Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/17/1996 08:17 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 212 - TIMBER MANAGEMENT; STATE LAND                                      
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said HB 212 has been the subject of three                
 previous hearings and extensive discussions with the Administration           
 and affected groups.  He said the proposed committee substitute               
 represents a great deal of work with adjustments made to                      
 accommodate the various concerns raised by different forest users.            
 He said he believed that the committee was close to complete                  
 agreement on the contents of the bill and for that reason it was              
 his intention to move the bill from committee.                                
                                                                               
 Number 180                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said he would entertain a motion to adopt CS             
 for HB 212, Version "M", dated January 4, 1996, as the working                
 document.  CO-CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN offered the motion.  CO-CHAIRMAN             
 WILLIAMS asked if there was discussion.  There being none, it was             
 so ordered.  He asked committee staff to come to the table and                
 explain the changes in the draft from version "K" which the                   
 committee had adopted in December.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 250                                                                    
                                                                               
 JACK PHELPS, Legislative Assistant to Representative Williams, said           
 the committee substitute draft represented a tremendous amount of             
 discussion and agreement with the Administration and the other                
 affected groups.  He said the difference between version "M" and              
 version "K" was a change in Section 8 and Section 11 requested by             
 the Administration.                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS said the concern with Section 8 was with what was                  
 previously paragraph one; the language read that the commissioner             
 would allow for the fullest practicable access to and use and                 
 consumption of the natural resources.  The concern raised by the              
 Administration, essentially, was that it was seen by some as being            
 a "carte blanche" road building grant.  That section has been                 
 rewritten to alleviate that concern.  The section now in version              
 "M" says that in managing the state forest, the commissioner shall,           
 consistent with the primary purpose -- now that primary purpose is            
 set forth in the previous section, Section 7, which is multiple use           
 providing for timber production.  Consistent with that purpose, the           
 commissioner shall restrict the public use of the land only when              
 necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, AS 41.  It               
 basically says that the commissioner can not restrict use of the              
 land to any of the users unless he deems it necessary to do so to             
 carry out his statutory requirements and the purpose of the state             
 forest.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS said the second change was Section 11 which sets forth             
 a wildlife management objective for the Tanana Valley State Forest:           
 (The Administration asked us to change the words human consumption            
 to human use.)                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 497                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Phelps if the language change broadens            
 the term to include skins as well as food.  MR. PHELPS said that              
 was his understanding.                                                        
 Number 526                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked Mr. Phelps if he had discussed               
 with the sponsor, and other people, the suggestions that the Board            
 of Forestry had made to the bill.  MR. PHELPS said he did, several            
 times throughout the summer.                                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked Mr. Phelps if the Board of Forestry is            
 comfortable with the changes that were, and were not, made in the             
 development of the bill.  MR. PHELPS said the majority of the                 
 changes recommended by the Board of Forestry paralleled                       
 recommendations made by the Administration.  He said in some cases,           
 changes were adopted that were recommended by the board but the               
 language used came from the Administration.  He recalled that the             
 sole exception was the 160 acre recommendation made by the board.             
 The board recommended that 160 acres be exempted from a second                
 listing in a Five Year Schedule, and instead are listed only once.            
 Whereas the bill basically stayed with the 1990 recommendations of            
 the Forest Practices Act working agreement which exempted 160 acre            
 parcels from all listing.  That was done with a clear understanding           
 from the Department of Natural Resources that under normal and                
 usual circumstances they would continue to list all sales, even               
 those less than 160 acres in the Five Year Schedule. It still                 
 continues to be a useful public, planning document.  MR. PHELPS               
 said his understanding is the department would use the exemption              
 only when it was deemed necessary for the purposes of the bill                
 which is to make sure that small operators are able to continue               
 when timber gets short.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 688                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated the Board of Forestry suggested the              
 bill limit the number of sales an operator could buy in any one               
 calendar year, and they also recommended that one sale per year is            
 adequate.  He said the board's concern is that it would be possible           
 to get around the implied limitations by making several small sales           
 available to one operator.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 710                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS responded that he did not recall that issue being on the           
 one page sheet of specific recommendations submitted by the State             
 Forester.  He said he did remember discussion about it, but also              
 remembered a lot of the discussion that did take place was in the             
 context of HB 344.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 800                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked the Department of Natural Resources                
 representative to address the issue of one operator or company                
 making several 160 acre purchases a year.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 828                                                                    
                                                                               
 JIM McALLISTER, Regional Forester, Coastal Region Office, Division            
 of Forestry, Department of Natural Resources said he could speak              
 only for his region, but did not feel there was any intent to make            
 additional small sales available to one operator.  He also said an            
 operator could buy more than one sale within a year, but there are            
 not that many operators and he cannot imagine how that would come             
 into play.  MR. McALLISTER responded to Chairman Williams that                
 there are no regulations prohibiting that.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 870                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT said he had a copy of the September 18th             
 Board of Forestry recommendations and the concern expressed by                
 Representative Davies is not one of their eight issues to be                  
 addressed.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 948                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANETTE JAMES said one purpose of the legislation             
 is to ensure that small operators are able to have timber available           
 for their activities and this is also a very small part in the                
 managing of our timber resources.  She said well managed timber               
 harvesting not only helps create and support jobs and a healthy               
 economy, it also creates and supports healthy forests.  The other             
 thing the bill spells out is that with managing our forests for               
 multiple use, multiple use means that there is timber for everybody           
 for their specific uses.  The main goal is that there is timber for           
 every multiple use out there if it is needed so that all people are           
 treated equally and fairly.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1078                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN stated there have been many changes to              
 the bill and asked Representative James if she was satisfied that             
 the bill still had the same objective of providing timber to small            
 utilizers of the resource.  Representative James said, yes, she               
 was.  She stated there are many varied interests in the state on              
 this issue and the committee worked hard throughout the interim               
 with the efforts of Mr. Phelps.  But, it will be very difficult to            
 make changes to the bill now without communicating with the groups            
 to see if we still have agreement.  She said the bill is now a very           
 balanced proposal.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1153                                                                   
                                                                               
 KARL OHLS, Lead Resource Development Specialist, Department of                
 Commerce and Economic Development submitted written comments from             
 the Administration on HB 212.  He said his testimony reflects the             
 views of the Governor's Office, the Department of Natural Resources           
 (DNR), and the Department of Fish and Game, as well as the                    
 Department of Commerce.                                                       
                                                                               
 "At your two previous hearings on HB 212, you heard from DNR Deputy           
 Commissioner Marty Rutherford and State Forester Tom Boutin.  They            
 had a prior commitment to attend the Governor's meeting with the              
 forest industry this morning and asked me to convey their apologies           
 that they could not be here.  They asked me to thank this committee           
 and the committee staff for all of your good faith efforts in                 
 preparing the committee substitute for HB 212.  The entire process            
 has been a positive experience and a model for communication                  
 between the legislative and executive branches of government.  We             
 look forward to seeing this process continue.                                 
                                                                               
 "We wish to thank you again for involving the Board of Forestry in            
 the process, for having the panel testimony at the September                  
 hearing, and for inviting the Administration to each hearing.                 
                                                                               
 MR. OHLS stated for the record one issue of concern, Section 2.               
 "In September, we asked that Section 2 be deleted.  The committee             
 didn't do that but, instead, added back in, `forest activities on             
 the timber base and on other uses,' as we had suggested.                      
                                                                               
 "We also said that if Section 2 stayed, the Administration would              
 continue to look at information on the immediate and long-term                
 effects of individual and collective forest activities.  We would             
 still like the committee to keep `immediate and long-term' and                
 `individual and collective' in AS 38.05.112.  This is now our sole            
 disagreement with CSHB 212.  While Section 2 could help in the                
 defense against lawsuits, we believe that people who rely on                  
 thorough public process and evidence of the most comprehensive and            
 far-reaching analysis in resource management need to be able to               
 require that the analysis be long-term and collective.  Also, on              
 this section, we are amenable to the change on lines 12 and 13,               
 where the words, "base a forest land use plan on" are replaced with           
 "consider."                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. OHLS said the Administration is very happy with the changes the           
 committee made on its behalf and that HB 212 is an excellent piece            
 of legislation.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1130                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Mr. Ohls to explain the term                       
 "silviculture" practices.  MR. OHLS said good forest practices,               
 good management of the forest.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1135                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES referred to Section 2.  He recommended on               
 line 15, after the word forest, delete the word "activities" and              
 insert the word "use."  MR. OHLS said work on the bill had been a             
 collective effort in the Administration.  It was the Department of            
 Fish and Game who had the main concern with Section 2, and any                
 change to the legislation would have to be discussed with all the             
 affected agencies.                                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated she felt the language in the bill is              
 sufficient as it is.  She urged the committee not to change the               
 wording now unless the focus needed changing and said if the focus            
 needs changing then we need to go back to all the affected groups.            
                                                                               
 Number 1526                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said he would take teleconference testimony at           
 this time.                                                                    
                                                                               
 ALBERT PAGH, Chairman, Interior Forest Association, testified his             
 group requested this bill to correct the 1990 recommendations of              
 the Forest Practices Act and put back in the primary purpose of the           
 state forest which was taken out at that time.  He said his                   
 research shows that 195 million acres was set aside for "other                
 uses" which the Forest Practices Act has as the primary use: parks,           
 wildlife refuges, et cetera.  Yet, we can not have 1.8 million                
 acres.  Originally, in 1983, the state forest was established to              
 give a timber base for small timber industry in the Interior.  That           
 is the reason this bill was requested.  MR. PAGH said he is not               
 completely happy with HB 212, but it is better than nothing.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1695                                                                   
                                                                               
 CARL PORTMAN, Communications Director, Resource Development Council           
 (RDC), testified that the council's 1996 legislative priorities               
 supports innovative forest management initiatives and a stable                
 timber supply and increased access to Alaska's vast forest.  HB 212           
 accomplishes each of these objectives and streamlines the process             
 for making small timber sales available in a timely manner.  This             
 is an important bill which will help meet the needs of our smaller            
 timber operators and allow the Department of Natural Resources to             
 respond to short term timber supply needs.  It is imperative that             
 a timber base be established to provide for a certain and stable              
 supply.  The committee substitute for HB 212 would help guarantee             
 a stable supply of timber, a necessary element in attracting the              
 investment capital needed to build a healthy forest products                  
 industry and diversify the economy.  A healthy forest products                
 industry will provide for an additional tax base for local                    
 communities and new jobs and wealth for Alaskans.  This bill is               
 good public policy because it simplifies the process for making               
 small timber sales available while retaining environmental                    
 protection and public involvement.  It is a necessary step in                 
 reforming existing state law which hinders the state's ability to             
 meet the needs of the small operators and provide for sustained use           
 of our state forest.  He concluded his testimony stating the                  
 Resource Development Council strongly supports the committee                  
 substitute for HB 212.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1804                                                                   
                                                                               
 CLIFF EAMES, Alaska Center for the Environment, said the Center               
 appreciates the work the committee has put in on this bill and the            
 positive changes that were made, but expressed concern with the               
 present draft.  In Section 2, the Department of Fish & Game and               
 many others believe that perhaps the most important problem with              
 the logging that is occurring on the Kenai Peninsula, for example,            
 is the cumulative affects of the logging on a variety of land                 
 ownerships.  DNR has resisted cumulative affects analysis and we do           
 not want to see anything that would encourage them to continue                
 resist this.  We believe it is very important that Section 2 be               
 deleted.  We support the compromise in Section 4 that was                     
 recommended by the Board of Forestry.  We do believe that listing             
 sales of 160 acres or less once on a Five Year Schedule instead of            
 twice, would be adequate for those sales but we do believe that               
 they need to be listed, at least, that one time if people are going           
 receive adequate notice of what appears to be the majority of the             
 sales in the Interior and a very significant minority of the sales            
 on the Kenai Peninsula.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 1900                                                                   
                                                                               
 JOE YOUNG, Young's Timber, Incorporated, thanked the committee for            
 doing an excellent job of developing a good consensus on the bill.            
 He said even though it is not 100 percent of what he would like, it           
 is a step in the right direction.  He specifically thanked                    
 committee staff, Jack Phelps, for his work on the bill.                       
                                                                               
 Number 1950                                                                   
                                                                               
 TABITHA GREGORY explained she is opening a tourism operation at               
 mile 19 of the Richardson Highway.  She related her business will             
 offer guests an experience that is quiet, remote and cater to                 
 skiers in the Thompson Pass area.  MS. GREGORY said she is                    
 surrounded by healthy forests managed by the state division of                
 forestry and recently learned the division is conducting timber               
 volume surveys ten minutes from her back door.  She said this is              
 the very area where the chalet will offer skiing in the winter and            
 sightseeing in the summertime.  She recommended the deletion of               
 Section 4 and urged that any sale appear on the Five Year Schedule            
 at least one time.  She is concerned with the deletion of the                 
 language in Section 2 "long-term and cumulative effects."                     
                                                                               
 Number 2066                                                                   
                                                                               
 ED DAVIS, board member, Alaska Wilderness, Recreation and Tourism             
 Association, stated the association was an industry trade group of            
 approximately 216 business members.  The tourism industry is                  
 comprised of many businesses which depend upon long-term and                  
 sustained access to Alaska's public forest resources.  The                    
 organization advocates forest management policies that reflect                
 long-term needs of all forest dependent industries including both             
 the timber and tourist industries.  He thanked the committee for              
 their work over the summer on HB 212 and said the current draft               
 reflects thoughtful consideration of many of the problems that we             
 and others identified in earlier drafts of this bill.  He said                
 several problem areas remain in the bill, but wanted to recognize             
 committee efforts in correcting a number of provisions in the                 
 earlier bill which could have hurt many in the tourism industry.              
 He said Section 2 weakens the need to address the long-term and               
 cumulative affects of timber harvest activities in forest land use            
 plan.  He proposed the statute needs to provide a mechanism for               
 basing forest management policy on the cumulative effects of timber           
 harvests since cumulative effects of a timber harvest activity can            
 only be seen by looking at the big picture.   The second problem is           
 in Section 4 which allows a number of timber sales to be exempted             
 from the Five Year Schedule provided each sale is less 160 acres.             
 This is a potential loophole which could lead to severe abuse of              
 the planning process.  He proposed the committee insert language              
 limiting the number of sales between 10 and 160 acres which can be            
 exempted from the Five Year Schedule.  He stated there should be              
 statutes that clearly state that larger sales exempted from the               
 Five Year Schedule are rare exceptions.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 2210                                                                   
                                                                               
 ELIZABETH WEST, Director of Communications, Alaska Forest                     
 Association read her testimony into the record.                               
                                                                               
 The Association represents thousands of Alaskans who work in the              
 state's timber industry, with a $45 million annual payroll and an             
 estimated $140 million economic impact to the state.                          
                                                                               
 The Alaska Forest Association and its members support the passage             
 of HB 212.  This bill will improve the way the state conducts                 
 timber sales and will result in secure jobs, better quality of life           
 for our members and improved economies in our communities.  The               
 bill also satisfies concerns about the intent of the state's Forest           
 Practices Act for those of us who depend upon a health and                    
 sustainable forest industry in Alaska.  It is a necessary first               
 step in much needed reform for sustained use of our state forests.            
                                                                               
 The members of our association have long believed in balanced use             
 of our forests and other natural resources.  By basing land use               
 plans on sound science and current data from all available sources,           
 valid decision may be made for multiple and sustained use.  And               
 over the course of time, as best management practices have changed            
 and improved, our industry has been flexible in its approach to               
 management techniques.  The concept of responsible use of                     
 commercial timber resources while protecting multiple, sustained              
 use management principles is the best way to benefit all areas of             
 public interest.                                                              
                                                                               
 We applaud the philosophy that will allow the fullest practical               
 access to and use of our vast, renewable resources.  We are pleased           
 to see a reversal of the out-dated presumption of harm that was               
 associated with any human access to public land.  We support to the           
 fullest, and in complete confidence, the wording that state land              
 managers have the authority and power to modify access as the need            
 arises.  Commercial timber harvest is not an incompatible use of              
 these resources and should be allowed unless specific, scientific             
 data justifies its restriction.  With this provision, all concerns            
 about personal bias and political agendas are removed from                    
 interfering with utilizing our forest resources to the maximum                
 extent consistent with the public interest.  We are agreeable to              
 the possible exclusion of portions of the forest at the discretion            
 of the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources as a               
 reliable, impartial authority rather than the possible personal or            
 political bias of a non-commissioned officer.                                 
                                                                               
 We support Section 11.  The establishment of clear wildlife                   
 objectives for the Tanana State Forest make sense within the bill.            
 Clearly, timber management with habitat issues and related concerns           
 on the Tanana is a prime example of what this bill is about.                  
 In conclusion, I would like to restate the Alaska Forest                      
 Association's position in support of HB 212.  We appreciate this              
 opportunity to comment and thank the committee for its time.                  
                                                                               
 Number 2331                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted the arrival of Representative Nicholai             
 at 9:00 a.m.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 2345                                                                   
                                                                               
 LARRY SMITH, Kachemak Resources Institute, testified his background           
 is a fire fighter and a sawmiller in the timber industry in Alaska.           
 He said he disagreed with testimony of Mr. Eames and Mr. Pagh.  MR.           
 SMITH felt Mr. Eames is incorrect to think that the Department of             
 Natural Resources will want to do cumulative effects analysis, they           
 do not have the staff or the budget.  He disagreed with Mr. Pagh              
 about the influence of the Interior on the Forest Practices                   
 legislation saying that he had worked on these provisions from 1987           
 until 1993 when the regulations were put into place.  MR. SMITH               
 further felt the bill will only further fuel the export frenzy,               
 from the time it goes into effect and until the resource has been             
 taken and raw logs and chips from Alaska ports are all that                   
 remains. He said this is a direct removal of a decent part of the             
 Alaska economy.                                                               
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-1, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 STEVE GIBSON, sawmiller and logger, testified that the requirement            
 on sales of up to 160 acres appear at least once in the Five Year             
 Schedule is reasonable and protects the public process. He objected           
 to the language "incompatibility" in Section 10, it seems like                
 trying to preload the definition of multiple use.  He said if                 
 timber sales to small operators is the problem we are trying to               
 address here, and as a consumer, it seems that it is the sale                 
 policies and procedures that need to be examined.  We do not need             
 a redefinition of multiple use that puts a severe bias in the                 
 definition of that term or processes that are abbreviated so that             
 public oversight of potential timber sales is minimized.  He talked           
 about instances in Kenai Peninsula of logging from state and                  
 private ground and stated that in several years they will have cut            
 through a significant portion of the timber.  He said right now               
 there are questions of price, there are questions of sale policies            
 and procedures that might be involved if small timber operators are           
 not acquiring timber.  A redefinition of the state forest will not            
 do it.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 110                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS informed Mr. Gibson that the committee was               
 moving Section 10 from Title 38 to Title 41.                                  
 Number 139                                                                    
                                                                               
 WILLIAM DUNNE said as a resident of the Kenai Peninsula, he uses              
 state land for subsistence hunting and fishing and built his home             
 with timber from locally harvested and locally milled spruce.  He             
 said he had a serious concern about deleting the consideration of             
 long-term and cumulative affects on forest based activities.  He              
 recommended the deletion of Section 2.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 189                                                                    
                                                                               
 DAN RITZMAN stated he works for the Northern Alaska Environmental             
 Center and is in Juneau as a volunteer for the Alaska Environmental           
 Lobby.  His concerns are Section 2, page 1, lines 14-15 appears to            
 eliminate an important requirement that the state use the best                
 available data to evaluate the cumulative and long-term effects of            
 forestry activity on both the tree and non-timber resources.  He              
 said cumulative impacts may be the most serious effects of logging            
 activities.  His understanding is due to cumulative impacts on a              
 variety of activities, such as the brown bear season on the Kenai             
 Peninsula being closed,  He suggested that as logging increases in            
 the Interior and other areas of the state, we may see other types             
 of closures due to cumulative impacts.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. RITZMAN recommended the committee retain the language requiring           
 the consideration of "immediate and long-term" effects of                     
 "individual and collective" forest activities.                                
                                                                               
 Section 4, page 3, lines 20-22 eliminates the Five Year Schedule              
 requirement for sales of 160 or less.  This would mean that over 70           
 percent of the sales in the Interior and a fair number of sales on            
 the Kenai would not appear on the schedule.                                   
                                                                               
 MR. RITZMAN said the Five Year Schedule is an incredibly useful               
 tool.  It includes, at the present time, in one document all state            
 sales in the region.  It is nearly impossible to learn about these            
 sales from individual sale announcements buried in the legal                  
 section of the newspaper, and even if one did see all of the                  
 individual announcements one would still not have a good sense of             
 the overall picture for the region.  He recommended the committee             
 adopt the compromise language suggested by the Board of Forestry              
 that sales of less than 160 acres appears in at least one Five Year           
 Schedule.  He recommended that Section 11 be deleted and left to              
 the Boards of Fish and Game to resolve.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 340                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said any resource development depends on the             
 market and markets are changing from day to day, we need to build             
 in an ability to respond to market demands.  She feels that HB 212            
 will help move the market demands from "tied" to "untied."  She               
 urged the committee to move the bill forward.                                 
 Number 428                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said if there are no other comments, he would               
 move HB 212 from committee with individual recommendations with the           
 attached fiscal note.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 447                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected saying he had a number of suggested            
 changes he would like to offer.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 453                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN withdrew his motion.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 457                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES offered amendment one.   Section 2. AS                  
 38.05.112 (b) page 1, line 14, insert a comma after the word                  
 agencies.  He said the reason is that the language we have about              
 "effects" only modifies the information provided by other agencies            
 and does not modify best available data.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 515                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES disagreed with the change.  She said that is             
 a statement --other agencies are going to provide the effects of              
 the forest activities on the timber base and on other resources and           
 uses.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 547                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS said the language that the proposed amendment would                
 modify is in current statute.  MR. PHELPS feels the reason is --the           
 commissioner has to use best available data, and it assumes that              
 data is data collected and maintained and put forward by people in            
 his own agency; and then it goes on to say that data includes                 
 information provided by other agencies with respect to the                    
 immediate and long-term effects of individual and collective                  
 activities on the forest.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 620                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said his amendment would make the language              
 more inclusive rather than exclusive.  He said his point is these             
 effects on the timber base be addressed by the best available data            
 both wherever the commissioner can find it, and specifically,                 
 including that which is provided by other agencies.                           
                                                                               
 Number 696                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS said the existing language does the same thing.                    
 Number 795                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he was trying to focus the use of the              
 definition of what "the best available data means."  He said                  
 without the language change, the whole universal data can apply to            
 anything.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 830                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS said Representative Davies is grammatically correct and            
 the change would narrow the scope of the data that the commissioner           
 has to consider rather than broaden it.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 883                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were objections to the proposed           
 amendment of inserting on page 1, line 14, a comma after the word             
 agencies.  CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said hearing no objections, it was            
 so ordered.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 906                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES offered amendment Number 2.  Section 2 AS               
 38.05.112(b) page 1, line 15, after the words "effects of," insert            
 "each allowed."  After the word "forest" substitute the word "use"            
 for the word "activities."                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 938                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS objected for the purposes of discussion.                 
                                                                               
 Number 940                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he was not trying to change the basic              
 purpose of the section, but offered the amendment in the spirit of            
 compromise language for those people who recommended its deletion.            
                                                                               
 Number 982                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES agreed with Representative Davies, but                   
 expressed frustration with the introduction of new language.  She             
 said the committee had inched along to be absolutely sure that it             
 created a forest where all multiple uses cover the entire forest.             
 She feels the existing language in the bill is sufficient rather              
 than trying to change language to be sure that every little spot in           
 the forest that has a multiple use is considered.  She said there             
 are two schools of thought: one being the whole thing is there for            
 multiple use; and the other is that the whole thing is for                    
 individual multiple uses.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1071                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN asked Representative Davies to                  
 explain the proposed language "each allowed."                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1092                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said without any modification the language in           
 the bill is broad, and unmodified, the word "effects" means all               
 kinds of effects.  He feels the amendment will not change the                 
 purpose of Section 2, it will add back in a modifier for the word             
 "effect."  He said the word "individual" had been in the original             
 language and in place of the word individual, insert "each                    
 allowed."  REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES referred to the requirements in              
 Section 3.  He said those are uses the commissioner has to                    
 consider, and with each of those allowed uses, he needs to consider           
 the effects on the timber base.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1300                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS reminded Representative Davies that this was             
 the committee's third hearing on HB 212.  CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAM                 
 called for a vote on Representative Davies amendment. The amendment           
 failed by a vote of five to two.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1338                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he had a strong concern with language in           
 Section 4, page 3, paragraph (c).  He stated in the Tanana Valley             
 State Forest, 160 acres is not a small amount.  Historically, the             
 largest sale was 235 acres and a typical sale is about 50 - 75                
 acres.  He said one of the problems is productivity varies from               
 region to region and different forests have different productivity            
 in terms of board feet available per acre.  For example, Tanana               
 Valley is relatively high compared to Susitna.                                
                                                                               
 Number 1516                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved to amend Section 4, page 3, line 20,              
 change "160" to "80" acres.  There was an objection.                          
                                                                               
 Number 1565                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said he would like to hear from staff                
 about Representative Davies concern about regionalization.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1570                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS said the original bill did have a board foot limitation            
 rather than acreage, and stated the committee heard immediate feed            
 back from the public and the Department of Natural Resources that             
 acreage limitations are easier for people to conceptualize than               
 board foot limitations.  He referenced the 1990 Forest Practices              
 Act consensus group who produced a book of final recommendations,             
 the "Green Book." On page 43, it says sales under 160 acres should            
 not be required to be listed on the Five Year Schedule. MR. PHELPS            
 said when that agreement was translated into a draft bill and moved           
 through the legislature, that piece was missing. The result of the            
 legislation was that all sales had to go in the schedule, with the            
 exception of this language here, from existing law that says the              
 department by regulation shall exempt small sales.                            
                                                                               
 Number 1752                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS said the committee was assured by the Department of                
 Natural Resources that regardless of what the legislature does with           
 this law, they will continue to put all sales, no matter how small,           
 in the Five Year Schedule and use this exemption only when it is              
 necessary.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1813                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS responded to a question from Representative Austerman              
 concerning forest densities that the Tanana Valley Forest has an              
 average density of about 10,000 board feet per acre and in the Mat-           
 Su it is about 3,000.  He said those are the two extremes.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1880                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said 80 acres for a small mill operator on an           
 annual basis is still a fair amount of timber.  He said a process             
 that allows us to exempt 80 or 90 percent of the sales that occur             
 in the Interior is really looking at small sales.  He asked the               
 point in having the Five Year Schedule, in terms of a policy                  
 document, if the language that we have, at least in the Tanana                
 Valley State Forest, exempts almost all of the sales that have been           
 contemplated so far from that requirement.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2050                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded that the parameters were set for the           
 biggest timber sales, not the smallest.  She said she did not                 
 believe that the majority of timber operators in the Interior are             
 objecting to 160 acres.  What we are hoping to do with this bill is           
 to create a legislation that allows the industry to move forward              
 and to meet market needs.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2209                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN stated he would vote against the                    
 amendment.  He said if 160 acres is not acceptable because of the             
 board foot, maybe we should go back to the board foot description             
 so it can be tailored to the specific area.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 2262                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said item eight on the Board of Forestry list           
 was the issue of sales of 160 acres or less with their suggestion             
 that it should be included on the Five Year Schedule at least one             
 year.  Representative Davies referred to the 1990 amendments and              
 declared the reason the 160 acres did not make it into law is                 
 because of the problems we are discussing now.  Unless there is a             
 regional schedule, it is difficult to handle and that is why they             
 chose to allow the department to handle it through regulations                
 rather than statute.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 2360                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PHELPS responded to Representative Davies that the 160 acre               
 issue did not make it into any of the drafts and was probably not             
 addressed by the legislature itself.  He referred to the discussion           
 about how squeezing down the limitation would affect other parts of           
 the state.  The Kuskokwim is another area where there are small               
 operators and a desire on the part of the Department of Natural               
 Resources to make sure that those people are able to keep working.            
 It is also a less dense forest than the Tanana.  He said he would             
 like to echo Representative James thoughts that in setting an upper           
 limit for this, Representative Davies has raised some definite and            
 valuable points with respect for his forest, but we also have to be           
 sure that it gives the Department of Natural Resources enough                 
 flexibility to deal with the needs in the Mat-Su and the Kuskokwim.           
                                                                               
 Number 2452                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said he would vote against the amendment             
 because the people in the valley would end up loosing out.                    
                                                                               
 Number 2476                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES withdrew his amendment.                                 
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-2, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES offered another amendment to Section 4, page            
 3, line 20 to delete "sales of 160 acres or less" and insert "sales           
 under 500,000 board feet."  He said it really does make a                     
 difference regionally what the productivity of the land is.                   
                                                                               
 Number 154                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said what the committee was trying to achieve            
 with the 160 acre language in Section 4, was to make it easier for            
 the Administration to use it as a management tool.                            
                                                                               
 Number 239                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted that the House Chamber bell was ringing.           
 He said he would like hold off the vote on this amendment until               
 another meeting of the House Resources Committee.                             
                                                                               
 Number 250                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he had a problem with the language in              
 Section 7 regarding primary purpose.  He referred to existing                 
 statute language, "the primary purpose in the establishment of                
 state forests is the perpetuation of personal, commercial and other           
 beneficial uses of resources through multiple use management."  He            
 proposes to amend the statute by adding the language "including the           
 production, utilization, and replenishment of timber resources."              
 He said he hopes to emphasize the timber resource use under the               
 word commercial in the existing purpose.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 386                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he would like committee discussion on              
 the deletion of Section 11 which are already covered in Section 3.            
                                                                               
 Number 409                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DON LONG referred to Section 11, page 5, line 22 and           
 he said he would like the word "production" changed to                        
 "protection."                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 481                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked that any amendments be submitted in                 
 writing prior to the next meeting on HB 212.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 553                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS stated, for the record, that the committee               
 will act on Representatives Davies' and Representative Long's                 
 amendments at the next hearing on HB 212.                                     

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