Legislature(2011 - 2012)

2011-01-19 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

2011-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 0040
SB 44                                                                                                                         
SENATE BILL NO. 44 BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE                                                                                
BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR, entitled:                                                                                           
             "An Act relating to the Southeast State Forest; and                                                               
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
was read the first time and referred to the Resources and Finance                                                               
The following fiscal information was published today:                                                                           
 Fiscal Note No. 1, zero, Department of Natural Resources                                                                       
Governor's transmittal letter dated January 14:                                                                                 
Dear President Stevens:                                                                                                         
Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska                                                                   
Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to the Southeast State                                                          
Forest. The Southeast State Forest was established in June 2010, under                                                          
Chapter 112, SLA 2010, in an effort to ensure that State lands in                                                               
Southeast Alaska that had already been designated for commercial                                                                
forestry management would be managed as an integrated unit and                                                                  
according to a broader long-term and comprehensive forest                                                                       
management plan. This bill would designate an additional 23,181                                                                 
acres of commercial forest lands that are conducive to meeting these                                                            
goals, almost doubling the size of the Southeast State Forest, and                                                              
further ensuring an appropriate land base for long-term forest                                                                  
management. The lands would continue to be open for multiple uses,                                                              
including wildlife harvest and recreational activities.                                                                         
Adding lands to the Southeast State Forest enables the Division of                                                              
Forestry in the Department of Natural Resources to manage this land                                                             
to increase long-term timber supply for local processors and wood                                                               
energy needs, provide near-term jobs in pre-commercial thinning,                                                                
timber harvest and milling, and retain the land in State ownership for                                                          
multiple uses.                                                                                                                  

2011-01-19                     Senate Journal                      Page 0041
The bill contains provisions to avoid conflicts with the newly formed                                                           
City and Borough of Wrangell's land selection and entitlement.                                                                  
Additionally, if new municipalities are incorporated before June 30,                                                            
2019, lands that were vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved before                                                             
establishment of the State Forest will be included in the calculation of                                                        
the municipal entitlement acreage, but may not be selected.                                                                     
Alaska's timber industry and energy needs remain top priorities of my                                                           
administration. This legislation is one important piece of our overall                                                          
strategy to stabilize and revitalize the timber industry and expand                                                             
wood energy opportunities in Southeast Alaska.                                                                                  
I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure.                                                                        
Sean Parnell