CSHB 98(RES): "An Act relating to forest land use plans; relating to forest land use plan appeals; relating to negotiated timber sales; relating to emergency firefighters; and providing for an effective date."
00 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 98(RES) 01 "An Act relating to forest land use plans; relating to forest land use plan appeals; 02 relating to negotiated timber sales; relating to emergency firefighters; and providing for 03 an effective date." 04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 06 to read: 07 LEGISLATIVE INTENT. (a) It is the intent of the legislature that, when deliberating 08 whether a timber sale is in the best interests of the state under AS 38.05, the commissioner of 09 natural resources consider, in addition to any factors required by statute, the extent to which 10 the sale may provide 11 (1) economic benefits resulting from 12 (A) the local manufacture of high value-added wood products; and 13 (B) local processing of the timber undertaken by the purchaser, 14 including the local manufacture of other value-added wood products;
01 (2) the creation and maintenance of a stable local job base; and 02 (3) other foreseeable benefits to the state and local economy. 03 (b) It is the intent of the legislature that the state increase the areas available for 04 personal use firewood while ensuring that the additional areas provide equitable acreage 05 across the state in reasonable proximity to population areas and prioritize road access. 06 * Sec. 2. AS 38.05.035(e) is amended to read: 07 (e) Upon a written finding that the interests of the state will be best served, the 08 director may, with the consent of the commissioner, approve contracts for the sale, 09 lease, or other disposal of available land, resources, property, or interests in them. In 10 approving a contract under this subsection, the director need only prepare a single 11 written finding. In addition to the conditions and limitations imposed by law, the 12 director may impose additional conditions or limitations in the contracts as the director 13 determines, with the consent of the commissioner, will best serve the interests of the 14 state. The preparation and issuance of the written finding by the director are subject to 15 the following: 16 (1) with the consent of the commissioner and subject to the director's 17 discretion, for a specific proposed disposal of available land, resources, or property, or 18 of an interest in them, the director, in the written finding, 19 (A) shall establish the scope of the administrative review on 20 which the director's determination is based, and the scope of the written 21 finding supporting that determination; the scope of the administrative review 22 and finding may address only reasonably foreseeable, significant effects of the 23 uses proposed to be authorized by the disposal; 24 (B) may limit the scope of an administrative review and finding 25 for a proposed disposal to 26 (i) applicable statutes and regulations; 27 (ii) the facts pertaining to the land, resources, or 28 property, or interest in them, that the director finds are material to the 29 determination and that are known to the director or knowledge of which 30 is made available to the director during the administrative review; and 31 (iii) issues that, based on the statutes and regulations
01 referred to in (i) of this subparagraph, on the facts as described in (ii) of 02 this subparagraph, and on the nature of the uses sought to be authorized 03 by the disposal, the director finds are material to the determination of 04 whether the proposed disposal will best serve the interests of the state; 05 and 06 (C) may, if the project for which the proposed disposal is 07 sought is a multiphased development, limit the scope of an administrative 08 review and finding for the proposed disposal to the applicable statutes and 09 regulations, facts, and issues identified in (B)(i) - (iii) of this paragraph that 10 pertain solely to the disposal phase of the project when 11 (i) the only uses to be authorized by the proposed 12 disposal are part of that phase; 13 (ii) the disposal is a disposal of oil and gas, or of gas 14 only, and, before the next phase of the project may proceed, public 15 notice and the opportunity to comment are provided under regulations 16 adopted by the department; 17 (iii) the department's approval is required before the 18 next phase of the project may proceed; and 19 (iv) the department describes its reasons for a decision 20 to phase; 21 (2) the director shall discuss in the written finding prepared and issued 22 under this subsection the reasons that each of the following was not material to the 23 director's determination that the interests of the state will be best served: 24 (A) facts pertaining to the land, resources, or property, or an 25 interest in them other than those that the director finds material under (1)(B)(ii) 26 of this subsection; and 27 (B) issues based on the statutes and regulations referred to in 28 (1)(B)(i) of this subsection and on the facts described in (1)(B)(ii) of this 29 subsection; 30 (3) a written finding for an oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale 31 under AS 38.05.180 is subject to (g) of this section;
01 (4) a contract for the sale, lease, or other disposal of available land or 02 an interest in land is not legally binding on the state until the commissioner approves 03 the contract, but if the appraised value is not greater than $50,000 in the case of the 04 sale of land or an interest in land, or $5,000 in the case of the annual rental of land or 05 interest in land, the director may execute the contract without the approval of the 06 commissioner; 07 (5) public notice requirements relating to the sale, lease, or other 08 disposal of available land or an interest in land for oil and gas, or for gas only, 09 proposed to be scheduled in the five-year oil and gas leasing program under 10 AS 38.05.180(b), except for a sale under (6)(F) of this subsection, are as follows: 11 (A) before a public hearing, if held, or in any case not less than 12 180 days before the sale, lease, or other disposal of available land or an interest 13 in land, the director shall make available to the public a preliminary written 14 finding that states the scope of the review established under (1)(A) of this 15 subsection and includes the applicable statutes and regulations, the material 16 facts and issues in accordance with (1)(B) of this subsection, and information 17 required by (g) of this section, upon which the determination that the sale, 18 lease, or other disposal will serve the best interests of the state will be based; 19 the director shall provide opportunity for public comment on the preliminary 20 written finding for a period of not less than 60 days; 21 (B) after the public comment period for the preliminary written 22 finding and not less than 90 days before the sale, lease, or other disposal of 23 available land or an interest in land for oil and gas or for gas only, the director 24 shall make available to the public a final written finding that states the scope of 25 the review established under (1)(A) of this subsection and includes the 26 applicable statutes and regulations, the material facts and issues in accordance 27 with (1) of this subsection, and information required by (g) of this section, 28 upon which the determination that the sale, lease, or other disposal will serve 29 the best interests of the state is based; 30 (6) before a public hearing, if held, or in any case not less than 21 days 31 before the sale, lease, or other disposal of available land, property, resources, or
01 interests in them other than a sale, lease, or other disposal of available land or an 02 interest in land for oil and gas or for gas only under (5) of this subsection, the director 03 shall make available to the public a written finding that, in accordance with (1) of this 04 subsection, sets out the material facts and applicable statutes and regulations and any 05 other information required by statute or regulation to be considered upon which the 06 determination that the sale, lease, or other disposal will best serve the interests of the 07 state was based; however, a written finding is not required before the approval of 08 (A) a contract for a negotiated sale of timber in an amount 09 equal to or less than 500,000 board feet or equivalent other measure 10 authorized under AS 38.05.118 [AS 38.05.115]; 11 (B) a lease of land for a shore fishery site under AS 38.05.082; 12 (C) a permit or other authorization revocable by the 13 commissioner; 14 (D) a mineral claim located under AS 38.05.195; 15 (E) a mineral lease issued under AS 38.05.205; 16 (F) an exempt oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale under 17 AS 38.05.180(d) of acreage subject to a best interest finding issued within the 18 previous 10 years or a reoffer oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale under 19 AS 38.05.180(w) of acreage subject to a best interest finding issued within the 20 previous 10 years, unless the commissioner determines that substantial new 21 information has become available that justifies a supplement to the most recent 22 best interest finding for the exempt oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale 23 acreage and for the reoffer oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale acreage; 24 however, for each oil and gas lease sale or gas only lease sale described in this 25 subparagraph, the director shall call for comments from the public; the 26 director's call for public comments must provide opportunity for public 27 comment for a period of not less than 30 days; if the director determines that a 28 supplement to the most recent best interest finding for the acreage is required 29 under this subparagraph, 30 (i) the director shall issue the supplement to the best 31 interest finding not later than 90 days before the sale;
01 (ii) not later than 45 days before the sale, the director 02 shall issue a notice describing the interests to be offered, the location 03 and time of the sale, and the terms and conditions of the sale; and 04 (iii) the supplement has the status of a final written best 05 interest finding for purposes of (i) and (l) of this section; 06 (G) a surface use lease under AS 38.05.255; 07 (H) a permit, right-of-way, or easement under AS 38.05.850; 08 (7) the director shall include in 09 (A) a preliminary written finding, if required, a summary of 10 agency and public comments, if any, obtained as a result of contacts with other 11 agencies concerning a proposed disposal or as a result of informal efforts 12 undertaken by the department to solicit public response to a proposed disposal, 13 and the department's preliminary responses to those comments; and 14 (B) the final written finding a summary of agency and public 15 comments received and the department's responses to those comments. 16 * Sec. 3. AS 38.05.110(c) is amended to read: 17 (c) If a sale of timber may be offered under multiple provisions of 18 AS 38.05.110 - 38.05.123, the commissioner shall determine the applicable provisions 19 under which to offer the timber by considering 20 (1) the best interests of the state under AS 38.05.035(e); 21 (2) the local timber market; 22 (3) specialized or developing foreign or domestic markets; 23 (4) the presence of underutilized timber; 24 (5) the economic constraints of the intended timber market; 25 (6) detrimental effects on the surrounding environment, including 26 erosion, drainage, and riparian stability; 27 (7) effects on wildlife habitat; and 28 (8) any other reasonably foreseeable benefits to the state and local 29 economy from the sale. 30 * Sec. 4. AS 38.05.112(a) is amended to read: 31 (a) Except [THE DEPARTMENT MAY NOT AUTHORIZE THE
01 HARVEST OF TIMBER, EXCEPT] for harvests of 20  acres or less or timber 02 salvaged from land cleared for a nonforest use, the department may not permit the 03 harvest of timber in a harvest unit until a site-specific forest land use plan has been 04 adopted. A forest land use plan may authorize timber harvests for multiple 05 harvest units included in a timber sale contract. The department is not required 06 to adopt the forest land use plan before awarding a timber sale contract [A 07 FOREST LAND USE PLAN IS REQUIRED WHETHER OR NOT A REGIONAL 08 OR AREA LAND USE PLAN UNDER AS 38.04.065(a) OR A FOREST 09 MANAGEMENT PLAN UNDER AS 41.17.230 HAS BEEN ADOPTED. THE 10 REQUIREMENTS OF AS 38.04.065(b) SHALL APPLY TO A LAND USE PLAN 11 ADOPTED UNDER THIS SECTION ONLY IF A REGIONAL OR AREA LAND 12 USE PLAN UNDER AS 38.04.065(a) OR A FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN 13 UNDER AS 41.17.230 HAS NOT BEEN ADOPTED]. 14 * Sec. 5. AS 38.05.112 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 15 (d) A forest land use plan is required whether or not a regional or area land use 16 plan under AS 38.04.065(a) or a forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has been 17 adopted. The requirements of AS 38.04.065(b) shall apply to a land use plan adopted 18 under this section only if a regional or area land use plan under AS 38.04.065(a) or a 19 forest management plan under AS 41.17.230 has not been adopted. 20 (e) Notwithstanding AS 44.37.011, a person may not seek reconsideration of 21 or appeal to the commissioner a decision to adopt a forest land use plan. 22 * Sec. 6. AS 38.05.115(a) is amended to read: 23 (a) The commissioner shall determine the timber to be sold and the 24 limitations, conditions, and terms of sale. The limitations, conditions, and terms shall 25 include the utilization, development, and maintenance of the sustained yield principle, 26 subject to preference among other beneficial uses. [THE COMMISSIONER MAY 27 NEGOTIATE SALES OF TIMBER WITHOUT ADVERTISEMENT AND ON THE 28 LIMITATIONS, CONDITIONS, AND TERMS THAT ARE CONSIDERED TO BE 29 IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE STATE. WITHIN A ONE-YEAR PERIOD, 30 THE COMMISSIONER MAY NOT NEGOTIATE A SALE WITHOUT 31 ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SAME PURCHASER OF MORE THAN 500 M.B.M.
01 OR EQUIVALENT OTHER MEASURE OF TIMBER.] 02 * Sec. 7. AS 38.05.118(a) is amended to read: 03 (a) Notwithstanding AS 38.05.120 and 38.05.123 [AS 38.05.115 AND 04 38.05.120], and upon a finding that a [THE] sale is in the best interest of the state, the 05 commissioner may negotiate a sale of timber [TO A LOCAL MANUFACTURER OF 06 WOOD PRODUCTS OR A USER OF WOOD FIBER] at appraised value. The period 07 of a contract for a sale of timber negotiated under this section may not exceed 25 08 years. The contract shall provide that the appraised value of timber remaining to be 09 harvested under the provisions of the contract shall be redetermined at least once every 10 five years. 11 * Sec. 8. AS 38.05.118(b) is amended to read: 12 (b) Notice of intent to negotiate a contract authorized by (a) of this section for 13 the sale of timber in an amount greater than 500,000 board feet or equivalent 14 other measure shall be given in accordance with AS 38.05.945. 15 * Sec. 9. AS 38.05.118 is amended by adding new subsections to read: 16 (d) Within a one-year period, the commissioner may not negotiate additional 17 timber sales to the same purchaser for an amount greater than 500,000 board feet or 18 equivalent other measure. Negotiated sales in an amount equal to or less than 500,000 19 board feet or equivalent other measure are exempt from the requirements of 20 AS 34.15.150. 21 (e) If the commissioner determines that additional analysis is necessary to 22 complete the best interest finding for a sale under this section, the commissioner may 23 require a prospective purchaser to retain and pay for the services of a contractor to 24 assist the commissioner in evaluating the proposed sale and financial and technical 25 data related to the proposed sale. The contractor shall be selected by the prospective 26 purchaser from a list of consultants in forestry and timber economics provided by the 27 commissioner. If the commissioner requires a prospective purchaser to retain the 28 services of a contractor under this subsection, the commissioner shall determine the 29 scope of the work to be performed by the contractor. 30 * Sec. 10. AS 38.05.123(a) is amended to read: 31 (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of AS 38.05.118 [AS 38.05.115] and
01 38.05.120, and upon a finding that the sale is in the best interest of the state, the 02 commissioner may negotiate a sale of timber for use in the local manufacture of high 03 value-added wood products or other value-added wood products. A timber sale 04 contract entered into under this section may provide for a harvest of up to 10,000,000 05 board feet of timber each year, consistent with sustained yield principles, and may be 06 for a term of up to 10 years. Initial stumpage rates for a contract under this section 07 shall be determined by negotiation but may not be less than the base price for the area 08 as established under regulations adopted by the commissioner. A contract under this 09 section must provide that stumpage rates shall be redetermined by negotiation at least 10 once every three years during the term of the contract, to reflect changes in market 11 conditions; the redetermined rates may not be less than the base price for the area as 12 established under regulations adopted by the commissioner. The commissioner shall 13 by regulation set a maximum number of contracts, but not less than two, per region of 14 the state that may be negotiated each year under this section. 15 * Sec. 11. AS 38.05.123(c) is amended to read: 16 (c) The commissioner may negotiate a sale of timber under this section if the 17 prospective purchaser agrees to use to the maximum extent commercially practicable 18 the timber subject to the sale for the local manufacture of high value-added wood 19 products. [THE COMMISSIONER SHALL DETERMINE THE MAXIMUM 20 AMOUNT OF THE TIMBER BEING SOLD THAT IS COMMERCIALLY 21 PRACTICABLE TO USE FOR THOSE PURPOSES AND MAKE THE USE OF 22 THAT PERCENTAGE OF THE TIMBER FOR THOSE PURPOSES A TERM OF 23 THE CONTRACT.] In evaluating proposals, the commissioner shall take into account 24 the proposed manufacture of other value-added wood products to be produced under a 25 negotiated contract. 26 * Sec. 12. AS 41.15.030(b) is amended to read: 27 (b) The commissioner may hire emergency firefighting personnel, and shall 28 establish classifications and rates of pay for the emergency firefighting personnel 29 consistent with the compensation paid by other firefighting agencies. The 30 commissioner may adjust the classifications and rates based on findings of the federal 31 Bureau of Land Management for Alaska. The commissioner may assign emergency
01 firefighting personnel to conduct fire suppression, hazard reduction, fire prevention, 02 habitat restoration or improvement, and other related activities in emergency and 03 nonemergency circumstances. The assignment of emergency firefighting personnel to 04 nonemergency activities may not be used to replace permanent or seasonal state 05 employees. [THE COMMISSIONER MAY NOT USE APPROPRIATIONS TO THE 06 DEPARTMENT FROM STATE GENERAL FUNDS FOR EMERGENCY 07 FIREFIGHTING PERSONNEL ENGAGED IN NONEMERGENCY ACTIVITIES 08 UNDER THIS SECTION.] 09 * Sec. 13. AS 41.23.470(b) is amended to read: 10 (b) The commissioner may conduct [ONLY] a negotiated timber sale under 11 AS 38.05.118 only [AS 38.05.115] to provide for personal use, including house logs 12 and firewood, or for a use incidental to the construction of access, or for habitat 13 enhancement. 14 * Sec. 14. AS 38.05.115(b), 38.05.115(c), and 38.05.123(e) are repealed. 15 * Sec. 15. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).