Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

04/09/2018 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
03:30:09 PM Start
03:30:44 PM SR9
03:59:24 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SR 9 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 9, 2018                                                                                          
                           3:30 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Cathy Giessel, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 9                                                                                                         
Relating to management of public land and resources in the                                                                      
     - MOVED SR 9 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SR   9                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC LAND/RESOURCE MANAGEMENT                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): RESOURCES                                                                                                           
04/04/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/04/18       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
04/09/18       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
RANDY RUARO, Staff to the Budget and Audit Committee (LB&A) and                                                                 
Senator Stedman                                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SR 9.                                                                                        
CHAD  HUTCHISON, Staff  to Senator  Majority and  Senator Coghill                                                               
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SR 9.                                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CATHY   GIESSEL  called  the  Senate   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:30  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order   were   Senators    Stedman,   Meyer,   Bishop,   Coghill,                                                               
Wielechowski, and Chair Giessel.                                                                                                
             SR   9-PUBLIC LAND/RESOURCE MANAGEMENT                                                                         
3:30:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESEL announced  consideration of SR 9,  introduced by the                                                               
Senate Resources  Committee. Alaska's  lands are the  focal point                                                               
of contention for fish, wildlife,  development, access, and other                                                               
issues affecting Alaska's families,  businesses, and jobs and the                                                               
Citizen's Advisory  Commission on Federal Areas  (CACFA) has been                                                               
the mainstay  in protecting Alaska's interests.  Today they would                                                               
hear   a   resolution   that   calls   on   this   organization's                                                               
recommendations  to  be  heeded  and cautions  about  the  unique                                                               
issues and opportunities the federal government presents.                                                                       
3:31:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAD  HUTCHISON,  Staff  to  the   Senate  Majority  and  Senator                                                               
Coghill, Alaska State  Legislature, said the primary  focus of SR                                                               
9  is  to talk  about  the  good  work  related to  the  Citizens                                                               
Advisory Commission on Federal Areas  (CACFA). He would also talk                                                               
about one of its special  subcommittees known as the Alaska State                                                               
Lands Advisory Group  (ASLAG). The petition is a  work product of                                                               
both   of  those   organizations  talking   about  some   of  the                                                               
state/federal  relationships  as  they have  developed  over  the                                                               
years and  some of the action  points moving forward that  may be                                                               
helpful from a state sovereignty perspective.                                                                                   
A brief  history: CACFA  was originated in  1981 right  after the                                                               
adoption of  the Alaska National Interest  Lands Conservation Act                                                               
(ANILCA) in 1980. The commission  is made up of 12 commissioners:                                                               
6 appointed by  the governor and 6 appointed  by the legislature:                                                               
3 each  from the  Senate and  House. Why?  ANILCA added  over 100                                                               
million  acres  of federal  conservation  system  units (CSU)  in                                                               
Alaska, and  that included refuges,  parks, and forests.  The key                                                               
distinction  with ANILCA  lands is  they are  all supposed  to be                                                               
managed differently in the State of  Alaska than they were in the                                                               
Lower  48. Once  the 100  million acres  were added,  the federal                                                               
CSUs  added up  to  222  million acres.  One  of the  predominant                                                               
promises  given to  the State  of Alaska  when this  occurred was                                                               
that  Alaskans  were  still  allowed  access  and  the  continued                                                               
ability to develop its natural  resources. The question post-1980                                                               
has always  been if the  federal government has adhered  to those                                                               
promises. The answer in many cases is no.                                                                                       
3:34:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Some  of the  land management  designation plans  have restricted                                                               
access as it relates to ATV  travel. The Sturgeon case is a great                                                               
example of  the questions over  jurisdiction of  navigable waters                                                               
in federal park  system units and there are  many other examples,                                                               
Kantishna  for  one,  of  regulations  making  development  cost-                                                               
MR.  HUTCHISON  said the  broken  promises  can  be seen  in  the                                                               
petition that was  filed by ASLAG, and CACFA  is the organization                                                               
that monitors  both. It is the  agency that would take  action in                                                               
coordination with the Department of  Law (DOL) to ensure there is                                                               
a conduit for  the voices of every-day Alaskans  on these issues.                                                               
CACFA provides  a valuable  service that  works with  the federal                                                               
delegation on crafting policy, law,  and amendments, and with the                                                               
administration on lawsuits and things of that nature.                                                                           
3:36:20 PM                                                                                                                    
He said  that Senator Coghill had  been on CACFA for  a couple of                                                               
years. The reality is that a  lot of the federal agencies have to                                                               
go through  an education  process; for  one thing,  a lot  of the                                                               
decision makers  live in  Washington, D.C.,  or Seattle,  and the                                                               
ones based on Anchorage would  be from Montana or Washington. So,                                                               
their analysis  as to federal  land management in  their previous                                                               
home state is different from how it exists in Alaska.                                                                           
CACFA  is a  good  conduit to  help educate  the  Bureau of  Land                                                               
Management (BLM) and  U.S. Park Service staff  who administer and                                                               
implement ANILCA at  the federal level and who  would be learning                                                               
about ANILCA for the very first  time, so they could get it right                                                               
more often than not. Education  is a continual process because of                                                               
staff turnover.                                                                                                                 
MR. HUTCHISON said the reason CACFA  is so effective is that they                                                               
routinely  work with  DNR  and DOL  to  bring forward  historical                                                               
knowledge related  to how federal land  management is implemented                                                               
in  Alaska. Some  of these  successes are  issues related  to the                                                               
Outer Continental  Shelf (OCS) leasing,  leasing in  the National                                                               
Petroleum  Reserve-Alaska  (NPR-A),  and  the  road  through  the                                                               
Izembek  National Wildlife  Refuge.  They do  this  by using  the                                                               
Congressional Review  Act (CRA) to overturn  what are essentially                                                               
unilateral U.S.  Fish and Wildlife  Service policies  on refuges.                                                               
Even when  CACFA didn't  exist, many  advocates were  making sure                                                               
the federal  delegation was  aware of some  of the  problems that                                                               
occurred on the lands managed by BLM.                                                                                           
3:39:55 PM                                                                                                                    
Another  outstanding issue  relates to  the "no  more clause"  in                                                               
section 13.26 of  ANILCA. Many view the BLM as  managing areas of                                                               
critical   environmental    concern   as    "defacto   wilderness                                                               
designations." Of  course, they  are supposed  to be  managed for                                                               
He said  one of the  bigger action points regarding  the petition                                                               
is  that a  large portion  of  the lands  managed by  BLM are  is                                                               
supposed  to  be  for multi-use.  Those  conveyances  have  state                                                               
oversight in order for it  to develop natural resources - whether                                                               
it  be timber  or  mines  - and  to  ensure  that development  is                                                               
responsible. By ensuring  that the state has  control, one avoids                                                               
the  political  dynamics  that   may  exist  within  the  current                                                               
national  executive  administration   and  have  less  unilateral                                                               
movement  by the  federal agency  as it  relates to  the land  in                                                               
question: for  instance, predator control in  refuges, the mirror                                                               
image of  ongoing litigation in  the preserves, and  the Sturgeon                                                               
navigable waters issue.                                                                                                         
3:44:10 PM                                                                                                                    
RANDY RUARO, staff to Senator  Stedman, Alaska State Legislature,                                                               
added that  an overwhelming amount  of federal  agency activities                                                               
need to  be watched  and CACFA performs  that function.  The most                                                               
obvious way the  federal government can affect  Alaska is through                                                               
its  formal  land  management  plans   that  usually  involve  an                                                               
environmental  impact statement  (Environmental Impact  Statement                                                               
(EIS).  Just  during the  Obama  administration,  they had  outer                                                               
continental   shelf  (OCS)   planning,  ocean   zoning,  National                                                               
Petroleum  Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A),  the eastern  Interior, Alaska                                                               
National  Wildlife Refuge  (ANWR),  and the  Tongass.  On top  of                                                               
those land management  plans, add the danger  from the Endangered                                                               
Species  Act  (ESA)  and Marine  Mammal  Protection  Act  (MMPA).                                                               
Taking all  of those acts  together, probably not much  of Alaska                                                               
isn't affected by federal land management plans.                                                                                
MR.  RUARO said  the  state  also has  to  watch  out for  policy                                                               
changes  that  affect  Alaska  land  use  in  a  manual  that  is                                                               
basically a  secretarial order that  has no notice:  for example,                                                               
the Wildlands Initiative by Department  of the Interior Secretary                                                               
Salazar and the Sturgeon case that  came out of a land management                                                               
plan  in 1996,  the Earthworks  lawsuit affecting  federal mining                                                               
claims across  the United States.  In 2016, the  Federal Register                                                               
had 97,000  pages of  filings and the  Sturgeon case  changed the                                                               
entire management structure for submerged  lands in 30 words on a                                                               
single page of regs. It's  an incredibly large and diverse amount                                                               
of agency action to watch and CACFA does that.                                                                                  
3:47:18 PM                                                                                                                    
In conclusion, he said CACFA's  vigilance is needed to keep track                                                               
of the  sheer volume  and ways that  federal land  management can                                                               
affect Alaska; the  consequences can be very  significant for not                                                               
keeping up with them and bringing challenges where appropriate.                                                                 
SENATOR COGHILL related that Alaska  was purchased by the federal                                                               
government,  then  it  had  the  Territorial  and  Organic  Acts.                                                               
Congress has been  in control of Alaska for all  these years, and                                                               
while all other  states have only a statehood  compact which they                                                               
get  to appeal  to as  their singular  document, Alaska  also has                                                               
ANCSA and ANILCA, which play  out how conservation lands would be                                                               
used. Now  Congress, instead of  looking at a  statehood compact,                                                               
sees Alaska  through a series of  laws. The trouble is  that they                                                               
can change  the whole  compact by changing  a regulation  or just                                                               
putting  forth  a guidance  that  can  overrule a  compact.  Then                                                               
there's  the  Endangered  Species   Act.  Congress  has  to  give                                                               
Alaskans  better protection,  because  of  the various  guidances                                                               
which are  all very unique.  He said  ASLAG is a  subcommittee of                                                               
CACFA  and proposes  some far-reaching  questions: either  let us                                                               
co-manage it with  you, close it off, or give  it back, "but this                                                               
death by a thousand definitions has got to quit."                                                                               
3:52:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL said  that ASLAG petition is posted  on-line and it                                                               
is a  great historic  document in terms  of our  land management.                                                               
She asked what kind of funding CACFA had that has gone away.                                                                    
MR. HUTCHISON answered the last  time CACFA was allocated funding                                                               
was in the 2016 operating budget.  It was funded for $272,000 for                                                               
one  permanent full-time  position  and  one permanent  part-time                                                               
position.  By  the  time  CACFA had  run  its  course,  achieving                                                               
efficiencies on the  way, there was only  one full-time position,                                                               
so if funding  was ever to start back up  again it would probably                                                               
be for less than the $272,000.                                                                                                  
3:54:26 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL said  he and  Senator Bishop  tried to  get that                                                               
into  the  budget,  but  the $200,000  wasn't  entirely  for  the                                                               
executive director  who knew the  structure and the laws;  it was                                                               
primarily for  facilitating citizens  to have input  into federal                                                               
issues. They could enlist a  broader constituency, a huge benefit                                                               
for Alaska for that small dollar amount.                                                                                        
3:55:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL asked when the joint land use council went away.                                                                  
MR.  HUTCHISON replied  the joint  land use  council between  the                                                               
federal   and  state   governments   and   the  regional   Native                                                               
corporations went away in 1990, 10 years after ANILCA.                                                                          
SENATOR COGHILL said there was  a strong disagreement between the                                                               
governor  who  was  not  getting  information  from  the  federal                                                               
government at that point, although  there is probably more to the                                                               
story.  But significant issues  have been identified that need to                                                               
be dealt  with because  someone from  Indiana, for  instance, has                                                               
the same standing on an Alaska  issue as an Alaskan resident. So,                                                               
the  state  is trying  to  elevate  its  voice with  the  federal                                                               
3:57:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL  asked committee members  if they had  any possible                                                               
amendments to  this resolution  and noted  that a  longer version                                                               
wasn't  moving on  the House  side. Consequently,  she asked  the                                                               
sponsor it they could condense it  to a shorter version, and that                                                               
is  how they  arrived  at this  document  with Senator  Coghill's                                                               
3:57:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL,  finding  no committee  comments,  opened  public                                                               
comment. Finding no comments, she closed public testimony.                                                                      
SENATOR MEYER asked if the Laundry House supports this.                                                                         
SENATOR COGHILL answered yes.                                                                                                   
SENATOR COGHILL moved  to report SR 9,  version 30-LS1541\A, from                                                               
committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached  zero                                                               
fiscal note(s). There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                 
3:59:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL  adjourned the Senate Resources  Standing Committee                                                               
at 3:59 p.m.                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Senate Resources Hearing Agenda - 4 - 6 - 18.pdf SRES 4/9/2018 3:30:00 PM
SR9 - Version A.PDF SRES 4/9/2018 3:30:00 PM
SR 9
SR9 - Fiscal Note - Senate Resources - 4 - 6 - 18.pdf SRES 4/9/2018 3:30:00 PM
SR 9
SR9 - Supporting Document - ASLAG Report.pdf SRES 4/9/2018 3:30:00 PM
SR 9