Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

04/04/2012 03:30 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 118 RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 340 PETERSVILLE RECREATIONAL MINING AREA TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 340 Out of Committee
+ HCR 25 WILDLIFE & SPORT FISH RESTORATION PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHCR 25(FSH) Out of Committee
+ HJR 20 ROADLESS RULE & CHUGACH AND TONGASS HYDRO TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHJR 20(RES) Out of Committee
+ HJR 26 SEA OTTER MANAGEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HJR 32 REMOVE WOOD BISON FROM ENDANGERED LIST TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 32(RES) Out of Committee
+ Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council TELECONFERENCED
Confirmation Hearings
<Public Testimony>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 4, 2012                                                                                          
                           3:34 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Joe Paskvan, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
     Fisherman's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council                                                                            
          Clay Bezenek, Ketchikan                                                                                               
          James Herbert, Seward                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATIONS POSTPONED TO APRIL 6, 2012                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 340                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the reservation of certain mining claims                                                                    
from all uses incompatible with the purposes for establishing                                                                   
the Petersville Recreational Mining Area."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 340 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 25(FSH)                                                                                  
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish                                                                 
Restoration Program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHCR 25(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 20(ENE)                                                                                       
Urging the President of the United States, the United States                                                                    
Congress, and the Secretary of the United States Department of                                                                  
Agriculture not  to implement protection of  inventoried roadless                                                               
areas  under  the  "roadless  rule"  or  otherwise  restrict  the                                                               
development of  necessary hydroelectric  projects in  the Tongass                                                               
National Forest and the Chugach National Forest.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SCS CSHJR 20(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 32(RES)                                                                                       
Urging  the United  States  Congress to  remove  wood bison  from                                                               
protection under the Endangered Species  Act of 1973 and to grant                                                               
control of wood bison in Alaska to the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHJR 32(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 26(RES) AM                                                                                    
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.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 118(FIN)                                                                                
"An  Act relating  to a  tax  credit for  qualified research  and                                                               
development expenditures; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 340                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PETERSVILLE RECREATIONAL MINING AREA                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) NEUMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/22/12       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/12       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
03/02/12       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/02/12       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/02/12       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/14/12       (H)       RES RPT 4DP 1DNP 1NR 1AM                                                                               
03/14/12       (H)       DP: DICK, FOSTER, SEATON, FEIGE                                                                        
03/14/12       (H)       DNP: GARDNER                                                                                           
03/14/12       (H)       NR: MUNOZ                                                                                              
03/14/12       (H)       AM: KAWASAKI                                                                                           
03/26/12       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/26/12       (H)       VERSION: HB 340                                                                                        
03/28/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/28/12       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
04/04/12       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 25                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WILDLIFE & SPORT FISH RESTORATION PROGRAM                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) NEUMAN                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
02/22/12       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/12       (H)       FSH                                                                                                    
03/01/12       (H)       FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/01/12       (H)       Moved CSHCR 25(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/01/12       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/02/12       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) 5DP                                                                                    
03/02/12       (H)       DP: AUSTERMAN, JOHNSON, PRUITT, MILLER,                                                                
                         THOMPSON                                                                                               
03/16/12       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/16/12       (H)       VERSION: CSHCR 25(FSH)                                                                                 
03/19/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/19/12       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
04/04/12       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 20                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ROADLESS RULE & CHUGACH AND TONGASS HYDRO                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOHANSEN                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/09/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/09/11       (H)       ENE, RES                                                                                               
03/17/11       (H)       ENE AT 3:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/17/11       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/22/11       (H)       ENE AT 3:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/22/11       (H)       Moved CSHJR 20(ENE) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/22/11       (H)       MINUTE(ENE)                                                                                            
03/23/11       (H)       ENE RPT CS(ENE) 6DP                                                                                    
03/23/11       (H)       DP: LYNN, TUCK, PETERSEN, SADDLER,                                                                     
                         PRUITT, FOSTER                                                                                         
04/06/11       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/06/11       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/06/11       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/08/11       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/08/11       (H)       Moved CSHJR 20(ENE) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/08/11       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/09/11       (H)       RES RPT CS(ENE) 6DP 2NR                                                                                
04/09/11       (H)       DP: MUNOZ, FOSTER, P.WILSON, DICK,                                                                     
                         FEIGE, SEATON                                                                                          
04/09/11       (H)       NR: GARDNER, KAWASAKI                                                                                  
04/12/11       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/12/11       (H)       VERSION: CSHJR 20(ENE)                                                                                 
04/13/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/13/11       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
04/04/12       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 26                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEA OTTER MANAGEMENT                                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) P.WILSON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/31/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/31/11       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
02/03/12       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/03/12       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/03/12       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/13/12       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/13/12       (H)       Moved CSHJR 26(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/13/12       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/15/12       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) 6DP 2NR 1AM                                                                            
02/15/12       (H)       DP: MUNOZ, FOSTER, P.WILSON, DICK,                                                                     
                         SEATON, FEIGE                                                                                          
02/15/12       (H)       NR: GARDNER, HERRON                                                                                    
02/15/12       (H)       AM: KAWASAKI                                                                                           
03/19/12       (H)       DIVIDE THE AMENDMENT UC                                                                                
03/19/12       (H)       DIVIDE AM NO 1A WITHDRAWN                                                                              
03/19/12       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/19/12       (H)       VERSION: CSHJR 26(RES) AM                                                                              
03/21/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/21/12       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
04/04/12       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 32                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REMOVE WOOD BISON FROM ENDANGERED LIST                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) DICK                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
02/01/12       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/01/12       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
02/29/12       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/29/12       (H)       Moved CSHJR 32(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/29/12       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/02/12       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) 8DP 1AM                                                                                
03/02/12       (H)       DP: MUNOZ, FOSTER, GARDNER, DICK,                                                                      
                         HERRON, P.WILSON, SEATON, FEIGE                                                                        
03/02/12       (H)       AM: KAWASAKI                                                                                           
03/26/12       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/26/12       (H)       VERSION: CSHJR 32(RES)                                                                                 
03/28/12       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/28/12       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
04/04/12       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REX SHATTUCK, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to HB 340 on                                                                   
behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MARK NEUMAN                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 340 and HCR 25.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MICHELE STEVENS, representing herself                                                                                           
Petersburg, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 340 and presented a statement                                                                
on its issues.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ASHLEY BROWN, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                        
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Oil, Gas, and Mining Section                                                                                                    
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Representing the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                          
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained legal issues regarding HB 340.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
KERWIN KRAUSE, Geologist                                                                                                        
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained mining issues regarding HB 340 and                                                              
said the department supported it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KYLE JOHANSEN                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 20.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KACI SCHROEDER, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained the changes in Senate Committee                                                                 
Substitute (SCS) for HJR 20.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ALAN DICK                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 32.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PAUL VERHAGEN, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Alan Dick                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HJR 32 for the sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DOUG VINCENT LANGE, Director                                                                                                    
Division of Wildlife Conservation                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)                                                                                      
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Related how wood  bison would be  managed by                                                             
ADF&G  with the  Board of  Game to  setting harvest  restrictions                                                               
with regards to HJR 32.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PEGGY WILSON                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 26.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ARTHUR MARTIN, Intern                                                                                                           
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HJR 26 for the sponsor.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:34:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  THOMAS WAGONER  called  the  Senate Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:34  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were  Senators Wielechowski, Stevens, Co-Chair  Paskvan and                                                               
Co-Chair Wagoner.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
^Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                          
                     Confirmation Hearings                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
3:35:40 PM                                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER announced  the  confirmation  hearings for  the                                                               
Fisherman's  Fund  Advisory and  Appeals  Council.  He said  that                                                               
staff sent  out emails  asking if anyone  had questions  and they                                                               
didn't get any replies.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:36:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  said he  didn't recall getting  an email  and he                                                               
would have like to have invited the appointees to the meeting.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER said he could move the hearing to Friday.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS said he would prefer that.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 340-PETERSVILLE RECREATIONAL MINING AREA                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:39:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WAGONER announced HB 340 to be up for consideration.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN moved  to bring HB 340 before  the committee for                                                               
purposes of discussion.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REX SHATTUCK,  staff to Representative Mark  Neuman, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor of HB 340, put himself on the record.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MARK NEUMAN, Alaska  State Legislature, sponsor of                                                               
HB 340, explained  that he was approached by  a constituent named                                                               
Michelle Stevens  who had 550  acres of federal mining  claims in                                                               
the Petersville  Mountain area and  the director of  the Division                                                               
of Mining,  Land and Water  had approached her because  the state                                                               
wanted to acquire that land  from the federal government and then                                                               
give  her 220  acres back;  they were  then going  to convey  the                                                               
mining rights  back to  her after  the land  was conveyed  to the                                                               
state so she could do  some recreation mining. Some complications                                                               
came  up during  that process  and to  resolve those  issues they                                                               
have worked with  the current director and Steve  Borrel with the                                                               
Alaska  Mining  Association  to  remove  the  following  previous                                                               
federal  mining   claims  from   recreational  mining   areas  as                                                               
described on page 2, lines 2-6, in the bill.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:41:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE joined the committee.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER opened the public hearing.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:42:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHELE STEVENS,  representing herself* Petersburg, AK*  said she                                                               
had also  submitted her  testimony in  writing and  was available                                                               
for questions.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER asked her for a three-minute summary.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STEVENS  explained  that  in  1994  she  wanted  to  have  a                                                               
recreational mining area and to  do that, she and Jules Tileston,                                                               
Director,  Division  of Mining,  Land  and  Water, Department  of                                                               
Natural  Resources  (DNR),  decided  that  she  would  relinquish                                                               
approximately 500  acres of what  were previously  federal mining                                                               
claims with  an express  commitment from  the division  that once                                                               
the  federal   land  was  conveyed   to  the  State   of  Alaska,                                                               
approximately 220 acres  located in US Mineral  Survey 2384 would                                                               
be  leased back  to her  for  the establishment  of a  commercial                                                               
recreational  mining concession  that would  become known  as the                                                               
South Petersville  Recreational Mining  Area. They agreed  to use                                                               
the federal  monuments named as  reference points in a  recent $1                                                               
million survey as boundaries for  the proposed site. She said the                                                               
concession  would  include  a museum  and  other  amenities  like                                                               
several  historic buildings  that she  owned and  a marine  steam                                                               
shovel  that  helped  build  the  Panama  Canal  and  the  Alaska                                                               
Railroad.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  STEVENS said  the agreement  she had  with the  division was                                                               
necessary, because there  was no legal mechanism at  the time for                                                               
the division to allow recreational  mining on state mining claims                                                               
and for her,  therefore, to have a  recreational mining business.                                                               
To  ensure that  the area  could  be managed  in accordance  with                                                               
their agreement and that other  parties could not stake the state                                                               
mining claims  in the  affected area,  Mineral Closing  Order 674                                                               
was issued on  June 2, 1994. And in December,  1996, Mr. Tileston                                                               
drafted a letter to introduce the  new regulations for the use of                                                               
the Petersville  Recreational Area and  she wrote to  her senator                                                               
and  representatives asking  them  to sign  the regulations  into                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:47:46 PM                                                                                                                    
On  May 8,  1997,  HB 46  was signed  into  law establishing  two                                                               
portions  of recreational  mining  areas:  the North  Petersville                                                               
Recreation  Area   that  is  currently   active  and   the  South                                                               
Petersville Recreation  Mining area, both  totaling approximately                                                               
500 acres.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The intent  of the DNR  was that  approximately 220 acres  in the                                                               
southern recreation  area would  be leased back  to her  when the                                                               
state received conveyance from the  BLM. Subsequent to the claims                                                               
being gifted  to the  state and issuance  of the  mineral closing                                                               
order,  the DNR  determined that  it could  not establish  a non-                                                               
competitive commercial  lease to  fulfill the agreement  with her                                                               
under  existing state  law. However,  in 2006,  DNR determined  a                                                               
legal  way to  allow  a  commercial business  to  be operated  in                                                               
portions of a state mining  claim by establishing a miscellaneous                                                               
land  use  lease provided  that  the  state mining  claim  holder                                                               
concurred.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER  interrupted her and  said they pretty  well got                                                               
the gist of it and asked her  to send her statement to his staff.                                                               
She said she would do it as soon as possible.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER closed public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  explained that  a  mistake  was made  and                                                               
everyone had agreed that this was the best way out.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked whether  this legislation  could have                                                               
impacts on others outside of this individual.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:52:41 PM                                                                                                                    
ASHLEY BROWN,  Assistant Attorney  General, Civil  Division, Oil,                                                               
Gas,  and Mining  Section, Department  of Law  (DOL) representing                                                               
the Department  of Natural  Resources (DNR),  said that  the bill                                                               
removes  certain  sections   from  the  Petersville  Recreational                                                               
Mining area.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if other  miners could  come in  and                                                               
stake claims to this area.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BROWN answered  that currently  a mineral  closing order  is                                                               
still  covering that  area, but  once it  is lifted  it would  be                                                               
possible for others to stake there.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI remarked  if the deal is that  she gets full                                                               
mineral rights to her claim, it will be a race.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN  responded that  he was  correct in  understanding that                                                               
there  is a  chance this  area would  not get  staked by  Michele                                                               
Stevens.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN said it's  not within the state's authority                                                               
to  guarantee  anything,  but  some people  felt  sorry  for  Ms.                                                               
Stevens and  wanted to help  her. So they  are trying to  work it                                                               
through the process the best and cleanest way they can.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  there  was  anything in  writing                                                               
detailing the agreement that was reached.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHATTUCH  answered  there is  anecdotal  evidence  in  their                                                               
packets,  but  no  contractual   agreement.  The  department  has                                                               
supported it noting that either  nothing will happen or they will                                                               
move forward and remove the claims and work with Ms. Stevens.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:56:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN asked if there was  a better way to correct this                                                               
problem, assuming a mistake was made more than a decade ago.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN replied  that Ms. Stevens could  go through litigation,                                                               
but she  couldn't advise her on  that and the DNR  had determined                                                               
there was no way they could assist her.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN  said he  understood  that  the state  couldn't                                                               
guarantee  her anything  and asked  if the  state made  a mistake                                                               
would it rather respond in money damages or correct the mistake.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN explained  that this legislation removes  land from the                                                               
Petersville Recreational Area  and at some point  Ms. Stevens had                                                               
staked  "at risk  claims"  on this  land, but  there  is a  legal                                                               
question as  to whether or not  those claims would be  valid; and                                                               
if they  were determined to be  not invalid, then that  land area                                                               
would be open to staking by anybody.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN  asked  if  the state  could  declare  its  own                                                               
conduct null  and void based upon  a mistaken fact going  back to                                                               
1996.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN replied  that she didn't understand  what conduct would                                                               
invalid  -  the   decision  to  make  the  claims   part  of  the                                                               
Petersville Recreational Area?                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN  said yes;  that was  done by  the state  - only                                                               
with a  waiver of a  mining interest. So,  if you go  back before                                                               
the declaration  of the  recreational mining  area to  the mining                                                               
claims that  were in existence,  wouldn't that get back  to where                                                               
there was any harm done to anyone?                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. BROWN said she didn't understand the question.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SHATTUCK said  one  of  the issues  that  would  have to  be                                                               
overcome  in  any court  would  probably  be  the fact  that  she                                                               
voluntarily  relinquished her  federal  claims, and  consequently                                                               
the standing  would be difficult  because she was party  to that.                                                               
After  the  fact, she  went  back  and  staked claims  on  state-                                                               
selected land which the state can  either allow or have a mineral                                                               
closure. There  is no  guarantee those claims  will ever  come to                                                               
fruition in terms of giving the right to the individual.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:02:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said Ms.  Stevens had the  right to  get an                                                               
attorney  and  file  whatever lawsuit  and  go  through  whatever                                                               
judicial  means she  could, but  she chose  not to.  But they  as                                                               
lawmakers  should  analyze  whether  opening  this  area  up  for                                                               
recreational  mining was  good public  policy, and  he wanted  to                                                               
hear from DNR about that.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER said before they go  there, he wanted to chip in                                                               
his two cents.  It's up to her  to reclaim the land  the best way                                                               
she can if this bill passes,  but the state is basically neutral.                                                               
His experience was that mining claims are not a lot of fun.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:03:39 PM                                                                                                                    
KERWIN  KRAUSE, Geologist,  Division of  Mining, Land  and Water,                                                               
Department of  Natural Resources (DNR), Anchorage,  AK, explained                                                               
that   federal   claims   that  existed   (referenced   in   1997                                                               
legislation)  were   actually  closed  by  the   Bureau  of  Land                                                               
Management (BLM). Because the state  had a selection on that area                                                               
at the time,  the former owner (before Ms.  Stevens) had arranged                                                               
for state selected claims to  be located there. Portions of those                                                               
state selected  claims are  the ones  she relinquished.  The only                                                               
reason the  legislation referenced the federal  claims is because                                                               
a mineral  survey had been  conducted and  they were on  the plat                                                               
records that the  state and BLM had. Once the  mineral closure is                                                               
lifted, she  or anyone can stake  claims on it, he  said, and Ms.                                                               
Stevens could pursue litigation if she wanted to.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER asked if the department supported this bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. KRAUSE answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  what the  rationale was  for closing                                                               
this to mineral leases in the past.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KRAUSE answered  to eliminate  the risk  that someone  could                                                               
inadvertently  acquire  exclusive  rights   to  the  minerals  by                                                               
creating a recreational mining area there.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  anyone uses  this  land now  for                                                               
anything.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KRAUSE  answered they  do not use  the southern  area because                                                               
the  BLM hadn't  conveyed it  to the  state yet;  therefore, it's                                                               
still  federal  land  and  they  don't  have  any  provision  for                                                               
recreational mining  on it. But  the northern area has  been open                                                               
for a number  of years and it is used  by recreational miners and                                                               
construction dredgers, panners and such.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH joined the meeting.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:07:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  how  many people  use that  northern                                                               
area and if  they would be precluded from using  it in the future                                                               
by passing this.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KRAUSE  responded that  all  of  the  use  has been  in  the                                                               
northern area  since the recreational  area was created  and with                                                               
the  price of  gold going  up in  the last  few years,  usage has                                                               
increased. Because  Peters Creek  is a  fish stream,  dredging is                                                               
allowed only  from mid-May  to mid-July  and on  average, several                                                               
dozen dredgers are in there during that period.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  this law  passes, will  it affect                                                               
their ability to continuing using it.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. KRAUSE answered no, because the  northern area is not part of                                                               
the area that would be removed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if it would have an impact on anyone.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KRAUSE answered no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER asked the sponsor  how many hearings this had in                                                               
the other body and what their reaction was.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  replied that  the House had  two hearings,                                                               
and  members of  both bodies  contacted Mr.  Tileston to  ask him                                                               
what happened. He  explained that Ms. Stevens wants to  open up a                                                               
business operation  up there - a  museum - and allow  people with                                                               
families to go  up there and she would assist  them with supplies                                                               
and equipment to  do some recreational mining. But  it can't move                                                               
forward  until  the state  gets  claim  rights. Removing  federal                                                               
claims allows  the state to  actually get lands and  move forward                                                               
with the recreational mining areas.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER asked what the vote in the other body was.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN replied 39  to 1. Representative Tuck found                                                               
some information about  some contaminated areas, but  a memo from                                                               
the Department  of Environmental Conservation (DEC)  stated there                                                               
was  no   contamination.  A  55-gallon   drum  could   have  been                                                               
overfilled at  one time,  but the  area had  been cleaned  up and                                                               
certified as such by the department.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER asked the pleasure of the committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN said  he  was  trying to  figure  out a  better                                                               
solution.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN said that  everybody worked on this looking                                                               
for the  best solution, but  moving this forward was  the "simple                                                               
solution" they came up with.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN  moved to report  HB 340 from committee  to next                                                               
committee  of   referral  with  individual   recommendations  and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER removed his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH apologized for being  late and said he assumed the                                                               
committee  went  over the  letter  from  Mr. Tileston  and  Marty                                                               
Rutherford, because they  were his constituents and had  a lot of                                                               
creditability. It  looked like the committee  was conforming with                                                               
their wishes in the letter.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER indicated  that  was the  case  and finding  no                                                               
further  objections, he  announced  that HB  340  moved from  the                                                               
Senate Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:13:34 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 4:13 to 4:14 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        HCR 25-WILDLIFE & SPORT FISH RESTORATION PROGRAM                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:14:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER  announced  consideration   of  HCR  25  [CSHCR
25(FSH) was before the committee].                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN moved to bring  CSHCR 25(FSH), version\B, before                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:15:58 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MARK NEUMAN, Alaska  State Legislature, sponsor of                                                               
HCR  25,  explained  that  it  is an  act  celebrating  the  75th                                                               
anniversary of a wildlife and  sport fish restoration program. It                                                               
recognizes sportsmen,  industry, state  and federal  agencies who                                                               
have  acted to  preserve our  outdoor heritage.  It is  sometimes                                                               
overlooked   that  hunters   and   anglers   were  our   earliest                                                               
conservationists. They saw the rapid  decline of many species due                                                               
to  unregulated  markets   and  commercial  activities  involving                                                               
wildlife and habitat loss as early as the 1800s.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Seventy-five years  ago the Wildlife Restoration  Act established                                                               
funding to  restore wildlife and the  acquisition and development                                                               
of management of habitats. It was  amended in 1970 to provide for                                                               
funding  for  hunter  training   programs  and  the  development,                                                               
operation  and maintenance  of public  shooting ranges.  In 1950,                                                               
the  Dingle  Johnson  Act  was   passed  creating  a  sport  fish                                                               
restoration  program and  a  funding source  by  using a  federal                                                               
excise tax on fishing gear and  motor boat fuels to provide grant                                                               
money  to  fisheries  conservation, boating  access  and  aquatic                                                               
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:17:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Acts  like  these  were instrumental  in  establishing  the  user                                                               
pay/user   benefit   system,  so   much   so   that  since   1939                                                               
contributions  to state  fish and  wildlife agencies  by wildlife                                                               
and sport  fish restoration programs  have exceeded  $13 billion.                                                               
This represents  the greatest single  conservation effort  in the                                                               
history of  the US and is  the nation's primary means  of funding                                                               
conservation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:18:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WAGONER removed his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN moved to report  CSHCR 25(FSH), version \B, from                                                               
committee  to  the next  committee  of  referral with  individual                                                               
recommendations  and attached  zero  fiscal note.  There were  no                                                               
objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        HJR 20-ROADLESS RULE & CHUGACH AND TONGASS HYDRO                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:20:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER announced  HJR 20  to be  up for  consideration                                                               
[CSHJR 20(ENE) was before the committee].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN moved  to bring  SCS CSHJR  20( ),  version 27-                                                               
LS0554\B, before the committee for purposes of discussion.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER objected.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:20:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KYLE  JOHANSEN, Alaska State  Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of HJR  20, explained  that 14  out of 15  hydro projects  in the                                                               
Tongass  and  the Chugach  are  subject  to protection  from  the                                                               
roadless rule  in the Tongass  and Chugach National Forests  as a                                                               
general  blanket. This  resolution asks  to exempt  hydroelectric                                                               
projects from the roadless rule.  The bottom line is without this                                                               
exemption  their  stated  goal  of  50  percent  of  energy  from                                                               
renewables by 2025 as well as  the President's goal of 25 percent                                                               
of energy generated in the  US coming from renewable resources by                                                               
2025 might not happen.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He asked  that Representative  Thomas and  his staff  broaden the                                                               
scope  of the  resolution by  explaining the  changes in  the new                                                               
Senate committee substitute (SCS).                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:22:16 PM                                                                                                                    
KACI  SCHROEDER,  staff  to Representative  Bill  Thomas,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  Juneau,  AK,  explained  that  most  of  the                                                               
changes in  SCS CSHJR 20( )  occur on pages  2 and 3. On  page 2,                                                               
line 6,  a "whereas" is  inserted that points out  that Southeast                                                               
Alaska  has  large mineral  deposits  and  asks for  leniency  in                                                               
building roads towards them.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:23:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH   said  the  first   of  two   "whereas"  clauses                                                               
referenced  "roadless  areas",  the  definition of  which  is  in                                                               
federal regulations,  and the next "whereas"  clause speaks about                                                               
"wilderness" and  asked the relationship, overlap  and the degree                                                               
of similarity between "roadless areas" and "wilderness".                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN said  he would  get that  information to                                                               
him by  the end of  the day, but that  only the Secretary  of the                                                               
Department  of Agriculture  can say  "yes"  or "no"  to roads  in                                                               
roadless  areas. In  Senator Stedman's  district, a  hydroproject                                                               
would  have  to  appeal  specifically to  the  Secretary  of  the                                                               
Department  of Interior  to simply  open a  road that  is already                                                               
constructed in order  to get trucks and equipment up  to the dam.                                                               
That project  alone would  offset a large  amount of  diesel fuel                                                               
usage in the forest.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  said he  asked because  the first  "whereas" says                                                               
that 57  percent of the  acreage in  the Tongass is  roadless and                                                               
the   second  "whereas"   says  an   additional  35   percent  is                                                               
wilderness; and he  guessed he was being asked to  add 35 percent                                                               
onto 57  percent to come  up with 92  percent and he  was curious                                                               
about the  overlap. His  second question  was whether  the "seven                                                               
projects" on page 2 were since May 28, 2010.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  replied that  was his  understanding; he                                                               
had  checked with  the Forest  Service and  the Southeast  Alaska                                                               
Power  Agency  this  morning  who said  those  facts  were  still                                                               
accurate.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  said he  needed some  context to  know if  it's a                                                               
punitive or reasonable request.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHANSEN  replied that  he didn't bring  people to                                                               
testify  per the  request of  the  chair, so  he couldn't  answer                                                               
that, but their real  fear is that 14 out of  the 15 projects are                                                               
"absolutely crucial" to getting  communities connected and off of                                                               
diesel.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:26:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  if those  14 projects  can't be  developed                                                               
without relief from this rule.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHANSEN  replied  that  they  would  like  these                                                               
projects  to  be   exempt  from  that  rule,   because  they  are                                                               
important.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER  said the  exemptions would have  to be  for the                                                               
life  of  the  projects  as  long as  they  are  operational  for                                                               
maintenance purposes  as well as  construction and  remarked that                                                               
Cooper Lake  behind Kenai Lake  is the  same type of  small hydro                                                               
project.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  noted that  the resolution  was unanimous  in the                                                               
other body.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:28:29 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 4:28 to 4:29 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:29:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WAGONER removed his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN  moved to  report SCS CSHJR  20( ),  version \B,                                                               
from committee to the next  committee of referral with individual                                                               
recommendations  and  attached  fiscal  note(s).  There  were  no                                                               
objections  and  SCS  CSHJR  20   (RES)  moved  from  the  Senate                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:30:33 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 4:30 to 4:32 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
         HJR 32-REMOVE WOOD BISON FROM ENDANGERED LIST                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
4:32:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER announced  HJR 32  to be  up for  consideration                                                               
[CSHJR 32(RES) was before the committee].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN  moved  to bring  CSHJR  32(RES),  version  27-                                                               
LS1234\X before the committee for purposes of discussion.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER objected for discussion purposes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:33:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ALAN  DICK, Alaska  State Legislature,  sponsor of                                                               
HJR  32, explained  that until  their extinction  over 100  years                                                               
ago, wood bison  inhabited a greater portion  of Interior Alaska,                                                               
particularly in  the heart of  District 6, but recent  efforts to                                                               
bring them back  to Alaska have met with  strategic and political                                                               
questions. Only  104 wood bison  are in Turnagain Arm  waiting to                                                               
be  released and  these  are the  only wood  bison  in the  whole                                                               
United States.  He explained that  wood bison are similar  to but                                                               
genetically different from and much  larger than the plains bison                                                               
that exist  in Delta, Kodiak and  other places in Alaska  and the                                                               
Alaska  Department of  Fish  and Game  (ADF&G)  has managed  them                                                               
quite well for the last 70 years.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DICK said  there are  two concerns.  One is  that                                                               
wood bison is  on the Endangered Species list and  two, well over                                                               
$70 billion worth of resources lie  within 50 miles of where they                                                               
are being proposed  to be relocated. The state  has negotiated in                                                               
good faith with  the federal government on wood  bison for years,                                                               
but has yet to reach a satisfactory agreement.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The federal  10J exemption  of the  Endangered Species  Act (ESA)                                                               
would  declare  them  non-essential   and  experimental  and  the                                                               
federal 4D exemption would allow them  to be hunted once the herd                                                               
attained a healthy population. The  huge question is whether they                                                               
can  trust  the   10J  and  4D  exemptions   to  withstand  court                                                               
challenges.   In  the   distant  and   recent  past,   gavels  in                                                               
Washington, D.C. have  beaten a rhythm that  is often unfavorable                                                               
to  Alaska's efforts  to develop  its resources.  The paradox  is                                                               
that the  listing of the wood  bison as an Endangered  Species is                                                               
the element  that most  endangers them after  years of  trying to                                                               
get  agreements to  protect the  state's concerns  about delaying                                                               
their  relocation into  the wild.  HJR 32  calls for  Congress to                                                               
exempt  the  wood  bison  from  the  Endangered  Species  Act  an                                                               
exemption  used by  Idaho and  Montana to  solve a  long standing                                                               
problem with restoring the Northern  Rocky Mountain Wolf to their                                                               
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DICK said  he wanted to introduce  wood bison back                                                               
into the habitat  where they once lived, but  without risking the                                                               
problems that  Beluga whales,  sea otters  and Polar  bears face.                                                               
HJR 32  gives our Congressional delegation  the support necessary                                                               
to create  a win/win situation  by exempting the wood  bison from                                                               
the  Endangered Species  Act. The  State of  Alaska wins  when it                                                               
gets to  work with this  fascinating resource, the people  of the                                                               
Innoko River drainage win by  eventually being able to hunt these                                                               
bison, the  Native corporation that  wants to develop  the nearby                                                               
valuable resource can breathe a  sigh of relief and fourthly, the                                                               
wood bison  themselves would  like to get  out from  behind those                                                               
bars. They looked really bored.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:36:10 PM                                                                                                                    
He said  this resolution had  one hearing in the  House Resources                                                               
Committee; it  received 8 do passes  and 1 amend; it  went across                                                               
the House floor  by a vote of  38 to 0 and was  supported by Doug                                                               
Vincent  Lange,  Director,  Division  of  Wildlife  Conservation,                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  there was  any opposition  to the                                                               
resolution.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE DICK  replied no.  It was controversial  at first,                                                               
but the conversation was elevated to  the point of coming up with                                                               
this solution, which seems to  make everybody happy. There wasn't                                                               
any opposition from the environmental community.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER  asked what the  game is like where  these bison                                                               
will  be released  and if  there will  be enough  for subsistence                                                               
purposes.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DICK said the problem  they face now is a shortage                                                               
of moose. Because  predator control is not allowed  on the Innoko                                                               
Wildlife Refuge, the  feeling is that the wood  bison could stand                                                               
in the  deeper snow far  better against predators than  moose and                                                               
the smaller plains bison.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER removed his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PASKVAN  asked  if this  resolution  helps  Congressman                                                               
Young become successful.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:39:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DICK replied the bison  can be released as soon as                                                               
there are no consequences of long-term litigation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN asked if determining  whether the bison could be                                                               
hunted  or not  would come  under  the sole  jurisdiction of  the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DICK replied yes.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:40:25 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  VERHAGEN,  staff  for  Representative  Dick,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, agreed that was correct.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:40:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WAGONER asked how the bison would be managed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DOUG VINCENT LANGE, Director,  Division of Wildlife Conservation,                                                               
Alaska  Department  of  Fish and  Game  (ADF&G),  Anchorage,  AK,                                                               
explained if these  animals are exempted from the  ESA they would                                                               
fall under the jurisdiction of the  ADF&G and the Alaska Board of                                                               
Game to set  harvest restrictions. He said they  would be managed                                                               
just like they  are managing the plains bison,  but initially the                                                               
population would have to grow  large enough to have a harvestable                                                               
surplus.  They  could probably  harvest  some  animals, like  the                                                               
older bulls, before reaching a  number based on maximum sustained                                                               
yield and that.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN asked where the herd will be released.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LANG replied  in three areas without having to  deal with the                                                               
ESA: one  near the Innoko Drainage,  the Fort Yukon area  and the                                                               
Minto Flat area.  The habitat in all three areas  is suitable for                                                               
wood bison release.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER removed his objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN moved to report  CSHJR 32(RES) from committee to                                                               
the next  committee of  referral with  individual recommendations                                                               
and attached fiscal note(s). There  were no objections and it was                                                               
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:43:26 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 4:43 to 4:44 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
                  HJR 26-SEA OTTER MANAGEMENT                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:44:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER  announced  consideration   of  HJR  26  [CSHJR
26(RES)am was before the committee].                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN moved  to bring CSHJR 26(RES),  \D.A, before the                                                               
committee for purposes of discussion.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER objected.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:45:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PEGGY WILSON,  sponsor  of HJR  26, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  said  she could  answer  questions  but her  intern                                                               
would explain the resolution.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ARTHUR  MARTIN, intern  for Representative  Peggy Wilson,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, Juneau,  AK, explained  that during  the 18th                                                               
and  19th century  because  of  the fur  trade,  sea otters  were                                                               
almost completely wiped  out on the North  American continent. In                                                               
the years between 1965 and  1969 efforts were made to reintroduce                                                               
sea  otters  back  to  their  historic  regions  and  the  Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish and  Game (ADF&G)  reintroduced approximately                                                               
400  sea otters  into Southeast  Alaska. In  1972 the  management                                                               
responsibility for  them was  transferred from  the state  to the                                                               
federal  government under  the Marine  Mammal  Protection Act  of                                                               
1972.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
The  issue  Alaska  has  struggled   with  is  that  the  federal                                                               
government has no viable long  term management plan for them. The                                                               
US Fish and  Wildlife Service created a management  plan in 1994,                                                               
but  it hasn't  been revised  since  then. In  the meantime,  sea                                                               
otters  in Southeast  are flourishing  and  their population  has                                                               
grown  to such  a level  that they  are actually  threatening the                                                               
balance of the eco system,  which is hurting the Southeast Alaska                                                               
economy.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTIN  said that Southeast  Alaska has a population  of some                                                               
20,000 sea  otters and their number  grows by about 12  percent a                                                               
year.  They eat  approximately 23  percent of  their body  weight                                                               
each  day in  crabs, abalone  and clams.  Together with  the dive                                                               
fisheries, they consume about 253,000  pounds of food in a single                                                               
day. According  to a  McDowell Report,  dated November  2011, sea                                                               
otter predation  on the red  sea cucumber, geoduck clam,  red sea                                                               
urchin  and  Dungeness crab  fisheries  have  already caused  the                                                               
Southeast Alaska  economy $28.3  million directly  and indirectly                                                               
since 1995. To put this in  perspective, last year sea otters ate                                                               
an estimated 7  million pounds of commercial  species whereas the                                                               
entire 2010 Southeast  Alaska harvest in dive  and Dungeness crab                                                               
fisheries was  about 6 million  pounds. If this  trend continues,                                                               
Southeast Alaska will no longer  have a viable dive fish economy.                                                               
The  McDowell  Report said  that  commercial  dive fisheries  and                                                               
large  populations of  sea  otters cannot  co-exist  in the  same                                                               
waters.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:48:07 PM                                                                                                                    
He  explained that  related to  the sea  otter population  is the                                                               
issue  that  although  Alaska  Native  peoples  may  harvest  sea                                                               
otters,  they   are  limited  only   to  selling   authentic  and                                                               
traditional   Native   handicrafts   under  the   Marine   Mammal                                                               
Protection Act.  This resolution is asking  that while discussing                                                               
the  sea   otter  management  issue  the   terms  "authentic  and                                                               
traditional"  be   replaced  with  "Alaska  Native   articles  of                                                               
handicraft" to  expand a cottage  or niche industry and  to clear                                                               
up any legal gray area.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He  said with  the Marine  Mammal Protection  Act being  40 years                                                               
old,  things have  honestly changed.  Sea otter  populations have                                                               
grown at  an impressive  rate and  it's time  to consider  a long                                                               
term  management  plan  as  well   as  broadening  the  scope  of                                                               
allowable uses for sea otters in Alaska Native handicrafts.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked how  sea otters, crabs,  sea urchins,                                                               
cucumbers  and  abalones  co-existed ecologically  before  humans                                                               
were around to manage them.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTIN replied that he didn't  know if research had been done                                                               
on  that issue,  but theory  suggests  that while  the sea  otter                                                               
populations  were  relative  large  before  the  fur  trade,  the                                                               
populations of dive  fisheries - sea urchins and  sea cucumbers -                                                               
were relatively small. After the  fur harvest of the 19th century                                                               
the sea  otter populations  decreased and  so the  dive fisheries                                                               
began to  flourish, which created  an economy here. Now  that the                                                               
sea  otters  are  beginning  to  rebound,  they  clash  with  the                                                               
Southeast economy and current ecology.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked where the  23 percent of their  body weight                                                               
each  day came  from.  Is that  the upper  limit  or the  average                                                               
number?                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTIN replied that it came  from the McDowell Report as well                                                               
as other reports.  Male sea otters can grow up  to 100 pounds and                                                               
females can  grow up  to 80  pounds, so  they took  a statistical                                                               
average and came up with 23 percent.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked  if there is an average number  given in the                                                               
report.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  said one of the reasons  sea otters eat                                                               
so  much is  because they  don't retain  body fat.  They have  to                                                               
constantly eat to stay warm and keep from losing weight.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTIN  noted that page  8 of  the McDowell Report  said that                                                               
the animals have  a high metabolism and require  large amounts of                                                               
food, and  in captivity will  consume up  to 25 percent  of their                                                               
body weight per day (from the US Fish and Wildlife Service).                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER said he had  seen them eat just about everything                                                               
in the  salt water;  90 percent of  the time when  you see  a sea                                                               
otter it'll be on its back with something on its chest to eat.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:54:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PASKVAN  said to  a certain extent  they are  calling on                                                               
the federal  government to do  certain things and asked  what the                                                               
state is  doing currently with respect  to cooperative agreements                                                               
and working with  Alaskans to establish strategies  and plans for                                                               
sustainable management.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARTIN replied  that the  US  Fish and  Wildlife Service  is                                                               
trying to  do some things in  that Alaska Native peoples  are the                                                               
only group  allowed to harvest sea  otters. One of the  issues is                                                               
that  a  legal gray  area  exists  in defining  "traditional  and                                                               
authentic" under  the Marine Mammal  Protection Act and  they are                                                               
working  on   getting  more  public  comment   to  rewrite  their                                                               
definitions. But beyond that, the  federal government hasn't done                                                               
anything. They just  let sea otters grow and  the 1994 management                                                               
plan  hopes   sea  otters  will  reach   an  optimal  sustainable                                                               
population range and at some  point they will just start shooting                                                               
them, but there is no other plan.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER  said they need  to remember that the  state and                                                               
private  investors are  spending  millions of  dollars trying  to                                                               
establish  a shellfish  industry and  there has  to be  a balance                                                               
some place.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  it's  always a  little bit  dangerous                                                               
when mankind plays  around with ecological balances  and asked if                                                               
there are any  studies about the ramifications  of possible over-                                                               
managing the sea otter population - to sea kelp, for instance.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON  replied that they didn't have  a way to                                                               
know except  when they were  becoming extinct and there  wasn't a                                                               
sea kelp crisis during that time. Nothing crashed at that time.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She said  the third paragraph  of the sponsor statement  said the                                                               
1994 conservation  plan for the  sea otter in Alaska  stated that                                                               
although an optimum sustainable  population had not been defined,                                                               
the  stock was  believed to  be within  that range.  That was  18                                                               
years ago  and the plan was  to be reviewed annually  and revised                                                               
at least every three to five years, and that hasn't happened.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER  remarked that Southeast  is not the  only place                                                               
being  affected  by  sea  otters.  They  decimated  the  prolific                                                               
steamer calm beds in Kachemak Bay that were always very rich.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  referenced a "Wikipedia"  page talking  about the                                                               
economic impact of sea otters that said:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Some of  their preferred prey species  - abalone, crab,                                                                    
     clam - are also food  sources for humans in some areas.                                                                    
     Massive  declines  in   shellfish  harvests  have  been                                                                    
     blamed on the sea otter,  and intense public debate has                                                                    
     taken place over how to  manage the competitive between                                                                    
     humans  and   sea  otters  for   seafood.  But   it  is                                                                    
     complicated  by the  fact that  sea  otters have  often                                                                    
     been  held responsible  for clam  and shellfish  stocks                                                                    
     that were more likely  caused by overfishing by humans,                                                                    
     disease,  pollution  and  seismic  activity.  Shellfish                                                                    
     declines have also occurred in  many parts of the North                                                                    
     American Pacific Coast, but do  not have sea otters and                                                                    
     conservationists sometimes  note that the  existence of                                                                    
     large  concentrations of  shellfish on  the coast  is a                                                                    
     recent development resulting from  the fur trades' near                                                                    
     extirpation  of the  sea otter.  Although many  factors                                                                    
     affect  shellfish  stocks,   sea  otter  predation  can                                                                    
     deplete  a fishery  to the  point that  it's no  longer                                                                    
     commercially  viable.   There  is  a   consensus  among                                                                    
     scientists  that  sea   otters  and  abalone  fisheries                                                                    
     cannot  co-exist  in the  same  area  and the  same  is                                                                    
     likely true of for other types of shellfish, as well.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER said he would hold HJR 26 until Friday.                                                                        
5:01:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR WAGONER adjourned the Senate Resources Standing                                                                        
Committee meeting at 5:01 p.m.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
1 HCR 25 Documents.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HCR 25
2 HCR 25 10yr Re Cap of Sales.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HCR 25
3 HCR 25 Sport Fish Strategic Plan 2010.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HCR 25
1 HJR 26 Documents.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HJR 26
2 HJR 26 MCDOWELL GROUP.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HJR 26
HJR 20 Documents.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HJR 20
HB 340 Documents.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HB 340
1 HJR 32 Documents.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HJR 32
2 HJR032 Supporting Documents - Index.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HJR 32
3 HJR032 Supporting Docs 1-9.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HJR 32
4 HJR032 Supporting Documents - 10 Wood Bison News 6.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HJR 32
Fish Fund Adv & App Council.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
Fisherman's Fund Confirmation Hearing
1 HB 118 Sp St, SA, FN & Bill.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HB 118
2 HB118 DCCED-DOR Presentation 040412.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HB 118
3 HB 118 Sponsor Docs.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HB 118
4 HB 118 Letters of Support.pdf SRES 4/4/2012 3:30:00 PM
HB 118