HB 98: "An Act relating to forest land use plans; relating to forest land use plan appeals; relating to negotiated timber sales; and providing for an effective date."
00 HOUSE BILL NO. 98 01 "An Act relating to forest land use plans; relating to forest land use plan appeals; 02 relating to negotiated timber sales; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 38.05.035(e) is amended to read: 05 (e) Upon a written finding that the interests of the state will be best served, the 06 director may, with the consent of the commissioner, approve contracts for the sale, 07 lease, or other disposal of available land, resources, property, or interests in them. In 08 approving a contract under this subsection, the director need only prepare a single 09 written finding. In addition to the conditions and limitations imposed by law, the 10 director may impose additional conditions or limitations in the contracts as the director 11 determines, with the consent of the commissioner, will best serve the interests of the 12 state. The preparation and issuance of the written finding by the director are subject to 13 the following: 14 (1) with the consent of the commissioner and subject to the director's
01 discretion, for a specific proposed disposal of available land, resources, or property, or 02 of an interest in them, the director, in the written finding, 03 (A) shall establish the scope of the administrative review on 04 which the director's determination is based, and the scope of the written 05 finding supporting that determination; the scope of the administrative review 06 and finding may address only reasonably foreseeable, significant effects of the 07 uses proposed to be authorized by the disposal; 08 (B) may limit the scope of an administrative review and finding 09 for a proposed disposal to 10 (i) applicable statutes and regulations; 11 (ii) the facts pertaining to the land, resources, or 12 property, or interest in them, that the director finds are material to the 13 determination and that are known to the director or knowledge of which 14 is made available to the director during the administrative review; and 15 (iii) issues that, based on the statutes and regulations 16 referred to in (i) of this subparagraph, on the facts as described in (ii) of 17 this subparagraph, and on the nature of the uses sought to be authorized 18 by the disposal, the director finds are material to the determination of 19 whether the proposed disposal will best serve the interests of the state; 20 and 21 (C) may, if the project for which the proposed disposal is 22 sought is a multiphased development, limit the scope of an administrative 23 review and finding for the proposed disposal to the applicable statutes and 24 regulations, facts, and issues identified in (B)(i) - (iii) of this paragraph that 25 pertain solely to the disposal phase of the project when 26 (i) the only uses to be authorized by the proposed 27 disposal are part of that phase; 28 (ii) the disposal is a disposal of oil and gas, or of gas 29 only, and, before the next phase of the project may proceed, public 30 notice and the opportunity to comment are provided under regulations 31 adopted by the department;
01 (iii) the department's approval is required before the 02 next phase of the project may proceed; and 03 (iv) the department describes its reasons for a decision 04 to phase; 05 (2) the director shall discuss in the written finding prepared and issued 06 under this subsection the reasons that each of the following was not material to the 07 director's determination that the interests of the state will be best served: 08 (A) facts pertaining to the land, resources, or property, or an 09 interest in them other than those that the director finds material under (1)(B)(ii) 10 of this subsection; and 11 (B) issues based on the statutes and regulations referred to in 12 (1)(B)(i) of this subsection and on the facts described in (1)(B)(ii) of this 13 subsection; 14 (3) a written finding for an oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale 15 under AS 38.05.180 is subject to (g) of this section; 16 (4) a contract for the sale, lease, or other disposal of available land or 17 an interest in land is not legally binding on the state until the commissioner approves 18 the contract, but if the appraised value is not greater than $50,000 in the case of the 19 sale of land or an interest in land, or $5,000 in the case of the annual rental of land or 20 interest in land, the director may execute the contract without the approval of the 21 commissioner; 22 (5) public notice requirements relating to the sale, lease, or other 23 disposal of available land or an interest in land for oil and gas, or for gas only, 24 proposed to be scheduled in the five-year oil and gas leasing program under 25 AS 38.05.180(b), except for a sale under (6)(F) of this subsection, are as follows: 26 (A) before a public hearing, if held, or in any case not less than 27 180 days before the sale, lease, or other disposal of available land or an interest 28 in land, the director shall make available to the public a preliminary written 29 finding that states the scope of the review established under (1)(A) of this 30 subsection and includes the applicable statutes and regulations, the material 31 facts and issues in accordance with (1)(B) of this subsection, and information
01 required by (g) of this section, upon which the determination that the sale, 02 lease, or other disposal will serve the best interests of the state will be based; 03 the director shall provide opportunity for public comment on the preliminary 04 written finding for a period of not less than 60 days; 05 (B) after the public comment period for the preliminary written 06 finding and not less than 90 days before the sale, lease, or other disposal of 07 available land or an interest in land for oil and gas or for gas only, the director 08 shall make available to the public a final written finding that states the scope of 09 the review established under (1)(A) of this subsection and includes the 10 applicable statutes and regulations, the material facts and issues in accordance 11 with (1) of this subsection, and information required by (g) of this section, 12 upon which the determination that the sale, lease, or other disposal will serve 13 the best interests of the state is based; 14 (6) before a public hearing, if held, or in any case not less than 21 days 15 before the sale, lease, or other disposal of available land, property, resources, or 16 interests in them other than a sale, lease, or other disposal of available land or an 17 interest in land for oil and gas or for gas only under (5) of this subsection, the director 18 shall make available to the public a written finding that, in accordance with (1) of this 19 subsection, sets out the material facts and applicable statutes and regulations and any 20 other information required by statute or regulation to be considered upon which the 21 determination that the sale, lease, or other disposal will best serve the interests of the 22 state was based; however, a written finding is not required before the approval of 23 (A) a contract for a negotiated sale of timber in an amount 24 equal to or less than 500,000 board feet or equivalent other measure 25 authorized under AS 38.05.118 [AS 38.05.115]; 26 (B) a lease of land for a shore fishery site under AS 38.05.082; 27 (C) a permit or other authorization revocable by the 28 commissioner; 29 (D) a mineral claim located under AS 38.05.195; 30 (E) a mineral lease issued under AS 38.05.205; 31 (F) an exempt oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale under
01 AS 38.05.180(d) of acreage subject to a best interest finding issued within the 02 previous 10 years or a reoffer oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale under 03 AS 38.05.180(w) of acreage subject to a best interest finding issued within the 04 previous 10 years, unless the commissioner determines that substantial new 05 information has become available that justifies a supplement to the most recent 06 best interest finding for the exempt oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale 07 acreage and for the reoffer oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale acreage; 08 however, for each oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale described in this 09 subparagraph, the director shall call for comments from the public; the 10 director's call for public comments must provide opportunity for public 11 comment for a period of not less than 30 days; if the director determines that a 12 supplement to the most recent best interest finding for the acreage is required 13 under this subparagraph, 14 (i) the director shall issue the supplement to the best 15 interest finding not later than 90 days before the sale; 16 (ii) not later than 45 days before the sale, the director 17 shall issue a notice describing the interests to be offered, the location 18 and time of the sale, and the terms and conditions of the sale; and 19 (iii) the supplement has the status of a final written best 20 interest finding for purposes of (i) and (l) of this section; 21 (G) a surface use lease under AS 38.05.255; 22 (H) a permit, right-of-way, or easement under AS 38.05.850; 23 (7) the director shall include in 24 (A) a preliminary written finding, if required, a summary of 25 agency and public comments, if any, obtained as a result of contacts with other 26 agencies concerning a proposed disposal or as a result of informal efforts 27 undertaken by the department to solicit public response to a proposed disposal, 28 and the department's preliminary responses to those comments; and 29 (B) the final written finding a summary of agency and public 30 comments received and the department's responses to those comments. 31 * Sec. 2. AS 38.05.110(c) is amended to read:
01 (c) If a sale of timber may be offered under multiple provisions of 02 AS 38.05.110 - 38.05.123, the commissioner shall determine the applicable provisions 03 under which to offer the timber by considering 04 (1) the best interests of the state under AS 38.05.035(e); 05 (2) the local timber market; 06 (3) specialized or developing foreign or domestic markets; 07 (4) the presence of underutilized timber; 08 (5) the economic constraints of the intended timber market; and 09 (6) any other reasonably foreseeable benefits to the state and local 10 economy by the sale. 11 * Sec. 3. AS 38.05.112(a) is amended to read: 12 (a) Except [THE DEPARTMENT MAY NOT AUTHORIZE THE 13 HARVEST OF TIMBER, EXCEPT] for harvests of 20  acres or less or timber 14 salvaged from land cleared for a nonforest use, the department may not permit the 15 harvest of timber in a harvest unit until a site-specific forest land use plan has been 16 adopted. A forest land use plan may authorize timber harvests for multiple 17 harvest units included in a timber sale contract. The department is not required 18 to adopt the forest land use plan before awarding a timber sale contract [A 19 FOREST LAND USE PLAN IS REQUIRED WHETHER OR NOT A REGIONAL 20 OR AREA LAND USE PLAN UNDER AS 38.04.065(a) OR A FOREST 21 MANAGEMENT PLAN UNDER AS 41.17.230 HAS BEEN ADOPTED. THE 22 REQUIREMENTS OF AS 38.04.065(b) SHALL APPLY TO A LAND USE PLAN 23 ADOPTED UNDER THIS SECTION ONLY IF A REGIONAL OR AREA LAND 24 USE PLAN UNDER AS 38.04.065(a) OR A FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN 25 UNDER AS 41.17.230 HAS NOT BEEN ADOPTED]. 26 * Sec. 4. AS 38.05.112 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 27 (d) A forest land use plan is required whether or not a regional or area land use 28 plan under AS 38.04.065(a) or a forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has been 29 adopted. The requirements of AS 38.04.065(b) shall apply to a land use plan adopted 30 under this section only if a regional or area land use plan under AS 38.04.065(a) or a 31 forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has not been adopted.
01 (e) Notwithstanding AS 44.37.011, a person may not seek reconsideration of 02 or appeal to the commissioner a decision to adopt a forest land use plan. 03 * Sec. 5. AS 38.05.115(a) is amended to read: 04 (a) The commissioner shall determine the timber to be sold and the 05 limitations, conditions, and terms of sale. The limitations, conditions, and terms shall 06 include the utilization, development, and maintenance of the sustained yield principle, 07 subject to preference among other beneficial uses. [THE COMMISSIONER MAY 08 NEGOTIATE SALES OF TIMBER WITHOUT ADVERTISEMENT AND ON THE 09 LIMITATIONS, CONDITIONS, AND TERMS THAT ARE CONSIDERED TO BE 10 IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE STATE. WITHIN A ONE-YEAR PERIOD, 11 THE COMMISSIONER MAY NOT NEGOTIATE A SALE WITHOUT 12 ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SAME PURCHASER OF MORE THAN 500 M.B.M. 13 OR EQUIVALENT OTHER MEASURE OF TIMBER.] 14 * Sec. 6. AS 38.05.118(a) is amended to read: 15 (a) Notwithstanding AS 38.05.120 and 38.05.123 [AS 38.05.115 and 16 38.05.120], and upon a finding that a [THE] sale is in the best interest of the state, the 17 commissioner may negotiate a sale of timber [TO A LOCAL MANUFACTURER OF 18 WOOD PRODUCTS OR A USER OF WOOD FIBER] at appraised value. The period 19 of a contract for a sale of timber negotiated under this section may not exceed 25 20 years. The contract shall provide that the appraised value of timber remaining to be 21 harvested under the provisions of the contract shall be redetermined at least once every 22 five years. 23 * Sec. 7. AS 38.05.118(b) is amended to read: 24 (b) Notice of intent to negotiate a contract authorized by (a) of this section for 25 the sale of timber in an amount greater than 500,000 board feet or equivalent 26 other measure shall be given in accordance with AS 38.05.945. 27 * Sec. 8. AS 38.05.118 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 28 (d) Within a one-year period, the commissioner may not negotiate additional 29 timber sales to the same purchaser for an amount greater than 500,000 board feet or 30 equivalent other measure. Negotiated sales in an amount equal to or less than 500,000 31 board feet or equivalent other measure are exempt from the requirements of
01 AS 34.15.150. 02 * Sec. 9. AS 38.05.123(a) is amended to read. 03 (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of AS 38.05.118 [AS 38.05.115] and 04 38.05.120, and upon a finding that the sale is in the best interest of the state, the 05 commissioner may negotiate a sale of timber for use in the local manufacture of high 06 value-added wood products or other value-added wood products. A timber sale 07 contract entered into under this section may provide for a harvest of up to 10,000,000 08 board feet of timber each year, consistent with sustained yield principles, and may be 09 for a term of up to 10 years. Initial stumpage rates for a contract under this section 10 shall be determined by negotiation but may not be less than the base price for the area 11 as established under regulations adopted by the commissioner. A contract under this 12 section must provide that stumpage rates shall be redetermined by negotiation at least 13 once every three years during the term of the contract, to reflect changes in market 14 conditions; the redetermined rates may not be less than the base price for the area as 15 established under regulations adopted by the commissioner. The commissioner shall 16 by regulation set a maximum number of contracts, but not less than two, per region of 17 the state that may be negotiated each year under this section. 18 * Sec. 10. AS 38.05.123(c) is amended to read. 19 (c) The commissioner may negotiate a sale of timber under this section if the 20 prospective purchaser agrees to use to the maximum extent commercially practicable 21 the timber subject to the sale for the local manufacture of high value-added wood 22 products. [THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DETERMINE THE MAXIMUM 23 AMOUNT OF THE TIMBER BEING SOLD THAT IS COMMERCIALLY 24 PRACTICABLE TO USE FOR THOSE PURPOSES AND MAKE THE USE OF 25 THAT PERCENTAGE OF THE TIMBER FOR THOSE PURPOSES A TERM OF 26 THE CONTRACT.] In evaluating proposals, the commissioner shall take into account 27 the proposed manufacture of other value-added wood products to be produced under a 28 negotiated contract. 29 * Sec. 11. AS 41.23.470(b) is amended to read. 30 (b) The commissioner may conduct [ONLY] a negotiated timber sale under 31 AS 38.05.118 only [AS 38.05.115] to provide for personal use, including house logs
01 and firewood, or for a use incidental to the construction of access, or for habitat 02 enhancement. 03 * Sec. 12. AS 38.05.115(b), 38.05.115(c), 38.05.123(e), and 38.05.123(g) are repealed. 04 * Sec. 13. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).