Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/11/2005 03:30 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 85 OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE ON DALTON HIGHWAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 85 Out of Committee
+= SB 96 UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT/STATE FOREST TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 198 AQUATIC PLANT& SHELLFISH FARMING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 198(RES)(title am)
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 11, 2005                                                                                         
                           3:34 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Ralph Seekins, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 198(RES)(title am)                                                                                        
"An Act relating to aquatic plant and shellfish farming; and                                                                    
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     MOVED CSHB 198(RES)(title am) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 85                                                                                                              
"An Act repealing the ban on the use of certain off-road                                                                        
vehicles within five miles of the right-of-way of the James                                                                     
Dalton Highway; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     MOVED SB 85 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 96                                                                                                              
"An Act granting certain state land to the University of Alaska                                                                 
and establishing the university research forest; and providing                                                                  
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 198                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AQUATIC PLANT& SHELLFISH FARMING                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ELKINS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/04/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/04/05       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
03/18/05       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/18/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 198(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/18/05       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/21/05       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) 3DP 2NR                                                                                
03/21/05       (H)       DP: WILSON, ELKINS, THOMAS;                                                                            
03/21/05       (H)       NR: HARRIS, KAPSNER                                                                                    
03/30/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/30/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 198(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/30/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/01/05       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) 4DP 3NR 1AM                                                                            
04/01/05       (H)       DP: OLSON, ELKINS, CRAWFORD, SAMUELS;                                                                  
04/01/05       (H)       NR: KAPSNER, LEDOUX, RAMRAS;                                                                           
04/01/05       (H)       AM: GATTO                                                                                              
04/04/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/04/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 198(RES)(TITLE AM)                                                                       
04/06/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/06/05       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
04/11/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  85                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE ON DALTON HIGHWAY                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/31/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/31/05       (S)       TRA, RES                                                                                               
02/08/05       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/08/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
02/15/05       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/15/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/15/05       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
02/17/05       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/17/05       (S)       Moved SB  85 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/17/05       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
02/18/05       (S)       TRA RPT 3DP 1DNP                                                                                       
02/18/05       (S)       DP: HUGGINS, COWDERY, THERRIAULT                                                                       
02/18/05       (S)       DNP: FRENCH                                                                                            
03/21/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/21/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/08/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/08/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/08/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/11/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  96                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT/STATE FOREST                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/07/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/07/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/08/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/08/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/08/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/11/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOS GOVAARES                                                                                                                    
Staff to Representative Jim Elkins                                                                                              
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 198 for the sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKE BELL                                                                                                                       
Offnet - No address provided                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HEIDI SCHOPPENHART                                                                                                              
Wiseman AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VARSHA MATHRANI                                                                                                                 
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
WILLIE DUNNE                                                                                                                    
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JULES DUNNE                                                                                                                     
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVID NUETZEL                                                                                                                   
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JEREMY MINER                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DARCY WARDEN                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JULIA SMITH                                                                                                                     
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LEWIS THEIA                                                                                                                     
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 85.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BOB LOEFFLER, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
400 Willoughby Ave.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK  99801-1724                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JOE BEEDLE, Vice President                                                                                                      
Division of Finance                                                                                                             
University of Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DEB SPENCER                                                                                                                     
Pelican AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MIKE RIEVES                                                                                                                     
Hollis AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented SB 96.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
RICH FLEISHMAN                                                                                                                  
Warm Springs Bay AK                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH TULLIS                                                                                                                
Warm Springs Bay AK                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOHN HERSHENRIDER                                                                                                               
Warm Springs Bay                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE LUNDSFED                                                                                                              
Warm Springs Bay AK                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SASHA CONTE                                                                                                                     
Southeast Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PAUL JOHNSON                                                                                                                    
Elfin Cove AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
NEAL DARISH                                                                                                                     
McCarthy AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HENRICH KADAK                                                                                                                   
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to SB 96.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MICHEL NILAND                                                                                                                   
McCarthy AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JASON ESLER                                                                                                                     
McCarthy AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JULIE HURSEY                                                                                                                    
Petersburg AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MELINDA HOFSTAD                                                                                                                 
Baranof Homeowners Association                                                                                                  
Petersburg AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VALERY MCCANDLESS, Mayor                                                                                                        
City of Wrangell AK                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RON SHONENBACK                                                                                                                  
Juneau AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOAN BRODY                                                                                                                      
Kodiak Island AK                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER PRICE                                                                                                                  
Sitka AK                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DANIEL TRAIL                                                                                                                    
Tom's Place AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
GABE SWINEY                                                                                                                     
Sitka AK                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALLAN SMITH                                                                                                                     
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MERYL THOMPSON                                                                                                                  
Susitna Valley AK                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 96.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVE NUETSEL                                                                                                                    
Girdwood AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  called   the  Senate  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 3:34:06 PM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Seekins, Dyson and Chair Wagoner.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
            HB 198-AQUATIC PLANT & SHELLFISH FARMING                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMAS WAGONER  announced CSHB 198(RES)(title am)  to be up                                                               
for consideration.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOS GOVAARES, staff  to Representative Jim Elkins,  sponsor of HB                                                               
198  said  it  is  identical  to SB  126,  sponsored  by  Senator                                                               
Stedman. He offered to answer questions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIM ELTON arrived at 3:34:58 PM.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS moved to  pass CSSB 198(RES)(title am) from                                                               
committee with  individual recommendations and the  attached zero                                                               
fiscal note. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:35:53 PM At ease 3:38:30 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                              
3:38:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN joined the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
         SB  85-OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE ON DALTON HIGHWAY                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMAS WAGONER announced SB 85 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS moved  to adopt the letter of  intent. There were                                                               
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:39:46 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE BELL  testified on behalf  of the oil trucking  industry and                                                               
said that the  Dalton Highway was not  designed with recreational                                                               
vehicles  in  mind.   It  has  no  shoulders  and   there  is  no                                                               
enforcement. Safe  driving is up  to the judgment  and experience                                                               
of individual  drivers. Opening up  the road will  encourage more                                                               
users. He suggested  upgrading shoulders if this  bill happens to                                                               
pass.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:42:45 PM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI  SCHOPPENHART, Wiseman  lodge owner,  opposed SB  85 urging                                                               
the  committee to  think  seriously about  what  the bill  really                                                               
does. The  Dalton Highway  was developed  as a  utility corridor.                                                               
People are already able to travel  on it and it attracts visitors                                                               
from all over the world.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:45:51 PM                                                                                                                    
VARSHA   MATHRANI,  Environmental   Health  Coordinator,   Alaska                                                               
Community Action  on Toxics, Anchorage,  said she is  speaking on                                                               
her own behalf in opposition to  SB 85. She has graduate training                                                               
in environmental health sciences  from the University of Michigan                                                               
and a Bachelor's Degree in  Biology focusing on environmental and                                                               
ecosystem science. She  has also worked at  Toolik Research Field                                                               
Station and  in the Brooks  Range where the University  of Alaska                                                               
Fairbanks does  state-of-the-art Arctic  field and  lab research.                                                               
She opposed  SB 85 because  of what it  would do to  the pristine                                                               
untouched  tundra in  the Arctic  and the  consequences it  would                                                               
have  on current  and future  scientific  research. Further,  she                                                               
said SB  85 would be  economically burdensome for  state agencies                                                               
and  would  violate long-standing  promises  made  to local  area                                                               
residents. She said:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The  implications on  scientific research  are real  as                                                                    
     tracks  formed  in  the  Arctic  are  long-lasting  and                                                                    
     pretty    much   permanent.    It   can    affect   the                                                                    
     biogeochemistry of  this area  profoundly. It  also has                                                                    
     negative effects  on wildlife from noise  and pollution                                                                    
     and  local Native  populations who  use  this area  for                                                                    
     subsistence....                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:49:33 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIE DUNNE, hunter,  fisher and biologist for 30  years said he                                                               
lives adjacent  to the Anchor  River watershed, a  wonderful area                                                               
for salmon and steelhead fishing. He testified that:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     We have a Kenai area  plan that is designed to regulate                                                                    
     uses of  the lands. We  also have laws,  which prohibit                                                                    
     the  use  of  motorized  vehicles  in  salmon  spawning                                                                    
     streams.  Despite all  that, we  have a  great deal  of                                                                    
     damage from ATVs in our salmon spawning streams.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. DUNNE  presented the  committee with  photographs of  some of                                                               
the damaged Anchor River watershed  areas. Sedimentation has been                                                               
documented  that  affects  both  the salmon  fry  and  the  eggs.                                                               
Rechannelization cuts  off spawning areas  and isolates  fry from                                                               
their egress  out to the  river. "Basically, despite  having laws                                                               
to try  and prevent  this, we  have had  an incredible  amount of                                                               
damage from ATVs in the Anchor River watershed."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:52:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS joined the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:52:51 PM                                                                                                                    
JULES   DUNNE  said   she  felt   the  existing   statute  making                                                               
nonmotorized access possible  is working well and  opposed SB 85.                                                               
Opening the corridor to off-road  vehicles would have devastating                                                               
irreparable long-term effects on  the fragile ecosystem. It opens                                                               
the  door to  many legal,  safety and  enforcement problems  that                                                               
there is  no fiscal note for.  It makes more sense  to plan ahead                                                               
for the necessary regulations and provide the funding now.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:53:59 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID NUETZEL opposed SB 85.  He has traveled the entire distance                                                               
to the North Slope and said  the existing law is working well. He                                                               
said there are only two  law enforcement personnel for the entire                                                               
area and  he didn't  see where  funding would  come for  more. He                                                               
pointed  out that  SB 85  doesn't create  any new  standards, but                                                               
only repeals the existing law.  The whole area could be destroyed                                                               
at once.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:56:26 PM                                                                                                                    
JEREMY MINER,  Fairbanks resident,  asked what the  motivation is                                                               
for repealing  the law  without consideration  of its  effects on                                                               
the land.  One year is  not long  enough to adequately  study the                                                               
issue if  this bill  passes. He  suggested allowing  local, state                                                               
and  federal officials  to develop  management  plans and  impact                                                               
assessments beforehand  and providing funding for  them. Once the                                                               
findings are made  public, specific sections of the  law could be                                                               
addressed rather than just repealing the whole thing.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:58:12 PM                                                                                                                    
DARCY  WARDEN, Fairbanks  resident,  said she  formerly lived  in                                                               
Galena. She  likes having  the opportunity to  hunt and  fish. If                                                               
the  five-mile  corridor were  opened  up,  use activities  would                                                               
change; there  would be damage  from off road  vehicles including                                                               
damage to  nesting birds.  She emphasized  that tundra  damage is                                                               
not repairable.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:00:09 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIA SMITH, Anchorage,  opposed SB 85. There  are no limitations                                                               
or regulations  and people will  get into trouble. She  wanted to                                                               
know where the  money to rescue people would come  from. She said                                                               
the Dalton  Highway has limited  services; sometimes  people have                                                               
to beg for gas from the pipeline businesses located there.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRED  DYSON  asked  if   she  feels  that  public  lands                                                               
shouldn't be opened up to the general public.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMITH  replied that  she thought  that limitations  should be                                                               
put in place depending on where  the land is and how dangerous it                                                               
is.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  asked if people  going into the  wilderness should                                                               
be forced  to go to  classes or  go through an  inspection before                                                               
going out and dealing with the risks.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SMITH replied that they should have some training.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:03:48 PM                                                                                                                    
LEWIS THEIA,  testifying in Juneau, said  the original protection                                                               
for the road, which is in  the pipeline corridor, is quid pro quo                                                               
to get allowances  for pipeline construction. He is  proud of the                                                               
stewardship the  state has exhibited  over the past 30  years. If                                                               
the eyes  of the  nation are on  ANWR, he thought  it would  be a                                                               
poor  choice  on  state's  part to  abandon  protection  of  this                                                               
corridor. He said:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     On the contrary, we should hold  it up as an example of                                                                    
     follow-through  of  responsible  development.  I  think                                                                    
     good stewardship  is consistency and good  business for                                                                    
     Alaska.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:04:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER closed the public  hearing saying he would hold the                                                               
bill  in  committee this  year.  He  plans  to hold  hearings  in                                                               
Barrow, Fairbanks and Coldfoot to get  more of a feel for how the                                                               
public thinks about it.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:06:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS  said  she  dealt   with  this  in  the  Judiciary                                                               
Committee  and  asked   what  the  zero  fiscal   note  from  the                                                               
Department of Public Safety means.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:06:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS replied the bill  itself does not create a fiscal                                                               
note for a number of reasons.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     First,  the Department  of Public  Safety has  not said                                                                    
     that they  think there is  any reason at this  point to                                                                    
     increase traffic  in order to  be able to take  care of                                                                    
     visitors.  There's an  extended  effective  date -  the                                                                    
     planning process  will take  some time.   DNR  has said                                                                    
     they  don't  believe  that there  is  a  huge  planning                                                                    
     process that  will have  to take place  for them  to be                                                                    
     able to take a look at  some of these things. The first                                                                    
     180 miles of the road  is federal property. The BLM has                                                                    
     had  a land  use plan  on the  shelf -  a draft  plan -                                                                    
     since  1991. They  will go  through the  public hearing                                                                    
     process  to  be able  to  take  into consideration  the                                                                    
     thoughts of  the people along the  route...what affects                                                                    
     it might have on different animal species....                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:07:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS joined the committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:07:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS continued explaining that  the Board of Game said                                                               
it would look at changes out of  cycle if need be and while there                                                               
might  be fiscal  impacts  down  the road,  much  of the  thought                                                               
behind the planning has already  taken place. The landowners have                                                               
anticipated  that there  will  be demand  from  people to  access                                                               
public  lands and  the federal  portion or  the road  already has                                                               
campgrounds, pullouts and restrooms.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:10:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  moved SB  85 from committee  with the  letter of                                                               
intent and individual recommendations.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  objected to  say  if  that  kind of  outreach  is                                                               
happening to  people along the  corridor, then it makes  sense to                                                               
keep SB  85 in this standing  committee. The bill could  be moved                                                               
in January 2006.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER said  the agreement is to move it  to Rules. If the                                                               
Resources Committee wanted it back, he was sure he could get it.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON removed his objection.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS explained his agreement  with the Rules Committee                                                               
is  that the  bill would  be brought  back after  the public  had                                                               
testified on it.  Therefore, SB 85 moved from  committee with the                                                               
attached letter of intent.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:13:35 PM At Ease 4:15:34 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
           SB  96-UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT/STATE FOREST                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR WAGONER announced SB 96 to be up for consideration.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BOB  LOEFFLER,  Director, Division  of  Mining,  Land and  Water,                                                               
Department  of  Natural  Resources   (DNR),  explained  that  the                                                               
Governor  promised  to  provide   the  University  of  Alaska  an                                                               
adequate  land  base. In  2000,  the  Legislature addressed  this                                                               
problem  and  passed  SB  7 transferring  260,000  acres  to  the                                                               
University, but  it had some  significant problems. It had  a $17                                                               
million  fiscal  note  and  took 10  years  and  didn't  transfer                                                               
particularly good  quality land.  This bill provides  a mechanism                                                               
that transfers 71 parcels to the  University all at once for less                                                               
than  5 percent  of the  original  estimated cost.  In short,  it                                                               
accomplishes the  objective of SB  7 and gives  significant value                                                               
to the University at a significantly less cost to the state.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:18:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  said he was  concerned about transfer  of Pelican,                                                               
Mite  Cove  and  Idaho  Inlet,  parcels  on  northwest  Chichagof                                                               
Island. He related that:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     It's been characterized to me that those parcels make                                                                      
         up almost 100 percent of the state land in the                                                                         
      northwest Chichagof region, 99.76 percent. Does that                                                                      
     sound right to you?                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER replied that sounded right.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON said a lot of  land in the northwest Chichagof area                                                               
was disposed in earlier years  and then in another 800-plus acres                                                               
were  given to  the University  in the  2000s. He  asked if  that                                                               
sounded right.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER replied that he  wouldn't characterize that as a lot                                                               
of land, but  in general, a small percentage of  private land and                                                               
even a small percentage of  state holdings in Southeast have been                                                               
disposed. The University got a  significant amount as a result of                                                               
a court settlement in 2000.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  asked him to  characterize those lands  and wanted                                                               
to know if they were timber or cabin sites, for instance.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOEFFLER   replied  that,  in   general,  lands   that  were                                                               
classified forestry with  the expectation of timber  were not put                                                               
on the list  to go to the University. Because  of the downturn in                                                               
the  Forest   Service,  the  state's  Division   of  Forestry  is                                                               
maximizing its  allowable cut. To avoid  impacting the division's                                                               
allowable cut, he did not  put timberlands in this settlement. He                                                               
guessed they were recreational or  subdivision-type lands for the                                                               
most part.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:21:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS asked  if the Legislature, as a  condition of the                                                               
transfer of  these lands  to the  University, could  prohibit the                                                               
future  sale,  lease  or  transfer of  lands  conveyed  to  501c3                                                               
organizations   or  others   that  would   make  them   de  facto                                                               
conservation lands  rather than  lands available  for development                                                               
without legislative approval.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER said he didn't see why that couldn't be done.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:22:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN announced that he  had an amendment regarding the                                                               
50 ft.  from mean high  tide setback requirement, because  if its                                                               
impacts on  shorelines in Southeast  Alaska. The easement  in the                                                               
bill is  unspecified and  he thought  the Legislative  intent was                                                               
for pedestrian access along the shorefront.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
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                      A M E N D M E N T 1                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                        BY SENATOR STEDMAN                                                                 
     TO:  CSSB 96(RES), Draft Version "G"                                                                                       
Page 8, line 18:                                                                                                                
     Delete "shall"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Page 8, line 19, following "(1)":                                                                                               
     Insert "shall"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Page 8, line 20:                                                                                                                
     Delete "and"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Page 8, line 21, following "(2)":                                                                                               
     Insert "shall"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Page 8, line 22, following "plans":                                                                                             
     Insert "; and                                                                                                              
               (3)  before granting a lease of the land estate                                                                  
     or conveyance of land adjacent to any water affected by                                                                    
     tidal action,                                                                                                              
                    (A)  shall reserve along that water an                                                                      
          access easement that                                                                                                  
                         (i)  is continuous, unless topography                                                                  
               or land status prevents a continuous easement;                                                                   
               and                                                                                                              
                         (ii)  extends 10 feet from the mean                                                                    
               high  water  line on  the  side  to be  leased  or                                                               
               conveyed,  and  on both  sides  of  the mean  high                                                               
               water line if  land on both sides is  to be leased                                                               
               or conveyed; and                                                                                                 
                    (B)  may reserve an alternative upland                                                                      
          access route if the department finds that access along                                                                
          an easement reserved under (A) of this paragraph might                                                                
          be difficult because of topography or obstructions"                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN explained  that  most  communities in  Southeast                                                               
Alaska use  a 20  ft. front setback  for their  residential homes                                                               
and he  first thought of  changing the 50  ft. setback to  10 ft.                                                               
But, at the department's urging,  his easement language is 25 ft.                                                               
along  saltwater shorelines,  which addresses  Southeast Alaska's                                                               
concern.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS objected for discussion and asked him to explain                                                                
what kind of easements he was talking about.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN replied public access easements.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:26:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS  asked him to  clarify if he was  suggesting moving                                                               
the easement from "unspecified" or from 50 ft. to 25 ft.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN replied  that historically department regulations                                                               
have not defined a specific footage  for easements, but 50 ft. is                                                               
what is generally used. The issue  here is the public should have                                                               
right to access  the shore and beach and what  measurement off of                                                               
mean high tide  is applicable. He has other issues  with the non-                                                               
definition, but this amendment only  addresses the front setback.                                                               
Without defining  the easement as a  pedestrian easement, someone                                                               
could start a  four-wheeler road right through the  front of your                                                               
property. Some people  have easements that are 50  ft. above mean                                                               
high tide  and 50 ft.  below mean high,  which would give  an 100                                                               
ft. easement.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS  said  she  agreed with  him  on  insuring  public                                                               
access,  but she  wanted  to  hear from  the  department if  this                                                               
amendment was  needed to  do that.  She also  asked if  it should                                                               
specify  feet or  say public  access, because  the tide  could be                                                               
greater than  25 ft.  in some  areas - so  there wouldn't  be any                                                               
public access at high tide.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:29:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  LOEFFLER  responded that  the  department  doesn't have  the                                                               
ability  to  visit  every  site,   so  historically  and  through                                                               
regulation, 50 ft. easements have  been reserved. This figure has                                                               
been used from Barrow to  Hydaburg. This amendment would apply to                                                               
salt  water  only and  only  in  Southeast;  those are  the  only                                                               
saltwater  parcels in  the  University  transfer. This  amendment                                                               
would trump the  regulation and reduce the 50 ft.  easement to 25                                                               
ft.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:30:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER  asked if  that would generally  be from  mean high                                                               
tide.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER replied yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
4:30:36 PM                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  GUESS asked  if public  testimony said  it needed  to be                                                               
lower than 50 ft. or greater  than 50 ft. for some public reason,                                                               
would the department consider adjusting it.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOEFFLER  replied  yes.  The  department  doesn't  have  the                                                               
ability  to do  site-specific visits  because of  time and  staff                                                               
constraints  and that's  why it  uses 50  ft. with  exceptions in                                                               
unusual  circumstances -  like the  Kenai River  that has  a much                                                               
bigger easement.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The  department   also  has  a  vacation   process  for  changing                                                               
easements and  uses it  about once a  year. This  amendment would                                                               
eliminate the  department's ability  to go above  25 ft.  only in                                                               
Southeast and for the University  transfers. The University could                                                               
add  more easement  footage if  it wished  before the  parcel was                                                               
further disposed of.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:32:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON said he assumed  that this language applies only to                                                               
the commissioner prior to conveyance,  but would not restrict the                                                               
University from setting its own easement.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN responded  that  his understanding  is that  the                                                               
University could  use whatever plat  restrictions it  thought was                                                               
in the  best interests of the  public in the area  and noted that                                                               
it had exhibited very good stewardship in the past.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:32:56 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE  BEEDLE,  Vice  President,  Finance,  University  of  Alaska,                                                               
explained  that  traditionally  the  University  has  interpreted                                                               
transfers from DNR that have  these easements to be maintained on                                                               
water  bodies including  salt  water. It  would  be reluctant  to                                                               
diminish  the   restriction  and  would  feel   more  capable  of                                                               
expanding  it  in an  area  that  needed certain  protections  or                                                               
accesses.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON  asked how  Mr.  Loeffler  would treat  rebounding                                                               
glaciers along tidelands.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER replied that easements  only come into play when the                                                               
department is  disposing of private land  and retaining something                                                               
to the state. He  has not had a lot of  opportunity to dispose of                                                               
private  land  in  front  of   rebounding  glaciers.  He  thought                                                               
Gustavus might be an exception.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON said  we're rebounding  here  at a  half inch  per                                                               
year. He  thought this would  be applicable to Pelican  and Idaho                                                               
Inlet.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER pointed out that  the easement is referenced to mean                                                               
high tide.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN added  that mean high tide changes  over time and                                                               
some surveys  are 100 years old.  The mean high tide  is changing                                                               
especially  in  northern  Southeast  due  to  the  glacial  melt,                                                               
especially along the Stikine where sediment is built up.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:36:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS removed his objection  to Amendment 1. There were                                                               
no further objections and Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:36:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON moved Amendment 2.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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                      A M E N D M E N T 2                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                          BY SENATOR ELTON                                                                 
     TO:  CSSB  96(RES), Draft Version "G"                                                                                      
Page 7, line 30:                                                                                                                
     Delete "JU.LM.1001, Lena Creek"                                                                                            
     Insert "SD.1001, Sumdum"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS and STEDMAN objected for an explanation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON explained that  this amendment basically replicates                                                               
what a  House committee  did in deleting  the withdrawal  of Lena                                                               
Creek, which is  a 600-plus-acre parcel, which  would probably be                                                               
used for residential housing. In  place of Lena Creek, it inserts                                                               
Sumdum  Island, a  five-acre that  is an  historic Tlingit  site.                                                               
Line  5 duplicates  the House  Finance  amendment that  withdraws                                                               
from  conveyance  the parcels  on  northwest  Chichagof that  are                                                               
designated Idaho Inlet, Mite cove  and Pelican. A couple of those                                                               
parcels, especially  the one at Idaho  Inlet, can get in  the way                                                               
of some of the economic activity that is now occurring there.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He explained that  those three parcels comprise  99.76 percent of                                                               
all  the remaining  state  land that  is  available on  northwest                                                               
Chichagof Island and  that is one of the areas  about which there                                                               
have been  serious discussions amongst  the communities  of Elfin                                                               
Cove,  Gustavus, Pelican  and Hoonah  about incorporating  into a                                                               
borough government.  Withdrawal of  these parcels  constrains the                                                               
lands that  would be available  to any new government  that might                                                               
be formed in that region.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN objected for discussion purposes.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEEDLE responded  that it appears that Lena  Creek was slated                                                               
under the  comprehensive plan of  the Juneau Douglas  Borough for                                                               
development purposes and was  withdrawn for negotiating purposes.                                                               
"It  is  no  surprise  that  it  is  trading  stock  for  putting                                                               
something else back on."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Personally, he  would like to  see Sumdum  left on. It  is unique                                                               
for  several reasons  - for  regional disparity  it represents  a                                                               
portion that has very little  land in its close vicinity. Second,                                                               
it is true of the Tracy  Arm - Ford's Terror Wilderness area that                                                               
this  particular parcel  has  no private  in-holdings  and is  an                                                               
equivalent to Bartlett Cove and  Glacier Bay. The bay has several                                                               
areas  of cultural  significance  and he  reminded the  committee                                                               
that the University  is held to at least the  highest standard of                                                               
everyone  else  and  has  a   self-imposed  higher  standard  for                                                               
historical, cultural,  or architectural sites. Sumdum  Island was                                                               
a mining  community development after  its Native use.  The other                                                               
parcels at the northwest end  of Chichagof Island would eliminate                                                               
the  possibility of  selections  by a  government  entity and  he                                                               
suggested a  compromise of  allowing Mite Cove  to remain.  It is                                                               
the  smallest, so  there  would be  some  economic regional  land                                                               
base.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:43:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN  said he  has numerous issues,  but the  one that                                                               
rises now is  the issue of public process.  If individual parcels                                                               
are going to be dissected out,  "There won't be much left when we                                                               
are done. So, I'm  not so sure...that we should try  to look at a                                                               
holistic approach to all these parcels...."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He thought water  quality issues were much  more legitimate than,                                                               
"I  don't want  a neighbor"  and that  running lands  through the                                                               
University to get them into private hands was a good concept.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:45:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DYSON  remembered  talking   to  the  president  of  the                                                               
University about this issue a few years ago. He said:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     'The University needs to watch  out that the lands that                                                                    
     are  given  are  a  long,   long  ways  time-wise  from                                                                    
     producing  revenue  that  will   help  to  support  the                                                                    
     University.'                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The  whole genius  of the  land  grant college  program                                                                    
     was, indeed, to give lands  to the University that they                                                                    
     might  be   able  to,  I  think,   largely  convert  to                                                                    
     agricultural land  and sell or put  into production 100                                                                    
     years ago. But, Mark just  went through with me several                                                                    
     pieces  of  land   that  were  at  that   time  up  for                                                                    
     consideration saying, 'This  is going to take  a lot of                                                                    
     work on the part of my  staff to develop it finally and                                                                    
     any  revenue  stream that  comes  from  it is  probably                                                                    
     decades out in the future.'                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Then he  didn't say,  but I  got the  implication, that                                                                    
     University  administrators kind  of have  to watch  out                                                                    
     that legislators won't  say, 'Oh, I don't  want to have                                                                    
     to worry about  funding you guys. What I'm  going to do                                                                    
     is give you a whole bunch  of land and then go away and                                                                    
     don't come back and bother me.'                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  said he  was worried  in today's  political social                                                               
climate that lands in the  University's jurisdiction and is going                                                               
to be even  less likely to end  up in private hands  than if it's                                                               
in the state's.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:48:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BEEDLE agreed  with the president's statements  and said that                                                               
the reputation of  the University must be retained  and that goes                                                               
to the stewardship  of the land it transfers. Giving  land to the                                                               
University doesn't mean  it won't need a budget  increment and he                                                               
thanked  the   whole  Legislature   for  funding  it   5  percent                                                               
incrementally  over the  last six  years. It  has leveraged  that                                                               
money  for the  betterment of  the state  and the  University. He                                                               
reiterated  that   getting  land  would  not   stop  the  funding                                                               
increment needs.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     But   how  significant   and  how   material  and   how                                                                    
     meaningful  is  the  land   grant?  The  University  of                                                                    
     Alaska's  land  grant  endowment trust  established  by                                                                    
     statute  by the  Legislature is  $135 million.  That is                                                                    
     not an  insignificant amount of money.  That's in trust                                                                    
     and we pay  out 5 percent by Board  of Regents' policy,                                                                    
     on  a five-year  average of  the balances  at year-end,                                                                    
     market  to   market  -   those  securities   and  those                                                                    
     investments. So,  we are paying  out about  $5 million,                                                                    
     because  there's  been  rapid sales  growth  both  from                                                                    
     recent years earnings and also  from sales. In the last                                                                    
     60 days we've received $11  million in cash from sales.                                                                    
     We've sold over 70 parcels  of property in the last six                                                                    
     months. We've  sold over 1,200 parcels  since 1987. All                                                                    
     of this has  allowed the land grant  trust endowment to                                                                    
     grow to $135 million. So,  today after many, many years                                                                    
     of demand  and market  changes where  finally something                                                                    
     that wasn't  worth that  much when  it was  received by                                                                    
     the  University   in  1915  -  some   of  the  Interior                                                                    
     properties  -  are  now  having  demand  and  receiving                                                                    
     proceeds to benefit the University.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     As  far as  the significance  of this  lands bill,  the                                                                    
     fiscal note talks  about as much as  1 percent. Whether                                                                    
     we interpret  that to  be state  funding $2  million or                                                                    
     total  budget  of the  University  $6  million a  year,                                                                    
     doesn't   really  matter   because  there's   too  many                                                                    
     questions.   The  biggest   parcel   that  is   totally                                                                    
     speculative at  this time, the best  odds I've received                                                                    
     in  the Nenana  Basin  gas potential  is  one to  eight                                                                    
     odds. But,  thank goodness, thanks to  the Governor and                                                                    
     the  DNR's  support  for  selecting  that  parcel  that                                                                    
     you've had  a hearing on,  we would have 20  percent of                                                                    
     that land that  sounds like it's in the  sweet spot. It                                                                    
     sounds like it would be  in an area that could produce.                                                                    
     The  numbers range  from $1  million a  year up  to $30                                                                    
     million  a year  that could  benefit the  University. I                                                                    
     don't  know   how  short-term  that  is....   But  they                                                                    
     testified  as  early   as  the  year  2010   to  be  in                                                                    
     production. So,  we're very excited about  enjoying the                                                                    
     one eighth, 12.5 percent, royalty  gas potential off of                                                                    
     that fee  simple, including  subsurface rights  to that                                                                    
     gas. Other properties, as you've  already heard - three                                                                    
     to  one  -  our  sales  in acres  across  the  state  -                                                                    
     Southeast  Alaska generates  per acre  three times  the                                                                    
     value of our land throughout  the rest of the state. It                                                                    
     is attractive  for that  reason and  for the  most part                                                                    
     that's  where we're  getting most  of the  feedback. To                                                                    
     remind you, .9 percent of  Southeast land is in private                                                                    
     hands.  We're   hoping  to  add   to  that   with  full                                                                    
     recognition that we have to  be sensitive and good land                                                                    
     stewards  and   work  with  people  -   all  laws,  all                                                                    
     regulations, all zoning  and whatnot in municipalities.                                                                    
     And when not in the  municipality, work with the DNR to                                                                    
     gain approval prior to any development.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     We  handed out  earlier an  enhanced process  that came                                                                    
     out  of House  committee substitute  in Resources  that                                                                    
     shows  our  public process  and  then  we've chosen  to                                                                    
     interpret  a   portion  of  it   to  enhance   our  own                                                                    
       regulations for where we would involve more public                                                                       
     process and public notice prior to the development of                                                                      
     real estate.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:53:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS called the question on Amendment 2.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  summarized  that   he  appreciated  Mr.  Beedle's                                                               
comments and  is motivated  to amend  Amendment 2  on line  11 to                                                               
delete all of  Number 9, the Mite Cove parcel,  that he suggested                                                               
could be a compromise the  University could live with, and reword                                                               
the amendment accordingly.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN asked  if  the intent  is  permanent removal  or                                                               
removal because of  the concern for more  public process, because                                                               
he has an issue with permanent removal.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON replied that he  shares his public process concerns                                                               
and the intent is not for permanent removal.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN interpreted  that to mean that it  is a permanent                                                               
removal from  the University land  request, but not from  DNR. He                                                               
did not think the  state should go down that road.  He had a list                                                               
of 16 parcels for which that  would not be good public policy and                                                               
wouldn't be  in the  best interests of  the University  of Alaska                                                               
either. He  asked if the amendment  to the amendment was  to just                                                               
remove Mite Cove.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON answered yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:56:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER  noted there were  no objections to Amendment  1 to                                                               
Amendment 2 and it was adopted.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:57:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS called the question on Amendment 2 amended.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON noted that the  Sumdum parcel has been requested by                                                               
the Douglas  Island Indian Association  and this action  does not                                                               
preclude  DNR  from a  future  decision  to possibly  convey  the                                                               
Sumdum five acres  to anybody. For the most,  part this amendment                                                               
aligns with House actions.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATORS  SEEKINS and  STEDMAN  objected. A  roll  call vote  was                                                               
taken.  Senators Elton  and Guess  voted  yea; Senators  Seekins,                                                               
Stedman, Ben Stevens  and Chair Wagoner voted  nay; and Amendment                                                               
2 amended failed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:59:17 PM At ease 5:00:20 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS asked about the  enhanced process for disposal of                                                               
lands.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEEDLE replied  that the  University's disposal  process has                                                               
been expanded from  its current annual sales plan  to include any                                                               
development or any disposal of any significance.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  if that  plan  had been  approved by  the                                                               
Board of Regents.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEEDLE replied not yet, but he didn't anticipate opposition.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  proposed conceptual  Amendment 3 that  ties into                                                               
the process. He explained:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Many  of my  constituents  in my  area,  in the  Denali                                                                    
     area,  particularly,  feel very  uncomfortable  because                                                                    
     they feel  like the Wolf Township  incident really kind                                                                    
     of fractured their faith just  a little bit in how land                                                                    
     that  went  to the  University  would  be used  in  the                                                                    
     future.  So  my  conceptual  amendment  would  be  just                                                                    
     somehow  here,   Mr.  Chairman,  if  this   process  is                                                                    
     followed,  I  have no  problem  with  it, but  if  this                                                                    
     process leads to the conclusion  that these lands would                                                                    
     somehow  be transferred  into conservation  lands, that                                                                    
     it would require another step,  that being the approval                                                                    
     of the Legislature prior to it being done.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER asked Senator Seekins if  he could turn that into a                                                               
letter of intent.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS conceded to work  with land experts to bring this                                                               
amendment  to  the  Finance  Committee.  He  withdrew  conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:04:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Public testimony opened.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:04:53 PM                                                                                                                    
DEB SPENCER, Pelican,  said the City Council  passed a resolution                                                               
to  exclude Mite  Cove. The  lands in  the bill  include over  99                                                               
percent of  remaining public lands available  in Southeast Alaska                                                               
and  there  wouldn't be  any  left  for  Elfin Cove  and  Pelican                                                               
selections  if  they choose  to  become  boroughs. On  an  equity                                                               
issue, this  region has already  given three times the  amount of                                                               
land on a  percentage basis as the rest of  Southeast. She is not                                                               
taking an  anti-University stance, but feels  Pelican has already                                                               
given its  fair share. She  concluded saying she  wanted Pelican,                                                               
Mite  Cove  and Idaho  Inlet  parcels  included  in the  list  of                                                               
exemptions.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:07:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  RIEVES,   Hollis,  said  one  of   the  Hollis  selections,                                                               
referenced  as DWH01001  on  his map,  is  inconsistent with  the                                                               
Prince of Wales  area plan. The subject area  is designated water                                                               
resources with a management  provision stipulating no development                                                               
there. This  fact was verbally  acknowledged by Mr.  Loeffler and                                                               
the fix was intimated to be an  excision of the area on the grant                                                               
list. In  Section 5  of CSSB 96(RES),  the commissioner  is given                                                               
authority to  make necessary corrections and  paragraph (n) lists                                                               
exemptions from transfer and Hollis is not included.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Hollis has two  other problems that have not  been mentioned. One                                                               
is  that  a  major  water   line  supplying  many  Hollis  public                                                               
facilities runs  through the same  selection that is  included in                                                               
the mentioned  water resources. It  is in an area  designated for                                                               
settlement  and  public  facilities;  so this  appears  to  be  a                                                               
conflict.  The  second selection  problem  includes  part of  the                                                               
Harris  River Subdivision,  which was  designated to  be mutually                                                               
exclusive  of settlement and  undeveloped public recreation. That                                                               
area has a boundary that runs  tangent to a section of the Harris                                                               
River,  which is  a very  important anadromous  fish stream.  The                                                               
uplands  have  been  used  extensively for  deer  hunting.  At  a                                                               
minimum what  should happen is  the selection boundary  should at                                                               
least  be   redrawn  to   exclude  the   settlement,  undeveloped                                                               
recreation designations and the subdivision areas.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Finally, he said  that there are indications  that the University                                                               
has alternative  avenues of funding that  would have considerably                                                               
less adverse  impact on the  community. A considerable  amount of                                                               
land is available for private  ownership already in Hollis; a 30-                                                               
parcel DNR subdivision  is under way and the  Mental Health Trust                                                               
also has a significant amount of property in Hollis.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RICH FLEISHMAN,  Warm Springs Bay,  opposed SB 96. He  noted that                                                               
public testimony is 100 percent opposed to the bill.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:13:01 PM                                                                                                                    
ELIZABETH TULLIS, Warm Springs Bay, opposed  SB 96. DNR did a lot                                                               
of  work  designating   uses  for  these  lands   and  any  lands                                                               
designated for recreation use and should be removed.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  HERSHENRIDER,  Warm Springs  Bay,  asked  the committee  to                                                               
consider  that 100  percent of  public testimony  is against  the                                                               
bill as was his.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE LUNDSFED, Warm Springs  Bay, noted unanimous opposition                                                               
to  this plan.  She  opposed trying  to make  up  for quality  by                                                               
giving away  quantities of  land. She accused  that the  bill was                                                               
surrounded with secrecy and people are enraged about it.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:16:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SASHA CONTE opposed SB 96.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:17:31 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL JOHNSON, Elfin  Cove, said the lands  on northwest Chichagof                                                               
Island were selected had definite purposes.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     We  went  through  those selections.  We  waited  after                                                                    
     statehood.  We were  limited on  the land  we could  be                                                                    
     selected for; that  land was asked for. We  did not get                                                                    
     greedy when  we asked  for these  state lands  and when                                                                    
     they came forward and the  University ended up with the                                                                    
     northwest  portion of  Yakobi, we  didn't object.  They                                                                    
     got that and  they sold it for $1.5  million or roughly                                                                    
     thereabouts  -  850  acres. For  our  future,  for  our                                                                    
     community, the  Cove and the  community of  Pelican and                                                                    
     for our future  borough, we have no  economic status to                                                                    
     work with  on these lands. Please  understand, the rest                                                                    
     of the  land is federal.  We've got parks to  the north                                                                    
     of us.  There isn't anything  left. Don't jerk  the rug                                                                    
     out from underneath our feet....                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSON asked the committee  to reconsider Amendment 2. "This                                                               
is extremely important  for our future.... We've got  91 acres in                                                               
Elfin  Cove, gentlemen.  That's  it. So,  please understand  that                                                               
this  is  a  very,  very,   the  biggest  important  thing  since                                                               
statehood and ANILCA. Do not take this casually."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:22:38 PM                                                                                                                    
NEIL DARISH, McCarthy,  made the committee aware of  a few issues                                                               
regarding  the  McCarthy  12,500  acre  parcel.  He  is  a  large                                                               
business owner  and employs  a lot of  local residents.  They are                                                               
not  anti-development and  value  the University  of Alaska.  The                                                               
danger is kind  of unique in that this parcel  serves as a buffer                                                               
for the  community. It is the  only place residents can  get wood                                                               
and gravel  for community maintenance  needs, because  other land                                                               
belongs to the  National Park Service. The Park  Service is still                                                               
trying to  resolve ANILCA,  which is still  going after  20 years                                                               
and it still  doesn't recognize the state's RS2477s  that are all                                                               
over  the place  in  McCarthy.  Once the  land  is  given to  the                                                               
University, it becomes much more  restrictive and the real danger                                                               
is that it can turn around and sell it to the Park Service.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HENRICH KADAK opposed SB 96 because  the Roan Bay area is used as                                                               
a subsistence area.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:26:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHEL NILAND,  McCarthy, opposed SB  96. First, she  didn't know                                                               
that it  would benefit the  University and  the loss of  the land                                                               
will devastate her community. There  are hundreds of private lots                                                               
available now  and flooding  the market  with more  property will                                                               
bring prices  down further.  If this land  is transferred  to the                                                               
University,  residents might  need permission  to approach  their                                                               
own property.  She noted a  petition with 75  signatures opposing                                                               
SB 96.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:31:30 PM                                                                                                                    
JASON ESLER, McCarthy, said he  is doing cultural anthropological                                                               
studies in this area and  thought the land transfer would destroy                                                               
the community.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     At  a  time  when   the  preservationists'  ideals  are                                                                    
     flooding the  administration at the federal  level, the                                                                    
     Park Service is closing  access and restricting various                                                                    
     resources around  the area. This specific  12,500 acres                                                                    
     is not  a small chunk.  This is  a large part  of where                                                                    
     our frontier  community depends  on resources  to build                                                                    
     cabins, to get wood to  heat cabins for their families.                                                                    
     These are extremely important areas.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Letting  this  land transfer  go  not  only allows  the                                                                    
     environmentalist  movement  an opportunity  to  acquire                                                                    
     more land in  rural Alaska, but you're  giving them the                                                                    
     upper  hand  in  the situation.  These  rural  frontier                                                                    
     Alaskans  don't have  the representation  to make  this                                                                    
     fight.  For this  land transfer  to go  through and  to                                                                    
     allow the University  to sell the land  however it may,                                                                    
     leaves these  communities with no other  options. As we                                                                    
     move   into   the   21st  Century   cultural   resource                                                                    
     management, these  are the kinds of  decisions that are                                                                    
        going to ruin rural Alaska. We've seen it happen                                                                        
     across the Lower 48....                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:33:18 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIE  HURSEY,  Petersburg, charter  boat  owner,  opposed SB  96                                                               
because it would hurt her  business. She would lose opportunities                                                               
to send  people ashore  into wilderness areas  that she  has been                                                               
using for years.  Tourism is a flourishing  business and provides                                                               
much needed dollars  to Southeast towns. The  small tourism ships                                                               
and  charter boats  often  use  "RU" lands  in  their trips.  The                                                               
Forest Service  has started limiting  where outfitter  guides and                                                               
small  ship tour  boat visitors  can go  on federal  land so  the                                                               
state lands are a very important alternative for them.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Selling these lands into private ownership blocks out                                                                      
      public use. This could do long-term harm to locally-                                                                      
     owned tourism businesses in Southeast.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MELINDA   HOFSTAD,  Baranof   Homeowners  Association,   noted  a                                                               
resolution  from  the  association  in  opposition  to  including                                                               
Baranof  lands in  SB  96.  One reason  is  because  it is  their                                                               
watershed and  there is no other  area to get public  water. Also                                                               
it is  one of the very  few areas designated RU  in the Southeast                                                               
area land use plan and it has 11 hot springs.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:39:48 PM                                                                                                                    
VALERY MCCANDLESS,  Mayor, City  of Wrangell, said  its residents                                                               
have numerous  concerns about the  three parcels - Earl  West and                                                               
Olive Coves and  Tom's Place - totaling 6,374  acres depending on                                                               
whether the community  decides to form a borough.  Tom's Place is                                                               
also   has  significant   historical  value   and  archaeological                                                               
significance, including petroglyphs.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     AS  41.35  says it  is  the  state's responsibility  to                                                                    
     protect the loss, desecration  and destruction of these                                                                    
     areas  so   that  scientific,  historic   and  cultural                                                                    
     heritage   embodied  in   these   resources  may   pass                                                                    
     undiminished to future generations.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:43:26 PM                                                                                                                    
She said they  would like to support the University  and would be                                                               
glad to  have a dialogue with  them about property that  might be                                                               
available.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RON SHONENBACK, Juneau, said he  retired last year and worked for                                                               
the  Division of  Mining, Land  and Water  for 25  years and  was                                                               
regional manager  for the  last five years.  He is  familiar with                                                               
the land  base here in  Southeast. DNR area plans  set management                                                               
guidelines and  classify state  land. These  plans go  through an                                                               
extremely  long and  involved two  to  three-year public  process                                                               
before they  are adopted.  Eventually they  need approval  by the                                                               
commissioner.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     I  guess what  I find  disturbing about  the land  list                                                                    
     that's generated  by this  bill is  the fact  that it's                                                                    
     included some  settlement lands, some  wildlife habitat                                                                    
     and some  public recreation  lands. DNR,  obviously, is                                                                    
     funded to  run a  land disposal  program and  this bill                                                                    
     would take all of the  settlement lands that are out of                                                                    
     control of  DNR and hand  them over to  the University.                                                                    
     What  it  means is  that  within  five years  that  DNR                                                                    
     basically would  not be selling any  land in Southeast.                                                                    
     I find  this a  very short-sighted  approach to  a land                                                                    
     disposal  program  that's  functioned very  well  under                                                                    
     DNR.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     During this  planning process, DNR and  the public have                                                                    
     agreed  on a  lot of  these  parcels to  manage and  be                                                                    
     retained  by  state  for wildlife  habitat  and  public                                                                    
     recreation purposes,  which means  that they  should be                                                                    
     retained  by  the  state.  So,  once  these  lands  are                                                                    
     conveyed to the  University, the classifications become                                                                    
     absolutely  meaningless. They  have no  bearing on  the                                                                    
     management  by the  University.  So,  DNR losses  their                                                                    
     creditability on  what they've  told the public  in the                                                                    
     area planning  process and I  think the  University has                                                                    
     to realize that in the  future when they try to dispose                                                                    
     of wildlife  habitat and  public recreation  lands that                                                                    
     they are  going to have  another battle on  their hands                                                                    
     in the future to think about.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHONENBACK also didn't think  that 250,000 acres was a figure                                                               
that needed to  be adhered to and suggested removing  some of the                                                               
wildlife  habitat, public  recreation and  DNR settlement  lands,                                                               
amounting to about 3,000 acres in Southeast.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:49:18 PM                                                                                                                    
JOAN BRODY,  Kodiak Island,  said she  is one  of the  over 2,300                                                               
Kodiak residents who  signed a petition that opposed  SB 96. They                                                               
are  mostly concerned  with  access to  Narrow  Cape (the  rocket                                                               
launch parcel)  that provides access  to Fossil Beach  that aside                                                               
from fossils has several historic  World War II structures. It is                                                               
also the site  where the largest near-shore  grey whale migration                                                               
can be viewed from land.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER indicated that it was already deleted.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER PRICE,  Sitka resident, said  she works in  Warm Springs                                                               
Bay. She commended  the committee for extending the  time to talk                                                               
about  this issue  and said  that DNR  has spent  money and  time                                                               
classifying Southeast Alaska's public  lands and she is concerned                                                               
about  the "RU"  parcels that  are included  in this  selection -                                                               
Sanford Cove,  Whitney Island,  Reed Island,  Mite Cove  and Lynn                                                               
Canal.  She   supported  the  suggestion   to  include   more  of                                                               
Southcentral land and delete all of Southeast's.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:54:56 PM                                                                                                                    
DANIEL TRAIL, Tom's Place, had  a petition with 37 signatures and                                                               
a  resolution  by  the Tom's  Place  Community  Association  that                                                               
opposed SB  96, especially  selection of the  parcel next  to it.                                                               
These  lands  were  rated  by DNR  as  community  recreation  and                                                               
development, "So,  we are being robbed  of any future say  in our                                                               
development since they  will be in other hands  besides our own."                                                               
He  also presented  letters from  the Mayor  and City  Manager of                                                               
Wrangell and  the Wrangell Cooperative Association  in opposition                                                               
to the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TRAIL  said he  could  understand  Senator Seekins'  concern                                                               
about  land being  put into  501c3 conservation  holdings and  he                                                               
thought the communities might want  to reserve the land for their                                                               
purposes.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:56:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WAGONER  explained  Senator  Seekins' concern  is  that  a                                                               
tremendous  amount of  land  has  been taken  out  of the  public                                                               
domain and put into a  non-profit situation where they will never                                                               
be allowed  to go  on the  tax rolls. If  a community  decides to                                                               
develop it, it would go on the tax rolls.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. TRAIL responded  that you can't trust  the University because                                                               
of its  past performance with  other parcels and said  there must                                                               
be language to protect the public interest.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:58:48 PM                                                                                                                    
GABE SWINEY,  Sitka resident, said  he felt the same  as previous                                                               
testifiers and  added that much  of the land in  Southeast Alaska                                                               
is inaccessible  muskeg or alpine. He  opposed SB 96 and  said he                                                               
speaks for  many people in  Sitka who  could not testify  here in                                                               
Juneau today.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALLAN  SMITH, Anchorage,  opposed SB  96. He  thought a  creative                                                               
idea would  be to grant  the University  land in the  North Slope                                                               
areawide lease sale area.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:01:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MERYL  THOMPSON,  Susitna Valley,  opposed  SB  96. He  said  the                                                               
conceptual amendment bothered him and  asked if churches would be                                                               
excluded from buying land from  University because they don't pay                                                               
taxes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:03:43 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVE  NUETSEL,  Girdwood,  pointed  out  that  the  bill  doesn't                                                               
require a certain number of acres  to be given to the University.                                                               
"So, if there  are all these objections to all  these places, why                                                               
not reduce it?"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:04:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER related that Lisa  Murkowski has a bill in Congress                                                               
that will grant 250,000 acres  of federal land to the University.                                                               
It also has  a provision that states it will  match every acre of                                                               
land the state of Alaska grants to it.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEEDLE  added that  the University's  goal is  500,000 acres,                                                               
but Congress wants evidence of the state's selection first.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:06:30 PM                                                                                                                    
He  also  wanted to  clarify  the  discussion earlier  about  the                                                               
University selling  Cape Bingham  on north  Yakobi Island  to the                                                               
Nature Conservancy that  sold it to the Forest  Service to become                                                               
an addition to the West Chichagof Yakobi Island Wilderness.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     In  1992, after  10  years of  litigation for  property                                                                    
     that  the  University  was  to  have  received  in  the                                                                    
     Anchorage Bowl - we did not  receive it; it went to the                                                                    
     municipality.  There was  a suit  engaged; there  was a                                                                    
     settlement.   The  settlement   was   to  provide   the                                                                    
     University of  Alaska a  one-time timber  cutting right                                                                    
     in the Gulf Coast -  meaning north of Yakutat, Icy Bay.                                                                    
     Then  that  was litigated  by  six  groups. The  groups                                                                    
     included   the  Longline   Association,  the   Trollers                                                                    
     Association,   Southeast   Alaska   Conservation,   the                                                                    
     Yakutat   Quorum,  the   Community  of   Yakutat.  What                                                                    
     happened with the court  adjudicated settlement was the                                                                    
     University  could harvest  timber,  which  has to  date                                                                    
     brought the  University some $40 million.  So, this was                                                                    
     not a small  consideration. And in exchange,  we had to                                                                    
     give  10 years  from  1992  to 2002  for  right for  an                                                                    
     intermediary to  buy the  West Chichagof  Yakobi Island                                                                    
     property.  So, in  that court  settlement  signed by  a                                                                    
     judge,  the  University had  no  choice  for a  10-year                                                                    
     period and they  waiting their full 10  years, which is                                                                    
     typical.  They could  not close,  we advertised  in the                                                                    
     open  market  for  anyone  interested  in  buying  that                                                                    
     property. We received none; we  gave them another year;                                                                    
     they came up with $1.2  million for property that would                                                                    
     be  very hard  to develop.  And  we sold  it into  that                                                                    
     conservation unit.  That seems  to be  the conservation                                                                    
     unit  that's getting  the attention.  Pelican spoke  in                                                                    
     favor of  it; had  people on that  group that  sued the                                                                    
     University  and  insisted  upon that  settlement.  Paul                                                                    
     Johnson is specifically and  individually aware of that                                                                    
     settlement  and supported  it -  individually. Many  of                                                                    
     the people who  spoke today wanted that  property to go                                                                    
     into conservation....  So there's  a story  behind many                                                                    
     of the testimonies that have been given today.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER thanked him for his comments and adjourned the                                                                    
meeting at 6:09:31 PM.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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