Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/28/1994 03:36 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                         March 28, 1994                                        
                           3:36 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Mike Miller, Chairman                                                 
 Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman                                            
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Senator Fred Zharoff                                                          
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Drue Pearce                                                           
 Senator Al Adams                                                              
 Senator Dave Donley                                                           
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 50(RES)                                     
 Relating to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council                      
 comprehensive rationalization plan.                                           
                                                                               
 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 34                                                 
 Requesting the Department of Commerce to give a high priority to              
 fisheries development project grants for the Alaska salmon                    
 industry.                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 306                                                           
 "An Act relating to an antitrust exemption for persons engaged in             
 the fishing industry."                                                        
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 310                                                           
 "An Act relating to the management and sale of state timber;                  
 relating to the classification of state land that would preclude              
 harvesting of timber or would designate harvesting of timber as an            
 incompatible use; relating to the administration of forest land,              
 proposals for state forest, and the determination of sustained                
 yield; and providing for an effective date."                                  
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 311                                                           
 "An Act authorizing a credit against the fishery resource landing             
 tax for certain contributions made by taxpayers not harvesting                
 fisheries resources under a community development quota and for               
 contributions based on fishery resources not harvested under a                
 quota made by taxpayers harvesting fisheries resources under a                
 community development quota, amending the manner of calculating the           
 amount available for revenue sharing by operation of this credit,             
 and expediting agency review of the credit applications under that            
 tax; and providing for an effective date."                                    
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 339                                                           
 "An Act relating to the management of state land and resources;               
 relating to certain remote parcel and homestead entry land purchase           
 contracts and patents; and providing for an effective date."                  
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
 HJR 50 - See Resources dated 3/24/94.                                         
                                                                               
 HJR 34 - See Resources minutes dated 3/25/94.                                 
                                                                               
 SB 306 - See Resources minutes dated 3/24/94.                                 
                                                                               
 SB 310 - See Resources minutes dated 3/2/94, 3/16/94, 3/22/94, and            
          3/24/94.                                                             
                                                                               
 SB 311 - See Resources minutes dated 3/23/94.                                 
                                                                               
 SB 339 - See Resources minutes dated 3/18/94, 3/21/94, 3/28/94, and           
          4/8/94.                                                              
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Rick Solie, Legislative Aide                                                  
 c/o Senator Steve Frank                                                       
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on CSSB 310.                                 
                                                                               
 Tom Boutin, Director                                                          
 Division of Forestry                                                          
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 400 Willoughby                                                                
 Juneau, Ak. 99801-1724                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported CSSB 310.                                    
                                                                               
 Cliff Eames                                                                   
 Alaska Center for the Environment                                             
 519 W 8th Ave., #201                                                          
 Anchorage, Ak. 99501                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 339 except for sections 20 and            
 21.                                                                           
                                                                               
 Larry Smith                                                                   
 Kachemak Resources Institute                                                  
 1520 Lakeshore Dr.                                                            
 Homer, Ak. 99603                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 339.                                   
                                                                               
 Steve Gibson                                                                  
 1622 Highland Dr.                                                             
 Homer, Ak. 99603                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed sections 20 and 21 of SB 339.                  
 Glenn Juday                                                                   
 4837 Palo Verde                                                               
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99709                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed sections 20 and 21 of SB 339.                  
                                                                               
 Jan Dawe                                                                      
 P.O. Box 82003                                                                
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99708                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed sections 20 and 21 of SB 339.                  
                                                                               
 Lane Thompson                                                                 
 P.O. Box 80368                                                                
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99708                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed SB 339                                         
                                                                               
 Silvia Ward                                                                   
 Northern Alaska Environmental Center                                          
 218 Driveway                                                                  
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99701                                                          
    POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed SB 339.                                      
                                                                               
   Doug Yates                                                                  
 P.O. Box 221                                                                  
 Ester, Ak. 99725                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed sections 20 and 21 of SB 339.                  
                                                                               
 Martha Reynolds                                                               
 P.O. Box 84169                                                                
 Fairbanks, Ak. 99708                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed sections 20 and 21 of SB 339.                  
                                                                               
  William Dunne                                                                
 Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                    
 P.O. Box 22151                                                                
 Juneau, Ak. 99802                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:                                                          
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-31, SIDE A                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at            
 3:36 p.m. and announced  CS  HJR 50(  RES)  (NPFMC COMPREHENSIVE              
 RATIONALIZATION PLAN) to be up for consideration.                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass CSHJR 50(RES) from Committee.  There              
 were no objections and it was so ordered.                                     
 SENATOR MILLER announced  HJR 34  (FED FISH RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT            
 GRANTS) to be up for consideration.                                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF moved to pass HJR 34 from committee.  There were no           
 objections and it was so ordered.                                             
 SENATOR MILLER announced  SB 306  (ANTITRUST EXEMPTION FOR FISHERMEN)    N)   
 to be up for consideration.                                                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF moved to pass SB 306 from committee with individual           
 recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.             
 SENATOR MILLER announced  SB 310  (STATE/PRIVATE/MUNI TIMBER                  
 OPERATION/SALE) to be up for consideration and announced a recess             
 for a couple of minutes.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK moved to adopt the proposed CS, Luckhaupt version U             
 3/18/94, to SB 310.  There were no objections and it was so                   
 ordered.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK moved to adopt amendment 1.                                     
                                                                               
 RICK SOLIE, Legislative Aide for Senator Frank, explained that                
 amendment 1 would amend the section for small timber sales not in             
 the 5 year plan to be noticed sales under AS 38.05.945 (b) which              
 would allow the public 30 days notice.                                        
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER said there were no objections and amendment 1                  
 passed.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 85                                                                     
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK moved to adopt amendment 2, Luckhaupt U2.                       
                                                                               
 RICK SOLIE explained that this amendment would more clearly follow            
 Senator Frank's intent with a comment period of not less than 30              
 days and not more than 60.                                                    
                                                                               
 TOM BOUTIN, Director, Division of Forestry, said there was no                 
 problem with these amendments and that the public process was very            
 important.                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER announced there were no objections and amendment 2             
 was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK moved to adopt amendment 3, Luckhaupt U3.                       
                                                                               
 RICK SOLIE said this amendment provides for a renewal for an FMA              
 that would not lock the state into an extension.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER said there were no objections to amendment 3 and it            
 was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 136                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK moved to adopt amendment 4, Luckhaupt U4.                       
                                                                               
 MR. SOLIE said amendment 4 would put some bonding provisions in the           
 bill that the department already practices requiring it of FMAs.              
                                                                               
 MR. BOUTIN said these were already a feature of their ongoing                 
 contracts.                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER noted there were no objections and amendment 4 was             
 adopted.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK moved to adopt amendment 5, Luckhaupt U5.                       
                                                                               
 MR. SOLIE said amendment 5 inserts the definition of sustained                
 yield that is in Title 38, not the one in Title 41.                           
                                                                               
 MR. BOUTIN said this definition is a little more comprehensive and            
 is the one the Division of Forestry has to follow anyway on state             
 land.                                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE asked what the difference was.                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK explained under Title 41 if this were a universe of             
 forest, you could cut at a faster rate.  It there was a 100 year              
 regeneration cycle, you could cut more than 1/100 per year if it              
 made sense.  Under even flow you are more restricted to doing it              
 evenly over the regeneration cycles.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. BOUTIN explained that the underlying fear of this amendment is            
 if the state had timber on, for example, 100 year rotation, and put           
 all of that timber under a 20 year contract, using the Title 41               
 definition, the state could log the entire 100 years of timber in             
 the first 20 years and then be out of timber for 80 years.                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE asked if even flow would be applied to all state               
 forests or to each sale.  MR. BOUTIN said the state doesn't have in           
 law a unit concept.  It does calculate the annual allowable cut for           
 the Tanana Valley State Forest and then for other forests.                    
 SENATOR MILLER noted there were no further objections to amendment            
 5 and it was adopted.                                                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF said under section 6 what did "managing a state               
 forest the Commissioner shall maintain growth at a high level of              
 productivity" mean.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. BOUTIN explained that the Division of Forestry does now remedy            
 forest insect epidemics.  It does now replant after fires to the              
 extent that it can, even though it is not required by law.  They do           
 use precommercial thinning and other forestry methods to maintain             
 a high level of productivity.  He used the Rosie Creek burn as an             
 example.                                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked how he would do that under this bill without            
 having an increased budget.  MR. BOUTIN said one resource that has            
 drawn a lot of attention in respect to the FMAs is the 60 million             
 feet allowable cut of low value hardwood in the interior that isn't           
 being used now.  A lot of it is dying back and rotting, so bringing           
 this timber into forestation would increase the level of                      
 productivity geometrically and without any cost.  That timber has             
 a positive market value if there is an industry built to use it.              
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK moved to pass CSSB 310(RES) from committee with                 
 individual recommendations. SENATOR ZHAROFF objected.  He said we             
 just went through a major revision with the Forest Practices Act,             
 and a number of people put a lot of effort into that.  This is a              
 move around that Act and it is causing a great deal of concern.               
 SENATORS MILLER, LEMAN, FRANK, and PEARCE, voted yes; SENATOR                 
 ZHAROFF voted no and CSSB 310(RES) passed from committee.                     
 Number 344                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER announced  SB 311  (CREDIT TO FISHERY RESOURCE LANDING    NG   
 TAX) to be up for consideration.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN moved amendment 1.  There was an objection.  SENATOR            
 LEMAN said he applauded the intent of the bill.  However, in light            
 of having consistent state tax policy we should make sure our tax             
 credits are somewhat consistent.                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO explained that CDQ harvesters would get 100% and non            
 CDQ harvesters would get 50%.                                                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR JACKO said he was concerned that amendment 1 would not give           
 factory trawlers enough incentive to pay to get the credit.                   
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK said he would like to understand more about the total           
 tax situation.                                                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE agreed with Senator Leman and read from a statute              
 the legislature passed last year regarding credits.                           
                                                                               
 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked who would determine if the person is being              
 trained at $25,000 or $50,000 for a specific skill and who, then,             
 would receive the funding for that training.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 522                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN said because of the questions regarding his amendment           
 he would withdraw it at this time, but requested that it accompany            
 the bill, if it is discharged today.                                          
 SENATOR FRANK moved to pass CSSB 311 from committee with individual           
 recommendations with accompanying fiscal notes and the accompanying           
 amendment.  SENATOR ZHAROFF objected to say there is a lawsuit out            
 there, also.  He wanted a clear understanding that this is not                
 affecting those monies that go back to the municipalities if there            
 is a shared tax.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR MILLER said CSSB 311 moved from committee with individual             
 recommendations.                                                              
 Number 556                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER announced  SB 339  (MANAGEMENT OF STATE LAND AND               
 RESOURCES) to be up for consideration.  He said they would take               
 testimony only.                                                               
                                                                               
 CLIFF EAMES, Alaska Center for the Environment, supported SB 339              
 and most of the proposed amendments.  They appear to be                       
 housekeeping amendments.  He said the catastrophic nature of the              
 insect infestation has been grossly overstated in Alaska.                     
                                                                               
  TAPE 94-31, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 580                                                                   
                                                                               
 The idea that these trees are wasted if they are not logged is not            
 the case, if you talk to an ecologist, MR. EAMES said.  These trees           
 are recycled into the ecosystem which has been the case for                   
 hundreds of thousands of years.  In conclusion, he opposed sections           
 20 and 21 of SB 339.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 568                                                                    
                                                                               
 LARRY SMITH, Kachemak Resource Institute, said he has spent 20                
 years chasing bark bugs one way or the other.  Professionally he is           
 a lumber user.  He said that bad logging caused more beetles.  We             
 need to have consistency within the forestry division which is                
 headed by a good person this year.  Our recent experience with                
 salvage sales in Cook Inlet should be closely examined.  The big              
 bark beetle scare led to a 223,000 acre long term sale to a big               
 international company in which we lost a lot of money, damaged                
 habitat, and caused more bark beetles.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. SMITH said he believed we need enforcement of the provisions              
 enacted by the legislature in 1990 to control bark beetles.  DNR              
 needs to do what they were told by the legislature before the rules           
 are changed again.                                                            
                                                                               
 STEVE GIBSON, Homer, said he was a local sawmiller for the last 15            
 years.  He said section 20 is unnecessary for a responsible                   
 planning agency.  Under current 5 year planning requirements, the             
 sale can be executed within 14 months of conception.  Most of the             
 timber on the Kenai Peninsula is of marginal or submarginal value             
 when not infested.  It requires a subsidy even to sell it.                    
                                                                               
 SB 339 is a law designed to circumvent intelligent public opinion             
 and not solicit it.  He strongly urged them to abandon sections 20            
 and 21 of SB 339.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 512                                                                    
                                                                               
 GLENN JUDAY, Fairbanks, said he is a professional forester and was            
 concerned with sections 20 and 21, because they look like an avenue           
 to avoid conforming with the land use plan in place for the                   
 affected area.  He was also concerned that it requires the                    
 Commissioner to see into the future regarding insect epidemic.                
 Rather than lose substantial economic value, there should be some             
 requirement to provide for a net return to the state on its                   
 resources.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 483                                                                    
                                                                               
 JAN DAWE, Fairbanks, was concerned with sections 20 and 21 of SB              
 339.  She said it does in a backdoor manner what SB 310 does in the           
 open.  She is concerned the last leg of the 5 year timber harvest             
 schedule is being taken away from public oversight.                           
                                                                               
 She asked for the rationale behind section 21 and how they get a              
 best interest finding out of it.                                              
                                                                               
 MR. BOUTIN said the Division has run into this issue quite                    
 regularly particularly when the Department of Transportation is               
 going to use barrow pits and where there has been an intended                 
 conversion to agricultural use.  Sometimes those conversions need             
 to take place more quickly than 38.05.113 would allow.                        
                                                                               
 MS. DAWE said the public should have advanced notice and strongly             
 urged they to remand sections 20 and 21.                                      
                                                                               
 LANE THOMPSON, Fairbanks civil engineer, opposed sections 20 and 21           
 of SB 339 which seems to be designed to circumvent the public                 
 comment that is possible under existing law.  With the University             
 lands and Mental Health lands coming up, there is a much bigger               
 opportunity for clear cutting than would be available under                   
 existing law.  He opposed sections 20 and 21, because they are                
 designed to keep the public out.  We need to get on with rational             
 planning of the long-term logging industry in the Tanana Valley, he           
 said, and drop SB 310 and SB 339.                                             
                                                                               
 SILVIA WARD, Norther Alaska Environmental Center, commented that in           
 sections 20 and 21 with salvage sales there is no requirement for             
 reforestation which is not good forestry practice.                            
                                                                               
 Number 380                                                                    
                                                                               
 DOUG YATES, Fairbanks, objected to sections 20 and 21.  Salvage               
 sales are negotiated sales of forest resources and response the               
 insect infestation is unwarranted at this time.  These sections               
 will not improve forest health, appear to be designed to create a             
 false rational for timber harvest.  Please tighten the existing               
 regulations within the Division of Forestry, he urged.  Follow the            
 public process and provide regulatory continuity for Alaska's                 
 forest resources.  Economic values of unutilized wood fiber is not            
 the only measurement you should be considering.                               
                                                                               
 MARTHA REYNOLDS, Fairbanks, said section 20 sets no limits on size            
 of salvage sales and shows no provision for public input, even if             
 the sales are very large.  She is concerned that sections 20 and 21           
 make no mention of net income flow and have no requirements for the           
 state getting fair value for their timber resources.                          
                                                                               
 WILLIAM DUNNE, Alaska Environmental Lobby, has little or no                   
 objections to the majority of proposed changes to SB 339 which have           
 been updated.  Other provisions, sections 20 and 21, will cause               
 great harm to the environment and should be addressed separately.             
                                                                               
 His objections were to the conditions of salvage sales in section             
 20.  They do support the salvage of timber on land that would be              
 converted to nonforest uses.  They oppose exempting salvage timber            
 sales for existing size limits, public involvement, and restoration           
 provisions of state law.  Many biologists and forest ecologists               
 feel that forest epidemics are self regulating and actually improve           
 habitat for many types of wildlife.  Records indicate that bark               
 beetle outbreaks have occurred regularly over the past 70 years               
 without negative impacts to overall forest health.  Forest health             
 problems are associated with fire suppression, poor logging                   
 practices, seismic trail power line, and road building activities.            
                                                                               
 Salvage sale provisions in sections 20 and 21 would create a                  
 loophole allowing large scale negotiated long term timber sales in            
 areas where DNR claims health problems exist.  The U.S. Forest                
 Service has abused their salvage sale provisions extensively on               
 national forests for years.  These sections would give the                    
 Commissioner of DNR extraordinary latitude in determining and even            
 predicting forest health, employment levels, and timber values.               
 SENATOR MILLER said they would work with this bill before bringing            
 it before the committee and adjourned the meeting at 4:52 p.m.                
                                                                               

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