Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

01/29/2010 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
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                  HB 295-UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT                                                                              
8:24:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON 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."                                                                    
8:25:14 AM                                                                                                                    
DICK MYLIUS,  Director, Central Office, Division  of Mining, Land                                                               
and Water, Department of Natural  Resources (DNR), explained that                                                               
HB  295  would  transfer  200,000  acres of  state  land  to  the                                                               
University of Alaska.   He shared that the  previous bill, passed                                                               
in 2005,  was found to  be unconstitutional because  the revenues                                                               
from the land  went into a dedicated  fund.  He said  that HB 295                                                               
had resolved  this by directing  the funds into the  general fund                                                               
as university receipts.   He pointed out that  the university was                                                               
a land  grant university  and noted that  the federal  land grant                                                               
for  the university  was  the  second smallest  ever  given.   He                                                               
conveyed that the  U.S. Congress had given the State  of Alaska a                                                               
large land  grant in 1959,  and since  that time, there  had been                                                               
interest in transferring  some of that land to  the University of                                                               
Alaska.  He  summarized a history of  past legislation attempting                                                               
the land transfer.                                                                                                              
8:28:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MYLIUS  affirmed that legislation  passed in 2000,  which was                                                               
subsequently upheld  by the court,  granted 250,000 acres  to the                                                               
University of  Alaska, but it  did not  specify which lands.   He                                                               
specified that the  legislation included a list of  types of land                                                               
which could  not be transferred.   He explained that DNR  and the                                                               
University of Alaska  conferred, drafted a list  of land parcels,                                                               
and  submitted this  list to  the legislature  for approval.   He                                                               
reported that this  list, included in House Bill  130, was passed                                                               
by the  legislature, and  signed by  Governor Murkowski  in 2005.                                                               
When DNR  attempted to implement  the bill,  a suit was  filed by                                                               
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council  (SEACC), and an injunction                                                               
was filed to stop the land  transfers.  He stipulated that HB 295                                                               
transfers  almost 200,000  acres  of land  to  the University  of                                                               
Alaska.  This included 29 parcels  of land in Southeast Alaska, 5                                                               
parcels  in  Southcentral  Alaska,  and 18  parcels  in  Interior                                                               
Alaska.   He  reported  that  HB 295  also  includes transfer  of                                                               
educational  properties, currently  in use  by the  University of                                                               
Alaska.   He announced that  HB 295  had excluded 9  parcels from                                                               
the 2005 bill.                                                                                                                  
8:31:41 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MYLIUS  directed attention  to a  transfer delay  for another                                                               
nine  land   parcels  to  allow   Wrangell  and   Petersburg  the                                                               
opportunity   to  form   boroughs,   which   would  allow   these                                                               
communities to  select that land under  the Municipal Entitlement                                                               
Act (AS 29.65.010-140).                                                                                                         
8:32:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON asked  if the nine parcels removed  from the earlier                                                               
bill had been added back in to HB 295.                                                                                          
MR. MYLIUS replied that the parcels were not included in HB 295.                                                                
8:32:49 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MYLIUS detailed  the two exceptions to the  decision in House                                                               
Bill  130,  which  were  transferred:   a  parcel  of  land  near                                                               
Fairbanks,  the   University  Research   Forest,  which   was  an                                                               
educational  property  with a  restriction  on  re-sale; and  two                                                               
small  parcels  near  Fairbanks   which  were  transferred  under                                                               
authority  from   the  Department  of  Transportation   &  Public                                                               
8:34:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER asked  if there  are any  legal questions                                                               
with the bill.                                                                                                                  
8:35:12 AM                                                                                                                    
ANNE  NELSON,  Assistant   Attorney  General,  Natural  Resources                                                               
Section,  Civil Division  (Anchorage), Department  of Law  (DOL),                                                               
replied that HB  295 removes an earlier  provision that dedicated                                                               
revenue.   She stated that the  bill addresses any and  all legal                                                               
8:37:49 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MYLIUS, in  response to  Representative Buch,  explained the                                                               
criteria for  choosing the land parcels.   He said that  DNR land                                                               
use  plans were  considered and  no  land was  offered which  had                                                               
previously   been   designated   oil  and   gas   property,   had                                                               
restrictions  from   Senate  Bill  7,  or   were  designated  for                                                               
development by DNR.                                                                                                             
8:39:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked if there  had been any consideration to                                                               
land   adjacent  to   water,   which  could   be  developed   for                                                               
MR. MYLIUS replied that DNR  had only transferred upland parcels,                                                               
and had retained any land  which had been identified "for public-                                                               
type development."                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked about the  DNR projected intent for the                                                               
University development of the land.                                                                                             
MR. MYLIUS  replied that it  varied to  each land parcel,  and he                                                               
disclosed that the University of  Alaska would have access to the                                                               
mineral  resources.   He  pointed  to  a  few parcels  which  had                                                               
mineral resources,  but he noted that  most of the land  would be                                                               
for surface land development, such as recreation or land sale.                                                                  
8:43:30 AM                                                                                                                    
DEB  SPENCER,  Owner,  Shoreline  Incorporated,  stated  that  HB
295  would   displace  her   fish  buying   station,  which   was                                                               
permitted   by   DNR.      She  confirmed    that   Pelican   was                                                               
struggling  economically,   and  that HB  295  would  divert  the                                                               
fisheries  business   tax.   She  emphasized   that  Pelican  had                                                               
been  opposed  to  the  bill  five  years   prior,  and  was  now                                                               
opposed  to  HB 295.   She  directed  attention  to  the borough                                                                
formation  language  in  the  bill which  was  used  to mitigate                                                                
the  impacts  of use  of this  parcel,  noted  that  Pelican  had                                                               
never  requested  borough formation,  and  stressed  that it  was                                                               
contrary   to   the   needs   of   Pelican   residents.       She                                                               
established  that  30 percent  of  the Pelican  state  land  base                                                               
was  already  distributed.    She called  attention  to  the  DNR                                                               
Northern  Southeast   Area  Plan  -  October  2002,   noted  that                                                               
this  parcel  had  not  been  designated  for  DNR  development,                                                                
and  conveyed   that  the   parcel  had  been   designated   "Ru-                                                               
Public  Recreation  and  Tourism-Undeveloped."    She  read  from                                                               
Chapter  3,  Page  3-4 of  the  plan:   "These  lands  cannot  be                                                               
sold  to individuals."    She offered  her  support  for funding                                                                
to  the  University  of  Alaska,  but  she  requested   that  the                                                               
parcel  designated   PA1002,  Mite  Cove,  be  removed  from  the                                                               
proposed HB 295.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH  referred  to  the  University   of Alaska                                                                
Land  Grant   List  2005,  which  indicated   that  the  Pelican                                                                
parcel  was  deleted  by  the  legislature  from  the  2002  land                                                               
MS.  SPENCER   agreed  that   the  two  adjacent   parcels   were                                                               
deleted,   but   that   the  Mite   Cove   parcel,   located   in                                                               
Lisianski Inlet, was not.                                                                                                       
8:49:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   GARDNER   asked   Ms.  Spencer   if  she   would                                                               
support the bill should this parcel be deleted.                                                                                 
MS. SPENCER  offered  her belief  that  other parcels  were  also                                                               
controversial   and she  would  appreciate  a  review  of all  of                                                               
these.   She  opined that  the  land base  was still  sufficient                                                                
without including these controversial parcels.                                                                                  
8:50:28 AM                                                                                                                    
NORM   CARSON,   President,   Pelican   Chamber    of  Commerce,                                                                
paraphrased   from   a  prepared   statement,   which   read   as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
        Within HB 295 there is a 320 acre parcel of land                                                                        
       identified as "Mite Cove/Ewe Ledge."  The nearest                                                                        
     communities    to  this   parcel    are   Elfin   Cove,                                                                    
     approximately   8   miles  to   the  North   across   a                                                                    
     portion  of  Cross Sound  and  Pelican,  approximately                                                                     
     13  miles   South  on  Lisianski   Inlet  and   on  the                                                                    
     opposite shoreline.                                                                                                        
     The  Mite  Cove/Ewe  Ledge  parcel  should  be removed                                                                     
     from HB 295 for the following reasons:                                                                                     
     There  is   no  potential   for  hydro  power   on  the                                                                    
     parcel;  any  development  will  be totally  dependent                                                                     
     upon   diesel  generation    for  electricity.      The                                                                    
     nearest   hydro  power  is   at  Pelican;  it   is  not                                                                    
     economically   feasible   to   run  a   line  to   this                                                                    
      Pelican is presently upgrading its hydro.  By  next                                                                       
     August  the  new penstock  will  be  in place  and  the                                                                    
     Utility  will need  electricity  users  to help reduce                                                                     
     the  Kilowatt   cost.     Land  offered   adjacent   to                                                                    
     Pelican  will  have   greater  value  and  development                                                                     
     would  utilize  the  Utility  and  consequently   lower                                                                    
     the rates.                                                                                                                 
     The   Mite   Cove/Ewe   Ledge   area  is   continually                                                                     
     utilized   during  the  summer   and  shoulder   season                                                                    
     months  in  a  passive  manner  by  the local  tourism                                                                     
     businesses,   local   residents,   and   out  of   town                                                                    
     visitors.    This use  is  in the  form  of anchoring,                                                                     
     picnics,  hiking,  scenic  photography,   and hunting.                                                                     
     As  a person  involved   in tourism  I  would  like  to                                                                    
     see development kept closer to the communities.                                                                            
     The  bight  at  Ewe  Ledge  has  been   utilized  by  a                                                                    
     floating  commercial  fish  buying  operation  for  the                                                                    
     past  25 years;  between  July  and late  September  an                                                                    
     average  of  30 commercial  fishing  boats  congregate                                                                     
     in  this  area  daily.   The  potential   for conflict                                                                     
     with new land users is significant.                                                                                        
     The isolation of the Mite Cove/Ewe Ledge  parcel                                                                           
     will   make   any  development    likely   to  be   for                                                                    
     seasonal  use,   this  will  not  benefit  the   nearby                                                                    
     communities with year round residents.                                                                                     
     The  Mite  Cove/Ewe  Ledge   parcel  is  located  on  a                                                                    
     route    utilized    by    commercial    fishing    and                                                                    
     recreational  boats  as  they travel  up  and down  the                                                                    
     coast.    From  my experience   in  law enforcement   I                                                                    
     foresee  a great  problem of  theft and  vandalism  for                                                                    
     any  property   owners  that   leave  their  buildings                                                                     
     For all  the foregoing  reasons  this parcel  is  not a                                                                    
     good  deal for  the University,  potential  investors,                                                                     
     nor the closest communities to this site.                                                                                  
8:53:43 AM                                                                                                                    
STEVEN   LEWIS,   Community   Representative,   said   that   the                                                               
community  of Tenakee  Springs  opposed  the current  version  of                                                               
HB   295,  but   supported   the   goals  of   the   bill.     He                                                               
paraphrased  from  prepared  statement,  which  read  as follows                                                                
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     Tenakee  Springs  is  a small  isolated   community  in                                                                    
     Northern  SE  Alaska.    With  a population   of  about                                                                    
     100 people,  it  is not connected  to  any road  system                                                                    
     &  is  accessible  only  by  ferry  or  boat  or  float                                                                    
     With  a  relatively  undeveloped   infrastructure   and                                                                    
     small  population,   the  impacts  of  developing   the                                                                    
     one parcel  of two  sections  of 17 and  3 acres  would                                                                    
     be  huge for  Tenakee,  overwhelming   in fact.    This                                                                    
     acreage  would have  relatively  little  impact on  the                                                                    
     overall   acreage   in  the   bill's   nearly  200,000                                                                     
     acres, which are important for University.                                                                                 
     For  this  reason,  we  request  that  any  parcels  in                                                                    
     Tenakee Springs be removed from the bill.                                                                                  
8:55:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH stipulated that the Tenakee Springs                                                                         
parcel was ST 1003.                                                                                                             
8:56:08 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  LEWIS  added  that  the  smaller  parcel   over  the harbor                                                                
uplands  would  inhibit  access  to  the harbor  breakwater   and                                                               
barge  landing facility  which  Tenakee  Springs  is planning  to                                                               
8:56:47 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE     MUNOZ   said    that    she    had   received                                                                
correspondence   from the  Mayor  of Tenakee  Springs  regarding                                                                
the   harbor   parcel,   but  that   no   opposition   had   been                                                               
indicated  to  the other  site.   She asked  if  Tenakee Springs                                                                
has an official position on either parcel.                                                                                      
MR.  LEWIS  replied  that  the Mayor  had  requested  opposition                                                                
to both parcels.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ asked for an official resolution.                                                                          
MR. LEWIS said that a resolution would be provided shortly.                                                                     
CHAIR  SEATON  noted  that  it  will  be  included  in  the  bill                                                               
8:58:13 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH  asked  about   the  ferry  schedule   into                                                               
Tenakee Springs.                                                                                                                
MR.  LEWIS replied  that  the ferry  arrives  twice  a week,  and                                                               
it was  usually  a four to  eight hour  trip.   Additionally,  he                                                               
mentioned  that  barge service  occurs  two  to four  times  each                                                               
year.   He  opined  that  development  of  the breakwater   would                                                               
make it easier for the barge companies.                                                                                         
8:59:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   GARDNER,  reflecting  that  local  concerns  are                                                               
important,  pointed  out the  disparity  of community  needs  and                                                               
asked    how    the   legislature     could   reconcile     these                                                               
MR. LEWIS offered his belief that individual determinations                                                                     
would need to be scrutinized.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER agreed that it is difficult to                                                                           
appease each community.                                                                                                         
9:01:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON reiterated that the committee takes public                                                                         
testimony seriously, and that specific concerns are helpful                                                                     
to form appropriate legislation.                                                                                                
9:02:33 AM                                                                                                                    
JOAN MCBEEN paraphrased from a prepared statement, which                                                                        
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     I  am concerned  about  the  transfer  of a  parcel  of                                                                    
     land  in  Tenakee   Springs  to  the  U  of  A.    This                                                                    
     parcel   is  within  the  city   limits  and   is  used                                                                    
     extensively    by  the   residents    &   visitors   to                                                                    
     Tenakee.    It  is a  subsistence   area  & recreation                                                                     
     area  & used  for  commercial  trapping.    My husband                                                                     
     and I  have hunted  & hiked  the area  over the  thirty                                                                    
     years  we've  lived  in  Tenakee.    We are  concerned                                                                     
     about  the impact  that  the transfer  of  this parcel                                                                     
     will  have on our  tiny community  and  our dependence                                                                     
     on  undisturbed,  accessible   land  for  our hunting,                                                                     
     gathering   and   commercial   use.     We   are   also                                                                    
     concerned  about  the  financial   burden  placed  upon                                                                    
     Tenakee  for  education.   I  request  the  removal  of                                                                    
     this   Tenakee   parcel  from   the   University   Land                                                                    
9:05:01 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON asked if the testimony was for both the                                                                            
MS. MCBEEN replied that it was.                                                                                                 
9:05:56 AM                                                                                                                    
STEVEN   TODD   stated   support   of  full   funding   for   the                                                               
University  of Alaska,  but  expressed  concern with  two parcel                                                                
listings  in  HB  295:   CSOV  1001,  Olive  Cove  and  SD  1001,                                                               
Thoms  Place.    He  explained   that  these  two  parcels   were                                                               
adjacent  and  upslope  to  homeowners  and  were  traditionally                                                                
used  for  subsistence.    There  was a  concern  that  the  land                                                               
would  be  used  for  an  extensive  forestry   harvest,  and  he                                                               
mentioned  the Wrangell  community  resentment  to  the land  use                                                               
by  the  Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust  Authority.     He opined                                                                
that  the land  revenue generated  was  minimal,  but the  effect                                                               
on  the  communities   was  extensive.    He  reflected   on  the                                                               
Municipal   Entitlement  Act  and   the  availability   of  these                                                               
parcels for Wrangell.                                                                                                           
9:09:14 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH   asked  if   there  was   any  commercial                                                                
development planned for either of these parcels.                                                                                
MR. TODD  replied  that neither  parcel  has current  commercial                                                                
development.     He   also  noted   that  the   anadromous   fish                                                               
streams  are  used  primarily   for  subsistence  and  community                                                                
9:10:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   SEATON   asked    that   testifiers   share    any   land                                                               
classification information.                                                                                                     
9:11:27 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  SALLEE  paraphrased   from  a  prepared  statement,   which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
       My name is Mike Sallee.  I was born in and reside                                                                        
     in Ketchikan.                                                                                                              
     I  have  owned  &  operated  a  small  sawmill   across                                                                    
     Moser   Bay   from   one   of   the   parcels   to   be                                                                    
     transferred  by  this bill.   For  most of  the last  3                                                                    
     decades,  I've provided  rough  sawn lumber  for  homes                                                                    
     and other  projects  for nearly  all those  people  who                                                                    
     reside in the immediate area.                                                                                              
     I'd  hoped  the  sponsors   of this  bill   would  have                                                                    
     heeded  objections  to  inclusion  of certain  parcels                                                                     
     before   reintroducing   the  bill.     It  seems   the                                                                    
     sponsors  don't  have  much  respect  for  the efforts                                                                     
     citizens  have  put into  researching   and commenting                                                                     
     on  State  Area  Plans  and  Coastal  Zone  Management                                                                     
     plans  among other  venues  for public  input on  local                                                                    
     land use.                                                                                                                  
     Generally,  I  support  the  University  of  Alaska,  I                                                                    
     have  a  degree   from  that  institution.     I'm  not                                                                    
     opposed   to  granting  U   of  A  means  to  generate                                                                     
     However,  more  specifically  -  the Moser  Bay parcel                                                                     
     contains  a  great  deal   of  steep,  landslide-prone                                                                     
     shoreline,    not   very   suitable   for   homesites.                                                                     
     Indeed,  those   slide-prone  shores  have   yielded  a                                                                    
     small  but sustainable  source  of firewood  for  local                                                                    
     residents  and the  occasional  saw log  for my  nearby                                                                    
     The  Moser  Bay parcel  contains   a recreation   trail                                                                    
     to  Wolf Lakes,  important  estaurine  areas  for  fish                                                                    
     &  wildlife,   access   to  uplands   for  local   deer                                                                    
     hunters    &   trappers,   &   relatively    untouched                                                                     
     landscapes  &  viewsheds  for  small  commercial   tour                                                                    
     boats  that  ply the  area  in  summer.   I  believe  I                                                                    
     understand    some   adjacent    borough   lands    are                                                                    
     encumbered  as  wetlands  mitigation  for  local  coast                                                                    
     zone management.                                                                                                           
     It would  be  a travesty  to clear-cut   the parcel  as                                                                    
     the  University   did  on  Slide  Ridge  near  Whipple                                                                     
     Creek   &  the   Mountain   Point   area   -  both   on                                                                    
     Ketchikan's   road system.    A  selective  helicopter                                                                     
     harvest   is  little   better  though   less  visually                                                                     
     impacting.    Helicopter  harvest   has trashed   areas                                                                    
     with  limbs  topes,   &  whole  discarded  trees   that                                                                    
     don't  make  the  grade  to  justify   the  expense  of                                                                    
     helicopter    removal.      Evidence   of   helicopter                                                                     
     harvest  is  quite  abundant  on  Mental  Health  lands                                                                    
     in Bear  Valley,  Minerva Mtn.  trail  and the Tongass                                                                     
     Narrows  side  of  California   Ridge  on  Gravina  Id.                                                                    
     Worse  -  much of  the  timber  helicopter-logged   was                                                                    
     round-log  exported   bleeding  future  jobs  form  the                                                                    
     local economy.                                                                                                             
     For  such  a  miniscule  return  to  the  University's                                                                     
     overall  budget,  transfer  of  those  parcels  in  the                                                                    
     Ketchikan  area  make  little  sense,  and  will  place                                                                    
     undue burden on local citizens.                                                                                            
9:14:12 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEATON  asked  how  far  the  Moser  Bay  parcel  is  from                                                               
9:14:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  SALLEE   replied  that   it  is  about   twenty  miles   and                                                               
apologized  that  he  did  not  have  the  parcel  details.    In                                                               
further   response,   he  said   that   he  has   resided  on   a                                                               
peninsula  separating  Mosier  Bay  from Clover  Pass,  and  from                                                               
Grant Island.                                                                                                                   
9:15:27 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH   asked  how  he   acquired  the  logs   he                                                               
MR.  SALLEE explained  that  he  collected  blow down  and  tidal                                                               
wash-ups,  and  that he  received  wood to  mill from  people  in                                                               
the  area  who  had  cleared   property.    He  shared   that  he                                                               
ranged about 50 miles for logs.                                                                                                 
9:17:38 AM                                                                                                                    
WENDY   REDMAN,   Executive   Vice  President,    University   of                                                               
Alaska,   stated   that   many   of   those   who   opposed   the                                                               
university    land   bill   were   often   supporters    of   the                                                               
university.     She  pointed  out   that  conflict  arises   when                                                               
attempting   to  put  Alaska   lands  into   development,   while                                                               
preserving    recreational   and   subsistence    usage.      She                                                               
affirmed  that  the  university,  as  a land  grant  university,                                                                
relied  on the  land grants,  and  she gave  a brief  history  of                                                               
the  conveyance  of land  to the  university.   She  stated  that                                                               
the  university  generated   about  $10  million  per  year  from                                                               
development    of  the   lands   that   they   hold,   including                                                                
residential,   commercial,   mineral,  and  recreational.     She                                                               
stated  that  the  earnings   paid  tuition  for  1000  students                                                                
through a scholarship program.                                                                                                  
9:22:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  REDMAN   determined   that  the  land   in  this  bill   was                                                               
carefully  selected  as land  previously  designated  by DNR  for                                                               
development,    and   it   was   divided   into   three   parts:                                                                
educational   lands,  Nenana  oil  and  gas  development  lands,                                                                
and  other  recreational  and  residential  lands.    She  shared                                                               
that  the university  desired  that  HB 295  be passed  in  order                                                               
to access  the  lands.   She opined  that  it was  a responsible                                                                
land  management  program.    She  disclosed   that  the Supreme                                                                
Court  ruling  was  a surprise,   but that  HB  295  allowed  the                                                               
revenues   to   be   returned   to   the   legislature   and   be                                                               
appropriated  to  the  university.    She  compared  the revenue                                                                
from  the development  of  land  grants with  that  revenue  from                                                               
private   funds,   in   that   all   the   monies   had   to   be                                                               
appropriated   back to  the  university  from  the  legislature.                                                                
She shared  that  it was a  disincentive  for the  university  to                                                               
raise  private  funding  if  that  allocation  was  offset  by  a                                                               
decrease in general fund allocations.                                                                                           
9:26:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   GARDNER   suggested   that   it   was  a   valid                                                               
concern for re-appropriation of the funding.                                                                                    
9:27:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  REDMAN  opined   that  the  university  could  not  support                                                                
itself  on the  earnings  from  the  land grant.    She endorsed                                                                
this  funding   to  be a  margin   above  the  normal  operating                                                                
9:29:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   GARDNER  asked  about  any impact  to  the  long                                                               
term plans if the controversial parcels were removed.                                                                           
MS.  REDMAN ascertained   that any  land  to develop  for income                                                                
was  better  than none.   She  considered  this  bill  to be  the                                                               
best approach.                                                                                                                  
9:31:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   BUCH  asked  about  any  other  obstacles   that                                                               
were overcome to recognize these obligations.                                                                                   
9:32:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  REDMAN  reflected  on  when  the  university  chose  to  sue                                                               
the   state  and   DNR   in  order   to   take  back   the   land                                                               
management.    She offered  to provide  a  copy of  the Terrance                                                                
Cole book to the committee.                                                                                                     
9:33:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MARY  IRVIN,  paraphrased   from  a  prepared  statement,   which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     Good  morning  members  of the  Committee.    As a  20-                                                                    
     something  resident  of  the State  of Alaska,  I  want                                                                    
     to  thank you  for  the opportunity   to speak  to  you                                                                    
     this   morning   about   this   important    piece   of                                                                    
     I  would  like  to  be very  clear.    I  am  a strong                                                                     
     supporter  the  University   of  Alaska.    Although  I                                                                    
     received   both    my  undergraduate    and   graduate                                                                     
     degrees  Outside   at  private  institutions,   I  have                                                                    
     taken  many  rigorous  classes   at  UAS,  several  fun                                                                    
     classes  at  UAS,  and  I served  the  University   for                                                                    
     several   years   as  an  instructor    for  ED593,   a                                                                    
     continuing   education  course.    I  truly   wish  OUR                                                                    
     university  system  had more  financial  stability  and                                                                    
     support  in many  ways.   I find  it regrettable   that                                                                    
     OUR  university   professors   -  especially   adjunct                                                                     
     professors - are underpaid.                                                                                                
     However,  I  am  here  this  morning  to  respectfully                                                                     
     request  that you  please consider  exempting  a  small                                                                    
     5-acre  parcel   from  this  funding   bill.    In  the                                                                    
     alternative,   I'm  requesting  that  you  ask  DNR  to                                                                    
     provide  you  with  a  different,  alternative   5-acre                                                                    
     choice  parcel  for inclusion  in  this  bill, instead                                                                     
     of the 5-acre parcel named...Sumdum.                                                                                     
     The  5-acre  parcel  known as  Sumdum  is a  parcel  of                                                                    
     land  about  40  miles south  of  where  we  are  right                                                                    
     now,  and  it  contains  the  mouth  of  an  extremely                                                                     
     productive  salmon  stream,  AND  a historic  cultural                                                                     
     site  important   to  many  Tlingit  people   and  many                                                                    
     mining  history scholars  as  well.  The  parcel is  on                                                                    
     the  site  of  the  old  fish  camp  just  across   the                                                                    
     inlet  to   Endicott  Arm,   from  where  the  Soundon                                                                     
     People  lived  in  6  large  clanhouses.    Several  of                                                                    
     the clanhouses  in  this area  have been  specifically                                                                     
     documented   -  they   were  Black   Bear  House,   the                                                                    
     Glacier  House,  and  others,   the  people  of  which,                                                                    
       drew fish from this stream for thousands of years.                                                                       
     The parcel  is also  the direct  site  of the old  1879                                                                    
     -  1903  townsite   of  Sumdum.    ON  record   at  the                                                                    
     University   of Alaska   itself  is  a  PhD  thesis  on                                                                    
     what  makes this  area so  historically  compelling  as                                                                    
     to  be  reserved  as  an  intriguing   and  culturally                                                                     
     diverse  site!    The  thesis  documents  some  of  the                                                                    
     cultural  exchange   that  makes  this   area  such  an                                                                    
     interesting   one,  historically  and  culturally,   to                                                                    
     study.    Although   it  was  used  for  thousands   of                                                                    
     years  by  Tlingit  "people  of  the  sparkling   green                                                                    
     water"  as a fish  camp, ...later  in  history,  during                                                                    
     the early  gold  mining days,  one of  the first  towns                                                                    
     in  "American    Alaska"  -   consisting   of  several                                                                     
     hundred  souls -  sprang up  - some Tlingits  but  also                                                                    
     new  gold   miner  immigrants   to   Alaska  as   well.                                                                    
     Cabins  went up,  a huge bunkhouse  for  the miners,  a                                                                    
     laundry,  cookhouse   and  "American  Alaska's"   first                                                                    
     brewery,  to  serve  the  booming  area.    A corduroy                                                                     
     road  and  tram  system  with  horses   and  ore  carts                                                                    
     were  put in place,  and tunnels  - to  blast the  hard                                                                    
     rock  out of  the  earth  - penetrated  deep  into  the                                                                    
     hills.    The  Presbyterian   missionary  Samuel   Hall                                                                    
     Young  stopped   here,  another  time,  officers   with                                                                    
     the  US   Geographic   Survey  stopped   here  in   the                                                                    
     1890's,  and  throughout   the  years  of  its heyday,                                                                     
     there  was   a  United  States   Post  Office  staffed                                                                     
     Members of the Committee,                                                                                                  
     How do  we value  a salmon  stream?  How  do you  put a                                                                    
     price  on  still-WILD  runs  of  natural   salmon  that                                                                    
     have  nourished  people  in  this  area  for thousands                                                                     
     of years?  Can we?  Should we?                                                                                             
     Moreover,  how  do we  value the  PUBLIC  history of  a                                                                    
     diversity  of  people  _  Tlingit  and later  Alaskans                                                                     
     alike,  interacting  together,  getting  used  to  each                                                                    
     other,  experiencing   each   other  and  learning   to                                                                    
     live  and  work  together  in a  certain  place,  in  a                                                                    
     certain  time?   Can we value  this?   Should we  value                                                                    
     I believe  we should  value  such things  - maybe  even                                                                    
     put  fiscal   values  on  them  -  since   we  will  be                                                                    
     taking   these  out   of  the   PUBLIC   domain   which                                                                    
     benefits  all  Alaskans,   and  PRIVATIZING   them  for                                                                    
     the  benefit  of  those   individuals  able   to  avail                                                                    
     themselves of our excellent university system.                                                                             
     I  believe  the Department   of Natural   Resources  is                                                                    
     the  correct  agency  to  manage  this 5-acre  parcel.                                                                     
     Sumdum  should   remain  rightly  placed  within   DNR,                                                                    
     and  not be  transferred  to  the  real  estate  agents                                                                    
     of the  Lands  Office  for "disposal"  to  the highest                                                                     
     bidder.   This 5-acre  parcel  is a priceless  Alaskan                                                                     
     treasure  that  I'm not  sure the  real  estate agents                                                                     
     in  the  Lands  Office  at  the  University   have  any                                                                    
     clear  idea as  to  how to  place a  value  on it,  let                                                                    
     alone  manage  it,  as  effectively  as  DNR  has  done                                                                    
     over the past many years.                                                                                                  
9:39:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. IRVINE stopped her testimony, and interjected that this                                                                     
parcel was a state registered archeological site of record.                                                                     
9:39:54 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. IRVINE continued with her testimony:                                                                                        
     Perhaps  I'm  wrong  - perhaps  the  fishing  industry                                                                     
     from  Washington  and  Oregon  would  pay a  darn  fair                                                                    
     price  for  one of  our salmon  streams.    Or perhaps                                                                     
     the  Tourism industry  would  be  happy to  pay a  fair                                                                    
     price  for a  5-acre parcel  in  order to  put another                                                                     
     zipline  over  the  mouth  of  this  salmon  stream  or                                                                    
     one  more  tee  shirt  shop  in  place,   en  route  to                                                                    
     wherever  it is  they are  going  in such  a big  hurry                                                                    
     on their vacations to Alaska.                                                                                              
     I  submit  that Alaskans   would  appreciate  at  least                                                                    
     your  at least  attaching  a  fiscal  note  value to  a                                                                    
     bill  that   removes  a  salmon   stream  OUT   of  the                                                                    
     PUBLIC  DOMAIN and  gives it  over to  the realtors  in                                                                    
     the fundraising business.                                                                                                  
     I also  submit  that  our summer  visitors  are coming                                                                     
     to  learn  about  just  such  history   as  the  PUBLIC                                                                    
     history  that the  little 5-acre  parcel  named Sumdum                                                                     
     can  offer to  us Alaskans,  and  that we  in turn  can                                                                    
     value and offer to them.                                                                                                   
     Would  you   please  consider   looking  further   into                                                                    
     EXEMPTING   the  small  5-acre  parcel  called   Sumdum                                                                    
     from this bill?                                                                                                            
9:41:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON clarified the parcel number as SD 1001.                                                                            
9:41:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked if the university would view                                                                       
this five acre parcel as an historical site.                                                                                    
MS  IRVINE  replied   that  the  university   had  already   been                                                               
approached.    She  suggested  that  the  University   of Alaska                                                                
ask  DNR for  the  site to  be designated   for academic  use  as                                                               
that  would protect  the parcel  from  development.   She  shared                                                               
that  the  University   had  not  shown  much  interest   in  the                                                               
Sumdum parcel for academic use.                                                                                                 
9:44:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEATON affirmed that DNR would supply the information                                                                     
regarding the current land use planning classification of                                                                       
the parcels.                                                                                                                    
9:44:31 AM                                                                                                                    
CAROL RUSHMORE, Economic Development Director, paraphrased                                                                      
from a prepared testimony, which read as follows [original                                                                      
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Wrangell   participated   in   the  2005   legislative                                                                     
     process  on HB 130.   Our  comments at  that time  were                                                                    
     mostly  concerned  with  3 parcels  of lands  that  the                                                                    
     University  had  selected  which  were lands  that  we,                                                                    
     as  a potential   borough,  would  also  be interested                                                                     
     in selecting under the entitlement program.                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 9:45 a.m. to 9:52 a.m.                                                                       
9:52:33 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. RUSHMORE continued with her testimony.                                                                                      
     Those  parcels are  Thoms Place,  Olive  Cove and  Earl                                                                    
     West   Cove.     We   were  also   concerned   whether                                                                     
     portions  of  these   University  selections   were  in                                                                    
     the best  interest  to the  borough and  residents  for                                                                    
     selection by the University.                                                                                               
     As   you    know,   Wrangell    was    successful    in                                                                    
     incorporating as a borough in May 2008.                                                                                    
     In  the  previous   bill,   if  we  formed  a  borough                                                                     
     before  July  2009,  we were  given  until  January  1,                                                                    
     2013  to make  our entitlement   selections.   That  is                                                                    
     the premise  that  we have  been planning  under  since                                                                    
     working  to  form a  borough.   In  the  current  bill,                                                                    
     HB  295,  that  date  has been  moved  up  to  Dec.  1,                                                                    
     We have  been working  diligently  over  the last  year                                                                    
     on  our borough  wide  comprehensive  plan  and  zoning                                                                    
     ordinance.    We  are  also  tackling  other  planning                                                                     
     and  zoning  efforts,  developing  relationships   with                                                                    
     residents  in the  outlying  areas and  developing  our                                                                    
     goals  and policies  for  the future  of  the borough.                                                                     
     We   are   working   on   our   borough   organization                                                                     
     efforts,  and  respectfully  request  that  the CBW  is                                                                    
     given  until January  1,  2013  to make  our selection                                                                     
     regarding  land  within  the parcels  of  Thoms Place,                                                                     
     Olive Cove, and Earl West Cove.                                                                                            
     We have  a responsibility   to our borough  landowners                                                                     
     and  residents   to   make  sure   we  can  remain   an                                                                    
     economically    sustainable     borough.       It    is                                                                    
     challenging   to  make  the  selections  necessary   to                                                                    
     meet   our  goals   and   policies   that   are   being                                                                    
     developed    during    our   comprehensive    planning                                                                     
     process.     We  have   also  introduced   legislation                                                                     
     HB273   requesting   additional    acreage   than   the                                                                    
     amount  DNR indicates   is our  entitlement,  in  order                                                                    
     to  provide  for  our  future  economic  growth.    The                                                                    
     selection  process  is  not  a task  we  take lightly,                                                                     
     and  we want  to make  sure that  we get  it right  for                                                                    
     our  residents  -selecting  lands  that  will  help  us                                                                    
     address     our    resource     development,     public                                                                    
     infrastructure   development  opportunities,  cultural                                                                     
     resources,  valuable  habitat  areas,  and  additional                                                                     
     settlement opportunity goals.                                                                                              
     We   also    have   some   concerns    regarding    the                                                                    
     University's  selection   for some  portions  of  these                                                                    
     three  parcels,  concerns of  their development   plans                                                                    
     in   these    areas,   potential    impacts    of   the                                                                    
     University's   use  of  these   lands  could   have  to                                                                    
     habitats,   cultural  resources,   recreation,   public                                                                    
     infrastructure    development   and  the   subsistence                                                                     
     lifestyle  of the  residents.   We are  working on  our                                                                    
     comprehensive    plan  to   try   and   address   these                                                                    
     concerns regardless of who selects the land.                                                                               
     Earl  West  Cove   parcel  is  designated   GU  in  the                                                                    
     Central  SE Area  Plan,  includes  timber  lands,  LTF,                                                                    
     recreational site, deep water access.                                                                                      
     Thoms Place is designated HA, S, and GU                                                                                    
     Olive Cove is designated GU and RU                                                                                         
9:57:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  RUSHMORE   replied  that  the  date  was  now  December   1,                                                               
2011, as written on Page 9, line 7 of HB 295.                                                                                   
MR.  MYLIUS  explained   the  time  deadline   for  the  borough                                                                
formation   process  contained  in  the   Municipal  Entitlement                                                                
Act.    He   agreed  that  there  would  be a  conflict  between                                                                
statutes if a time change were made in the bill.                                                                                
9:59:46 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MYLIUS  reported   that  not  all   the  land  parcels   are                                                               
designated  with  area  plans,  but he  clarified  that  none  of                                                               
the  parcels  are   designated  for  future   state  parks.    He                                                               
pointed  out  that  land use  plans  are  for management   during                                                               
the  next 20  years,  but only  some parcels  reflected  further                                                                
planning.      He   directed   attention    to   the   land   use                                                               
designations   and   classifications    in  the   University   of                                                               
Alaska  Land  Grant  List  2005,  and  emphasized  that  all  the                                                               
transfers  are subject  to  existing  state laws,  and specified                                                                
that  anadromous  streams and  archaeological  resources  in  the                                                               
Sumdum  parcel  are protected.    He acknowledged   that DNR  has                                                               
not actively  managed  the  Sumdum parcel,  and  opined that  the                                                               
University of Alaska could put it to use.                                                                                       
10:02:07 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MYLIUS,  in response  to  Representative  Munoz,  agreed  to                                                               
submit    the    archaeological    and    historical    resource                                                                
information for the Sumdum parcel.                                                                                              
10:02:27 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER  asked  if it  would be  practical for  a                                                               
covenant on the Sumdum parcel.                                                                                                  
MR. MYLIUS  replied  that  the legislature   had the  ability  to                                                               
do that.                                                                                                                        
10:02:54 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEATON  shared  that  the  maps in  the  Land  Grant  list                                                               
were alphabetized.                                                                                                              
MR.  MYLIUS  noted   that  it   was  alphabetical   within   each                                                               
region.    He pointed   out that  any  valid  existing  business                                                                
authorization   was  included   with  the  land  transfer.     He                                                               
offered  his  belief,  however,  that  the  fish buying  station                                                                
mentioned   earlier   was   subject  to   the   state  tidelands                                                                
MR. MYLIUS  observed that the  land  transfer  did  not transfer                                                                
water  rights,   which  were  still   administered   by  DNR  and                                                               
would still be valid.                                                                                                           
10:04:27 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEATON stated  that  the bill would  be held,  and  public                                                               
testimony would remain open. [HB 295 was held over.]                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 295 Background.pdf HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295 Fiscal Notes.pdf HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/5/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 295
Sponsor Statement HB 310.docx HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 310
flow chart.docx HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 310
authorized projects for school debt bond reimbursment.pdf HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 310
14 07 020.pdf HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 310
4AAC 31 020.pdf HEDC 1/29/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 2/17/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 310