Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/26/1995 08:10 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 261 - STATE/PRIVATE/MUNI TIMBER OPERATIONS/SALES                         
                                                                               
 Number 231                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY, PRIME SPONSOR, stated HB 212 is a bill to            
 foster and nurture the local, small timber using consumption                  
 industry in Alaska.  He explained HB 261 is intended to encourage             
 and nurture a large industrial use of the state's timber base.  The           
 premise of HB 261 is to establish a point where harvesting timber             
 is the highest and best use of the state's forests.  He said what             
 needs to be looked at when utilizing the state's resources is the             
 fact that about $700 million more is being spent on state services            
 than what is being brought in through reoccurring revenues.  He               
 stressed the state has to build its tax base if it is going to                
 continue funding education and other quality services which the               
 people of the state enjoy, appreciate, and want.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said it was important to note there are three            
 areas in the state that do not have trouble funding local services,           
 including schools.  Those areas include the North Slope Borough due           
 to the industrial tax base created by Prudhoe Bay; the Unalaska               
 area due to the large per capita industrial base at Dutch Harbor;             
 and Valdez, due to the large per capita industrial tax base in the            
 Valdez area.  He stated other areas of the state having good                  
 industrial tax bases are able to raise a tax base and provide                 
 essential government services.                                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated those areas in the state not having a             
 tax base, create a tremendous problem for the rest of the state to            
 finance basic government services.  He said the purpose of HB 261             
 is to encourage industry to look at Alaska's timber resources, to             
 tell the industry that the state is a reliable supplier of timber             
 resources, to encourage industry to come to Alaska and invest in              
 the state, and to let industry know the state will work with them             
 to harvest the resources to the benefit of everyone.                          
                                                                               
 Number 311                                                                    
                                                                               
 BONNIE WILLIAMS, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference and stated           
 when driving to the teleconference, she drove past a refuge that is           
 used daily by Fairbanks citizens and tourists year round.  The                
 refuge provides recreation, sports facilities, education, and                 
 wildlife enhancement.  She said the only reason the refuge exists             
 is because of a clear cut on a large amount of land.  She stated in           
 regard to the FPA, multiple use has turned out to mean that                   
 everything listed is expected to take place simultaneously and                
 continuously, except for logging.  Logging is allowed only if it              
 does not interfere with any of the other uses.                                
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS felt there is a need to address and rephrase how the             
 state handles and deals with multiple use.  She state HB 212 and HB           
 261 attempt to accomplish that.  She said there has been an                   
 enormous growth over the past two years, within state and federal             
 government, in creating and embracing a decision making process               
 which assures there will never be a decision.  How logging is                 
 treated fits right into that mode.  She noted not making a decision           
 is making a decision.  In case of logging, it is a decision                   
 (indiscernible) of irresponsibility to carry it too far.                      
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS said the state has the responsibility to properly                
 manage its natural resources for the benefit of all Alaskans for              
 the maximum sustained yield as provided by the State Constitution.            
 She stated with the paralysis on logging, management is also                  
 paralyzed.  She noted the state does not manage logging,                      
 (indiscernible) are not benefitted, and there is no effort at                 
 sustained yield because there is no yield.  The state has the                 
 responsibility to provide a healthy economy, including good paying            
 jobs and to the extent possible, import substitutions for all those           
 goods being imported to the state from somewhere else.                        
                                                                               
 MS. WILLIAMS said the state has the responsibility to produce, not            
 just consume.  She urged the committee and the House to carefully             
 consider HB 212 and HB 261 and approve them both.                             
                                                                               
 Number 377                                                                    
                                                                               
 TYLER CONKLE, REPRESENTATIVE, INTERIOR ALASKA FOREST ASSOCIATION,             
 testified via teleconference and stated Representative Williams'              
 bill, HB 121, and recent proposed amendments to HB 268 concerning             
 funding for timber salvage sales are an excellent attempt to ensure           
 a supply of timber and utilize an otherwise wasted resource.  He              
 stressed the Interior timber industry is very concerned with the              
 slow response to HB 212.  He noted HB 212 is crucial to ongoing               
 small operators, as well as any future development.  He said                  
 without a primary use statement included in the statutes,                     
 specifically defining the state forests as a timber base for                  
 industry, the industry will continue to be dependent on salvage               
 bills and increased funding to clean up a dying and bug infested              
 forest.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. CONKLE said the state forests are the only land classification            
 not protected by a primary use.  He felt there is more concern with           
 parks and recreation than with jobs, families, and homes.  He                 
 quoted from HB 261, "The prime object of a management plan shall be           
 the highest and best use of the forest by timber production under             
 the principles of sustained yield.  The management plan must                  
 consider and allow the uses described in (g)..."  He stated those             
 guaranteed uses within the state forests were once lifted in the              
 statutes.  The 14 uses were deleted, without representation from              
 the Interior, during the revisions made to the FPA in 1990.                   
                                                                               
 MR. CONKLE stated sustained yield and multiple use management are             
 the guidelines to sound management.  He said timber harvesting will           
 not exclude any other use but it is important to not allow timber             
 harvesting to be excluded from the state forests original intent.             
 He urged the committee to support HB 212 and keep it moving through           
 the current session.  He urged the committee to consider HB 261 and           
 keep it moving also.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 422                                                                    
                                                                               
 JIM DREW, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference and said state              
 forest land is a resource that can provide both economic and social           
 benefits in Alaska.  Currently, the sales of state-owned timber               
 that create new wealth and jobs in Alaska are bogged down in                  
 excessive, time consuming, and costly procedures.  He stated HB 212           
 or HB 261 will remedy this deficiency.  He urged passage of the               
 legislation.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. DREW told committee members that modifications presented in               
 Sec. 2., AS 38.05.112(b) in HB 212 on page 1 are important because            
 they simplify procedures and reduce the time and cost for preparing           
 site-specific forest land use plans for individual timber sales.              
 At the same time, the preparation of required, regional forest land           
 use plans will provide determinations of immediate and long-term              
 effects of individual and collective activities on the timber base            
 and on other resources and uses now designated in AS 38.05.112(b).            
                                                                               
 MR. DREW said in Sec. 4., Sec. 38.05.113 in HB 212, new text is as            
 follows:  "The timber sale schedule must provide a timeline that              
 identifies timber sales, their amounts, and their locations, and              
 must be sufficient to provide the public and the forest products              
 industry with a basis to comment on future sale offerings."  He               
 recommended deletion of the words, "and must be sufficient."  In              
 the absence of a clear definition of "sufficient," endless debate             
 on what is sufficient could lead to continuing delays and increased           
 costs to the state to administer timber sales.                                
                                                                               
 MR. DREW stated Sec. 7., AS 41.17.200 of HB 212 on page 4 clearly             
 defines the purpose of the state forests in Alaska, i.e., multiple            
 use management.  He said with 11 million acres of state land                  
 classified for parks and recreation, it is entirely reasonable to             
 designate less than 2 million acres in the Tanana Valley State                
 Forest for multiple use management emphasizing the production,                
 utilization, and replenishment of timber resources while                      
 perpetuating personal, commercial, and other beneficial uses of the           
 resources.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DREW told committee members in his view, HB 212 could be                  
 improved by adding to it Section 1., AS 38.05.115(a) as prepared              
 for reenactment in HB 261 on page 1.  In addition, he felt HB 212             
 could be further improved by adding Section 6., AS 41.17.200 as               
 amended in HB 261 on page 3.  He stated that addition would bring             
 private sector experience and judgement to forest management.  If             
 private sector businesses are to produce the quantity and quality             
 of wood products necessary to operate in a competitive market, they           
 must have access to sufficient timber to make their enterprises               
 cost effective.                                                               
                                                                               
 MR. DREW stated he strongly urges passage of HB 212 with the                  
 modifications suggested, or the passage of HB 261.  He said if                
 renewable timber resources are harvested on a sustained yield                 
 basis, as proposed in the legislation, then values desired by                 
 nonconsumptive users will be maintained.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 487                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOHNNY GONZALES, MAYOR, DENALI BOROUGH, testified via                         
 teleconference and stated HB 212 and HB 261 are important to the              
 future of Alaska.  He agreed with Representative Vezey's sponsor              
 statement.  He said allowing forest timber to rot or burn and then            
 harvest it for human consumption is a horrible waste.  Those who              
 harvest the timber cannot make a living because (indiscernible).              
 He expressed support for HB 212 and HB 261.                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GONZALES applauded Representatives Vezey and James initiative             
 in trying to do something with this product in Alaska.  He thought            
 the state could produce timber in an environmentally sound manner.            
 He said the Denali Borough (indiscernible) and has been working on            
 this for approximately two years and hopes to receive the land                
 soon.  The only tax base the Denali Borough has is the                        
 (indiscernible) tax.  He noted with the land to be received soon,             
 it is hoped there will be an opportunity to harvest the trees and             
 make money in order to support those things the borough is supposed           
 to support, particularly schools.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 547                                                                    
                                                                               
 DR. WILLIAM WOOD, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference and                 
 thanked the committee for hearing HB 212 and HB 261, which will               
 bring the FPA in the right direction and reestablish the intent               
 (indiscernible) of the State Constitution.  He said after carefully           
 reviewing HB 212 and HB 261, he endorses the statements made                  
 earlier, especially comments made by Ms. Williams and Mr. Drew.  He           
 is confident the state can make a wise use of the great resource              
 available.  He stated when the accent is just on keeping what the             
 state has, there is a need to keep adding to the base.  Otherwise,            
 the base will ultimately disappear.  He urged passage of HB 212 and           
 HB 261.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 570                                                                    
                                                                               
 BOB ZACHEL, OWNER, ALASKA BIRCH WORKS, FAIRBANKS, testified via               
 teleconference and read a list of people who have requested a                 
 negotiated timber sale due to the lack of logs for their business.            
 According to the Department of Forestry's records, there were                 
 twelve negotiated sales in 1990, eight in 1991, three in 1992, four           
 in 1993, and three in 1994.  The prediction for 1995 is three.  He            
 said the list of names read contained 13, which means 10 people               
 will not have a timber sale.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. ZACHEL stated the FPA of 1990 took a system which did work and            
 changed it to a system that does not work.  He pointed out that in            
 a public meeting on March 25, 1995, the DNR's Deputy Director of              
 Forestry, Marty Welbourn, was asked if it was possible, under                 
 existing law, for people such as him to get timber sales on less              
 than a two years notice.  The short answer was no.  There are no              
 provisions in the FPA of 1990 for people like him.  He felt the               
 reason there is no provision for him in the FPA of 1990 is because            
 he had no representation.  He thought if he had been represented,             
 he would not be fighting for his economic survival.                           
                                                                               
 MR. ZACHEL stressed if someone would show him who represented him             
 on the steering committee, he would publicly apologize and shut up.           
 He did not feel it was asking too much to have representation on a            
 piece of legislation that made major administrative changes in the            
 way he makes a living.  He said HB 212 gives him back some of what            
 was taken away.  He pointed out if any one person was given veto              
 power over timber sales, there would be no timber sales as there              
 will always be someone who wants to go for a walk, pick berries,              
 use the trails, etc., in the state forests.  He stated he considers           
 all those uses to be legitimate uses.  However, there must be some            
 place where the small operators have priority.  At some point,                
 there is no compromise because he cannot cut down one-half of a               
 tree.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. ZACHEL stated currently the large companies export everything             
 they cut and the environmental groups want to save the rest for               
 large condominiums for spruce beetles.  He felt local needs should            
 be first in line for the resource, yet they are not even being                
 considered.  He said the Tanana Valley State Forest needs to be               
 managed to provide a wide range of timber sizes.  He noted it is              
 not possible to get tree sized six inch logs from a spruce tree 20            
 inches in diameter or 2 by 12s out of a 10 inch tree.  The trees              
 used today (indiscernible) make terrible dog sleds and vice versa.            
                                                                               
 MR. ZACHEL pointed out the salvage timber bill recently passed will           
 likely provide some short-term relief.  However, what he does and             
 other small operators do is not all salvage.  There is a need for             
 a steady, flexible supply of good quality logs.  What they do can             
 and should stand on its own merits and have its own place in the              
 Tanana Valley State Forest.  He said he considers what he does to             
 be economically, socially, and environmentally responsible.  He               
 stated he is sending a list of names of most of his customers over            
 the past three years.  The list contains the names of 105                     
 individuals and 20 businesses.                                                
                                                                               
 MR. ZACHEL stated he needs logs.  He said (indiscernible) but                 
 denies access to the Tanana Valley State Forest to those who use              
 his products.  He expressed support for HB 212 but has not taken a            
 good look at HB 261, so he will refrain from endorsing that bill at           
 this time.  He commented the Tanana Valley State Forest is not                
 being seen as a means to balance the state budget for the next                
 twenty years.  The development which needs to take place, needs to            
 be taken with an eye for sustainability and the advantage of the              
 local community and the general population of the state.                      
                                                                               
 Number 630                                                                    
                                                                               
 PETE SHEPHERD, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference and stated             
 he supports the basic intent of HB 212 and HB 261.  He said the               
 bills contain significant changes in language essential to                    
 management of timber resources in the Tanana Valley State Forest.             
 The intent is to elevate the sustainable harvest as the best and              
 most beneficial use, while assuring other uses are properly                   
 prioritized.  He pointed out the reasons for the changes are                  
 obvious and have arisen from industries and resource management's             
 frustration with unsatisfactory law.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. SHEPHERD stated Interior forests are a product of disturbance.            
 The lack of catastrophic events in past decades, mainly wildfire,             
 has led to increasing decadence in forest stands and other                    
 habitats.  Consequently, the biotic potential of the Tanana Valley            
 State Forest has declined.  He said professionally managed forest             
 harvests can substitute for the absence of wildfire regimes and               
 would result in earlier successional growth favorable to wildlife             
 diversity and abundance, along with regrowth and replenishment of             
 forests for the future.                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. SHEPHERD said as a professional wildlife biologist, he is                 
 concerned with the current lack of wildfire.  Interior forests are            
 losing the capacity to sustain viable populations of many fauna.              
 Forest practices can be utilized to emulate natural successional              
 sequences which provide shelter and food for these species.  He               
 stressed sound forest harvest practices should benefit many uses of           
 the Tanana Valley State Forest for perpetuity.                                
                                                                               
 Number 654                                                                    
                                                                               
 ART GRISWOLD, NORTH POLE, testified via teleconference and stated             
 he was not present to speak as an expert on timber harvesting,                
 etc., but as a father of eight children.  He said he is trying to             
 determine whether or not his children have a future living in the             
 state.  He asked if the state does not develop some of its                    
 renewable natural resources and get something going, he did not               
 know what is going to be left for his children to make a living               
 with.  If these resources are not developed, the children will be             
 forced to leave the state to earn a living.  He felt if the state's           
 natural resources are not developed and the industries that can               
 support Alaska's economy are not developed, the state will go down            
 the tube.                                                                     
                                                                               
 ED PACKEE, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference and stated he              
 strongly supports HB 212 and the concepts in HB 261.  He thought              
 the two bills should be brought together as one bill.  He felt                
 there should also be an attempt to bring together all of the                  
 forestry related legislation into one place.  At the timber meeting           
 recently held in Fairbanks, he thought everyone was at a bingo                
 parlor because the state forester kept talking about certain                  
 regulations, using their numbers.  He noted no one can keep track             
 of those numbers unless they are a politician or an administrator.            
                                                                               
 MR. PACKEE said he supports HB 212 because it has the original                
 intent Senator Bettye Fahrenkamp had when she created the Tanana              
 Valley State Forest legislation.  He stated somewhere along the               
 line, an idea has developed that humans have no place in the forest           
 except to walk around and comment on its beauty.  He noted a famed            
 ecologist and forester once stated that in an ecosystem management            
 approach, man has to be considered a part of nature.                          
                                                                               
 MR. PACKEE pointed out in the beetle kill area on the Kenai                   
 Peninsula, fire breaks are being put in.  The fire breaks cost                
 $1,100 at a minimum to the public.  He said if the timber would               
 have been logged, the only costs would have been the reforestation            
 effort.                                                                       
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-56, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PACKEE said his idea of the Tanana Valley State Forest is not             
 a Fairbanks forest but the entire valley's forest.  He objects to             
 outsiders trying to tell the state how to manage its land.  He                
 stated there are many good environmentalists but when he hears an             
 organization publicly state one-half of their membership is from              
 outside the state and they are trying to dictate the management               
 style, he has a problem.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 017                                                                    
                                                                               
 BILL ROBERTSON, REPRESENTATIVE, GREATER FAIRBANKS CHAMBER OF                  
 COMMERCE, testified via teleconference and expressed support for HB           
 212 and HB 261.  He said the two bills provide minimal steps toward           
 creating a timber industry in Alaska.  He reminded everyone the               
 state has over (indiscernible) million acres of land in Alaska.  He           
 felt there should be a way to use a small part of the land to                 
 benefit man.  He pointed out man and woman are part of the                    
 ecosystem, as well as all of the rest of the critters living on the           
 land.  Important to the ecosystem is having means to sustain lives            
 and provide jobs.  He stated the only means of sustaining the job             
 base is to develop the state's natural resources, including timber.           
                                                                               
 MR. ROBERTSON recalled Ms. Williams had commented on the stagnation           
 in government through planning, planning, planning and doing                  
 nothing.  He said in his former employment with the federal                   
 government, he can attest that is true.  He noted there was a joke            
 in his agency at one time that the way to stop action on any                  
 particular project was to plan it to death with studies, public               
 meetings, etc.  He urged committee members to pass HB 212 and HB              
 261.                                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 055                                                                    
                                                                               
 JOSH MOORE, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference and stated he             
 has twenty years of experience of gazing thoughtfully at mechanisms           
 (indiscernible).  He said present regulations governing timber                
 sales in Alaska (indiscernible) and only the legislature can be the           
 mechanic to fix it.  He suggested starting with AS 38.05.112 and AS           
 38.05.115.  He stated he views the status quo as the seven                    
 P's...perpetual public planning process postpones production                  
 permanently.                                                                  
                                                                               
 LYNN LEVENGOOD, REPRESENTATIVE, ALASKA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION                  
 ASSOCIATION (AWCA), testified via teleconference and stated                   
 Alaska's Constitution requires management of the state's renewable            
 resources for maximum sustained yield.  He stated that is an                  
 affirmative requirement which not only allows harvest but requires            
 harvest for sustained yield.  He said this mandate does not allow             
 the curtailment of logging based upon a perceived conflict with               
 other users.  The Constitution calls for sustained yield, not a               
 perpetual argument and demagoguery.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. LEVENGOOD said the word conservation is defined as a wise use             
 of the state's resources.  The preservationists desire is to                  
 preserve everything and harvest nothing.  They claim their                    
 opposition is based upon a perceived risk for which they demand               
 guarantees that no harm will occur if harvest is allowed.  He                 
 wondered if those people do not send their children to school                 
 because there is no guarantee of a safe arrival.                              
                                                                               
 MR. LEVENGOOD stated the AWCA applauds HB 212 and HB 261 and the              
 efforts promoted in the bills.  He said timber harvest benefits               
 wildlife.  The large clear cutting of the past decade in the Delta            
 area has benefitted bison, moose, and waterfowl to great degrees              
 and the human resident population of Interior Alaska.  He felt the            
 two bills need to be passed and move forward.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 129                                                                    
                                                                               
 SYLVIA WARD, REPRESENTATIVE, NORTHERN ALASKA ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER             
 (NAEC), testified via teleconference and expressed opposition to HB           
 212 and HB 261.  Founded in 1971, NAEC represents 1,300 members and           
 remains committed to the sustainable multiple use of forests on               
 state lands and the perpetuation of those uses and values.  She               
 said NAEC supports logging as one of the legitimate uses of the               
 forest, but believes that of the many potential and actual uses of            
 multiple use state lands, large-scale logging remains one of the              
 few which has the potential to destroy other interests, values, and           
 uses.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. WARD said HB 212 and HB 261 will only help Alaska repeat the              
 past mistakes of other communities.  She felt the community is not            
 prepared to suffer from the consequences of ill-considered                    
 decisions leading into the maw of large-scale export logging.  She            
 stated the land and the outdoor lifestyles are treasured and there            
 is an intention to raise families there.  For those reasons, NAEC             
 knows the committee will carefully consider the consequences of               
 allowing HB 212 and HB 261 to be enacted into law.                            
                                                                               
 MS. WARD stated HB 212 is touted as a small loggers bill by its               
 sponsors, and although NAEC agrees that sections of the bill may              
 help small operations, the overall effect of the legislation will             
 be to open up forest land throughout the entire state to                      
 destructive large-scale logging.  NAEC objects to the provisions in           
 HB 212, Section 7, which change the primary purpose of the state              
 forests from one of multiple use, where all interests have equal              
 consideration in the planning, to timber production, where logging            
 interests will have primary say in the management of the forest.              
                                                                               
 MS. WARD told committee members the NAEC opposes Section 2 and the            
 last sentence of Section 9 of HB 212 which eliminate an important             
 requirement that the state use the best available data to evaluate            
 the cumulative effects of forestry activity on both trees and non-            
 timber resources.  These sections prevent concerns over impacts to            
 salmon habitat from being addressed without complete scientific               
 analysis.  She stressed without adequate funding for the Habitat              
 Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), and               
 time to complete the research, this information will not be                   
 available.  She said it seems the legislature is unwilling to                 
 ensure that this necessary funding is available.                              
                                                                               
 Number 190                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. WARD stated NAEC's greatest concerns are contained in Sections            
 4 and 5 which expand the DNR's ability to offer timber sales of any           
 size without the requirement the sale be listed twice in the annual           
 5-year schedule of sales, thus reducing awareness of the sale and             
 limiting public participation in the decision process.  She said if           
 the true intent of HB 212 is to help small logging operations                 
 acquire wood to be used in local high value-added products, the               
 NAEC believes this can be accomplished, without legislation, under            
 the existing statutes with a few minor changes in the regulations.            
 With that in mind, NAEC proposed the Community Woodlot Program at             
 the March 25 meeting in Fairbanks.  The purpose of the proposal is            
 to explore alternatives to the present system of timber sales in              
 the Tanana Valley State Forest.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 217                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. WARD said HB 261 makes sweeping changes to Titles 38 and 41.              
 The NAEC strongly opposes HB 261.  NAEC objects to the language in            
 Section 1 which mandates consumptive use.  She stressed non-                  
 consumptive uses are equally important to the economy and character           
 of the state of Alaska.  She said language in this section, which             
 limits public review and comment on timber sales, is unacceptable.            
                                                                               
 MS. WARD stated Section 6 of HB 261 adds new language to Title 41             
 which essentially requires the DNR to privatize the management of             
 state land.  She pointed out state land belongs to each and every             
 individual in the state, and turning over the management to a few             
 individuals, with a profit motive in mind, is not sound,                      
 sustainable resource management.  She noted subsistence, sport                
 hunters, and fishermen all depend on and appreciate public lands.             
                                                                               
 MS. WARD said NAEC strongly opposes Section 7 which changes the               
 purpose of the state forests from one of multiple use to timber               
 management.  She stated Sections 8, 9, and 10, when taken as a                
 package, set state land management back to the dark ages.  These              
 sections gut any public involvement in forest planning and turn the           
 state forests over to a few, who would remove all of the trees for            
 profit with little or no return to the people of Alaska.  She noted           
 tourism and fishing are economically more important to the state              
 and also mentioned their importance to the quality of life to the             
 people in the state.  She stressed to remove any protection                   
 provided to these other values in the planning process is nothing             
 short of foolish.                                                             
                                                                               
 MS. WARD suggested the committee ask the DNR and the ADF&G to                 
 prepare fiscal notes to reflect the costs of HB 212 and HB 261.               
 She said the amendments proposed on HB 212 by the DNR in the House            
 State Affairs Committee should be carefully considered.  She noted            
 at the present time, there is broad opposition to large-scale                 
 logging operations in the state's forests, including commercial and           
 subsistence fishers, small logging operators, Native interests,               
 local residents, and conservation groups.  She stated it is                   
 important to remember that both Titles 38 and 41 were products of             
 a long-term consensus process, and to gut those statutes with                 
 special interest legislation is unacceptable to the people of                 
 Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MS. WARD said NAEC believes the answer to any problems with the               
 management of the state forest land does not lie in special                   
 interest legislation but in broad-based community planning efforts.           
 NAEC urges the committee to take a close look at the particulars of           
 the forest debate, support an expanded planning process with                  
 meaningful public involvement, and oppose special interest timber             
 legislation.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 295                                                                    
                                                                               
 ED DAVIS, BOARD MEMBER, ALASKA WILDERNESS RECREATION AND TOURISM              
 ASSOCIATION (AWRTA), testified via teleconference and stated the              
 House Resources Committee should take a step back and use fresh               
 eyes to re-evaluate the assumptions on which HB 212 and HB 261 are            
 based.  He said both bills view the timber industry as the only               
 public forest user with the ability to expand Alaska's economy and            
 create economic opportunity.  He stressed the reality is the timber           
 industry is neither the only or the largest forest dependent                  
 industry in Alaska.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS said Alaska's tourism industry is larger than the forest            
 products industry in terms of jobs created (15,200 jobs versus                
 3,185 jobs), industry payroll ($275 million versus $140 million),             
 and economic value ($600 million in-state visitor spending and $900           
 million spent on travel to, from, and within Alaska versus $565               
 million in sales of forest product exports).  He noted these                  
 statistics are from the Department of Commerce and Economic                   
 Development.  He added that the sport/commercial salmon fishing               
 industry also creates a forest dependent industry which                       
 collectively is larger than timber.                                           
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS commented on whether or not the 1990 amendments to the              
 FPA was a consensus act.  He said in some respects, Interior                  
 Alaska's forest products industry had a more influential role over            
 the final language than did the original consensus team.  He                  
 pointed out Senator Bettye Fahrenkamp presented the amendments                
 which weakened the riparian zone requirements for forests north of            
 the Alaska Range.  He noted he quizzed the DNR in regard to what              
 they remembered about the situation and they said the amendments              
 came from a very prominent member of the Interior logging community           
 who now works for the Tanana Chiefs.  He felt that person did a               
 poor job of representing the small Interior loggers.                          
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS said HB 212 and HB 261 propose to unilaterally repeal the           
 consensus agreement which provides a statutory balance between                
 competing users of Alaska's public forests.  Given the fact that              
 the small timber operators were not represented, AWRTA does support           
 reconvening a consensus type of agreement if any of the provisions            
 are going to be rewritten.                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS stated given Representative Vezey's record as a                     
 trickster, he was shocked when Representative Vezey failed to                 
 inform the press that HB 261 was this year's April Fool's joke.  He           
 thought perhaps Representative Vezey was setting everyone up for              
 next year when timber issues will start heating up and come April,            
 Representative Vezey plans to inform everyone that they are                   
 suckers.  He will scold the environmentalists and tell the timber             
 industry they cannot have their cake and eat it too.  He said if              
 all goes as planned, the comic relief will provide political cover            
 so the other timber bills slip through.  He thought Representative            
 Vezey probably hopes nobody will notice that the fox is still                 
 guarding the henhouse, even though HB 261 is dead.                            
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS said since HB 261 may not be a joke, it needs to be                 
 recognized as a misguided attempt to give the timber industry                 
 exclusive access to Alaska's public forests.  The bill prohibits              
 managing forests to sustain nonconsumptive forest industries such             
 as tourism and fishing, even though these industries are larger               
 than the timber industry, they provide Alaska with a more diverse             
 and sustainable economic base, they are as forest dependent as the            
 timber industry, they have equal rights for equal access to                   
 Alaska's public forests, and they would be seriously hurt by HB               
 261.                                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 379                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS stated only two provisions in HB 212 open major                     
 roadblocks that inhibit small state timber sales for local timber             
 operators, i.e. exempting ten acre sales from the Forest Land Use             
 Plans and the five year plan.  AWRTA concurs that the lack of small           
 state timber sales is a problem and that solutions should be on the           
 table for serious discussion and implementation.  He pointed out              
 that most of the other major provisions in HB 212 are unnecessary             
 for expanding small timber sales.  Rather, they weaken the public             
 planning process and multiple use criteria on which tourism                   
 depends.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS said HB 212 guts the statutory criteria granting all                
 state forest users equal access.  He stated HB 212 requires                   
 expensive scientific studies to protect state forests when logging            
 is incompatible with tourism.  He felt that was inappropriate, and            
 places the burden of proof on the wrong forest users.  He pointed             
 out scientific studies cannot identify conflicts between clear                
 cutting and tourism.  Logging generates commercial rather than                
 biological/scientific conflicts with tourism.  Scientific studies             
 cannot identify conflicts between clear cutting and recreation.               
 Logging generates aesthetic rather than biological/scientific                 
 conflicts with recreational forest users.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. DAVIS stated if any group is to be assigned the burden of proof           
 regarding land use compatibility, it should be the consumptive                
 forest users, i.e. the timber industry.  He said clear cutting                
 consumes forest resources and irreversibly displaces nonconsumptive           
 forest users, i.e. tourism, for several generations.  By contrast,            
 multiple use can be abandoned at any time in forests managed for              
 tourism, recreation, and habitat to allow logging.                            
                                                                               
 Number 404                                                                    
                                                                               
 BIRCH PAVELSKY, REPRESENTATIVE, ALASKA BOREAL FOREST COUNCIL                  
 (ABFC), testified via teleconference and stated he is a log house             
 builder and carpenter and has made his living in those trades in              
 Alaska since 1971.  He said ABFC opposes HB 212 and HB 261.                   
                                                                               
 MR. PAVELSKY stated in regard to HB 212, pages 1 and 2, lines 13-2,           
 this deletion closes the eyes of forest management to the damage              
 one forest use may do to the others.  Monitoring of forest use                
 cannot be discarded without risking the loss of biological                    
 diversity and the diversity of forest uses.  He urged the committee           
 to reinstate that deletion.  He said regarding page 2, lines 13-16,           
 there is no proof that commercial timber harvest or related                   
 activities, whatever they may be, maintain or enhance wildlife                
 habitat.  ABFC asks that these lines be deleted.                              
                                                                               
 MR. PAVELSKY noted in regard to HB 212, page 3, lines 3-8, ABFC               
 dislikes the erosion of the economic and environmental analysis.              
 The local loggers he buys logs and lumber from need to know the               
 DNR's long term plans, and the public needs information on which to           
 base its comments on those plans.  ABFC wants those lines to be               
 kept in the statute.  He said in regard to page 4, lines 9-12, the            
 assumption in these lines is the state will gain increased benefits           
 if timber production is emphasized over the many other uses of the            
 forest.  He pointed out that has not been shown in the state or               
 elsewhere.  He observed perhaps a neutral cost benefit analysis               
 would support the assumption, perhaps not.  In the meantime, he               
 encouraged the equal use forest be kept.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. PAVELSKY said HB 212, page 5, line 15, is a killing blow to the           
 principle of multiple use forestry.  He stated AS 38.05.112(d) is             
 there to promote and protect all forest uses, and ABFC wants it               
 retained.  He stressed HB 212 needs a great deal of work as it is             
 based on assumptions, not facts.                                              
                                                                               
 MR. PAVELSKY stated in regard to HB 261, page 1, line 5 to page 2,            
 line 1, this version places too much power in the office of the               
 commissioner and assumes that human consumption is a priority and             
 will most highly benefit the state.  He said that is not proven for           
 the current generation and puts at great risk the needs and desires           
 of future generations.  He pointed out that AS 41.17.060 of the FPA           
 reads, "...forest land shall be administered for the multiple use             
 of the renewable and nonrenewable resources...in the manner that              
 best provides for the present needs and preserves the future                  
 options of the people of the state."  He stressed this paragraph of           
 HB 261 gives nonconsumptive uses, like tourism and recreation, a              
 back seat and effectively subsidizes consumptive industries.  He              
 thought it may well be foreclosing on the opportunities and                   
 benefits of nonconsumptive industries and uses.                               
                                                                               
 MR. PAVELSKY said in regard to HB 261, pages 3 and 4, lines 29-1,             
 the call for sealed bids again takes power away from the public and           
 puts it in the commissioner's hands.  He pointed out that public              
 oversight is healthy and essential to community forestry.  Sealed             
 bidding attracts large corporations.  He asked why has this course            
 of action been chosen?  Where have sealed bids been shown                     
 preferable to supporting smaller, local operators?  What research             
 is there proving that sealed bids will benefit the state?  Seeing             
 none, the ABFC requests those lines be deleted.                               
                                                                               
 MR. PAVELSKY stated HB 261, page 4, Section 7, seems to call for a            
 more general, less detailed management plan.  ABFC believes the               
 original language and intent should be retained.  The proposed                
 language calling for timber production as the highest and best use            
 of a management plan wounds the multiple use principle of the FPA             
 and should be removed.  He said pages 4 and 5, lines 31-1, asserts            
 that commercial timber harvest and "related activities" maintain              
 and enhance wildlife habitat.  He noted that has not been proven              
 and in fact, the opposite may be true.  He urged committee members            
 to delete those lines.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. PAVELSKY said in regard to HB 261, page 5, Section 10, ABFC               
 hopes the sections mentioned will be retained until good reason for           
 their repeal comes forth.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 466                                                                    
                                                                               
 DOUG BOWERS, FAIRBANKS, testified via teleconference and stated he            
 is a commercial/subsistence fisherman who lives four miles down               
 river from Nenana.  He said his family also operates a modest lodge           
 operation at Tolovana, guiding fishing clients in the summer and              
 dogsled trips in the winter.  He stressed his family's entire                 
 existence is provided by the Tanana River basin and the surrounding           
 country.  His family depends heavily on the subsistence resources             
 of the Tanana Valley.                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS stated the chum runs of the Yukon/Tanana River drainages           
 have been declining for the past 15 years.  The fishermen of those            
 rivers, particularly the Tanana, have voluntarily given up fishing            
 time in an effort to build the stocks.  He said the damage to fish            
 runs in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and south coastal               
 Alaska is well documented.  There is a lot of information published           
 on the effects of clear cutting on salmon streams in other areas              
 but nothing on the rivers in the Interior of Alaska.  He stressed             
 the forest practices of the Tongass National Forest are not                   
 sufficient to protect the Southeast Alaska salmon habitat.  That              
 was stated in a U.S. Forest Service report presented to Congress.             
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS pointed out the Tanana and upper Yukon rivers systems              
 are the spawning grounds for the salmon stocks for all of Western             
 Alaska.  Some stocks are close to being endangered, particularly in           
 the Toklat River.  He asked if the state can afford any damage to             
 the spawning and rearing habitat of the stocks already in trouble.            
 He said the Tanana/Yukon River system supports 1,500 fishermen--              
 multiply that times 3.8 (multiplier for wife and kids) and you come           
 up with 5,700 people directly connected to fishing from the border            
 to the coast.  He noted that figure does not include processors,              
 waitresses in the cafe, the guy who sells boats, outboard motors              
 and gasoline, etc.  He asked the committee if they want to be                 
 responsible for an impact on a group of people extending all the              
 way to the mouth of the Yukon.  He stated it says in the management           
 plan to have public input to the forest plans "proximate to the               
 sale area."  He wondered about the neighbors down river from the              
 sale area.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS stated the stands of forests shade the winter snowpack             
 and allows for a controlled run-off in the spring, as well as an              
 absorptive cushion for heavy rainfall in the summer.  He asked what           
 will become of homes, businesses, and the fish runs as they are               
 washed down river by uncontrolled run-off?  Will the logging                  
 companies be responsible for those costs?  He noted a friend of his           
 lives in coastal Washington near the Nooksack River.  In years                
 past, the Nooksack flowed at a steady rate year round.  He said               
 with clear cut logging going on near the headwaters, the river                
 floods with every rainfall and the salmon that previously came                
 there to spawn are there no more.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS said 90 percent of the food chain of the river system              
 occurs within a couple of hundred feet of the river, as well as               
 controlling the water temperature for emerging fish hatchlings.  He           
 noted the head forester from the Tanana Chiefs, Chris Maisch, told            
 him in a personal conversation that buffer strips mean nothing                
 along the river corridors because the river will take it anyway.              
 Mr. Maisch said they have tried leaving buffer strips and it seems            
 to make no difference.  He asked how long have they tried this.               
 Over what periods of time?  He stated they have only been                     
 documenting these effects along the river and not in the spawning             
 areas for a short time and on a very small scale.  He wondered what           
 effect it will have on everyone else two, five, and ten years from            
 now.                                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS asked with all the new roads and previously unaccessed             
 lands which HB 212 and HB 261 would provide for, who will pay for             
 fish and game protection to patrol the increased hunting and                  
 fishing pressure on lands that have been traditionally hunted by a            
 few local residents.  He wondered what pressure will be brought to            
 bear on indigenous wildlife and fish stocks.  He said there are               
 examples of these effects just outside Fairbanks which are well               
 documented.  The ADF&G's Division of Habitat will be required to              
 look at the long term effects of logging on the habitat at a time             
 when their budget is being cut to the bone.  He pointed out it is             
 not something that can be summarized in one report, one time.  It             
 will take years of monitoring to do a proper evaluation.                      
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS said he has been told that a chipping plant requires               
 green logs for operation year round.  He wondered if the Department           
 of Transportation will be asked to upgrade logging roads to year              
 round access.  He was also told that it takes 500 to 600 truckloads           
 per day to supply one of these plants.  He urged committee members            
 to remember the pipeline.  At the peak of construction, there were            
 350 trucks a day leaving for the Slope and there was a lot of road            
 damage.  He asked who will pay these subsidies to the timber                  
 industry.  He stated the Department of Environmental Conservation             
 will be required to monitor the water run-off, Clean Water Act, and           
 other environmental concerns.  He questioned if the timber                    
 companies will be subsidizing that cost.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS told committee members the highly skilled loggers of               
 today will come from other parts of the country.  Local residents             
 will be competing for unskilled labor in chipboard and plywood                
 plants.  He said the self-esteem of people that once provided for             
 themselves will be reduced dramatically, requiring increased social           
 services which are already stretched to the limit.  He asked if the           
 timber companies will pick up that tab.  He wondered if the local             
 Native corporations want to compete with outsiders for jobs and               
 resources.  He also wondered if the state wants to sell its natural           
 resources for less than market value.                                         
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS asked if the logging corporations will be required to be           
 bonded.  He hoped so.  He said even used car salesmen and fish                
 processors in Alaska are required to be significantly bonded.  His            
 dad always told him that when a man speaks of his honor, make him             
 pay cash.  He stated bonding is a good business practice and if               
 companies are serious and sincere about doing business in Alaska              
 with Alaskan resources, then a bond will not be a deterrent to                
 their operation.                                                              
                                                                               
 MR. BOWERS felt with HB 212 and HB 261, the legislature is setting            
 itself up for more subsidized industry.  He encouraged committee              
 members to remember Delta Barley, Point McKenzie, and the Valdez              
 Grain Terminal.  He wondered how many times it takes for the                  
 legislature to realize that private industry will invest when the             
 time is right.  He told committee members to keep in mind that                
 private industry needs to play by the state's rules, and they will,           
 if they want to play in the state's game.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 556                                                                    
                                                                               
 SARA HANNAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY (AEL),            
 stated AEL opposes passage of HB 212 and HB 261.  She said the                
 Alaska Constitution provides for a sustained yield provision.  She            
 believed the legal and judicial reviews have interpreted that the             
 state's multiple use definitions for public lands help balance the            
 sustained yield mandate the Alaska Constitution requires.  She                
 pointed out when definitions in the Constitution are adjusted                 
 through statute, and judicial review accepts those definitions for            
 multiple use, there is a ripple effect.  If multiple use is                   
 changed, many laws and users are affected.  Unless there is an                
 understanding of the long range implications of those ripple                  
 effects, the legislature is not doing its job.                                
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN stated HB 212 and HB 261 are cumbersome bills.  They are           
 complex, and unless all the specific citations are known point by             
 point, it is difficult to determine what is going on.  She said in            
 1979, the state of Alaska adopted its first FPA.  By the mid-1980s,           
 it was clear the 1979 FPA had vastly underserved the citizens of              
 Alaska.  She noted there had been a huge boom in the timber                   
 industry.  A lot of private land, mostly held by Native                       
 corporations in Southeast Alaska, had suddenly increased in value             
 and outside interests, as well as the owners of that land, used it            
 to its fullest economic value.  She pointed out at that time, the             
 state had no rights and no laws to require riparian protection.               
 Therefore, the standard practice was bank to bank clear cuts.                 
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN said by the mid 1980s it was clear that the fishing                
 industry in Southeast Alaska was being dramatically impacted by               
 timber harvest practices.  She stated when Governor Cowper, who was           
 from Fairbanks and was elected as a Democrat even though he would             
 never say he was an environmentalist and the environmentalists                
 would claim him, said there was a need to look at the state's FPA             
 and put some time, energy and good minds behind it to resolve the             
 concerns about riparian protections, private land use and                     
 development.  She pointed out from the mid-1980s until 1991,                  
 Senator Bettye Fahrenkamp chaired the Senate Resources Committee.             
 Every piece of the FPA had to go through the Senate Resources                 
 Committee.  She stressed Senator Fahrenkamp would turn over in her            
 grave if she heard constituents accusing her of letting their                 
 concerns be left out of the process.                                          
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN stated the Fairbanks citizens' concerns were helped by             
 the leadership of the legislature and the Governor at that time.              
 She stressed Fairbanks was not left out of the discussion, although           
 they may not have had a specific representative on the FPA steering           
 committee which was made up of 13 delegates.  She said that                   
 committee worked with extensive community group input.  They had              
 hearings in every community affected by forest products, they had             
 hundreds of people serving on advisory committees, and their work             
 and work product was entailed.                                                
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN pointed out no one ruled the process.  Everyone agreed             
 over the five month push that an extensive compromise would be                
 reached.  The members of the steering committee took what they                
 considered the consensus agreement and stood by that agreement in             
 total.  She noted there were many pieces the committee did not                
 reach consensus on and the FPA did not proceed with.  She stressed            
 the FPA passed in 1990 as a result of an extensive consensus                  
 process and the agreement was if a plank was pulled out, the boat             
 sank, and there was a need to go back and look at it.                         
                                                                               
 Number 618                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN said the concerns from the legislators from the                    
 Fairbanks area are being wrapped together with a major rewrite of             
 a statewide piece of legislation.  She stated the FPA does not just           
 affect how the two state forests in Alaska are managed.  Rather,              
 the FPA affects how every acre of state forest land is managed.               
 She pointed out on the map, that all of the areas in blue are state           
 lands.  The majority of those state lands are forested.  Within the           
 blue area, there are two small areas which are state forests--the             
 Tanana Valley State Forest and the Haines State Forest.  She                  
 pointed out the majority of the Division of Forestry's sales are              
 not in the state forests but are on state forested lands.                     
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN stated in order for the committee to adequately discuss            
 the concerns coming from legislators from Fairbanks and HB 212 and            
 HB 261, there is a need to separate those two.  She pointed out how           
 state forested lands and what is done with the two state forests              
 are different issues.  The state forested lands are there to                  
 provide for a multiple use directive of many economies.  The                  
 state's fishing, tourism, mining, dog mushing, etc., economies are            
 dependent on the state's forests.  The AEL and most environmental             
 groups across the state are not opposed to timber harvesting.  The            
 AEL wants healthy resources and wants them there for a long time.             
 She said those are assured by adequate public input.                          
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN told committee members the Tanana Valley State Forest              
 and the Haines State Forest were in the backyards of communities              
 that said above and beyond what the state requires for public                 
 access notice and development, they were concerned about what was             
 happening in their intensely used backyard.  The Tanana Valley                
 State Forest is an area which has heavy use, easy access and year             
 round tourism.  If adequate public input is not provided for all of           
 the users of the Tanana Valley State Forest, a disservice is being            
 done to the future economic growth of the state.                              
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN said the problems small loggers in Fairbanks are finding           
 are real.  They do not get sales which adequately fit the kind of             
 thing they would like.  She noted the Division of Forestry spends             
 the same amount of staff time to lay out a ten acre sale, a one               
 hundred acre sale, a one million acre sale, or a ten million acre             
 sale.  Each sale takes the same kind of procedural review.  She               
 pointed out it does not say in the FPA, and there is nothing in               
 statute that restricts the Division of Forestry from putting out              
 smaller sales.  However, the economies of scale have been that                
 there is a need to do big sales because those are the ones which              
 are the most responded to and have the highest profit margin.                 
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN stated if the legislature is interested in supporting              
 Alaskan small scale development, there is a need to give the money            
 to the Division of Forestry and provide intent language which tells           
 them the desire to encourage small scale sales.  She stressed there           
 is no need to rewrite the FPA and there is no need to tie up the              
 industry with a multiple year, litigated rewrite and entanglement             
 which HB 212 and HB 261 would result in.  If the intent is to look            
 at the forest products industry as a long range economic tool for             
 the growth of Alaska, there needs to be a good inventory of the               
 state forests.  Every time the state wants to sell trees, there is            
 a need to determine what kind of trees there are and what they are            
 worth.                                                                        
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN told committee members they would not dream of selling             
 a piece of land without appraising it, without looking at the                 
 reason why someone is so anxious to buy it, and without knowing               
 what is under the ground.  She said if there is not an adequate               
 state forest inventory and good science about how that forest                 
 ecosystem affects the anadromous fish and the other economies                 
 dependent on it, the right asking price cannot be received.  She              
 stated that is all the citizens opposing HB 212 and HB 261 are                
 asking for.  She urged committee members to keep the current review           
 in place and give the public a say in how trees are managed, which            
 is not to say something can be done to encourage a diversified                
 forest products industry in the Interior.  She noted it is not                
 going to happen overnight and it is not going to happen with a                
 statutorily mandated directive.  It has to happen with citizen                
 involvement.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN said most of the people heard from are from Fairbanks.             
 The community of Fairbanks is very concerned about their ecosystem            
 and the Tanana Valley State Forest.  She stated a disservice to               
 many other areas of Alaska will occur by rewriting the state's                
 forest laws because the citizens of Fairbanks have some concerns.             
 She noted she is not dismissing their concerns but contends that              
 the Division of Forestry needs some direction and leadership to               
 bridge the ill feelings the people in Fairbanks have and go                   
 forward.  She felt interim work will lead to that and the meeting             
 held on March 25 is the first step in a slow, and steady walk                 
 forward to make sure that the twenty-first century is not a boom              
 and bust economy.                                                             
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN told committee members if the state is going to sell               
 trees because they have a good price, that is a shortsighted                  
 decision which has a profit for the state.  If there is a desire to           
 make a profit for three generations from the forest products                  
 industry, there is a need to make sure that good science is in                
 place and the right price is being asked.                                     
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-57, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 DICK HOFMANN, PRESIDENT, ALASKA TROLLERS ASSOCIATION (ATA),                   
 expressed opposition to HB 212 and HB 261.  He said trollers are              
 allowed to fish within the area confined by the Canadian border and           
 Cape Suckling, which is all of Southeast Alaska.  The FPA is very             
 important to fishermen because it protects the rearing areas for              
 future stocks.  The stocks are a replenishable and reusable                   
 resource on a three to five year basis.  Timber harvests are 60 to            
 100 years.  He stated the fish return is much more regular and                
 there is a desire to see that protected.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. HOFMANN said fishing has always been an important part of the             
 Alaskan economy and should be in the future if the health of the              
 stocks can be maintained.  He stated the FPA was a result of long             
 and intense negotiations by the logging, fishing, and environmental           
 industries as well as others.  He noted perhaps there was an                  
 oversight, as stated earlier, by those in support of HB 212 and HB            
 261 in that the Interior was not adequately represented.                      
                                                                               
 MR. HOFMANN stated ATA's major concerns with HB 212 and HB 261 is             
 the exclusion of riparian protection.  Both bills specifically                
 exclude any consideration of the damage which might occur through             
 harvesting practices and the resulting damage to the fishing                  
 industry.  Both bills place a tremendous amount of discretionary              
 power within the hands of the DNR commissioner.  He said ATA does             
 not see where the DNR in the past has taken the concerns of the               
 fishing industry to heart.  The DNR has been more interested in               
 pleasing the timber industry and making sure they can cut their               
 trees, even if it is to the detriment of the fishing industry.                
                                                                               
 MR. HOFMANN noted there has been a lot of talk by those in support            
 of the bills about the jobs HB 261 and HB 212 would create.  He               
 said he supports more jobs and would like to see the value-added              
 processing occur within the state.  However, he wondered if it was            
 right to trade jobs for jobs.  If HB 212 and HB 261 are passed,               
 they will lead to the end of the fishing industry.  He recalled an            
 earlier testifier said there are 13 businesses trying to get access           
 to timber cuts in Fairbanks.  He pointed out there are 2,500 troll            
 permit holders in Southeast Alaska and that figure does not include           
 the gillnetters, the seiners, and other users of the resource.                
                                                                               
 MR. HOFMANN stated he has been fishing for approximately 18 years             
 and most of his time has been spent in the Icy Straights area.  He            
 noted when he first began, the area was complete wilderness.  Now             
 the eastern half of the straights are clear cut on both the north             
 and south sides.  Last week, he was in Hoonah and there was a ship            
 there loading logs which had been cut on the northern side of Icy             
 Straights, and barged across six miles.  He said the ships come in            
 and load logs up throughout the day.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 093                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HOFMANN said there are concerns being voiced by people in the             
 Interior in the timber industry who say they want a long term                 
 commitment.  He stated he can understand that desire as he would              
 like to have that commitment as a fisherman.  However, it says on             
 his permit that there is no guarantee he will fish in any given               
 year.  If there is a season, he will be allowed to fish.                      
 Currently, there is a serious possibility that in the next few                
 years he will not be allowed to fish, not because of problems with            
 the fish stocks in the state but because of the problems which have           
 occurred in the Lower 48 where timber practices, such as what would           
 be enacted by HB 212 and HB 261, have occurred to the detriment of            
 those fish stocks.                                                            
                                                                               
 MR. HOFMANN stated Representative James had some good comments when           
 she talked about the intent of HB 212.  He felt Alaska needs to               
 process its resources and the small businesses are where it is at             
 for the country's economy.  There is a need for small businesses              
 and those small businesses have to have access.  However, he urged            
 committee members to not eliminate his small business in favor of             
 someone else's small business.                                                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted the testimony heard was by invitation              
 only.  He said 45 minutes were allotted for those in support of HB            
 212 and HB 261 and 45 minutes for those in opposition to the two              
 bills.  He stated the issues will be worked on during the interim             
 and a committee meeting will be held, possibly in Fairbanks in the            
 latter part of September, probably using the invitation only format           
 again.  He added a full public hearing will be held some time next            
 year.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 150                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA expressed appreciation for the                  
 meeting and the format used.  She said there are many questions               
 unanswered.  She stated having time to work on the two bills is               
 helpful as it will give her time to share the bills with her                  
 constituents and get input on changes needed.                                 
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted for the record that teleconference sites           
 included Anchorage, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Nenana             
 Ketchikan, Seward, Cordova, Homer, Mat-Su, Kenai/Soldotna, Tok,               
 Tanana, and Valdez.                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects