Legislature(2007 - 2008)BUTROVICH 205
03/17/2008 03:30 PM RESOURCES
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|Board of Game Confirmation Hearings|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 214-HUNTING BY MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY' 3:38:16 PM CHAIR HUGGINS announced SB 214 to be up for consideration. JODY SIMPSON, staff to Senator Huggins, sponsor of SB 214, said there was a new CS, version E that she hoped accomplished the goals of the sponsor. It provides for military and Coast Guard members and their dependents, it waives the 12-month waiting period that is required currently in statute for them to be able to pay resident rates, it accords resident rate fees for permits and tags and it addresses Senator McGuire's concerns about going back to the original language of the bill. This CS does that and does it without qualifying them under other areas of the statute as residents. They are still defined as non-residents. It also addresses Senator Wagoner's concerns in that it doesn't open up the dip-netting and personal use fisheries for these folks until they have been here for a year. An email from Kevin Saxby, Department of Law (DOL), confirms that. She said it also addresses the concerns of the Alaska Professional Hunters' Association and others by retaining the guide component for the three most dangerous species. 3:40:11 PM SENATOR STEVENS said he appreciated all the work that went into this issue and he asked if this would include the uniform military and the Corps of Engineers. CHAIR HUGGINS answered yes as they are a branch of the U.S. Army. SENATOR STEVENS said he was thinking of the uniform medical corps in the BIA. CHAIR HUGGINS said they are not covered by this bill. 3:41:28 PM KRISTIN WRIGHT, Supervisor, Finance Licensing, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), relative to Senator Stevens' question, explained that the BIA and other groups, if they are not considered as part of the military on a certain federal register, they are not considered military. SENATOR STEVENS said his concern is that the Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security and it's their intention to cover them. CHAIR HUGGINS said they are covered specifically in the bill. He asked if Ms. Wright saw any challenges in administering this change. MS. WRIGHT answered no. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if someone from ADF&G could comment on whether this legislation would impact the numbers of fish and wildlife available to residents. MS. WRIGHT answered they already pay the resident rate for the fishing license now, but at issue is the hunting license. Very few have participated in hunting, but it's possible that more military might hunt under this bill because the licenses would cost less than what they would have been paying. The fiscal note would always be a guess. SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said he supports the bill, but they have a constitutional obligation to mandate for sustainable resource and that's what he's getting at. He asked if she anticipated that these provisions would have a significant impact on that mandate. MS. WRIGHT replied that these people would still be considered non-residents and wouldn't be able to participate in the personal use fisheries until they have met the one-year residency requirement. They are already doing that. 3:44:42 PM KEVIN SAXBY, Department of Law (DOL), said he was available to answer questions. SENATOR MCGUIRE joined the committee. 3:45:24 PM FRANK BISHOP, combat veteran, Kodiak, said he had been a resident of Alaska for the past 37 years and he disagreed with SB 214. He thought they were trying to make a special status of citizen. At the present time all the military are voluntary and this would have a drastic impact on the economy of the local population that makes their living from non-residents. CHAIR HUGGINS said requiring a guide for the big species in the first year would continue, so you still need a guide for brown bear and goat hunting. The other part is that the difference in some of the professions and vocations is that military people are sent here on orders; it may be they want to come or they don't want to come, but they don't have a choice. A lot of young men and women are coming to Alaska for a matter of months and then shipping out to Iraq or Afghanistan, and some of them don't come back. He characterized it as being good hosts for young people who are really making a sacrifice for the country potentially. He concluded by thanking him for his years of service in being a combat veteran. 3:49:01 PM BOBBY FITHIAN, Professional Hunters Association, supported SB 214, version E. He said they appreciated the sponsor working with them to delete sections 2 and 3 that dealt with the guide- required species. 3:49:54 PM BRUCE KNOWLES, representing himself, Mat-Su, said he is a disable veteran and he loved this bill. He said that people who don't understand the military and those who have been away from it for years cannot understand today's military and the sacrifices these people are making. He has a son in the military and he said, "These people deserve everything we can give them." The fact that they won't be able to participate in the personal use fisheries is short sighted, but that's how it worked out. 3:50:51 PM TOM LOGAN, representing himself, Big Lake, supported SB 214. He related that he had personal experience with this issue. He was transferred by the military to Alaska quite a few years ago, and the second day he was here he bought a non-resident hunting license and didn't sign in to his base for 10 days. The next year he used his non-resident hunting license to show that he had been in Alaska over a year, although it was a year and two days, and bought a regular hunting license. ADF&G tried to say "no" because the military said he didn't get here until 10 days later. The department didn't want to accept his old license as proof that he had been in Alaska 10 days before. MR. LOGAN said a lot of other young men did the same thing; they came up early and hunted on a non-resident license and then wound up paying a fine because they couldn't document they had been here ahead of time. 3:53:19 PM SENATOR STEVENS moved to adopt CSSB 214(RES), version E, for discussion purposes. There were no objections and it was so ordered. 3:54:20 PM SENATOR STEVENS moved to report CSSB 214(RES), version E, from committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes. There were no objections and it was so ordered.