Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/02/2001 01:10 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 165-KENAI RIVER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SCALZI announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO.  165, "An  Act relating  to  the Kenai  River                                                               
Special Management Area; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
[There was a motion to adopt  HB 165 for discussion purposes, but                                                               
it  was  already  before the  committee;  in  committee  packets,                                                               
however,  not   yet  adopted,  was   a  new   proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS), Version C.]                                                                                                    
Number 0200                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KEN  LANCASTER, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of HB 165,  informed the committee that  technical corrections to                                                               
the  bill  were  made  by  the  department;  he  indicated  those                                                               
corrections are encompassed [in CSHB 165, Version C].                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  SCALZI reminded  committee  members that  at the  prior                                                               
hearing on HB 165 [those amendments were discussed].                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  GREEN referred  to  an e-mail  from Dale  Bagley,                                                               
Mayor,  Kenai   Peninsula  Borough,   which  notes   the  mayor's                                                               
opposition  to  HB  165  because  he  believes  there  is  enough                                                               
protected  land.   Representative Green  requested the  sponsor's                                                               
comments on Mr. Bagley's e-mail.                                                                                                
Number 0377                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE LANCASTER  characterized the e-mail as  "a general                                                               
negative e-mail  in regard  to the addition  of the  KRSMA [Kenai                                                               
River Special  Management Area] land."   Representative Lancaster                                                               
informed the  committee that  Mr. Bagley  did initiate  a lawsuit                                                               
against the  state and that  issue was  resolved.  He  noted that                                                               
perhaps  [Jim Stratton,  Director,  Division of  Parks &  Outdoor                                                               
Recreation, Department of Natural  Resources] could speak to that                                                               
CO-CHAIR SCALZI  remarked that  there is quite  a bit  of history                                                               
with the issue  [brought forth by Mayor Bagley].   He agreed with                                                               
Representative Lancaster that the issue had been resolved.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA relayed concern  she has heard because it                                                               
has  been some  time since  the  public hearing  process on  this                                                               
land.  She asked when the last public hearings were held.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE LANCASTER deferred to Mr. Stratton.                                                                              
Number 0516                                                                                                                     
JIM STRATTON,  Director, Division of Parks  & Outdoor Recreation,                                                               
Department   of   Natural    Resources   (DNR),   testified   via                                                               
teleconference.    He  informed  the committee  that  there  were                                                               
extensive public hearings  on the KRSMA update in  1997 and 1998.                                                               
[The  KRSMA  update]  made the  recommendation  for  the  acreage                                                               
included in  HB 165.   In the Fall of  1999, the Kenai  Area Plan                                                               
public comment  period also included these  same recommendations.                                                               
Although Mr. Stratton  didn't have the exact  number of hearings,                                                               
he said  perhaps Chris Degernes, Superintendent,  Kenai Peninsula                                                               
Area,  Division of  Parks &  Outdoor Recreation  (DNR), may  have                                                               
that information.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   LANCASTER  pointed   out   that   most  of   the                                                               
resolutions have  been updated  within the  last week,  since the                                                               
committee  last   heard  the  bill.     Representative  Lancaster                                                               
informed  the  committee that  he  had  individual testimony  and                                                               
letters of  support as  well as  a few  letters of  opposition to                                                               
this bill.  He offered to provide those to the committee.                                                                       
Number 0785                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  SCALZI,  after  determining  that  some  teleconference                                                               
sites had "fallen  off," announced that HB 165 would  be taken up                                                               
again later in the hearing.                                                                                                     
HB 165-KENAI RIVER SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA                                                                                    
Number 2040                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  SCALZI  announced  that   the  committee  would  return                                                               
attention to  HOUSE BILL NO. 165,  "An Act relating to  the Kenai                                                               
River  Special Management  Area; and  providing for  an effective                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE FATE  made a motion  to adopt the proposed  CS for                                                               
HB 165,  Version C,  22-LS0389\C, Luckhaupt,  3/29/01, as  a work                                                               
Number 2065                                                                                                                     
RED SMITH testified via teleconference.   He referred to 1970 and                                                               
the Seward  National Recreation Area  Act.  He said  "they" asked                                                               
for 1.4 million  acres and "we" defeated the  federal proposal in                                                               
Congress  three  different times.    Finally,  "we" thought  we'd                                                               
settled  it "under  AS 9  of the  'D2' settlement."     Mr. Smith                                                               
referred to  a letter  from U.S. Senator  Stevens, which  said it                                                               
had finally  been accomplished; however,  today this  just refers                                                               
to about 8,000 acres.   It is down to a  much smaller acreage, he                                                               
remarked, but the  philosophy remains the same:  if  "we" lock up                                                               
and  lock  out,  something  will  be protected.    "We"  are  not                                                               
protecting the  Alaska Statehood Act, the  state constitution, or                                                               
the idea that development will occur in that area, he added.                                                                    
MR. SMITH  said he has  concerns about  parks.  He  remarked that                                                               
the  settlement  agreement  was  reached in  June  2000,  and  he                                                               
doesn't believe there is any  evidence that these agreements have                                                               
been  fulfilled.    The  selection right  is  still  ignored  and                                                               
abused;  "we"  are going  too  fast  with the  "set-asides"  when                                                               
proper funding isn't available to  manage them.  The programs for                                                               
utilization  and Article  VIII [of  the state  constitution] have                                                               
been totally ignored, with fisheries as the exception.                                                                          
MR.  SMITH stated  that he  was part  of a  group that  requested                                                               
"public interest intervenor" status on  July 10, 2000; he said he                                                               
would  send  a  copy  [of  the  request]  to  the  committee  for                                                               
consideration  prior to  taking action.   He  related his  belief                                                               
that  Alaska has  gone entirely  too far  "underground" in  these                                                               
"set-asides," and  now management in  the Cooper Landing  area is                                                               
MR. SMITH commented  that putting a stop sign  solved the problem                                                               
of a bad intersection in front  of the Cooper Landing School, but                                                               
it gets  run over because of  poor design; he said  these are the                                                               
kinds of  solutions [put  in place]  by the  Division of  Parks &                                                               
Outdoor Recreation in his community.                                                                                            
MR. SMITH  commented that  [the state] has  given the  division a                                                               
lot of authority  that it doesn't know how  to properly exercise,                                                               
and  land that  it  can't  manage.   He  said  [Alaska] has  many                                                               
federal,  state, and  local parks,  and more  attention could  be                                                               
paid  to the  word  "settlement."   [A portion  of  the tape  was                                                               
inaudible.]  In  42 years, 3.82 acres of land  was made available                                                               
for community (indisc.).                                                                                                        
MR. SMITH remarked  that he would like to see  this bill reviewed                                                               
in its entirety.                                                                                                                
Number 2384                                                                                                                     
EDWARD D. MARTIN, JR., testified  via teleconference.  He said he                                                               
has been  very vocal on the  addition of the Kenai  River Special                                                               
Management Area  (KRSMA) and  the Kenai Area  Plan when  it comes                                                               
into  conflict  with  the  borough's selection  of  lands.    The                                                               
borough  signed an  agreement that  says certain  things will  be                                                               
done; however,  he is not  certain that the legislature  would be                                                               
privy to  those.   Therefore, he  suggested that  the legislature                                                               
review  the decision  made by  the Kenai  Peninsula Borough  with                                                               
regard to  its selection  and the  deal made  to ensure  that the                                                               
Kenai Area Plan could become a reality.                                                                                         
MR. MARTIN  clarified that  it wasn't really  whether or  not the                                                               
borough  was getting  a selection  of land,  but rather  that the                                                               
borough  was  going to  get  a  denial  and a  relinquishment  of                                                               
borough-selected lands.   He directed  the committee to  the last                                                               
line  in Section  7,  which he  said  makes it  very  clear.   He                                                               
objected  to this;  he said  after  40 years  of statehood,  with                                                               
numerous undermanaged and underfunded  parks, people of the state                                                               
[still]  have   little  land  available  for   settlement.    The                                                               
communities  and the  state can't  be sustained  for revenues  if                                                               
money continues  [to be allocated]  for state parks,  rather than                                                               
placing it on the tax rolls.                                                                                                    
MR. MARTIN remarked that this  situation is affecting whether his                                                               
children can  stay in Alaska and  find land or will  be taxed out                                                               
of existence because  there isn't enough land in the  tax base to                                                               
support  schools.   Alaska  has  a dead  national  forest and  no                                                               
revenue is  coming from it,  he said.   This is  another negative                                                               
effect on our constitution, Article  VIII, Section 1, which reads                                                               
as follows:   "It  is the  policy of the  State to  encourage the                                                               
settlement of  its land and  the development of its  resources by                                                               
making them available for maximum  use consistent with the public                                                               
MR. MARTIN  said he wished  [the legislature] would  realize that                                                               
the  constitution already  has  a policy  and  thus doesn't  give                                                               
[authority] to  the departments  to create a  new ad  hoc policy.                                                               
He urged the legislature to look  into this more deeply.  He said                                                               
[former commissioner]  John Shively has  created a de  facto law,                                                               
and the departments are currently managing [KRSMA] as such.                                                                     
Number 2553                                                                                                                     
DALE BONDURANT  testified via teleconference.   He  remarked that                                                               
he is  in full  support of  the addition to  KRSMA and  the added                                                               
protection  for  habitat.     He  maintained  that   there  is  a                                                               
constitutional mandate  that Alaska's  fish, wildlife,  and water                                                               
public  trust  resources  be protected  for  current  and  future                                                               
generations.   As time goes on,  [Alaska] is going to  need added                                                               
protection for public  trust resources.  Now is the  time to move                                                               
this addition forward, because later will be too late.                                                                          
Number 2615                                                                                                                     
CHRIS GARCIA testified via teleconference.   He stated that he is                                                               
not in favor of  locking up land just for the  sake of locking it                                                               
up; however,  when KRSMA  was first formed,  he attended  most of                                                               
the  meetings, and  [KRSMA] has  done a  "pretty fair  job."   He                                                               
couldn't  say  whether  he  was   in  favor  or  opposed  to  the                                                               
legislation,  he  told  the committee,  because  he  hasn't  done                                                               
enough research to know what it encompasses.                                                                                    
Number 2665                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI  noted   that  former  Representative  and                                                               
Speaker of the House Gail Phillips was present at the meeting.                                                                  
Number 2695                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  moved  to  report  CSHB  165,  version  22-                                                               
LS0389\C, Luckhaupt,  3/29/01, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations  and the  accompanying zero  fiscal note.   There                                                               
being  no objection,  CSHB 165(RES)  was moved  out of  the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   

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