Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 295(CRA) Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HB 295-UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT                                                                              
[Due to  technical difficulties, there  is no audio  recording at                                                               
this point.]                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 295, "An Act relating to  the grant of certain                                                               
state land  to the University  of Alaska; relating to  the duties                                                               
of the Board of Regents; relating  to deposits made to the Alaska                                                               
permanent  fund  received  from certain  lands  conveyed  to  the                                                               
University of  Alaska; ratifying and reauthorizing  certain prior                                                               
conveyances  of   land  to  the  University   of  Alaska;  making                                                               
conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date."                                                                    
[Before the committee is CSHB 295(EDC).]                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR  HERRON moved  to adopt  CSHB 295,  Version 26-GH2829\P,                                                               
Bullock,  3/8/10,  as  the  working document.    There  being  no                                                               
objection, Version P was before the committee.                                                                                  
[The audio recording begins at this point.]                                                                                     
8:22:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ   informed  the  committee  that   in  the  first                                                               
committee of referral for HB  295, there was an amendment offered                                                               
to remove  the Mite Cove parcel  and to insert another  parcel in                                                               
Pelican.   She pointed  out that  the deletion  of the  Mite Cove                                                               
parcel can be found in Version P  on page 8, line 22, and on page                                                               
9, lines 29-31,  a portion of a Pelican parcel  is added in place                                                               
of Mite Cove.   She then reminded the committee  that at its last                                                               
hearing there was considerable testimony  on the Sumdum parcel, a                                                               
five-acre  parcel  south of  Juneau.    Version P  maintains  the                                                               
inclusion of the Sumdum parcel  in those given to the university,                                                               
but a  covenant that  would protect  the historical  and cultural                                                               
character of the Sumdum parcel has been added.                                                                                  
8:24:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS surmised then  that the Sumdum parcel can't                                                               
be used for timber harvest or mineral development.                                                                              
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ replied yes.                                                                                                     
8:24:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ pointed  out that Version P, on page  8, lines 23-                                                               
25, also  includes language deleting parcels  at Excursion Inlet,                                                               
Lynn  Canal, and  William  Henry Bay  in the  Haines  area.   The                                                               
aforementioned  was included  per the  request of  Representative                                                               
8:25:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  expressed her belief  that Representative                                                               
Thomas' amendment should be considered  by the committee prior to                                                               
incorporating into the committee substitute.                                                                                    
8:26:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ pointed  out that on page 8, lines  26-27, the 40-                                                               
acre parcel  around the Tenakee  Springs Harbor uplands  is added                                                               
to the list  of parcels deleted from  the university's selection.                                                               
She  reminded  the  committee of  the  testimony  requesting  the                                                               
aforementioned at the last hearing.                                                                                             
8:27:32 AM                                                                                                                    
ROBERT  VENABLES, Member,  Planning  Commission, Haines  Borough,                                                               
requested support  for Version P.   He explained that  the Haines                                                               
Borough  has  been in  an  ongoing  process  for its  final  land                                                               
selections over the  past few years.   The aforementioned parcels                                                               
in   Haines  were   recently   identified   as  possible   vacant                                                               
unappropriated unreserved  (VUU) lands that could  be conveyed to                                                               
the borough.   Because Haines was  one of the first  areas of the                                                               
state to  be surveyed, most of  the VUU lands that  are available                                                               
are  quite restricted  in number.    Mr. Venables  said that  the                                                               
University  of  Alaska  has  been  a  fantastic  and  outstanding                                                               
developer  and custodian  of  lands that  have  been conveyed  to                                                               
them.  In fact, the university  already holds a number of parcels                                                               
within  the Haines  Borough.   The  Haines  Borough, he  related,                                                               
requests  that the  municipality  be given  the  first chance  at                                                               
selection of the aforementioned parcels.                                                                                        
8:29:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS   asked  if  Mr.  Venables   supports  the                                                               
amendments related to Haines that are included in Version P.                                                                    
MR. VENABLES replied yes.                                                                                                       
8:30:01 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN MARTIN,  Chairman, Tenakee  Traditional Council,  noted that                                                               
he has  a written document  in relation to Executive  Order 7179.                                                               
In  the  way of  background,  Mr.  Martin related  that  [Tenakee                                                               
Springs] has  long been part  of the  Angoon territory.   He then                                                               
related  his  belief  that  [Tenakee  Springs]  is  one  the  few                                                               
villages in Alaska  that has an EO.  Recently,  it was discovered                                                               
that [the Tenakee  Tribe] has an existing deed for  the parcel of                                                               
land  [the 40  acres around  the  Tenakee Springs  harbor].   Mr.                                                               
Martin emphasized that the parcel is  a sovereign trust land.  He                                                               
said  he didn't  want  [the  Tenakee Tribe's]  trust  land to  be                                                               
placed  on the  chopping  block.   For the  last  40 years,  [the                                                               
Tenakee Tribe] has  given support to the Tlingit  & Haida Central                                                               
Council and the Alaska Native  Brotherhood Grand Camp in the form                                                               
of  resolutions.    Mr.  Martin   concluded  by  encouraging  the                                                               
legislature to  given the Tenakee  Tribe a chance to  develop its                                                               
land.   He  further  concluded by  requesting  that the  [Tenakee                                                               
Tribe] not be wiped out.                                                                                                        
8:33:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  related his understanding that  Mr. Martin                                                               
is referring  to a presidential  EO.  He then  questioned whether                                                               
the state even  has any rights to the land  [in Tenakee Springs].                                                               
He then inquired as to  any federal provisions that encumber this                                                               
MR.   MARTIN  informed   the  committee   that  per   studies  of                                                               
archaeologists  and anthropologists,  Tenakee was  named after  a                                                               
copper  shield  placed  in  the  water.    He  characterized  the                                                               
aforementioned as  a peaceful gesture illustrating  that [Tenakee                                                               
Springs and Angoon]  were one territory.  The EO  land is a pivot                                                               
point of  the [Tenakee Tribe].   He  related that just  above the                                                               
boat harbor in  Tenakee Springs was a house in  which he was born                                                               
and his grandfather  sold the land [to its existing  owners].  He                                                               
then related  the story  of the first  white settlers  in Tenakee                                                               
8:37:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  asked  if  Mr. Martin  and  the  Tenakee  Tribe                                                               
support the removal  of the upland harbor parcel  as specified in                                                               
Version P.                                                                                                                      
MR. MARTIN said that he has  always believed that the EO land was                                                               
all the remnants of what the  Tenakee Tribe had.  He informed the                                                               
committee that  the harbor  uplands area  in Tenakee  Springs was                                                               
once a  canoe run, and thus  it's actually where they  hunted and                                                               
fished.   Mr. Martin opined that  right now the Tenakee  Tribe is                                                               
fighting for its existence.                                                                                                     
8:39:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  acknowledged that  there is a  dispute regarding                                                               
whether [the  upland harbor  land in  Tenakee Springs]  is tribal                                                               
land.   At this point,  the state is  proposing that the  land be                                                               
given to  the university.   Therefore, setting aside the  EO, Co-                                                               
Chair Herron  asked if Mr.  Martin supports removing  the Tenakee                                                               
Springs harbor parcel from the parcels given to the university.                                                                 
MR. MARTIN replied yes.                                                                                                         
8:40:13 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON asked if the Tenakee  Tribe had an opinion on the                                                               
upland parcel by Indian River.                                                                                                  
MR. MARTIN informed the committee  that the land issues aren't an                                                               
individual's  decision, and  thus  he indicated  that the  Indian                                                               
River parcel would  need to be brought before  the Tenakee Tribe.                                                               
He noted that he hasn't had  a chance to meet with Representative                                                               
Thomas  and  Senator Kookesh  in  whose  district the  parcel  is                                                               
8:41:54 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS asked  if Representative  Thomas requested                                                               
the removal of  the aforementioned parcels in  Tenakee Springs at                                                               
the request of Mr. Martin and the [Tenakee Tribe].                                                                              
8:42:11 AM                                                                                                                    
KACI SCHROEDER-HOTCH,  Staff, Representative Bill  Thomas, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, clarified  that  the changes  on  page 8  are                                                               
directly  related to  Haines and  thus weren't  requested by  Mr.                                                               
Martin.   The  change  regarding the  Tenakee  harbor parcel  was                                                               
[requested] in response to public outcry.                                                                                       
8:42:47 AM                                                                                                                    
MARY IRVINE thanked  the committee for putting so  much time into                                                               
this  legislation.   Ms. Irvine  stressed  that she  is a  strong                                                               
supporter of  the University of Alaska.   In fact, she  has taken                                                               
various courses at the University  of Alaska Southeast as well as                                                               
served  as an  instructor for  the university.   She  opined that                                                               
it's regrettable  that the university's  professors, particularly                                                               
the  adjunct  professors, are  woefully  under  paid.   She  then                                                               
directed the committee's attention to  page 10 of Version P where                                                               
the Sumdum  parcel is  addressed in subsection  (r).   Ms. Irvine                                                               
suggested that  if the  intent is to  protect the  Sumdum parcel,                                                               
paragraph  (1)  on page  10,  lines  6-7,  must be  written  more                                                               
broadly.     Therefore,  she  urged  the   committee  to  rewrite                                                               
paragraph (1), such  that it would read as follows:   "may not be                                                               
open  to development,  including but  not limited  to, commercial                                                               
timber harvest  or mineral development".   This  broader language                                                               
would  include docks  and shops.   Ms.  Irvine further  suggested                                                               
that the committee add another  paragraph, a paragraph (4), which                                                               
would read as  follows:  "it is intended that  these covenants on                                                               
the  parcel  run  with  the  land".    The  aforementioned  would                                                               
strengthen the  protective language  already included  in Version                                                               
P.   Furthermore, the  covenants would apply  to anyone  who ever                                                               
purchases the land.                                                                                                             
8:48:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS inquired as  to the controversy surrounding                                                               
the Sumdum parcel.  He then  inquired as to why the Sumdum parcel                                                               
isn't being taken out and replaced with another parcel.                                                                         
MS. IRVINE reiterated her testimony  from the prior hearing on HB
295.   She reviewed the  cultural and historical  significance of                                                               
the  Sumdum  parcel, which  is  rich  in  Tlingit history.    She                                                               
highlighted  the fact  that Sumdum  is  a layered  archaeological                                                               
site, such  that it  includes the  first American  Alaska brewery                                                               
and canoe runs.   Furthermore, the Sumdum parcel is  used by many                                                               
for recreation  and recreational  history.  Ms.  Irvine confirmed                                                               
that  at   first  she   wanted  the   parcel  excised   from  the                                                               
legislation, but  she understands the administration's  desire to                                                               
keep the land  list intact and pointed out  that transferring the                                                               
Sumdum parcel  to DNR may  result in continuing battles  over the                                                               
parcel.   Moreover,  Ms. Irvine  said  that she  doesn't know  of                                                               
other  parcels  that DNR  could  offer  in  place of  the  Sumdum                                                               
parcel.  Therefore,  she stated that having the  covenants on the                                                               
Sumdum parcel,  including the  additional language  she suggested                                                               
earlier,  would be  a "good  way  to go  for this  parcel."   She                                                               
characterized the Sumdum  parcel as an odd parcel  to be included                                                               
in  the  legislation  because its  historical  significance  will                                                               
likely prevent  it from being  developed, although that's  why it                                                               
would be given to the university.                                                                                               
8:53:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS reminded the  committee that the university                                                               
uses  land  for  various  things,  and  thus  could  use  it  for                                                               
archeological research.                                                                                                         
MS. IRVINE  interjected that she  has spoken with  professors who                                                               
are  dismayed  that a  cultural  and  historical parcel  such  as                                                               
Sumdum would  be taken out of  the public domain, but  they don't                                                               
have the  graduate student  labor or  interest to  [research this                                                               
parcel].   She related that only  she has been doing  research on                                                               
the  Sumdum parcel.    Ms.  Irvine pointed  out  that the  Sumdum                                                               
parcel  isn't being  given to  the university  for safe  keeping,                                                               
rather  it's  being given  to  the  University Lands  Office  for                                                               
8:55:25 AM                                                                                                                    
BRIAN  ROGERS,   Chancellor,  University  of   Alaska  Fairbanks,                                                               
related that  he has walked the  Sumdum parcel and is  well aware                                                               
of the  significance of it.   He pointed out that  the land grant                                                               
in HB 295 covers both  educational and investment properties.  If                                                               
it's the will  of the legislature that the land  be preserved for                                                               
educational  purposes, it  will be  available for  archaeological                                                               
research in the  future.  If the amendment  [placing covenants on                                                               
the  Sumdum  parcel remains  incorporated  in  Version P],  there                                                               
could be funding available for archeological research.                                                                          
8:56:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS asked  if  it's  common that  universities                                                               
share  [research]  sites  with   other  universities  to  perform                                                               
archaeological work.                                                                                                            
MR.  ROGERS  responded yes,  and  added  that the  University  of                                                               
Alaska  does cooperate  with  other  universities.   Furthermore,                                                               
having title  to land  makes it easier  to do  the aforementioned                                                               
without having to go through a new permitting process.                                                                          
8:57:34 AM                                                                                                                    
ART  BLOOM,  Member,  City  Council,  City  of  Tenakee  Springs,                                                               
related  his assumption  that the  committee supports  Version P,                                                               
and  thus he  wouldn't speak  to the  two parcels  by the  harbor                                                               
unless there are  questions.  He noted that  the committee packet                                                               
should include a  letter from Don Pegues, Mayor,  City of Tenakee                                                               
Springs.   He  then  referred to  a  Memorandum of  Understanding                                                               
(MOU)  from   1977  and  the   court  ordered   [Stipulation  for                                                               
Settlement].     From   paragraph  (8)   of  the   Memorandum  of                                                               
Understanding, he read the following:   "The state will convey to                                                               
the city  title to any  selected lands  conveyed to the  state by                                                               
the Bureau  of Land Management,  except that the state  my retain                                                               
title  to  those  sites  necessary  for  present  or  anticipated                                                               
essential   public  purposes."      From   the  Stipulation   for                                                               
Settlement, he  pointed out that the  state specifically excludes                                                               
certain parcels of  land from the conveyance.   Those parcels are                                                               
listed   under  paragraph   1.1-1.6.     Paragraph  1.1   of  the                                                               
stipulation refers  to C-33 on  the Northern Southeast  Area Plan                                                               
from DNR  in 2002.   Paragraph 1.2  of the stipulation  refers to                                                               
track  C-34, which  is located  by the  Indian River  road.   Mr.                                                               
Bloom  said that  he would  like the  committee to  consider that                                                               
this is  a court-ordered document with  stipulations referring to                                                               
the parcels  of land.   While  there's nothing  [in HB  295] that                                                               
prevents  C-34  from being  turned  over  to the  university,  he                                                               
opined  that  the   university  would  still  be   bound  by  the                                                               
restrictions in  the stipulations.  Therefore,  he questioned the                                                               
value  [of this  parcel]  to  the university.    He informed  the                                                               
committee that  the stipulation for  C-34 ["describes a  tract of                                                               
land to be retained by  the state for"], "commercial, industrial,                                                               
row right-of-way, and  borrow pits".  The tract  of land contains                                                               
about  261  acres.     The  stipulation  further   says,  "It  is                                                               
understood that  the state will  allow the removal  of reasonable                                                               
amounts of  material under reasonable conditions  from all borrow                                                               
pits for the purposes of  personal use in residential improvement                                                               
or  construction, driveway  construction, and  landscaping.   The                                                               
land  to be  retained by  the state  for commercial,  industrial,                                                               
road  right-of-way,  and  borrow  pit purposes  is  described  as                                                               
follows."    Mr. Bloom  opined  that  the  C-34 parcel  would  be                                                               
encumbered by this court-ordered stipulation.                                                                                   
9:01:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ related  her understanding  that the  stipulation                                                               
came about in  reaction to the commercial activity  by the Alaska                                                               
Pulp Corporation.                                                                                                               
MR.  BLOOM explained  that  in  the late  1970s  the Alaska  Pulp                                                               
Corporation wanted  to log in Indian  River.  Since the  area was                                                               
in the  boundary of the  City of Tenakee, there  were discussions                                                               
between the  Alaska Pulp  Corporation, the  City of  Tenakee, and                                                               
the state.  From the City  of Tenakee's point of view, the matter                                                               
was about  the conveyance  of the  municipal entitlements  to the                                                               
city.   The  city  wanted  the state  to  give  it its  municipal                                                               
entitlements while the  Alaska Pulp Corporation wanted  to log in                                                               
Indian River and the state wanted it  all to occur.  There was an                                                               
MOU that the state would turnover  land to the city.  However, by                                                               
1981 no  land had been  turned over and  the city sued  the state                                                               
for its  municipal entitlements.   The court ruled in  the city's                                                               
favor  and the  stipulations  were  ordered by  the  court.   The                                                               
stipulations  specified  that the  state  had  to turn  over  the                                                               
municipal  entitlements and  the  state was  allowed to  withdraw                                                               
certain  parcels of  land, two  of  which are  the parcels  under                                                               
discussion  today.   He noted  that the  stipulation was  amended                                                               
twice  because the  Alaska  Pulp Corporation  had  to extend  its                                                               
period of logging.                                                                                                              
9:03:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ  asked  if  the City  of  Tenakee  completed  its                                                               
municipal entitlement.                                                                                                          
MR.  BLOOM opined  that  the  city doesn't  believe  it has  been                                                               
completed  because  the city  believes  the  two parcels  by  the                                                               
harbor should've  been conveyed  to the  city.   At the  time the                                                               
land  was  conveyed to  the  state,  these  two parcels  were  in                                                               
contention due  to prior Native  allotment claims.   Those claims                                                               
were  adjudicated and  in  1986, the  parcel  directly above  the                                                               
harbor, C-31,  was conveyed to the  state.  According to  the MOU                                                               
and  the  stipulations, the  city  believes  the state  should've                                                               
conveyed  that  parcel  of  land   to  Tenakee  as  part  of  its                                                               
entitlement.  He  characterized it as an oversight.   In 2003 the                                                               
second parcel, C-32, was conveyed  from the federal government to                                                               
the  state  rather  than  to  the city.    He  characterized  the                                                               
aforementioned  as  an  oversight  as  well,  which  he  said  is                                                               
supported  by  the  lack  of  either  parcel  being  specifically                                                               
withdrawn  or  having a  paragraph  reference.    The lack  of  a                                                               
paragraph reference, he explained,  is because neither parcel was                                                               
specifically identified in the stipulations.                                                                                    
9:05:38 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked if the  parcels to which Mr. Bloom is                                                               
referring are included in Version P.                                                                                            
MR. BLOOM answered that C-31 and  C-32 are the two parcels by the                                                               
harbor and C-34 is the parcel by Indian River road.                                                                             
9:06:37 AM                                                                                                                    
WENDY REDMAN,  Executive Vice President,  began by  relating that                                                               
she  has  a  great  deal   of  frustration;  this  is  the  sixth                                                               
university  land  bill  since  her   tenure  in  the  university.                                                               
Although she said she understands  that those who oppose specific                                                               
parcels  actually support  the university,  she pointed  out that                                                               
the legislature has  recognized that the University  of Alaska, a                                                               
land  grant university,  is owed  land.   Through the  process of                                                               
statehood,  the university's  rights to  the land  that had  been                                                               
assigned  to  it were  extinguished.    The state,  she  related,                                                               
essentially promised  to take  care of  the situation  over time.                                                               
In  2005,   through  legislation,  the  state   recognized  moral                                                               
responsibility   and  the   university  thought   there  was   an                                                               
agreement.   Although  the university  disagrees with  the Alaska                                                               
Supreme Court ruling  on this, the university is  back before the                                                               
legislature to  make accommodation with  the ruling.   Ms. Redman                                                               
emphasized that it  was very important for the  university not to                                                               
start  new and  select  lands.   Therefore,  the legislation  was                                                               
introduced  with the  same land  selections that  the legislature                                                               
had  already  approved  and  argued  in  detail  during  a  prior                                                               
session-and-a-half.   Ms.  Redman  acknowledged  that people  are                                                               
concerned,  but opined  some of  the  worries aren't  legitimate.                                                               
For  instance, it  wouldn't be  in the  university's interest  to                                                               
construct a commercial  property on the Sumdum parcel.   She then                                                               
pointed out  that the  university has  been responsible  for some                                                               
incredible development throughout the  state, but the legislature                                                               
doesn't  hear from  those  who have  had  great experiences  with                                                               
university land  development.   The university  tries to  make it                                                               
easy to deal with it and  to that end has a community involvement                                                               
process,  including  with  the  University  of  Alaska  Board  of                                                               
Regents.   With regard to the  properties in the City  of Tenakee                                                               
Springs, Ms.  Redman recalled that  there was some  discussion of                                                               
swapping properties at the last  meeting.  Prior to this session,                                                               
the  university had  a lot  of  discussion with  Tenakee and  the                                                               
university was  close to  making a deal  with Tenakee  because it                                                               
would be easier  for the city to obtain the  harbor property from                                                               
the university than  from DNR.  Had the Alaska  Supreme Court not                                                               
intervened, the  aforementioned arrangement  would've culminated.                                                               
With regard to  the other properties under  discussion today, Ms.                                                               
Redman deferred to Mari Montgomery, University of Alaska.                                                                       
9:11:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked if  the university, when  it chooses                                                               
to develop  land, takes into  account the concerns  and interests                                                               
of fellow Alaskans.                                                                                                             
MS.  REDMAN clarified  that the  university  didn't select  these                                                               
lands,  rather  DNR  selected  the  lands  to  be  given  to  the                                                               
university.  She  explained that the lands DNR  has available for                                                               
transfer  are   lands  that  have  already   been  designated  as                                                               
available  for  transfer,  development, sale,  and  construction.                                                               
Thus the land doesn't have restrictions.                                                                                        
9:13:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  surmised  that  although  the  university                                                               
likely  keeps the  interest of  the university  foremost when  it                                                               
develops land, the  university would still take  into account the                                                               
interest of those in the area.                                                                                                  
MS. REDMAN  said that  Representative Keller  is correct  as it's                                                               
not in the  university's interest to make all the  residents of a                                                               
community angry.   She  further said that  she wasn't  aware that                                                               
the university had done the aforementioned.                                                                                     
9:14:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  asked  if the  University  of  Alaska  supports                                                               
Version P, as drafted.                                                                                                          
MS.  REDMAN  responded that  she  couldn't  answer that  question                                                               
since  she hasn't  had  an  opportunity to  review  Version P  in                                                               
9:14:36 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON asked  if the  university would  be amenable  to                                                               
crafting language specifying that  if the university received the                                                               
Tenakee land, it would eventually be in the city's hands.                                                                       
MS. REDMAN indicated agreement, but  said she would need to check                                                               
that to be sure.                                                                                                                
9:15:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HARRIS   opined  that   he  didn't   believe  the                                                               
legislation should  include language such that  the university is                                                               
bound  to  only  talk  to  the  City  of  Tenakee  Springs  about                                                               
purchasing specific parcels.                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  acknowledged that  [the language] wouldn't  be a                                                               
guarantee  that the  City of  Tenakee Springs  would receive  the                                                               
9:16:55 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  FAY  described  Moser  Bay,   which  is  very  close  to                                                               
Ketchikan, as one of the most  pristine valleys in the area.  The                                                               
area draws thousands of visitors  every summer and thus thousands                                                               
of boats are  in the area every  year.  He said  that although he                                                               
would support  slow selective logging  of the parcel over  a long                                                               
time, clear  cutting this  parcel would  be an  enormous blunder.                                                               
The  area  is  steep and  the  timber  value  is  low.   Mr.  Fay                                                               
suggested that  the highest and best  use of this property  is to                                                               
maintain   its  pristine   landscape   and  establish   permanent                                                               
protection of the parcel.                                                                                                       
9:20:37 AM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  PRYSUNKA,   Director,  Alaska  Crossings,   Alaska  Island                                                               
Community Services, informed the  committee that Alaska Crossings                                                               
is  Alaska's  largest  therapeutic wilderness  program.    Alaska                                                               
Crossings  also  provides  an experiential  science  program  for                                                               
Alaska Native  youth from the communities  of Wrangell, Hydaburg,                                                               
Craig,  Klawock,  Metlakatla,  and the  Southeast  Island  School                                                               
District.   Mr. Prysunka assured  the committee that  the program                                                               
has had youth from all  of the communities the members represent.                                                               
Each year over  250 youth attend the program located  at the Deer                                                               
Island  facility.   He explained  that  about 60  percent of  the                                                               
program  utilizes the  Sunny  Bay  area.   He  noted that  Alaska                                                               
Crossings has  never testified regarding  a timber  sale proposed                                                               
by the U.S. Forest Service or  the state.  However, a timber sale                                                               
[in the  Sunny Bay area]  will have  a dramatic visual  impact as                                                               
well as  cause disruption from the  general activities associated                                                               
with the timber industry.   Mr. Prysunka emphasized that the most                                                               
important resource  is the land  and if  the [Sunny Bay]  area is                                                               
removed, the capacity of the  program will dramatically decrease.                                                               
Although there are options, it  will mean higher costs because of                                                               
transporting groups to  other areas of the  forest.  Furthermore,                                                               
the program may  have to move its entire  marine research station                                                               
from  the  area,  which  would   cost  [Alaska  Island  Community                                                               
Services] in  excess of $40,000  and would disrupt  the program's                                                               
services  for  an extended  period  of  time.   The  program,  he                                                               
related,  now  employees  85  full- and  part-time  people.    He                                                               
emphasized  that  [Alaska  Island   Community  Services]  is  the                                                               
largest  employer in  Wrangell and  utilizes a  sustainable model                                                               
based on controlled growth,  funding diversification, and program                                                               
development.   Mr. Prysunka concluded  by requesting  the removal                                                               
of  the area  in and  around Sunny  Bay from  the [list  of lands                                                               
selected for  the university].   He  encouraged the  committee to                                                               
help  ensure that  services  can be  provided  to Alaska's  youth                                                               
today and into the future.                                                                                                      
9:23:20 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM  LYDON   began  by  informing   the  committee  that   he  is                                                               
representing  17  commercial  tour   operators  that  operate  in                                                               
Southeast Alaska,  including American Safari Cruises,  Alaska Sea                                                               
Adventures,  Pacific  Catalyst,  Alaskan   Song,  Alaska  on  the                                                               
Homeshore, and  many others.   These tour operators  represent an                                                               
important part  of Southeast Alaska's tourism  industry.  Because                                                               
these  are  small  and  mid-size tour  operators  many  of  their                                                               
clients  spend more  time in  Southeast communities  than do  the                                                               
larger  number of  cruise ship  passengers.   Furthermore,  these                                                               
small operators purchase  provisions locally.  He  then turned to                                                               
the Sumdum parcel and the  earlier question regarding why it's so                                                               
controversial.   Ms. Irvine eloquently  spoke about  the cultural                                                               
value of  the Sumdum parcel,  a fact  alone that should  be cause                                                               
for  the  parcel  not  to  be  considered  for  transfer  to  the                                                               
university or  development.   Additionally, there  is controversy                                                               
regarding  the selection  of  the Sumdum  parcel  because of  the                                                               
current  uses of  Sumdum, including  for  recreational users  and                                                               
commercial tour  operators.  The  Sumdum parcel is in  the middle                                                               
of the  Tracy Arm-Fords Terror  and Chuck River  Wilderness areas                                                               
in the Tongass  National Forest.  The parcel is  in the middle of                                                               
about  730,000 acres  of federally  designated  wilderness.   The                                                               
controversy is  the threat of  development on this  5-acre parcel                                                               
that  sits in  the middle  of this  large and  popular wilderness                                                               
area.   Mr.  Lydon emphasized  that the  reason the  thousands of                                                               
clients of  these 17  operators come to  Alaska is  to experience                                                               
undeveloped locales.   Sanford Cove  and Endicott Arm are  one of                                                               
the  highlights of  the  trip  for visitors.    The  area has  an                                                               
incredible  variety of  wildlife and  birds.   Furthermore, Tracy                                                               
Arm, Endicott Arm,  and Fords Terror are very  steep places where                                                               
there   aren't  many   opportunities  to   hike  or   go  ashore.                                                               
Therefore, most of the tour  operators have permits from the U.S.                                                               
Forest Service  to take people  ashore in the Sanford  Cove area.                                                               
He opined that  the undeveloped nature of Sumdum  is unique along                                                               
Stephens  Passage.    Furthermore,   the  undeveloped  nature  is                                                               
becoming rarer.   In  conclusion, Mr.  Lydon noted  his agreement                                                               
with Ms. Irvine regarding placing  an appropriate covenant on the                                                               
land.   He related his  belief that  the most likely  scenario of                                                               
concern would be development of say  a dock at the Sumdum parcel.                                                               
With  regard  to the  earlier  suggestion  to merely  remove  the                                                               
parcel from the  list, Mr. Lydon opined that the  best tact is to                                                               
place a  covenant on the  parcel in  order to avoid  this concern                                                               
again.  He then requested  that the covenant apply to development                                                               
so that  no one can construct  a lodge, dock, or  private home on                                                               
the property.                                                                                                                   
9:29:23 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ announced  that  the committee  will  work on  an                                                               
amendment for  the Sumdum parcel  and will consider  the language                                                               
suggested by Ms. Irvine.                                                                                                        
9:29:41 AM                                                                                                                    
MARK  GALLA, Owner/Operator,  Alaska  Peak &  Seas, informed  the                                                               
committee  that he  has been  operating  a hunting,  sightseeing,                                                               
cruising,  wildlife viewing,  and fishing  business in  the Sunny                                                               
Bay area for over 20 years.   However, his mainstay is brown bear                                                               
hunting.    If  the  Sunny  Bay parcels  were  logged,  it  would                                                               
severely impact  his operations in  the short term and  long term                                                               
and  forever change  the  area  and displace  bears.   Mr.  Galla                                                               
explained  the fragility  of  the area  and  the adverse  impacts                                                               
logging would  have in  the area  as well as  his business.   Mr.                                                               
Galla  said  that  although  he  isn't  opposed  to  logging  and                                                               
supports it in  most cases, he knows that  logging and developing                                                               
the Sunny Bay area will impact  his business as well as the brown                                                               
and black  bear populations.   He opined  that the  conveyance of                                                               
this  parcel  to  the  university  will  certainly  result  in  a                                                               
negative impact on his business as well as Wrangell.                                                                            
9:35:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
9:35:16 AM                                                                                                                    
DICK  MYLIUS,  Director,  Division   of  Mining,  Land  &  Water,                                                               
Department  of  Natural  Resources,  turned  to  the  legislative                                                               
history of the  university lands grant legislation.   He reminded                                                               
the committee  that the legislature  has considered  seven pieces                                                               
of legislation,  but since  1993 has passed  only four  pieces of                                                               
legislation  to give  the university  land.   In  all those,  the                                                               
legislature   specified  a   target  of   250,000-500,000  acres.                                                               
Therefore, each time parcels are  removed from the list, the list                                                               
falls farther from the legislature's  goal.  Mr. Mylius confirmed                                                               
that all  the parcels included in  [HB 295] are the  same parcels                                                               
the legislature  approved in 2005.   The parcels  were thoroughly                                                               
researched  prior [to  being  included in  the  list] to  address                                                               
title  issues.   Therefore, many  of the  issues raised  now were                                                               
raised previously.   Since 2005 the division  has performed title                                                               
research  work to  issue.   He offered  to provide  the committee                                                               
with information on issues in which it's interested.                                                                            
9:37:09 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER asked  if, when  DNR transfers  land, it's                                                               
normal to have covenants on the land.                                                                                           
MR. MYLIUS answered  that it would depend upon  the statute under                                                               
which the division is operating as  well as the type of disposal.                                                               
For example,  the City  of Tenakee Springs  parcels in  which the                                                               
city is interested  in obtaining from the state  there would have                                                               
covenants  because the  parcels  would be  transferred under  the                                                               
public   and  charitable   uses  [statute].     On   all  parcels                                                               
transferred  to  individuals,  the   state  retains  the  mineral                                                               
rights, which is  a provision of the Statehood Act.   However, in                                                               
this case  the university's mineral  rights could  be transferred                                                               
because the university is an entity of the state.                                                                               
9:38:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS asked if DNR  has considered the historical                                                               
aspects of the Sumdum parcel.                                                                                                   
MR. MYLIUS  confirmed that DNR is  aware of those resources.   He                                                               
pointed  out that  under state  law, the  archeological resources                                                               
are  protected under  the State  Historic Preservation  Act.   He                                                               
related  that  the proposed  covenant  on  the Sumdum  parcel  is                                                               
similar to that  placed on Sealaska lands adjacent  to the Sumdum                                                               
9:39:51 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HARRIS  referred to  Section 6(c),  which provides                                                               
the right  of first  refusal to the  municipality nearest  to the                                                               
parcel of  land for sale.   He  then related his  assumption that                                                               
the university,  prior to selling  the Sumdum parcel,  would have                                                               
to offer it to the City & Borough of Juneau.                                                                                    
MR. MYLIUS  replied that would be  the case if the  Sumdum parcel                                                               
is located in the City & Borough of Juneau.                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ  interjected that the Sumdum  parcel isn't located                                                               
inside the City & Borough of Juneau boundaries.                                                                                 
9:40:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON asked  if DNR  supports the  Mite Cove,  Pelican                                                               
MR. MYLIUS responded  that the amendment does  clarify the intent                                                               
and thus DNR is okay with  the amendment.  In further response to                                                               
Co-Chair  Herron,  Mr. Mylius  noted  that  DNR worked  with  the                                                               
sponsor on  the language  of the Sumdum  amendment.   He reminded                                                               
the committee that the governor  wanted to minimize the number of                                                               
parcels  being  withdrawn.   Therefore,  it's  the  legislature's                                                               
prerogative to determine which parcels to remove, he said.                                                                      
9:41:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  then inquired as  to DNR's position  with regard                                                               
to  the request  by  Representative Thomas  regarding the  Haines                                                               
MR. MYLIUS explained  that in response to  legislation that would                                                               
change  the  municipal entitlement  for  the  City &  Borough  of                                                               
Wrangell, Representative  Thomas requested  DNR discuss  with the                                                               
Haines  Borough  whether  there are  additional  lands  that  are                                                               
appropriate to transfer to the  Haines Borough.  Since the Haines                                                               
Borough doesn't  have a municipal  entitlement, it  would require                                                               
legislation.  Discussions found that  the only parcels the Haines                                                               
Borough   could   acquire   through   an   additional   municipal                                                               
entitlement were the  same parcels going to the  university.  The                                                               
discussions   only  went   to  the   point  of   determining  the                                                               
aforementioned  and  the  department didn't  endorse  giving  the                                                               
parcels to the borough as opposed to the university.                                                                            
9:43:14 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON returned to the  City of Tenakee Springs parcels,                                                               
noting that Version  P only removes the harbor parcel.   He asked                                                               
if the language on page 10,  lines 27-29, is the most appropriate                                                               
vehicle to achieve  the potential conveyance [of  the parcels] to                                                               
Tenakee proper.                                                                                                                 
MR. MYLIUS  acknowledged that  the aforementioned  language would                                                               
be an option.  However, he remarked  that it would be left to the                                                               
Board of Regents and the university  to follow up on the [City of                                                               
Tenakee Springs' desire to obtain the parcels].                                                                                 
9:45:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON inquired  as  to DNR's  position  on Version  P,                                                               
which includes removal of the Tenakee Springs harbor parcel.                                                                    
MR.  MYLIUS reiterated  that he  didn't want  to say  whether DNR                                                               
supports  or opposes  specific parcels,  it's the  prerogative of                                                               
the committees to decide that.                                                                                                  
9:46:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  MUNOZ  moved  Amendment   1,  which  would  change  the                                                               
language  on page  10,  lines 6-7,  such that  it  would read  as                                                               
       "may not be open to development, including but not                                                                       
        limited to commercial timber harvest or mineral                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER objected.                                                                                                 
9:46:40 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER opined  that the  language in  Amendment 1                                                               
would  be too  broad.   He noted  that the  record specifies  the                                                               
expectation that the university will  work with those in the area                                                               
in which  the university  is interested  in developing  a parcel.                                                               
He expressed concern that a parcel  can be preserved to the point                                                               
at which it can't be used or accessed at all.                                                                                   
9:47:43 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  expressed concern that  if the covenants  on the                                                               
Sumdum parcel are amended too  restrictively, later committees of                                                               
referral may  remove the entire  covenant provision.   Therefore,                                                               
he related his preference to  not make the covenant provision for                                                               
the Sumdum parcel more restrictive.                                                                                             
9:48:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                            
9:48:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MUNOZ moved Amendment 2, as follows:                                                                                   
     Page 10, line 13, following "history";                                                                                     
        Insert "(4) it is intended that these covenants                                                                         
     run with the land"                                                                                                         
There being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                              
9:48:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  moved to report  CSHB 295,  Version 26-GH2829\P,                                                               
Bullock,  3/8/10, as  amended, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  295(CRA)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                              
9:49:31 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 9:49 a.m. to 9:52 a.m.                                                                       
9:52:34 AM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 336 letters of support.pdf HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/11/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 336
HB 336 Sponsor Statement.pdf HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/11/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 336
HB336-Fiscal Note-CED-RCA-3-3-10.pdf HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HSTA 3/11/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 336
HB 361 Sponsor Statement - Electronic.doc HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 361
HB 295 - CityofTenakeeSpringsOppositionLTRs.PDF HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295
HB 295 CS (CRA) version P.PDF HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295
HB361-Fiscal Note-DPS-AST-03-08-10.pdf HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 361
HB 361 - Kenai Pen. Borough LTR.pdf HCRA 3/9/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 361