Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/04/2003 01:10 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 210-CHITINA DIP NET FISHERY                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0206                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL NO.  210, "An  Act relating  to the  Chitina dip  net                                                               
fishery; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0257                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN  COGHILL, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor,                                                               
explained that  HB 210  would eliminate the  Chitina dip  net fee                                                               
permit,  which now  costs  $25.   He  credited then-Senator  Pete                                                               
Kelly with obtaining  funding for a recent survey  with regard to                                                               
the  public right-of-way  relating  to the  fishery; this  survey                                                               
found  about 60  percent of  the  land between  the pavilion  and                                                               
O'Brien Creek  has public  access and  thus requires  no trespass                                                               
fee.  Part  of the fee has  been used as a trespass  fee [paid to                                                               
two  Native corporations],  and  part has  been  used for  [waste                                                               
management services and  to pay for administration  of the permit                                                               
program  and services].   He  referred to  a color-coded  map and                                                               
asked his staff to explain it.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0401                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA  MOSS,  Staff  to Representative  John  Coghill,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, explained  that orange  and dark  orange show                                                               
private  lands  owned  by Native  corporations;  purple  shows  a                                                               
Native  allotment;  brown is  the  right-of-way;  and blue  shows                                                               
bodies of water.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  noted  that  the latter  is  the  Copper                                                               
River.  He offered his belief  that the board changed that from a                                                               
subsistence to  a personal-use fishery;  he surmised  the license                                                               
fee  would   be  sufficient   [to  offset   costs].     He  asked                                                               
consideration  of that  when looking  at the  fiscal note,  which                                                               
shows $2  [of the $25  has been]  used for administration  of the                                                               
permit program, $5 for contractual  waste management, and $18 for                                                               
contractual  agreements  with  [Chitina  Native  Corporation  and                                                               
Ahtna, Incorporated, the two Native corporations].                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0568                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL began  discussion of  Amendment 1,  which                                                               
read [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Line 3                                                                                                             
     DELETE:                                                                                                                    
     (a)                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 9                                                                                                             
     DELETE                                                                                                                     
     Lines 9 through 20                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  referred  to  [Section  2]  on  page  2,                                                               
subsections (b)  and (c).  Noting  that the matter had  just been                                                               
called  to his  attention, he  suggested those  subsections don't                                                               
need to  be included and  are due to inadvertent  drafting error.                                                               
Pointing  out  that subsection  (a)  says  the department  [shall                                                               
prepare  a publication  showing public  access routes  to fishing                                                               
sites  on public  land], Representative  Coghill  said he  didn't                                                               
necessarily want to add another burden of posting.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0633                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    COGHILL     characterized    the     bill    as                                                               
straightforward,  saying no  other fishery  in Alaska  would have                                                               
this type  of charge and  he believes it  is a matter  of equity.                                                               
He acknowledged issues relating to  cleanup, but said he believes                                                               
that issue is separate from this particular fee setup.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE  noted that  available  on  teleconference to  answer                                                               
questions were personnel from the  Department of Transportation &                                                               
Public  Facilities   (DOT&PF)  and  the  Department   of  Natural                                                               
Resources (DNR).                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0713                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  informed  members  that  this  was  a                                                               
project he and then-Representative John  Davies worked on, on the                                                               
House  side, with  regard to  determining boundary  lines and  so                                                               
forth, since both are avid Chitina fishermen.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL expressed appreciation for that.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0842                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MOSS, in  response  to Representative  Masek, explained  the                                                               
genesis of Amendment  1.  Through discussions  with John Bennett,                                                               
DOT&PF  right-of-way officer  in the  Northern Region  - who  she                                                               
said probably has more knowledge  than anyone else with regard to                                                               
this survey -  Ms. Moss said it became apparent  that perhaps too                                                               
much wording  was being  included in the  bill.   The departments                                                               
had been  under the impression they  might be expected to  put up                                                               
more signs than they'd originally planned.  Ms. Moss added:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     They conducted  a survey.   There are survey  markers -                                                                    
     monuments - every  0.2 of a mile on the  road.  And the                                                                    
     brochure would  refer to these 0.2  monuments, so there                                                                    
     would be  no question  as to where  the public  land is                                                                    
     and where the private land is.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     There's about $54,000  remaining in that appropriation.                                                                    
     They  feel  they can  design  the  brochure, print  the                                                                    
     brochure,  and have  additional money  to maybe  put up                                                                    
     two  larger informational  signs, one  at the  pavilion                                                                    
     and one at O'Brien Creek.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0927                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF  noted  that  the Kenai  Peninsula  dip  net                                                               
fishery has  a "disaster cleanup  issue" associated with it.   He                                                               
requested advice on how [the  Chitina fishery] takes care of this                                                               
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  surmised that  it will  be a  question in                                                               
almost  every area  that  has  public access  to  fisheries.   He                                                               
expressed concern that  a single fishery not be  singled out, and                                                               
suggested it should be looked at more broadly.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1015                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO asked  whether this  bill indicates  people                                                               
have been  charged for something  they shouldn't have had  to pay                                                               
for, for a number of years.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL answered:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The land  settlement was ...  an open discussion.   And                                                                    
     ... up until last  year, when ... Representative Davies                                                                    
     and Senator  Kelly began the  discussion, they  did not                                                                    
     know exactly  where those boundaries  were.  So  it's a                                                                    
     work in  progress.   And the answer  is yes,  but there                                                                    
     was  an agreement  that there  could  be trespass,  and                                                                    
     therefore  I  think it  was  appropriate  [to have  the                                                                    
     fee].   At  this  point, I  think,  we've settled  that                                                                    
     issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1075                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    GUTTENBERG    expressed    appreciation    that                                                               
Representative  Coghill has  brought  this  forward, saying  this                                                               
needs to be "cleaned up and taken care  of in a lot of ways."  He                                                               
offered his  understanding that  the point  of doing  the marking                                                               
was to  give people  guidance as to  where public  access exists.                                                               
He  expressed concern  about  where  that stands  now.   He  also                                                               
agreed that there should be no  permit fee, but said there should                                                               
be some allocation to pay  for campground facilities and cleaning                                                               
up, and he noted the impact is fairly severe there at times.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  responded, "Certainly,  last year  we did                                                               
give the  parks some  receipt authority, and  I think  that would                                                               
fall within this  area."  He added that the  biggest access areas                                                               
need to  be the most  clearly defined.   He indicated that  it is                                                               
his responsibility to  put signs up on his  own private property,                                                               
for example, and offered his  expectation of a cooperative effort                                                               
on both sides.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE noted  that although  Representative  Coghill had  to                                                               
leave the  meeting, Ms.  Moss would  remain to  answer questions.                                                               
He also informed  members that someone from  Alaska Department of                                                               
Fish & Game (ADF&G) was available to answer questions.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1336                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BYRON  WHALEY, Trustee  Vice-Chair,  Board  of Directors,  Alaska                                                               
Outdoor    Council   (AOC);    President,   Chitina    Dipnetters                                                               
Association,  testified on  behalf of  AOC in  strong support  of                                                               
HB 210, noting  that executive director Jessee  Vander-Zanden was                                                               
unable to  testify.  Mr. Whaley  also noted that he  is president                                                               
of the  Chitina Dipnetters Association,  but said  vice president                                                               
Stan Bloom would testify on behalf of that organization.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WHALEY  told  members that  AOC  represents  the  collective                                                               
membership of about 12,000 Alaskans,  many who participate in the                                                               
Chitina dip  net fishery.   He said  HB 210 is  one of  AOC's top                                                               
priorities,  and  called  it  timely  because  a  survey  of  the                                                               
affected land,  completed in 2001,  shows that 60 percent  of the                                                               
area utilized  is public land  and also identifies  corridors for                                                               
access to  fishing sites.   Suggesting the  $25 fee is  no longer                                                               
necessary, he referred  to letters in members'  packets, one from                                                               
then-Governor  Knowles  [to]  Chitina  Native  Corporation  dated                                                               
April 25,  2002, which said  ADF&G was considering a  proposal to                                                               
repeal [or reduce] this access fee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. WHALEY, still speaking on behalf  of AOC, noted that the bill                                                               
doesn't prohibit  private owners from charging  for access across                                                               
their lands.  He called  this "win-win legislation" and suggested                                                               
that any  funds for services  such as outhouses, garbage,  and so                                                               
forth should  come from DNR or  DOT&PF, as would be  expected for                                                               
other public lands  in Alaska.  If  there is a fee,  it should be                                                               
for  those services,  he  said, not  for  a personal-use  fishing                                                               
permit fee.   He said  dipnetters have  to buy a  sports license;                                                               
any funds  from the sports  fishing budget  must be used  for the                                                               
sports  division,  research,  and  management,  rather  than  for                                                               
public  [services],  and  that   includes  the  Chitina  dip  net                                                               
fishery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1602                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  asked Mr. Whaley, as  president of the                                                               
Chitina Dipnetters  Association, whether he would  support a land                                                               
trade  between the  state and  Ahtna, Incorporated,  to eliminate                                                               
any access issues.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WHALEY  answered yes, it  would be  wonderful to have  a land                                                               
trade  in kind,  depending upon  what sort  of trade  it was,  in                                                               
order to  get rid of the  access problem.  He  expressed the need                                                               
to make sure it would benefit both parties, however.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 1676                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL C. HOLLAND, Member, Alaska  Outdoor Council; Member, Chitina                                                               
Dipnetters Association; Member,  Fairness for Chitina Dipnetters,                                                               
expressed support  for the bill  insofar as wanting  the trespass                                                               
fee to end.   However, he had  a difference of opinion  on how to                                                               
handle to  private-property issues  there.  He  expressed concern                                                               
that marking would  slow things down, and suggested  it should be                                                               
a separate  issue.  He also  suggested that it has  been somewhat                                                               
of  a mistake  in the  past for  the state  to represent  private                                                               
[landowners] by  collecting the fee  and then having  to identify                                                               
where  that private  land is  for  the landowner.   He  suggested                                                               
those should be separated, but said  the main thing is to end the                                                               
fee.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOLLAND noted  that  he'd  talked with  [now-Representative]                                                               
Guttenberg the  previous year, and Representative  Guttenberg and                                                               
Representative  Davies had  been  very sensitive  to the  private                                                               
landowners.   He then pointed out  that the road is  closed about                                                               
one-half mile  past O'Brien  Creek and  that most  people walking                                                               
down  to the  river cannot  get there  [that way]:   it  requires                                                               
taking a charter down the  river and staying below the high-water                                                               
mark; therefore, it  is state land.  He also  estimated that most                                                               
dipnetters  reach the  river through  state land,  because it  is                                                               
those nearby areas  that people will walk down to;  he said there                                                               
are big pieces [of private land]  between the road and the river,                                                               
without paths.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOLLAND,   as  far  as  the   state's  representing  private                                                               
landowners with regard  to marking the land, said  he didn't know                                                               
whether that is  done in Kenai, where  there are private-property                                                               
issues as  well.   He suggested  to some  extent it  is incumbent                                                               
upon private landowners to know where  their land is, and if they                                                               
want no crossing of their land, to  put up a fence.  He mentioned                                                               
having  a long-term  solution, and  estimated  that this  private                                                               
land is largely  worthless in that it  is on the side  of a cliff                                                               
and isolated.  He therefore agreed  that if there would be a fair                                                               
deal, it should be put into  the state's hands.  Mr. Holland also                                                               
asked a DOT&PF representative to  comment on short- and long-term                                                               
ideas about opening up that road.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1973                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
STAN  BLOOM,  Vice  President,  Chitina  Dipnetters  Association;                                                               
Member,  Alaska Outdoor  Council,  saying is  a  member of  other                                                               
"sporting  clubs" around  town as  well,  informed the  committee                                                               
that this isn't  a simple problem with a simple  answer.  He said                                                               
[Mr. Whaley]  and he  have been  trying to  solve this  since the                                                               
1970s,   attending   meetings   with   the   state   and   Native                                                               
organizations,  for example.    He  said as  long  as ADF&G  lets                                                               
80,000  people fish  for free,  he can't  sympathize, since  that                                                               
number  of   fishing  licenses  would  bring   in  $1.2  million.                                                               
However,  he suggested  ADF&G  shouldn't be  in  the business  of                                                               
providing outhouses, for example.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLOOM  expressed dismay at  actions of ADF&G  including those                                                               
relating to  repealing the fee;  refusing to take "sport"  out of                                                               
the  resident license  regulation, and  instead having  a general                                                               
fishing  license;   lowering  dipnetters'  take;   spending  high                                                               
amounts of money for less  access; and not retaining enough money                                                               
to  monitor  its  contracts,  including   those  for  access  and                                                               
outhouses.   He  said a  subsistence hunter  must have  a hunting                                                               
license - even  the federal government requires that  - and asked                                                               
why  a subsistence  user  doesn't  need a  fishing  license.   He                                                               
offered to  send photographs  of "our great  services."   He also                                                               
accused  [ADF&G's  Division  of  Sport  Fish]  of  not  realizing                                                               
Alaskans don't want to do  catch-and-release fishing, but want to                                                               
eat the fish they catch.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2153                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BLOOM stated  support for  repealing the  trespass fee,  but                                                               
said there is a better way  to resolve the service-fee issue.  He                                                               
offered specific suggestions as follows:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     If you have to have a  service fee, it should go to DNR                                                                    
     and let  them run the  upland area.  You  should repeal                                                                    
     the requirement  for a  sport [license]  for dipnetters                                                                    
     and replace it with  a personal use/subsistence license                                                                    
     for  $15.   Let [the  Division of  Sport Fish]  do what                                                                    
     they want with a sport license.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     You should  require [ADF&G],  DNR, and  [DOT&PF], along                                                                    
     with  Native groups  and representatives  from the  ...                                                                    
     dipnetters, to  come up  with a  management plan  and a                                                                    
     plan for  making the area some  kind of a dip  net park                                                                    
     [run] by  DNR, with appropriate user  fees.  Dipnetters                                                                    
     are  going to  hate me  for this,  but the  Natives and                                                                    
     commercial [users] already do, so what's 10,000 more?                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     You should  sunset any  change to be  in two  years, at                                                                    
     which [time] the  plan must be ready  from DNR, [ADF&G,                                                                    
     and DOT&PF].  In the  meantime, you should keep the $25                                                                    
     fee, but not  pay it to the Natives [for  access].  Use                                                                    
     it  to  force DNR  to  build  toilets that  meet  state                                                                    
     standards; keep  the $25  fee for  two years,  and that                                                                    
     would bring in  ... $250,000 a year, and  they ought to                                                                    
     be able to build toilets and  fix the road and do a lot                                                                    
     of things  with that  much money.   Have ...  DNR build                                                                    
     and maintain a boat launch  and charge for its use like                                                                    
     they do other places.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Have [DOT&PF] finish the survey  and mark the survey so                                                                    
     the dumbest dipnetter  easily can tell where  he is, at                                                                    
     any time.   Those little posts  at every 0.2 of  a mile                                                                    
     ain't  going to  tell  you [anything]  if  you have  to                                                                    
     measure 936  feet past this  post and that's  where you                                                                    
     can  access the  river;  that's ridiculous.   The  maps                                                                    
     must be of such scale and  clarity that even I can tell                                                                    
     ...  if I  am trespassing,  without  the use  of a  GPS                                                                    
     [Global Positioning System].                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Have the state pay a share  of the dumpster fee that is                                                                    
     caused  by  the  Chitina residents'  saving  all  their                                                                    
     trash till  the dumpsters come  in the summer  and then                                                                    
     loading them up.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2265                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLOOM predicted what might happen if the foregoing                                                                          
suggestions aren't acted upon:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     We will  have to pay  ... to  buy a sport  license, and                                                                    
     it'll be about a hundred bucks.   We will have to pay a                                                                    
     fee  for  services, and  it  will  be about  a  hundred                                                                    
     bucks.   [ADF&G] will be furnishing  two outhouses, and                                                                    
     they  will  be the  same  wooden  ones with  the  doors                                                                    
     hanging off  now.  The legislature  will have forgotten                                                                    
     us.    [ADF&G]  will  spend our  money  on  sports-fish                                                                    
     projects and ignore  us.  We will war  with the Natives                                                                    
     on trespass.   Troopers  will spend their  time solving                                                                    
     trespass  problems and  writing  tickets  for the  high                                                                    
     crime, if not  cutting fish sales off.  We  will have a                                                                    
     poorly  marked trail  that long  ago  was abandoned  by                                                                    
     [DOT&PF] and a 20-year-old brochure nobody can read.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     When dipnetters  reach 25,000, dipnetting will  be such                                                                    
     a  problem  that  it  will  be done  away  with.    The                                                                    
     commercial  fishers who  are left  will celebrate  more                                                                    
     than they did when Stan  Bloom died.  The richest state                                                                    
     in the  Union will lament  that there was  nothing they                                                                    
     could  do about  it.   The commercial  fish board  will                                                                    
     have made the limit two fish,  only one of which can be                                                                    
     a king,  and you can  only keep  the king every  one in                                                                    
     ... four years.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE reminded Mr. Bloom of time constraints.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLOOM concluded by saying DNR  has come up with a $27-million                                                               
plan to  put a bicycle  trail there.   He suggested some  of that                                                               
money  be spent  instead  on fixing  up the  first  10 miles  for                                                               
dipnetters, to make a place where people are proud to go.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2408                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AUSTIN MAHALKEY  testified that he  has been trying for  10 years                                                               
to get  information about the  original railroad land  there, but                                                               
has been told  by both the state and the  federal government that                                                               
such  information doesn't  exist.   He offered  his understanding                                                               
that one-quarter mile on either  side of the railroad belonged to                                                               
the state prior to the  land-settlement Act; he suggested perhaps                                                               
legislators  could obtain  that information.   He  suggested that                                                               
any  fees paid  for trespassing  on this  land is  for land  that                                                               
already  belongs  to  the  state,  and  said  it  all  should  be                                                               
refunded.    He  expressed  hope  that  somebody  will  get  that                                                               
information to him.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2465                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE responded  that he  would direct  staff to  look into                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2496                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SHARON DANIELS, Business  Administrator, Copper Basin Sanitation,                                                               
told  members  that her  company  either  was the  contractor  or                                                               
supported the contractors that provided  sanitary services in the                                                               
Chitina area  for several  years.  She  emphasized the  volume of                                                               
human  waste and  garbage from  the area.   For  human waste,  it                                                               
amounted to about  5,000 gallons during the  2002 fishing season,                                                               
and just shy  of 6,000 gallons in 2001.   For garbage, it totaled                                                               
about 275 cubic yards [during  the 2002 season] that was strictly                                                               
from the  Copper River road or  "south of Chitina" road,  with an                                                               
additional  470 [cubic]  yards from  the rest  of the  public-use                                                               
dumpsters in the area, for a  total of 744 cubic yards; the total                                                               
for 2001  from both areas  was 642  cubic yards, of  which nearly                                                               
300  cubic yards  came just  from the  O'Brien Creek  road.   She                                                               
asked legislators  to keep in  mind that this  is a lot  of waste                                                               
that must be handled in some way.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DANIELS  reported that the  toilet contract was  for twice-a-                                                               
week  service and  involved about  180 gallons  each time;  seven                                                               
portable toilets were serviced every three or four days.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2627                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG   asked  whether  this   contract  was                                                               
adequate or whether a higher frequency was needed.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. DANIELS answered  that it was adequate, and  said the toilets                                                               
weren't fully used.   The ones "closest to the  people" were used                                                               
most, whereas  those 20  feet away weren't  used nearly  as much.                                                               
At no time were all the toilets at full capacity.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2669                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE asked whether anyone  on teleconference was waiting to                                                               
testify on this bill; there was no response.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2693                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GORDY WILLIAMS, Legislative Liaison,  Office of the Commissioner,                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game,  reported that there has been a                                                               
Chitina dip net fee  since 1992; it was raised to  $25 in 2000 as                                                               
part of  a bill that called  for several other things.   That was                                                               
when  the  fishery  went  from  being  personal-use  to  being  a                                                               
subsistence fishery.   That bill also called for  the land status                                                               
in the area  to be determined.  There was  a survey undertaken by                                                               
[DOT&PF]  and direction  to the  department  to try  to work  out                                                               
longer-term   agreements  with   the  two   corporations  [Ahtna,                                                               
Incorporated, and Chitina Native Corporation].                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS reported working with  the corporations annually but                                                               
being unable  to arrive at more  than an annual contract  in 2000                                                               
and 2001.   Last  session, he  noted, SB  366 was  introduced and                                                               
called for  the permit fee to  drop to $10, with  the intent that                                                               
the $10 would address waste and  garbage pickup in the area; that                                                               
bill was  amended in the  Senate Resources Standing  Committee so                                                               
that the  fee would be  zero after  remaining in place  for 2002,                                                               
but  didn't  receive action  by  the  House  at  the end  of  the                                                               
session.    Communications  with   the  corporations  during  the                                                               
[legislative] interim weren't productive  with regard to arriving                                                               
at  long-term   solutions,  Mr.   Williams  noted,   adding  that                                                               
discussions are ongoing  with folks about those issues.   Thus at                                                               
this point there is no contract in place.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  told members although  the permit fee  under HB 210                                                               
is zero, [ADF&G] still would  issue permits because that provides                                                               
discrete information about the fishery.   He noted that last year                                                               
there'd been  discussions with [DOT&PF]  about how  marking would                                                               
occur and brochures would be  prepared, for instance.  Because of                                                               
the timing, the decision was  made by the legislature and [ADF&G]                                                               
to enter  into another  one-year contract.   Although  the Native                                                               
corporations have  expressed interest  in entering into  a three-                                                               
year contract now, there was an  inability to do so until [ADF&G]                                                               
got   some   public  policy   direction   on   how  to   proceed.                                                               
Mr. Williams  noted that  Mr. Hepler  was  on teleconference  and                                                               
could address other issues.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2867                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS pointed  out that the fiscal note shows  how the $25                                                               
fee  was broken  out:   $18  for the  corporations,  with $10  to                                                               
Chitina Native Corporation and $8  to Ahtna, Incorporated; $5 for                                                               
cleanup; and $2 for the  department for administration.  He added                                                               
that the fiscal note doesn't  reflect additional revenue that may                                                               
come  from the  necessity  of some  people  to buy  sport-fishing                                                               
licenses now, and suggested ADF&G will look at those numbers.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2912                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked whether, prior  to the $25 or $10 fee,                                                               
there ever was a voluntary fee there.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  recalled a lot  of public  support for the  $25 fee                                                               
when  it   was  instituted,  included  support   by  the  Chitina                                                               
Dipnetters Association because of the undetermined land status.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  asked what  the point  is of  having a                                                               
contract now with the two Native corporations.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS answered  that last year, as this  idea was debated,                                                               
mixed comments were heard from  the public, the corporations, and                                                               
so forth.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-23, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2989                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  continued, "I  think you  would probably  hear from                                                               
them that  they feel there's  some obligation from the  state for                                                               
the  contracts."    He  indicated   ADF&G  is  working  with  the                                                               
legislature and the administration  currently to try to determine                                                               
the public policy issue.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  noted  that   there  is  no  contract                                                               
currently.  If the bill is passed  with a zero fee, which he said                                                               
he supports,  and a  contract is signed  later, he  asked whether                                                               
those  contractual obligations  can be  met somehow  with general                                                               
fund dollars.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  said yes,  noting that  there are  restrictions and                                                               
that  Mr.  Hepler  could address  what  fish-and-game-type  funds                                                               
could be used.  For example,  he said, he doesn't believe federal                                                               
funds can be  used for a personal-use fishery.   Straight general                                                               
funds  could  certainly  be  used   for  a  contract,  he  noted.                                                               
Mr. Williams added:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     We  do have  concerns, and  we believe  that the  state                                                                    
     does have  some responsibilities on the  cleanup issue;                                                                    
     I  think  you  heard  about the  volume  of  waste  and                                                                    
     whatnot  there.   And with  the  fee going  to zero,  I                                                                    
     think  there's a  recognition that  ... that  would not                                                                    
     provide the  current funding source ...  for cleanup in                                                                    
     the area.   And [we] certainly want  the legislature to                                                                    
     be  aware that  ... even  in the  absence of  contracts                                                                    
     with  the  corporations,  there's  going  to  be  costs                                                                    
     incurred  in  that area.    And  this was  the  funding                                                                    
     source for those.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2913                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG posed  a  situation in  which the  fee                                                               
goes to  zero and the  contracts have to  be paid out  of general                                                               
fund dollars.   He asked what the appropriate fee  is for cleanup                                                               
and maintenance of the campgrounds, and who would administer it.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS replied:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Well, those  are discussions  we're having  amongst the                                                                    
     administration,  is  which  division.    Last  year,  I                                                                    
     believe, our  fiscal note on  ... Senate Bill  366 that                                                                    
     reduced the  fee to $10  indicated that the  numbers we                                                                    
     have  here  - the  $70,000  or  $80,000 that  would  be                                                                    
     collected at  a $10  fee, which is  what that  was last                                                                    
     year that  we would  have "RSAed" [used  a reimbursable                                                                    
     services agreement] to the  ... [Department of] Natural                                                                    
     Resources, for them to handle  that, either by contract                                                                    
     or through their own procedures ...                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2875                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  whether  that  would cover  the                                                               
same  thing as  a  contract  with a  firm  such  as Copper  River                                                               
Sanitation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS said  he guessed  that was  right.   He added  that                                                               
testimony would be heard that the  level of services thus far has                                                               
been at  the low end  of what some consider  to be required.   He                                                               
offered  the belief  that perhaps  additional  dollars should  be                                                               
spent toward that end.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2852                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE  asked Mr. Williams  where the belief comes  from that                                                               
cleanup costs will escalate.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS replied that DNR,  DOT&PF, and ADF&G talked recently                                                               
via teleconference  about these issues.   He said that  he hadn't                                                               
personally  been there  at  the fishery  [at  Chitina], but  that                                                               
people on teleconference  could offer their knowledge  of how the                                                               
level of  service could be  improved with respect to  garbage and                                                               
human waste.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE asked if anyone  on teleconference wanted to weigh in.                                                               
[There was no audible response.]                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2807                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK asked whether a  board has been put together                                                               
for this area.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS noted  that the Chitina Dipnetters  Association is a                                                               
private association of people who fish in the area.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  queried, if  the bill passed,  whether that                                                               
association or  users who  fish there would  put together  a task                                                               
force to take care of maintenance and operations.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2743                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WHALEY responded  that although  his organization  could put                                                               
something together  and work on it,  he believes it is  up to the                                                               
state  - DNR,  for example.   He  expressed concern  that if  his                                                               
organization  starts doing  something like  this, it  will set  a                                                               
precedent for  the rest of  the state  and force others  into the                                                               
same deal.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  remarked that she'd  thought it might  be a                                                               
way to compromise.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2715                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF asked whether a  person is required to have a                                                               
sport-fishing license in order to  participate in the Chitina dip                                                               
net fishery.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  answered, "You will be  this year.  The  last three                                                               
years,  the fishery  has been  a subsistence  fishery in  which a                                                               
sport-fish license  wasn't required."   He  noted that  in either                                                               
December or January  the Board of Fisheries returned  it to being                                                               
a personal-use fishery.  Thus a sport-fish license is required.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF  recalled that  in  2000  and 2001,  to  his                                                               
belief, the  receipts for sport-fish  licenses in  Alaska totaled                                                               
almost $24  million to  ADF&G.  He  asked whether  those receipts                                                               
can go  towards the costs of  trash and the thousands  of gallons                                                               
of human waste.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS deferred to Mr. Hepler.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2646                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KELLY   HEPLER,  Director,   Division  of   Sport  Fish,   Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish & Game, responded:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Fish and  game dollars ...  can be  used that way.   We                                                                    
     haven't done that in the  past. ... There's a number of                                                                    
     places that  we've actually  provided some  services to                                                                    
     some fisheries, like ... along  the road system ... out                                                                    
     of Susitna, like at Willow  Creek, Caswell, some places                                                                    
     like  that;  these  are  fairly  small  fisheries,  but                                                                    
     they're  done  more  with  federal-aid  dollars,  which                                                                    
     means you need  to actually have a rod and  reel, not a                                                                    
     dip net,  in your hand.  ... And  some of the  fish and                                                                    
     game   dollars  we   used   initially   to  help   out,                                                                    
     Representative  Wolf,  in  your district  down  at  the                                                                    
     mouth of the  Kenai, until the City of  Kenai took that                                                                    
     over and  started charging people  $10 there;  ... then                                                                    
     they're on their own at that point.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     We typically,  when we try  to help fisheries  out, ...                                                                    
     it's  where  we   have  a  land  interest   or  are  in                                                                    
     partnership with  the Department of  Natural Resources,                                                                    
     Division of  Parks [and  Outdoor Recreation].  ... It's                                                                    
     not done on  this kind of a large scale  where we don't                                                                    
     have a land interest ourselves.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I'm not  aware, though,  technically, of any  reason we                                                                    
     couldn't  use our  fish  and game  dollars.   It's  not                                                                    
     something  I  like  to do,  because,  obviously,  those                                                                    
     dollars  go to  the management  and ...  what are  core                                                                    
     functions  ...  in  our  division   -  that's  for  the                                                                    
     research and management of the  fisheries. ... We could                                                                    
     do it, though.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2581                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE asked whether anyone else wished to testify; he then                                                                 
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2530                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK moved to adopt Amendment 1 [text provided                                                                  
previously]; she requested unanimous consent.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2516                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA requested an explanation from Ms. Moss.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE announced that he would treat that as an objection                                                                   
[for discussion purposes].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS explained that it  derived from a conversation with John                                                               
Bennett.   She said  there'd seemed to  be a  misunderstanding of                                                               
what was  expected of  [DOT&PF], which  conducted the  survey and                                                               
was designing  a brochure  to adequately  notify people  of where                                                               
the public access  is so that they'd also know  where the private                                                               
access is and could avoid trespassing.  She added:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     They just  felt we had  too much verbiage in  there and                                                                    
     preferred  [that]  the  first paragraph  would  clearly                                                                    
     state that  what we expect  is for them to  continue on                                                                    
     the  road  that  they're  going  on,  without  any  new                                                                    
     demands.   However, they  have said,  if money  is left                                                                    
     over, they  will put a  couple of  larger informational                                                                    
     signs  up, one  at [the]  pavilion and  one at  O'Brien                                                                    
     Creek.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2468                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  noted that  money had been  appropriated by                                                               
the 2001 legislation.   She asked whether the belief  is that the                                                               
money already appropriated isn't going to be enough for signage.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS  replied that the  money was appropriated  for surveying                                                               
and placing brochures.   She indicated the  survey monuments will                                                               
serve  to  mark  where  the  public land  is.    She  added  that                                                               
[DOT&PF], on its  own, has said that if there  is extra money, it                                                               
will go to  the further effort of putting  up informational signs                                                               
with maps  so that  people will  have no  doubt where  the public                                                               
access is.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2419                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK renewed her motion to adopt Amendment 1.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2409                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA removed her objection.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  surmised that the whole  issue will go                                                               
away if a  successful land swap is negotiated  [between the state                                                               
and the two Native corporations].                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE agreed that it would be a whole new scenario.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2387                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE asked  whether  there was  any  further objection  to                                                               
adopting  Amendment 1.    There  being no  objection,  it was  so                                                               
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2378                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  emphasized that  the bill  doesn't preclude                                                               
private landowners  from charging for access  across their lands,                                                               
should  the public  wish  to use  that method  of  access to  the                                                               
river.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2318                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  announced that he would  be working on                                                               
an  amendment to  be considered  in the  House Finance  Committee                                                               
with regard to  a fee to cover maintenance of  the facilities and                                                               
campgrounds, which isn't addressed currently.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MOSS indicated the sponsor would  be working on that as well,                                                               
and suggested doing so together.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2286                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK moved  to report HB 210, as  amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes;  she requested unanimous  consent.  There  being no                                                               
objection, CSHB  210(RES) was reported  from the  House Resources                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects