Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/05/1995 08:20 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         April 5, 1995                                         
                           8:20 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chairman                                     
 Representative Scott Ogan, Vice Chairman                                      
 Representative Alan Austerman                                                 
 Representative John Davies                                                    
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Joe Green, Co-Chairman                                         
 Representative Ramona Barnes                                                  
 Representative Eileen MacLean                                                 
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 Presentation on Mental Health Trust Lands                                     
                                                                               
 SJR 12:   Relating to the United States Department of Agriculture,            
           Forest Service; relating to the United States Department            
           of Agriculture, Forest Service, strategic plan known as             
           "Reinvention of the Forest Service"; and advocating that            
           implementation of the plan be suspended pending                     
           Congressional review and consultation with local                    
           governments.                                                        
                                                                               
           HEARD AND HELD                                                      
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 STEVE PLANCHON, Executive Director                                            
 Mental Health Trust Land Unit                                                 
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 3601 C Street, Ste. 880                                                       
 Anchorage, AK   99503                                                         
 Phone:  762-2690                                                              
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave overview of Mental Health Trust Land                
                      Unit                                                     
                                                                               
 JOE AMBROSE, Legislative Assistant                                            
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 State Capitol, Room 30                                                        
 Juneau, AK   99801                                                            
 Phone:  465-3873                                                              
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime Sponsor SJR 12                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                              
 BILL:  SJR 12                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: U.S. FOREST SERVICE PLAN                                         
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) TAYLOR,Pearce; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Williams              
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/25/95        81    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/25/95        81    (S)   RESOURCES                                         
 02/10/95              (S)   RES AT 03:30 PM BUTROVICH RM 205                  
 02/10/95              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/14/95       266    (S)   RES RPT  CS  4DP     SAME TITLE                   
 02/14/95       267    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DNR)                            
 02/20/95              (S)   RLS AT 11:25 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 02/20/95              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                       
 02/22/95       367    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  2/22/95                        
 02/22/95       368    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 02/22/95       368    (S)   RES  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                      
 02/22/95       368    (S)   AM NO  1     FAILED  Y8 N11 A1                    
 02/22/95       369    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                    
                             CONSENT                                           
 02/22/95       369    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSJR 12(RES)                
 02/22/95       370    (S)   PASSED Y18 N1 A1                                  
 02/22/95       370    (S)   HALFORD  NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION                
 02/23/95       386    (S)   RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP                      
 02/23/95       390    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 02/27/95       479    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/27/95       479    (H)   RESOURCES                                         
 03/03/95       575    (H)   WTR REFERRAL ADDED                                
 03/21/95              (H)   WTR AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 203                       
 03/22/95       850    (H)   WTR RPT  3DP 1NR                                  
 03/22/95       851    (H)   DP: MULDER, PHILLIPS BARNES                       
 03/22/95       851    (H)   NR: KUBINA                                        
 03/22/95       851    (H)   SENATE ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DNR)                     
                             2/14/95                                           
 03/22/95       851    (H)   REFERRED TO RESOURCES                             
 03/27/95       947    (H)   CROSS SPONSOR(S): WILLIAMS                        
 04/05/95              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-46, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 The House Resources Committee was called to order by Co-Chairman              
 Williams at 8:20 a.m.  Members present at the call to order were              
 Representatives Williams, Ogan, Austerman, and Kott.  Members                 
 absent were Representatives Green, Barnes, Davies, MacLean, and               
 Nicholia.                                                                     
                                                                               
 HRES - 04/05/95                                                               
 PRESENTATION ON MENTAL HEALTH TRUST LANDS                                   
                                                                               
 STEVE PLANCHON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MENTAL HEALTH TRUST LAND UNIT,            
 DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES (DNR), said he is not a                       
 representative of the Mental Health Trust Authority and therefore             
 will not be reporting on their activities.  He stated he would be             
 providing a report on the DNR activities as they relate to the                
 management and development of mental health trust lands.  He noted            
 he would also not be talking about lands being returned to general            
 state status as a result of the settlement.  He explained those               
 lands will be managed by the Division of Land.  He told committee             
 members the subjects he will review include the framework the unit            
 is working within, the guiding principles being used, the program             
 responsibilities, the operations, example activities, and revenues            
 and costs.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 070                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated the Mental Health Trust Authority has three               
 programmatic responsibilities including the mental health programs,           
 management of the $200 million trust fund through a contract with             
 the permanent fund, and the overseeing of 1 million acres of land             
 through a contract with the DNR.  He said the Mental Health Trust             
 Land Unit was set up specifically to manage trust lands.  He noted            
 that he reports directly to Commissioner Shively and works very               
 closely with the Mental Health Trust Authority.                               
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON explained the four guiding principles stated in law              
 include:  Long term benefit of the trust, including sustained                 
 yield; management for the benefit of the trust; management for                
 multiple use; and maintenance of the trust land base.  He said the            
 Mental Health Trust Land Unit added a few other guiding principles.           
 He stated the first guiding principle is positive market place                
 reputation.  The unit wants to turn the reputation of the mental              
 health trust lands from the worst place to do business, to the best           
 place to do business.  He noted the second guiding principle is a             
 dollar saved goes to the beneficiaries.  The unit wants to be cost            
 effective in all actions because when the unit does save money, the           
 money stays in the income account and goes to the beneficiaries.              
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated the third guiding principle is keeping trust              
 activities separate from general state land activities.  He said              
 the Mental Health Trust Lands Unit does not want to be guilty of              
 commingling activities and losing the pathway on the actions,                 
 decisions, and money.  The unit wants to be fully accountable to              
 the Mental Health Trust Authority.  He noted the department order             
 was signed a week ago making it official that the two activities              
 will be kept separate.  He said the next guiding principle is an              
 effective working relationship with the DNR.  He explained another            
 guiding principle is listen, learn, and improve.  He encouraged               
 everyone to listen closely to any comments about what the unit is             
 doing and if there are problems, report those problems to him.  He            
 noted the final guiding principle is do it correctly, not quickly.            
                                                                               
 Number 167                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON said the Mental Health Trust Land Unit has                       
 approximately 1 million acres in entitlement which resulted from              
 the settlement.  He stated the lands are spread throughout the                
 state and noted there are 4,700 parcels.  He explained the map                
 handed out to committee members (may be found in the House                    
 Resources Committee Room, Capitol Room 124, and after adjournment             
 of the second session of the Nineteenth Alaska State Legislature,             
 in the Legislative Reference Library) is a generalization of those            
 lands.  The colors on the map show whether or not the lands were              
 original trust land or substitute trust land.  The map also shows             
 land returned to general state land status.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 195                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated the Mental Health Trust Land Unit program                 
 responsibilities are the same as the DNR, a private corporation, or           
 an Alaska Native Corporation.  He said the unit covers a broad                
 range of responsibilities including oil and gas, minerals, timber,            
 recreational development, subdivisions, etc.  The unit also has the           
 typical administration responsibilities such as risk management,              
 finance, legal, etc.  He noted the unit only has four staff members           
 and that small staff cannot cover the bases.  The desire is to keep           
 the core staff small and rely on the expertise of the DNR.  He                
 pointed out where there is a gap between what the unit needs to do            
 and what can be done with existing resources, the gap will be                 
 filled with reimbursable services agreements (RSAs) with the DNR,             
 the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) or private                     
 contractors.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON told committee members in order for the Mental Health            
 Trust Land Unit to operate, by law the unit has to have a contract            
 with the Mental Health Trust Authority.  He stated the agreement              
 will come out of a work plan and approved budget, which the unit              
 will work with the Trust Authority to develop.  He noted the goal             
 is to have the contract in place by July 1, 1995.  He stressed that           
 contract will require ongoing consultation with the Trust                     
 Authority.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated the Mental Health Trust Land Unit has, in terms           
 of operations, a very important responsibility which is to develop            
 regulations to implement the trust settlement.  At this time, the             
 unit is hoping to have the regulations out within one year.  He               
 noted the unit will take its time putting out the regulations                 
 because the unit wants to use working groups of affected parties,             
 interested individuals, companies, agencies, etc., to ensure that             
 when the regulations are put on the table for consideration,                  
 everyone possible will be in agreement.                                       
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON said the unit is focusing on two key operating arenas.           
 The first is protecting the assets through land management.  The              
 second is development--generating revenue from the lands for the              
 long-term benefit of the trust.  He noted that means if the Mental            
 Health Trust Land Unit is going to have a piece of land forever, it           
 does not do something on that land today to maximize revenues,                
 meaning the unit cannot make money off the land 20 years from now.            
 He reiterated the unit wants to ensure that the actions taken today           
 are in the long-term interest of the trust.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 270                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated example activities the Mental Health Trust Land           
 Unit is involved in include trying to find ways to streamline the             
 process within the DNR so the management of trust lands is not                
 slower than what it typically is already within the DNR.  He noted            
 the DNR has a big job to do and does not have as many people as               
 needed to get the job done, so sometimes it takes awhile to get               
 permits processed, leases executed, etc.  He said if the unit wants           
 to change the marketplace's opinion from mental health lands being            
 a problem place to work, to being a good place to work, the unit              
 needs to ensure those things are processed quickly.  He pointed out           
 the administration of existing leases, contracts, rights-of-ways,             
 etc., is a big job.  He added where a lease or contract may not be            
 in the best interest of the trust, if there is a way to work with             
 the lessee or the party contracted with to improve that, the unit             
 is making an attempt to do that.                                              
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON said a couple of existing leases and contracts are               
 important.  For example, in Fairbanks, the Mental Health Trust                
 Authority owns the ore deposit at Fort Knox and the mill site                 
 associated with the Fort Knox development.  He stated the Fort Knox           
 development is extremely important to the trust and to the                    
 community of Fairbanks.  He noted at a recent public meeting, there           
 was not one negative comment about the mine operation.  He stressed           
 the importance of the unit administering the Fort Knox lease in a             
 good manner.  He added in the Cape Yakataga area, the Trust                   
 Authority owns the infrastructure necessary for the University of             
 Alaska to harvest approximately 17 million board feet of timber per           
 year.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 316                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated new opportunities being looked at, in terms of            
 operations, include an exercise he calls "loading the buckets."  He           
 said the unit is taking a look at its portfolio and determining               
 where the near-term opportunities are for mineral development,                
 timber development, residential development, tourism development,             
 etc., and trying to determine strategic plans where those can                 
 actually get off the ground and make money for the trust.  He                 
 stressed it is important that the Mental Health Trust Land Unit               
 focus on activities having a practical chance of success.  The unit           
 does not want to waste money by going down a road that is not going           
 to result in something happening.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON said other things the unit is considering is                     
 information management.  The unit wants to become experts on this             
 land because if the unit knows as much as possible, it will be able           
 to make faster and better decisions.  He stated the final aspect is           
 public relations.  He felt the unit needs to work closely with the            
 communities it is involved in, special interest groups, the general           
 public, and the Alaska Native Corporations to talk about joint                
 interests and ventures.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 350                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON told committee members in terms of revenues, if the              
 Mental Health Trust Land Unit portfolio was reviewed as it exists             
 today, it generates about $300,000 in annual revenue through                  
 existing contracts and leases.  The unit is hoping to increase that           
 revenue in the first year to $500,000 or $1 million.  In terms of             
 costs, for the fiscal year 1996 budget, the unit has a core staff             
 which costs approximately $300,000, $300,000 in RSAs with other               
 divisions and private contractors, if necessary, and $100,000                 
 identified in a contingency fund available in case there is an                
 opportunity to be addressed in a timely way.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stressed the Mental Health Trust Land Unit is open for           
 business.  The unit intends to have lean and effective operations             
 and work closely with the Mental Health Trust Authority to chart a            
 course to success.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked what the total assets are in the              
 Mental Health Trust portfolio.                                                
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON replied there are different opinions about that figure           
 but he estimated the figure is approximately $1 billion.                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated he was glad to hear the Mental Health              
 Trust Land Unit plans to be the best place to do business rather              
 than the worst place.  He said his district has suffered a lot                
 because of the Mental Health suit and losing the Wishbone Hill Coal           
 Mine project.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON said that project is the reason the Mental Health                
 Trust Land Unit took up the motto.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted the people involved with the project felt           
 they jumped through all the hoops and did everything required yet             
 they were not allowed to develop the project.  He felt Alaska has             
 sent a bad signal to the international business community and even            
 though some of the problems were beyond anyone's control,                     
 perceptions count for a lot.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated the unit is attempting to go out and visit with           
 as many groups that have an interest in mental health land as                 
 possible to bring the message forth that things are now different.            
 He gave several examples.                                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL WILLIAMS noted for the record that Representative            
 Davies had joined the committee at 8:25 a.m.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 438                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES noted that one of the handouts outlines            
 program responsibilities.  He thought the list of responsibilities            
 looked large for only four staff members.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated the fiscal year 1996 budget for the Mental                
 Health Trust Land Unit includes the core operations budget of                 
 approximately $300,000 which is the four staff.  The unit also has            
 about $300,000 for contracts to do RSAs with other DNR employees              
 and divisions, the ADF&G, and private contractors when necessary.             
 He said an example would be in mineral development.  The unit is              
 working closely with the Division of Mining, where the Mental                 
 Health Trust Land Unit is responsible for ensuring the job is done            
 correctly but because that activity is not a daily activity for               
 staff, it does not make sense to have a full-time staff member do             
 it.  Therefore, the unit works with the divisions within the DNR              
 that have that expertise.  If the expertise is not there, the unit            
 will find it somewhere else.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON said the Mental Health Trust Land Unit is currently              
 looking at a timber sale at Cape Yakataga in fiscal year 1997 and             
 to do that, the unit will work with the Division of Forestry for a            
 layout of the timber sale.  However, if the Division of Forestry              
 cannot provide everything needed, the unit will look to the private           
 sector to do what is needed in order to generate the dollars in a             
 timely fashion.                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked for more examples of what the Mental              
 Health Trust Land Unit will be doing in regard to public relations.           
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON replied the small staff brainstormed on that exact               
 question.  He said it was determined the first thing to do was to             
 get a multiplier.  The multiplier chosen was to go out and talk to            
 a select group of individuals in associations who have an interest            
 in the lands and who have a broader constituency.  He stated the              
 unit also determined there was a need for a real public relations             
 program because there is a problem with perception.  He noted the             
 University of Alaska has a public relations curriculum and one of             
 the seniors has taken the Mental Health Trust Land Unit on as a               
 project pro bono.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 518                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if the unit has any specific targets on           
 how to get to the various municipal governments.                              
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON gave examples of various people the unit has talked              
 to.  He said in order to manage for the long-term benefit of the              
 trust, there is a need to do things in a way which will make the              
 communities feel good about the unit.  He noted the first door to             
 go through is the municipal organizations.                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if it will be difficult for the unit to            
 switch gears in the middle of a project, if needed, and go to a               
 private contractor or get assistance from another division.                   
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON stated when the Mental Health Trust Land Unit looks at           
 a project, they take a private sector view at it and work back from           
 the desired end result.  He said the unit does not want to get                
 caught in a situation where a lot of time and money is put into a             
 person and then that person cannot get the job done.  Those                   
 difficult questions need to be asked early in the process and a               
 decision must be made at the beginning as to whether or not a                 
 private contractor will be needed.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. PLANCHON noted it will be somewhat difficult in the beginning             
 because the unit has to operate under Title 38 until new                      
 regulations are developed and implemented.  He said the Mental                
 Health Trust Land Unit has to be consistent with Title 38 unless it           
 is inconsistent with the Mental Health Enabling Act.  He stated the           
 unit's approach to avoid a situation of not being able to finish a            
 project, is to look at projects where it will not be a handicap,              
 which is usually a place where there is no competition.  If there             
 is no competition, the unit can take longer for the public notice             
 process.  If there is competition, the competition will win since             
 the unit has to go to public notice and best interest findings and            
 the competition does not.                                                     
                                                                               
 HRES - 04/05/95                                                               
 SJR 12 - U.S. FOREST SERVICE PLAN                                           
                                                                               
 Number 580                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOE AMBROSE, LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT, SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, PRIME               
 SPONSOR, stated SJR 12 is not in opposition to the Reinvention of             
 the U.S. Forest Service Plan.  SJR 12 asks for a suspension and               
 review of that plan.  He said early in December, the U.S. Forest              
 Service (USFS) announced its Reinvention Plan.  He told committee             
 members a copy of that half-inch thick document is on file in                 
 Representative Taylor's office and noted the devil is in the                  
 detail.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE explained that the plan would centralize decision                 
 making in Washington, D.C.  He said such a policy flies in the face           
 of President Clinton's Executive Order No. 12875, which calls for             
 enhancing intergovernmental partnerships.  The plan also puts lie             
 to Vice President Gore's "Report on Reinventing Government," with             
 its stated goals of "empowering state and local governments" and              
 "decentralizing decision-making power."  He stated under                      
 reinvention, regional forest supervisors and other front line                 
 leaders, who now have decision making authority, would be replaced            
 with four people leadership teams answerable only to the Chief of             
 the Forest Service and the Secretary of Agriculture.  He noted gone           
 would be any pretense of involving local and state governments in             
 the USFS decisions.  The plan goes so far as to consolidate the               
 regional offices now located in Alaska and Montana to a central               
 office in Oregon.                                                             
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE told committee members that SJR 12 calls for a                    
 suspension of the plan and true partnership meetings with states,             
 communities, and tribal governments.  He noted that a committee               
 substitute has been suggested which would add the Alaska Native               
 Claims Settlement Act corporations to the list.  He said the goal             
 would be the development of a new plan--one that would involve the            
 affected entities up-front.  He stressed the reinvention scheme               
 goes far beyond the relocation of regional offices.  If left to               
 stand, the plan will mean a new era of USFS policy dictated from on           
 high, without consulting the very people most impacted by those               
 policies.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE noted that in committee members folders, there is a               
 memo from John Sandor, the former Regional Forester and former                
 commissioner, which was developed by Mr. Sandor in conjunction with           
 a group of resource professionals from around the country,                    
 including Mike Barton, who is also a Regional Forester.  He                   
 stressed these professionals are very concerned about the direction           
 the reinvention plan takes the USFS in the future and the lack of             
 involvement with the entities most impacted by future decisions.              
                                                                               
 Number 620                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES noted the memo referred to was not very                 
 readable.  He wondered if the original was available.                         
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said the original is on gray paper and does not                   
 duplicate very well.                                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated he supports the basic intent of SJR 12           
 but expressed concern about page 2, lines 8-10.  He wondered how              
 moving the Alaska Region Forest Service office is an example of               
 flawed science.                                                               
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE requested committee members to refer to the memo just             
 mentioned.  He said the second paragraph says, "One striking                  
 example of the flawed scientific basis for and definition of                  
 ecosystems and ecological boundaries is illustrated in the proposed           
 realignment of Forest Service Regional Office boundaries.  The                
 strategic plan states that regional boundaries will be realigned to           
 more closely follow natural ecological boundaries.  Incredibly, the           
 strategic plan announces the timetable for incorporating Alaska's             
 diverse and unique forest ecosystems under the direction of a                 
 Forest Service leadership team headquartered in Portland, Oregon.             
 None of Alaska's forest ecosystems are the same as those                      
 represented in the Pacific Northwest.  As a matter of fact, many of           
 Alaska's boreal forests are more closely related to the ecosystems            
 of the Northern Lake states and adjacent Canadian provinces."  He             
 added the stated goals and the plan to carry them out does not make           
 any sense.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES felt the premise for the paragraph just read            
 is somewhat strange.  He said it appears the premise of the USFS is           
 to align their administrative boundaries with ecological boundaries           
 which he thought was odd.  He noted usually administrative                    
 boundaries are aligned more closely with political boundaries for             
 operational reasons.  He stated if that is an example of the                  
 science involved, it is flawed science.  He thought good science              
 could be done on ecosystems in Southeast Alaska from New York                 
 State.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 665                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES referring to page 3, lines 7-8, of SJR 12,              
 stated he does not understand the intent.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said Senator Taylor's intent with this language was               
 that the compensation level, cost of living, etc., for USFS                   
 employees be more reflective of the productivity of the USFS.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if that means Senator Taylor does not             
 want the USFS employees to be paid at all.                                    
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE replied no.                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stressed he really does not understand the              
 intent of this language.                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE responded it is Senator Taylor's belief that one of the           
 primary functions of the USFS in its management of the national               
 forests is timber production.  Senator Taylor feels the USFS                  
 employee compensation should be reflective of their productivity              
 level.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES clarified if the USFS employees are not                 
 producing timber, they should not be compensated.                             
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE replied it is Senator Taylor's position that if the               
 USFS is not producing timber, they should probably be a part of the           
 National Park Service.                                                        
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-46, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stressed he cannot support that kind of                 
 statement.  He felt the Resolves in resolutions need to be directed           
 at issues the legislature can attempt to influence.  He seriously             
 doubted the legislature would be able to impact the federal                   
 compensation policies in a manner such as SJR 12.                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES made a MOTION to AMEND SJR 12, on page 3,               
 lines 7-8, delete the entire FURTHER RESOLVED.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN OBJECTED.                                                 
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS wondered how this Resolve pertains to the real           
 intent of the resolution.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE stated a similar motion for amending SJR 12 was made              
 when the resolution was debated in the Senate.  He said Senator               
 Taylor felt this Further Resolved was in keeping with the general             
 tone of the entire resolution in regard to asking that the entire             
 process be reassessed.  He noted this language was the subject of             
 a debate in Sitka.  The Sitka Borough Assembly passed a resolution            
 supporting SJR 12 and were called to question by members of the               
 community.  They revisited the issue including a briefing by USFS             
 on ecosystem management, and did not withdraw their support for SJR
 12.                                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said the reason he moved the amendment was              
 because he supports the basic notion in SJR 12, but does not feel             
 it furthers the legislature's position in asking for things to                
 happen by putting things in resolutions which can be taken as                 
 insulting.  He stated unless the language can be removed, he cannot           
 support the resolution.  If the language is removed, he would                 
 support SJR 12.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 082                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS agreed with Senator Taylor's position on this            
 Further Resolved.  He noted he comes from an area which is                    
 basically run by the USFS.  He stressed the USFS is not making                
 enough timber available to keep the mills working and described the           
 situation in the Ketchikan area.  He noted the USFS is making                 
 timber available but it is not possible to get the timber because             
 of the weather.  He felt it was important to keep this Further                
 Resolved in SJR 12, as it will send a strong message.  He did not             
 feel it was embarrassing but felt shutting down an entire industry            
 is embarrassing.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE stated this is one of the issues Senator Murkowski                
 raised with the new Secretary of Agriculture and he has made a                
 commitment to reassess the USFS role.  He noted the Senate did not            
 feel the language in SJR 12 was too strong and added that the                 
 Senator who proposed the same amendment as Representative Davies,             
 ended up voting for the resolution.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 145                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES felt what happens in the Senate is irrelevant           
 to this committee.  He stated the issue is whether or not timber is           
 available for the mills in Southeast Alaska.  He said he did not              
 believe that Senator Murkowski discussed USFS employee compensation           
 with the Secretary.  He thought it would be more appropriate for              
 this Further Resolved to consider the Secretary's compensation or             
 the Regional Administrator's compensation rather than USFS                    
 employees in general, because USFS employees are carrying out                 
 policies set by their supervisors.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES pointed out there are USFS employees just as            
 frustrated as others about the rate at which timber is being made             
 available.  However, those employees are required to work at the              
 direction of their supervisors and their supervisors are required,            
 by law, to operate under the laws of the U.S.  He said if there is            
 a desire to change how that fundamentally is done, then there is a            
 need to change those laws.  He said it is not fair to single out              
 one class of federal employees and reduce their pay because of a              
 frustration with the law they are working under.                              
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked for a roll call vote on the amendment.             
 Voting in favor of the amendment was Representative Davies.  Voting           
 against the amendment were Representatives Austerman, Kott, Ogan,             
 and Williams.  The MOTION FAILED 4-1.                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN made a MOTION to MOVE CSSJR 12(RES) with                  
 attached fiscal note out of committee with individual                         
 recommendations.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES OBJECTED.                                               
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked for a roll call vote.  Voting against              
 the motion was Representative Davies.  Voting in favor of the                 
 amendment were Representatives Kott, Ogan...                                  
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced SJR 12 would be held until a later             
 date.                                                                         
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the House Resources            
 Committee, Co-Chairman Williams adjourned the meeting at 9:15 a.m.            
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects