Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

05/03/2021 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Consideration of Governor's Appointees:
Big Game Commercial Services-Ely Cyrus-Kiana
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= SB 104 GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 104(RES) Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
*+ SB 85 FOREST LAND USE PLANS; TIMBER SALES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+= HB 115 AQUATIC FARMING & HATCHERY SITE LEASES TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS HB 115(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= SB 121 PFAS USE & REMEDIATION; FIRE/WATER SAFETY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
           SB 85-FOREST LAND USE PLANS; TIMBER SALES                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   REVAK   reconvened   the   meeting   and   announced   the                                                              
consideration  of SENATE BILL  NO. 85 "An  Act relating  to forest                                                              
land  use  plans;  relating  to  forest  land  use  plan  appeals;                                                              
relating  to  negotiated  timber   sales;  and  providing  for  an                                                              
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He noted this was the first hearing.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:45:16 PM                                                                                                                    
BRENT  GOODRUM,   Deputy  Commissioner,   Department   of  Natural                                                              
Resources,  Anchorage, Alaska,  stated  SB 85  seeks to  modernize                                                              
the  processes  for  timber  sales and  the  decision  making  for                                                              
timber  sales,  which  will  help grow  jobs  in  Alaska's  timber                                                              
industry.  He opined  that SB  85  will result  in more  efficient                                                              
land-use   planning   and  more   predictable   timber   harvests.                                                              
Importantly, SB 85 has a zero fiscal note, he said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:46:42 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM  DABNEY,  Acting  State Forester  and  Director,  Division  of                                                              
Forestry,  Department  of Natural  Resources,  Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                              
Introduced  SB  85  with  a PowerPoint  titled  "Forest  Land  Use                                                              
Plans;  Negotiated Timber  Sales."  He reviewed  the  presentation                                                              
overview on slide 2, which read as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Presentation Overview                                                                                                      
        • Issue: SE Alaska timber industry is struggling to                                                                     
          survive.                                                                                                              
        • How can we provide and protect timber jobs?                                                                           
             • Step 1: Change negotiated timber sale                                                                            
               statutes to allow local industry to sell all                                                                     
               the timber it harvests, as export if needed.                                                                     
             • Step 2: Provide a stable and predictable                                                                         
               supply of timber to the industry, once a                                                                         
               timber sale has been purchased.                                                                                  
        • Sectional Analysis                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:47:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DABNEY charged  that the U.S. Forest Service  is not providing                                                              
the  supply  of  timber  needed   to  maintain  a  healthy  timber                                                              
industry  in Southeast  Alaska.  Since the  1990s,  the number  of                                                              
timber industry  jobs has  dropped from about  4,000 to  just 325.                                                              
Even those jobs  are now in jeopardy, he said.  Until young growth                                                              
timber  becomes  economically  harvestable   in  about  2030,  the                                                              
industry will struggle to survive.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He  directed attention  to the  inset map  on slide  4 that  shows                                                              
state timberland  sites in Southeast Alaska. He  said the Division                                                              
of Forestry  provides the  sustainable yield  volume of  timber on                                                              
state land in this  region, but this is just 46,952  acres or 0.04                                                              
percent of  the land  base in Southeast.  By comparison,  the 16.8                                                              
million acre Tongass  National Forest has about  5.5 million acres                                                              
of commercial timberland.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DABNEY offered  suggestions  on how  to  protect and  provide                                                              
timber industry jobs  in Southeast. Step 1 would be  to change the                                                              
negotiated  timber sale  statutes to  allow the  industry to  sell                                                              
all the timber  it harvests, including for export.  He pointed out                                                              
that the  current negotiated timber  sale statutes  prohibit local                                                              
timber  purchasers from  selling  logs for  export.  Most must  be                                                              
used for  local manufacture. He  said this is problematic  because                                                              
the timber supply  increasingly has more young growth  and much of                                                              
it  is not  marketable  in Alaska.  Additionally,  the demand  for                                                              
species such  as hemlock  is only  in overseas  markets or  in the                                                              
Pacific Northwest.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:50:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.   DABNEY  stated   the  Division   of   Forestry  offers   and                                                              
administers   both  competitive   and  negotiated  timber   sales.                                                              
Negotiated timbers  sales are important  because this  type allows                                                              
the division  to select  the timber  purchaser  based not  only on                                                              
price,  but  also on  the  number  of  local  jobs the  sale  will                                                              
provide.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:51:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked what  hemlock  is  used for  primarily  if                                                              
demand  for  that species  is  only  overseas  markets or  in  the                                                              
Pacific Northwest.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:51:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DABNEY answered,  hemlock has a higher moisture  content which                                                              
makes it  less desirable  for dimensional  lumber. Overseas  it is                                                              
used for smaller items such as molding.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. DABNEY  turned to slide 7  and explained that the  second step                                                              
to protect and provide  jobs in Alaska is to provide  a stable and                                                              
predictable  supply of  timber to  the industry,  once a sale  has                                                              
been sold. SB 85 provides this protection by reducing appeals.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He  described  the  steps,  listed  on  slide  8,  leading  up  to                                                              
awarding a  timber sale. He noted  that public and  agency comment                                                              
is gathered at  each step. Agency comments are  solicited from the                                                              
Department  of   Environmental  Conservation  (DEC),   the  Alaska                                                              
Department  of  Fish and  Game  (ADF&G),  and the  state  historic                                                              
preservation officer.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The first step is  to develop area and state forest  plans for the                                                              
region.  Second,  each area  office  identifies the  timber  sales                                                              
that are  scheduled over the next  five years. This is  done every                                                              
two years  and the  public has the  opportunity to provide  input.                                                              
The third  step is the best  interest finding (BIF).  The division                                                              
starts  with a preliminary  BIF  and works with  the agencies  and                                                              
public to come to  a final best interest finding.  Once the BIF is                                                              
adopted, the  timber can be sold.  Step four is to  develop forest                                                              
land use  plans (FLUP)  for timber  harvest units.  Not all  FLUPs                                                              
must be issued before  timber is offered for sale.  When the sales                                                              
are  large,  the  FLUPs  are  prepared  in  phases  as  access  is                                                              
created.  He highlighted  that  regional  planning, best  interest                                                              
finding, and forest land use plans are subject to public appeal.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:55:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DABNEY described  the difference  between  the best  interest                                                              
finding and the forest land use plan outlined on slide 9.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 Best Interest Finding            Forest Land Use Plan                                                                        
 Decision document:               Implements BIF on the ground                                                              
    • Should we sell              • How will the sold                                                                           
     this timber?                     timber be harvested?                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DABNEY  reviewed the  existing requirements  for timber  sales                                                              
on slide 10 that read as follows:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Agency and public input is gathered at each step of a                                                                      
     timber sale.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
         Timber sales must adhere to the Alaska Forest                                                                          
     Resources and Practices Act (FRPA, AS 41.17), which:                                                                       
        • protects fish habitat,                                                                                                
        • protects water quality, and                                                                                           
        • ensures prompt reforestation.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:56:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DABNEY  reviewed  slides 11  and 12  that lay  out what  SB 85                                                              
would  do to  help  provide a  stable  and predictable  supply  of                                                              
timber. The slides read as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
      Under current statute, a timber sale can be appealed                                                                      
     more than once, even after it has been purchased.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
       An appeal on a purchased sale can halt harvesting,                                                                       
     which can be disastrous to a logging company.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     SB 85 ensures that once the decision has been made to                                                                      
     sell the timber, and it has been purchased, no further                                                                     
     administrative appeals can occur.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
         Input would still be gathered from public and                                                                          
     agencies.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     SB 85 focuses appeals at the BIF stage, before timber                                                                      
     is sold.                                                                                                                   
        • Provides stable and predictable supply of timber                                                                      
          once sold.                                                                                                            
        • No interruptions of harvest at a subsequent FLUP                                                                      
          stage.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:57:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MICCICHE   referenced  the  statement  that   demand  for                                                              
species  such as hemlock  is from  an overseas  market that  makes                                                              
molding  or  trim.  He  shared  his  dream  of  Alaska  businesses                                                              
someday employing  Alaskans  to create Alaskan  goods. That  could                                                              
be making trim in  Alaska from Alaskan hemlock. He  asked how that                                                              
could  ever  be  a  reality if  a  forest  product  company  isn't                                                              
encouraged  to invest  in  the machinery  to  make something  like                                                              
trim  in  the  state.  The  finished  product  could  be  exported                                                              
instead of the raw timber.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. DABNEY  answered the department  would advocate doing  what it                                                              
can  to keep  the  industry alive  long  enough  to introduce  new                                                              
manufacturing   opportunities  for   hemlock  and  second   growth                                                              
timber.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:59:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE  asked if  new manufacturing opportunities  would                                                              
be less likely  after the removal  of the requirement to  use most                                                              
of the timber for local manufacturing.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. DABNEY  answered removing that  provision from the  statute is                                                              
not  intended   to  remove  the   option,  it  just   removes  the                                                              
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:00:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked if  reforestation  would  be part  of  the                                                              
presentation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DABNEY   answered  no.  The   Alaska  Forest   Resources  and                                                              
Practices  Act  (FRPA) requires  regeneration  following  harvest,                                                              
but that is not part of the bill.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   STEVENS  asked   who  does   the  work   and  pays   for                                                              
reforestation.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DABNEY   answered  the   land  manger   is  responsible   for                                                              
reforestation.  In  some  places  in  Alaska  reforestation  is  a                                                              
natural process and in others hand planting is required.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  stressed  the importance  of ensuring that  state                                                              
land is  back in production  as soon as  possible after  it's been                                                              
logged.  He said  he'd like  to  discuss that  further at  another                                                              
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL  said his  question was  about removing  the ability                                                              
for Alaskans  to appeal a forest  land use plan after  the initial                                                              
sale. He noted  the presentation indicates that  DNR will continue                                                              
to  listen to  comments from  the public  and agencies  throughout                                                              
the  process.  However,  if  the  public did  not  think  DNR  was                                                              
meeting its  obligations, there  would be no  process to  stop the                                                              
department once  a phase 5 or 6  forest land use plan  had created                                                              
access in a harvest  unit. He asked how to ensure  that public and                                                              
agency comment remains meaningful.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:03:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DABNEY answered  DNR gives  due  deference to  DEC and  ADF&G                                                              
comments that  are within their  purviews. DNR is bound  to comply                                                              
with the  requirements from those  agencies and it must  adhere to                                                              
the Alaska  Forest Practices Act  and the documents  that preceded                                                              
the FLUP.  This includes  the best interest  finding and  the area                                                              
plans, all of which were subject to comment and appeal.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
To the  question about public comment,  he said public  comment is                                                              
solicited  for the  forest  land  use plans  and  the Division  of                                                              
Forestry  has  an  excellent  track record  of  working  with  the                                                              
public  to make  necessary  changes  to the  harvest.  He cited  a                                                              
hypothetical example  of moving a  boundary in a harvest  unit due                                                              
to visual impacts or wind.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL   said  his  concern   is  that  if  there   is  no                                                              
opportunity  for  an  Alaskan  to   appeal  if  they  believe  the                                                              
department has  gotten it wrong,  the objections may be  louder in                                                              
the future.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:06:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR REVAK  opened public  testimony on SB  85; finding  none, he                                                              
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  REVAK  announced he  would  hold  SB  85 in  committee  for                                                              
future consideration.                                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 104 CS SRES v B.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 104 SRES Conceptual Amendment #1.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 104
SB 85 Briefing Paper 4.27.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 85
SB 85 Sectional Analysis Version A 2.17.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 85
SB 85 Fiscal Note DNR 2.10.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 85
SB 85 Sponsor Statement 2.11.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 85
SB 85 Support Letter Aurora Engergy Solutions 4.27.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 85
SB 85 Presentation Timber Sales 4.28.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 85
SB 121 Amendment G.1-Kiehl 4.27.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 Executive Summary - Michigan Report on PFAS Health Effect.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 EPA PFAS Information Sheet.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 ATSDR PFAS Information Sheet.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 Fiscal Notes 1-4 DEC and DOT-PF dated 4.23.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 Letter from Great Northwest, Inc 2021-04-26.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 PFAS Reference Sheet.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 Sectional Analysis ver. A.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 Sponsor Statement.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 Letters of Support-Organizations 5.2.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SB 121 Letters of Support-Personal 5.2.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121
SRES BGCS Gov Appointee-Ely Cyrus 5.3.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SRES BGCS Gov Appointee Ely Cyrus 5.3.21
SB 121 Letters of Support printed 6.2.21.pdf SRES 5/3/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 121