Legislature(1995 - 1996)
01/17/1996 08:17 AM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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.