Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/05/1996 08:13 AM House RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                        February 5, 1996                                       
                           8:13 a.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Joe Green, Co-Chairman                                         
 Representative William K. "Bill" Williams, Co-Chairman                        
 Representative Scott Ogan, Vice Chairman                                      
 Representative Alan Austerman                                                 
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 Representative Ramona Barnes                                                  
 Representative John Davies                                                    
 Representative Don Long                                                       
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 HOUSE BILL NO. 447                                                            
 "An Act providing that state land, water, and land and water may              
 not be classified so as to preclude or restrict traditional means             
 of access for traditional recreational uses."                                 
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 *HOUSE BILL NO. 439                                                           
 "An Act relating to minerals, including coal, to the statewide                
 bonding pool for the reclamation activities imposed on mining                 
 operations, and to the statewide bonding pool's use for surface               
 coal mining projects."                                                        
      - PASSED HB 439 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                         
 *HOUSE SPECIAL CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 1                                    
 Disapproving Executive Order No. 92.                                          
      - PASSED HSCR 1 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                         
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 447                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MASEK,Williams                                  
 JRN-DATED    JRN-PG    ACTION                                                 
 01/24/96      2524    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/24/96      2524    (H)   RESOURCES                                         
 01/26/96      2548    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  WILLIAMS                           
 01/31/96              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 01/31/96              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/05/96              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 BILL:  HB 439                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: MINING BONDING POOL & ADVISORY COM'N                             
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BRICE,Kelly                                     
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG    ACTION                                                 
 01/22/96      2507    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/22/96      2507    (H)   RESOURCES, LABOR & COMMERCE, FINANCE              
 01/31/96      2587    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KELLY                               
 02/05/96              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 BILL:  HSCR 1                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: DISAPPROVING EXECUTIVE ORDER 92                                  
 SPONSOR(S): SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON OIL AND GAS                                  
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG    ACTION                                                 
 01/26/96      2540    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/26/96      2540    (H)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                                
 02/05/96              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 DAVID STANCLIFF, Legislative Staff                                            
   to Representative Beverly Masek                                             
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol, Room 418                                                             
 Juneau, AK  99801                                                             
 Telephone: (907) 465-2688                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement on HB 447.                   
 RON SWANSON, Director                                                         
 Division of Lands                                                             
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 3601 C Street, Suite 1122                                                     
 Anchorage, AK  99503-5947                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 762-2692                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 447.                                     
 DAN RITZMAN, Volunteer                                                        
 Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                    
 Northern Alaska Environmental Center                                          
 324 Yana Court                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK  99709                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 452-5021                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Has concerns with HB 447.                                
 PATRICK PHILLIPS                                                              
 8940 Greenbelt Drive                                                          
 Anchorage, AK  99502                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 243-2179                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 447.                          
 KEVIN HITE                                                                    
 Anchorage Snowmobile Club                                                     
 8050 Summerset Drive                                                          
 Anchorage, AK  99518                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 522-6373                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 447.                          
 MICK MANNS                                                                    
 Paradise Valley                                                               
 Bettles, AK  99726                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 479-5704                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Has concerns with HB 447.  Supports HB 439.              
 RANDY CROSBY                                                                  
 Outdoor Recreational Tourism                                                  
 3300 Wesleyan Drive                                                           
 Anchorage, AK  99508                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 333-3665                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 447                           
 LINNEA GREAVES                                                                
 P. O. Box 102873                                                              
 Anchorage, AK  99510                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 272-7480                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 447                           
 ROY C. BOWDRE                                                                 
 P. O. Box 2                                                                   
 Delta Junction, AK  99737-0002                                                
 Telephone:  (907) 895-4448                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sent a written statement supporting HB 447.              
 DANA OLSON                                                                    
 HC 30, Box 5438                                                               
 Wasilla, AK  99654                                                            
 Telephone:  (907) 373-4612                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Has concerns with HB 447.                                
 DAVID ROGERS, Attorney                                                        
 211 Fourth Street, Suite 108                                                  
 P. O. Box 33932                                                               
 Juneau, AK  99803                                                             
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1107                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Has concerns with HB 447.                                
 ROBERT B. STILES, President                                                   
 Alaska Coal Association                                                       
 711 H Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, AK  99501                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 276-6868                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 439.                          
 CHARLES P. BODDY                                                              
 Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.                                                      
 122 First Avenue, Suite 302                                                   
 Fairbanks, AK  99701                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 452-2625                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 439.                          
 NICO BUS, Acting Director                                                     
 Division of Support Services                                                  
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 400 Willoughby Avenue                                                         
 Juneau, AK  99801-1724                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2406                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  The DNR supports Executive Order No. 92.                 
 KENNETH A. BOYD, Director                                                     
 Division of Oil and Gas                                                       
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 3601 C Street, Suite 1380                                                     
 Anchorage, AK  99503                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 762-2547                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  The Division supports Executive Order No. 92.            
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-12, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN called the House Resources Committee meeting            
 to order at 8:13 a.m.   Members present at the call to order were             
 Representatives Green, Williams, Ogan, Kott, and Nicholia.  Members           
 absent were Representatives Austerman, Barnes, Davies and Long.               
 HB 447 - CAN'T CLOSE LAND TO TRADITIONAL REC. USES                          
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN announced that the committee would hear HB 447,             
 HB 439 and HSCR 1, in that order.  Witnesses from Anchorage, Delta            
 Junction and Fairbanks were on the teleconference network and Jane            
 Anvik was available via offnet.                                               
 Number 079                                                                    
 DAVID STANCLIFF, Legislative Staff Assistant testified on behalf of           
 the sponsor, Representative Beverly Masek, and said there are two             
 reasons for HB 447.  The first reason is an Administrative branch             
 of government is using a legislatively created statute for a                  
 purpose which the legislature did not intend.  The second reason is           
 to involve the people's branch of government in the major decisions           
 concerning public access to state land and waters.                            
 MR. STANCLIFF informed the committee of an authority that now                 
 exists, according to the Administration, which enables the                    
 commissioner or the director to enlarge the state park system and             
 block traditional public access without legislative involvement.              
 MR. STANCLIFF distributed a handout entitled, Denali State Park               
 Master Plan and referred to a departmental map, Denali State Park             
 boundary modifications.  He said the park was created by the                  
 legislative authority, but the boundaries on the map are not those            
 created by the legislature exclusively.  On the Southwest side of             
 the park boundary, there is an expansion of the original boundary             
 which, purposefully, takes in Blair Lake.                                     
 Number 250                                                                    
 MR. STANCLIFF informed the committee that the new section of park             
 was created through an ILMA, an Interagency Land Management                   
 Agreement.  When the Department of Natural Resources was asked to             
 explain how the 360 acre expansion happened, without statutory                
 authority, Representative Masek received a document from Jim                  
 Stratton, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation,                 
 citing statutes that are totally unrelated to expanding parks                 
 restrictions or authority.                                                    
 Number 293                                                                    
 MR. STANCLIFF said the Administration has been asked to produce               
 records showing the number of times and purposes ILMA authority has           
 been used.  He said the sponsor was given an estimate of over 500             
 times; 50 decisions involved park authority and 50 more involved              
 fish and game authority.  The remainder involved the Department of            
 Transportation for material sites which is one of the categories              
 this authority was intended for along with firefighting and                   
 telecommunication sites.                                                      
 MR. STANCLIFF continued, the legislature gave the Administration              
 the authority to transfer interagency land on areas up to 640 acres           
 without legislative involvement.  That authority, as it has been              
 used on Blair Lake, has meant the end of over 50 years of                     
 traditional access.  He said the new regulations for Denali Park              
 were drafted to specifically eliminate aircraft landings in the               
 ILMA zone at Blair Lake.                                                      
 MR. STANCLIFF related that Representative Masek had difficulty                
 explaining to her constituency that this Administration, or any               
 Administration, could eliminate activity which has taken place for            
 over 50 years without legislative oversight.                                  
 Number 431                                                                    
 MR. STANCLIFF said Representative Masek introduced HB 447 to stop             
 this type of activity and prevent it from happening in the future.            
 He said the Senate version of HB 447 has ten co-sponsors.                     
 MR. STANCLIFF continued, the reason Representative Masek took a               
 broader approach in dealing with the administrative access                    
 prohibitions is twofold:  this committee and the full legislature             
 should establish ground rules for matters as important as public              
 access, long term public access for recreation.  HB 447 would                 
 establish those ground rules by not allowing access activities to             
 be eliminated without legislative consent.                                    
 Number 511                                                                    
 MR. STANCLIFF said HB 447 will not affect Administrative authority            
 within parks and it will not affect fish and game lands.  The bill            
 pertains to the land and waters under general land management of              
 Title 38.  All other lands and waters are in Title 41.  He said the           
 sponsor will leave it to the committee's discretion whether the               
 legislature needs to have oversight in those areas as well.                   
 MR. STANCLIFF concluded, this bill is about accountability and                
 striking a better balance on behalf of Alaskans.  To date, no                 
 legislature has placed in statute, language recognizing and                   
 protecting public access to lands and waters for recreation as a              
 broad policy matter.                                                          
 Number 683                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, by allowing this public access, could there           
 be restrictions on "other uses,"  which might ultimately be deemed            
 the highest and best use, such as a gold mine where there could be            
 the potential of injury to the public.                                        
 MR. STANCLIFF responded that almost all recreational access in the            
 state is along routes traditionally used by miners, the timber                
 industry and others.  It is not Representative Masek's intent to              
 obstruct valid land disposals or land use patterns with regard to             
 development by this legislation.  If there needs to be protective             
 language inserted by the committee, the sponsor will be happy to              
 Number 820                                                                    
 RON SWANSON, Director, Division of Land, Department of Natural                
 Resources said he would provide background information in addition            
 to the sponsor statement.  He said about 500 Interagency Land                 
 Management Agreements (ILMAs) have been issued since statehood.               
 ILMA's have been issued to the Division of Parks, the Department of           
 Transportation and Public Facilities and the Department of Fish and           
 Game.  Most of the ILMA's have gone to DOT/PF for a variety of                
 purposes: material sites, communication sites, airports, and                  
 maintenance facilities.  The Department of Fish and Game sites are            
 research sites and hatcheries.                                                
 MR. SWANSON said the Division of Parks ILMA's are issued in a                 
 variety of ways and under a variety of different land ownerships.             
 Most of these sites are "507 sites" conveyed to the DNR by the                
 Bureau of Land Management under statute 507 which says they can               
 only be used for recreational uses.  These sites are usually                  
 campgrounds like Harding Lake and Chena River; others have been               
 added via the planning process.  The DNR goes through a land use              
 planning process using an area plan.  The areas are identified by             
 recreational use, either through expansion of additional parks,               
 like Denali, or just identified for those particular purposes.                
 They are then transferred to the Division of Parks for management             
 because that is the appropriate entity.                                       
 MR. SWANSON said, when the DNR transfers an ILMA to parks, fish and           
 game, or transportation, we convey it subject to their authority to           
 manage the land.  In this case, it is the Division of Parks, and it           
 is under Title 41, not Title 38.  In the DOT/PF, it is under Title            
 19, and in the Department of Fish and Game, it is under Title 16.             
 When the Division of Parks receives the land, they use their                  
 authority, sometimes they restrict access, but they also have                 
 citation authority.  The state under Title 38 authority has no                
 citation authority for activities that occurred within the area.              
 MR. SWANSON said the intent of the bill focuses on parks and the              
 activities that happen within parks and the restrictions there.  He           
 recommended that the committee look at Title 41 and not Title 38.             
 To his knowledge, the department has never restricted access under            
 Title 38 at any time.  Restrictions that have occurred on existing            
 leases such as the Fort Knox Mine.  The DNR cannot allow people to            
 go meandering around and digging up holes, but if it is under                 
 lease, a private landowner can do that.  The DNR has never                    
 restricted access on state land under Title 38 authority.                     
 Number 976                                                                    
 MR. SWANSON mentioned the DNR Catalog of Alaska State Parks which             
 lists all the parks and sites and the method they are managed under           
 today.  He identified some of the most popular ones, adding that              
 Land and Water Conservation Funds and federal sport fish money have           
 been used on these sites:  Chena River, Harding Lake, Valdez                  
 Glacier, Worthington Glacier, Southcentral McHugh Creek, Clam                 
 Gulch, Kodiak's Buskin River, Inca River and Fort Abercrombie are             
 under an ILMA. In Southeast Alaska, the Chilkoot Trail, the entire            
 Juneau Trail system and Sitka's historical Totem Bight are all                
 examples of parks that have been ILMA'd over to the Division of               
 Parks to manage under Title 41 authority.                                     
 Number 990                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN noted the arrival of Representative Austerman and           
 the presence of Representative Tom Brice.                                     
 Number 1000                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to the Denali State Park Master Plan             
 and discussed the East boundary expansion adjacent to Indian River            
 of approximately 470 acres. He asked what the term, "a more logical           
 boundary means."                                                              
 MR. SWANSON agreed with Representative Ogan that the current                  
 boundary is the railroad tracks.  He said the area along the river            
 is a popular use area and the idea is to adjust the boundary right            
 up to the river.                                                              
 DAN RITZMAN, Alaska Environmental Lobby, expressed concerns with HB
 447.  He said the Alaska Environmental Lobby is comprised of 22               
 member groups from around the state and participates in the many              
 land use planning decisions that HB 447 seeks to circumvent.                  
 Developing a long range management plan should be a long detailed             
 process involving representatives from all of the interested users            
 groups and local and regional residents.  Under current law, in               
 regulations, the state land management agencies take very in-depth            
 planning processes before classifying land use.                               
 MR. RITZMAN continued, a good example of this is the recent                   
 planning process for Denali State Park.  That process lasted for              
 over two years and had twelve public meetings, task force meetings,           
 and, at least, three opportunities for written public comment to be           
 MR. RITZMAN felt that HB 447 would take land classification                   
 responsibilities away from the professionals in the land management           
 agencies, and make it a political decision in the hands of the                
 legislature.  He said the legislature does not have the time or the           
 staff to conduct the long involved, public involvement processes              
 necessary to make land classification decisions.  He feels these              
 decisions should remain in the hands of the professionals in the              
 departments of natural resources and fish and game.                           
 Number 1300                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said the committee would hear from witnesses on             
 the teleconference network.                                                   
 PATRICK PHILLIPS, member, Chugach State Park Citizens Advisory                
 Board; officer and director, Alaska General Industries Inc.,                  
 testified that an estimated 28,000 snowmobile owners reside in                
 Anchorage.  He said HB 447 is a splendid piece of legislation and             
 is greatly needed.  If this bill had been in place 15 years ago,              
 perhaps 70 percent of Chugach State Park would not have become a              
 wilderness sanctuary closed to winter motorized recreation.  He               
 asked the committee to consider adding language to restore                    
 snowmobile owners rights in those areas that have been taken away,            
 and the right to recreational access on public lands.                         
 Number 1419                                                                   
 KEVIN HITE, Board of Directors, Anchorage Snowmobile Club, and Park           
 Watch Coordinator, Chugach State Park, said he is testifying in               
 support of HB 447 on behalf of the 700 members and families of the            
 Anchorage Snowmobile Club.  He said Anchorage is a prime example of           
 an area that has been closed to recreational use with the slow                
 incremental exclusion of access of a particular user group to                 
 public lands based on personal preferences.  HB 447 will help stop            
 the disenfranchisement of the snowmobile user group.                          
 Number 1523                                                                   
 MICK MANNS, Paradise Valley Mining and Golden Wilderness                      
 Recreation, testified on behalf of the recreational users and                 
 miners of the Brooks Range, Coldfoot and Bettles.  He said the law            
 needs to be clarified and HB 447 is a good place to start.  Our               
 concern is in active mining.  We work with the snowmachiners and              
 dog mushers in our area and mark the trails to keep them off of our           
 airstrip and keep them away from areas of open cut.  There should             
 be language added to HB 447 that protects both the traditional                
 users, and the miners, and the people who own private airstrips.              
 Every winter individuals abuse that right; they run over runway               
 markers and tear up mining claim markers in active mining areas.              
 By staying on traditional trails, especially when there are open              
 pit and drift shaft hazards, they can avoid injury to themselves              
 and avoid liability to the state and to the miner.  There should be           
 something in law to penalize abusers.                                         
 Number 1776                                                                   
 RANDY CROSBY, Sno-Action Alaska and (indisc.) Lake Lodge, testified           
 in support of HB 447 saying that he is aware of many instances                
 where land managers of the state have taken it upon themselves to             
 reclassify land, and then restrict or prohibit the most common                
 means of transportation used to reach these lands.  For example,              
 Blair Lake, about 15 miles north of Talkeetna.  Until last year,              
 this was a lake reasonably accessible only by airplane, in the                
 summer.  Through an ILMA, it is now classified as part of Denali              
 State Park.  The first thing park managers did was to propose                 
 prohibiting aircraft from landing there with the regulation change.           
 When questioned on their actions, park managers said they were                
 pursuing management objectives to protect the resources.  History             
 will show that aircraft have been landing there for decades and no            
 harm has come to the resource as yet.  The value of this lake and             
 the surrounding land has decreased for most Alaska citizens as the            
 reasonable access to it is now a signature away from being                    
 prohibited.  He felt that HB 447 will allow citizens more control             
 in the management of their land and take away the power of                    
 bureaucrats deciding what is best for us.                                     
 Number 1905                                                                   
 LINNEA GREAVES, Far North Tours, testified in support of HB 447               
 saying that winter tourists look forward to snowmobiling and snow             
 cap tours.  She expressed concern that some recreational access               
 will be limited.  She asked the committee to look at extending its            
 authority to Title 41.                                                        
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN announced that the committee had received written           
 testimony from Roy C. Bowdre, Delta Junction, in support of HB 447.           
 DANA OLSON, Amber Lake Homeowners Association, testified that HB
 447 supersedes the land planning process and has the potential of             
 constitutional challenges because it affects the equal opportunity            
 to obtain state ownership.  She believes that the public has the              
 right to obtain land, but has a problem with a bill that affects              
 the state's ability to do land planning and to dispose of land                
 simply for recreational or subsistence uses.                                  
 MS. OLSON said her property in Amber Lake includes a seismic trail            
 with signs posted no trespassing.  Keep Out.  Still, there are                
 snowmachine races down the trail destroying the fences, the                   
 shrubbery and the agricultural crop.  She forewarned that the                 
 legislature will have a problem with enforcement.                             
 MS. OLSON felt that HB 447 is being generated by the self-interests           
 of the bill's sponsor and the Talkeetna area.  She said the                   
 proponents of HB 447 are very vocal about being involved in the               
 land planning process, and recommended that these issues be                   
 addressed in the staff plan.                                                  
 Number 2141                                                                   
 DAVID ROGERS, Attorney, Lobbyist, Council of Alaska Producers and             
 Echo Bay Alaska, testified that he is concerned about implications            
 with respect to mining and other development projects.  He said he            
 would follow the progress of the bill.                                        
 Number 2179                                                                   
 MR. STANCLIFF said it is not the sponsor's intention to thwart                
 mining or development or private land ownership.  The bill only               
 involves decisions that are major, public access decisions.  The              
 planning processes can go on "ad infinitum," and this does not take           
 away powers of planning.  But, if HB 447 passes, the legislature              
 would have a say in the matter.  We have in statute protected                 
 access for mining.  What has not happened is to balance the agenda            
 with regard to recreation.                                                    
 MR. STANCLIFF said the DNR's comments were not exactly correct in             
 that this bill is addressed to the commissioner's authority.  In              
 the case of Blair Lake, the commissioner's representative stated              
 that if we wanted to get into parks, we needed to move from Title             
 38 to Title 41.  Representative Masek started with Title 38 because           
 land managers allowed the Division of Parks to extend 640 acres               
 into general land management and shut off access.  There is nothing           
 to prevent this from happening.  This bill would allow some                   
 protection for future development as it coincides with traditional            
 access.  He said the Senate version may be the vehicle that is                
 used, but he asked the committee to consider moving HB 447.                   
 Number 2298                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that HB 447 is an amendment to Title              
 38.  He asked if the Senate version is the same.                              
 MR. STANCLIFF said the bills are identical, but more and more folks           
 want to extend into the Department of Fish and Game land, who will            
 block access; and they want to extend into Title 41, Division of              
 Parks, because of winter tourism.  The Alaska Visitors Association            
 and the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council have listed "access" as a            
 major part of their agenda.  He said there are 54 million acres of            
 federal wilderness in this state and access has been blocked on it.           
 It is called national parks.                                                  
 MR. STANCLIFF reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is             
 also in the process of blocking motorized access in all kinds of              
 areas.  The BLM has blocked access in recognition of archeological            
 discoveries along the Denali Highway.  What is left for Alaskan               
 citizens really exists only on state lands.                                   
 Number 2351                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to the Jim Stratton memo and asked for           
 clarification on ILMA's.  He asked Mr. Stancliff if he feels the              
 Department of Natural Resources is exceeding its intent.                      
 MR. STANCLIFF said the statutes cited in the memo make no reference           
 to restricting access to state land.  He said there have been 500             
 uses of this discretionary authority and the department has been              
 asked to provide explanation of how they have affected access.                
 Number 2437                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN  asked Mr. Stancliff if he characterizes this             
 action as an abuse of the ILMA process.                                       
 MR. STANCLIFF said Representative Masek feels it is a blatant abuse           
 of the process.                                                               
 Number 2447                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if Representative Masek would consider a            
 "friendly amendment" to include "horseback riding and packing" in             
 the allowable means of traditional means of access?                           
 MR. STANCLIFF responded that would be considered a friendly                   
 amendment and said another friendly amendment would include                   
 "recreational mining."  It is not limited to those....end Side A.             
 TAPE 96-12, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN referenced earlier testimony from witnesses                 
 concerned about mining and safety issues.  He asked if the sponsor            
 would consider an amendment to include the posting of notices.                
 MR. STANCLIFF said that would be considered a friendly amendment.             
 When the state parcels out land disposals or mining claims and they           
 are across a trail that has been used for forty years, there is               
 going to be conflict.  Proper marking and a provision in the                  
 legislation that says it does not authorize unacceptable incursions           
 into private land or development lands would be proper.                       
 Number 057                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN discussed with Mr. Stancliff whether the sponsor            
 would prefer that the bill be amended in the Resources Committee or           
 the House Finance Committee.                                                  
 MR. STANCLIFF indicated that the Senate version will probably be              
 the version that is passed.  He recommended that the committee pass           
 HB 447 out of committee with the attached friendly amendments.                
 Number 106                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved to pass HB 447 out of the Resources                 
 Committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.           
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN objected, advising the committee not            
 to pass the bill until the committee's amendments are incorporated.           
 He stated that the committee may not like the Senate version, and             
 said he wants to further research Title 41.                                   
 Number 161                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN concurred with Representative Austerman and               
 withdrew his motion.                                                          
 Number 200                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN appointed a subcommittee for HB 447 comprised of            
 Representative Nicholia, Co-Chairman Williams and Representative              
 Ogan, chair.                                                                  
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN brought HB 439 before the House Resources                   
 HB 439 MINING BONDING POOL & ADVISORY COM'N                                 
 Number 223                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE said HB 439 emerged from Alaska Minerals             
 Commission recommendations and from various miners within Alaska.             
 He said while the commissioner may allow surface coal mining                  
 operations to participate, no surface coal mine has been able to              
 use the pool.  He said the bonding pool provides, to miners, a                
 cheaper alternative to the reclamation bonding.                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE explained that reclamation bonding is very               
 expensive and very hard to obtain due to environmental laws and,              
 what is hard to quantify, but what is actually reclaimed.  The                
 bonding pool was established to provide an alternative means to               
 reclamation bonding.  He said HB 439 adds surface coal mine                   
 operations to the list of participants who comprise the bonding               
 pool without having to pay substantial sums of cash or provide                
 certificates of deposit to meet the reclamation requirements.                 
 Number 365                                                                    
 C0-CHAIRMAN GREEN theorized that there are ten honorable people who           
 form the pool, and then "Joe Sleaze Bag" wants to get involved.  Is           
 there an assurance or protection in the bill that "Mr. Sleaze Bag"            
 cannot tap this pool?  Is there an opportunity to then "blackball"            
 Number 482                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the current laws, in Title 29, are very             
 stringent and pretty nasty to people who do not meet reclamation              
 requirements.  He premised about a participant who does not pay               
 reclamation, leaving it to the bonding pool to pay for. Imagine               
 about 10-15 placer miners who are having their bonding pool sucked            
 dry to pay for that operation. "You ain't got a friend in this                
 town," not to mention being civilly liable for both reclamation and           
 administrative costs to ensure that that reclamation is done.                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN further illuminated, if "Mr. Sleaze Bag" does not           
 have a record, he may come in from another state, and he may sell             
 150 or 200 percent interest in a wildcat well.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE explained that to participate in a surface               
 coal mining operation, you have to go through a permitting process            
 and put up a substantial amount of money initially.  He said there            
 is a cap of $750.00 per acre for placer miners under this                     
 provision, but that cap does not apply to surface coal mining.                
 Number 548                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to the letter from Usibelli Coal Mine            
 to Representative Brice, and clarified that HB 439 establishes a              
 bonding pool.  He said since Usibelli is the only active coal mine            
 in the state, how can you have a pool of one?                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said the bill allows the surface coal miners,            
 the Usibelli Coal Mine, to participate in an existing pool for                
 mining reclamation that includes placer miners and various other              
 types of mining activities across the state.  Usibelli will provide           
 a large source of income to that pool and provide financial                   
 stability to the rest of the mining operations.                               
 Number 587                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked who else is in the pool?  Representative            
 Brice deferred to the Department of Natural Resources.                        
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN surmised that there have been a number of coal              
 leases issued and it is a matter of the market.                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said that was true, and reclamation bonding is           
 a major hurdle in the development of those leases.                            
 Number 636                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if this also applies to private lands, that           
 have the jurisdiction, throughout the state.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE responded that it applies to those areas where           
 reclamation bonding is required.                                              
 Number 675                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN referenced the new section on page three,            
 line 25, Alaska Surface Coal Mining Advisory Commission, and asked            
 if this is a new commission                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE answered that was correct.  The idea is to               
 establish a commission that focuses on surface coal mine issues.              
 Currently, within the Department of Natural Resources budget the              
 surface coal mines are about to lose primacy in its regulatory                
 abilities.  That is an issue this advisory commission could be                
 looking at as well as various other bonding requirements.                     
 Representative Brice referred to the items outlined in the Usibelli           
 letter that the advisory commission could address.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said there is a $75.0 fiscal note for the                
 advisory commission.  He said discussions were held on limiting the           
 commission to two or three years.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked the sponsor if it was his intention            
 to add a subsection (e) to limit the commission to two years.                 
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE acknowledged that was a consideration.                   
 Number 750                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said HB 439 has both Labor & Commerce and            
 Finance committee referrals.  He suggested that the Resources                 
 Committee send a recommendation to consider sunset regulation.                
 Number 827                                                                    
 C0-CHAIRMAN GREEN announced that the committee would hear from the            
 participants on the teleconference network.                                   
 R. B. STILES, President, Armor Corporation, and President, Alaska             
 Coal Association testified in support of HB 439 identifying first,            
 things that the bill will not do:                                             
 - HB 439 will not decrease the required level of bonding for                  
 surface coal mines.                                                           
 - HB 439 will not increase the risk profile of the bonding pool.              
 - HB 439 will not necessarily decrease the bonding expense for                
 surface coal miners.                                                          
 - HB 439 will reduce the amount of assets that have to be placed as           
 surety in support of these bonds.                                             
 Number 950                                                                    
 MR. STILES said he would like to cover items that the bill will do.           
 - HB 439 will increase the assets of and the income to the bonding            
 - HB 439 will make bonding available to Alaskan surface coal                  
 Number 980                                                                    
 MR. STILES said if a guy is a "scuzzball," he will never obtain a             
 bond or a permit.                                                             
 Number 1017                                                                   
 MICK MANNS, Paradise Valley Mining, also testified on HB 439                  
 stating that the bill will definitely increase the capability of              
 the bonding pool.  He related an instance in Alaska where certain             
 individuals had refused to give bonding money back to people they             
 did not like even though the reclamation was complete.  Mr. Manns             
 recommended that oversight was needed to ensure that this cannot              
 happen in future.                                                             
 Number 1061                                                                   
 CHARLES P. BODDY, Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc., testified on behalf of            
 Usibelli Coal Mine, he interpolated -Alaska's only current                    
 producing coal mine- and referenced the session laws of 1982, the             
 Alaska Surface Coal Mining program, saying that part of that law              
 included different forms of bonding that were to be part of that              
 program.  One requirement was that a self bonding program shall be            
 developed.  He said that law was passed in 1982, and in February of           
 1996, we are still without the ability to self bond in this state             
 because the regulations for self bonding called for in 1982 have              
 not been pushed through.  He discussed a concern with the session             
 laws of Alaska of 1990 which created a bonding pool that was used             
 for all mining other than surface coal mining.                                
 Number 1155                                                                   
 MR. BODDY requested that one sentence be added to that law, "the              
 commissioner may allow coal mining individuals to bond through the            
 Number 1218                                                                   
 MR. BODDY continued, the second part of HB 439 pertains to the                
 creation of the Alaska Surface Coal Mining Advisory Commission, and           
 it is a very positive part of the bill.  He said the Governor's               
 budget is turning primacy back to the federal government by                   
 abolishing the surface coal mine permitting program in Alaska.  He            
 recommended that a two year life for the newly formed commission              
 would be adequate.                                                            
 MR. BODDY discussed sections of the federal Surface Coal Mining               
 Control and Reclamation Act and the inconsistencies in those                  
 sections.  He said one task of the commission could work on                   
 clarifying the relationship of the state and federal agencies in              
 applying the regulations developed for use in the coterminous                 
 United States, to the unique environment we experience here in                
 Number 1319                                                                   
 MR. BODDY said he would like to see legislative involvement on the            
 proposed surface coal mine commission and recommended that the                
 chairmen of the Senate and House Resources Committees serve as ex-            
 officio members on the commission.                                            
 Number 1473                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Mr. Boddy why the Alaska Minerals                   
 Commission is not addressing this bonding issue rather than                   
 creating a new commission at the expense of $75,000.                          
 MR. BODDY said from the Alaska Coal Association's point of view,              
 the Alaska Minerals Commission would not be an appropriate group to           
 do this.  This is a sufficiently, industry and program specific               
 initiative where the coal industry is willing to pay its own way so           
 that the cost can be minimized except for the Administrative and              
 legislative sides.                                                            
 Number 1590                                                                   
 NICO BUS, Acting Director, Division of Support Services, Department           
 of Natural Resources commented that the department does not have a            
 problem with the bonding part of HB 439, but the DNR does have a              
 problem with the fiscal impact of creating a new commission, in a             
 time of fiscal constraint.  He said the DNR would be happy to work            
 with the sponsor and the industry to resolve this issue.                      
 Number 1658                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE responded that his office is always open to              
 these types of negotiations and he is more than happy to resolve              
 these issues.                                                                 
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Representative Brice for his preference of            
 working on the bill in the Resources Committee or passing it to the           
 next committee of referral, House Labor and Commerce.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said his preference was to move the bill to              
 Labor and Commerce and, in the meantime, prepare an appropriate               
 committee substitute.                                                         
 Number 1751                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT said, in the spirit of cooperation, he               
 knows exactly what he wants to do with HB 439.  He said the House             
 Labor and Commerce is charged with the oversight of boards and                
 commission, and would work with the sponsor in drafting a committee           
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN expressed his concern with the fiscal impact.             
 He said if this commission is established, he is emphatic that its            
 life be no longer than two years.                                             
 Number 1809                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said there have been several suggestions to amend           
 HB 439 including Representative Austerman proposal for sunset                 
 regulations.  Chairman Green felt that the House Labor and Commerce           
 Committee could address these changes including Mr. Manns concern             
 where the jurisdiction did not return the bonding money.  He said             
 he would entertain a motion to move the bill.                                 
 Number 1858                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN moved that HB 439 move from the House                
 Resources Committee with individual recommendations and the                   
 attached fiscal note.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.               
 HSCR 1 - DISAPPROVING EXECUTIVE ORDER 92                                    
 Number 1888                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN brought HSCR 1 before the committee.  No one from           
 the House Special Committee on Oil & Gas was available to testify.            
 A memorandum from Representative Rokeberg, Chairman, House Special            
 Committee on Oil & Gas to the House Resources Committee is as                 
 "Executive Order No. 92 consolidates the Division of Oil and Gas              
 with the Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys located               
 within the Department of Natural Resources.  The testimony before             
 the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas indicated that there is            
 no consensus regarding whether the consolidation outlined in                  
 Executive Order No. 92 is the correct configuration of the two                
 "Remarks during public testimony indicates there are both good and            
 bad consequences if the consolidation goes forward.  As a result of           
 committee testimony, the members of the committee voted to                    
 introduce a special resolution to oppose the consolidation in order           
 to expedite the process and move the executive order to the                   
 appropriate authorized committee.                                             
 "In addition, we checked with Legislative Legal on the proper                 
 procedure for handling a resolution opposing an executive order.              
 The legal memorandum we received stated that under Uniform Rule 21,           
 joint standing committees must consider executive orders."                    
 Number 1924                                                                   
 NICO BUS, Acting Director, Division of Support Services, Department           
 of Natural Resources provided background information on the bill.             
 During last year's budget process, the funding for the director's             
 position of the Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys was            
 deleted.  He said the department then looked at the division to see           
 if it warranted it's own division status.  The commissioner asked             
 the Alaska Geologic Mapping Advisory Board to establish a committee           
 and assess the role and function of the Division of Geological &              
 Geophysical Surveys and decide whether or not the department needed           
 a director.                                                                   
 MR. BUS said that report was finalized, last fall.  The board                 
 recommended that the director/state geology office be relocated to            
 Anchorage; recruiting through a nationwide recruiting system, and             
 that the director be appointed for a five year term.  Another                 
 recommendation was that the Division of Geological and Geophysical            
 Surveys needed to have a strong presence in the state of Alaska               
 because of its importance to the resource and because of recurring            
 geological hazards.                                                           
 MR. BUS said another recommendation was that the geological surveys           
 division pursue and develop partnerships with those who are working           
 towards common goals.  He said during the Fiscal Year 97 budget               
 preparations, the department looked at efficiencies.  The DNR did             
 not want to diminish the mission of the Division of Geological and            
 Geophysical Surveys, and the department also wanted to implement              
 the recommendations of the Alaska Geologic Advisory Board.  He said           
 the DNR's objective was to strengthen the surveys and improve                 
 administrative support.  As a result, the Department of Natural               
 Resources proposed Executive Order No. 92.                                    
 Number 2082                                                                   
 MR. BUS said, to make sure that the Division of Geological and                
 Geophysical Surveys does not get absorbed into the Division of Oil            
 and Gas, which was a concern of the House Special Committee on Oil            
 and Gas, they will be doing best interest findings for the oil and            
 gas people.  The DNR basically wants to keep them separate in terms           
 of budgetary issues.  These two divisions will each have their own            
 budget component and the legislature will have the opportunity to             
 fund them at appropriate levels.  The DNR plans to keep the field             
 presence in tact for the geological surveys which it feels is very            
 MR. BUS said the consolidation provides some budget efficiencies by           
 sharing administrative support for both divisions and, in that                
 process, the DNR saves $50,000 in the FY97 budget, which is in line           
 with what the legislature charged us with during the budget                   
 MR. BUS said the DNR feels Executive Order No. 92 is an efficiency            
 measure in state government aimed at improving cooperation and                
 communication between the two divisions and strengthening their               
 missions.  In the process, the department is gaining budgetary and            
 administrative efficiencies.  He said Mr. Ken Boyd was available to           
 answer programmatic questions.                                                
 Number 2282                                                                   
 KENNETH A. BOYD, Director, Division of Oil and Gas, Department of             
 Natural Resources, testified that the resolution combines two                 
 divisions with a long history of cooperation on various projects              
 including methane projects, and North Slope field work in general.            
 He hoped this combination will provide new opportunities to work              
 together in the future.  He said he strongly supports Executive               
 Order No. 92.  It is an opportunity for administrative                        
 Number 2347                                                                   
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN referred to Executive Order N0. 92. Section 3. AS           
 41.08.010 and Section 4. AS 41.08.020 and discussed requirements              
 and duties of the state geologist.  There is no prerequisite in the           
 order requiring that the person who does the administration be a              
 registered geologist; like the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission,           
 for example.                                                                  
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, speaking in accordance with the Special               
 Committee on Oil and Gas, his concern is that, as a function, the             
 prior Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys would be under           
 the auspices of the Division of Oil and Gas....end tape.                      
 TAPE 96-13, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that the geology surveys division has                
 consistently been utilized by the minerals industry for their                 
 expertise, maps, and hazard specialization which are the described            
 duties for the general public and for entities that do not have               
 large and sophisticated groups of geological and geophysical                  
 expertise; whereas the oil and gas industry has these resources at            
 their command.                                                                
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN mentioned his past association with the oil and             
 gas industry and expounded on the industry's self-reliance in doing           
 its own surveys. He alluded to the bidding on bonus lease sales and           
 lease sales where there has been no bidding.  He said a more direct           
 example would be "bonus bidding" and "the money left on the table."           
 What that is, is significant amounts of money left on the table,              
 even with the most sophisticated geological departments in some of            
 these companies.                                                              
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN declared that a better use of the agency's                  
 resource might be to keep the Division of Geological & Geophysical            
 Surveys either autonomous or combined with the Division of Mines.             
 He said he agreed with the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas             
 and tended not to approve Executive Order No. 92.                             
 Number 327                                                                    
 MR. BOYD said the Division of Oil and Gas does not nominate areas             
 for leasing, the division takes lease sale nominations from                   
 industry as far as the five-year process.  The two lease sales that           
 had no bidders, both of those areas were nominated by industry, in            
 areas where they had an interest.  As time passes, economics may              
 change and companies interest may move, but industry does nominate            
 the acreage.                                                                  
 MR. BOYD continued, the purpose of the geology section in the                 
 Division of Oil and Gas is not just the technical part of the lease           
 sale, it is there to do a lot of the work that involves unitization           
 computerization and other issues that involve geological and                  
 geophysical knowledge.  In summary, to protect the state's                    
 MR. BOYD said he would try to do a good job as the state's                    
 geologist.  It is not his intention to meld the groups together               
 except to use the capabilities of both groups in a cross                      
 pollination.  He would like the people in Fairbanks involved in               
 day-to-day operations, the unitization and computerization                    
 functions and to learn how tract allocation works.  He felt this is           
 a valuable lesson for any geologist.                                          
 Number 429                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN commended Mr. Boyd on the work that he has been             
 doing, he said the work is exemplary.  Chairman Green clarified               
 that his comments, in no way, reflect any disrespect for the great            
 job Mr. Boyd is doing.                                                        
 Number 457                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said the state is encouraging fiscal restraint           
 and talking about consolidation in many areas.  He asked Chairman             
 Green that if his concern was resolved, would it hinder the                   
 industry to consolidate.                                                      
 Number 500                                                                    
 CO-CHAIRMAN said consolidation would not hurt the Division of Oil             
 and Gas, it would help them.  He said his concern is that the                 
 divisions would not stay separate, and the Division of Geological             
 and Geophysical Surveys would not continue to be as aggressive in             
 the charges that are incumbent upon them.  He said if there is an             
 economy of scale, he would rather see them combined with a group              
 that does utilize them and stay focused on hard rock and tectonics.           
 Number 643                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked if consolidation can be done and               
 still protect those issues.  He said, there is nothing wrong with             
 saving money and now we are saying that we do not want to save                
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said there may be a better marriage that saves              
 the same amount of money but does away with the potential of                  
 drifting into the wrong element.                                              
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said the intent of HSCR 1 is to not put the                 
 Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys in the Division of             
 Oil and Gas. Leaving it by itself will require a fiscal note, or              
 continue without a leader, or meld them with the Division of Mines.           
 Number 709                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked if the committee could amend the               
 Executive Order No. 92 to delete the Division of Oil and Gas and              
 include the minerals division.                                                
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said the House Resources Committee or someone               
 would have to sponsor a bill to do that prior to February 11th.               
 Number 751                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved HSCR 1 move from the House Resources                
 Committee with individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal            
 note.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                               
 There being no further business to come before the House Resources            
 Committee, Chairman Green adjourned the meeting at 9:58 a.m.                  

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