Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

02/09/2010 10:15 AM FISHERIES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SJR 22 FEDERAL PREEMPTION OF SALMON MANAGEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSJR 22(FSH) Out of Committee
*+ HB 266 PERSONAL USE FISHING PRIORITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SJR 22-FEDERAL PREEMPTION OF SALMON MANAGEMENT                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:18:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON announced  that the first order of  business would be                                                              
SENATE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO. 22,  "Opposing litigation  that seeks                                                              
to  eliminate  the  Kenai, Kasilof,  and  Chitina  sockeye  salmon                                                              
personal use  dip net  fisheries; and  requesting the  governor to                                                              
re-examine  the   disproportional  influence  of   the  commercial                                                              
fisheries industries on fisheries management in the state."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:19:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CHARLIE  HUGGINS, Alaska State Legislature,  presented SJR
22,  and explained  the  importance,  and  necessity,  of the  dip                                                              
netting tradition  in Alaska.   The resolution seeks  to maintain,                                                              
and restrict  dip netting as a  resident-only fishery.   A suit is                                                              
being  brought   by  the  United  Cook  Inlet   Drift  Association                                                              
(UCIDA),  and  an  individual,  Herbert  T. Jensen,  to  have  the                                                              
federal   government    find   this   traditional    use   fishery                                                              
unconstitutional.   He pointed out  that other commercial  fishing                                                              
associations  have kept  a distance  from  the issue.   The  areas                                                              
involved  directly  are Kenai,  Kasilof,  and Chitina,  where  the                                                              
nonresident  commercial  fishing permit  holders  insist on  being                                                              
granted the right  to dip net.  There is not an  argument to allow                                                              
other nonresidents  to dip  net, however.   He stressed that  as a                                                              
state's  rights   advocate,  this  fishery  belongs   under  state                                                              
management  and  should not  be  placed  under  the purview  of  a                                                              
federal  department.   He  deferred to  the  House co-sponsor  for                                                              
further comment.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:23:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER  moved  to  adopt  the HCS  for  CSSJR  22,                                                              
Version 26-LS0866\S, Kane, 2/5/10.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:23:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH objected for discussion.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:24:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON observed  that  the changes  in the  House                                                              
Committee Substitute (HCS) are nonsubstantive.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:25:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH removed his objection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  EDGMON,  hearing  no  further   objection,  announced  that                                                              
Version S was before the committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:25:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENATIVE  BILL STOLTZE, Alaska  State Legislature,  presented                                                              
the  HCS and  said  the  lawsuit arose  as  an attempt  to  engage                                                              
federal courts for  the purpose of overthrowing  the establishment                                                              
of personal use  fisheries, originated under  the Magnuson-Stevens                                                              
Fishery  Conservation  and  Management  Act  (MSFCMA).    Although                                                              
defendants  are  seeking  suit   against  the  U.S.  Secretary  of                                                              
Commerce, he  maintained this is a  state's rights issue.   If any                                                              
other Alaska  fishery was  being subverted  in federal  courts, he                                                              
opined  that the  state attorney  general  would become  involved.                                                              
He  stated his  belief that  the most  important fish  is the  one                                                              
that  feeds  an  Alaskan  family,  and  residents  should  not  be                                                              
restricted from the  use of Alaskan salmon.  Although  it does not                                                              
affect fisheries  in every  part of the  state, dip netting  is an                                                              
important, duly established fishery.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:28:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON   declared   a  conflict   of   interest,                                                              
indicating that he  is a permitted participant in  the Chitina dip                                                              
netting fishery.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:28:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGGINS   added  that  the  tradition   being  challenged                                                              
extends back  to the 1980's.   In one  area the volume  of permits                                                              
issued ranges  up to 2,300, which  indicates that it is  a popular                                                              
fishery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE interjected that  he supports  more people                                                              
everywhere eating wild Alaskan salmon.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:30:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  stated   a  conflict  of  interest  as  a                                                              
permitted  fishery   participant,  and  stated  support   for  the                                                              
resolution.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:30:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:31:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ROD  ARNO,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Outdoor  Council  (AOC),                                                              
stated support  for SJR  22, and said  the Alaska Outdoor  Council                                                              
(AOC) is  a strong advocate  for state's  rights.  He  opined that                                                              
there is no justification for these suits to be filed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:32:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MELVIN  GROVE, Member,  Mat-Su  Fish  and Game  Advisory  Council,                                                              
Board Member, Alaska  Outdoor Access Alliance, stated  support for                                                              
SJR 22,  and reminded  committee members  that fish resources  are                                                              
held under the public trust doctrine.  Further, he said:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The citizens  are entitled to catch their  own, and cook                                                                   
     it  fresh.   I would  have  thought that  it was  common                                                                   
     practice  to  manage our  fish  resources to  favor  the                                                                   
     citizens  of  the  state. ...  I  have  nothing  against                                                                   
     [the]  commercial  fishing   industry;  they  should  be                                                                   
     allowed  to  take  the  harvestable  surplus  after  the                                                                   
     citizens have harvested their own.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:33:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BYRON  HALEY, President,  Chitina Dip  Netters Association,  Board                                                              
Member,  Alaska  Fish  and  Wildlife   Conservation  Fund,  stated                                                              
support  for SJR  22.    He then  related  that the  recent  board                                                              
meeting voted unanimously in favor of the resolution.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:34:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KEN  LARSON, Representative,  Prince  William  Sound Charter  Boat                                                              
Association, stated support for SJR 22, and said:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We have  been living  through the disenfranchisement  of                                                                   
     the  Alaska  sports  fishermen,  subsistence  fishermen,                                                                   
     and the halibut  arena, for the last many  years.  We've                                                                   
     seen the  results of federal  takeover of the  [halibut]                                                                   
     fishery,  and we would  not like to  see the same  thing                                                                   
     happen  to the  dip netting  and salmon  industry.   The                                                                   
     passage of  this joint resolution,  and the  house bill,                                                                   
     will certainly set a precedent on other fisheries.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:36:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
RICKY  GEASE,  Executive  Director,   Kenai  River  Sport  Fishing                                                              
Association, stated support for SJR 22, and said:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We think  it's important  ... when  issues of  fisheries                                                                   
     management  [arise] between  the federal government  and                                                                   
     the   state  government   who's   managing  the   salmon                                                                   
     fisheries, and  a case goes  to federal court,  ... that                                                                   
     the  State of  Alaska  be  represented ...  through  the                                                                   
     [Office of the] Attorney General.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:37:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  inquired about  departmental  direction,  or                                                              
administrative support, for the resolution.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:37:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE  reported that the point of  the resolution                                                              
is to bring attention  and involvement.  The  attorney general has                                                              
been made aware  of the situation through the  resolution process.                                                              
Officials   at  ADF&G  are   aware  of   the  situation   and  the                                                              
commissioner has  had legal papers  filed in conjunction  with the                                                              
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH maintained interest  in hearing  comment from                                                              
ADF&G.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:39:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:39:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI asked about  the title  of the  bill, and                                                              
why it is restricted specifically to sockeye salmon.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SHARON  LONG,   Staff,  Senator  Charlie  Huggins,   Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature, deferred.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:39:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN  KANE,  Attorney,  Legislative  Legal  Counsel,  Legislative                                                              
Affairs Agency,  indicated that  there is  no specific  reason for                                                              
stipulating  sockeye.     He  noted   that  the  BE   IT  RESOLVED                                                              
statement,  page 3, line  25, does  not reflect similar  language,                                                              
which is unusual.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR EDGMON  surmised that  sockeye salmon  are specified  as the                                                              
species targeted by dip netters.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. LONG confirmed the chairman's understanding.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:40:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  offered that  dip netting in  the Chitina                                                              
has included king  salmon.  He then asked why this  species is not                                                              
included in the resolution.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LONG  refrained from commenting  on the king  salmon question.                                                              
She said:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Remarkably  the  UCIDA  are  able  to  keep,  for  their                                                                   
     personal  use, an unlimited  number  of fish from  their                                                                   
     commercial  catch  ....    The  case  is  viable.    The                                                                   
     parties  have  been  very  active,  filing  motions  and                                                                   
     briefs.   Just  last  week the  plaintiffs  moved to  go                                                                   
     forward to oral arguments.  So this is a live wire.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS LONG  directed attention to a  response letter from  the United                                                              
States Department  of Commerce, National Marine  Fisheries Service                                                              
[not  dated], and  paraphrased from  page 11,  paragraph 4,  which                                                              
read:                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Therefore,   NMFS  lacks  authority   to  regulate   the                                                                   
     State's  personal  use fishery  conducted  within  State                                                                   
     waters  and  the requirements  of  the  Magnuson-Stevens                                                                   
     Act do not apply to the personal use fishery.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:43:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ asked  if the  case involves  more than  one                                                              
species of salmon.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LONG responded  that it  speaks  to the  fishery in  general.                                                              
She deferred  to Legislative Legal  Services for  further comment,                                                              
adding that  there is some  difficulty getting documents  from the                                                              
court.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. KANE  agreed that documents  have been spare, and  lacking the                                                              
briefs  he could  not speak  to the question.   He  said he  would                                                              
provide  the committee  with the  information  when the  paperwork                                                              
becomes available from the courts.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:44:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE said the  basis of  the suit is  contained                                                              
in one statement, which he read:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Members   of  UCIDA   consist  of   resident/nonresident                                                                   
     commercial  fishermen who  rely  predominately upon  the                                                                   
     harvest of sockeye salmon to earn their livelihood.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STOLTZE  said  the   point  made,  regarding  king                                                              
salmon, is valid.   Kings are not  allowed in many of  the dip net                                                              
fisheries, although  it is  a big part  of the Fairbanks  culture.                                                              
The litigants  have referred  specifically to  sockeye in  the law                                                              
suit.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:46:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON recalled the  statement that  a commercial                                                              
fisherman  can  keep  an  unlimited  amount  of  their  catch  for                                                              
personal use, and asked if that is correct.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STOLTZE deferred to the department.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. LONG responded affirmatively.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:47:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked if it would be  appropriate to refer                                                              
to dip net salmon, rather than specifying sockeye salmon.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KANE  answered that the  goal of SJR  is to directly  impact a                                                              
particular  lawsuit, which  specifies sockeye  salmon.  He  opined                                                              
that it would not be of benefit.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:48:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to report HCS for  CSSJR 22(RES), out                                                              
of   committee    with   individual   recommendations    and   the                                                              
accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objection,  HCS CSSJR 22(FSH)  was moved  from the                                                              
House Special Committee on Fisheries.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 10:49 a.m. to 10:52 a.m.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB266--Sponsor Statement.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
HB266--Personal Use Fishery Data.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
SJR 22 Sponsor Statement.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
SJR 22
SJR 22 Press Release.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
SJR 22
CS for CSSJR22.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
SJR 22
CS for HB266 with Accompanying Materials.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
Sweetheart Creek and Juneau Area Personal Use Data--ADF&G.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
HB266 CDFU Opposition.pdf HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
SJR 22 NMFS Response to UCIDA Petition.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
SJR 22
Matt Donohoe LIO Testimony.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
SJR 22
SJR 22 SCADA Support.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
SJR 22
HB266--SCADA Support.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
HB266-DFG-BDS-02-09-10 Fiscal Note.pdf HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
SJR 22 2010 Fiscal Note.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
SJR 22
SJR 22 Fiscal Note 2010
HB 266--Bonnie Borba Email.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
HB 266--Gary Miller Email.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266
HB 266--Ricky Gease Email.PDF HFSH 2/9/2010 10:15:00 AM
HB 266