Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/19/1998 01:14 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
         HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                    
                 February 19, 1998                                             
                     1:14 p.m.                                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
                                                                               
Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman                                        
Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman                                         
Representative Ramona Barnes                                                   
Representative Fred Dyson                                                      
Representative Joe Green                                                       
Representative Reggie Joule                                                    
                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
                                                                               
Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                       
Representative Irene Nicholia                                                  
Representative William K. (Bill) Williams                                      
                                                                               
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
                                                                               
* HOUSE BILL NO. 373                                                           
"An Act relating to forests and forestry practices."                           
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 373(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 285                                                             
"An Act relating to suspension or revocation of commercial fishing             
permits and privileges."                                                       
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 285(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 28                                                              
"An Act repealing the Alaska Coastal Management Program and the                
Alaska Coastal Policy Council, and making conforming amendments                
because of those repeals."                                                     
                                                                               
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
                                                                               
(* First public hearing)                                                       
                                                                               
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                
                                                                               
BILL: HB 373                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: FOREST RESOURCES                                                  
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) PHILLIPS                                        
                                                                               
Jrn-Date    Jrn-Page           Action                                          
01/30/98      2182     (HB)  READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 

01/30/98 2182 (HB) RESOURCES 02/19/98 (HB) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 285 SHORT TITLE: POINT SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL FISH VIOLATIO SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) IVAN Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action 05/10/97 1807 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 05/10/97 1807 (H) RESOURCES, JUDICIARY

01/29/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124

01/29/98 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/12/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/12/98 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/19/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 28 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL COASTAL ZONE MGMT PROGRAM SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVES(S) THERRIAULT, Kelly Jrn-Date Jrn-Page Action

01/13/97 34 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97

01/13/97 35 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)

01/13/97 35 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 02/13/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/13/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/20/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/20/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/22/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/22/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/25/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/25/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 04/23/97 (H) RES AT 4:30 PM CAPITOL 120 04/23/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 04/24/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 04/24/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 02/19/98 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 208 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2689 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 373. DOUG YATES, Representative Alaska Boreal Forest Council P.O. Box 221 Ester, Alaska 99725 Telephone: (907) 479-8300 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. DALE BONDURANT H.C. 1 Box 1197 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-0818 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. JEFF JAHNKE, State Forester Division of Forestry Department of Natural Resources 400 Willoughby Avenue, 3rd Floor Juneau, Alaska 99801-1724 Telephone: (907) 465-3379 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373 and introduced Martha Welbourn. MARTHA WELBOURN, Deputy Director - Management Division of Forestry Department of Natural Resources 3601 "C" Street, Suite 1034 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5937 Telephone: (907) 269-8473 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave a presentation on HB 373. MARC WHEELER, Representative Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 419 6th Street, Suite 328 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-6942 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 373. JACK PHELPS, Executive Director Alaska Forest Association, Incorporated 111 Stedman Street, Suite 200 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901-6599 Telephone: (907) 225-6114 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. JERRY McCUNE, Representative United Fishermen of Alaska 211 4th Street, Suite 112 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-2820 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. RICHARD P. HARRIS, Senior Vice President of Natural Resources Sealaska Corporation One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 400 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1276 Telephone: (907) 586-1512 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. RICK SMERIGLIO, Environmental Representative Board of Forestry H.C. 64 Box 565 Seward, Alaska 99664 Telephone: (907) 288-3014 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. KEN FREEMAN, Executive Director Resource Development Council 121 West Fireweed Lane, Suite 250 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: (907) 276-0700 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. SYLVIA WARD, Representative Northern Alaskan Environmental Center 218 Driveway Street Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-5021 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 373. CATHY MERRITT P.O. Box 80346 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: (907) 457-8890 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. DAN STEIN 1712 Gilmore Trail Fairbanks, Alaska 99712 Telephone: (907) 458-9386 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 373. LARRY SMITH 1520 Lakeshore Drive Homer, Alaska 99603 Telephone: (907) 235-3855 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 373. NANCY HILLSTRAND, Representative Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries, Incorporated P.O. Box 170 Homer, Alaska 99603 Telephone: (907) 235-3877 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 373 and HB 285. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN M. IVAN Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 418 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 285. TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan M. Ivan Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 418 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 285. JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection Department of Public Safety 5700 East Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225 Telephone: (907) 269-5509 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. BRUCE TWOMLEY, Chairman/Commissioner Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Department of Fish and Game 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109 Juneau, Alaska 99801-8079 Telephone: (907) 789-6160 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. DEAN PADDOCK P.O. Box 21951 Juneau, Alaska 99802 Telephone: (907) 563-4970 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. LEONARD EFTA P.O. Box 353 Kenai, Alaska 99611 Telephone: (907) 283-7670 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 285. REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 511 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4797 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 28. MARGY JOHNSON, Mayor city of Cordova P.O. Box 1210 Cordova, Alaska 99574 Telephone: (907) 424-6200 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HB 28. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 98-13, SIDE A Number 0001 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:14 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Hudson, Ogan, Barnes, Dyson, and Green. Representative Joule arrived at 1:16 p.m. HB 373 - FOREST RESOURCES CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the first order of business was House Bill No. 373, "An Act relating to forests and forestry practices." Number 0069 REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 373, stated she is pleased today to bring a bill that would greatly enhance protection of Alaska's salmon resources and water quality, thanks to a major cooperative effort between timber and fishing industries, environmental groups, and state agencies. House Bill 373 is designed to improve the present Forest Practices Act (FPA). The cooperative effort represents a commitment from these groups to periodically reevaluate protection for Alaska's streams and new fish protection measures. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS explained in February of 1996, the Board of Fisheries heard reports from state agencies regarding the effectiveness of the FPA. The board found that the Act was working well, in general, to protect salmon habitat and water quality, but there were some concerns resulting in the formation of the Forest Practices Act Science and Technical Committee. The committee included scientists from timber, commercial fishing, and the environmental community, as well as federal and state research agencies. After intensive review, the committee identified opportunities to strengthen habitat and wildlife protection. A stakeholder meeting then convened to incorporate the findings into recommendations to present to the Board of Forestry. At last month's meeting, the board heard the recommendations and endorsed a series of amendments to the FPA with broad consensus support from all of the participants. The cooperation shown by board members and the implementation group is laudable. As a result, the state is now looking forward to better protection for its valuable salmon resources without unreasonable cost to industry or private land owners. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS explained the changes to the FPA would add several important protective measures to the riparian protection standards for private forest lands in the coastal forests of Region I. For clarification, "riparian" means living or located near a stream or river bank. In essence, the changes would accomplish the following: 1) Classify all segments of anadromous streams as to type, depending on size, deepness and bank structure. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS explained the scientific definitions of the streams are contained in the bill. In addition, the changes to the FPA would accomplish the following: 2) Extend the no-cut buffer zones to all anadromous streams relative to type. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS explained the 1990-FPA legislation required a 66-foot no-cut-zone along the most important salmon streams on private lands. House Bill 373 would require a buffer along all streams irrespective of their characteristics. In addition, operations within 100 feet of the streams, or at least to the break of the slop, would be conducted in compliance with established slope stability standards for Types A, B, C and D streams. In addition, the changes to the FPA would accomplish the following: 3) Retain low-value timber along Types C and D streams, where prudent, so that large woody debris (LWD) eventually travel down stream and form natural pools, an important habitat for juvenile fish. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS stated, in conclusion, the state of Alaska has one of the most effective Forest Practices Act in the nation. The collaborative process undertaken by the stakeholders is the first step forward in a path towards managing Alaska's marketable resources while protecting them for future generations. Number 0451 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON commended Representative Phillips for putting together the different user groups and coming away with something that they are willing to sign off on. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced for the record that Representative Reggie Joule arrived some time back. Number 0499 REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES asked Representative Phillips whether HB 373 is like the dead trees bill. REPRESENTATIVE PHILLIPS replied, "No." It is much better than the dead trees bill. It is to prevent dead fish. Number 0590 DOUG YATES, Representative, Alaska Boreal Forest Council, testified via teleconference in Fairbanks. The council is in favor of the changes detailed to the FPA in HB 373. The measure demonstrates that the legislature supports scientific findings as they relate to sustaining Alaska's fisheries and wildlife, and protecting continued reliance on salmon fisheries in Southeast Alaska. However, as recognition of the need for adoptive management, there are significant gaps in scientific analysis for similar issues in Southcentral and the Interior - Regions II and III. Salmon spawning protection is needed statewide. There are no mandatory buffers north of the Alaska Range which needs to be corrected as soon as possible. In conclusion, he favors the passage of HB 373 and suggested that the science and technical committee process be used as a model for adaptive management for streams in the Interior and Southcentral. Number 0708 DALE BONDURANT testified via teleconference in Kenai. He is glad there is support for a wider no-cut portion along these streams. There is, now, recognition of the need for a continued supply of LWD into anadromous streams that is vital to the sustained yield principle of the state's fishery resources. He agreed with the previous speaker that it should be expanded to cover all of Alaska. It is well known that not enough LWD is going into anadromous streams were there are narrow protection zones. In conclusion, the bill should be supported and expanded. Number 0810 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called for a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute. Number 0821 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute for HB 373, version 0-LS1461\E, Luckhaupt, 2/18/98, as a work draft. There being no objection, it was so adopted. Number 0869 JEFF JAHNKE, State Forester, Division of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources, announced the Administration supports HB 373. The process and the resulting recommendations were based on the best available scientific information. It was open to the public and a wide range of interests were involved in each of the steps. The results were supported by the Board of Forestry with representation from commercial fishing, the forest industry, Native corporations, environmental organizations, mining, fish and wildlife biology, professional forestry, and recreation. The committee substitute was the result of consensus and any change to it would make consensus difficult to sustain. The Administration urges the passage of the bill as written. MR. JAHNKE introduced Martha Welbourn to talk about the specifics in the bill. Number 1005 MARTHA WELBOURN, Deputy Director - Management, Division of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources, stated she was also the co-chair of the science and technical committee that made recommendations leading to HB 373. She explained the bill is not a wholesale revision of the FPA. The changes affect only the parts that address stream protection in terms of classification and riparian management on private lands in Region I. It would only affect private lands, and lands under the regulations of the Mental Health Trust Commission. Under current protection standards, streams are classified into three types - A, B, and C. Types A and B are anadromous, and type C includes the steeper tributaries to anadromous streams. In addition, there are some streams, including anadromous streams, that are not classified under the existing Act. And there are buffer management practices that govern road construction, maintenance, and timber harvest that apply to both classified and unclassified streams. However, requirements to maintain tree cover apply only to classified streams. Tree cover is important because it provides woody debris for fish habitat, helps stabilize stream banks, and provides nutrients to the stream. Type A streams are the only ones that have a buffer covered under the Act. There are no buffer requirements for Type B streams, except under slope stability standards for road construction, timber yarding, and tree felling, to prevent erosion. The standards also direct the land owner to leave low-value timber according to the operators' discretion and where feasible. Slope stability standards also apply to Type C streams, except to a narrower zone than anadromous streams. MS. WELBOURN further explained when the science and technical committee reviewed the issues dealing with the FPA, it kept with the legislative intent and looked at the Act periodically. For many issues, the committee recommended no changes to the Act, except for two. Firstly, the committee said that all anadromous streams and all tributaries to anadromous streams should be classified - about 20 percent are not classified under the FPA. The committee also stressed the scientific literature on the value of stream buffers to protect fish habitat. Secondly, the committee said that more woody debris was needed in Type B streams for fish habitat and for washing down stream into Type A channels. MS. WELBOURN further explained that HB 373 would classify all tributaries to anadromous streams and all anadromous streams. She reiterated it would not affect Type A streams. It would classify all tributaries to anadromous streams as Type C or D, based on the slope's gradient. It would also change the management standards so that all anadromous waters would have a 66-foot buffer zone, or up to the slope break, whichever is less. Previously, buffers were only on Type A streams. In addition, the slope stability standards would apply up to 100 feet from the stream bank, or up to the slope break, whichever is less. The slope stability standards would apply to both Type C and D streams with different standards depending on the slope's gradient. It would also strengthen the standards to encourage retention of low-value timber along the streams by removing the operators' discretion criterion and saying the timber "shall" be retained, where prudent. It would also apply to all trees within 25 feet of Type C and D streams, or up to 100 feet for Type C, and up to 50 feet for Type D streams. MS. WELBOURN further stated, in conclusion, that the changes matter because they help protect the main goals of the Act. They also support Alaska's timber industry. They would strengthen stream protection in coastal Alaska in a way that would be workable for the timber operators and the private land owners. The changes would also continue to ensure that the Act satisfies the requirements for non-point source pollution prevention under the Federal Clean Water Act and the Coastal Zone Management Act. Number 1490 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN referred to beatle kill of trees and asked Ms. Welbourn what would be the policy for areas that are virtually dead. Number 1517 MS. WELBOURN replied, according to the Department of Fish and Game, a tree that is killed by beatles and falls into a stream is not a problem because it provides large woody debris. The question is whether new trees would grow without some disturbance to provide large woody debris for 50 years from now. She cited on the western Kenai Peninsula, where there is the most intensive beatle kill, it is not an issue because most of the streams are in valleys where there is a non-forest edge so it would not affect them. Number 1561 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Ms. Welbourn, for clarification, whether the bill would include mental health lands, as well as private lands. MS. WELBOURN replied, "Correct." In accordance with regulations, mental health lands are treated as private lands under the FPA. Number 1595 MARC WHEELER, Representative, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), read the following statement into the record: "Founded in 1970, SEACC is a coalition of fifteen local community, volunteer conservation groups in twelve Southeast Alaska communities, from Ketchikan to Yakutat. The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council's 1,200 individual members include commercial fishermen, Native Alaskans, hunters and guides, tourism and recreation business owners, value-added wood product manufactures, and Alaskans from all walks of life. The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is dedicated to safeguarding the integrity of Southeast Alaska's unsurpassed natural environment while providing for balanced, sustainable use of our region's resources. "While SEACC has always advocated for freshwater fish habitat protections in Southeast Alaska and we applaud any additional protections given to fresh water fish habitat, we must tell you today that this bill is too little, too late for buffer protections on private lands in our region. With most of Southeast Alaska's Class B streams on private lands already cut to the banks, the minimal additional protections afforded by this bill will not significantly improve quality of freshwater fish habitat in our region. We urge the state legislature to use the 1995 report to Congress, the "Anadromous Fish Habitat Assessment", as the guidebook for fish habitat protections in Southeast Alaska. The Forest Service recently adopted improved fish stream buffers with its new Tongass plan to comply with the recommendations of this report. To protect the integrity of Alaska's public trust fisheries resources, the state legislature should ultimately require private landowners to adopt fish habitat protections equivalent to the new Forest Service fish stream buffers. We also urge the state legislature to begin a public process to consider freshwater fish habitat protections for lands in other parts of our state." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Mr. Wheeler whether or not SEACC supports the bill. MR. WHEELER replied SEACC supports it as a first step. It is not adequate to protect the long-term health of Southeast Alaska's salmon stocks, however. Number 1706 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked Mr. Wheeler to define "public trust fisheries resources." MR. WHEELER replied the state of Alaska has jurisdiction over the fisheries resources which belong to all of the people and they must be managed for the long-term health of the stocks. Number 1728 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN asked Mr. Wheeler what would be SEACC's ultimate solution to protect the salmon streams. Number 1738 MR. WHEELER replied the 1990-Congressional report said that even forest service buffers were not big enough to protect the long-term health of salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska. The report recommended additional protections including headwater stream buffers. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Mr. Wheeler whether the report included no logging. MR. WHEELER replied, "No sir." Number 1769 JACK PHELPS, Executive Director, Alaska Forest Association, Incorporated (AFA), stated the AFA appreciates Representative Phillips for introducing the bill and the House Resources Committee for hearing it and moving it along. As the committee members have heard, it is a direct result of a two-year scientific review process with full participation from the industry. The AFA is proud of the work done and grateful for the participation of the fishing industry, the Board of Forestry's review, and the participation from the Administration. The timber industry recognizes that there will be some cost associated with the bill, but it is appropriate given the nature of the interaction between fisheries and forestry. He urged the committee members to move forward with the bill, without changes. It is a collaborative process and the details of the bill are very important to maintain its collaborative nature. Number 1853 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Mr. Phelps whether the only change in the committee substitute is in the title. Number 1860 MR. PHELPS replied there are some other technical changes to make sure the bill is consistent with itself. There are no substantive changes in the committee substitute, however. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Mr. Phelps whether the change tightened the title. MR. PHELPS replied, "Yes." Number 1903 JERRY McCUNE, Representative, United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA), stated the UFA supports HB 373, as written, 100 percent. He thanked the private land owners and the Board of Forestry for working together with the seafood industry to accomplish the bill. He called it a united front which should be a message to the legislature itself. Number 1932 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated he hopes there will be the same spirit of cooperation on the subsistence issue as well. Number 1946 RICHARD P. HARRIS, Senior Vice President of Natural Resources, Sealaska Corporation, explained the cooperation has about 300,000 acres of land in Southeast Alaska, of which, about 220,000 acres are commercial forests lands. All of the lands are regulated by the existing FPA and the amendments in the committee substitute would increase the oversight. The corporation supports HB 373 because it would provide supplemental environmental protections that would enhance fish habitat and water quality. Since 1992, the AFA, Sealaska, and several timber owners have been conducting forests practices effectiveness monitoring and are happy to report that the FPA is protecting fish habitat and water quality. The monitoring also showed that the Act could be further strengthened. As a result, the corporation supports the bill. He thanked the participants of the process. It was long and difficult at times, but an understanding was developed on how to cooperate and find solutions to complex problems. Number 2042 RICK SMERIGLIO, Environmental Representative, Board of Forestry, testified via teleconference in Seward. He thanked the committee members for adopting almost verbatim the recommendations of the Board of Forestry. He supports the bill because of the process. The best information was brought forward, the stakeholders were at the table, and it was not rushed. Consequently, there is a product that everybody can support as the testimony indicates so far. All of the salmon streams would be protected - big, little, private and public, a plus for the environment. He pointed out that in HB 373 the words "harvest of timbers" and "timber operations" are used sometimes. He suggested, for clarity, just using the word "operation." In statute, operation is clearly defined to mean harvest of timbers, logging, and timber operations. In conclusion, as the environmental representative on the Board of Forestry, he supports HB 373. He asked that the same process be brought to bear for Southcentral and the Interior - Regions II and III, respectively. In the October meeting of the Board of Forestry, there was overwhelming public testimony for protections of riparian zones for those regions. Number 2166 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON explained to Mr. Smeriglio his suggestions are in the committee substitute that has already been adopted. Number 2177 KEN FREEMAN, Executive Director, Resource Development Council (RDC), explained RDC is a statewide membership funded organization, working on behalf of Alaska's basic industries including timber, mining, oil and gas, fishing and tourism. The RDC strongly supports HB 373 and urges its passage. It is a product of a sensible process based on public involvement and sound science. In reference to the riparian buffer zones, the committee did not specifically recommend a 66-foot buffer on Type B streams. The committee recommended a source of large woody debris be provided for the streams. The timber industry found, however, that a 66- foot buffer would more than adequately meet the goals of the recommendations. The buffers would require the industry to leave trees of value in the riparian zone minimizing the adverse effects on harvests. The RDC applauds the efforts of the committee and the Board of Forestry for crafting statutory language to ensure the responsible development of Alaska's timber resources, while respecting private property rights and protecting the environment. Number 2340 SYLVIA WARD, Representative, Northern Alaskan Environmental Center, testified via teleconference in Fairbanks. She explained the center can not say that it supports the bill because they are not from Southeast Alaska. It does not understand the technical issues, but it respects the process of everyone coming together from different sides of the issue. The center is concerned because the FPA does not protect the Interior fisheries, water quality, and other aspects. It is the people in the Interior who work to protect the areas and the law does not provide them support, nor does the Administration provide adequate planing and support. She cited two timber sales in the area that were very controversial. In fact, Senator Bert Sharp wrote a letter of opposition to the sales. House Bill 373 ignores the needs of the Interior and of the people offshore who depend on the fishery habitats in the Interior. It is also biased towards the high-value timber in Southeast. The Interior does not have high-value timber, but it does have other resources of high value - fish, tourism, hunting and trapping. TAPE 98-13, SIDE B Number 0000 MS. WARD continued. This is more than just a science and technological issue, it is an economic and quality of life issue as well. She referred to the recommendation classifying all streams and wondered whether it would apply to all streams statewide. In conclusion, she hopes that there will be funding for research and an expansion of people's views to include the Interior rather than on a case-by-case basis for timber sales. It is not healthy for timber businesses. She would like to see some needed leadership from the House Resources Committee to address the gap and responsible protection of fisheries, water quality, economic, and non-economic activities along the rivers in the Interior. Number 0075 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON thanked Ms. Ward for her comments and stated maybe there might be an opportunity to combine an appropriate group to try to expand it to the Interior. Number 0087 CATHY MERRITT testified via teleconference in Fairbanks. In general, she supports the bill. It falls short of ideal protection, but it represents an improvement to Southeast. There are similar needs for the rivers in the Interior and Southcentral Alaska as well. She is concerned about the lack of protection of the rivers for the fish, recreational activities, and the aesthetics. She just returned from dog mushing and flying over some of the Interior rivers so the crucialness for a healthy river to preserve the wildness of an area is very clear. In regards to the logging issue mentioned earlier, there was tremendous public opposition to the two timber sales in the Interior largely due to the lack of protection along the rivers. Therefore, it appears it would be easier for the timber industry to move ahead with its sales if there were protections. She would like to see a similar bill to include the Interior and Southcentral Alaska. Number 0152 DAN STEIN testified via teleconference in Fairbanks. He is a recent graduate in forest ecology. He supports the bill, but it is lacking because it does not include the protection of the riparian zones in the Interior. Riparian zones play an important role in terms of water temperature, large woody debris that add to fish habitat for invertebrates, and for fish to eat the invertebrates. Without a buffer for the riparian zones, temperatures increase, the whole issue of global warming in oceanic areas. In addition, if the temperatures increase a couple of degrees, there is a mass die- off of different species. In addition, particles in an intact riparian zone absorb filtration which decreases the temperature of the water. He reiterated he is in favor of the bill, but would like to see the Interior and Southcentral Alaska included as well. Number 0243 LARRY SMITH testified via teleconference in Homer. He has been a builder of Alaska's forest products since statehood and is dependent upon the dollars generated from fishing the marine waters around Homer to pay for the construction work. He has served on various forest-related task forces including the Alaska Forests Practices Act Review Steering Committee which lead to the statutory revisions in 1990 that put in place the current riparian management zones. He expressed his appreciation to Marty Rutherford of the Department of Natural Resources and to Representative Gail Phillips. He is not, however, in favor of the passage of HB 373, unless there is an appropriate fiscal note to take care of the additional work load. It is part of a larger commitment and it is a step forward because the fish habitat have not been well protected in the past. While the bill will not correct the serious losses of fish production capabilities because of poorly regulated logging practices, it will help if there are sufficient resources available. At present, the FPA Administration is grossly under funded, and the addition of more classifications will not make a weak system for protecting fish habitat much better. It is interesting to note that on public lands in Alaska both the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the United States Forest Service recognizes the needs for no-cut, no-variation buffers, larger than the private lands requirement of 66 feet. For example, in a recent timber sale on the Kenai Peninsula, the Department of Natural Resources required a 300-feet no-cut, no-variation buffer zone. In addition, a Native corporation with serious interest in both fish and timber would require a 600-foot buffer zone for ongoing timber operations. Thus, not only is the present proposal modest, it is also severely limited geographically and will have less impact in the northern part of Region I. It will probably have no affect at all on the portion of the Kenai Peninsula in Region I. It will not affect the Kenai, Yukon, Kuskokwim and Susitna rivers. In conclusion, it is interesting to note that the House Resources Committee is also addressing HB 285, an act for a point system for commercial fishing violations, because there is no provision for a violation for those who illegally kill fish in connection with logging operations. He said, without enforcement, the FPA will never disturb the careless and indifferent logging activities that allow some companies to flout the state's best attempts to protect fish, wildlife and water quality. Number 0468 NANCY HILLSTRAND, Representative, Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries, Incorporated, testified via teleconference in Homer. She appreciates the improvement of the FPA into a more vigilant stance. There are declines in some of the salmon streams on the Kenai Peninsula, therefore, there can not be any chances with minimal regulations to repair habitat. Upper tributary protection in Southcentral and the remainder of Alaska is also needed. She appreciates the protection in Southeast, but the rest of Alaska has been waiting a long time. She asked the committee members to amend the bill to include Regions II and III. She also recommends the formation of a riparian protection act, aside from the FPA. She appreciates the work of the legislators, but the fishing industry on the Kenai Peninsula is one of the life bloods of the area, and if it is allowed to falter through a lack of regulations and enforcement, it will be lost. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called for a motion to move the proposed committee substitute out of the committee. Number 0601 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to move the proposed committee substitute for HB 373, version 0-LS1461\E, Luckhaupt, 2/18/98, out of the committee with individual recommendations and the attached zero fiscal note. There being no objection, CSHB 373(RES) moved out of the House Resources Standing Committee. HB 285 - POINT SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL FISH VIOLATIO CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 285, "An Act relating to suspension or revocation of commercial fishing permits and privileges." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called for a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute. Number 0679 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute for HB 285, version 0-LS0879\H, Utermohle, 2/16/98, as a work draft. There being no objection, it was so adopted. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN M. IVAN, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 285, explained the proposed committee substitute is intended to address the concerns of illegal fishing activities throughout his area and the state. The original bill targeted the permit, but due to compromise, the committee substitute addresses the individual holding or owning the permit. He thanked the following expert witnesses who contributed to the committee substitute: Jerry McCune, United Fishermen of Alaska; Bruce Twomley, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; Ed Crane, Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank; Greg Winegar, Division of Investments; Colonel John Glass, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection; George Utermohle, Legislative Legal and Research Services; Cameron Jensen (ph), attorney from Wasilla; and the Honorable Fred Dyson, a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay. REPRESENTATIVE IVAN announced his staff, Tom Wright, is also here to answer any technical questions. Number 0802 TOM WRIGHT, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ivan M. Ivan, Alaska State Legislature, explained there are three amendments that need to be considered. They are technical in nature. Number 0909 MR. WRIGHT explained the first amendment would provide for an immediate effective date. Most want to see the bill go into effect this year. The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission does not have a problem with it. It reads as follows: TO: CSHB 285( ), Draft 0-LS0879\H Page 1, Line 2, after "and privileges" Insert "; and providing for an effective date" Page 9, insert a new section after Sec. 13. "Sec. 14. This act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c)." MR. WRIGHT explained the second amendment would provide for an immediate transfer of information on a weekly basis between the court system and the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission rather than on an immediate basis. It reads as follows: TO: CSHB 285( ), Draft 0-LS0879\H Page 4, Line 20, after "this title shall" Delete "immediately" Page 4, Line 21, after "to the commission" Insert "on a weekly basis" MR. WRIGHT explained the third amendment would provide for points to be assessed on the date of the last conviction rather than the last violation. It was a suggestion from the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection. It reads as follows: TO: CSHB 285( ), Draft 0-LS0879\H Page 3, Line 27, after "the date of the last" Delete "violation" Insert "conviction" Number 1087 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked, if a commercial fishing permit is revoked, who would retain the ownership. Number 1099 MR. WRIGHT replied the only revocation process is through the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. The committee substitute does not deal with revocation any more because there would have been a significant number of administrative headaches and cost. Instead, there will be a one, two, or three year suspension. Number 1127 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether the title of the committee substitute needs to be changed. MR. WRIGHT replied, "No." There is a revocation process that the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission can use within its statutes that is modified to a degree in the proposed committee substitute. Number 1186 JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, Department of Public Safety, testified via teleconference in Kodiak. The division and department continue to support the proposed committee substitute in its entirety. "We" have worked with the House Resources Committee and with Representative Ivan's office to get it to this point. The division and department would like to see it pass. It would be a very, very effective tool. Number 1213 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN explained he road with Colonel Glass last summer at the North Line in Egegik. He commended the guys for putting their lives on the line in their small boats. He asked Colonel Glass how many repeat offenders are there for this type of offense. Number 1262 COLONEL GLASS replied there are many repeat offenders and even repeat offenders on the same day. The proposed committee substitute would give the department a great deal of help. Number 1322 BRUCE TWOMLEY, Chairman/Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, Department of Fish and Game, explained the commission and the department support the bill. He thanked Representative Ivan for pulling together all of the interested parties. Number 1356 DEAN PADDOCK stated he is a Bristol Bay fisherman and fishes in other parts of the state. He supports the bill. He is not sure whether the bill is perfect, but it is a very complicated situation. The bill started by addressing problems in Bristol Bay, but it now is crafted to work as a statewide statute. In 1988, he sold his permit, but keeps his boat in Bristol Bay, because of personal disservice of the fishery and enforcement of the "lines." He moved to Prince William Sound, but continues to fish in Bristol Bay. Today, he fishes in the quietest district of the bay and in a gentleman-like fashion. It is possible to fish in Bristol Bay without getting into trouble. Occasionally, a person might get into trouble without inviting it, but that is what the courts are for. He expects there will be an increase in litigation because of certain aspects of the bill. Bristol Bay is an intense fishery and there are vast amounts of dollars at stake. He does not know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars he has foregone by fishing in a strictly legal fashion. In conclusion, the bill is needed to bring order. Number 1668 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated one can only appreciate the fishery by being there. There is no other way to describe it. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called for a motion to adopt the three amendments. Number 1749 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt Amendments 1, 2 and 3. There being no objection, they were so adopted. Number 1796 LEONARD EFTA testified via teleconference in Kenai. He supports the bill, but he is concerned about the restrictions becoming a money maker and costing a person his permit. Otherwise, he is in full favor of the bill. Number 1858 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES read the following subsection: "(g) If a limited entry permit that has been pledged as security under AS 16.10.333 or 16.10.338 is revoked under AS 16.43.970, the debtor's interest in the permit is terminated by operation of law without further notice as of the date that the revocation takes effect." REPRESENTATIVE BARNES wondered whether the permit would be collateral. In other words, if the permit is revoked who would be liable. Number 1906 MR. TWOMLEY replied the purpose is to preserve the collateral and security for the benefit of the two loan programs mentioned in the subsection. The holder would lose and the two loan programs would get the benefit of the security. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked Mr. Twomley whether the two loan programs would get the benefit of the limited entry permit. MR. TWOMLEY replied, "Yes." They would get the security. Number 1977 NANCY HILLSTRAND, Representative, Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries, Incorporated, testified via teleconference in Homer. The Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries supports HB 285 and applauds Representative Ivan's efforts to help the fishing industry regulate itself. The concept needs to be expanded to other areas in Alaska as well to help bring violators of regulations into compliance. Number 2029 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to move the proposed committee substitute for HB 285, version 0-LS0879\H, Utermohle, 2/16/98, as amended, from the committee with individual recommendations and the attached zero fiscal note. There being no objection, CSHB 285(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. HB 28 - REPEAL COASTAL ZONE MGMT PROGRAM CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 28, "An Act repealing the Alaska Coastal Management Program and the Alaska Coastal Policy Council, and making conforming amendments because of those repeals." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained the bill was assigned to a subcommittee last spring upon which the proposed committee substitute (version 0-LS0189\E) was reviewed and supported by the subcommittee. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON called for a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute. Number 2314 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN made a motion to adopt the proposed committee substitute for HB 28, version 0-LS0189\E, Chenoweth, 3/6/97, as a work draft. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE objected. The subcommittee met, but never gave the interested people an opportunity to testify. He asked for explanation as to the weight of a subcommittee. Number 2394 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON explained a subcommittee is a working committee. It meets informally and tries to come up with a version to be brought back to the committee as a whole for a regular hearing process. TAPE 98-14, SIDE A Number 0020 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE removed his objection. Number 0030 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained to Representative Joule, for edification, there was a significant change from the original bill to the committee substitute which, in effect, was what the subcommittee planned to do anyway. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the proposed committee substitute is officially before the committee for consideration. Number 0097 REPRESENTATIVE GENE THERRIAULT, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 28, explained he introduced HB 28 last year. However, after receiving many comments from colleagues and the public, he determined that an outright repeal was not the appropriate action and decided to address specific concerns. The changes are reflected in the proposed committee substitute (version 0- LS0189\E). REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT stated the proposed Committee substitute would modify the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP) by reducing the boundary to exclude the zone of indirect influence. There are currently three zones - direct interaction, direct influence, and indirect influence. The zone of direct interaction is shoreline and beach area. The zone of direct influence extends landward from the zone of direct interaction to areas affected and influenced by the proximity between land and sea such as wetlands, salt waters and tide lands. The zone of indirect influence extends landward and inland to areas that support anadromous fish such as watersheds. The proposed committee substitute would require the 11 districts to exclude the zone of indirect influence. There are 33 or 35 districts, and 11 would be impacted by the restriction. The state's initial inland coastal boundaries, which include only the zones of direct influence and direct interaction, are the appropriate boundaries for the ACMP, the Minerals Commissions, and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT further explained the proposed Committee substitute would prohibit coastal districts from incorporating, by simple reference, the statutes and regulations adopted by state agencies, a provision supported by the Administration because of inconsistencies in findings. REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT further explained the proposed Committee substitute would prevent a district or state agency from stipulating to a matter for which the agency or district does not have authority. The intent is to ensure that the program does not expand any state agency's authority beyond the statutory authority that has been extended to them by the legislature. There is an amendment to clarify that the agency must have authority outside of the ACMP statute. REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT further explained the proposed Committee substitute would eliminate the petition process, but it is not intended to preclude someone from filing a suit in a superior court. The petition process only allows the council to determine whether comments are fairly considered and an appeal to the superior court is the only avenue available to review the merits of a decision. It is an unnecessary step and seldom used. It has only been used 12 times since 1979, 6 of the 12 times are since 1994. He believes it is being used to slow down the permitting process and the state agencies are frustrated making the same decision over and over. Number 0704 REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT read Amendment 1 as follows: TO: CSHB 28( ), Draft Version "E" Page 4, Line 4: Delete "not" Insert "only" Page 4, Line 5: Delete "may not by law exercise authority" Insert "has authority under a statute outside of this chapter" REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT explained the regulations for the ACMP in a number of places refer to the Forest Practices Act, and the Department of Environmental Conservation's statutes. "We don't want ACMP under their broad authority, by regulation, to try and extend that broad authority to agencies where we have specifically not given them statutory authority to regulate things and thereby place stipulations on permits." REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to adopt Amendment 1. There being no objection, it was so adopted. Number 0777 MARGY JOHNSON, Mayor, city of Cordova, explained she is also a board member of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Council. The city of Cordova opposes HB 28 (version 0-LS0189\E). Cordova has used the petition process and believes in it. The bill would turn it over, with all due respect, to bureaucrats and take away the rights of citizens to petition. Number 0831 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Ms. Johnson what would be the financial implications to the city of Cordova. Number 0841 MS. JOHNSON replied she does not have the dollar amount. She explained the city has used the petition process for tanker contingency plans. Twenty-five percent of the nation's supply of oil goes through Cordova's back yard so it tries to be very clear and precise, and the bill would take away the city's ability to do that. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the bill will be held over for further consideration. ADJOURNMENT Number 964 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee meeting at 3:02 p.m.

Document Name Date/Time Subjects