Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/03/1996 08:05 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 CSSB 247(RLS) am(efd fld)(ct rule fld) - USE OF FISH & GAME                  
 FUND/COMM'R'S POWERS                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 420                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the committee would address CSSB
 247(RLS) am(efd fld)(ct rule fld), "An Act restricting the use of             
 certain funds deposited in the fish and game fund; and relating to            
 the powers and duties of the commissioner of fish and game,"                  
 sponsored by Senator Robin Taylor.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 440                                                                    
                                                                               
 TERRY OTNESS, Legislative Assistant to Senator Robin Taylor,                  
 Alaska State Legislature, came before the committee.  He explained            
 Senator Taylor has reviewed the proposed amendments and finds them            
 acceptable.                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said there is Amendment 1.                                  
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS asked if Mr. Grasser could review the amendment as he              
 prepared it.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 483                                                                    
                                                                               
 ED GRASSER, Alaska Outdoor Council, came before the committee.  He            
 said, "The ten of these amendments that the Alaska Outdoor Council            
 proposed was to delete some of the language that we thought was a             
 bit, I guess, controversial and to try and make the bill workable             
 from the department's standpoint, is to give them the discretion to           
 do some of the things that they seem to think they wouldn't be able           
 to do under the original bill.  Anyway, the first amendment takes             
 out the requirement that the legislature would have to go through             
 and do appropriations basically on a -- what we viewed as a line              
 item deal.  It still keeps in the language that says they have to             
 follow the intent of the legislature as to why the money -- or to             
 the programs the was appropriated for in the first part of that               
 section, in section (a) in Section 2.  So the first amendment just            
 deletes the language that says the legislature shall make a                   
 separate appropriation, which is -- probably end up being a rather            
 lengthy affair for the Finance Committee or the subcommittee."                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN questioned whether the committee should review all the            
 amendments.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 548                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN said he thinks there are several                
 things that are all tied together in the amendment.                           
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER continued describing the proposed amendments.  "Then in           
 the expenditure section of the bill starting on page 2, there was             
 considerable concern expressed by some of our member organizations            
 that are involved in sport fishing so we suggested taking out                 
 `sport fish stocks' on page 2, line 2, so that they wouldn't                  
 necessarily fall under the intensive management regime.  On page 2,           
 line 8, we suggested deleting the word `increase' and inserting               
 `may enhance' in there so that there would be some discretionary              
 ability at the department level on whether or not they could                  
 accomplish those goals.  The original language that increased sport           
 fish stocks would basically tie the department's hand, in our view,           
 but by changing that to `may enhance' means that they may or may              
 not be able to accomplish that goal.  And then line 9 or 8 to 9               
 deleting `increase' and inserting `for purposes of increasing'                
 that's basically the same purpose is to give the department some              
 discretionary leeway in making the decision there on enhancing fish           
 stocks or game populations.  Page 2, lines 9 through 12, we just              
 suggested that that be deleted because we didn't want to get into,            
 I guess, the wolf control issue in this bill.  I think from the               
 Outdoor Council's point of view, we were looking at this more as an           
 attempt to streamline or make more tight the requirements of the              
 department to utilize monies raised from the sale of fishing and              
 hunting licenses and big game tags.  And that's kind of a                     
 controversial thing and we thought that could be dealt with                   
 elsewhere so we decided - suggested that be deleted.  On page 2,              
 line 20, following `allowed' and this is I think a fairly                     
 significant change, insert `except in cases where educational                 
 efforts are evident that support sport fishing, hunting, trapping,            
 and related management'."                                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN questioned what that means.                                 
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said, "That might be something that the committee might           
 have to work on.  That was our suggested language.  The department            
 might have some problems with that, but the intent of that language           
 was to allow for programs to be funded, like Potters Marsh, through           
 the fish and game fund as long as there was things like                       
 interpretative signs put up on the boardwalk saying where the money           
 came from for the management of the marsh, in other words fish and            
 game fund, and maybe some other information that denoted what kind            
 of contribution the PR fund and fish and game fund and hunters have           
 made, and in this case specifically Ducks Unlimited, as a group,              
 have made to the existence and management of places like Potters              
 Marsh or Kraemers Field or McNeil River or whatever.  That's the              
 intent.  I don't know if this language accomplishes that or not."             
                                                                               
 Number 701                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Would this -- am I - am I on the -- if you           
 put `for the benefit of the public' instead of `where there is                
 benefit to the public' or `where benefits to the public are                   
 evident' something like that.  Is that what your talking about or             
 am I misunderstanding what you mean?"                                         
 MR. GRASSER said that might help delineate what they are trying to            
 do.  He said it is just a suggestion and the council is not tied to           
 this specific language.  He said their intent was to allow for some           
 level of funding from the fish and game fund.  Most sportsmen are             
 not opposed to funding these types of programs and they are                   
 wildlife viewers also.  One of the big arguments they have had in             
 the debate with the department is that when it comes to the support           
 of legitimate hunting, trapping and related management issues, they           
 have been rather quieter or neutral on the issue.  He said the                
 council would feel much more comfortable with the department's                
 position if there were some guidelines in those areas like Potters            
 Marsh or Kraemers Field that demonstrated where the money was                 
 coming from and what role related hunting, trapping and management            
 has played in restoration of wildlife and overall management                  
 schemes for wildlife.  He explained that is the intent of the                 
 amendment and noted they would be willing to look at the wording              
 further.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 774                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said, "From page 3, line 2, following `occur' this is             
 basically the same type of amendment as the previous one.  The                
 intent there is to do the same thing - to allow the department                
 discretion to utilize some level of fish and game funds for                   
 programs in nongame areas.  And, again, if that doesn't accomplish            
 that goal, we'd be willing to work with the committee or...  I                
 guess that we'd urge that, you know, the committee to come up with            
 language and pass this bill out today since time is short, but that           
 was our intent with this language.  Then in line 3 (page 3),                  
 beginning on line 26 you're gonna go through a series of amendments           
 that are basically the same as the ones we just went through                  
 because there's two sections in the bill.  One deals with fish and            
 game fund monies and one deals with PR monies.  And so the                    
 amendments are basically the same as what we've just went through             
 for those expenditure sections that deal with PR monies.  And then            
 the other substantive amendment we have is on page 5, lines 9                 
 through 25.  Those are the definition -- that's the definition                
 section.  We proposed an amendment to delete all the definition               
 section.  And there again, it was our feeling that those                      
 definitions, in our opinion, don't add to what we would like to see           
 happen with this bill, mainly a better view of how these funds                
 should be expended by the department as directed by the                       
 legislature.  And we didn't feel these definitions were necessary             
 to accomplish that and we thought they raised some red flags.  And            
 besides I think some of these definitions were already put into law           
 to some degree or another with the previous intensive management              
 bill that was passed a couple of years ago.  And I guess that's it            
 for the amendments."                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 914                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said the only amendment he would like to work           
 on is the educational programs.  He said he isn't sure exactly what           
 he would propose.  He asked if the committee could exclude that               
 amendment and have an at ease to review the amendment.                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated there are three.  The first is toward             
 the bottom of the first page, line 16.  The second is at the top of           
 page 2, line 3 and the third is at the bottom of page 2, line 22.             
 He said, "What you're suggesting is maybe we work on something                
 there, but accept the rest of them."                                          
                                                                               
 Number 951                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said that is correct.  He moved to divide the           
 question.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said that seems reasonable to him.  He asked if             
 there was an objection to dividing.  Hearing none, he said they               
 will divide the question on that basis - those three areas where              
 educational efforts are included.  He asked Representative Davies             
 if his amendment is to move everything excluding those three areas.           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES indicated that is correct.                              
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none,             
 it was so ordered.  He said the committee would address the three             
 areas where they are trying to come up with educational programs or           
 educational efforts.  He noted all the committee members were                 
 present with the exception of Representative Barnes.  He asked Mr.            
 Grasser to review what the council is looking for.                            
                                                                               
 Number 1000                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said what they're trying to do with those three                   
 amendments is to provide a level of discretion for the department             
 to be able to solicit and use fish and game fund monies for                   
 programs in traditional nongame areas like Potters Marsh as long as           
 there was also an effort by the department with an agreement or as            
 directed by the legislature that any of those fish and game funds             
 expended for the management of those nongame areas would include              
 and educational program that supported hunting and trapping and               
 related management by some means.  He noted that might need to be             
 defined.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked Mr. Grasser if he is familiar with what           
 is sort of a hunters day that is carried out at Kraemers Field each           
 year.  He asked if that is the kind of thing he is talking about.             
 There must be 3,000 people that come by to talk about how this                
 supports management of game.  There is a lot of discussion of                 
 hunting and the safe use of weapons, etc.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1053                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said that is exactly what they are looking for.  In               
 some cases, such as Potters Marsh, an interpretative sign put on              
 the boardwalk would accomplish this goal to some degree.                      
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said it sounds like there are two things going.             
 There is an annual activity and then there is something at Potters            
 Marsh which is a viewing area for six months of the year.                     
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said it might be helpful to define `educational                   
 efforts' for the purpose of this language to include things like              
 interpretative signs that support related management to hunting,              
 trapping, etc.  The department would know that they have the                  
 ability solicit these funds and use them in these areas for nongame           
 as long as those types of other activities were included in the               
 program.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1095                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES indicated Wayne Regelin was in attendance and           
 asked if he might have some comments or suggestions.                          
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Regelin to come forward.                          
                                                                               
 Number 1172                                                                   
                                                                               
 WAYNE REGELIN, Director, Division of Wildlife Conservation                    
 Department of Fish and Game, informed the committee he has seen the           
 proposed amendments.  He said he believes the amendments really               
 improves the bill and takes away some of the department's concerns            
 such as removing the requirement for 360 separate budget                      
 appropriations.  Mr. Regelin noted he doesn't think that was the              
 intent, but that was the way it was worded.  Section (C) adds some            
 flexibility so that the department can use other management schemes           
 other than maximum sustained yield.  There are some concerns with             
 the bill and he thinks the amendments were an attempt to provide              
 the flexibility for the department in doing broader programs that             
 they think are beneficial to hunting, hunters and other people that           
 enjoy wildlife.  Mr. Regelin said, "I didn't put amendments                   
 together but I - or suggested amendments, but I don't know the way            
 it's written right now I don't think we could use the funds for               
 public service which is -- all the big program we have, all the               
 people that call the office and want to know where to go hunting              
 and walk in and do that, you know, cause it -- the way, you know,             
 I don't think that's -- again, it's not what was meant, but it's              
 very restrictive the way it's written still even though there is              
 more flexibility.  It would allow us to do no work in hunter ed -             
 or I mean endangered species work or nongame conservation.  And law           
 enforcement I think is a question.  It might be - you could                   
 interpret it as helping under that part (C), but I think that could           
 be debatable.  The one thing that -- and all of those I think are             
 kind of open to question whether or not we could or couldn't and I            
 don't think it was the intent to stop those things and we can                 
 probably fix that with wording.  There is one big concern and                 
 that's that right now on the federal aid dollars that we get, 6               
 percent of em go for indirect costs back to the Division of                   
 Administration.  Between us and Sport Fish, that gives them about             
 a million dollars a year.  That has been done by the Finance                  
 Committees, it started about three years ago in order to replace              
 general funds that as they got tighter and this bill would prohibit           
 that.  And that's why there is such a (indisc.) would be a                    
 substantial fiscal note because general -- you still have to pay              
 the vendors and that type of thing.  So that would be, you know,              
 one and that's not addressed in any of the amendments.                        
                                                                               
 Number 1299                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER pointed out there is wording that says, "the                      
 administration of fish and game license function and payment of               
 license vendor compensation."                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN explained, "In the Division of Administration there is            
 a licensing section and there is -- and that's taken care of.  We             
 brought that up before, but there also use the funds to -- and it's           
 appropriated based on the number of employees we have and the size            
 of the budgets.  Some -- this federal aid funding and the rest of             
 it is general fund and it depends on whether it's commercial                  
 fisheries and subsistence and habitat versus sport fish and                   
 wildlife, so that it's a proportion there to keep us from getting             
 into problems with diversion of funds, but that's you know -- there           
 is more than licensing in the Division of Administration.  It's the           
 payment - it's the personnel section -- the, you know, payment of             
 all the bills and that kind of thing - engineering."                          
                                                                               
 Number 1350                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said he doesn't necessarily disagree with Mr. Regelin.            
 He suggested asking counsel.  He said, "It seems to me that the               
 expansion of - expenditure of funds for those types of programs               
 like -- I mean obviously you have to administer programs and have             
 some top level management in any type of organization, including              
 Department of Fish and Game, would in some way be tied to the on-             
 the-ground programs that field biologists or area biologists may be           
 carrying out.  I guess what I'm hearing is that the department is             
 doing that section of the bill that has to do with expenditure of             
 funds for personnel or administration, a much more narrow aspect              
 than perhaps, and I'd have to defer to Terry on this, whether or              
 not that's what their intent was, but I don't think the intent of             
 the bill is to preclude them from administering programs."                    
                                                                               
 Number 1499                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS indicated frustration as he hasn't heard anything about            
 this concern.  He said every committee the bill has been in there             
 is another "but" added.  Mr. Otness said his concern is that we're            
 running short of time.  He said if there is an issue, it could be             
 brought up in the Finance Committee as it is a fiscal issue.                  
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN agreed and said Kevin Brooks, director of                         
 Administration has been in attendance each time the bill was heard            
 and has brought it up.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1459                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if the portion of the bill that causes            
 concern is on page 2, lines 23, 24 and 25, "(C) expended for costs            
 of personnel or administration, other than costs of personnel or              
 administration directly incurred in conjunction with projects                 
 allowed under this subsection, except under a general indirect                
 recovery provision;"                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN said, "Mr. Chairman, that part allows for -- it says it           
 my not be used for personnel or administration, other than the                
 costs for personnel or administration directly incurred in                    
 conjunction with projects under this section and we call it                   
 indirect costs, that's -- I mean that's the title of how we...."              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES explained he wants to be sure that is the               
 part of the bill that is being addressed.  He said he would suggest           
 for consideration is that after the word "subsection," insert                 
 "except under a general indirect recovery provision."  In other               
 words, this would allow for the normal kinds of indirect recovery             
 but it wouldn't allow for direct expenditures for personnel who               
 weren't involved in this.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN said he thinks that would take care of the problem.               
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Otness if he is agreeable to the                  
 wording.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1597                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS indicated he would have to speak to Senator Taylor.                
                                                                               
 Number 1622                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL WILLIAMS said this is a financial area and he is             
 sure it would be addressed in the Finance Committee.  He asked if             
 the Resources Committee can take care of the amendments that deal             
 with the resource issues.                                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated the amendment seems to cover the issue.           
 If the Finance Committee doesn't like it, they will change it.                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said he doesn't want the bill to get bogged              
 down.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS said Senator Taylor could state his objection in the               
 Finance Committee if he has a problem with the amendment.                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he would offer the wording as an                   
 amendment.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1689                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said Amendment 2 would insert the wording "except           
 under a general indirect recovery provision" between the words                
 "subsection" and "or" on page 2, line 25.  He asked if there was an           
 objection.  Hearing none, it was so ordered.                                  
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said the committee would address the education              
 section of the bill.  He asked if Mr. Grasser or Mr. Regelin had              
 any suggestions.  He asked Mr. Regelin if he knows what they are              
 looking for with educational programs or educational efforts.                 
                                                                               
 Number 1743                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN said the department could do educational projects.                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN said, "There are three places that we're trying to find           
 a word or some words that would explain what they're after and --             
 because it look to me like I misread it.  When I read the                     
 amendments, I looked at that completely different than what Mr.               
 Grasser has told us so..."                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER explained the intent of that language was to allow for            
 funding, through the fish and game fund.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN pointed out the language was on page 2,              
 line 23.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said it would allow for the use of fish and funds in              
 nongame areas as long as there was some effort such as an                     
 interpretative sign on the boardwalk at Potters Marsh, etc., to               
 show that the dollars that were help supporting the management of             
 that nongame area came from fish and game fund money or PR money              
 and that there was some effort to demonstrate that hunting,                   
 trapping, sport fishing and related management had benefits to                
 wildlife.  He said that was the intent.  He noted if any members of           
 the committee had alternative language they would like to suggest             
 to make that more evident, it would be fine with him.                         
                                                                               
 Number 1854                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN explained the part that would probably be left out                
 which is very important in their educational program is called                
 "project wild."  He explained that project wild is where they train           
 teachers throughout the state to teach wildlife curriculum that the           
 department develops about hunting, fishing and wildlife management.           
 Unless that project is included somewhere else, they wouldn't be              
 able to do that under the bill.                                               
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said Mr. Regelin had indicated hunter's                     
 education, so it is hunters as well as teachers.                              
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN explained they are separate programs.                             
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN pointed out that both of the programs are funded,           
 in part, from revenues that are brought in from licenses.                     
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN indicated they are.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1906                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked how much money is expended on project               
 wild and where has it been taking place.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN explained it is about $150,000 a year and they have               
 trained approximately 4,000 teachers all over Alaska.  On weekends            
 the teachers come in and donate their time.  He said they also have           
 a national curriculum put together for all the western states and             
 one specific to Alaska which is more oriented towards hunting.                
                                                                               
 Number 1972                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER informed the committee it wasn't the Alaska Outdoor               
 Council's intent to exclude funding of project wild.  He said he              
 does see in the original bill the language does tie the                       
 expenditure.  He said they wrote their amendments based on that to            
 a specific areas.  Project wild obviously isn't an area, it is a              
 program.  He said if that could be fixed, it would be fine with               
 him.                                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 2003                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES suggested the change would be needed on page            
 4, after line 8, and on page 2, after line 17.  He indicated there            
 is a wording, "shall be used for only projects that provide for,"             
 and then there is a list (A) through (F).  On another page there is           
 (A) through (E).  He suggested inserting another section (F) on               
 page 4 that says, "Educational programs in schools that support..."           
 Then use the same language "support sport fishing, hunting,                   
 trapping and related management."                                             
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER suggest that might be simplified by looking at page 2,            
 subsection (B) where it says "shall be used only for projects that            
 provide for..."  He said subsection (B) adds a whole list of things           
 including hunter education.  There might be a possibility of                  
 putting "other educational efforts" or similar language.  He said             
 there is an increment where money is allowed for hunter education.            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated the wording should be "wildlife                   
 education."                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA questioned if the word "hunter" would be              
 deleted and add "wildlife."                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN questioned if the wording would be put in after             
 "hunter education."                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER indicated that is correct.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1514                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved the amendment be adopted.                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated a motion has been made to insert                  
 "wildlife education" between the words "education" and "public" on            
 line 5, page 2.  He asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none,           
 the amendment was adopted.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2218                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS suggested the committee might want to look at Section 4            
 of page 3 and add that wording to line 29 as well.                            
                                                                               
 Number 2223                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved the amendment be adopted.                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said it has been moved that those same two words            
 would be added between "education" and "public" on page 3, line 29.           
 He asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none, the amendment              
 was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 2243                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS said the last issue is defining "educational efforts."             
 He said a section might be added to define educational efforts as             
 interpretative signs, public service, public service events and               
 educational programs.                                                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if this would be in all three places.                 
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS indicated that is correct.  He suggested the drafter of            
 the bill could come up with a definition for educational efforts.             
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked what wording Mr. Otness is suggesting for             
 page 1.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR OTNESS said, "Educational efforts defined as interpretative                
 signs, public service, public service events and educational                  
 programs."                                                                    
 Number 2360                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said all the language in (h) on page 5 starting on line           
 9 was deleted.  He suggested inserting a definition section and               
 define "educational efforts" there so it wouldn't have to be done             
 in three places.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES noted in two places the wording "educational            
 programs" was used and in another place the wording "educational              
 efforts" was used.                                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said they would be defining "educational."                  
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-77, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "...and I want to specify where, but what.            
 Representative Davies."                                                       
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said has he understands, the committee is               
 talking about using these funds to support specific areas like                
 Potters Marsh and Kraemers Field.  We're saying it's okay to use              
 these funds for those things so long as there is an interpretative            
 sign or there are public service events that support hunting, etc.            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Grasser if that is what he had in mind.           
 He said notification or some sort of sign is not necessarily the              
 project the itself.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 083                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. GRASSER said it could be just an interpretative sign at Potters           
 Marsh or it could be more than that.  In the case of McNeil River             
 it could be that the biologist that conducts the activity there               
 could have a portion of his presentation to the tourists that visit           
 that area would include information about hunting and the benefit             
 to wildlife and related management, etc.  He said it will be                  
 different in some areas, just as long there is some evidence that             
 we're making an effort to let the public know what benefits                   
 wildlife is getting from hunting.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 136                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he would move a conceptual amendment               
 which would be to add a definition section that defines the word              
 "educational" in the context of "educational efforts and                      
 educational programs to include interpretative signs, public                  
 service events, and wildlife educational events and things like               
 hunting days."                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 278                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there was an objection to the conceptual           
 amendment.  Hearing none, the conceptual amendment was adopted.               
                                                                               
 Number 324                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Now that brings us back to perhaps the               
 other half or the divided portion of this Amendment Number 1 where            
 we had those three places called educational.  With this definition           
 now, is there a motion to accept those..."                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES so moved.                                               
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Alright.  Three places then in the                   
 Amendment 1 where we referred to education that we left out is now            
 amendment to accept those as the completion of the amendment.  Is             
 there objection?  This amendment then, Number 1 as well as an                 
 Amendment Number 2 that Representative Davies had are accepted into           
 this act.  Is there any other amendment or any other comment about            
 this bill."                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 393                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved on page 5, lines 5 through 8...                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN interrupted and stated that has been stricken.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved to strike subsection (g).  He explained           
 the amendment the committee just adopted deleted a (indisc.)                  
 definition, but above that is (g) and that is the subject of his              
 current amendment.                                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN apologized to Representative Davies and asked               
 what he was saying.                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES explained his motion is to delete subsection            
 "(g)."                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS questioned Mr. Otness what his feeling is             
 about the amendment.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS said he doesn't think the sponsor would be in agreement            
 to that amendment.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 491                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said if the statute law says one thing the           
 department is required to do and if they go and do something                  
 totally the opposite, doesn't the citizen already have the ability            
 to take them to court.  He said he believes they do.                          
                                                                               
 Number 530                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS said he doesn't know the answer to that question.                  
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN said the department gets taken to court all the time.             
 He said the answer is yes, they have the right.  He said he guesses           
 this just reiterates it.                                                      
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said he remembers a bill that went through the              
 House Resources Committee and then it was modified in the House               
 Judiciary Committee where there was immunity granted for some and             
 not others.  That was deleted from the bill.  Co-Chairman Green               
 asked Mr. Otness if he knows what Senator Taylor had in mind by               
 specifying that public officials are not immune from a lawsuit.               
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS said, "I'm hoping that I might delay a little bit so he            
 might answer that himself.  I'm not sure I care to speculate."                
                                                                               
 Number 609                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said there is a motion to strike lines 5 through            
 8.  He asked if there was an objection.                                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS objected.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 628                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN asked for a five minute recess.                      
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN recessed the meeting.                                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN called the meeting back to order and said the               
 motion has been made to remove lines 5 through 8.  He asked if                
 there was objection.  Hearing none, it was so ordered.                        
                                                                               
 Number 761                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said three amendments have been introduced and              
 adopted.  He asked if there was any other discussion.                         
                                                                               
 Number 806                                                                    
                                                                               
 SARA HANNAN, Executive Director, Alaska Environmental Lobby, came             
 forward to give her testimony on the proposed committee substitute            
 for SB 247.  She said she applauds the committee for their                    
 diligence to detail in modifying the bill.  Ms. Hannan said the               
 amendments are vast improvements, but she doesn't think the bill              
 can be amended to be a good piece of legislation.  She referred to            
 when the sponsor testified on the bill the previous week, he spoke            
 about paying the fiddler and asserted that he had hired the fiddler           
 by paying a small fee.  Ms. Hannan said, "But I'm gonna say that              
 the state of Alaska is hosting a big wedding and you've been                  
 invited to the wedding and you're fee to come to the wedding.  What           
 is expected out of you by that invitation is that when you come you           
 bring a small gift or offering and the right of a hunter to hunt in           
 Alaska and the small fee that a Alaska hunter pays does not cover             
 the cost that the right to hunt bears along the rest of us.  Most             
 the cost the Department of Fish and Game have in managing game are            
 cost for hunters and there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in            
 those costs, but to be a sport hunter in Alaska you pay your small            
 fee and you get to go hunt and to turn around and say, `That gives            
 me the right to tell them what they're gonna serve me at dinner and           
 what music the fiddler plays,' is an erroneous thought.  There are            
 very very very few programs that institute taxes or fees that cover           
 and are a direct corollary between the user.  The thing that comes            
 the closest is probably the federal gasoline tax where you are                
 actually are paying for how much you're driving or how big your car           
 is.  But if you drive an electric car, you still get to drive on              
 federally funded highways and you don't get to go say, just because           
 you've got biggest gas guzzler out there, I get to determine the              
 speed limit because I pay more in gasoline taxes than you and your            
 neighbors driving those little cost efficient car do.  Everyone               
 abides by the same laws and the cost of the highway patrol to                 
 patrol those laws is not proportioned out.  Our licensure of                  
 hunters and fishers in this state is something we do because we               
 think that you need to regulate them and they need to be                      
 responsible for it.  They need to know the bag limits.  They don't            
 get to come say when they get to hunt and where they get to hunt              
 through statute.  They get to make those decisions by participating           
 in the Board of Game and the Board of Fish process.  Those are                
 significant processes that are undermined by forcing the department           
 into a position where they don't get to make fair recommendations             
 and they don't get to distribute fees that they receive from the              
 federal government in a disproportionate share.  If we were truly             
 gonna proportionalize this, the people who would most directly                
 benefit and who get to decide what we do with this are German                 
 hunters who are coming on a guided hunt in Alaska and pay real                
 money to be hunting here.  They would get to say what songs the               
 fiddler plays at the wedding we're hosting.  That's not what we               
 want.  That's not what we should do."                                         
                                                                               
 Number 989                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN continued, "I want to draw your attention to one other             
 section of the bill, Section 1 that puts into statute a directive.            
 And I don't have any problem with a directive for the Department of           
 Game - the Department of Fish and Game to cooperate with sportsmen            
 association, but the final phrase on that section, lines 7 and 8,             
 is that the department should work to introduce new populations               
 into suitable habitat.  Siberian tigers into the Interior, elk on             
 to islands in Southeast, sturgeon into our rivers, work to                    
 introduce new species.  We don't have adequate money to manage the            
 resources we do and provide the baseline science to do accelerate             
 management, let alone to tell our department we want them working             
 on new species.  That's something they can do at the directive of             
 the Board of Game and something we may want them to do.  The reason           
 Sweden has a huge moose population is that area of the country - of           
 the planet has been inhabited for centuries in dense habitation.              
 And to quickly equalize the habitat parallel in Alaska, if we let             
 the entire Kenai Peninsula burn today, we'd have great moose                  
 habitat there.  Lets torch it.  Should burn every 100 years by                
 nature, but we've controlled what it burns and as a result, the               
 moose population and the moose habitat has changed.  Those are                
 socioeconomic decisions, not strictly biology and I don't think               
 that putting into statute a misbalance of it corrects some of those           
 very complex decisions.  I think the bill stinks.  I don't think it           
 can be improved to the point that it should be enacted into                   
 statute.  If you didn't take the time to read - I did distribute              
 last week a really eloquent description of how those federal monies           
 come to play and the thing to remember is our hunters and fishers             
 aren't paying for what we're using.  We're getting a lot of money             
 out Manhattanites who are buying forty-fours and letting us get $9            
 out of every tax - nine to one ratio for what we're paying out in             
 federal taxes on ammo.  I don't want Manhattan to get our money and           
 I don't think that we want German foreign hunters deciding our game           
 policies.  I don't think that this bill does anything to serve the            
 hunters of Alaska.  Thanks for your time."                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1194                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said Ms. Hannan brought up an interesting point             
 in Section 1 about the introduction of new species.                           
                                                                               
 MR. OTNESS indicated that it is populations and not species.                  
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Regelin, "Do you see, while even the              
 way this is written, that you would cooperate with?  Does that                
 mandate to you any concern that the division - the Department of              
 Fish and Game would have if some sportsmen comes in and wants                 
 Bangle tigers that this would -- and I don't -- I know that was a             
 facetious thing..."                                                           
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN clarified it is Siberian tigers as Bengals wouldn't                
 survive our winters, but Siberians would.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1235                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN noted that when he first reviewed the bill, he had the            
 same concern Ms. Hannan had because he thought exotic species.  He            
 noted it doesn't say "species," it says "populations" and because             
 of that he felt if we can take a population and move it within                
 Alaska, because if it's not biologically feasible he doesn't think            
 they would have to do it.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if there is a word they could use that            
 would modify populations.                                                     
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN suggested using the word "indigenous."                             
 Number 1276                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved to insert the word "indigenous."                  
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN suggested the wording, "To expand indigenous populations           
 into suitable habitat."                                                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Regelin what he would suggest.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1297                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN suggested, "To expand indigenous populations into                 
 suitable habitat."                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1328                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA asked if they should use the word                     
 "relocate."  She asked if it doesn't say "introduce" and                      
 introducing would be relocating a species.                                    
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN said he didn't write it down.                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN explained that what he has is "introduced new"              
 would be changed to "expand indigenous population."                           
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN suggested using "relocate" or "trans locate" or                   
 something similar rather than "expand" might be better.                       
                                                                               
 Number 1362                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA referred to caribou in the Interior and               
 said if you wanted to move some of them to the Anchorage area, and            
 asked if that is what the bill means.                                         
                                                                               
 MR. REGELIN said that is the way he reads the bill.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN suggested using the wording, "introduce                   
 indigenous populations into suitable new habitat."                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there are any other comments before he             
 offers the new amendment which would change the words "introduce              
 new" and insert "expand indigenous."  He asked if there was an                
 objection.  Hearing none, the amendment was adopted.                          
                                                                               
 Number 1438                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT made a motion to move CSSB 247 out of committee           
 with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there was an objection.                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected.                                               
 A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Austerman, Kott, Long,           
 Ogan, Williams and Green voted in favor of the motion.                        
 Representatives Davies and Nicholia voted against the motion.  So             
 HCSCSSB 247(RES) passed out of the House Resources Committee.                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects