Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

03/09/2011 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 1:30 pm Today --
+ HB 60 GEODUCK AQUATIC FARMING/SEED TRANSFER TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+= HB 105 SOUTHEAST STATE FOREST TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 9, 2011                                                                                          
                           1:36 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Eric Feige, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Paul Seaton, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Peggy Wilson, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Alan Dick                                                                                                        
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Bob Herron                                                                                                       
Representative Cathy Engstrom Munoz                                                                                             
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 60                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to aquatic farm permitting involving geoducks                                                                  
and to geoduck seed transfers between certified hatcheries and                                                                  
aquatic farms."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Southeast State Forest; and providing                                                                   
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  60                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: GEODUCK AQUATIC FARMING/SEED TRANSFER                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) SEATON                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/15/11       (H)       FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/15/11       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/15/11       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/16/11       (H)       FSH RPT 2DP 3NR 1AM                                                                                    
02/16/11       (H)       DP: AUSTERMAN, THOMPSON                                                                                
02/16/11       (H)       NR: HERRON, PRUITT, JOHNSON                                                                            
02/16/11       (H)       AM: KAWASAKI                                                                                           
03/09/11       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 105                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SOUTHEAST STATE FOREST                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/14/11       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/14/11       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/14/11       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/09/11       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PAUL SEATON                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Spoke as the sponsor HB 60.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
RODGER PAINTER, President                                                                                                       
Alaska Shellfish Growers Association                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 60.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JEFF REGNART, Director                                                                                                          
Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                            
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified that ADF&G doesn't foresee any                                                                 
significant risk with the passage of HB 60.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOHN THIEDE, Natural Resource Specialist                                                                                        
Division of Mining, Land, & Water                                                                                               
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During hearing of HB 60, answered                                                                        
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RICK ROGERS, Forest Resource Program Manager                                                                                    
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Forestry                                                                                                            
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  on  HB 105,  answered                                                             
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT CLAUS                                                                                                                    
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council                                                                                           
Craig, Alaska (SEACC)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:   During the hearing on HB  105, testified in                                                             
opposition to including the Hook Arm parcel.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:36:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ERIC   FEIGE  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:36 p.m.   Representatives Munoz,                                                               
Foster, Dick,  P. Wilson, Seaton,  and Feige were present  at the                                                               
call  to order.   Representatives  Herron, Gardner,  and Kawasaki                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          HB  60-GEODUCK AQUATIC FARMING/SEED TRANSFER                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:36:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE announced  that the  first order  of business  is                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 60, "An  Act relating to aquatic  farm permitting                                                               
involving  geoducks   and  to  geoduck  seed   transfers  between                                                               
certified hatcheries and aquatic farms."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PAUL SEATON,  Alaska State  Legislature, speaking                                                               
as  the  sponsor  of  HB  60,  showed  a  short  video  regarding                                                               
geoducks.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:40:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  commented  that   the  video  illustrates  that                                                               
geoducks are part  of the culture of the  Northwest and Southeast                                                               
Alaska.  He  noted that geoducks are native  to Southeast Alaska.                                                               
He  then explained  that  the goal  of  HB 60  is  to provide  an                                                               
economic  base  for  the  Gulf of  Alaska  and  communities  from                                                               
Yakutat to Sand  Point, places where it's  difficult to establish                                                               
a  new economic  base.   Farmed  geoducks are  worth $12-$15  per                                                               
pound when sold  live.  He explained that geoducks  are farmed in                                                               
sub tidal  zones and nothing  has to be  done to them  during the                                                               
peak of the salmon season or  any other fishery, and therefore it                                                               
doesn't  conflict   with  other  economics  in   coastal  Alaska.                                                               
Furthermore, geoducks can be harvested at any time of the year.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:42:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON  informed the committee  that HB 60  would extend                                                               
the time  for getting  geoduck seed, which  can only  be obtained                                                               
from Alaska.   Geoduck  seed used in  Alaska cannot  be imported.                                                               
Although geoducks are  a native species, they don't  occur in the                                                               
wild north of Juneau.   Therefore, geoducks from Southeast Alaska                                                               
are  taken to  the  Alutiiq Pride  Shellfish  Hatchery, the  only                                                               
certified hatchery  in the state,  where they are  bred, spawned,                                                               
and  the seed  is then  purchased by  farmers for  planting.   He                                                               
explained the methods used to  farm the geoduck seeds, which grow                                                               
to a harvest size of 1.5 pounds in about 5-7 years.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:44:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  clarified that  HB  60  specifies that  geoduck                                                               
farming can only  occur at the sub tidal level,  and therefore it                                                               
won't  interfere   with  where   boat  landings   or  subsistence                                                               
harvesting occurs.   Geoducks  prefer a low  energy beach  with a                                                               
muddy,  sandy bottom,  and  thus they  don't  compete with  razor                                                               
clams or hard shell clams that  are found in the intertidal zone,                                                               
which has a  lot of energy on  the beach.  In the  sub tidal, low                                                               
energy habitat that geoducks prefer  only tunicates and polychete                                                               
worms are  found.  Studies  found that  in areas where  a geoduck                                                               
farm was established  there was an increase  in worm populations.                                                               
The aforementioned occurs  because the habitat is  broken up such                                                               
that  more than  just  a  muddy bottom  exists.   However,  there                                                               
hasn't been a decrease in other  fauna in the area of the geoduck                                                               
farm.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:45:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON informed  the committee  that no  diseases, even                                                               
those  of transport  significance, have  been found  in geoducks.                                                               
Therefore,  there is  no concern  with moving  geoducks from  one                                                               
area to  another area.  As  mentioned in the video,  geoducks can                                                               
live to be 160  years old.  He noted that  around the state there                                                               
are larval drift  zones, which are areas in which  the goal is to                                                               
maintain genetic integrity such that  a clam isn't taken from one                                                               
area  to  another in  order  to  avoid  disruption of  the  local                                                               
genetics.  This legislation, on  the other hand, refers to moving                                                               
clams to an area where there  is no local population.  Therefore,                                                               
there  is no  concern  with regard  to  genetic contamination  by                                                               
moving geoduck  clams from  Southeast Alaska  to anywhere  in the                                                               
Gulf of Alaska because north of Juneau there are no such clams.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:46:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  reminded  the  committee that  geoducks  are  a                                                               
highly prized species that is  sold live and won't interfere with                                                               
other animals.  Moreover, geoducks will likely be non-                                                                          
reproductive  like oysters  are in  Alaska.   In response  to Co-                                                               
Chair  Feige, Co-Chair  Seaton explained  that it's  thought that                                                               
geoducks don't  reproduce because the water  temperature does not                                                               
reach a  high enough temperature  to start  the spawn cycle.   In                                                               
the hatchery,  for an extended  period the water  temperature has                                                               
to be  raised higher than  what naturally occurs north  of Juneau                                                               
in  order to  reproduce.    In regard  to  what  would happen  if                                                               
geoducks   did  spawn   [north  of   Juneau],  he   related  that                                                               
calculations estimate that it would  create a $750 million a year                                                               
industry  for the  dive fishery.    Currently, there  is no  dive                                                               
fishery  [north  of Juneau]  because  there  aren't clams  there.                                                               
However,  in Southeast  Alaska there  is a  wild stock  dive clam                                                               
fishery.   He  explained that  the controversy  in Southeast  has                                                               
revolved  around the  desire to  have a  geoduck farm  where wild                                                               
stock  is located.    The aforementioned  won't  happen up  north                                                               
since there  is no wild stock  north of Juneau.   Co-Chair Seaton                                                               
informed  the  committee  that   the  state-built  Alutiiq  Pride                                                               
Shellfish  Hatchery (hatchery)  in  Seward has  not become  self-                                                               
sufficient,  as intended,  because it  hasn't been  able to  sell                                                               
enough product,  clam seed, to do  so.  Therefore, the  state has                                                               
had  to subsidize  the  hatchery.   Co-Chair  Seaton opined  that                                                               
developing a number  of [geoduck] farms would  allow the hatchery                                                               
to become self-sufficient  as it would have a source  to sell its                                                               
geoduck seed,  which is more  valuable than  is oyster seed.   In                                                               
conclusion,  Co-Chair  Seaton  highlighted that  HB  60  wouldn't                                                               
change the parameters  of the required permits.   The legislation                                                               
merely says that permits to those  in the Gulf of Alaska won't be                                                               
denied just because wild geoducks  aren't already present in that                                                               
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:51:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE  observed that  HB 60 has  two zero  fiscal notes,                                                               
and surmised  that HB 60 would  reduce the need for  the state to                                                               
fund the hatchery as much.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON  answered that is  correct.  In  further response                                                               
to  Co-Chair Feige,  Co-Chair Seaton  explained that  funding for                                                               
the hatchery  hasn't been built  into the base  as it has  been a                                                               
capital request item because it's not intended to be long-term.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  inquired as to the  optimum harvest window                                                               
and whether it's before they change sex.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON  answered that  generally geoducks  are harvested                                                               
in five  to seven years.   Geoducks are sedimentary, stay  in one                                                               
spot, and are filter feeders.   Unlike razor clams, once geoducks                                                               
are in  the substrate  they cannot  be pulled  out and  don't dig                                                               
back in.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:54:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  surmised that  the hatchery  in Seward                                                               
wasn't sustainable  to begin with because  it was to be  used for                                                               
Southeast.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  replied  no, specifying  that  through  various                                                               
administrations the  plan has always been  that mariculture would                                                               
expand  across Alaska.   However,  there has  been reluctance  to                                                               
allowing  geoducks  to be  farmed  outside  of Southeast  Alaska.                                                               
Moreover, there have been problems  with the wild stock, the wild                                                               
stock harvesters and  the farmers, which have  resulted in delays                                                               
in the growth  of mariculture in the state.   In further response                                                               
to Representative  P. Wilson, he  estimated that the  hatchery is                                                               
10-12 years old.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:56:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  surmised then  that even  if HB  60 is                                                               
passed, the  hatchery would  still need to  be subsidized  for at                                                               
least another five to seven  years.  She likened allowing geoduck                                                               
farming in the Gulf of Alaska  to an experiment since there is no                                                               
knowledge that geoducks will grow in that area.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON disagreed,  "No, we know they'll  grow up there."                                                               
The only  question is whether  geoducks will  become reproductive                                                               
in the  Gulf of  Alaska.   No one  believes geoducks  will become                                                               
reproductive in  the Gulf of Alaska.   Geoducks grow fine  in the                                                               
hatchery  at Seward,  but they  don't become  reproductive unless                                                               
the  water   temperature  is  raised  above   the  regular  water                                                               
temperature.    He  reiterated  that   this  will  be  a  similar                                                               
situation to  that of oysters,  which don't  become reproductive.                                                               
There is  no desire for the  shellfish in the hatchery  to become                                                               
reproductive  because  they're  being  grown for  seed  to  sell.                                                               
Therefore, the purchase of seed  from the hatchery will result in                                                               
the hatchery becoming self sustaining.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:57:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  maintained   that  she  still  didn't                                                               
believe it  wouldn't cost money  because it  took a long  time to                                                               
get  [geoduck farming]  started  in Southeast  Alaska.   Although                                                               
more  areas   in  Southeast  Alaska   are  desired,   the  Alaska                                                               
Department  of Fish  & Game  (ADF&G)  doesn't have  the funds  to                                                               
check  out  these  sites.    Therefore, she  said  she  found  it                                                               
difficult  to believe  that  there will  be  enough [funding]  to                                                               
allow geoduck farming in the Gulf of Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON explained  that part of the  problem in Southeast                                                               
Alaska is  that surveys  of the  wild stock  in the  farming area                                                               
must be conducted.   However, in the Gulf of  Alaska there are no                                                               
wild stocks  and thus they won't  be on the farming  sites, which                                                               
will eliminate  part of  the difficulty.   Furthermore,  prior to                                                               
obtaining  a  farming  site,   the  Department  of  Environmental                                                               
Conservation (DEC) has  put GPSs on boats in order  to track them                                                               
and determine where the water  sample was taken, which lowers the                                                               
cost  of  the  water  quality  sampling.    He  said  that  those                                                               
entities/individuals who  apply for the  farm sites will  have to                                                               
make the necessary investments, including  buying seed.  The seed                                                               
can  only be  purchased  from  the hatchery  as  it's illegal  to                                                               
import seed  or take animals  from another  area.  The  state has                                                               
good controls  on the  aforementioned in  order to  maintain high                                                               
quality and safe non contaminated clam spat.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:00:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ asked  whether the  hatchery sells  geoduck                                                               
seed outside of Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON  answered that  he didn't  believe there  are any                                                               
sales to areas  outside of Alaska.  He highlighted  that the seed                                                               
from Alaska wouldn't  be sold to British Columbia  or Puget Sound                                                               
because  those areas  want  to ensure  their  wild stocks  aren't                                                               
contaminated.    In  further response  to  Representative  Munoz,                                                               
geoducks exist  in Puget  Sound and British  Columbia.   He noted                                                               
that Tenakee  Springs is  the farthest  north that  wild geoducks                                                               
are known to naturally exist.   With regard to the primary market                                                               
for  geoducks,   Co-Chair  Seaton   specified  that   it's  Asia.                                                               
Geoducks  are highly  prized seafood.   Alaska  has such  a small                                                               
piece of the  market that it can't supply  product throughout the                                                               
year, and thus  it can't get a very good  price.  Therefore, more                                                               
geoduck farms  would be helpful to  all in terms of  the economic                                                               
structure.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:03:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE inquired  as to the investment  necessary to start                                                               
a geoduck operation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON said  that he is unfamiliar with the  cost of the                                                               
sites  and surveys.   He  then informed  the committee  that when                                                               
Kachemak  Bay was  established as  a critical  habitat area,  on-                                                               
bottom  farming  of clams  wasn't  allowed.   Therefore,  geoduck                                                               
farming wouldn't be allowed in Kachemak Bay.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:04:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RODGER PAINTER, President,  Alaska Shellfish Growers Association,                                                               
related  support  for HB  60,  which  he considered  an  economic                                                               
development tool.   He  stressed that  Alaska has  very stringent                                                               
regulations governing the movement  of shellfish about the state.                                                               
When geoduck  is harvested  in Southeast Alaska  and sent  to the                                                               
Seward  hatchery, it  must  be certified  by  the Fish  Pathology                                                               
Laboratory within ADF&G.   The seed must also  be certified prior                                                               
to being sent  to the farms.  Mr. Painter  relayed that the ADF&G                                                               
Fish Pathology Laboratory  believes that geoducks are  one of the                                                               
cleanest  animals ever  tested.   Although  he acknowledged  that                                                               
it's a little unclear how  well geoducks will do beyond Southeast                                                               
waters, it won't be known until  it's tried.  He highlighted that                                                               
in the  15 years farmers  in Washington State began  working with                                                               
geoducks, they have built a  $20 million industry.  That industry                                                               
will likely double or triple in value over the next 10 years.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:07:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON restated  the earlier question regarding                                                               
how  much of  an investment  is required  from the  time seed  is                                                               
placed in the ground to harvest time.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAINTER said  that the biggest problem  with farming geoducks                                                               
is  the long  time required  for them  to reach  marketable size,                                                               
which is  about 1.5  pounds.  The  geoducks planted  in Southeast                                                               
Alaska were  just harvested this  year, and thus the  estimate is                                                               
seven  to eight  years to  reach marketable  size.   Most of  the                                                               
investment cost is the purchase of  the seed, which cost about 25                                                               
cents apiece.  A farmer should  plan on purchasing at least twice                                                               
the  amount of  seed as  animals desired  to produce.   The  only                                                               
other  costs are  regulatory costs,  certification of  the water,                                                               
and survey  fees for those in  Southeast Alaska.  Survey  fees in                                                               
Southeast Alaska are $5,000 for  the pre-lease survey in order to                                                               
determine how many  geoducks might be on the site.   Another cost                                                               
is for  a vessel  and divers.   Therefore,  the total  cost would                                                               
depend on  the size of the  operation.  An operation  that wanted                                                               
to harvest  10,000 animals would  require the purchase  of 25,000                                                               
animals at 25 cents apiece.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked whether  the geoducks in Southeast                                                               
Alaska multiply [after the initial  seed is placed in the ground]                                                               
so that  more seed doesn't need  to be purchased.   Or, does seed                                                               
have to be purchased and planted  each year, she asked.  She then                                                               
restated  her  earlier  question  regarding  the  amount  of  the                                                               
initial investment in a geoduck farm.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAINTER  estimated it would  be in  the range of  $100,000 by                                                               
the time eight  to nine years of seed is  purchased and diver and                                                               
vessel costs have been covered.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:11:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  inquired as  to  the  permit fees  through                                                               
ADF&G.   She  also  inquired as  to whether  there  is a  holding                                                               
period for the collection of fees pending the first harvest.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PAINTER said  he would  like to  convince the  Department of                                                               
Natural  Resources (DNR)  to do  that because  it's difficult  to                                                               
cover the  front-end costs when  no revenue is being  brought in.                                                               
He reminded  the committee  that the costs  include not  only the                                                               
capital investment but also the  operating costs, tide land fees,                                                               
and   water   quality   certification.      The   water   quality                                                               
certification  alone will  cost about  $6,000-$8,000.   Moreover,                                                               
the state  and regulatory  costs are a  considerable part  of the                                                               
investment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:13:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  inquired as to  how confident one  can be                                                               
that these geoduck stocks will be unable to reproduce.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAINTER  answered, "We  don't know;  we're guessing  based on                                                               
what's happened  with other animals."   He related  that geoducks                                                               
have not spread  beyond Southeast Alaska probably  because of the                                                               
currents  off  the  coast.    At Cape  Fairweather,  the  end  of                                                               
Southeast, the  currents go  out into the  Gulf of  Alaska before                                                               
coming back  to the coastline.   During that time  geoduck larvae                                                               
is floating  in the  water, but  it can only  live for  a certain                                                               
period of  time.  Therefore,  the seed can't make  the transition                                                               
to the  new water.   There is  no definitive  knowledge regarding                                                               
how  the  geoducks will  perform  or  how  fast they  will  grow.                                                               
Although it seems  unlikely they will reproduce,  it's unknown at                                                               
this  point.    In  response   to  Co-Chair  Feige,  Mr.  Painter                                                               
confirmed that his  theory that geoducks won't  reproduce [in the                                                               
Gulf  of  Alaska]  is  based  on  laboratory  work  done  at  the                                                               
hatchery,  which has  been producing  geoducks for  well over  10                                                               
years.    Temperatures  need  to be  raised  several  degrees  to                                                               
actually  make  geoducks spawn,  and  therefore  it seems  highly                                                               
unlikely they would spawn.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:16:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF REGNART,  Director, Commercial Fisheries,  Alaska Department                                                               
of Fish  & Game, stated that  ADF&G takes a cautious  approach to                                                               
farming,   although  in   this  case   it  doesn't   foresee  any                                                               
significant risk with the passage of HB 60.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:16:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON inquired as  to the permits required for                                                               
geoduck farming and how the leasing  of the land works.  She also                                                               
inquired  as  to  what's  required  annually  after  the  initial                                                               
permitting.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  REGNART  said that  he  is  unfamiliar with  the  permitting                                                               
process, and noted  that the tide land portion  of the permitting                                                               
would be DNR's purview.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON  pointed out that AS  16.40.100 addresses aquatic                                                               
farms  and  specifies  the  criteria for  issuing  permits.    He                                                               
explained that first and  foremost the biological characteristics                                                               
of the  area being applied for  permit is reviewed as  is whether                                                               
there  would  be  any significant  interactions  or  disruptions.                                                               
There  is  also the  aquatic  stock  acquisition permit  and  the                                                               
transfer  of   stock  permit  as  well   as  disease  inspection.                                                               
Furthermore,  when  the  land  is  leased  the  corners  must  be                                                               
identified by  DNR.  The DEC  is involved with the  water quality                                                               
as the  water must  be certified because  the geoducks  are being                                                               
raised for human  consumption.  Water samples are  taken over the                                                               
course of one year  in order to ensure a farm  isn't placed in an                                                               
area  with   water  pollution.    Co-Chair   Seaton  opined  that                                                               
mariculture is  beneficial because it requires  good clean water,                                                               
and  thus the  farmers  make sure  things  aren't occurring  that                                                               
pollute the area.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:21:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON inquired as  to who owns the  land that                                                               
the farmers lease.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE answered that the state is the owner.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON explained  that  since the  state  owns the  sub                                                               
tidal lands,  a DNR lease permit  has to be obtained.   The ADF&G                                                               
controls the biological  criteria, and thus all  of those permits                                                               
come from ADF&G.  There is  also the water quality review by DEC.                                                               
The lease fees are paid to the state through DNR, he clarified.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:22:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  inquired as to whether  ADF&G has denied                                                               
a permit based on the absence of a wild stock.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. REGNART said that he didn't know, but offered to find out.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:23:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:23 p.m. to 2:25 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:25:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  THIEDE, Natural  Resource Specialist,  Division of  Mining,                                                               
Land, &  Water, Department of  Natural Resources, in  response to                                                               
Representative P.  Wilson, informed  the committee that  to lease                                                               
the  first acre  or  portion  thereof would  cost  $450 and  each                                                               
additional acre would cost $125.   Therefore, it depends upon the                                                               
size  of the  farm.   In  further response  to Representative  P.                                                               
Wilson, Mr. Thiede  stated that it's a 10-year  lease that's paid                                                               
annually.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:26:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked if there is any other annual fee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. THIEDE related  that there is a  list of all the  fees on the                                                               
application and  there are fees for  water quality certification.                                                               
Since HB  60 addresses farming  geoducks in areas where  there is                                                               
no wild stock, he said he  was unsure whether ADF&G would require                                                               
a bottom  survey, which  is required for  on-bottom farming.   In                                                               
further response,  he clarified  that once  the bottom  survey is                                                               
performed, it doesn't have to be performed again.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:28:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  restated his earlier  question regarding                                                               
whether a  permit has been  denied based  on the absence  of wild                                                               
geoduck stock.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. THIEDE said  he does not believe so, noting  that he has been                                                               
in the  program practically since  its inception.  He  noted that                                                               
there have been no on-bottom  lease applications outside of areas                                                               
where there already are geoducks.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:28:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON asked whether  the state has ever leased                                                               
areas to  people who  never farm the  area.  If  so, how  does it                                                               
work for the state to obtain the land again, she asked.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. THIEDE reminded the committee  of House Bill 208 [22nd Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature], which  requested  that the  state specify  a                                                               
certain amount  of shellfish  sites.   The aforementioned  led to                                                               
folks nominating sites.  He explained  that when he was hired for                                                               
that  program, he  reviewed  all the  shellfish  permits and  why                                                               
permits  were  closed out.    If  a  permit  was closed  out  for                                                               
anything  other than  a biological  problem, then  those specific                                                               
sites were reoffered to the  public in the department's over-the-                                                               
counter  program.    Those  who  wish  to  expand  one  of  these                                                               
reoffered sites  has to make  an amendment to the  [lease], which                                                               
then goes through the process  again including the public comment                                                               
period.   He opined that  the main  reason folks close  out their                                                               
leases in the aquatic shellfish  program is because they discover                                                               
it's too  much work.   In further  response to  Representative P.                                                               
Wilson, Mr.  Thiede stated  that there  aren't very  many out-of-                                                               
state  aquatic shellfish  farmers.   In fact,  he estimated  that                                                               
about 99 percent of the 67 leases are held by in-state people.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:31:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI inquired  as to the permit  process for a                                                               
geoduck farmer.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. THIEDE  explained that there  is an opening every  other year                                                               
from January to April.   Interested individuals are encouraged to                                                               
perform  some background  checking with  the various  departments                                                               
involved. Once an  individual applies, the process  begins by the                                                               
application  going  to  the  Alaska  Coastal  Management  Program                                                               
(ACMP)  and  a public  comment  period,  after  which he  pens  a                                                               
preliminary decision.   The preliminary decision is  then let for                                                               
public comment  and those public  comments are  incorporated into                                                               
DNR's final  decision.  The  ACMP performs a  consistency review,                                                               
provides  a preliminary  review, takes  comments, and  ultimately                                                               
pens a  final [decision].  If  the application isn't found  to be                                                               
in compliance  with ACMP regulations, the  application doesn't go                                                               
forward.    Once the  permit  is  finalized,  there is  a  15-day                                                               
waiting period to make  sure there is no appeal.   If there is no                                                               
appeal, the lease  is issued.  Simultaneously,  ADF&G reviews the                                                               
biological aspects of the project and  then issues a permit.  Mr.                                                               
Thiede noted  that ADF&G works with  DNR.  After [the  permit] is                                                               
issued, the applicant can seek  the water quality [approval].  If                                                               
10-12  applications are  received, the  process can  be completed                                                               
and leases  approved by late  fall or early winter,  which allows                                                               
the applicant  time to order  the necessary spat for  planting in                                                               
the spring.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:34:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI inquired  as to how much  study goes into                                                               
the biological review of introducing  a non Native species into a                                                               
new  habitat  before a  final  determination  to proceed  with  a                                                               
permit is made.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. THIEDE said that would be  best addressed by ADF&G.  However,                                                               
he pointed  out that  there has  never been  a geoduck  farm site                                                               
where there were  none before, and therefore he  wasn't sure what                                                               
ADF&G  would  review.    Mr.  Thiede noted  that  ADF&G  is  very                                                               
concerned  with invasive  species, which  can be  transported via                                                               
non  Native species  and thus  there would  be serious  review of                                                               
this.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:36:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ asked whether there  is a provision in DNR's                                                               
regulations that  allow fees to  be waived during  the production                                                               
phase and until the first harvest occurs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. THIEDE replied no.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ opined that it  would be helpful to consider                                                               
an option requiring the fees be  due at the first harvest because                                                               
of  the high  ongoing costs  and the  difficulty in  making these                                                               
aquatic  farms pencil  out financially  during the  preproduction                                                               
period.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:37:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON inquired as  to the average size  of an                                                               
aquatic farm.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  THIEDE specified  that it  depends  upon the  species.   For                                                               
oyster farms, very few are over  2 acres, although the farmer may                                                               
have a lease  for up to 3  acres.  Geoduck farms  would require a                                                               
larger  size  farm.    Although  it takes  longer  to  produce  a                                                               
harvest,  once the  seed  is  sown and  the  predator netting  is                                                               
placed over the  seed there is really no  intensive work involved                                                               
for the  next 5-10 years.   However, for oyster farming  gear has                                                               
to  be purchased  and cleaned,  and  thus the  operation is  more                                                               
intense.   In further response  to Representative P.  Wilson, Mr.                                                               
Thiede  related that  generally a  geoduck farmer  may have  5-10                                                               
acres, although  the entire acreage  may not  be used.   He noted                                                               
that he  would discourage  an individual  applying for  a 10-acre                                                               
oyster  farm permit  from starting  with such  a large  amount of                                                               
land.  However, geoduck farming  is relatively new and when House                                                               
Bill 208 was enacted the geoduck applicants chose their acreage.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:40:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P.  WILSON  recalled  when  House  Bill  208  was                                                               
enacted that  several farmers bought  as many geoduck  farm sites                                                               
as they could  at the time.   She asked if DNR has  gotten any of                                                               
those sites back.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. THIEDE  replied yes, a  few.  He  told the committee  that it                                                               
has been  difficult for geoduck  farmers because  of insufficient                                                               
amounts  of available  spat.   The biggest  concern, he  said, is                                                               
that there is  no data regarding growth, mortality,  or how close                                                               
to  harvest  these animals  are.    The  DNR has  encouraged  the                                                               
geoduck farmers  to keep going  rather than close the  lease, but                                                               
at this  point the  department is  in a  bit of  quandary because                                                               
it's nearing  the end of the  lease period.  In  further response                                                               
to Representative P. Wilson, Mr.  Thiede related that the geoduck                                                               
farmers are  required to  submit an annual  use report  to ADF&G,                                                               
which  questions  farmers  regarding  the following:    how  much                                                               
product  the farmer  has; how  much product  the farmer  plans to                                                               
plant; how much product the  farmer planted; how many worker days                                                               
were  there; how  many workers  were utilized;  and what  was the                                                               
income?   The  aforementioned  is then  compared  to the  10-year                                                               
operation  and development  plan that  each farm  is required  to                                                               
complete  and  have  approved  at  the  outset  of  the  process.                                                               
However, DNR has  been very lenient and not  required the farmers                                                               
to  fill out  the forms  any  better because  of it  being a  new                                                               
industry.   Although there is  nothing like the fish  ticket that                                                               
is  used for  commercial fishing,  there  has been  talk of  such                                                               
within  DNR.   Of  course,  there has  been  resistance from  the                                                               
[geoduck farming] community because it's a burden on them.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:43:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE  inquired  as to  the  reasoning  behind  ADF&G's                                                               
informal policy to prevent geoduck  seed from being used anywhere                                                               
outside of Southeast Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  REGNART  responded  that  the  policy had  to  do  with  the                                                               
concerns regarding  invasive species  and the unknown  impacts of                                                               
introducing  a  species  to  an  area  where  the  species  isn't                                                               
[naturally  occurring].   He  said that  for  geoducks ADF&G  has                                                               
backed away from  that policy a little bit and  is instead urging                                                               
caution in moving ahead with the permitting program.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:44:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI asked  if the  passage of  HB 60,  which                                                               
allows  the farming  of  geoducks in  areas  where wild  geoducks                                                               
aren't  present,  would hamper  ADF&G's  ability  to perform  due                                                               
diligence on a project or request for a project.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. REGNART  replied no, adding  that ADF&G would still  have the                                                               
ability to review  the pros and cons of a  proposal while keeping                                                               
in mind  the best  interest of  the resource.   "I don't  feel it                                                               
would  compromise  our ability  to  do  our  job, carry  out  our                                                               
mission," he stated.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:46:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI   commented  that   he  has   seen  this                                                               
legislation for the last five years  in a row and he recalls that                                                               
initially  ADF&G was  100 percent  opposed to  it.   Although the                                                               
sponsor  has  done   much  to  reach  the  point   at  which  the                                                               
legislation is today, Representative  Kawasaki said that he still                                                               
has  concerns,   particularly  with   regard  to   the  potential                                                               
introduction  of invasive  species.   He  also expressed  concern                                                               
with threatened species  issues in terms of a  non native species                                                               
that's  introduced  to  an  area  becoming  a  hindrance  to  the                                                               
development  of  a  natural  resource   that  competes  with  the                                                               
introduced species,  such as in the  case of the Wood  bison.  In                                                               
conclusion,  Representative  Kawasaki  said he  would  cautiously                                                               
support HB 60 today.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:48:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON appreciated the caution,  but he pointed out that                                                               
the geoduck exists  in Alaska with the same  species mix [present                                                               
in  the Gulf  of Alaska].   "So,  it's not  as if  we are  moving                                                               
something  into  an unknown  ecology  because  this is  the  same                                                               
ecology, they just don't go that far north," he said.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:50:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ moved to report  HB 60 out of committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 105-SOUTHEAST STATE FOREST                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:50:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 105, "An  Act relating to the  Southeast State                                                               
Forest; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:51:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICK  ROGERS, Forest  Resource Program  Manager, Central  Office,                                                               
Division of  Forestry, Department of Natural  Resources, recalled                                                               
that  at the  last hearing  there was  concern regarding  whether                                                               
logs from  the Southeast  State Forest would  go overseas  in the                                                               
round without any processing in  the local sawmills.  Upon review                                                               
of the past six  years, it was found that 87  percent of the logs                                                               
from state timber  sales remained in the  state for manufacturing                                                               
in Alaska while 13 percent were  exported.  Of that 13 percent, 3                                                               
percent  were exported  by sawmills  because  that percentage  of                                                               
logs had more  value as exported in the round  than if processed.                                                               
To achieve the aforementioned, sawmills  request a variance under                                                               
their  contract requirements  to  export a  small percentage  for                                                               
their  logs.   In balance,  the  data demonstrates  the state  is                                                               
doing a  good job  of encouraging  instate manufacture  of timber                                                               
off state  lands.  Upon  review of  this statewide, it  was found                                                               
that only  5 percent of  the logs are going  out of state  in the                                                               
round.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:55:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  inquired as  to the level  of processing                                                               
sawmills perform  on the 87  percent of  logs that remain  in the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROGERS answered that it varies  by mill.  Under the long-term                                                               
forest contracts, the past practice  was the production of cants,                                                               
which was crude processing in  which 8-12 inch cuttings were made                                                               
and large  cants were sent  overseas for  secondary manufacturing                                                               
at mills.  However,  that has changed quite a bit.   In fact, the                                                               
Viking  Sawmill,  the  state's   largest  sawmill,  is  producing                                                               
finished  products.    He  noted that  some  mills  also  provide                                                               
secondary manufacturing  such that they perform  planing and have                                                               
kilns.   In the northern part  of Alaska, much of  the [logs] are                                                               
being used for fuel in which  case processing may be as simple as                                                               
cutting and splitting firewood.   Most importantly, for the state                                                               
to see  additional investment in  manufacturing, there must  be a                                                               
reliable supply of  timber.  In Southeast,  particularly with the                                                               
dominance of  federal land, there  hasn't been new  investment in                                                               
manufacturing because  there's too much risk  involved when there                                                               
isn't enough of a reliable supply to amortize the investment.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:57:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  reminded the committee that  his community                                                               
is primarily situated in the tundra.   He then asked if there are                                                               
different  harvest practices  on state  lands as  opposed to  the                                                               
clear cuts in the Tongass National Forest in the past.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROGERS related  that the Alaska Forest  Resources & Practices                                                               
Act  guides timber  harvest on  both state  and private  lands in                                                               
Alaska.   State land  has a higher  standard for  riparian buffer                                                               
retention.   In Southeast Alaska, in  particular, anadromous fish                                                               
and  salmon are  another extremely  valuable resource  to Alaska.                                                               
Timber harvest in or outside of  the state forest requires a 100-                                                               
foot no-cut  buffer on each side  of salmon bearing waters.   The                                                               
aforementioned includes a  small Coho rearing stream  that may be                                                               
only a  couple of feet  wide.   Additionally, there is  a 100-300                                                               
foot  zone  beyond  the aforementioned  buffer  where  additional                                                               
consideration is  given to the  water quality and impacts  to the                                                               
stream.  Also,  the land management plans for  state land provide                                                               
additional  guidance.   The  land  to which  he  is referring  is                                                               
guided under both  the Prince of Wales Area Plan  and the Central                                                               
Southeast Area Plan, both of which  generally have a 500 foot no-                                                               
cut  zone  along  the  coast.   The  aforementioned  no-cut  zone                                                               
provides for habitat  as well as visual appeal  and protection of                                                               
eagle nests.   Typically, there  is a 330-foot radius  around any                                                               
known eagle  tree.   Mr. Rogers  opined that  the state  has some                                                               
very good  protections and a  credible program that  balances the                                                               
state's interest in managing timber along with other resources.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:00:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  recalled that  at the  last meeting  it was                                                               
related that the target amount  of allowable harvest in the state                                                               
forest is 8.3 million board feet.   She inquired as to the actual                                                               
demand  from  the  existing  sawmills  in  terms  of  the  target                                                               
allowable harvest.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROGERS explained  that per the Alaska  State Constitution the                                                               
division  is  required to  manage  the  timber in  a  sustainable                                                               
fashion, and therefore  the 8.3 million board feet  is the result                                                               
of  the  state's inventory  and  the  calculation of  growth  and                                                               
yield.  Essentially, the 8.3  million board feet is a sustainable                                                               
output of  timber from  the land  base that  can be  harvested in                                                               
perpetuity.   However, that  is nowhere  near meeting  the demand                                                               
for Alaska's existing mills and  certainly wouldn't allow for any                                                               
growth and  investment in  new mills.   Mr. Rogers  said, "What's                                                               
somewhat frustrating  about this  situation is given  the state's                                                               
land base, I  think this bill represents the state  doing what it                                                               
can to  help the situation on  timber supply.  And  yet, it's not                                                               
enough to really overcome the  supply issues that industry faces,                                                               
but that's really a function of  what the land entitlement is for                                                               
the State of Alaska."  He  reiterated that [HB 105] offers a good                                                               
balance and package to support the industry.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:03:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DICK said  he understands  the idea  of a  no-cut                                                               
zone along salmon  streams, but in the Interior  that's about the                                                               
only  location of  trees.   Therefore, that  regulation basically                                                               
means  there would  be no  logging at  all in  the Interior.   He                                                               
opined that the provision would encourage poaching.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROGERS clarified  that the  riparian standards  he mentioned                                                               
earlier are for coastal Alaska  and there are different standards                                                               
in the Interior as they are  somewhat more permissive.  Again, he                                                               
stated  that it's  a balance  between protecting  important water                                                               
quality and fisheries  and managing the timber.  In  spite of the                                                               
riparian   protections,  there   is  a   significant  amount   of                                                               
underutilized  allowable  cut in  Interior  Alaska.   In  further                                                               
response to Representative  Dick, Mr. Rogers agreed  to talk with                                                               
him further regarding this matter.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:04:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON   related  his  understanding  that   the  lands                                                               
specified  in   HB  105  are   already  available   for  cutting.                                                               
Therefore,  the  purpose  of  HB  105  is  to  provide  for  pre-                                                               
management of the lands on  a rotation cycle, and the legislation                                                               
doesn't  place lands  unavailable  for cutting  in an  [allowable                                                               
harvest zone].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROGERS said  that's correct.   He  explained that  under the                                                               
area  plan  designation,  these  lands are  in  the  category  of                                                               
general  use, which  allows for  timber harvest.   These  are the                                                               
lands  for  which  the allowable  harvest  has  been  calculated.                                                               
Furthermore,  these  are lands  on  which  the state  is  already                                                               
actively  managing timber  sales.   However, one  exception is  a                                                               
small parcel that is in selection  status and is currently in the                                                               
adjudication  process with  the U.S.  Bureau of  Land Management.                                                               
This land, though, has already been  planned for in the Prince of                                                               
Wales area plan and has a general use designation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:05:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  asked whether  that 87 percent  in state                                                               
use will continue  if the timber supply is increased  or will the                                                               
increase merely result in export.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROGERS  remarked that is  doesn't really make  any difference                                                               
because  these lands  are already  part  of the  timber base  the                                                               
state is  managing.  What could  make a difference in  the future                                                               
is whether the  state can maintain its existing  sawmills to have                                                               
the  processing capacity  to  process  the timber.    One of  the                                                               
purposes  of HB  105 is  to  provide certainty  in the  long-term                                                               
tenure  of  the  lands  in   order  to  perform  more  aggressive                                                               
management.   In  fact,  the state  could  actually increase  the                                                               
allowable  harvest if  the trees  can be  grown faster.   If  the                                                               
lands will be  managed as a state forest, it  makes more sense to                                                               
consider practices  such as pre-commercial thinning,  whereby the                                                               
allowable  cut of  these  lands could  conceivably  be more  than                                                               
doubled over the long term.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:07:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROGERS, in  response  to  Representative Gardner,  explained                                                               
that if lands  are designated general use under an  area plan, as                                                               
is the case today,  the state in the future can  sell the land or                                                               
subdivide it or  move into some other use.   Therefore, HB 105 is                                                               
deciding  whether the  state is  committing to  growing trees  on                                                               
these designated  lands, subject  to all  the other  multiple use                                                               
considerations.    This  legislation provides  a  commitment  and                                                               
doesn't  include lands  that the  Division of  Mining, Lands  and                                                               
Water felt were better suited for subdivision or other purposes.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:10:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  CLAUS, Southeast  Alaska Conservation  Council, began  by                                                               
relating that  SEACC supports small  mills, micro sales,  and the                                                               
ability  of folks  to  make  a living  from  the state's  forests                                                               
through a  value-added processing  of timber products.   However,                                                               
SEACC believe  that the public  lands should remain  multiple use                                                               
lands and not be [managed] for  timber as a first priority, as is                                                               
the case in the  state forest.  Most of the  parcels in the state                                                               
forest aren't  areas that SEACC  finds controversial and  they do                                                               
support small mills, particularly in  Thorne Bay.  However, SEACC                                                               
does object  to the Rowan Bay  parcel and Hook Arm  parcel, which                                                               
is on the west coast of Dall Island.   As a resident of Prince of                                                               
Wales Island,  he related  that he  uses the  west coast  of Dall                                                               
Island and all the outer islands  of Prince of Wales for hunting,                                                               
fishing,  and recreation.   Moreover,  tourism businesses  in the                                                               
small town of  Craig use the Hook Arm parcel  for their business.                                                               
Therefore,  Mr. Claus  opined that  Hook Arm  wouldn't be  a good                                                               
addition to the  state forest rather it should  remain a multiple                                                               
use parcel and not be logged.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:11:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[HB 105 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:12:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:12 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
1.HB 60 Hearing Request.pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 60
2.HB0060A.PDF HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 60
3.HB0060-2-2-021611-DNR-N.pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 60
4.HB060-DFG-CFD-02-10-11.pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 60
5.Sponsor Statment HB 60.pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 60
6.Article 02 Aquatic Farming.pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
7.Interesting Geoduck Facts.pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
8.Home page for three minute trailer for "3 feet under - Digging Deep for the Geoduck".pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM
9.Alutiiq Pride Hatchery Geoduck Letter.pdf HRES 3/9/2011 1:00:00 PM