Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

04/14/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:02:21 PM Start
01:03:29 PM HB177
01:06:20 PM Presentation: Ak Gasline Development Corporation Status Update
02:24:23 PM HB211
02:56:16 PM HB201
03:11:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: AK Gasline Development Corp. TELECONFERENCED
Status Update
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
<Bill Hearing Postponed>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Moved CSHB 177(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Moved CSHB 211(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
        HB 211-NONRESIDENT HUNTING REQUIREMENTS: CARIBOU                                                                    
2:24:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that  the next  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 211, "An Act requiring  a nonresident to                                                               
be accompanied  by a  guide or resident  spouse or  relative when                                                               
hunting certain caribou; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
2:25:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE read from  the Alaska State Constitution,                                                               
Article 8, section 2 as follows:                                                                                                
     The  legislature  shall  provide for  the  utilization,                                                                    
     development, and conservation  of all natural resources                                                                    
     belonging to the state, including  land and waters, for                                                                    
     the maximum benefit of its people.                                                                                         
RESPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE said  maximizing benefits  for Alaskans                                                               
should not  be limited to  oil [resources].   He pointed  out the                                                               
wealth from out-of-state  hunters with a guide  is not disruptive                                                               
to migration patterns.  Furthermore,  a transporter bringing in a                                                               
hunter from out-of-state,  or not, suffers no  repercussions if a                                                               
violation  is  committed  by  a   client,  but  if  a  hunter  is                                                               
accompanied by a big game guide,  the guide has a vested interest                                                               
in ensuring Alaska laws are obeyed.                                                                                             
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  asked for clarification on  why the Porcupine                                                               
Caribou Herd, [with  a herd size of] 200,000, is  included in the                                                               
provisions of the bill.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE explained the  legislation applies to the                                                               
caribou that cross over from Canada.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  recalled   previous  testimony  [during  the                                                               
hearing of  HB 211 on  4/13/17] from Mr. Barrette  that mandatory                                                               
guiding  should  not be  used  as  a  tool to  limit  nonresident                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  agreed,  and  explained  why  the  bill                                                               
requires mandatory guiding as follows:                                                                                          
     It  goes back  to sustainable  yield, exactly  what the                                                                    
     Board  of  Game  [Alaska  Department  of  Fish  &  Game                                                                    
     (ADFG)] was created for.   You have big game guides out                                                                    
     there   [and]   it   behooves    them   to,   to   have                                                                    
     sustainability   built  into   whatever  they   may  be                                                                    
     hunting, so,  unlike [Mr. Barrette], where  he's saying                                                                    
     I'm using it  to exclude people, I'm using  it so their                                                                    
     children,  the clients'  children, and  their children,                                                                    
     and  so  forth,  will  be   able  to  hunt  from  these                                                                    
     magnificent  herds that  are traveling  across America,                                                                    
     the last ones  that we have out here.   [The bill] is a                                                                    
     safeguard for sustaining these  herds, rather than what                                                                    
     we  have  now, with  transporters  being  able to  take                                                                    
     someone in,  and being disruptive to  herd migrations -                                                                    
     the herd patterns.  This, it just makes sense.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  directed attention  to the  bill on  [page 1,                                                               
lines 10-14, which read:                                                                                                        
     *Sec. 2. AS 16.05.407(b) is amended to read:                                                                               
          (d) A nonresident who violates  (a) or (g) of this                                                                
     section,  or who  fails to  furnish an  affidavit under                                                                    
     (b) of  this section,  is guilty  of a  misdemeanor and                                                                    
     upon conviction  is punishable by imprisonment  for not                                                                    
     more  than one  year, or  by a  fine of  not more  than                                                                    
     $5,000, or by both.                                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  asked whether the foregoing  section would be                                                               
consistent  with   the  efforts  of  the   Division  of  Wildlife                                                               
Troopers, Department of  Public Safety (DPS), in  proposed HB 129                                                               
and in  Senate Bill 91 [passed  in the first session  of the 30th                                                               
Alaska State Legislature],  which are to move  provisions into AS                                                               
12.55 "in sort of a generic [class] A misdemeanor sort of way."                                                                 
2:29:29 PM                                                                                                                    
BERNARD CHASTAIN, Major,  Deputy Director, Headquarters, Division                                                               
of  Alaska  Wildlife Troopers,  DPS,  clarified  the question  is                                                               
related   to  the   penalties   associated   with  AS   16.05.407                                                               
subsections (b)  and (d).   He informed the  committee [companion                                                               
bills SB 60 and HB 129]  propose to align penalties within Alaska                                                               
Statues Title 16, and standardizes  the penalties within as class                                                               
A misdemeanors.   Currently, AS 16.05.407 is not  included in the                                                               
provisions of proposed  HB 129 or SB 60;  however, amendments are                                                               
forthcoming which would  align AS 16.05.407 penalties  to a class                                                               
A misdemeanor,  and thereby change  the penalties proposed  in HB                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON said,  "... but you're O.K. with  this sort of                                                               
continuing  with  the  status  quo, in  terms  of  its  language,                                                               
pending any further reform of, through HB 129."                                                                                 
MAJOR CHASTAIN  clarified the change  in the language [in  HB 211                                                               
on page 1, lines 10-14] simply  adds "or (g)" and does not change                                                               
the  penalties.     Other  [proposed]  bills   would  change  the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  said he is  struggling with the  idea of                                                               
the bill  because the state  has established a  regulatory agency                                                               
via  the  Board of  Game  (BOG),  ADFG,  to deal  with  proposals                                                               
[related  to  wildlife].    He questioned  whether  BOG  has  the                                                               
ability  to  enact the  restriction  directed  by the  bill,  and                                                               
thereby   keep   the   restriction   "somewhat   flexible";   the                                                               
legislature enacts  statutes, which  are not  very flexible.   He                                                               
asked  whether the  bill removes  authority from  a state  agency                                                               
structured to provide [wildlife] management.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE   responded  the  bill   addresses  user                                                               
conflict.   The  problem is:   There  are many  conflicts between                                                               
those who  pay transporters  and those who  use the  resource for                                                               
subsistence, which  seem to be  "never-ending."  In GMU  23, [the                                                               
sizes of] caribou  herds have dropped.  He read  as follows [from                                                               
a document not identified]:                                                                                                     
      Leading up to game management unit 23's closure, all                                                                      
       [caribou] harvesting declined ... except nonguided                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVER WESTLAKE  concluded from  the foregoing  that the                                                               
subsistence harvest declined, the  resident harvest declined, the                                                               
guided nonresident  harvest declined,  and the only  increase was                                                               
to the nonresident unguided harvest;  therefore, the only ones to                                                               
lose were the local folks.                                                                                                      
2:34:03 PM                                                                                                                    
FORREST  WOLFE, staff  to  Representative  Dean Westlake,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  in response to Representative  Talerico, said                                                               
enactment of  a guide  requirement has  to be  in statute  as BOG                                                               
does not have the authority to do so.                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  recalled the  executive director  of Resident                                                               
Hunters of  Alaska, testifying  in opposition  to the  bill, also                                                               
stated [the restriction] had to done legislatively.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  said,  "...  it  sounds  to  me  like  the                                                               
unguided nonresident hunters are better hunters, is that right?"                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  agreed, and  explained, "You can  be the                                                               
best hunter  out there if  you go  over there [and]  disrupt that                                                               
pattern  that they're  trying to  go through  when they're,  when                                                               
they're  migrating either  north to  south in  this instance,  or                                                               
else south to  north ...."  Speaking as a  Native hunter, he said                                                               
Native  hunters never  bother the  front herds.   He  related his                                                               
experience of  watching caribou come  over a mountain to  a river                                                               
followed   by  a   second  group   following   the  same   track.                                                               
Representative Westlake  stressed the  importance of  letting the                                                               
pilot  herds travel  the migratory  path without  disruption, and                                                               
said, "So,  sometimes at the  end of the  day, we get  less game,                                                               
but the caribou stay on that route ...."                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  asked whether  a  hunt  can be  structured                                                               
around a time that does not disrupt the migration pattern.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  suggested a  summer hunt  would probably                                                               
MR.  WOLFE,  in  response   to  Representative  Birch's  previous                                                               
question, said guides  are regulated as to the  number of clients                                                               
they  can   take  per   season  to   the  hunting   grounds,  and                                                               
transporters are not.  He  advised nonguided nonresidents may not                                                               
be better hunters, but there may be more of them.                                                                               
2:37:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH inquired  as to the economic  impact to the                                                               
region of a guided hunt as opposed to a nonguided hunt.                                                                         
2:37:56 PM                                                                                                                    
THOR STACEY,  Lobbyist, Alaska Professional  Hunters Association,                                                               
disclosed he has  a guide concession located  in the northeastern                                                               
portion of  the Arctic National  Wildlife Refuge (ANWR),  thus he                                                               
may have  a personal  financial interest in  some aspects  of the                                                               
bill.  In  response to Representative Parish, he  said the Alaska                                                               
Professional Hunters Association  (APHA) commissioned an economic                                                               
report in  2013, and a second  report with a partner  in 2017, to                                                               
review the economic impacts  associated with visiting nonresident                                                               
hunters who  are accompanied by  hunting guides.  Mr.  Stacey was                                                               
unaware  of a  study  that documents  the transporter  industry's                                                               
direct  economic  benefit, or  per  animal  most recent  economic                                                               
study  that   the  average  guided   hunt  in  Alaska   is  worth                                                               
approximately $16,500,  calculated from a total  of $87.5 million                                                               
of total  economic output,  from approximately  3,300 nonresident                                                               
hunters accompanied by guides.   Mr. Stacey assumed there is more                                                               
value-added benefit  for a  guided hunting trip,  but he  did not                                                               
have  documentation on  the value  of  a transported  nonresident                                                               
guided  hunt.   Furthermore,  in  response  to a  question  posed                                                               
[4/13/17], approximately  90 percent of active  registered guides                                                               
in Alaska are Alaska residents.                                                                                                 
2:40:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH questioned how  the number of active guides                                                               
in the region compares with the number of transporters.                                                                         
MR.  STACEY   said  hunting  guides  contract   the  services  of                                                               
transporters, and  a nonresident  accompanied by a  hunting guide                                                               
may also contract  the services of a transporter, such  as an air                                                               
taxi.   He pointed out the  central portion of the  affected area                                                               
to  the west  is  federal land,  and except  for  Bureau of  Land                                                               
Management  (BLM), U.S.  Department of  the Interior  (DOI) land,                                                               
there is  a fixed number  of hunting guide  concessions permitted                                                               
on land managed  by the National Park Service, DOI,  and the U.S.                                                               
Fish  and Wildlife  Service, DOI.   In  addition, from  the Kavik                                                               
River east -  the area of the Central Arctic  and Porcupine herds                                                               
-  the land  is similarly  restricted.   Because there  is not  a                                                               
restrictive   program  affecting   transporters,   there  is   an                                                               
unlimited number  of transporters  operating within any  of these                                                               
lands.    One area  not  reported  in  studies of  reductions  in                                                               
harvest  and  opportunity is  the  "transporter  component."   He                                                               
related the  demand for hunting a  caribou is good -  worldwide -                                                               
and the demand  for transported access to hunting  areas is high;                                                               
thus an "uptick"  in harvest represents a larger  uptick in total                                                               
hunter  effort, because  not every  hunter  gets a  caribou:   an                                                               
uptick in  harvest and a  declining herd represents  more hunters                                                               
in the field.                                                                                                                   
2:43:19 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH inquired  as to what sanctions  APHA has in                                                               
place for guides who may disrupt a migrating caribou herd.                                                                      
MR. STACEY said  APHA is a nongovernmental entity with  a code of                                                               
conduct and ethical guidelines to  which members adhere.  He said                                                               
he was  unaware of any governmental  or nongovernmental sanctions                                                               
against a  guide who  disrupts the migration  of a  caribou herd.                                                               
However,  the perception  of disruptions,  founded or  unfounded,                                                               
may  have resulted  in  the closure  of GMU  23  to all  nonlocal                                                               
hunters.    In  further  response to  Representative  Parish,  he                                                               
opined the  bill is  not designed  to cap  [the number  of visits                                                               
and]  the decline  of  the  herd, in  fact,  caribou herds  could                                                               
experience  many environmental  and  human causes  for a  serious                                                               
decline;  the  state  BOG  process   is  confined  by  the  state                                                               
constitutional mandate for sustained  harvest, with a subsistence                                                               
priority,  and on  federal land,  state  and federal  subsistence                                                               
absolute amounts  are set.  However,  APHA does not see  the bill                                                               
as  necessary for  the  conservation of  the  herd, but  instead,                                                               
human-on-human conflict is the "discussion on the table."                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  referred to information from  the Division                                                               
of  Wildlife  Conservation, ADFG,  reporting  that  last year  82                                                               
percent   of  nonresident   hunters   were   unguided,  and   350                                                               
nonresident hunters  per year hunt  unguided.  For  the Teshekpuk                                                               
and Western Arctic  herds, approximately 2,326, or  77 percent of                                                               
nonresidents, are  unguided.   He asked  what percentage  [of the                                                               
unguided  nonresident hunters]  could  be  "absorbed into  guided                                                               
MR.  STACEY advised  not  all could  be  absorbed through  guided                                                               
hunts  because  that would  be  beyond  the capacity  of  hunting                                                               
guides.  Furthermore, the number  of guided hunts is also limited                                                               
by  economics because  guided hunts  cost more.   He  assured the                                                               
committee  that the  current number  of permitted  hunting guides                                                               
could  not  accompany the  same  number  of nonresident  unguided                                                               
hunts that now occur.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  questioned  whether guides  could  double                                                               
their capacity next year.                                                                                                       
2:48:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  STACEY  expressed  doubt that  the  guiding  industry  could                                                               
double its capacity within a year.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH posited that if  guides were able to double                                                               
their  capacity, there  would  be  a 50  percent  decline in  the                                                               
number  of  nonresidents  hunting, unless  they  had  [qualified]                                                               
relatives in the area.                                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON clarified  nonresidents  could  hunt if  they                                                               
have relatives in the state with a second degree of kindred.                                                                    
MR. STACEY remarked:                                                                                                            
     Currently,  zero  nonresidents hunters  could  actually                                                                    
     hunt in the  unit 23 portion of the  area discussed, so                                                                    
     any opening  would represent a significant  increase of                                                                    
     opportunity that  would theoretically,  obviously, come                                                                    
     with a  caveat .... that Alaska  residents, everyone in                                                                    
     this  room, that  doesn't live  within the  area, would                                                                    
     once again be  allowed to hunt there. ...  It's hard to                                                                    
     ascertain  the  downrange  of facts,  especially  where                                                                    
     federal management and federal  boards and other things                                                                    
     are involved, so ... it's a complex problem.                                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  asked whether guides can  combine hunting for                                                               
caribou and sheep in the same trip.                                                                                             
MR. STACEY said that is common practice.                                                                                        
2:51:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  moved to adopt [Amendment  1, identified                                                               
as 30-LS0700\J.2, Bullard, 4/12/17].                                                                                            
2:51:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  explained Amendment  1 would  correct an                                                               
oversight  that  omitted  the Teshekpuk  Caribou  Herd  from  the                                                               
caribou herds protected  in the bill.  As an  aside, he noted the                                                               
local hunters have already scaled  down their subsistence hunting                                                               
of this herd.                                                                                                                   
2:52:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR removed  her objection.   There  being no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
2:53:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  moved  to  report  HB 211,  as  amended,  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHB  211(RES)  was                                                               
reported from the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AGDC House Resources Committee Presentation 4.14.17.pdf HRES 4/14/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB201 Supporting Document - Legal Memos re MatSu Trapping 2013.pdf HRES 4/14/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 201