Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

02/13/2012 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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02:05:27 PM Start
02:05:45 PM HJR26
02:55:46 PM Presentation(s): a Five-year Look Back: Oil Industry Capital Expenditures by Category 2006-2010
03:27:45 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to Immediately after Session --
+= HJR 26 SEA OTTER MANAGEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 26(RES) Out of Committee
+= HB 9 IN-STATE GASLINE DEVELOPMENT CORP TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Presentation: "A Five-year Look Back: TELECONFERENCED
Oil Industry Capital Expenditures by Category
2006-2010" by Bryan Butcher, Commissioner & Bruce
Tangeman, Deputy Commissioner, Dept. of Revenue
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HJR 26-SEA OTTER MANAGEMENT                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:05:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO.  26, Urging  federal agencies  to                                                               
work  with the  Alaska  Department of  Fish  and Game,  Southeast                                                               
Alaska Native leaders, and other  interested parties to establish                                                               
strategies  and  plans  for the  sustainable  management  of  the                                                               
reintroduced sea  otter population  of Southeast  Alaska. [Before                                                               
the committee  was Version B,  the proposed  committee substitute                                                               
(CS)  labeled  27-LS0717\B,  Bullard,  1/27/12,  adopted  as  the                                                               
working document on 2/3/12.]                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON moved to adopt  the proposed committee substitute                                                               
(CS) for  HJR 26,  Version 27-LS0717\I,  Bullard, 2/6/12,  as the                                                               
working  document.   There  being  no  objection, Version  I  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:06:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ARTHUR  MARTIN, Staff,  Representative  P.  Wilson, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  explained that  the language  in Version  I is  the                                                               
result of working with the  Sealaska Heritage Foundation.  During                                                               
the 2/3/12 hearing on HJR 26  a concern was raised of the ability                                                               
of Native  peoples to sell sea  pelts to anyone.   Therefore, all                                                               
mention of  the sale of intact  sea otter pelts was  removed from                                                               
the  resolution and  language  was crafted  in  two changes  that                                                               
clarify the issue.  The first change  is on page 3, line 1, where                                                               
the  language  now reads  that  "Alaska  Natives are  limited  to                                                               
selling only  'authentic' and 'traditional'  Native handicrafts".                                                               
The second  change begins  on page  3, line  31, and  addresses a                                                               
previous discussion that the Marine  Mammal Protection Act limits                                                               
the  allowable  uses  of  sea  otters  to  only  "authentic"  and                                                               
"traditional" handicrafts.   Because the definition  of authentic                                                               
and traditional  is too  restrictive, the  change here  asks that                                                               
these  terms   be  replaced  with  "Alaska   Native  articles  of                                                               
handicraft".                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTIN reported  that the sea otter issue  has made headlines                                                               
and the  sponsor is  happy that  the issue  is being  elevated to                                                               
this level  and heard by the  committee.  If current  policies of                                                               
inaction continue it is believed that  in just a few years humans                                                               
will  have  little  share  of  the  dive  fishery  resources  for                                                               
commercial or  subsistence harvesting.   Areas  that once  had an                                                               
abundance of sea  cucumbers, geoduck clams, red  sea urchins, and                                                               
Dungeness crab are being depleted by sea otter predation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:08:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI, regarding  ecology  and  the hope  that                                                               
management  will include  an  ecosystem  balance, questioned  Mr.                                                               
Martin's  last statement  because  the  [first] further  resolved                                                               
clause does not  state that managing for a  balanced ecosystem is                                                               
the plan.  He understood the  resolution to say that the state is                                                               
not  taking a  position  on whether  to  start actively  managing                                                               
populations  of  sea otters,  but  to  urge federal  agencies  to                                                               
revisit [the 1994] management plan.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTIN agreed  it is Representative P.  Wilson's opinion that                                                               
the ecosystem  is out of  balance because of increased  sea otter                                                               
populations.  He maintained, however,  that the resolution itself                                                               
does not state an opinion; it  just asks that a discussion be had                                                               
between  the appropriate  state and  federal departments  and the                                                               
Native peoples based on the research that has been done.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:10:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI opined that  the [November 2011] McDowell                                                               
Group  report   [entitled  "Sea   Otter  Impacts   on  Commercial                                                               
Fisheries  in Southeast  Alaska"] does  not say  that sea  otters                                                               
were  the major  part  of  the decline  of  sea  cucumbers and  a                                                               
certain shellfish.  Responding to  Mr. Martin, he said the report                                                               
clearly  states  that  the  declines in  sea  urchins  and  other                                                               
species were not due to sea otter predation.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARTIN recalled  reading such  a clause  in the  report, but                                                               
said he  could not remember  whether that clause  was referencing                                                               
geoducks, sea cucumbers, or sea  urchins.  However, he continued,                                                               
[Appendix 2]  of the  report does  show conclusive  evidence that                                                               
sea otters have had a direct  and indirect impact on species such                                                               
as the sea cucumber and geoduck clams.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE opened public testimony on HJR 26.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
GREG  BROWN  stated  that  HJR  26 was  developed  by  a  special                                                               
interest  group  that  hired a  consultant  to  substantiate  its                                                               
beliefs.  He  said he has had many dealings  with consultants all                                                               
over the  world through his  previous work as  CEO of one  of the                                                               
largest companies  in Latin American,  and consultants get  to be                                                               
big and  successful by  writing reports that  the people  who are                                                               
paying them  want to hear.   He said that  even the title  of the                                                               
McDowell report is  misleading and should instead  be "The Effect                                                               
of Sea  Otters on a  Few Specific Fisheries in  Southeast Alaska"                                                               
given there are dozens of  fisheries in Southeast Alaska that are                                                               
not even mentioned in the report.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BROWN said  other possibilities  should be  looked at.   For                                                               
example, sea otters could improve  other commercial fisheries and                                                               
are a  keystone species.  He  noted that the State  of Oregon has                                                               
issued  a  report  regarding  ocean  acidification  that  is  not                                                               
covered [in the McDowell report].   Additionally, tourism viewing                                                               
and wildlife  viewing is a $30  billion industry in the  U.S. and                                                               
has  grown  over 6  percent  annually  even during  this  current                                                               
economic  downturn.   In  the  city  of  Juneau the  business  of                                                               
wildlife viewing is worth over $30  million.  One whale, over its                                                               
lifetime, is worth  over $32 million to the city  of Juneau and a                                                               
bear at Pack  Creek is worth $132,000 annually to  the city.  The                                                               
reintroduced wolves  of Yellowstone  National Park are  worth $35                                                               
million annually.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:16:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROWN  maintained that sea otters  could be worth as  much as                                                               
$5  million  annually  in  increased tourism.    To  support  his                                                               
statement  he read  from a  2005 California  study report:   "The                                                               
eventual  expansion of  southern sea  otter populations  in range                                                               
would provide  more than $100  million of annual  income economic                                                               
benefit to California households."   Allowing that reports can be                                                               
argued,  he  pointed  to  an   example  of  economic  benefit  in                                                               
Monterey, CA, which began holding  the Sea Otter Classic 22 years                                                               
ago  when sea  otters  were  reintroduced there.    He said  this                                                               
extravaganza,  which  will  be   running  again  in  April  2012,                                                               
features  amateur  and  pro  cycling events  as  well  as  family                                                               
activities, attracting more than  50,000 bicycle enthusiasts from                                                               
around the  world.  The classic  also plays host for  the largest                                                               
consumer  bike expo  in  the  world.   None  of  these have  been                                                               
considered in the [McDowell] report, he pointed out.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROWN, again allowing that  any report can be argued, related                                                               
that he searched  for the most neutral report that  he could find                                                               
and came upon  a 2006 Master's thesis by Sarah  Poirier of McGill                                                               
University.   The thesis talks  about the benefits of  sea otters                                                               
around Victoria Island  and the increase in  tourism and economic                                                               
prosperity  that can  be gained  by  utilizing that  opportunity.                                                               
The thesis also supports that  the keystone species of sea otters                                                               
is real  and provides  extreme detail  about why  it is  real and                                                               
where it comes from.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:18:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROWN  explained that his  point in discussing  economics and                                                               
other alternatives is that if  nature was embraced and not fought                                                               
everyone could become  rich because the opportunity  is there for                                                               
this  to happen.   He  said the  committee is  making a  decision                                                               
based  on the  recommendations  of a  financial special  interest                                                               
group and the  report paid for by that special  interest group is                                                               
very biased,  woefully incomplete,  and insulting.   He recounted                                                               
an  old rule  in business  that  says to  get 80  percent of  the                                                               
information, add judgment,  and then make a  decision because one                                                               
can never get  100 percent of the information.   In this case, he                                                               
argued, there  is less than  20 percent  of the information.   He                                                               
urged the  committee to take  time to get  the rest of  the facts                                                               
and not rush to judgment.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER asked what  keystone species means and how                                                               
that plays out.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BROWN  understood from Dr.  Mary Willson [of Juneau]  and the                                                               
aforementioned thesis that  sea otters control the  number of sea                                                               
urchins and  sea urchins  are directly related  to the  amount of                                                               
kelp.   When kelp  is healthy other  fisheries are  also healthy,                                                               
such as salmon and fisheries similar to salmon.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:20:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIANNE  CURRY,  Executive  Director, Petersburg  Vessel  Owners                                                               
Association  (PVOA), specified  that PVOA  has about  120 vessels                                                               
and  businesses   and  its  members  are   active  personal  use,                                                               
subsistence, and sport fishermen who  are affected by the species                                                               
that are affected by sea otters.   She said nobody is looking for                                                               
widespread  and  unchecked  harvest  of sea  otters;  people  are                                                               
looking for  a balance, but  in Southeast  Alaska there is  not a                                                               
good balance  with what is  happening with resources.   She noted                                                               
that Version I  does not include the allowance  of Alaska coastal                                                               
Natives  to sell  and trade  raw pelts  to non-Natives.   Without                                                               
that  language, she  said it  will  be difficult  to support  the                                                               
resolution  because that  is a  time-honored  tradition and  PVOA                                                               
feels it is very important for  Alaska coastal Natives to be able                                                               
to  sell raw  pelts.   However, she  continued, the  rest of  the                                                               
resolution is heading in the  right direction.  She observed that                                                               
PVOA's  letter is  missing from  the committee  packet, but  drew                                                               
attention to the  resolution from the City of  Petersburg and the                                                               
letter from  the Southeast  Alaska Subsistence  Regional Advisory                                                               
Council  (RAC), which  has  heard hours  and  hours of  testimony                                                               
about this issue.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:22:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON, regarding the  inability of Alaska Natives                                                               
to sell  to non-Natives,  asked whether  Ms. Curry  is suggesting                                                               
there  be a  quota  for pelt  use  and that  once  that quota  is                                                               
reached then pelts could be sold by Natives to non-Natives.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURRY  replied that PVOA would  be looking for the  U.S. Fish                                                               
and Wildlife Service,  or the U.S. Congress  through an amendment                                                               
of the Marine Mammal Protection  Act, to interpret the definition                                                               
of significantly altered  differently.  She said  PVOA would like                                                               
for coastal Natives, who are  allowed to harvest sea otters under                                                               
current regulations,  to be able  to sell a  sea otter pelt  to a                                                               
non-Native.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:24:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  pointed  out that  she  did meet  with                                                               
Native groups to  discuss the resolution and it  was re-worded to                                                               
the  way that  the Native  groups wanted.   She  inquired whether                                                               
there has been a change since then.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. CURRY  responded that much  of the conversation so  far about                                                               
significantly  altered  and handicraft  has  been  driven by  the                                                               
artisan  market and  she understood  that  that conversation  has                                                               
helped  in  the  shaping  of  the current  bill.    However,  she                                                               
continued, there is  a significant number of  just harvesters who                                                               
would like  to be able to  sell raw pelts, although  she does not                                                               
know why they are not coming  forward with testimony.  She shared                                                               
that she would  like to have a  raw sea otter pelt to  put on one                                                               
of her  two couches to  accompany the raw  pelt of an  arctic fox                                                               
that she  already has.   While she  understood the  concern about                                                               
the  sale of  raw pelts  potentially industrializing  the current                                                               
artisan market,  she remained unconvinced that  that should trump                                                               
the  overall good  that would  come from  returning the  right of                                                               
Alaska Natives to sell a raw pelt.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  said she would be glad  to add anything                                                               
that  might help  with  those concerns  as  the resolution  moves                                                               
along, but the harvesters will need to call her office.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:26:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TINA  BROWN, President,  Alaska  Wildlife  Alliance (AWA),  noted                                                               
that her  non-profit organization, whose board  is comprised only                                                               
of Alaskans, is  committed to the preservation  and protection of                                                               
Alaska's wildlife.  She said  AWA has critical concerns about HJR                                                               
26 because the resolution appears  to call for the implementation                                                               
of predator control  on sea otters.  While  understanding this is                                                               
a resolution  and not a  bill, she  stressed that there  would be                                                               
negative  consequences  if the  resolution  is  adopted.   It  is                                                               
intended  to be  a  foot in  the door  for  those advocating  for                                                               
predator control on  sea otters.  The sponsor's  statement on the                                                               
Internet  seems clear  in the  call for  predator control  on sea                                                               
otters because it says that action  must be taken now rather than                                                               
waiting for  studies.   Additionally, at  a previous  hearing the                                                               
executive  director  of  the United  Fishermen  of  Alaska  (UFA)                                                               
testified  that  HJR  26  is  probably not  enough  to  help  his                                                               
fishery, but it is a step in the right direction.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BROWN  related   that  at  a  presentation   by  the  Alaska                                                               
Department  of Fish  & Game  (ADF&G) last  week a  member of  the                                                               
audience  said  predator  control  on sea  otter  population  was                                                               
necessary and  urged that it  be opened  up to all  Alaskans, not                                                               
just Native Alaskans.   This issue is  escalating, she continued,                                                               
and the resolution  has not yet been passed.   She noted that HJR                                                               
26  urges state  and federal  governments to  work with  ADF&G to                                                               
reduce sea otter  populations, but said that ADF&G  does not have                                                               
a shining reputation for wildlife  management:  the department is                                                               
shooting  wolves from  aircraft in  the Kenai  Peninsula; snaring                                                               
bears,  including sows,  and then  shooting  their cubs;  gassing                                                               
wolf pups in their dens;  and is allowing non-resident hunting in                                                               
some  active predator  control areas.    Alaska's reputation  for                                                               
wildlife  management is  deeply  tarnished right  now, she  said.                                                               
Imagine the  negative press if  Alaska started what  people would                                                               
consider predator  control on sea  otters.  Imagine  the reaction                                                               
of tourists  and potential  tourists.   Imagine the  reactions of                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:31:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN  concurred that sea  otters are a keystone  species and                                                               
said that without sea otters there  will be no great kelp forests                                                               
because the otters  keep sea urchins under control.   She related                                                               
that  a panel  of scientists  at  the recent  Board of  Fisheries                                                               
meeting  in Petersburg  stated  that research  on  sea otters  in                                                               
Southeast Alaska  is underway  and more research  is needed.   It                                                               
was also  stated at  the meeting that  the carrying  capacity for                                                               
sea otters  in Southeast Alaska,  before they were wiped  out, is                                                               
unknown.   At this  same meeting, the  Board of  Fisheries stated                                                               
that  one species  should not  be  placed in  higher regard  than                                                               
another  and the  board specifically  referred  to sea  cucumbers                                                               
versus  sea otters.   Prudence  is  the wisest  approach to  this                                                               
issue, she  advised.   Opening the door  for predator  control on                                                               
sea  otters also  opens the  door for  predator control  on other                                                               
protected  species,  such  as  Steller  sea  lions  and  humpback                                                               
whales, and people are already talking about that.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:32:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN said  the consequences of HJR 26  could be devastating.                                                               
If the  intent of the  resolution is to provide  greater economic                                                               
benefits to Native  Alaskans via a more liberal use  of sea otter                                                               
pelts, then re-word the resolution to  say that.  However, if the                                                               
intent of the  resolution is to use Native Alaskans  as a tool to                                                               
start predator  control on sea  otters, then the  Alaska Wildlife                                                               
Alliance strongly opposes the resolution.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON noted  that the committee has  adopted Version I,                                                               
which would  do what  Ms. Brown suggests  in regard  to expanding                                                               
the usage in  handicrafts, such as allowing for a  zipper.  Since                                                               
Version I has  no expansion of who  can hunt and has  no sales to                                                               
non-Natives, he asked whether it  would fit the criteria that Ms.                                                               
Brown has laid out.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN  pointed out that  the resolution has  numerous whereas                                                               
clauses  and some  of the  wording in  those clauses  need to  be                                                               
changed  to not  address predator  control.   She  offered to  go                                                               
through the  clauses and  mark the  areas of  concern.   She said                                                               
previous oral  testimony and the  written testimony  clearly view                                                               
the resolution as a step towards predator control on sea otters.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:34:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON asked whether  predator control in any form                                                               
is unnecessary.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN replied  that she did not say that;  she said that more                                                               
studies need  to be made,  which is  what scientists said  at the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries meeting.  While  she is not a  biologist, she                                                               
said  she  knows  that  sea   otters  are  good  for  the  marine                                                               
environment and  fisheries.  Since  sea otters are just  making a                                                               
comeback right  now, it seems  wise to  see what happens  and not                                                               
jump into anything.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON inquired  whether  it is  being said  that                                                               
there is not enough science on wolves and bears.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN responded that ADF&G  cannot always be depended upon to                                                               
make wise management decisions.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ noted that  the Marine Mammal Protection Act                                                               
is very restrictive in the use  of sea otter materials for Alaska                                                               
Native handicrafts.   She asked whether Ms.  Brown perceives that                                                               
a threat  could happen on  the national level  if the act  is re-                                                               
opened, even though the resolution  is directed at Alaska Natives                                                               
and their uses.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BROWN  agreed that  the  resolution  is directed  at  Alaska                                                               
Natives,  but  stressed  that  the committee  needs  to  be  very                                                               
precise and  specific in the wording  so that it does  not appear                                                               
to be  a step toward  predator control on  sea otters.   She said                                                               
she  gets nervous  when she  looks at  the sponsor  statement and                                                               
when she  looks at some  of the wording  in the resolution.   The                                                               
Alaska  Wildlife Alliance  supports the  Native community  and if                                                               
that  is the  sole  purpose  then the  language  about sea  otter                                                               
populations increasing and  being too much does not  have a place                                                               
in the  resolution.  If  the economic  benefit is wanted  for the                                                               
Native community - wonderful, but  leave out the idea of reducing                                                               
sea otter populations.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:37:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  MILLER, Chairman,  Indigenous People's  Council for  Marine                                                               
Mammals (IPCoMM), noted that IPCoMM  is comprised of 18 organized                                                               
marine mammal hunting  groups in the state of Alaska.   His group                                                               
has  a  co-management  umbrella agreement  with  National  Marine                                                               
Fisheries Service (NMFS)  and the U.S. Fish  and Wildlife Service                                                               
to deal  with issues of  common concern  around the state  on the                                                               
mammals under the  Marine Mammal Protection Act.  He  said it has                                                               
been interesting  to listen  to all the  different points  and he                                                               
agrees with  points brought out  by both  sides.  He  offered his                                                               
support  for  HJR  26.    He understood  the  concern  about  the                                                               
resolution  being  used  for  getting  into  a  predator  control                                                               
program  and said  he does  not want  the act  used for  anything                                                               
along those purposes.  He  agreed, however, with the resolution's                                                               
statement   about   establishing   strategies   and   plans   for                                                               
sustainable management  of sea otter  populations, which  is very                                                               
consistent with everything the Native community has worked for.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:39:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER  appreciated the  changes made  to the  resolution and                                                               
said he  supports Version I.   The resolution is being  looked at                                                               
with two  different approaches.  The  Native community definitely                                                               
has concern  about the impact that  sea otters have and  wants to                                                               
conserve  the species,  but conservation  is  the wise  use of  a                                                               
resource, not  preservation.  Protection  is needed for  both the                                                               
otters  and  the  resources  that the  communities  rely  on  for                                                               
subsistence and  commercial purposes.   He said headway  could be                                                               
made  on the  root of  the problem  by dealing  with definitions,                                                               
such as  significantly altered, and the  Marine Mammal Protection                                                               
Act would not need to be opened up for that.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER stated  that he has worked on this  issue for about 15                                                               
years.   He facilitated the  harvest management workshop  for the                                                               
U.S.  Fish and  Wildlife Service  and  a tannery  was started  in                                                               
Sitka  to promote  economic opportunities  for tribal  members in                                                               
the  community.   He expressed  his organization's  great concern                                                               
with  some of  the  enforcement actions  that  have happened  and                                                               
which have  created confusion amongst  the hunters  and artisans.                                                               
He concluded by supporting Version I with no changes to it.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:41:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER, regarding the  current use of sea otters,                                                               
asked who  determines who  qualifies as Native  and how  a Native                                                               
harvester would know that a buyer is qualified to own it.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MILLER  explained that  there is an  exemption in  the Marine                                                               
Mammal  Protection  Act,  Section   101(b),  for  Alaska  coastal                                                               
Natives to harvest and make use  of sea otter for handicrafts, as                                                               
well as to  trade and sell pelts to other  qualified Natives.  In                                                               
regulation the  definition of Alaska  Native for purposes  of the                                                               
act  is one-quarter  blood quantum  or greater  who lives  on the                                                               
coast.   However,  there  is  some question  as  to  how that  is                                                               
figured  out  by  the  different  solicitors  of  the  respective                                                               
agencies, although that  is how they say they enforce  that.  For                                                               
many people who  are one-quarter blood or a bit  more it would be                                                               
hard to determine  that they are unless  they show identification                                                               
and that  raises questions about how  that would be enforced.   A                                                               
lot  of  this  comes  back  to questions  about  how  things  are                                                               
enforced  and there  needs to  be  some clarity  on those  things                                                               
before sea otters can really be fully utilized to help Natives.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DICK commented  that he is the  only non-Native in                                                               
his family  and all his  family members  have a Bureau  of Indian                                                               
Affairs (BIA) card  that shows what fraction  Native Alaskan they                                                               
are.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:43:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE   closed  public   testimony  on  HJR   26  after                                                               
ascertaining that no one else wished to testify.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SEATON  reiterated that  he thinks  Version I  cleans up                                                               
the potential problems  in the resolution.  He said  he would not                                                               
make a motion  to move the resolution if it  allowed sale to non-                                                               
Natives because that would hurt  the Native artisan community and                                                               
the  authenticity of  sales to  tourists and  others, as  well as                                                               
have  a  situation in  which  one  shooter  on  a boat  that  was                                                               
qualified  and the  rest  of  the people  onboard  would be  non-                                                               
Natives.   The sponsor has done  a good job of  expanding the use                                                               
within the  Native community without  getting into  the situation                                                               
of less control on the harvest.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  agreed with Co-Chair Seaton.   However, she                                                               
suggested  to  the  sponsor  that   some  of  the  editorializing                                                               
language be toned down so as  not to build up hysteria around the                                                               
issue.  She said she agrees  with the resolution and thinks it is                                                               
important.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:46:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI agreed  with the  previous two  speakers                                                               
and noted  that Version I calls  for coming up with  local plans.                                                               
He appreciated  the sponsor's willingness to  change the language                                                               
dealing with  Alaska Native and traditional  artifacts and agreed                                                               
with  the previous  speaker about  how the  resolution should  be                                                               
fixed  further.     Regarding  the  McDowell   Group  report,  he                                                               
maintained that  a lot of study  has not been done  and much more                                                               
needs  to  be  done  for  any  management  plan.    Referring  to                                                               
citations in  the report  that ADF&G has  closed seven  areas for                                                               
sea cucumbers presumably  for sea otter predation, he  said it is                                                               
inconclusive.   He further  noted that  no geoduck  harvests have                                                               
ever been closed  due to sea otter predation,  although ADF&G has                                                               
identified some areas  where there could be  sea otter predation.                                                               
Continuing  his  reference  to  the report,  he  said  sea  otter                                                               
predation impacts  on red  sea urchins since  2005 have  not been                                                               
compiled, and  the decline of red  sea urchin in recent  years is                                                               
related to  market factors, not due  to sea otter predation.   He                                                               
further  noted   that  the   abalone  fishery   collapsed  almost                                                               
certainly because  of excessive harvest  in the 1970s  and 1980s,                                                               
not due  to sea otter  predation.  He said  he would like  to ask                                                               
ADF&G numerous questions  about how it comes up  with the various                                                               
numbers.   He urged  that there be  thoughtful debate  about this                                                               
and  offered his  appreciation of  the  sponsor's willingness  to                                                               
continue in this regard.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:48:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DICK  understood  the  concern  of  those  people                                                               
asking  for  more  study  and  said that  if  hunting  was  begun                                                               
tomorrow it  would be  premature.   He maintained,  however, that                                                               
with predator control  for wolves the cry for more  study went on                                                               
for eight  years and resulted in  no moose populations.   He said                                                               
he is sure that there will be  more study on the sea otter issue,                                                               
given the timing of the resolution.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE stated  that a  good  part of  the resolution  is                                                               
simply to get the U.S. Fish  and Wildlife Service to come up with                                                               
a plan.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:48:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SEATON moved  to report  the committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
for HJR 26, Version I,  labeled 27-LS0717\I, Bullard, 2/6/12, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying zero  fiscal note.   There  being no  objection, the                                                               
House Resources Standing Committee  reported CSHJR 26(RES) out of                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHJR 26 Explanation of Changes.pdf HRES 2/13/2012 1:00:00 PM
CSHJR26 Work Draft Version I.pdf HRES 2/13/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR26 Support Letter - Neidiffer.pdf HRES 2/13/2012 1:00:00 PM
HRES Dept. Rev 5 YLB 2.13.12.pdf HRES 2/13/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 26 Comments - Knudsen.pdf HRES 2/13/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 26 Comments - Randrup.pdf HRES 2/13/2012 1:00:00 PM
HJR 26 Comment - Churchill.PDF HRES 2/13/2012 1:00:00 PM