HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

 

January 23, 2003   Hearing Room D

1:00 PM     Tapes  7 - 8

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Jeff Kropf, Chair

Rep. George Gilman, Vice-Chair

Rep. Elizabeth Terry Beyer

Rep. Dave Hunt

Rep. Donna Nelson

Rep. Patti Smith

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:            Rep. Kelley Wirth, Vice-Chair

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Ray Kelly, Committee Administrator

David Peffley, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES HEARD:                       HB 2200 – Public Hearing and Work Session            

                                                          HB 2195 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 7, A

005

Chair Kropf

Calls meeting to order at 1:11 PM and opens a public hearing on HB 2200. 

HB 2200 – PUBLIC HEARING

028

Charlie Stone

Assistant State Forester Protection Division.  Submits (EXHIBIT A) and provides testimony in support of HB 2200, as it would reform liability for fire fighters.

071

Chair Kropf

Asks if there have been previous problems which are related to this legislation. 

073

Stone

States that this is more an issue of prevention and protection. 

087

Chair Kropf

Recaps that this legislation would bring wildland fire fighters and private non-profit protection agencies under the umbrella of the tort liability act.

092

Stone

Confirms that it would.

097

Chair Kropf

Asks what statute this falls under.

099

Stone

Responds that tort claims liability is ORS number 30.270.

100

Rep. Smith

Asks whether we presently have protection for fire fighters.

101

Stone

Replies that they are, but that it doesn’t extend to the association fire fighters.

108

Chair Kropf

Recaps that willful neglect or disobedience would not exempt the fire fighting associations from liability.

113

Stone

Affirms that Chair Kropf is correct.

121

Ray Wilkinson

Oregon Forest Industries Council (OFIC).  Testifies in support of           HB 2200, which would eliminate unnecessary obstacles to fire fighting.

155

Chair Kropf

Comments that this bill would not impact the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Asks whether the Oregon ESA would be impacted.  

174

Wilkinson

Replies that he doesn’t believe that this would be a problem, but the issue hasn’t been discussed.

196

Chair Kropf

Closes the public hearing on HB 2200, and opens a work session on        HB 2200.

HB 2200 – WORK SESSION

198

Rep. Smith

MOTION:  Moves HB  2200 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

241

 

VOTE:  6-0

EXCUSED:  1 - Wirth

 

Chair Kropf

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

REP. NELSON will lead discussion on the floor.

246

Chair Kropf

Closes the work session on HB 2200 and opens a public hearing on HB 2195. 

HB 2195 – PUBLIC HEARING

272

Ray Kelly

Summarizes HB 2195.

283

Clark Seely

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Testifies and submits (EXHIBIT B) in support of HB 2195 as it provides revenue for ODF and the Oregon State University (OSU) College of Forestry forest research lab. 

372

Rep. Nelson

Asks the witness to walk us through the financial formula.

374

Seely

Responds as to how ODF arrives at their financial figures.

404

Rep. Nelson

Asks what the ending balance was for the past biennium.

406

Seely

States that they had $400,000 in harvest tax revenue which was carried forward to the present biennium.

TAPE 8, A

114

Rep. Nelson

Asks if this money is used entirely by ODF.

120

Seely

Responds that it is used by ODF and OSU

126

Rep. Nelson

Asks if the difference during this biennium will be greater or lesser.

131

Seely

Offers that economists estimate a slight increase in harvest volume.  States expectations for the upcoming biennium. 

166

Chair Kropf

Asks if ODF anticipates the projections to stay the same even if the federal government implements the Clinton management plan.

171

Seely

Refers to (EXHIBIT B) in explaining that the projections have taken the federal government’s action into account.

192

Rep. Nelson

Asks if there’s any hope that we’ll effectively deal with old growth timber.

200

Seely

Replies that the old growth issues generally fall under federal jurisdiction.  Also addresses bureaucratic difficulties in the system.

230

Rep. Hunt

Asks for confirmation regarding the $400,000 figure.

234

Seely

Replies that the figure is from the previous biennium.  Reiterates that ODF expects that number to stay fairly static. 

244

Rep. Hunt

Asks if ODF has a specific target while budgeting and how they arrive at their goals.

247

Seely

Responds to Rep. Hunt’s budgetary concerns.

265

Rep. Hunt

Asks if the value has fluctuated over the years or remained static.

269

Seely

Responds that it has not fluctuated greatly.

279

Rep. Nelson

Asks what the volume of timber was that we lost in the fires last year. 

289

Seely

Responds that he really doesn’t really know, but will respond back to the committee with some broad figures.

295

Chair Kropf

Asks how much money we lost in the last biennium regarding to the amount of timber lost. 

324

Seely

States that he will find those figures, although they will be fairly rough.

333

Rep. Nelson

Asks what kind of budgetary increase we will need to effectively fight fires for the upcoming biennium.

342

Seely

States belief that we’re at a level of protection less than they have had in past years with present reductions and will ask for a general fund increase of perhaps $2,000,000.

372

Rep. Nelson

Asks again what the total required will be.

374

Seely

Replies that they will be asking for $16,000,000 for the fire protection program. 

384

Chair Kropf

States that the extensive loses in recent fires is a good argument for keeping the level of funding high.

TAPE 7, B

008

Rep. Nelson

Asks if we have any uncollectables from land owners.

010

Seely

States that the forest patrol assessments are collected along with their property taxes.

023

Ray Wilkinson

Testifies in support of HB 2195-a perennial bill which comes up every biennium.

059

Rep. Nelson

Asks if this figure is high relative to the past.

062

Wilkinson

Responds that it is a little high, but that it’s been high in the past.  Gives recent overview.

071

Chair Kropf

Closes the public hearing and adjourns meeting. 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 2200, written testimony, Charlie Stone, 2 pp.

B – HB 2195, written testimony, Clark Seely, 4 pp.