Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

05/13/2021 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
03:12:55 PM Start
03:13:29 PM HB120
03:37:34 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 10 Minutes Following Session --
+= HB 120 STATE LAND SALES AND LEASES; RIVERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                          May 13, 2021                                                                                          
                           3:12 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josiah Patkotak, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Calvin Schrage                                                                                                   
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Mike Cronk                                                                                                       
Representative Ronald Gillham                                                                                                   
Representative Tom McKay                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 120                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to state land;  relating to the authority of the                                                               
Department  of  Education and  Early  Development  to dispose  of                                                               
state  land;  relating to  the  authority  of the  Department  of                                                               
Transportation and  Public Facilities  to dispose of  state land;                                                               
relating to the authority of  the Department of Natural Resources                                                               
over  certain state  land; relating  to the  state land  disposal                                                               
income fund; relating  to the leasing and sale of  state land for                                                               
commercial  development;  repealing establishment  of  recreation                                                               
rivers  and  recreation river  corridors;  and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 120                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATE LAND SALES AND LEASES; RIVERS                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/01/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/01/21       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/30/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/30/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/30/21       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
05/12/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
05/12/21       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
05/13/21       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MARTY PARSONS, Director                                                                                                         
Division of Mining Land and Water                                                                                               
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided  information and answered questions                                                             
during the hearing on HB 120.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:12:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  JOSIAH  PATKOTAK  called   the  House  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 3:12 p.m.   Representatives McKay,                                                               
Cronk, Hopkins,  Schrage, Gillham,  and Patkotak were  present at                                                               
the call to order.   Representatives Fields, Hannon, and Rauscher                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
           HB 120-STATE LAND SALES AND LEASES; RIVERS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:13:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PATKOTAK  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 120, "An Act relating to  state land; relating                                                               
to  the  authority  of  the Department  of  Education  and  Early                                                               
Development to dispose  of state land; relating  to the authority                                                               
of  the Department  of Transportation  and  Public Facilities  to                                                               
dispose  of  state  land;  relating   to  the  authority  of  the                                                               
Department  of   Natural  Resources  over  certain   state  land;                                                               
relating to the state land  disposal income fund; relating to the                                                               
leasing  and  sale  of state  land  for  commercial  development;                                                               
repealing  establishment  of  recreation  rivers  and  recreation                                                               
river corridors; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  PATKOTAK   announced  that   the  Department   of  Natural                                                               
Resources  (DNR) had  been reworking  the bill  and requested  an                                                               
amendment, labeled 32-GH1634\B.5, Radford,  5/10/21, which is the                                                               
purpose for  this hearing and  may affect any  amendments drafted                                                               
by the committee members.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:15:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTY  PARSONS,  Director, Division  of  Mining  Land and  Water,                                                               
Department  of  Natural  Resources (DNR),  briefly  reviewed  the                                                               
information  presented   during  the  House   Resources  Standing                                                               
Committee  meeting on  April 30,  2021.   He  then addressed  the                                                               
amendment  brought forward  by  the  administration, labeled  32-                                                               
GH1634\B.5, Radford, 5/10/21, which read as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 7, following "land;":                                                                                       
          Insert "relating to the Alaska Native Vietnam                                                                       
     veteran land exchange;"                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 8, lines 5 - 6:                                                                                                       
          Delete "through a classification order under                                                                          
     AS 38.05.300  and a  written decision  by the  director                                                                    
     under AS 38.05.035(e)"                                                                                                     
          Insert "under AS 38.04.065 and AS 38.05.300"                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 12, following line 25:                                                                                                
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
        "* Sec. 17. AS 38.50.010(b) is amended to read:                                                                     
          (b)  Except as provided in AS 38.50.015, land                                                                     
     [LAND]  or an  interest in  land exchanged  must be  of                                                                    
     approximately  equal value;  however, the  director may                                                                    
     accept from  or pay to a  party to an exchange  cash or                                                                    
     other  consideration  to  equalize  the  value  of  the                                                                    
     property  conveyed and  received by  the state.  If the                                                                    
     director determines  that the property to  be exchanged                                                                    
     is not of approximately equal  value or if the value of                                                                    
     the  property  cannot  be ascertained  with  reasonable                                                                    
     certainty,  the director  may  enter  into an  exchange                                                                    
     with  a   finding  that  the  value   of  the  property                                                                    
     received,  together  with  the value  of  other  public                                                                    
     benefits, equals  or exceeds the value  of the property                                                                    
     relinquished by the state.                                                                                                 
        *  Sec. 18.  AS 38.50  is amended  by  adding a  new                                                                  
     section to read:                                                                                                           
          Sec. 38.50.015. Alaska Native Vietnam veteran                                                                       
     land  exchange.  (a)  An eligible  individual  who  has                                                                  
     received a  land allotment under 43  U.S.C. 1629g-1 may                                                                    
     apply  to   the  department   to  exchange   that  land                                                                    
     allotment for a parcel of  state land identified by the                                                                    
     department under  this section. An exchange  made under                                                                    
     this section is  considered to be in  the best interest                                                                    
     of  the state,  and the  director shall  find that  the                                                                    
     exchange is in the public interest.                                                                                        
          (b)  The department  shall identify in each region                                                                    
     of  the state  the  state land  that  is available  for                                                                    
     exchange under  (a) of this section  and provide public                                                                    
     notice and a map of the available state land.                                                                              
          (c)  A  land allotment and a parcel  of state land                                                                    
     exchanged under  (a) of this  section are  not required                                                                    
     to be located in the same region of the state.                                                                             
          (d)  The director  shall exchange a land allotment                                                                    
     under (a) of this section as follows:                                                                                      
               (1)  for a land allotment that is between                                                                        
     2.5 and 10 acres, the  director shall exchange a parcel                                                                    
     of state land that is  the same size, regardless of the                                                                    
     value  of  the parcel  of  state  land subject  to  the                                                                    
     exchange;                                                                                                                  
               (2)  for a land allotment greater than 10                                                                        
     acres,   the   value  of   which   is   less  than   or                                                                    
     approximately equal to the value  of the 10-acre parcel                                                                    
     of  land  subject  to   exchange,  the  director  shall                                                                    
     exchange a parcel of state land that is 10 acres;                                                                          
               (3)  for a land allotment greater than 10                                                                        
     acres, the value  of which is greater  than the 10-acre                                                                    
     parcel of land subject  to exchange, the director shall                                                                    
     adjust  the acreage  of  the parcel  of  state land  to                                                                    
     ensure  the land  exchanged is  of approximately  equal                                                                    
     value.                                                                                                                     
          (e)        Notwithstanding   AS 38.05.840,    when                                                                    
     determining the value of a  land allotment and a parcel                                                                    
     of state  land subject to exchange  under this section,                                                                    
     the department  shall adopt  in regulation  an informal                                                                    
     valuation  process that  may  include consideration  of                                                                    
     state land sales  in the area where  the land allotment                                                                    
     and the parcel of state land are located.                                                                                  
          (f)  If  a parcel of state land or  any portion of                                                                    
     a parcel  of state  land is  requested for  exchange by                                                                    
     more  than one  eligible individual  under (a)  of this                                                                    
     section,  the department  may meet  with each  eligible                                                                    
     individual  and  adjust  the  size  and  shape  of  the                                                                    
     requested  parcel  of  state  land.  In  adjusting  the                                                                    
     requested  parcel of  state  land,  the department  may                                                                    
     grant preference to the earliest filed application.                                                                        
          (g)   To  the extent  practicable, the  department                                                                    
     shall attempt  to complete a  land exchange  under this                                                                    
     section  within 180  days after  receiving a  completed                                                                    
     application from an eligible individual.                                                                                   
          (h)   An  eligible  individual who  applies for  a                                                                    
     land exchange under this section  shall comply with all                                                                    
     applicable  federal laws  and regulations  necessary to                                                                    
       exchange a land allotment awarded under 43 U.S.C.                                                                        
     1629g-1 with state land.                                                                                                   
          (i)  In this section,                                                                                                 
               (1)  "department" means the Department of                                                                        
     Natural Resources;                                                                                                         
               (2)  "eligible individual" has the meaning                                                                       
     given in 43 U.S.C. 1629g-1."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS  explained that this  proposed amendment  is intended                                                               
to  fulfill obligations  to Alaska  Native  Vietnam veterans  who                                                               
weren't  able  to apply  for  their  land allotments  during  the                                                               
Vietnam  War by  allowing eligible  veterans to  select from  the                                                               
available  1.5 million  acres in  Goodnews Bay,  Fortymile River,                                                               
and an area  outside of Yakutat.  They could  then exchange those                                                               
lands for lands closer to their area of heritage.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:20:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS  characterized the land allotment  process as "fairly                                                               
straightforward"  and explained  that an  eligible Alaska  Native                                                               
Vietnam  veteran  would apply  to  the  federal government,  have                                                               
their  application  reviewed by  the  Bureau  of Land  Management                                                               
(BLM),  and then  select from  the available  federal land.   The                                                               
federal government would survey the  land and issue a certificate                                                               
to the  allotee.  He  noted that this  process could take  one to                                                               
two years,  depending on the  budget for surveying.   The allotee                                                               
would begin the  land exchange process with  the state, selecting                                                               
from   land  currently   identified  for   conveyance,  such   as                                                               
agriculture or resource management lands.   He clarified that the                                                               
land must  not be  in a  legislative designated  area, classified                                                               
for  resource development,  or habitat  land.   There would  be a                                                               
process for  public input  and easement,  and then  the allotee's                                                               
certificate for federal  land would be exchanged  for state land.                                                               
Mr. Parsons directed  the committee's attention to  page 2, lines                                                               
10-21, of  the amendment, which  contained the terms  of exchange                                                               
for various parcel sizes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:25:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS  referred to  an  e-mail  he had  received                                                               
[included  in the  committee  packet], in  which  Dick Mylius,  a                                                               
former  director  of  the  Division of  Mining  Land  and  Water,                                                               
expressed    a   concern    with   the    proposed   legislation.                                                               
Representative Fields  read from the e-mail  as follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 13, new AS  38.05.086(c) that allow individuals                                                                    
     to nominate  parcels for commercial  development leases                                                                    
     essentially  ignores land  use  planning processes  and                                                                    
     allows  the  state  to essentially  do  noncompetitive,                                                                    
     sole source leases and sales of state land.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS   noted  that  the  committee   should  be                                                               
cognizant of the  land use planning process  when considering the                                                               
proposed legislation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:26:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  PATKOTAK announced  that  Legislative  Legal and  Research                                                               
Services   would  draft   a  new   working   document  based   on                                                               
incorporation  of the  amendment labeled  32-GH1634\B.5, Radford,                                                               
5/10/21, as  well as any  other work  done by DNR  in cooperation                                                               
with concerned stakeholders.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:28:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked whether  there would be  a committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  with the incorporation of  the amendment labeled                                                               
32-GH1634\B.5,  Radford, 5/10/21,  offered by  the administration                                                               
to their bill.   She asked for confirmation  of her understanding                                                               
that the committee isn't adopting this amendment.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  PATKOTAK   confirmed  that   the  amendment   labeled  32-                                                               
GH1634\B.5,  Radford, 5/10/21,  along with  any other  changes or                                                               
amendments the  administration has, would be  incorporated into a                                                               
CS.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:29:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked who [requested] this amendment.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  PATKOTAK  said that  the  governor,  through DNR  and  the                                                               
Division of Mining  Land and Water, requested the  amendment.  He                                                               
then reviewed the history of  land allotments, beginning with the                                                               
Alaska  Native  Allotment Act  of  1906,  which permitted  Alaska                                                               
Natives to acquire  title to up to 160 acres.   The Alaska Native                                                               
Claims  Settlement  Act  (ANCSA)  of 1971  included  a  provision                                                               
repealing the Alaska  Native Allotment Act, but  with a provision                                                               
allowing  the U.S.  Department of  the Interior  to finalize  the                                                               
pending  claims.    As  many of  those  eligible  claimants  were                                                               
serving  in  the Vietnam  War  at  the  time, the  Alaska  Native                                                               
Vietnam era veterans  land allotment section of  the federal John                                                               
D.  Dingell, Jr.  Conservation,  Management,  and Recreation  Act                                                               
allowed Vietnam  veterans to select federal  lands, offering only                                                               
"edges of  rivers and tops  of glaciers" that  weren't regionally                                                               
specific; for  instance, a Vietnam  veteran from  Barrow wouldn't                                                               
have  been able  to  claim ancestral  land.   He  said that  this                                                               
amendment  would allow  Alaska Native  Vietnam veterans  to claim                                                               
land which is regionally connected to their heritage.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARSONS  expressed  his   agreement  with  Chair  Patkotak's                                                               
summation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:32:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked Mr. Parsons how  many veterans are                                                               
eligible.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS replied  that rough numbers range from  300 to 2,000;                                                               
the  number  is  declining,  which   is  why  this  amendment  is                                                               
important.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  whether the  allotees  would  be                                                               
allowed to pass the property to relatives.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. PARSONS explained that once  an applicant is determined to be                                                               
eligible, heirs  could continue  the process.   He  stressed that                                                               
once  land is  conveyed to  an  allotee, the  property is  wholly                                                               
owned by the allotee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked, "They  can pass  it down  or sell                                                               
it, but  if they pass  it down, [and]  they haven't sold  it, are                                                               
they allowed to still trade it?"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.   PARSONS  stated   his  understanding   that  Representative                                                               
Rauscher  was  asking whether  heirs  of  a deceased  veteran  in                                                               
possession  of a  federal land  allotment  would be  able to  now                                                               
enter  into  a  land  exchange  agreement with  the  state.    In                                                               
response  to  Representative  Rauscher's agreement,  Mr.  Parsons                                                               
replied that  that specific situation  has not  been contemplated                                                               
in this proposed legislation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PATKOTAK expressed  that the question of  whether heirs are                                                               
eligible  for the  land  exchange  would have  an  effect on  his                                                               
family.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:36:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARSONS  interjected  that  he just  received  a  note  from                                                               
Christopher Orman, Assistant  Attorney General, Natural Resources                                                               
Section, Civil  Division (Juneau), Department of  Law, clarifying                                                               
that  heirs  of  deceased  federal  land  allotment  holders  are                                                               
eligible to enter into a land exchange.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:36:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PATKOTAK announced that HB 120 was held over.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:37:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:37 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 120 DNR Clarification and Addendum Document 5.12.2021.pdf HRES 5/12/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/13/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 120
HB 120 Amendment B.5 5.12.2021.pdf HRES 5/12/2021 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/13/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 120
HB 120 Letter NANA Doyon ASRC 5.12.2021.pdf HRES 5/13/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 120
HB 120 Letter Dick Mylius 5.13.2021.pdf HRES 5/13/2021 1:00:00 PM
HB 120