HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

April 11, 2005 Hearing Room SISTERS, OR

1:00 P.M. Tapes  43 - 46

Corrected 9/27/2005)

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Patti Smith, Chair

Rep. Brian Boquist, Vice-Chair

Rep. Arnie Roblan, Vice-Chair

Rep. Terry Beyer

Rep. Chuck Burley

Rep. Mark Hass

Rep. Mac Sumner

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Patrick Brennan, Committee Administrator

Jania Zeeb, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

2005 Climate Outlook – Informational Meeting

HB 2729 – Public Hearing and Work Session

HB 2929 – 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 43, A

004

Chair P. Smith

Calls the meeting to order at 1:01 p.m.

009

 

Committee members introduce themselves.

031

Chair P. Smith

Opens an informational meeting on the Climate Outlook for 2005.

2005 CLIMATE OUTLOOK – INFORMATIONAL MEETING

033

George Taylor

State Climatologist.  Submits and presents a PowerPoint presentation on the Current Water Conditions and Future Water Supply Prospects in Oregon (EXHIBIT A).

050

Taylor

Discusses the chart (EXHIBIT A, Page 5).

080

Taylor

Expands on the map (EXHIBIT A, Page 7).

106

Taylor

Explains the chart on the normal and observed monthly precipitation in 2004-2005 (EXHIBIT A, Page 9).

157

Taylor

Explains the chart (EXHIBIT A, page 18).

197

Taylor

Talks about the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook map (EXHIBIT A, Page 23).

214

Taylor

Explains the Spring and Summer Streamflow Forecasts (EXHIBIT A, Page 25).

233

Rep. Boquist

Asks if 1966-1967 was the driest water year in Oregon history.

235

Taylor

Answers that it was 1976 to 1977.

236

Chair P. Smith

Comments on the need to see what the weather will do in order to see how the drought will affect Oregon.

241

Taylor

Responds by saying that the good news is that conditions are better than they were two months ago, while the bad news is that there are still drought conditions in parts of the state.

263

Rep. Roblan

Asks if there are any ocean climate conditions that will affect weather.

267

Taylor

Answers that there have not been.  Talks about El Nino.

290

Tim Keith

Assistant State Forester, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Introduces Bill Lafferty.

297

Bill Lafferty

Fire Program Director, ODF.  Presents a PowerPoint presentation on the Fire Season Severity Update (EXHIBIT B).

364

Lafferty

Talks about the list of factors that contribute to a dry fire season (EXHIBIT B, Page 4).

387

Keith

Discusses the wildfire severity plan components for 2005 (EXHIBIT B, Page 5).

TAPE 44, A

010

Keith

Continues to talk about the severity plan components for 2005 (EXHIBIT B, Page 5).

030

Keith

Comments on severity suppression resources (EXHIBIT B, Page 5).

079

Keith

Talks about the severity funding that has been granted in the past by the legislature.

093

Rep. Boquist

Asks about the drop capacity of a P-3 Orion.

097

Keith

Responds that it is a little less than three thousand gallons.

100

Rep. Boquist

Inquires how he knows the department can get a contract for 20 air tankers later in the season.

103

Lafferty

Answers by clarifying where the numbers are from.  Discusses the reality of the situation.

113

Keith

Gives names of the aircraft that are being considered.

114

Rep. Boquist

Asks about the availability of Blackhawk helicopters.

120

Keith

States that there should be three available for fire fighting.

125

Rep. Boquist

Asks if they would address the fire problems in the Northwest area of the state.

133

Lafferty

Answers that the winter precipitation in northwest Oregon was low.  Talks about the history of fire prevention in that area of the state, and details the weather conditions that need to be watched for. 

149

Rep. Boquist

Asks about the northeast area of the state.

156

Keith

Discusses the areas of northeast Oregon that are a concern.

161

Rep. Boquist

Asks about where the air tankers would be located.

177

Lafferty

Talks about how the department uses air tankers.  Talks about the national forest services air tankers.  Gives information on where the bases are. 

190

Rep. Roblan

Inquires if ODF was able to get fire insurance.

192

Keith

Responds that the department was able to get the fire insurance.

201

Jim Johnson

Department of Agriculture (ODA).  Submits and presents prepared testimony regarding the climate outlook (EXHIBIT C).  Submits informational material on the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) (EXHIBIT D).  Submits informational material regarding Emergency Disaster Designations and Declaration Process (EXHIBIT E).

279

Johnson

Talks about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Disaster Declarations.

305

Johnson

Discusses about the current drought conditions around the state.  Comments on the recent precipitation and how it has been helpful. 

351

Johnson

Gives information regarding federal drought declarations.

396

Chair P. Smith

Asks how citizens and policymakers can find out about the drought situation.

399

Johnson

Refers to the web pages listed (EXHIBIT C, Page 2).

423

Rep. Roblan

Asks if the current conditions are expected to be ideal for growing fire hazardous material and then drying it out thus creating hazardous conditions.

434

Johnson

Responds that this can be an issue.

440

Rep. Sumner

Asks if Mr. Johnson sees any water shortages in municipal water supplies.

441

Johnson

Refers to Kyle Gorman.

TAPE 43, B

008

Kyle Gorman

Region Manager for South Central Region, OWRD.  Answers that most of the municipalities will have enough water for this year.

018

Chair P. Smith

Closes the informational meeting on the 2005 Climate Outlook and opens a public hearing on HB 2729. 

HB 2729 – PUBLIC HEARING

020

Patrick Brennan

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes the bill.

030

Rep. Burley

House District 54.  Explains HB 2729 and testifies in support of the bill.  States that HB 2729 does not result in additional public land ownership or public debt. 

097

John Shelk

Ochoco Lumber Company.  Testifies in support of HB 2729 and discusses why it is important.

195

Shelk

Talks about what HB 2729 will do. 

203

Tom Tuchmann

U.S. Forest Capital.  Submits and presents written testimony in support of HB 2729 (EXHIBIT F).  Testifies in support of HB 2729.  Discusses the current trend for large tracts of land to be sold off and the consequences that this can have.

271

Tuchmann

Talks about what HB 2729 would do. 

316

Tuchmann

Talks about the benefits of HB 2729.

374

Rep. Roblan

Gives an example of how community forest authorites would work.  Asks if there is there a necessity for the owners to harvest the land after the bonds are paid off.

386

Tuchmann

Responds that it would be up to the board to make such a decision.  Discusses how the board would operate.  Gives an example of a transaction in Washington state.  Discusses the letters of corporation for the boards.

407

Rep. Roblan

Asks if the letters of corporation would be decided on by each specific board.

409

Tuchmann

Concurs.

412

Rep. Roblan

Inquires if the property can be sold in small parcels after the debt has been paid.

TAPE 44, B

006

Tuchmann

Responds that a community forest authority is a private entity so it could sell it, and discusses the purpose of HB 2729. 

021

Rep. Roblan

Asks if the board is there for the management of the land.

026

Tuchmann

Answers that the Forest Authority Board is not a land management body.

033

Shelk

Comments that there is a community board that is put together by the issuing authority that is a balanced group of people, with community members. 

050

Rep. Sumner

Inquires if Oregonians would be able to use forest authority lands for recreational purposes.

060

Tuchmann

Responds that there will be no legislative mandate that will keep the lands open to recreation, though recreational access will most likely be a top priority.

073

Rep. Burley

Gives and example of a hypothetical situation with the Bull Springs Tree Farm.

090

Rep. Sumner

Asks if there is a difference between this plan and a special service district.

095

Rep. Burley

Answers that he is not familiar with special service districts.  Gives information from what he knows of a special service district.

099

Rep. Boquist

Inquires if they will pay property taxes.

102

Rep. Burley

Responds that they will pay the applicable taxes.

122

Rep. Boquist

Inquires what the economic intent is behind HB 2729.  Asks if it works and if an example can be given.

140

Rep. Burley

States that his concern is that they will eventually lose the plots of industrial land.  Gives examples of lands that have been bought.

162

Shelk

Comments that the bill would help retain land for timber, and that this is a land use issue.

203

Mike Hayward

Wallowa County Commissioner.  Testifies in support of HB 2729.  Submits prepared testimony in support of HB 2729 (EXHIBIT G).

221

Rep. Boquist

Asks if they have had any examples of where this has worked.

227

Hayward

Responds that he does not know any examples, but he is aware of what is happening on the Boise Cascade lands. 

249

David Morman

Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Testifies in support of HB 2729.  Submits prepared testimony in support of HB 2729 (EXHIBIT H).

280

Myles Conway

Schwabe Willamson and Wyatt.  Asks if there is condemnation authority attached to the board.

288

Rep. Burley

Comments that he understands that to be true.

290

Conway

Inquires how the public gets the interest and input into the long term management of the land.

301

Rep. Burley

Responds by discussing who would be represented on the board.

310

Conway

Asks if there are public meetings or public notice.  Comments on the importance of getting good representation on the board.

313

Rep. Burley

States that he does not know the answer.

317

Conway

Expresses the concerns with the board.  Gives an example of the Bull Springs lot.  Asks how an area would be valued. 

344

Chair P. Smith

Responds that a willing seller and willing buyer would determine the price.

346

Rep. Burley

Adds it is the same due diligence process that all others go through. 

350

Conway

Asks if the entity would have the ability to sell land.

359

Rep. Burley

Answers that by the bill it is not precluded but the articles of confederation it could limit or prohibit those types of transactions.

361

Conway

States that the articles of confederation would be an important document.

373

Kelly Smith

Resident, Bend.  Testifies in support of HB 2729. 

TAPE 45, A

024

Mark Rubbert

Landowner.  Expresses his concerns with HB 2729.  Talks about the benefits of HB 2729.  Gives ideas to the committee for changes.

067

Chair P. Smith

Closes the public hearing on HB 2729 and opens a work session on HB 2729.

HB 2729 – WORK SESSION

069

Rep. Boquist

MOTION:  Moves HB  2729 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation and BE REFERRED to the Committee on Revenue by prior reference.

074

Rep. Hass

Expresses gratitude for bringing the bill forward and comments that he was on the committee that considered similar legislation last session. 

081

Rep. Beyer

Mentions that she has a few questions regarding this bill, but she is willing to send it to the Revenue Committee.

084

Rep. Boquist

States that he is happy to work out the details with Rep. Burley before HB 2729 is heard in Revenue. 

103

Rep. Roblan

Comments on the mill that is set to open in Coos County, and the issues that the facility has had to overcome.

113

Chair P. Smith

Recognizes that they have heard good testimony, and comments on the legislative process.

117

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair P. Smith

The motion CARRIES.

124

Chair P. Smith

Closes the work session on HB 2729 and opens a public hearing on  HB 2929.

HB 2929 – PUBLIC HEARING

135

Patrick Brennan

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes HB 2929.

142

Paul Rainey

Oregon Guides and Packers Association.  Submits and reads prepared testimony in support of HB 2929 (EXHIBIT I)

241

Steve Mathers

President, Oregon Guides and Packers Association.  Testifies in support of HB 2929.  Discusses the benefits of HB 2929. 

288

Mike Crawford

Battle Creek Outfitters.  Testifies in support of HB 2929.  Comments on the current ranching system in Oregon.  Talks about the concerns that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has with the bill and offers explanation. 

353

Rep. Burley

States that the landowner preference tag statutes sunset in 2010. Requests information on how HB 2929 affects the antler verses the anterless hunts.

364

Mathers

Responds that it would make it so it can be antler or antlerless hunts. 

379

Crawford

Comments on how many tags are given per acre. 

401

Mathers

Gives information on who they have talked with about the bill.

410

Rep. Burley

Asks how HB 2929 would affect the general hunting population’s access to hunting lands

TAPE 46, A

011

Mathers

Answers that most private lands are closed to the general public, so this would allow the opportunity for a hunter to create a relationship with a landowner and gain access to land for hunting.

016

Rainey

States that one of the goals of HB 2929 is to open access to tags and places to hunt. 

024

Rep. Roblan

Comments that Oregon has taken the liability away from hunters and put it on the landowners.  Asks if that changes when the landowner leases their land.

027

Mathers

Answers that it does.

029

Rep. Roblan

Inquires if the liability is determined on a per issue basis.

030

Rainey

Responds by using his insurance as an example.

050

Bill McCormack

Resident, Prineville.  Testifies in support of HB 2929.  Submits written testimony in support of HB 2929 (EXHIBIT K).

088

Bryce Logan

Landowner, Wheeler County.  Testifies in support of HB 2929.  Comments that the biggest hindrance to running his operation is the access to tags. 

150

Rep. Beyer

Asks if Mr. Logan is a guide.

152

Logan

Concurs.

153

Rep. Beyer

Inquires how many more people would become guides and packers as a result of HB 2929. 

157

Logan

Responds that he does not think it will change.  Says that people who want to operate a hunting business are already doing so.

166

Al Elkins

Oregon Hunters Association.  Submits copies of prepared testimony (EXHIBIT M) and testifies in opposition to HB 2929. 

260

Kelly Smith

Oregon Hunters Association.  Testifies in opposition to       HB 2929.  Comments on the intent of the landowner preference (LOP) program.  States that the bill is not the right way of dealing with the problem and will create more work. 

357

Ron Anglin

Wildlife Division Administrator, ODFW.  Submits prepared testimony regarding HB 2929 (EXHIBIT N).  Expresses the concerns that the department has with HB 2929.  Discusses how the tags are issued.

420

Rep. Roblan

Presumes that the department figures out how many animals can be harvested in the year, then calculates a percentage of animals expected to be harvested, helping them to consider how many of the tags can be sold.  Requests confirmation that LOP tags entail a higher success rate, thus making it so that fewer tags will be sold.

435

Anglin

Responds by giving information on how the tags are issued.

TAPE 45, B

020

Rep. Roblan

Comments that the 28 percent success rate is based on the current system.  Asks what the percentage is of the LOP tags that are given away.

030

Anglin

Responds that the department does not have that information.

036

Rep. Burley

Asks if it is correct that there would only be an increase of LOP activity if more people signed up their land for the tags.

040

Anglin

Lists ways that there would be an increase of tags.

045

Rep. Burley

Asks if granting landowners the ability to transfer their tags would lead to the rate of harvest going up, which in turn would have an affect on the availability of public tags.

050

Anglin

Answers that the success rate would not necessarily go up. 

057

Rep. Burley

States that if a person is entitled to ten tags, then ODFW is saying that is an acceptable level of harvest.  Asks if it matters who shoots the animal and how that has an effect on the tags available for the public.

063

Anglin

Responds that it does not matter to the department who shoots the animal. 

080

Chair P. Smith

Inquires if the number of tags allowed on the controlled hunts are based on  who is signed up or who is eligible.

088

Anglin

Answers that landowners qualify for the number of tags based upon the amount of land.  Explains how that affects tags.

094

Rep. Roblan

Comments that a landowner may currently qualify for six tags but only ask for two.  Inquires if the bill would result in the potential on those currently registered can grow.

101

Anglin

Responds affirmatively.  Gives an example from the white deer hunt in southern Oregon. 

110

Rep. Burley

Asks about the limit on LOP tags that the department has, and how that has been received by the landowners in the areas with the limits.

119

Anglin

States that those who have participated in the draw and gotten their tags have been happy, but those who have not gotten their tags have not been happy.  Comments that in most years a majority of the people who apply have gotten their tags.

129

Rep. Burley

Inquires if there is a draw for the tags.

132

Anglin

Answers that in the areas of Northeast Oregon where there is a limit on tags, there is a draw.

145

Rep. Roblan

Asks if there were not a cap in the LOP tags, there would not be any regular hunting tags.

147

Anglin

Comments that there would still be public hunting opportunities, but not necessarily commensurate to the current opportunities.

156

Mark Rubbert

Management Objective Committee.  Notes that animals are on private grounds and gives reasons why the animals are there.  Discusses the changes to HB 2929 he wants the committee to consider.    

219

Chair P. Smith

Closes the public hearing on HB 2929 and adjourns the meeting at 4:08 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. A.     Climate Outlook, PowerPoint presentation, George Taylor, 28 pp
  2. B.     Climate Outlook, PowerPoint presentation, Tim Keith, 6 pp
  3. C.     Climate Outlook, prepared testimony, Jim Johnson, 2 pp
  4. D.    Climate Outlook, informational material, Jim Johnson, 17 pp
  5. E.     Climate Outlook, informational material, Jim Johnson, 13 pp
  6. F.      HB 2729, prepared testimony, Thomas Tuchmann, 5 pp
  7. G.    HB 2729, prepared testimony, Mike Hayward, 2 pp
  8. H.    HB 2729, prepared testimony, David Morman, 20 pp
  9. I.       HB 2929, prepared testimony, Paul Rainey, 3 pp
  10. J.      HB 2929, prepared testimony, LeRon Howland, 1 p
  11. K.    HB 2929, prepared testimony, Glenn Summers, 1 p
  12. L.     HB 2929, prepared testimony, Bill McCormack, 1 p
  13. M.  HB 2929, prepared testimony, Al Elkins, 2 pp
  14. N.    HB 2929, prepared testimony, Ron Anglin, 2 pp