Legislature(1997 - 1998)

01/29/1998 01:25 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
         HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                    
                  January 29, 1998                                             
                     1:25 p.m.                                                 
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman                                        
Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                       
Representative Fred Dyson                                                      
Representative Joe Green                                                       
Representative William K. (Bill) Williams                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman                                         
Representative Ramona Barnes                                                   
Representative Irene Nicholia                                                  
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
* HOUSE BILL NO. 296                                                           
"An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska Minerals                  
     - MOVED HB 296 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
* HOUSE BILL NO. 285                                                           
"An Act relating to suspension or revocation of commercial fishing             
permits and privileges."                                                       
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
Relating to opposition to a moratorium on the building of roads in             
the roadless areas of national forests.                                        
     - MOVED CSSSHJR 49(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
(* First public hearing)                                                       
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                
BILL: HB 296                                                                   
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) BRICE, Therriault, Davies                       
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
01/12/98      2022     (H)  PREFILE RELEASED 1/2/98                            


01/12/98 2022 (H) RESOURCES




01/20/98 2088 (H) RESOURCES


01/26/98 2141 (H) COSPONSOR(S): HUDSON

01/29/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 426 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3466 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 296. MARY NORDALE, Chairman Alaska's Miners Association - Fairbanks Branch 100 Cushman Street Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-1666 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 296. JULES TILESTON, Director Division of Mining and Water Management Department of Natural Resources 3601 C Street, Suite 800 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5935 Telephone: (907) 269-8600 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 296. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN M. IVAN Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 418 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 285. BRUCE TWOMLEY, Chairman Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Department of Fish and Game 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109 Juneau, Alaska 99801-8079 Telephone: (907) 789-6160 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection Department of Public Safety 5700 East Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225 Telephone: (907) 269-5509 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. ED CRANE, President Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank P.O. Box 92070 Anchorage, Alaska 99509 Telephone: (907) 276-2007 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. MIKE FRICERRO, Fisherman P.O. Box 2187 Kodiak, Alaska 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-5942 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. MARK E. ANGASON, Commercial Fisherman P.O. Box 532 King Salmon, Alaska 99613 Telephone: (907) 246-7483 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 285. JOE McGILL, President Bristol Bay Herring Marketing Cooperative P.O. Box 2452 Dillingham, Alaska 99576 Telephone: (907) 842-2452 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HB 285. JERRY McCUNE, Representative United Fishermen of Alaska; President, Cordova District Fishermen United P.O. Box 372 Cordova, Alaska 99574 Telephone: (907) 424-7488 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 285. BUCK LINDEKUGEL, Conservation Director Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 419 6th Street, Suite 328 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-6942 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HJR 49. RACHAEL MORELAND, Representative Alaska Forest Association, Inc. 111 Stedman Street, Suite 200 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901-6599 Telephone: (907) 225-6114 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 49. DICK COOSE, Representative Concerned Alaskans for Resources and Environment P.O. Box 9266 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 247-9266 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 49. MIKE WILLIAMS, Vice President Chugach Alaska Corporation 540 East 34th Street Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: (907) 563-8866 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HJR 49. SCOTT ANAYA, Alaskan Sportsman 8120 Lakonia Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99516 Telephone: (907) 348-0436 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HJR 49. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 98-3, SIDE A Number 0001 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:25 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Hudson, Masek, Dyson, Green and Williams. Representative Joule arrived at 1:30 p.m. HB 296 - EXTEND ALASKA MINERALS COMMISSION CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the first order of business was House Bill No. 296, "An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska Minerals Commission." Number 0187 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 296, explained the bill is a simple extension of the sunset date for the Alaska Minerals Commission. In 1997, the mineral industry invested close to $1.1 billion in extraction, exploration and further development in the state. The mineral resources are the state's wealth. The Alaska Minerals Commission makes recommendations to the legislature and Governor concerning problems and issues. The report is commonly used as a guide when introducing legislation. Currently, he noted there is a 23 percent increase in investment in the minerals industry in the state. The bill calls for a five year sunset which is normal for a commission of this magnitude. Number 0347 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked Representative Brice whether the Alaska Minerals Commission acts in any other manner, other than data dispersement and assemblage. He asked whether the commission has a permitting or regulatory function and whether the commission advocates for mineral development where there are oppressive type rules and regulations. Number 0383 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE replied the Alaska Minerals Commission does not participate in the regulatory process. It does advocate for legislative changes in terms of onerous rules that the industry could face, however. For instance, the commission recommended that the state freeze a permit when a project was placed under injunction by a court, a bill introduced by Representative Brice last year. It also advocates for programs such as airborne geophysical mapping that has led to a boom in exploration in the Interior of the state. Number 0535 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK commended the sponsor for the bill. It is pretty straight forward and easy to read. Number 0584 MARY NORDALE, Chairman, Alaska's Miners Association - Fairbanks Branch (AMA), testified via teleconference in Fairbanks. She expressed her deep appreciation to Representative Brice, Therriault and Davies for introducing HB 296. The Alaska Minerals Commission is a very important body because it provides (indis.) branch between government and the industry. The mining community supports and respects the commission. It has been very helpful to the general public and to the government of Alaska. Number 0662 JULES TILESTON, Director, Division of Mining and Water Management, Department of Natural Resources, testified via teleconference in Anchorage. The division supports HB 296. Simply, the commission does good work. It identifies mining related issues that promotes responsible mining, encourages streamlining, and enhances the Governor's theme - open for business. Number 0745 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK made a motion to move HB 296, version 0- LS1176\A, from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached zero fiscal note. There being no objection, HB 296 moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. HB 285 - POINT SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL FISH VIOLATIO CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 285, "An Act relating to suspension or revocation of commercial fishing permits and privileges." Number 0795 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN M. IVAN, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 285, explained there have been violations from the Bristol Bay side of the commercial fishery causing concerns and recommendations to address the problem. He read the following sponsor statement into the record: "This bill was introduced to address concerns of illegal fishing activities committed by commercial fishers throughout my district and other commercial fishing communities throughout Alaska. It has been said that some of these illegal activities become a philosophy among some fishers as the 'cost of doing business' should they be convicted for such activities. "The intent of this legislation before you is to establish a point system against a commercial fishing permit for a conviction of a violation of commercial fishing laws found under AS 16.05.723. Should 12 or more points be assessed against a permit during any consecutive 48 month period as a result of convictions of violations, the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission would then be given the authority to suspend the permit. The same is true for an accumulation of 16 or more points during any consecutive 60 month period. The commission would be able to revoke an entry or interim use permit if 18 or more points are accumulated during any consecutive 72 month period. And to encourage lawful fishing, two points will be deducted from the total points assessed against a permit if the permit holder is not convicted of a violation of commercial fishing laws during a 12 month period after the date of the last violation. "The bill outlines the suspension and revocation process, the notice and appeal process and the notification to the commission by the Department of Public Safety and the Court System. "Any points accumulated for commercial fishing violations will be assessed against the permit not the permit holder. Should the permit holder decide to transfer or sell the permit, all the points accumulated by the permit holder will stay with the permit thus providing a disincentive for a permit holder to transfer a permit should it be subject to suspension or revocation." Number 1006 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN explained, after introducing the legislation last spring, the bill was changed to place points against the person rather than the permit to alleviate problems during the revocation process. This was the result of discussions between Ivan's staff, the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB), the Division of Investments, and the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. The main intent remains the same, however. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN further explained the original bill was drafted to aggressively arrive at a violation point system and fine to eliminate illegal fishing. This was not fair to commercial fishers who try to make the most out of fishing activities, lawfully. In addition, concerns in regard to default loans and lending institutions to encourage lawful fishing will be addressed later by CFAB. Representative Ivan further stated it is important to keep the fishing permits in the state as much as possible and to minimize the opportunity for outsiders to buy permits. It is also important to make opportunities equal for commercial fishing while trying to stop illegal fishing. There is a statute that addresses the issue but the fines are not enough to keep legal fishing lucrative. Number 1249 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Representative Ivan whether the increase in fines would cover the additional cost of enforcement. He also asked how enforcement would be changed for violators. He supported the bill, but was concerned about the increase in litigation that would result. Number 1300 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN replied representatives from the enforcement side were here to respond to those types of questions. Number 1309 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the bill would not pass out of committee today. The intention is to try to understand the elements of the bill. The sponsor will probably come back with a substitute to reflect the concern of applying the violation to the person as opposed to the permit. Number 1398 BRUCE TWOMLEY, Chairman, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, Department of Fish and Game, stated the commission is intrigued by HB 285 because the idea emanated from local Bristol Bay fishermen. The idea is consistent with limited entry policies. The commission administers fishing privileges while the state reserves the right to revoke the privileges when conservation laws are not observed. There might be some cost, as Representative Green noted, for administering the bill. The commission is trying to get some definite information from the court system. It will present a fiscal note upon reviewing the bill as it evolves into a committee substitute. Number 1457 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON asked Mr. Twomley what would happen if a permit was revoked and there is an outstanding balance on the loan. Number 1469 MR. TWOMLEY replied the current bill addresses the issue. There would be an opportunity for the lending institutions to be protected if there was a foreclosure. Number 1484 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON asked Mr. Twomley how the commission would handle the subterfuge of transferring a permit to a deck hand when it reached 10 points, for example. Number 1510 MR. TWOMLEY replied the commission is prepared to handle that type of subterfuge. The question, however, frames the basic issue about the bill - whether the points should be assessed against the individual or permit. If the points are assessed against the individual, it would address the subterfuge problem and make it easier for the commission to administer. It would be easier to track an individual rather than a permit. Number 1557 JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, Department of Public Safety, stated HB 285 came from a request of Bristol Bay fishermen to put the chronic offender out of business. The division strongly supports the bill because it would aid and assist the division. The division's original intent was to assess points against the permit thereby making it less valuable and setting a higher value on the cost of doing business. However, after discussions with Representative Ivan and staff members, the division would be willing to work out the best solution. Number 1611 COLONEL GLASS further stated, in reference to Representative Green's question, the division does not feel that the bill would impact them fiscally. There would be an impact on the court system, however, because there would be more litigation. Number 1642 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE asked Colonel Glass whether there has been any thought given to penalizing both the permit and the individual. Number 1678 COLONEL GLASS replied he has not given the idea any thought, nor has the idea been a part of any discussions today. Number 1689 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated for the record he is a Bristol Bay permit holder and has been busted twice in the last twenty-five years. He never knew, however, whether he was guilty or not. REPRESENTATIVE DYSON further stated he supports strong enforcement and all the necessary deterrents to keep from fishing "over the line" deliberately. "What has disturbed me is it didn't seem to me in the past that the court fines were significantly different for a group of boats that were fishing middle-bluff in the middle of the night with no lights, and those who had an equipment failure or got gear in the prop and drifted over the line as they were desperately trying to fix it." The process has not been able to differentiate between conspirators and bad seamanship or equipment failure. He asked Colonel Glass whether there is a way to work on that end of the problem. Number 1753 COLONEL GLASS replied the division has been attempting to increase its efficiency and effectiveness in regards to the "lines" in Bristol Bay. The division is constantly and consistently changing its approach to business at the request of the fishers that participate there. "We're not perfect, but we're trying to respond to what their needs are to try to resolve that problem." In response to the courts, the judges have full authority to hear the stories and make decisions justly. The division just presents the cases to the judges. Discussions have been held with magistrates in the Bristol Bay area and headway has been made. Number 1794 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated the last time that he got busted he did not know about it until he returned to Anchorage where a state trooper stopped him to tell him a picture had been taken of him fishing over the line. There was no way he could recapture what went on that day in terms of the tide. He asked Colonel Glass whether the division would be doing those types of things in the future. Number 1822 COLONEL GLASS replied the division is trying all different sorts of things to resolve the over-the-line fishing problem. He would not say the division would not do that again because it might. Hopefully, the division would be more effective in getting a notice to him sooner. There are good ways to keep track of the tides, however. Number 1846 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON stated he appreciated the stealth operations of the division. He would like to modify the laws to help the division deal with intentional violations. Number 1876 COLONEL GLASS replied the division thinks HB 285 is a step in the right direction to help address those types of problems and concerns. Number 1908 ED CRANE, President, Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB) testified via teleconference in Anchorage. The bank is one of only two entities with statutory authority to put a lien on limited entry permits and to secure loans on pledges of limited entry permits. The bank is very much in favor of the purpose of HB 285. The bank has discussed with Representative Ivan's office the unintended consequences of the bill as structured in regards to liens, and it is understood that the issue will be taken care of by attaching points to the individual rather than the permit. The intent of the bill is to get after the scofflaws and remove them from the fisheries. In addition, attaching points to individuals would take care of the issues of repeated transfers between individuals, fisheries, and selling a permit with points and buying a permit with no points. Number 2206 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced HB 285 will be heard again when it more accurately reflects the interest of the parties involved. Number 2222 MIKE FRICERRO, Fisherman, testified via teleconference in Kodiak. He operates the fishing vessel "Rainy Dawn." He has been fishing in Egegik at the line for approximately 15 years with no violations. He supports HB 285 and its intent. It would be a big deterrent for the group of violators that he is accustomed to watching. It would be even more effective with the modifications mentioned earlier. He would like to see a differentiation between intentional violations and bad judgements. He would also like to see the problems with the loran system improve, otherwise it puts the enforcement personnel at a disadvantage. In addition, he would like to add a transfer period for district registration as a point violation and a warning for the first violation for both gear and boat markings. Lastly, he would like to see the appeals process address a prior record and intent before suspending a license. Number 2400 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON thanked Mr. Fricerro for his constructive suggestions. Number 2413 MARK E. ANGASON, Commercial Fisherman, testified via teleconference in Naknek. He wrote a letter to Colonel Glass suggesting a point system against the boat and permit because the violations were getting worse. TAPE 98-3, SIDE B Number 0000 MR. ANGASON continued by stating the burden of fishing illegally should be placed upon the fishermen themselves. He would like to see a point system placed against the boat and individual, if it is not placed against the permit. Generally, illegal fishing is to help make a boat payment. "Well, it isn't my problem that they have such a huge boat payment, but that's the reason for them saying that they got to go over the line to catch more fish." It is wrong and the boat should be taken out of the fishery. Whatever is decided he would support, as-long-as, the points are severe enough to deter a person from fishing illegally. Number 0050 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated it was an interesting thought to place a detriment on a boat or equipment. Number 0066 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON suggested to the committee members to look at Mr. Angason's written suggestions on modifying the violation point system. They are reasonable and worth paying attention to. Number 0094 JOE McGILL, President, Bristol Bay Herring Marketing Cooperative, testified via teleconference in Dillingham. He has been fishing in Bristol Bay for fifty seasons without a violation. He does not mean he is incapable of getting one. He is opposed to HB 285. It is aimed strictly at Bristol Bay when some of the worst violations are in Area M. In addition, the mandatory points/regulations just mean a lot more litigation when the legislature should really fund more money for enforcement. More enforcement would allow for more fines to be collected eventually paying for itself. Number 0160 JERRY McCUNE, Representative, United Fishermen of Alaska; President, Cordova District Fishermen United, cautioned the haste to regulate one fishery when other fisheries are different. In response to attaching a violation to a boat, some are worth $100,000, some are worth $50,000, while some are worth $500,000. "I wouldn't get too hasty on looking at that one." Points should be attached to an individual noting whether or not he or she has a permit. In response to multiple permit holders, an individual would have to choose between fisheries, unless it was in somebody else's name. Therefore, he would like to see the points stuck to the fishery where the violation occurred. MR. McCUNE referred the committee members to page 2, line 3, subsection (b), "(1) fishing in closed waters - 6 points," and stated the violation needs to be clarified more. There are closed waters, line fisheries, and moving lines. For example, in Prince William Sound there are three different lines around a hatchery. MR. McCUNE referred the committee members to page 2, line 3, subsection (b), "(3) fishing with more than the legal amount of gear - 6 points," and stated in some areas gear is hung by someone else. MR. McCUNE referred the committee members to page 2, line 3, subsection (b), "(6) fishing with more than the legal amount of gear on vessel - 4 points," and stated it is obvious when people are fishing with more gear than necessary. MR. McCUNE stated he was primarily concerned with Prince William Sound where people hang their gear and suggested a warning rather than a six-point violation. He announced he would work with the sponsor to ensure the bill addresses the issues statewide, not just one area. Number 0310 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON reiterated it is not his intention to move HB 285 from the committee today. More work is needed. Number 0325 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Co-Chairman Hudson, if the bill was written so that the points accrued against an individual, would the individual be able to fish as a crew member on a different boat or his or her own boat. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON replied it is an important distinction and needs to be addressed. He suggested putting all concerns and questions into writing and forwarding them to the prime sponsor of the bill. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced HB 285 will be held over for further consideration. SSHJR 49 - NAT'L FOREST ROAD-BUILDING MORATORIUM CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the next order of business was Sponsor Substitute for House Joint Resolution No. 49, Relating to opposition to a moratorium on the building of roads in the roadless areas of national forests. Number 0400 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON explained there was a committee substitute and asked for a motion to adopt it. Number 0407 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to adopt proposed committee substitute for SSHJR 49, version 0-LS1402\B, Luckhaupt, 1/28/98, for discussion. There being no objection, it was before the committee. Number 0415 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS, sponsor of SSHJR 49, read the following statement into the record: "The Forest Service recently announced a sweeping two-year moratorium on development of 'roadless' areas of national forests. Although the announced 'land freeze' appears to have exempted the Tongass National Forest from the policy, that is not necessarily the case. "The public has 30 days to comment on the roadless policy, after which the Tongass could be included in the moratorium. Also, the Chief of the Forest Service, Mike Dombeck, has said that the final long term policy will apply to all forests. "The resolution speaks to the inappropriate manner in which the White House is dictating management of our national forests. The Forest Service has turned the public process upside down by announcing their policy first, then searching for scientific evidence to support their position and reaching out for public participation. "The resolution also speaks to the Tongass Land Management Plan. We spent over 10 years and $13 million dollars revising how we manage the Tongass. It would be wrong to come back later with unilateral amendments which alter the balance struck in the plan. "I urge your swift passage of the resolution, as the 30 day public comment clock is ticking." REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS stated there are a lot of things in the plan that have not been looked at, in particular, a socioeconomic study for the residents in Southeast Alaska. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called on the first witness to testify. Number 0521 BUCK LINDEKUGEL, Conservation Director, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), stated SEACC opposes the resolution. He explained SEACC was founded in 1970 as a coalition of 15 volunteer citizen groups in 12 different Southeast communities. The council is dedicated to preserving the integrity of Southeast Alaska's unsurpassed natural environment while providing for sustainable use of its remarkable resources. The council does not believe that the 1997 Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) is a reason to exempt it from the roadless policy. The forest service has failed to meaningfully consider a range of alternatives that address the needs of local communities in Southeast to protect the areas in terms of subsistence, recreation and commercial use of fish and wildlife. He cited the following areas: Cleveland Peninsula, Port Houghton/Cape Fanshaw, East Kuiu Island, Poison Cove/Ushk Bay, Upper Tenakee Inlet, and Castle River. The roadless area moratorium would not prejudge the ongoing TLMP appeal because there is a substantial amount of suitable and available timber scheduled under the plan within a mile of the existing road system. It would not require expensive or environmentally damaging roads. The council believes the forest service should adjust its timber planning activities to take advantage of providing the timber needs of the transforming timber industry in Southeast Alaska. MR. LINDEKUGEL cited in 1996 the industry cut only 100 million board feet (mmbf). In 1997 the industry cut about 109 mmbf. At the same time, the forest service authorized for export 113 mmbf of cedar, spruce and hemlock logs from the Tongass National Forest. There is plenty of timber in the pipeline that could be used by the industry as the forest service goes through its transformation. MR. LINDEKUGEL stated, in conclusion, a strong moratorium is consistent with SEACC's vision for the development of a new Tongass National Forest timber industry. It would put Alaskans to work making products from Alaskan wood instead of exporting timber and jobs to the Pacific Northwest or Asia. The industry would also be compatible with the long-term use and supply of fish and wildlife resources for subsistence, recreation and commerce in Southeast Alaska. Number 0765 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Mr. Lindekugel, according to his understanding, whether the resolution would apply directly to the Chugach National Forest. MR. LINDEKUGEL replied, "Correct." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Mr. Lindekugel, according to his understanding, whether the Tongass National Forest would be exempt. MR. LINDEKUGEL replied, according to his understanding, the Tongass National Forest would be exempt from the moratorium by rule. The forest service is taking comments on that portion of the rule for the next 30 days. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated, therefore, it is not conclusive whether the moratorium would or would not apply to the Tongass. MR. LINDEKUGEL stated an announcement excluding the nation's largest national forest is a pretty strong indication of where the forest service will end up. It is not final at this point, however. Number 0829 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS stated, in regards to the testimony of 100 and 109 mmbf, he lives in Ketchikan and Saxman and works as a longshoreman. He is aware of the amount of work going on in the timber industry today. The sawmill in Ketchikan last year ran for only four months. There were jobs for only four months. And there were fewer jobs in Metlakatla. Therefore, the amount of 100 mmbf is totally bogus. It is agreeable that the TLMP is not complete because a socioeconomic study has not been done. And, as a result, the Southeast is feeling it today where 83 percent of timber receipts have been cut. Number 0921 MR. LINDEKUGEL replied, according to SEACC, there is sufficient timber under contract right now for operators. There is over 500 mmbf that will be going to the mills during the next several years. Therefore, the impact of the moratorium would be negligible on the industry. In addition, the industry is going through a tremendous transformation, and SEACC is trying to work with operators who are interested in avoiding controversial areas. Number 0971 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated a company would not build a new road if it did not have to. "We don't want a moratorium on building new roads when it is clearly, economically, in the best interest of getting to good, harvestable timber." A blanket moratorium would stifle even legitimate economic opportunities. Number 1015 MR. LINDEKUGEL replied road credits are subsidized by federal tax payers. Therefore, there will always be concern nationwide about how much money is used to subsidize development. Number 1049 RACHAEL MORELAND, Representative, Alaska Forest Association, Inc., testified via teleconference in Ketchikan and read the following statement into the record: "The forest products industry in Southeast Alaska is heavily dependent upon the purchase of timber from the Tongass National Forest. The Tongass Land Management Plan Revision of 1997 has greatly reduced the land within the Tongass that is available for timber harvest from 1.7 million acres to a mere 676,000 acres, and the maximum average annual allowable sales quantity from 520 million board feet (mmbf) to 267 mmbf. This is considerably below the amount the industry needs to sustain the remaining mills in the region. The promises made by Congress in 1990, at the time the Tongass Timber Reform Act was made law, that sufficient volume would be made available to sustain direct timber employment in Southeast Alaska have now proven to be hollow. "The impact on southeast Alaska of the reduced harvest of Tongass timber has been drastic. Thousands of jobs have been lost through mill closures, and Federal payments to communities in the form of timber receipts have fallen to a tiny fraction of what they were previously. Recently released data indicate that timber receipts this year will be down by 83 percent compared to last year. This money is used for schools and road maintenance, so the decline hurts all the residents of the region. "Now comes the Clinton Administration with its proposed roadless moratorium. This policy is being superimposed upon the National Forest System in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act, both of which require a public process, not unilateral government actions unrelated to sound science and public review. The government's new roadless policy is top-down management of the worst sort. It subverts public process and asserts a political strategy in place of sound, scientific, professional forest management. It is bad public policy and is aimed only at promoting the radical environmental agenda of stopping all logging on federal land. The much-touted 'exemption' for the Tongass and other Western forests is not, in fact, an exemption, but an announcement that the policy will be applied through a different mechanism; that is, through forest plan amendments. "The recent TLMP revision took more than 10 years to write and cost the taxpayers more than $13 million. It includes protection of some 90 percent of the roadless areas remaining on the Tongass. The Chugach Land Management Plan revision is just beginning, and the Chugach National Forest is more than 98 percent roadless. Application of the new roadless policy to the Chugach amounts to predetermining the plan revision in the direction of no development at all. Among other consequences, this will effectively prevent the Forest Service from addressing the growing spruce bark beetle devastation through active forest management. In the case of both Alaska national forests, the roadless policy is unnecessary and very harmful to Alaska's economic future. "The estimated impact on the Tongass timber program is 202.5 mmbf per year over the life of the plan. Given an Allowable Sale Quantity of 267 mmbf, and expected offerings of around 200 mmbf, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this would finally spell the end to industrial logging in the Tongass. Furthermore, full implementation of the roadless policy (whether through direct application or through a plan amendment) will immediately result in a further reduction in timber receipts - amounting to as much as $2.5 million in FY98. Alaska simply cannot afford this government boondoggle into anti-development politics. "In short, the government's proposed roadless policy is bad for national forests, bad for the American public, and particularly bad for Alaska. The Alaska Forest Association urges the legislature to take immediate action to protest this terrible public policy by quickly passing House Joint Resolution 49. We should send a message to the Clinton Administration on behalf of Alaskans and on behalf of our counterparts in other states, that the Alaska people will not tolerate the Administration's attempts to force a radical agenda upon the people of this state and of this country." Number 1340 DICK COOSE, Representative, Concerned Alaskans for Resources and Environment (CARE), testified via teleconference in Ketchikan. He stated CARE wants responsible access to economic development of Alaska's natural resources, therefore, it strongly supports HJR 49. Political medaling of the Clinton Administration of our national forests needs to stop. It is causing economic disaster in many communities that rely upon national forest resources for livelihoods. MR. COOSE recommended including language in the resolution to prevent any moratorium on any national forest in the United States. In addition, he suggested inserting an additional "WHEREAS" on page 2, line 8, that reads, "the proposed moratorium would eliminate the timber industry that remains on many national forests to nearly zero." He also suggested inserting the language "or any national forest land management plan" on page 2, line 19 after the word "Plan". Number 1495 MIKE WILLIAMS, Vice President, Chugach Alaska Corporation (CAC), testified via teleconference in Anchorage. The CAC supports HJR 49. The CAC is currently trying to build a road across Chugach National Forest land to access lands given to the corporation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) in the Copper River area. The CAC owns approximately one million acres of land of which 40 percent requires road access across forest service lands. Therefore, the CAC is very concerned that the moratorium on no new roads would kill or delay plans. MR. WILLIAMS further stated the roadless policy would frustrate the intent of ANCSA and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) resulting in costly and timely appeals. The forest service is already subverting its own planning regulations under Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations which require the agency to solicit tribal and Alaskan Native input on all planning processes that impact the management of Native and Indian owned lands. MR. WILLIAMS further stated the roadless policy would restrict the CAC from developing its resources valued in excess of $1 billion, a payroll value worth $250 million. It would also impact revenues statewide due to ANCSA's sharing provision between Native corporations. MR. WILLIAMS further stated the actions of the forest service have been developed in a vacuum. The forest service has forgotten that its policies impact in-holders and adjacent landowners. Ninety- eight percent of the Chugach National Forest is inventoried as roadless and virtually all of its roadless area is either within or adjacent to conservation units which would result in automatic lock-ups of almost the entire national forest under the proposed roadless policy. MR. WILLIAMS further stated, in conclusion, with so much of the Chugach National Forest and the state of Alaska already protected and in a roadless condition, there is no need for this policy in Alaska. Number 1660 SCOTT ANAYA, Alaskan Sportsman, testified via teleconference in Anchorage. He stated roads are an irreversible impact and there is sound science that indicates roads negatively impact the fish and wildlife. Fish and wildlife are a far more lasting and long-term investment for Alaskan families, businesses and economies that thrive on them. The roadless policy would allow other types of logging without the irreversible damage or roads. For example, on the Kenai Peninsula, the brown bears have lost 70 percent of their habitat. There has not been a fall brown bear hunt for the past three or four years. And, in addition, thousands of dollars are being spent to study the impact of logging roads on the world-class fishing streams. This is an example of the cost that logging roads would bring to the Tongass National Forest and Alaska. Number 1776 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked Mr. Coose to fax his recommendations to him. He would like to move the resolution out of the House Resources Standing Committee today. He would consider recommendations either on the floor of the House of Representatives or the Senate. Number 1814 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to move the proposed committee substitute for SSHJR 49, version 0-LS1402\B, Luckhaupt, 1/28/98, from the committee with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note. There being no objection, CSSSHJR 49(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. Number 1859 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced he was trying to arrange a presentation by the Exxon Valdez Trustee organization. He was interested in an overview of where the $900 million account rests today. ADJOURNMENT Number 1940 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee meeting at 2:52 p.m.

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