Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/26/1997 03:40 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                        
                   March 26, 1997                                              
                      3:40 P.M.                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
Senator Rick Halford, Chairman                                                 
Senator Lyda Green, Vice Chairman                                              
Senator Loren Leman                                                            
Senator Robin Taylor                                                           
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                     
Senator John Torgerson                                                         
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
Senator Bert Sharp                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24                                                 
Relating to the Tongass Land Management Plan and to continued                  
Congressional oversight of that plan.                                          
     - MOVED CSSJR 24(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 26                                                              
"An Act relating to big game tags for wolves; and providing for an             
effective date."                                                               
     - MOVED HB 26 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 108                                                            
"An Act relating to the disposal of state land by lottery."                    
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                          
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 22                                                  
Relating to the maritime boundary between Alaska and the former                
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.                                           
     - BILL POSTPONED                                                          
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                               
SJR 24 - No previous action to consider.                                       
HB 26 - No previous action to consider.                                        
SB 108 - No previous action to consider.                                       
HJR 22 - No previous action to consider.                                       
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
Senator Mackie                                                                 
State Capitol Bldg.                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SJR 24.                                        
Mr. Walt Sheridan                                                              
Sheridan and Associates                                                        
2155 Cascade St.                                                               
Juneau, AK 99801                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SJR 24.                                         
Mr. Berne C. Miller, Executive Director                                        
Southeast Conference                                                           
124 West 5th Street                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SJR 24.                                         
Mr. Buck Lindekugel, Conservation Director                                     
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC)                                  
419 6th St.                                                                    
Juneau, AK 99801                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SJR 24.                                           
Mr. Dave Stancliff, Staff                                                      
Representative Scott Ogan                                                      
State Capitol Bldg.                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Staff to sponsor of HB 26.                                
Mr. Ken Taylor, Deputy Director                                                
Department of Wildlife Conservation                                            
Department of Fish and Game                                                    
P.O. Box 25526                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99802-5526                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 26.                                          
Mr. Terry Otness, Staff                                                        
Senator Taylor                                                                 
State Capitol Bldg.                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Staff to sponsor of SB 108.                               
Ms. Sue Schrader, Executive Director                                           
Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                     
P.O. Box 22151                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99801                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 108.                                           
Ms. Nanci Jones                                                                
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation                                              
P.O. Box 25500                                                                 
Juneau, AK 99802-5500                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 108.                                      
Mr. Bill Perhach                                                               
P.O. Box 34                                                                    
Denali Park, Ak                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 108.                                           
Ms. Jane Angvik, Director                                                      
Division of Land                                                               
Department of Natural Resources                                                
3601 C Street                                                                  
Anchorage, AK 99503-5947                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 108.                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
TAPE 97-21, SIDE A                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
               SJR 24 TONGASS LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN                             
CHAIRMAN HALFORD called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to              
order at 3:40 p.m. and announced SJR 24 to be up for consideration.            
SENATOR JERRY MACKIE, sponsor, said it encourages the U.S. Forest              
Service to bring the Tongass Land Use Management Plan (TLUMP) to a             
conclusion and supports a level of timber harvest from the Tongass             
National Forest sufficient to sustain a forest product industry and            
prevent further job loss and economic disruption in Southeast                  
Alaska.  It also endorses continued oversight by Congress and the              
Alaska Congressional delegation.                                               
SENATOR MACKIE said a number of companies had been adversely                   
affected by a reduced harvest.  The Southeast Regional Timber Task             
Force passed a resolution urging the Federal government to finalize            
a plan for timber harvest in the Tongass and determined a minimum              
annual harvest level of 300 million board feet (MMBF) was necessary            
to reestablish a viable integrated timber industry.                            
Number 79                                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR said he had an amendment prepared in conjunction                
with the Alaska Forest Association that deletes "a harvest level of            
300 MMBF be maintained, because any decision to further reduce" and            
insert, "the United States Forest Service make available an annual             
amount of at least 300 MMBF of timber that is economical to harvest            
from the Tongass National Forest with offerings uniformly released             
throughout each fiscal year, because any record of decision that               
further reduces".                                                              
SENATOR MACKIE responded that he didn't pull 300 MMBF out of the               
sky; it is a number that came from the Governor's Timber Task Force            
which had representatives from municipalities, industry, and                   
environmental groups - a consensus group.                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR explained that the Forest Service cannot control the            
specific harvest levels.  That will depend upon contracts and                  
market conditions and other things.  They can control a consistent             
level of offerings of timber volumes.  He said there haven't been              
consistent offerings.                                                          
SENATOR MACKIE said he didn't see why the amendment wouldn't work              
since it further refines the language.                                         
SENATOR LINCOLN commented the way she read the amendment is that               
the annual offering has to be at least 300 MMBF and she understood             
that out of the 11 communities participating in the Southeast                  
Regional Timber Task Force, eight voted against the resolution                 
supporting the 300 MMBF because they felt it was too high.                     
SENATOR MACKIE said that was news to him and his understanding was             
that 300 MMBF was a recommendation from the Task Force.                        
Number 172                                                                     
MR. WALT SHERIDAN, Walt Sheridan and Associates, supported SJR 24.             
He supported previous testimony and added that it also puts the                
Alaska State Legislature on record as supporting an annual timber              
harvest from the Tongass of at least 300 MMBF.  He said the Forest             
Service has been working on the plan for over a decade - a decade              
during which they have seen the loss of over half of the direct                
timber jobs in Southeast Alaska.  He said this level of harvest was            
from a vote of 11 - 4 on the Governor's Timber Task Force.  It was             
endorsed by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, the City of Ketchikan,              
Wrangell, Metlakatla, and Thorne Bay, as well as the industry                  
representatives.  Opposition was from the environmental group                  
represented on the Task Force by the Cities of Petersburg and Sitka            
and a member purporting to represent Tenakee, Elfin Cove, Pelican,             
Gustavus, Point Baker, and Point Alexander.                                    
MR. SHERIDAN said they were asked by environmentalists if they                 
could restructure a timber industry based on value-added processing            
and produce the same or more jobs on a much smaller timber base.               
The answer is they should restructure timber industry around value-            
added processing, but it will be possible only if they can find a              
way to deal with low quality pulp logs which account for as much as            
50% of timber stands on the Tongass.  They can't simply log around             
them taking only the best.  To do that would leave a legacy of low             
grade timber for their children.  At the 300 MMBF harvest level                
there would be sufficient volume to justify the establishment of a             
minimum facility to process the low grade logs and residual chips.             
MR. SHERIDAN thought that 300 MMBF could be cut and still preserve             
the environment and so did the Forest Service according to their               
draft plan of April 5, 1996 which called for a harvest of 297 MMBF.            
SENATOR LINCOLN asked him to respond to the Forest Service's                   
concern that they need time to craft a plan that reflects the                  
changes and will be defensible from a legal challenge.  MR.                    
SHERIDAN said the draft plan that came out in April was the product            
of eight or nine years of work and had more scientific review than             
he had seen any plan the Forest Service had done in the nation.  He            
said they certainly want a plan that is legally defensible, but he             
has heard of no new science that has become available since April              
5 last year when they issued the draft.                                        
MR. BERNE MILLER, Executive Director, Southeast Conference, said               
their mission is to help build strong economies, healthy                       
communities, and a quality environment and he supported SJR 24.  In            
the interests of sustaining a strong regional economy the                      
Conference has repeatedly urged the regional forester to select a              
TLUMP alternative that does not economically or socially harm                  
Southeast Alaska's people and communities.  Last August they                   
advocated that the Forest Service delay completion until defects in            
their analysis had been corrected.  That was before Ketchikan Pulp             
announced their mill would be closed and there will be social and              
economic hardship.  Until the Forest Service establishes a                     
predictable harvest level through TLUMP it will be impossible to               
project what kind of timber industry might exist in the region in              
the future, let alone lay out a business plan for the extensive                
restructuring obviously needed.  For that reason they have changed             
their position and urge the regional forester to come to a decision            
based on what his forest supervisors have already placed before                
Number 307                                                                     
SENATOR LINCOLN asked what his response was to the Task Force vote.            
MR. MILLER said that you could count the votes or count the                    
communities that were represented which some people have done to               
suggest that the result was different.  SENATOR LINCOLN asked if               
the 11 - 8 community vote was correct.  MR. MILLER said that was               
correct, but only three of the eight communities were represented.             
SENATOR LINCOLN asked how the other communities got to vote.  MR.              
MILLER replied that they were supposedly represented.  SENATOR                 
LINCOLN asked what size of community he meant when referring to a              
"small community."  MR. MILLER replied Gustavus, Pelican, and                  
communities on that order. He thought around 100 - 200 population.             
CHAIRMAN HALFORD inserted that they were Gustavus, Pelican, Elfin              
Cove, Tenakee Springs, Port Alexander, and Kupreanof.                          
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the Southeast Conference ever entered into             
a contract with the McDowell Group or got any feel for what the                
economic impact might be.  MR. MILLER replied that they never did.             
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there was any socio-impact information                 
within the TLUMP.  MR. MILLER answered not beyond what there was               
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if he was involved in the conference when                
everyone was voting.  MR. MILLER said he wasn't present; that the              
Southeast Conference was not named to that task force.                         
SENATOR MACKIE said there are many differing opinions and views by             
location and by occupation in Southeast and it is hard to find a               
MR. BUCK LINDEKUGEL, Conservation Director, Southeast Alaska                   
Conservation Council, said for the TLUMP to provide the stability              
and assurance that everyone hopes for, it must insure that logging             
occurs only at sustainable levels, that are consistent with                    
maintaining current and future demand for fish, wildlife, and the              
other renewable forest resources that people depend on here in                 
Southeast.  The minimum 300 MMBF logging level called for by this              
resolution is unsustainable and an environmentally destructive                 
cutting level.  SEACC opposes SJR 24.  They believe the legislature            
needs to support communities' efforts in making the transition to              
a new high value added timber industry that produces the most jobs             
for board foot cut.                                                            
The 300 MMBF is the preferred alternative identified in the latest             
draft of the TLUMP and it places important areas to Southeast                  
Alaska communities, including Cleveland Peninsula, Poison Cove,                
Upper Tenakee Inlet, Port Hooter, Honker Divide, at serious risk.              
It also fails to provide for the short and long term protection                
recommended by the agency's own scientific experts to provide for              
fish habitat and for healthy and huntable wildlife populations.  Of            
the nearly 5,000 comments received on the draft plan this summer               
from Alaskans, 57% concluded that the preferred alternative was too            
biased towards logging and called for additional fish and wildlife             
resource protection.                                                           
SENATOR TAYLOR asked for his qualifications.  MR. LINDEKUGEL                   
replied that he is an attorney and is a member of the bar in                   
Alaska.  He came to Alaska first as a commercial fisherman.                    
SENATOR TAYLOR asked him what qualifications he has to say what a              
sustainable volume of harvest is.  MR. LINDEKUGEL said the whole               
theme behind the public planning process for forest plans and                  
specific timber sales is for the public to be informed by the                  
Forest Service when they prepare an EIS from a particular proposal.            
He knows how to read and talk to the people who are the experts                
providing the basis for his conclusions.  He said the overwhelming             
number of experts have suggested that the Forest Service's proposal            
from this summer's draft was insufficient to provide for long term             
protection of fish and wildlife on the Tongass.  SENATOR TAYLOR                
said all of the people working at the Forest Service have spent at             
the minimum eight or nine years of interdepartmental studies on                
fish, game, soil stability, types of vegetation, and their                     
conclusion last spring was 297 MMBF.  He asked if he disagreed with            
that and if he did, what experts was he relying on.                            
MR. LINDEKUGEL responded that he believes the Forest Service had               
the information necessary to make a good decision and didn't follow            
that information.  It's conclusions were unsupported by the                    
information in its planning record.  He relies upon the same public            
documents that everyone else who commented on this plan relied on.             
Number 463                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR asked him to submit the record of the experts he is             
relying upon.                                                                  
SENATOR MACKIE asked if there was anything in this resolution that             
was inconsistent with Governor Knowles Task Force's findings were.             
MR. LINDEKUGEL responded that it is SEACC's position that it's                 
inappropriate for the legislature to be sticking the target level              
at 300 MMBF as the State's position.  He said the Tongass is a                 
national forest and there are a lot of interests at stake and it's             
supposed to be managed for all those interests.  He said he didn't             
think the Task Force made any findings.  He explained there were               
two presentations made on December 12 in Ketchikan; one was by the             
Alaska Forest Association and one was done by Dave Katz, a planner             
for SEACC.  Immediately after that the AFA managed to push for a               
vote endorsing their models without any response to the information            
SEACC had presented.  He did not think that was the right way to               
resolve controversial issues.  They are trying to engage in a civil            
debate on very complex issues.                                                 
SENATOR MACKIE commented that he has listened to both the timber               
industry and the environmental industry and asked him how they can             
have a viable timber industry in Southeast Alaska that can                     
contribute to the economy without harvesting timber and asked if he            
didn't like the 300 number, what number did he like.  MR.                      
LINDEKUGEL responded that SEACC had never taken a position against             
logging on the National Forest.  They know it has been a way of                
life for a long time and they respect that.  They think that long-             
term contracts set up an economy that wasn't sustainable and can no            
longer compete on the international market.  Communities were                  
telling them that there are special areas they didn't want to see              
clear cut for various reasons.  They looked at the science that the            
Forest Service's own experts were developing and came up with a                
proposal that focused on small scale, locally owned businesses who             
would be provided up to 100 MMBF of timber.  That's been the                   
guarantee for some time and that is what they adopted.                         
SENATOR MACKIE asked him how there can be a sustainable timber                 
industry if you don't have a level of harvest that can actually                
make it economically feasible.  MR. LINDEKUGEL said they have been             
talking to small operators on the Tongass and trying to identify               
the type of processes they can work with. Steve Sealy proposed a               
small saw mill and drying kiln facility in Tolstoy Bay and SEACC               
came out publicly supporting that.  SENATOR MACKIE said it became              
noneconomic and so they moved the idea to Ketchikan.  MR.                      
LINDEKUGEL said that's the kind of approach they want to do.                   
SENATOR MACKIE asked using the mill in Metlakatla, for instance,               
was that too big to be a small operation that provides meaningful              
jobs to communities.  MR. LINDEKUGEL replied that they have the                
timber supply for three years and he understands that that mill is             
old technology.  He said he would not accept supplying wood to a               
mill that can't compete in today's market just because the mill is             
SENATOR LINCOLN said she appreciates having this dialogue and said             
she wanted the time to reflect upon the poll they had done of 5,000            
comments.  MR. LINDEKUGEL explained that the Forest Service had a              
comment time for their draft plan and there were perhaps 20,000                
comments.  The questions they were responding to were the forest               
supervisor's proposal that their preferred alternative was an                  
acceptable way to manage the Tongass into the future.                          
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the 57% were all from Alaska.  He answered            
that was correct and they wanted less logging than the preferred               
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt amendment #1.  SENATOR LINCOLN                   
objected; then removed her objection, and amendment #1 was adopted.            
TAPE 97-21, SIDE B                                                             
SENATOR LINCOLN asked on page 2, line 8 where it says the TLUMP EIS            
indicates no viability problem if the term used was "no short term             
problem."  She wanted to know if that was the correct actual                   
terminology or just a synopsis.  SENATOR MACKIE said he would have             
to check to see if that is the actual wording.                                 
SENATOR TAYLOR commented that the goshawk was never known to be in             
this area, although it's one of the most widely ranging hawks in               
the northern hemisphere.  He said he knew of no species that is                
threatened or has had its viability challenged or threatened on the            
near term (which includes up to 15 years).  SENATOR LINCOLN asked              
what the EIS actually said, because what he said is different than             
the information she got.                                                       
SENATOR LINCOLN moved to adopt amendment #2 deleting the term                  
"viability" and inserting "short term."                                        
SENATOR TAYLOR objected.  SENATOR MACKIE asked why she thought                 
there would be a long-term problem.  SENATOR LINCOLN said she was              
seeking accuracy and this is an inaccurate quote.  SENATOR TAYLOR              
said that the rest of the sentence said for 10 - 15 years which is             
considered short term.  He thought the amendment was redundant.                
SENATOR LINCOLN responded that she didn't mind being redundant if              
it was factual.  SENATOR TAYLOR said to him viability meant if                 
there was a breeding population of that species left.                          
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked for a hand vote.  CHAIRMAN HALFORD, SENATORS            
GREEN, TORGERSON, and TAYLOR voted no; SENATOR LINCOLN voted yes;              
and the amendment failed.                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass CSSJR 24(RES) with individual                     
recommendations.  SENATOR LINCOLN said that Senator Murkowski                  
announced a couple of days ago the Forest Service has a commitment             
for the completion of TLUMP by June 20 and thought the committee               
might want to use June 20 in the resolution.  SENATOR MACKIE said              
he was willing to work with her on that issue.  There were no                  
objections and it was so ordered.                                              
                 HB  26 BIG GAME TAGS FOR WOLVES                               
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced HB 26 to be up for consideration.                   
MR. DAVID STANCLIFF, Staff to Representative Ogan, sponsor, said HB
26 was introduced to find a point at which ADF&G can raise revenues            
from the sale of wolf tags.  Presently there are over 10,000 non-              
residents who hunt in the State and only 3% are purchasing tags and            
the feeling was that the tag price was a bit high considering how              
difficult it is to find a wolf.  The bill also provides that in                
areas requiring intensive management no tags would be required.                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the wolf was considered a big game animal.            
MR. STANCLIFF replied yes.  She asked if this bill only referred to            
shooting, not trapping.  MR. STANCLIFF replied yes.  SENATOR                   
LINCOLN asked if a person comes to Alaska to shoot a wolf, are they            
required to have a guide.  MR. STANCLIFF explained that in most                
cases a non-resident will have a guide if they are hunting sheep or            
bear.  It is possible in some areas of the State to hunt caribou               
and moose without a guide, but in no case is it possible to take a             
wolf without proper sealing.  They do not need a guide specifically            
for a wolf.                                                                    
SENATOR LINCOLN asked how a non-resident, unfamiliar with the land,            
would hunt for these wolves unguided.  MR. STANCLIFF answered that             
it is presumed that most wolf tags are purchased incidentally to               
other big game tags.  So it is hard to determine how many people               
come to the State specifically for a wolf.                                     
SENATOR LINCOLN said she knows cases where dogs have been shot                 
because someone thought it was a wolf.  She asked if they are just             
trying to raise more revenue with this bill.  CHAIRMAN HALFORD said            
he was unsure what she was asking and added that existing law is               
not changed in this bill.  Existing law only requires a guide for              
a non-resident for sheep and bear.  He thought reducing the tag fee            
might encourage the incidental take by both residents and non-                 
residents, guided or not.                                                      
MR. KEN TAYLOR, Deputy Director, Wildlife Conservation, said they              
view this as a revenue neutral bill and said they are not in the               
business of raising money for the department.  They are in the                 
business of providing as much opportunity as possible to the                   
public.  The wolf population in Alaska is 7,000 - 10,000 and our               
annual harvest is roughly 1,000 - 1,200 depending on the snow                  
conditions in winter.  The population is capable of sustaining a               
higher harvest than that and they thought increased opportunity                
could be addressed.  He said that the price the legislature put on             
the tags a few years ago was prohibitive for many hunters who came             
up and lowering tag fees for this species wouldn't generate                    
additional revenue, but would provide additional opportunity.                  
MR. TAYLOR explained the way they view this working is that non-               
resident hunters who do come up to hunt moose or caribou are                   
interested in hunting wolves while hunting the other species.  He              
said the department supported the bill as written.                             
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass HB 26 with individual recommendations.            
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                
                SB 108 STATE LAND LOTTERY PROGRAM                              
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced SB 108 to be up for consideration.                  
Number 400                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR, sponsor, said the west was developed by allowing               
people to have a stake in property; and private land ownership of              
any magnitude is virtually absent in Alaska.                                   
One major covenant of statehood was that Alaska was granted title              
to over 105 million acres of land by the federal government.  To               
date a minor portion of that land has been turned over to                      
municipalities and an even less significant amount has been put                
into individual hands.  The exception has been the lands granted to            
native corporations under ANCSA and even that land has not been                
transferred to individuals.  Rather, it has been managed by the                
corporate entities.                                                            
This legislation proposes to annually grant 1 million acres of land            
to Permanent Fund Dividend recipients.  The average parcel awarded             
would be 40 acres in size.  Parcels of land would be as small as 5             
acres and larger for agricultural uses.  Assuming 40 acres is the              
average size of the parcels, an estimated 25,000 permanent fund                
recipients would win parcels annually.  He further outlined the                
terms of the land grants.  He said winners would be selected at                
random and would be notified via their permanent fund check or by              
first class mail.                                                              
MR. TERRY OTNESS, Staff to Senator Taylor, noted that AS38.14.020              
had been left out of the bill.  He explained that during drafting              
the bill some significant archaeological finds, over 6,000 year-old            
graves, had been discovered on Prince of Wales Island and there was            
some concern that they might be desecrated.  So a provision for                
scientific research and transfer of land was added.  The other                 
issue was AS 38.14.060, the retention of rights-of-ways, where                 
language was clarified to mean when land was put into a parcel of              
property, if there was an opportunity and a municipality took over             
title and ownership of that piece of road, they would be able to               
retain these rights.  The other significant change was providing               
for an application procedure for the land on the permanent fund                
dividend application, so if people fraudulently obtained land,                 
there would be some way of dealing with them.                                  
SENATOR TAYLOR said he spent a lot of time trying to figure out how            
to pick out the land, but he thought it was best to leave it up to             
the department.                                                                
Number 335                                                                     
SENATOR GREEN asked if he had considered how the land should be                
priced.  SENATOR TAYLOR said there was a lot of discussion on that             
and the approach he takes is the land is useless at this point, as             
long as it sits in State ownership, because it will take 15 years              
of committee hearings before they decide to do anything other than             
lock something up in a park.  He also thought that as long as land             
remains in State ownership, it's not a resource producer; it's a               
resource extractor as we hire more and more people to study and                
worry over it.  There is nothing done to create wealth out of that             
SENATOR GREEN said she is working on changing some agriculture land            
to perpetual covenant and there are a lot of hoops to go through to            
get a fair price for the change in status for the ability to build             
a house.                                                                       
CHAIRMAN HALFORD noted that the interest on winning the lottery is             
freely transferable and asked if that was before staking or filing             
or at any point on the way.  SENATOR TAYLOR said it was                        
transferable any point along the way and his concern was to help               
some people who receive a couple of parcels of land and don't have             
enough money to meet the additional requirements that would be                 
necessary to result in transference of the land.                               
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked if he was considering 25,000 parcels.                   
SENATOR TAYLOR replied that was the ball park.  CHAIRMAN HALFORD               
asked him to explain why the parcels are exempt from AS 38.04 and              
AS 38.05.  SENATOR GREEN explained that was for cadastral survey.              
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said he thought that the parcels, offered in                  
quarters of quarters of quarters of quarters within a township in              
a range, in the bill would be impossible to find if a survey wasn't            
required.  This could be offered in an unsurveyed township in an               
unsurveyed section by a parcel as small as five acres.                         
TAPE 97-22, SIDE A                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR pointed out that there are over 615,000 acres                   
currently sitting on the shelf aliquot surveyed by the department.             
that could be half of this year's allotment.                                   
Number 40                                                                      
MS. SUE SCHRADER, Executive Director, Alaska Environmental Lobby,              
said that all Alaskans currently enjoy the benefits of using the               
105 million acres of State land and would be surprised to hear that            
this land is useless to us.  People who have enjoyed recreating,               
hunting, or doing subsistence activity on State land don't consider            
it useless.                                                                    
MS. SCHRADER said this bill would create an unnecessary, expensive,            
staff time-intensive, give-away program that may benefit a few                 
individuals, but would have significant diminished opportunities               
for the majority of Alaskans who share in the natural resources.               
The State lands are held in trust for all of us by our State                   
government.  The Public Trust Doctrine, which contains the                     
legislature's fiduciary responsibilities, is a strong tradition in             
Alaska's history and there are several provisions in this bill that            
run counter to this provision.  Specifically they are lands                    
exempted from AS 38.04 and AS 38.05, the planning classification               
and disposal safeguards.  These safeguards were developed after                
considerable public participation and represent years of land                  
The bill makes reference to addressing the mandate of Article 8,               
Section 10 of the State Constitution to provide prior public                   
notice.  Yet it fails to acknowledge the rest of that particular               
section and fails to assure Alaskans that the other safeguards of              
their public  interest will be met.                                            
They are also concerned with the exemption from AS 38.14.080, the              
coastal management program (ACMP).  This program is very popular               
with the many Alaskans who live and work in the coastal areas.                 
Exemption from ACMP is an affront to all Alaskans who work with                
State agencies to ensure the safeguards necessary for the                      
responsible stewardship of our resources are observed.  Just                   
because land is transferred into private hands does not mean these             
safeguards that affect all of us should be suspended.                          
MS. SCHRADER said land disposal programs already exist and would               
work if adequate funding were provided to DNR for implementation of            
Lastly, she said, this is a costly give-away program and not                   
fiscally responsible.  When the legislature is cutting agencies'               
budgets, it makes no sense to initiate an expensive program with               
goals that could be met just as effectively if existing programs               
were adequately funded.                                                        
SENATOR LEMAN said he thought she made many good points, but he has            
a basic philosophical difference with her in calling private                   
ownership of land the ultimate lockup.  Whenever we think the best             
use of land is for it to be used communally it misses the point                
that people like to have their own property.  However, he thinks               
that people have to be responsible with how they use that property             
and there are things in the bill to make sure that takes place.                
MS. SCHRADER responded that she has disagreed with many of the                 
comments she has heard, particularly working with Channel Island               
State Marine Park, about the lock-up of land in State parks.                   
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked if she advocated reopening the existing land            
disposal programs on the books.  MS. SCHRADER said she isn't that              
familiar with land disposal programs and couldn't comment at this              
point.  She added that the Lobby is not endorsing a no-land                    
disposal process.                                                              
MS. NANCI JONES, Director, Permanent Fund Dividend, said she hoped             
their division could have a very, very, small part in this by                  
simply handing the name and addresses to the Department of Natural             
Resources.  To be more involved would be costly and they are trying            
to move away from a paper intensive operation.  They handle over 8             
million pieces of paper and just the application process and is                
very labor intensive.  She said as their application exists today              
there is no more room for anything else on it.                                 
MS. JONES said they submitted a $0 fiscal note with the                        
understanding that they could just give them files with names and              
addresses.  If they notify people on the dividend, they would have             
to stop an automated process in the check run and look for                     
individuals throughout 500,000 checks.                                         
SENATOR TAYLOR said that was fine with him as long as they did                 
random selections based on applications.                                       
SENATOR LEMAN commented that for the first time this year he                   
recalls seeing the Governor's picture.  MS. JONES said that was on             
the cover of the application booklet which was her idea since it is            
a 20th anniversary commemorative issue.                                        
Number 260                                                                     
MR. BILL PERHACH said he lives in McKinley Village and is in Juneau            
for six weeks to work with the Alaska Environmental Lobby.  He said            
he disagrees with the finding section of the bill.  He thought it              
might end up reducing the quality of life in the bush and rural                
communities. He explained for the Denali Borough to get their                  
municipal entitlement, 50,000 - 70,000 acres, the Land Use Planning            
Committee had to complete their comprehensive plan.  It took them              
three years to put it together and in the process they became                  
enlightened about the importance of planning.  One of the things               
about this bill that bothers him is that it doesn't pay any                    
attention to planning.  If you are going to encourage development              
without planning, at the very least it's short-sighted and probably            
irresponsible.  He used the example of Glitter Gulch for a place               
that hadn't been planned with issues like safety and access in                 
MR. PERHACH said if they are talking about adding large acreages to            
communities and plugging into the State they are going to have the             
regular services.  Another big problem is access.  Trails follow               
the contours of land, not section lines; and none of the ones he               
uses qualifies for an RS2477.  He said that once a person is in a              
remote area in order to survive, he has to be able to go somewhere             
and get a job.  Survey costs would be very expensive as there are              
no markers or monuments.                                                       
The chain of title for a lot of small parcels is very clouded like             
they were with the mental health trust lands.  He said people in               
his community want to have access to land, but not to remote                   
parcels.  They want land they can build a home on and raise a                  
family.  He said ANCSA picked the best lands next to roads and                 
rights-of-way and detailed planning was needed to work with the                
access issue.                                                                  
CHAIRMAN HALFORD agreed with him that there is pressure out there              
for land.  MR. PERHACH said this would actually add to the problem             
because it's another bad plan.  CHAIRMAN HALFORD said that the                 
development side says that planning is an excuse for inaction; and             
the environmental community says that development is without                   
planning at all.                                                               
Number 429                                                                     
MS. JANE ANGVIK, Director, Division of Land, said she would answer             
their questions and would be happy to come back at another time, as            
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked her to get a summary of any land offerings              
by the State in any classification.  She answered that she would               
get that to him and they had a significant land disposal in 1995 of            
over 424 parcels and 53 homesteads for about 2,500 acres.  Their               
problem now is that they don't have any money to implement a                   
disposal program right now. She thought there was room for                     
conversation about a disposal program between no land disposal and             
1 million acres a year.                                                        
CHAIRMAN HALFORD told her to get her information together and they             
would have that discussion.  He then adjourned the meeting at 5:47             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects