor statement 27-LS0147.T.doc HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 78
HB 078 27-LS0147 changes .T to .R.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 78
CS WORK DRAFT HB 78 27-LS0147.R.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 78
03r - HB 078 CS sectional summary 27-LS0147.R.doc HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 78
HB104 NEW FN(EDC)-DOR-TAX-03-29-11.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB104 NEW FN-DOR-TRS-03-21-11.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
HB 164 Support.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 164
HB 105 Sandor Wright Rogers Testimony.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105
HB 105 Wolfe Testimony.pdf HFIN 3/30/2011 1:30:00 PM
HB 105