Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

03/07/2005 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SB 103 Out of Committee
Moved SB 110 Out of Committee
-- On the Above Bills Testimony --
<By Invitation Only>
Moved CSHB 76(FIN)AM Out of Committee
Moved HCR 2 Out of Committee
     CSHB  76(FIN)AM-BIG GAME SERVICES & COMM. SERVICES BD                                                                  
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER announced  CSHB  76(FIN)AM  to be  up  for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RALPH SAMUELS, sponsor,  said it reestablishes the                                                               
Big Game  Commercial Services Board.  The former  board sunsetted                                                               
in the early 90s and its  duties were transferred to the Division                                                               
of Occupational Licensing.                                                                                                      
A Legislative Budget and Audit  report recommended that the board                                                               
be  reestablished  for consumer  protection  and  to set  ethical                                                               
standards for guides. This is supported  by the Board of Game and                                                               
Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) and various user groups.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS reviewed  the  changes  from last  year's                                                               
bill that didn't pass.                                                                                                          
4:01:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Board  membership went  from two  guides,  two transporters,  one                                                               
member appointed  by the Board  of Game, one private  land holder                                                               
and one public member to  two guides, two transporters, one Board                                                               
of  Game  appointee, two  private  land  holders and  two  public                                                               
members. The thinking  behind that is there  is inherent conflict                                                               
between  the  transporters  and the  guides.  The  second  change                                                               
requires the  board to issue a  license to someone who  meets the                                                               
standards.  Also, the  original bill  had  a $1,000  fine in  the                                                               
previous 12  months would have  precluded someone  from receiving                                                               
or renewing a  guide or transport license and  that was increased                                                               
to $2,000 -  with the support of the Department  of Public Safety                                                               
4:03:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS asked  if  this  was the  same  membership as  the                                                               
previous group that was sunsetted.                                                                                              
4:03:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS replied  that he didn't know,  but the old                                                               
board had  the perception that  it was a bit  of a good  old boys                                                               
club. "If you knew somebody, you got certain privileges."                                                                       
4:04:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS said  she didn't  see wildlife  biologists in  the                                                               
board and asked if they would come under public members.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  replied the  Board of Game  would appoint                                                               
one member and  that might be a biologist or  a professional game                                                               
4:05:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS asked the definition of private landholder.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS   replied  that  probably   means  Native                                                               
Corporations with large tracts of land.                                                                                         
SENATOR  STEDMAN   said  he  thought  it   included  all  private                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS replied that it does.                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER asked  Mr. Robus if he could  answer Senator Guess'                                                               
4:06:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT ROBUS, Director, Division  of Wildlife Conservation, replied                                                               
that  even  thought  wildlife  biologists  are  talked  about  as                                                               
advocating  for the  reinstitution  of the  board,  they are  not                                                               
actually included in the specification of  who gets to sit on the                                                               
4:07:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS  responded that she  wanted to know how  this board                                                               
is different in its membership from the old one that sunsetted.                                                                 
4:07:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ROBUS replied  that  it's  not much  different.  One of  the                                                               
reasons   he  and   the  Board   of  Game   are  advocating   for                                                               
reinstituting  the Commercial  Services Board  is because  it's a                                                               
complement to  the biological  work that the  Board of  Game does                                                               
with  input from  ADF&G. Without  it, the  component of  wildlife                                                               
management  that  has  to do  with  people  management  presented                                                               
problems  that the  board doesn't  have  the tools  to solve.  It                                                               
provides a  needed function.  Problems came  up that  couldn't be                                                               
addressed  by altering  bag  limits and  seasons  et cetera.  The                                                               
department and Board of Game both supported HB 76.                                                                              
PAUL JOHNSON, Elfin Cove guide, supported  HB 76. He said lots of                                                               
things are falling  through the cracks without the  old board. To                                                               
Senator Guess' question he said  the prior board had nine members                                                               
-  two   guides,  two  transporters,  two   public  members,  one                                                               
commercial user,  one private  landholder and  one Board  of Game                                                               
member.  The board  did not  take  up biological  issues and  the                                                               
Board of Game member was a great liaison between the two boards.                                                                
4:11:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS asked how long he had been guiding.                                                                             
MR. JOHNSON replied 30 years.                                                                                                   
SENATOR SEEKINS asked when exclusive guides areas went away.                                                                    
MR.  JOHNSON  replied  that  they  went away  in  1991  with  the                                                               
Owsichek decision.                                                                                                              
SENATOR SEEKINS asked if there  are de facto reserved guide areas                                                               
in  effect by  landowners  who have  contracted exclusively  with                                                               
certain guides.                                                                                                                 
MR. JOHNSON replied yes. He said  there are large tracts of prime                                                               
federal  lands  that  the  National  Park  System,  US  Fish  and                                                               
Wildlife  and  US  Forest  Service   have  contracted  through  a                                                               
concession process. Prior  to Owsichek, once you had  a use area,                                                               
you had it  forever. That's why they called it  the good old boys                                                               
club. A  task force  put together that  eliminated the  old guide                                                               
board  and created  the  Commercial Services  Board,  but in  the                                                               
middle of that process the  Owsichek decision came down. The feds                                                               
hoped  the state  would pick  up the  ball as  they have  done on                                                               
their lands.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS asked from a  guide's perspective, if there could                                                               
be some ethical concerns between  private landowners who contract                                                               
with  exclusive  guides. He  asked  if  he  saw any  conflict  of                                                               
interest there.                                                                                                                 
MR. JOHNSON replied he was the  chair of the former board and the                                                               
private landholders were more concerned  with how they were going                                                               
to get their companies involved  with their local people and with                                                               
just two guide members on the  board he didn't foresee that being                                                               
a problem. However,  he could see major benefits to  the state as                                                               
a  whole in  getting  those private  landholders into  commercial                                                               
utilization of the game if they choose.                                                                                         
     I think  the more  they learn  about the  industry, the                                                                    
     more they  may so  choose. It's  been a  very effective                                                                    
     process in  Canada, in Africa  and obviously  our state                                                                    
     is competing with those other countries.                                                                                   
4:15:29 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  THOMPSON, Regional  Manager, Division  of Mining,  Land and                                                               
Water, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), supported HB 76.                                                                  
4:16:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEN   STEVENS  moved  CSHB  76(FIN)AM   with  individual                                                               
recommendations  and   attached  fiscal   note.  There   were  no                                                               
objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                               
          HB  76-BIG GAME SERVICES & COMM. SERVICES BD                                                                      
SENATOR DYSON  declared that he  may have a conflict  of interest                                                               
with HB 76.                                                                                                                     

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