Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/18/1998 03:40 PM Senate RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          HJR 49 - NAT'L FOREST ROAD-BUILDING MORATORIUM                       
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced HJR 49 to be up for consideration.                  
MR. PETER ECKLUND, Staff to Representative Williams, sponsor of HJR
49, read the sponsor statement.  The Forest Service recently                   
announced a sweeping two-year moratorium on development of roadless            
areas in national forests.  Although the announced land freeze                 
appears to have exempted the Tongass National Forest from the                  
policy, that is not necessarily the case.  The public has 30 days              
to comment on this after which the Tongass could be included in the            
moratorium.  Also, the Chief of the Forest Service, Mr. Mike                   
Dombeck, has said that the final long-term policy will apply to all            
The resolution speaks to the inappropriate manner in which the                 
White House is dictating management of our national forests.  The              
Forest Service has turned the public process upside down by                    
announcing their policy first, then searching for scientific                   
evidence to support their position and reaching out for public                 
The resolution also speaks to the Tongass Land Management Plan                 
revised over 10 years and costing $13 million.  It would be wrong              
to come back later with a unilateral amendment which alters the                
balance struck in the plan.                                                    
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said that Mr. Lyle Lundberg of Ketchikan and Mr.              
Mark Stahl of Anchorage were ready to testify and asked if anyone              
wanted to testify against this resolution.  There was no response.             
He asked if anyone needed to testify on it before it passed from               
this committee.  There was no response.  He said he would accept a             
motion to move it with the concurrence of Mr. Lundberg, Mr. Stahl,             
and Mr. Jack Phelps.                                                           
MR. MARK STAHL, Manager, Lands and Resources, Chugach Alaska                   
Corporation, suggested adding a whereas statement dealing with the             
Chugach National Forest saying, "Whereas the Chugach National                  
Forest land management land plan revision was initiated in April of            
1997, and this plan revision process is the appropriate venue for              
addressing road building and roadless area management issues in the            
Chugach National Forest."  He suggested putting it between the                 
fourth and fifth whereas statements.                                           
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said he thought it would go better after the third            
TAPE 98-11, SIDE B                                                             
SENATOR LEMAN moved to amendment HJR 49 to add "Whereas Chugach                
National Forest land management plan revision was initiated in                 
April 1997 and this plan revision process is the appropriate venue             
for changes to the Chugach Land Management Plan (or words to that              
effect)."  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                     
MR. JACK PHELPS, Executive Director, Alaska Forest Association,                
said it was important to recognize that this moratorium will have              
a disproportionate effect on Alaska relative to the rest of the                
country.  He said the process is lousy and a compromise of every               
major law that affects national forest management.  The effects of             
this on Alaska in terms of the allowable cut for timber on our                 
national forests is more than double that of any other national                
forest region in the country.                                                  
SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass SCS CSSSHJR 49(RES) from committee with            
individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects