Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/04/2004 01:35 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
         SB 298-OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE ON DALTON HIGHWAY                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
The committee took up SB 298.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER announced  that he would like to  pass this bill                                                               
out of committee  today, and that several people  were on-line to                                                               
testify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR RALPH  SEEKINS, as the  bill's sponsor,  began testifying                                                               
on  SB 298  by referring  to a  map indicating  where the  Dalton                                                               
Highway  crosses the  Yukon River,  between Stephens  Village and                                                               
Rampart.  Northbound,  it goes to Coldfoot,  Wiseman, through the                                                               
pass  into the  North Slope,  Anaktuvuk  Pass, over  to the  left                                                               
about  75 miles,  and then  into Deadhorse.   The  communities of                                                               
Alatna,  Allakaket, Arctic  Village,  Beaver, Bettles,  Coldfoot,                                                               
Evansville, Hughes, Rampart  - which is on the south  side of the                                                               
river - Tanana,  Venetie, Wiseman, and Anaktuvuk  Pass are within                                                               
100 miles of  each side of the  road.  Most of  the smaller areas                                                               
on each  side of  that road  would never  be accessed  by opening                                                               
this up to  recreational use.  There are folks  who would want to                                                               
go to Coldfoot or Wiseman occasionally.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS continued  that the road is now  paved almost all                                                               
the way to the bridge.  He  said he normally stops about 50 miles                                                               
out the  road and then  heads into  the area toward  Birch Creek,                                                               
just  south of  Livengood.   This road  has been  open since  the                                                               
Hickel  Administration, and  current access  is not  conducive to                                                               
use by the  people of Alaska for any purpose  other than to drive                                                               
down the road.  Some people go  up there on foot for bow hunting,                                                               
and he's  not suggesting that this  be changed.  If  vehicles are                                                               
parked too  far off the road,  officials can cite them  for using                                                               
vehicles  out  of  the  direct  right-of-way,  into  that  5-mile                                                               
corridor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  continued that this  has been brought to  a head                                                               
by enforcement  and harassment  by the BLM.   Trappers  are being                                                               
threatened, and if they don't want  to go out there by dogsled or                                                               
foot, they will  have their 250 - 275 mile  trap lines shut down.                                                               
He said he  continues to look at what the  possible impacts would                                                               
be.  BLM has rules on how  people can access BLM lands, and those                                                               
rules prevent unnecessary harm to  the environment; nothing in SB                                                               
298 will  alter that.  "We  just think that access  is important,                                                               
especially  when there  are a  number of  RS 2477  accesses along                                                               
that  road  which,  because  of   our  own  state  law,  are  not                                                               
accessible for  people of the state  of Alaska.  And  that's just                                                               
not right."   The most immediate harm is being  done to those who                                                               
have longstanding trap lines there.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  COWDERY asked  if what  was being  considered was  five                                                               
miles on each side.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  explained that  there is a  corridor in  which a                                                               
motorized vehicle cannot  be operated.  That is, if  you start on                                                               
one side,  you can drive across  with a snowmachine to  the other                                                               
side, but you cannot  start in the middle and go  either way.  At                                                               
one time  that whole road  was shut  to private traffic,  and was                                                               
opened  during the  Hickel administration.   The  restriction for                                                               
going off that road for any  purpose was kept in place unless one                                                               
was a  miner going  to the mine,  or in the  oil industry.   It's                                                               
time to consider access for  the average Alaskan.  Hunters travel                                                               
out there,  but they fly out.   Folks with an  airplane can hunt,                                                               
but others can't unless "they want to  walk."  He said he was not                                                               
suggesting changing  the bow-hunting corridor,  which corresponds                                                               
to that, on either side of the pipeline.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said that  there was  previously talk  about the                                                               
Central Arctic caribou herd.  That  herd is at its highest number                                                               
in history; it's five  or six times the size of  what it was when                                                               
the  road was  first built.   The  road, bow  hunters, and  other                                                               
hunters have  not had a deleting  effect on that herd.   The herd                                                               
that  tends to  come through  the Anaktuvuk  area is  the Western                                                               
Arctic  caribou herd,  which presently  consists of  over 400,000                                                               
animals.   The bag limit  is five per day  and the season  is 365                                                               
days per  year.  There is  no real problem being  posed by people                                                               
who would want to go 75 miles  with a snowmachine or an ATV (all-                                                               
terrain-vehicle) from the highway over  to the Anaktuvuk area, to                                                               
harvest from the Western Arctic caribou herd.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COWDERY asked  what the percentage of the  take of these                                                               
herds was for subsistence.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS responded  he didn't know for sure.   He said the                                                               
villages mentioned previously  have a total of 1,350  people.  He                                                               
pointed out  that Tanana is quite  a ways and could  never really                                                               
be accessed  from the Haul Road.   It's not a  situation in which                                                               
recreation people  are going to go  out there.  He  said it takes                                                               
him a day from the river to get  to Tanana in his jet boat, going                                                               
down river, to  get there and back - hopefully  before dark - and                                                               
that boat cruises at about 35 mph.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  referred to AS  19.40.210.   He said the  road was                                                               
built in the 1970s for the  enhancement of the pipeline and there                                                               
was a restriction  put in place.  He  questioned Senator Seekins'                                                               
knowledge of this restriction.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS replied  that  he thought  it was  "construction                                                               
traffic."  He  said that road was built to  a different standard,                                                               
was highly  traversed with trucks and  construction machinery and                                                               
eventually,  as   people  re-considered  that   restriction,  the                                                               
restriction was removed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   OLSON  asked   who,   initially,   was  involved   with                                                               
restricting the highway.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  responded that oil companies  didn't want people                                                               
going  up north,  teamsters didn't  want  additional traffic  for                                                               
their trucks.  There were a  lot of dire predictions that did not                                                               
prove to  be true.   Now a lot of  people go up  there, including                                                               
tourist buses,  driving all  the way  to Prudhoe  Bay.   The dire                                                               
predictions of people dying and  starving to death along the road                                                               
just never happened.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked if the Native community had any input.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said it had  been inferred that some folks didn't                                                               
want  to have  other  folks  intruding in  an  area they  enjoyed                                                               
exclusive access to.   He commented that he  didn't have personal                                                               
knowledge as to whether this was true or not.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON said  by  Native community,  he  meant within  the                                                               
state.   Also, non-Native people  living on the North  Slope want                                                               
to  have input  on whether  the road  will be  opened.   He asked                                                               
about Senator Seekins' knowledge of this.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS   said  "not  from  personal   knowledge."    He                                                               
suggested  that either  Senator  Olson or  Senator Lincoln  would                                                               
have a better recollection of this than he would have.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  referred  to  the  previous  comment  about  dire                                                               
predictions that haven't come true.   He said one of the problems                                                               
is   the  security   of   the  pipeline.      After  the   Hickel                                                               
Administration,  there was  a major  oil spill.   Someone  with a                                                               
mere 30-06  hunting rifle "poked  a hole in  it and oil  went all                                                               
over the place."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said this was south of the river.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  said it could  have been  south of the  river, but                                                               
that was  a relatively easy  place to go  and clean up;  north of                                                               
the river would be very difficult to clean up.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENTOR  SEEKINS confirmed  that  common sense  indicates that  it                                                               
would be more difficult to clean  up the further one is away from                                                               
a major  population center.  He  added that people drive  on that                                                               
road all the time who have guns  in their cars, and can shoot out                                                               
of their trucks as easily as  from a snowmachine.  He stated, for                                                               
the record, "I really like Senator Olson."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  said that hunters  have a fair amount  of passion,                                                               
considering that you're dealing with guns.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS continued  for the  record, "I  consider Senator                                                               
Olson to  be a  good friend  and a gentleman.   However,  I speak                                                               
that way quite often with my brothers and sisters, and my wife."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENTAOR  OLSON asked  if the  Division of  Homeland Security  has                                                               
voiced an opinion on this issue.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS replied, "None whatsoever."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said  this bill would do away with  AS 19.40.210 in                                                               
its entirety.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said, "That's the  one we're attacking,  is that                                                               
correct?  AS 19.40.210 is the  one we're saying would be repealed                                                               
in its entirety.  Is that correct?"                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked why the statute was originally put in place.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  he wasn't here then  and could be wrong,  but it                                                               
was all  new area  up there and  there were a  lot of  fears; the                                                               
easiest way to approach it was to shut it off.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  provided  background information  that  early  on                                                               
there  was an  understanding  between the  Native and  non-Native                                                               
communities in the North Slope area  that the Haul Road would not                                                               
be open to  the public when it was  initially contemplated, right                                                               
after the passage of the Land  Claims Settlement Act.  The people                                                               
involved  have gotten  older  or  are now  gone.    One of  their                                                               
assurances  was  [concern for]  the  migration  of caribou  herd,                                                               
which  is of  paramount importance  to  the people  of the  North                                                               
Slope  who  are  very  concerned   about  interference  with  the                                                               
caribou.   Because  of that,  people in  that area  are adamantly                                                               
opposed to opening up this right-of-way.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN  stated that she  would like to listen  to people                                                               
who would like to testify before "grilling" the sponsor.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER proceeded with public testimony.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAUL CARR, Chief of Police  for the North Slope Borough, said                                                               
he wanted  to express concerns  about the repeal of  AS 19.40.210                                                               
in three different areas, and testified as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     The  first is  security.   The repeal  of AS  19.40.210                                                                    
     will  increase accessibility  and  activity around  the                                                                    
     TransAlaska Pipeline at a time  when access to critical                                                                    
     infrastructure in  this country is being  tightened and                                                                    
     closely scrutinized.  It is  contrary to efforts taking                                                                    
     place   across   the    nation   to   secure   critical                                                                    
     infrastructure  as a  deterrence to  potential acts  of                                                                    
     terrorism.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     At present, access is limited,  hunting is limited, and                                                                    
     people  who  do  not  belong in  the  area  are  fairly                                                                    
     obvious  to  security patrols.    I  am concerned  that                                                                    
     increased accessibility  will impact  our ability  as a                                                                    
     state,  and  Alyeska's  ability   as  the  operator  to                                                                    
     protect this asset.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     My  second   concern  is  the  potential   impact  that                                                                    
     increased  access  will  have   on  public  safety  and                                                                    
     emergency services.   At present,  individuals trekking                                                                    
     into the pipeline/highway  corridor do so on  foot.  As                                                                    
     a  result, they  remain  fairly close  to the  roadway.                                                                    
     The  further  from  the road  a  person  ventures,  the                                                                    
     greater the  difficulty in  responding to  an emergency                                                                    
     situation  they may  find themselves  in.   At present,                                                                    
     short of  responding by helicopter, which  is extremely                                                                    
     expensive, we do  not have the equipment  to respond to                                                                    
     an  incident   more  than  walking  distance   off  the                                                                    
     highway.   Admittedly, such  incidents have  been rare,                                                                    
     but increased  activity will  increase our  exposure to                                                                    
     these kinds of situations.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Finally,  Alaska statutes  and the  administrative code                                                                    
     do not  contain a description  for a class  of vehicles                                                                    
     known as "off-road  vehicles."  While it  is clear what                                                                    
     AS 19.40.210 is restricting, it  is not clear what type                                                                    
     of  vehicles would  be allowed  if it  is repealed.   A                                                                    
     definition of  what constitutes an off-road  vehicle is                                                                    
     needed.   Is  the intent  to grant  access to  off-road                                                                    
     capable   four-wheel   drive   vehicles,   trucks   and                                                                    
     automobiles  access or  ATVs,  snowmachines, and  four-                                                                    
     wheelers?   The lack of  a clear definition  leaves the                                                                    
     type of acceptable vehicle open for interpretation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN asked  how far  down, on  the pipeline  road, he                                                               
monitors.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARR responded  that the  North Slope  Borough monitors  the                                                               
entire area inside the borough, which  is all the way down to the                                                               
borough boundary, at Agadak Pass, he believes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked, within that area,  how often is he able to                                                               
stop folks  who are  speeding, dumping  garbage, taking  guns off                                                               
the road, or using vehicles that they shouldn't use.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARR said  they  don't  actively patrol  that  area.   Their                                                               
responses  to  the  southern  part of  the  borough  boundary  of                                                               
Deadhorse  are done  on  an as-needed  basis.   The  road is  not                                                               
routinely patrolled.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON asked,  since off-road  vehicles are  not defined,                                                               
does Mr.  Carr anticipate four-wheel drive  vehicles, trucks, and                                                               
the likes,  going off the  road when  the ground is  frozen, much                                                               
like  they do  with the  ice  roads around  Nuiqsut and  Atqasuk.                                                               
How  often does  he  see  this happening,  or  how  much does  he                                                               
anticipate it happening on the Dalton Highway?                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARR  responded that if the  type of vehicles is  not clearly                                                               
defined, if  pick-up trucks  and things  like that  are excluded,                                                               
there will  be a  pretty dramatic  increase in  the use  of those                                                               
kinds of vehicles.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked what kind  of problem that might cause, since                                                               
obviously  there  will be  driving  on  the  ice in  Atqasuk  and                                                               
Nuiqsut.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARR replied  that often  people who  try to  drive the  ice                                                               
roads find themselves  stranded.  The weather  changes, there are                                                               
snowdrifts;  we  often  respond to  stranded  vehicle  situations                                                               
between Nuiqsut and Deadhorse and other areas across the slope.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  said  his  real   question  was  whether  it  was                                                               
anticipated that this would be harmful to the tundra.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARR said he expects  that this possibility exists, depending                                                               
on the  time of year  the area is  accessed, but others  would be                                                               
better able to speak to tundra damage than he would.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  COWDERY  referred  to   tundra  damage,  and  asked  if                                                               
subsistence hunters use off-road vehicles.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARR  responded  that the  subsistence  hunters  mainly  use                                                               
snowmachines  in the  winter.   During the  summer, for  example,                                                               
people in Anaktuvuk Pass have  specific travel corridors they are                                                               
allowed to  use, through the  National Park Service,  and certain                                                               
types  of  vehicles are  authorized.  That's  all an  attempt  to                                                               
mitigate damage to the land.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON asked  if there  was anybody  testifying from  the                                                               
Gateways of the Arctic National Park.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said no, but  the Gateways of the Arctic National                                                               
Park  have  restrictions   of  their  own  that   they  feel  are                                                               
appropriate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER  stated  that  quite a  few  people  wanted  to                                                               
testify and testimony should be limited to 2 minutes.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PAUL  HOGAN, member  of  the  North Slope  Borough  Assembly                                                               
testified as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The public  testimony given by our  North Slope Borough                                                                    
     Wildlife Director and North  Slope Borough PSO Director                                                                    
     and Dr. Brian  Pearson and others, should  be enough to                                                                    
     let  you folks  know that  the residents  of the  North                                                                    
     Slope Borough are  totally against this bill.   And the                                                                    
     intent of this  bill would disrupt the  residents of my                                                                    
     district and  the residents of the  North Slope Borough                                                                    
     as a  whole.  The  five-mile corridor was put  in place                                                                    
     during the  time of the  pipeline construction  and was                                                                    
     an ideal way for a  commitment to protect our interests                                                                    
     along the  pipeline.   At that time  it was  called the                                                                    
     Anaktuvuk Pass Corridor.  I  have been involved in many                                                                    
     ways  insuring that  the  pipeline  doesn't affect  our                                                                    
     residents.     The   bill   would   bring  an   ongoing                                                                    
     destruction between  the urban state residents  and the                                                                    
     rural  residents.   This bill  would  only benefit  the                                                                    
     residents out  of the  North Slope  Borough.   With the                                                                    
     outgoing  funds being  received  for Homeland  Security                                                                    
     this  bill  would  not benefit  the  state  on  getting                                                                    
     future  funding  from  the   Homeland  Security.    The                                                                    
     residents  of  the North  Slope  Borough  have and  are                                                                    
     continuing the subsistence  lifestyle near the corridor                                                                    
     and  this bill  would affect  us in  our yearly  winter                                                                    
     fur-bearing trapping.   It  would also  disrupt Central                                                                    
     Arctic  caribou  herds  [indisc.] and  migrating  herds                                                                    
     during  that   spring  and  fall  season.     My  great                                                                    
     grandfather and  mother had spent many  years along the                                                                    
     Anakin (ph) Pass.   And my father and  others had spent                                                                    
     many summers  along the  Anakin Pass  and bring  us old                                                                    
     memories of these areas.   Preservation and security is                                                                    
     needed along the pipeline and must continue.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN  referred to the  sponsor's earlier  comment that                                                               
the Central  Arctic caribou herd  and the Western  Arctic caribou                                                               
herd as being plentiful, safe, and  not a problem.  Yet she heard                                                               
Mr.  Hogan say  that  there  is concern  for  the Central  Arctic                                                               
caribou  herd.   She  asked  Mr.  Hogan  for  a response  to  the                                                               
sponsor's statement.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOGAN responded  that from many years of  hunting the Central                                                               
Arctic  caribou  herd   and  in  observing  them,   he  has  seen                                                               
disruption not too far from the pipeline.  He continued:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     By the time they went  into the Brooks Range, they were                                                                    
     well over 90  miles west of Anaktuvuk by  the time they                                                                    
     finally  went into  the valleys  of  the Brooks  Range.                                                                    
     Disruption of  our subsistence way of  lifestyle on the                                                                    
     caribou herds is very  sensitive, especially during the                                                                    
     months  of August  and September  and October.   If  we                                                                    
     were to  get hunting  increased along the  pipeline I'm                                                                    
     pretty sure they're  going to move either  east or west                                                                    
     from  the pipeline  so years  of  watching these  herds                                                                    
     after  the  pipeline  was built,  that  herd  decreased                                                                    
     drastically.    We  weren't   getting  any  herds  from                                                                    
     [indisc.] for a long time.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER  asked  what   caused  that  herd  to  decrease                                                               
originally.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOGAN responded that one thing was the pipeline being built.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     It took years  for it to pick back up.   Some season we                                                                    
     were  getting  them  from the  northeast  side  of  the                                                                    
     valley,  from the  pipeline direction.   It  took being                                                                    
     involved in  the Fish  and Game  committee up  here, it                                                                    
     took me well  over 10 years from the state  just to get                                                                    
     the central Arctic caribou studies.   It took years and                                                                    
     years just  to get what  was public information  for us                                                                    
     up here.  And I finally  got one of those studies about                                                                    
     two  years  ago.    It  remained  confidential  to  the                                                                    
     residents up here for a long time.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked where  the Central  Arctic herd  has calving                                                               
grounds in relationship to the highway.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HOGAN replied  that  the North  Slope  Borough believes  the                                                               
calving ground  is southwest of the  Prudhoe Bay area.   The last                                                               
couple of years  they've been watching the Kuparak  to see what's                                                               
happening in  those areas.   Every  time those  herds get  in the                                                               
industrial area, they don't want to move any further eastward.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON noted  that they've  heard about  the Central  and                                                               
Western  Arctic  herds  and  asked, "What's  going  on  with  the                                                               
populations of the Teshekpuk herd?"                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOGAN responded that it varies.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     There's a whole bunch that  also wanders right there in                                                                    
     the  NPR-A.   Certain  years  we'll  get them  to  come                                                                    
     through here.   When they do that  they'll winter about                                                                    
     40 to  50 miles south of  the village area.   When they                                                                    
     winter  there,  that's  a  real  ideal  place  for  our                                                                    
     residents  to  go  to  hunt  the  caribous  during  the                                                                    
     winter.   But  [indisc.]  they're  finally starting  to                                                                    
     open up  their studies to  the residents here.   One of                                                                    
     the things  that we do  in terms of the  spring season,                                                                    
     probably starting  this month right on  through May, we                                                                    
     go over to  that Iktamuk (ph) Valley which  is about 10                                                                    
     miles  west of  the  pipeline.   We  do  a  lot of  ice                                                                    
     fishing  there,  so  we  get a  lot  of  traffic  going                                                                    
     through  the   foothills  up   there,  going   to  that                                                                    
     designation,  and   spring  season  is   always  pretty                                                                    
     important for us  for ice fishing in that  area, if not                                                                    
     for the fur bearing animals up north on the foothills.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked where the calving area is for the Porcupine                                                                 
Herd.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOGAN:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Porcupine herd?   I  would leave that  up to  the North                                                                    
     Slope  Borough  Wildlife,   Charlie  Brower  and  Quick                                                                    
     George and  his excellent  staff that keep  us informed                                                                    
     up here.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MIKE BILLBE  thanked Senator  Seekins  for introducing  this                                                               
bill.   He  stated that  he  spent about  12 years  up along  the                                                               
Dalton  Highway and  began  his testimony  by  reading from  Sec.                                                               
19.40.210 as follows:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Prohibition  of  off-road vehicles.  Off-road  vehicles                                                                    
     are prohibited on land within  five miles of the right-                                                                    
     of-way of the highway.   However, this prohibition does                                                                    
     not apply  to (1)  off-road vehicles necessary  for oil                                                                    
     and  gas   exploration,  development,   production,  or                                                                    
     transportation; (2)  a person who holds  a mining claim                                                                    
     in the  vicinity of the  highway and who must  use land                                                                    
     within five  miles of the  right-of-way of  the highway                                                                    
     to gain access to the mining claim.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BILLBE stated this is the law that's posted on the signs                                                                    
along the Dalton Highway and provided the following testimony:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I  would like  to bring  it  to the  attention of  this                                                                    
     group that the  Dalton is 417 miles long  and from mile                                                                    
     1 at Livengood  to mile 56 at the Yukon  River is state                                                                    
     land on  both sides of the  road.  From mile  56 at the                                                                    
     Yukon  River to  mile 302  at Slope  Mountain, that  is                                                                    
     public land  managed by the  Bureau of  Land Management                                                                    
     (BLM).   Yes that is right.   The state has  closed 246                                                                    
     miles of  non-state land.   But the  first 56  miles of                                                                    
     the Dalton  Highway is state  land, the state  does not                                                                    
     seem  to  manage  that  at  all.   There  is  only  one                                                                    
     significant trail  in that area.   If you'd like  to go                                                                    
     look  at it,  it's  at  Hess Creek.    That's the  only                                                                    
     impact that I've seen up  there from off-road vehicles,                                                                    
     and that's in 56 miles.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     I am  confused why  is the land  closed to  some people                                                                    
     and  yet not  others?    If one  lives  outside of  the                                                                    
     corridor they can drive through  it.  If the people who                                                                    
     live in Wiseman can  operate snowmachines there, but if                                                                    
     we the  public want to go  use public land we  are told                                                                    
     no it's  closed.  That is  not a 10-mile strip  of land                                                                    
     that  is northern  Alaska from  the Yukon  River north.                                                                    
     Yes, one  can start at the  Yukon River and go  5 miles                                                                    
     out and then  head north but how much gas  can you take                                                                    
     to  take a  northern  trip?   No  you  can't come  into                                                                    
     Coldfoot for fuel.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-09, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
MR. BILLBE continued:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Not only does  this closure impact you and  I, but what                                                                    
     kind  of  businesses  can it  impact  at  Coldfoot  for                                                                    
     winter recreation?  Last year  there was 3 feet of good                                                                    
     snow on  public land in  the Coldfoot area and  none in                                                                    
     Fairbanks in the early part  of the winter.  Yet people                                                                    
     had to drive down to Cantwell or Summit to recreate.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This law has  been looked at several times  in the last                                                                    
     20 years and  I do not see where there  has ever been a                                                                    
     penalty written into  this law.  Why is that?   You may                                                                    
     ask  if there  is no  penalty then  why is  this a  big                                                                    
     deal?     Well  BLM  has  assimilated   the  state  ATV                                                                    
     regulations  nationwide  and   they  do  enforce  state                                                                    
     regulations  under 43  C.F.R 8341.    Would the  public                                                                    
     land be  closed if the  state law were repealed?   Well                                                                    
     snowmachine are used up there and ....                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER informed Mr. Billbe that he was over the 2-                                                                    
minute limit and asked him to summarize his testimony.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BILLBE  said he  would submit  the rest  of his  testimony in                                                               
writing.  He concluded by stating  that the public land is closed                                                               
by  a   state  and   there  are   security  issues;   people  can                                                               
recreationally shoot there as long  as they're not hunting.  He's                                                               
heard the chief of police say  that people don't belong on public                                                               
land.   He said he's  confused; he's a  public land user,  and he                                                               
wants to use the federally administered land.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:30 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROSEMARY AHTUANGORUAK testified via teleconference from                                                                     
Barrow as follows:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     My  name is  Rosemary Ahtuangoruak,  I live  in Nuiqsut                                                                    
     outside  of  Prudhoe Bay.    My  family  and I  live  a                                                                    
     traditional  lifestyle   relying  on   our  traditional                                                                    
     subsistence resources.  We  hunt birds, caribou, moose,                                                                    
     musk  ox, bear,  wolves,  wolverine,  whale, fish,  and                                                                    
     collect greens and  berries.  We have chosen  to try to                                                                    
     raise our children  as our elders taught  us to provide                                                                    
     for our family  from the land, sea, and  air around us.                                                                    
     We base our daily lives  preparing for the seasons that                                                                    
     have  kept our  cultures,  traditions alive.   We  have                                                                    
     grown in two  worlds, as parents exposed us  to life in                                                                    
     Fairbanks,  Anchorage, and  Seattle  and rural  village                                                                    
     life.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  changes to  us would  be enormously  negative with                                                                    
     the opening of these areas  along the Dalton Highway to                                                                    
     off-road  vehicles.   Our resources  are migratory  and                                                                    
     traverse  these areas.   The  changes to  their actions                                                                    
     along this route jeopardize  the successful reaching to                                                                    
     our areas and future generations of these resources.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Open use  of these areas  to off-road vehicles  is like                                                                    
     asking you to garden or  shop in the mall with everyone                                                                    
     but you  using scooters to  shop or garden.   How would                                                                    
     you  feel  to try  to  tend  to  your needs  with  this                                                                    
     activity occurring?  Now add  these scooters along with                                                                    
     the truck  routes to bring  your supplies to you.   The                                                                    
     increased  interactions  will   cause  delays  to  your                                                                    
     supplies getting to you.   Now add gates that open only                                                                    
     once a year  to get those supplies to you.   Some would                                                                    
     not make it.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     For us  to not get  our resources, we go  without them.                                                                    
     We  have increased  cost to  western goods  due to  the                                                                    
     costs of shipping.  We cannot  pay the high cost to eat                                                                    
     these foods at the level we eat traditional foods.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Our  activity  in  these  areas   are  to  protect  our                                                                    
     resources to  continue to sustain  our families  to the                                                                    
     future.     We  curtail   actions  during   seasons  of                                                                    
     migration and  hibernation to encourage the  success of                                                                    
     the   reproductions.     Our  actions   are  based   on                                                                    
     generations of knowledge  based on starvation, illness,                                                                    
     and  death.   We teach  our  children as  we have  been                                                                    
     taught.    We are  proactive  to  educating our  future                                                                    
     generations.   Our strength of  our education  is based                                                                    
     on our elders' losses and suffering.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     People coming to the area  will not have the protection                                                                    
     and use of the area like we  do.  They would have to be                                                                    
     educated   as  we   were   to   prevent  the   negative                                                                    
     interactions.   We are working to  ensure our resources                                                                    
     return  and they  are using  the area  differently than                                                                    
     what is currently occurring.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     We are  concerned about the lack  of emergency services                                                                    
     to  the area.   Right  now  the service  sites for  the                                                                    
     pipeline are the  only area and that is  not planned to                                                                    
     meet  these demands  that would  be  placed upon  them.                                                                    
     The  concerns  for  safety to  the  pipeline  are  very                                                                    
     concerning  to us.   There  is only  one state  trooper                                                                    
     along the  route and there is  not adequate enforcement                                                                    
     of the  current regulations.   These changes  will need                                                                    
     to  change  the   federal  management  regulations  for                                                                    
     subsistence as  a reaction to  these actions.   We have                                                                    
     to  react to  the foreseen  loss of  resources if  this                                                                    
     passes.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Our  community  has  seen  loss  of  resources  due  to                                                                    
     activities that  open the Haul  Road to  restricted use                                                                    
     access for  hunters.  We went  without resources during                                                                    
     these times.   It is  a very strong social  impact that                                                                    
     occurs   to  our   community  with   the  social   ills                                                                    
     increasing  when we  don't have  traditional access  to                                                                    
     our resources.   Those kind  of horrors we do  not want                                                                    
     to continue see happening to our future.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. AHTUANGORUAK added that she would submit the rest of her                                                                    
testimony in writing, since she wasn't able to include it                                                                       
because of the time limitation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. TAQULIK HEPA, a lifelong resident of the North Slope who has                                                                
worked for the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife                                                                       
Management since 1991, testified as follows:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     One  of   my  primary  responsibilities  has   been  to                                                                    
     coordinate  a  project  that  documents  the  level  of                                                                    
     subsistence  harvested   animals  and   identify  areas                                                                    
     important to subsistence  uses for each of  the 8 North                                                                    
     Slope communities.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I am opposed  to SB 298, which repeals the  ban on uses                                                                    
     of  off-road vehicles  within five  miles of  the James                                                                    
     Dalton Highway.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I  have a  number  of  concerns that  I  would like  to                                                                    
     briefly bring to  your attention.  My  first concern is                                                                    
     the impacts this bill will  have on subsistence uses in                                                                    
     Game   Management  Unit   26,   particularly  for   the                                                                    
     communities  of Anaktuvuk  Pass, Nuiqsut,  and to  some                                                                    
     degree Kaktovik.   There is  no doubt with  the passing                                                                    
     of this bill, there will  be a dramatic increase in the                                                                    
     number of people who use  the Dalton Highway either for                                                                    
     hunting and/or  for recreation  uses, and  will provide                                                                    
     an  opportunity  for  easy access  to  areas  that  are                                                                    
     important  to  the residents  or  the  North Slope  for                                                                    
     subsistence  activities.     There   is  bound   to  be                                                                    
     increasing  conflicts between  sport hunters  and local                                                                    
     subsistence  users,  as   an  example  the  competition                                                                    
     between  sport and  subsistence  hunters for  resources                                                                    
     such as caribou, furbearers, moose and musk ox.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     One of my biggest concerns  is that with an increase in                                                                    
     hunting activity  and motorized traffic to  the west of                                                                    
     the  highway, this  will have  a devastating  impact on                                                                    
     the fall  migration of caribou through  Anaktuvuk Pass.                                                                    
     The  Nunamiut   have  a   lifestyle  that   is  heavily                                                                    
     dependant  on the  subsistence  harvest of  terrestrial                                                                    
     mammals, with  caribou being the single  most important                                                                    
     resource.   Harvest numbers  range between  311 caribou                                                                    
     to 601 between 1995 to  present.  When the fall caribou                                                                    
     migration   through  Anaktuvuk   Pass  is   poor,  this                                                                    
     community is confronted with a  serious problem.  Other                                                                    
     resources  available such  as  Dall  sheep, moose,  and                                                                    
     musk ox  are so  heavily regulated that  the community,                                                                    
     their catch,  does not meet their  nutritional need for                                                                    
     fresh meat to last throughout the winter.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     I've also  heard concerns from Nuiqsut  residents about                                                                    
     interactions with  sport hunters or  recreational users                                                                    
     on the  Colville.   In one  case, hunters  from Nuiqsut                                                                    
     were pursuing caribou when they  were harassed by sport                                                                    
     hunters in an aircraft scouting  for bull caribou.  The                                                                    
     caribou were  spooked and scattered before  the hunters                                                                    
     were able  to harvest what  they needed.  This  type of                                                                    
     negative interaction  is only  going to  increase, with                                                                    
     the passage of the bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     And how  and who are  the residents of the  North Slope                                                                    
     supposed to  adequately express their concerns?   There                                                                    
     is only  one state area  biologist living on  the North                                                                    
     Slope, who is stationed out  of Barrow, and the state's                                                                    
     local  fish  and game  advisory  council  of the  North                                                                    
     Slope  have been  inactive since  before  1990.   We've                                                                    
     initiated  discussions to  reactivate the  two advisory                                                                    
     councils.  The response we  have received is that it is                                                                    
     very  unlikely  that  the state's  board  section  will                                                                    
     reactivate  them  due  to the  state's  current  budget                                                                    
     situation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     We must  all remember the  original intent of  the Haul                                                                    
     Road.  It  was only supposed to be  used for industrial                                                                    
     purposes.  The  people of the North Slope  were told at                                                                    
     that  time   that  this  was  how   our  resources  and                                                                    
     activities were going to be  protected, by limiting its                                                                    
     use to  industrial purposes.   I've recently  heard the                                                                    
     same  type  of comment  made  in  a public  meeting  in                                                                    
     Nuiqsut last July about DOT's  plan to extend the spine                                                                    
     road into  NPR-A.   It seems as  if promises  are being                                                                    
     broken again, and on and on.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN referred  to Ms. Hepa's comments  about there not                                                               
being  enough harvest  for the  subsistence  users and  mentioned                                                               
that according  to the sponsor's  statement, most of  the hunters                                                               
fly  out and  there  is  plenty of  caribou  for  people to  use,                                                               
including for those  using off-road vehicles.  She  asked for her                                                               
response.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HEPA replied that the populations of caribou herd on the                                                                    
North Slope are doing fine.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I  don't think  Senator  Seekins  realizes the  impacts                                                                    
     off-road  vehicles will  have  on the  resources.   For                                                                    
     example,  people  using  snowmachines from  the  Dalton                                                                    
     Highway  during the  fall time  and  going west  toward                                                                    
     Anaktuvuk Pass  will deflect the caribou  from into the                                                                    
     pass.     I'm   very  concerned   about  that   because                                                                    
     traditionally the  people of  Anaktuvuk Pass  allow the                                                                    
     [indisc.] of caribou to come  through their pass before                                                                    
     they  harvest  without  any   disturbance.    And  this                                                                    
     insures that the rest of  the caribou herd will follow.                                                                    
     With  people out  there  using  snowmachines and  other                                                                    
     types  of transportation,  [they] are  going to  divert                                                                    
     the caribou from coming through  the Pass.  Even though                                                                    
     there may  be a lot  of caribou  there are going  to be                                                                    
      impacts for people to access the caribou or for the                                                                       
     caribou to come in their normal route.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN said she appreciated  that testimony because she,                                                               
as a  neighboring Athabaskan, also  feels that the  first caribou                                                               
herd  coming  through has  to  pass  safely, otherwise  it  could                                                               
change the migration pattern.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BILL LEARY,  representing  the  Snowmachine Club,  Fairbanks                                                               
Snow Travelers,  and the Fairbanks Trailblazers  (as Trailblazers                                                               
also include  ATVs), and  also with  the Alaska  State Snowmobile                                                               
Association, expressed  support of  SB 298.   He stated  this was                                                               
public land  and the beauty  should be enjoyed  by photographers,                                                               
tourists, families, and so forth.   He said he heard Mr. Peterson                                                               
state that  ATVs were tearing  up trails.   He countered  this by                                                               
noting that  the ground pressure on  an ATV is very  light; there                                                               
are big  fat high-floatation tires.   They weigh very  little and                                                               
do not tear up terrain unless forced into a certain path.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN  referred to  the  previous  testimony, yet  Mr.                                                               
Leary  alluded to  going on  tours and  taking photographs.   She                                                               
said she thought it was wonderful  for families to get out and do                                                               
things like  that.  She  asked if  the snowmachine clubs  and ATV                                                               
users were also hunters.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEARY  said he imagined that  probably one client would  be a                                                               
hunter.  He said  the winters are so long, and it  is good to get                                                               
out snow machining to enjoy this beautiful country.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN said she travels  from Fairbanks to the bridge on                                                               
a regular  basis and she  knows it's a long  haul.  If  that were                                                               
opened up,  what percentage  of the  snowmachine clubs  would use                                                               
that?                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. LEARY  responded that it would  be close to 100  percent, and                                                               
there are other people who aren't  in clubs, as well as tourists,                                                               
such as the Japanese.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN  asked  what   he  envisioned  regarding  taking                                                               
tourists up  there, noting that  in winter there are  short days;                                                               
she asked if this would  this include overnight lodging along the                                                               
way.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LEARY  said  there  are  many options  such  as  lodging  in                                                               
Coldfoot, or  staying in tents.   He added that  snowmachining in                                                               
the dark at night is  more mysterious; February, March, and April                                                               
can be the best snowmachining anywhere.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEOFF CARROLL mentioned that he had been a Department of                                                                    
Fish and Game biologist for 13 years in the area, and testified                                                                 
from Barrow as follows:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     There are  several reasons  that repealing  the statute                                                                    
     that prohibits  the use of  ORVs in the  Dalton Highway                                                                    
     Corridor would be a very bad idea.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     One reason, repealing the  statute would throw wildlife                                                                    
     regulations in Game Management  Unit 26B into disarray.                                                                    
     Nearly  all  of the  hunts  in  Unit 26B  are  designed                                                                    
     around  the  fact  that  there  is  limited  access  of                                                                    
     hunters  from the  Corridor.    Some regulations  would                                                                    
     need to  be rewritten  and some  hunts would  be nearly                                                                    
     impossible  to   conduct.     For  instance,   we  have                                                                    
     registration  hunts  for musk  oxen  and  sheep that  I                                                                    
     don't think we could use with  the prospect of 15 or 20                                                                    
     hunters on  snowmachines lined up  on the Haul  Road on                                                                    
     opening day.   Initially,  subsistence hunters  will be                                                                    
     the most negatively  affected and, if it  is shown that                                                                    
     the subsistence need  cannot be met, we  will be forced                                                                    
     into t  Tier II  situation, which will  exclude hunters                                                                    
     that don't have a history of hunting in the area.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Second, there'd  be an impact  on wildlife.   Access of                                                                    
     ORVs to the area in  the winter will results in caribou                                                                    
     and musk  oxen being  run during the  time of  the year                                                                    
     when  they are  supposed  to be  sedentary [by]  people                                                                    
     just wanting  to take a  closer look at the  musk oxen,                                                                    
     and you  know they're  going to run  right up  there on                                                                    
     their snowmachines.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Another issue is the Central  Arctic herd has been used                                                                    
     as a  test herd  for experiments on  the impact  of oil                                                                    
     development  on caribou.   If  the hunting  pressure is                                                                    
     suddenly  changed, it  will affect  results of  ongoing                                                                    
     and future studies.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Enforcement demand  and expenses  for both  traffic and                                                                    
     wildlife  issues  will  increase.   With  more  hunters                                                                    
     spread over  a larger  area, there will  be a  need for                                                                    
     more wildlife enforcement.  With  more traffic and more                                                                    
     accidents there  will be more  need for  road patrolmen                                                                    
     and  emergency   services.    The   increased  traffic,                                                                    
     particularly  people  unloading  ORVs along  the  road,                                                                    
     will  increase hazards  for  truckers.   Pullouts  will                                                                    
     need to  be built  or it will  create a  very hazardous                                                                    
     situation.  All of these  things be expensive and don't                                                                    
     make much sense at a time  when the state can't seem to                                                                    
     afford  to provide  enough funding  for basic  services                                                                    
     like education.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Another very  important issue  is honor.   I  think the                                                                    
     state should honor the promises  it made when decisions                                                                    
     were being  made as to  whether the Haul Road  would be                                                                    
     built or  not.   North Slope  people were  assured that                                                                    
     the  road  would not  be  used  to transport  excessive                                                                    
     numbers of  people to their  lands.  When the  road was                                                                    
     opened  to  the  public  it  was  deemed  necessary  to                                                                    
     protect wildlife  resources by  not allowing  people to                                                                    
     use ORVs to access the  land surrounding the Haul Road.                                                                    
     That need has not changed.   This nation has a long but                                                                    
     not very  honorable history of making  deals with local                                                                    
     people,  taking  their  land and  resources,  and  then                                                                    
     breaking the  deals.  However,  I think that  our state                                                                    
     can  do better  than  that and  honor  our promises  to                                                                    
     limit access to the North  Slope lands and minimize the                                                                    
     impact on  the land,  the wildlife,  and the  people of                                                                    
     the  North   Slope  by  continuing  the   statute  that                                                                    
     prohibits  the  use  of  ORVs  in  the  Dalton  Highway                                                                    
     Corridor.  I have  more [testimony]  but  I'll cut  off                                                                    
     here.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked if there  was any documentation pertaining to                                                               
the promises  given in the 1970s  when there was Native  input as                                                               
to whether the road should  be built, and what restrictions would                                                               
remain in place.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARROLL said  he did not have that documentation  in hand but                                                               
it could  be researched.   He  added that  this was  a well-known                                                               
understanding and "kind of a matter of honor."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER  asked  Mr.  Carroll  if  he  was  representing                                                               
himself or the department.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARROLL confirmed that he was speaking for himself.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. TOM  BURGESS, speaking for  the Office of  Homeland Security,                                                               
State of Alaska,  asked that prudent management  of that corridor                                                               
be considered.  He said he  was speaking purely from the point of                                                               
view of the state's economic  health and for purposes of national                                                               
defense, and that the feeling  is that management of the corridor                                                               
should reflect the  threat level established by  the governor and                                                               
his anti-terrorism and disaster cabinet.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked  if he was speaking in favor  or not in favor                                                               
of the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS responded that they are  not in favor of a total lift                                                               
of the restrictions on that corridor.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked him to be more specific as to the reasons.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURGESS  said  it  would   create  a  marginal  increase  in                                                               
vulnerability simply  through access.   It's hard to  measure how                                                               
much  increased  vulnerability  would  be  there,  but  the  mere                                                               
increase  of activity  raises the  opportunity  for incidents  to                                                               
occur.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked for Mr. Burgess's title.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURGESS  said  he  was  the  Deputy  Director  for  Homeland                                                               
Security and Emergency Services, State of Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN  asked if  he  was  speaking  on behalf  of  the                                                               
director and received  confirmation that this was so.   She asked                                                               
him to explain what  it means to be opposed to  the total lift of                                                               
restrictions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURGESS replied  that there  are threat  levels in  Homeland                                                               
Security such as green, blue, orange,  red, and so forth, and the                                                               
feeling is  that it is necessary  to protect the pipeline  in the                                                               
state's  interest and  the national  interest, and  some form  of                                                               
restriction should  be in  place in  that corridor,  depending on                                                               
the threat level, once it's  been determined through intelligence                                                               
processes.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN  asked if  under the  legislation as  written, an                                                               
ORV could  go within five miles  of the right-of-way.   She asked                                                               
if his  concerns were  about the whole  pipeline from  Prudhoe to                                                               
Valdez.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS said  yes, the concern was for the  pipeline, but the                                                               
subject at hand was just from  the Yukon River to Deadhorse.  The                                                               
more  access there  is to  the Pipeline,  the more  opportunities                                                               
there  are  for  injuries  to  occur  either  from  accidents  or                                                               
intentional acts such as the shooting several years ago.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if this bill  passes, what would he need to                                                               
do to maintain security under Homeland Security.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS  said this is a  pretty long distance and  he doesn't                                                               
believe they  have the resources  to protect the  entire pipeline                                                               
right now.   In  conditions of orange  and above,  they generally                                                               
post  a checkpoint  at  the  Yukon River  Bridge  in attempts  to                                                               
screen the  traffic going up  and down  that corridor.   With the                                                               
state's current resources, that's about all that can be done.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:53 p.m.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN asked  if additional  resources  were needed  to                                                               
maintain  security, would  he be  coming to  the state  for those                                                               
resources.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURGESS replied  that  they did  not  anticipate asking  for                                                               
additional  resources   right  now,  as  the   mission  is  being                                                               
accomplished by  the National Guard,  the Alaska  State Troopers,                                                               
and the  ADF&G.   It's doubtful  that the  state could  afford to                                                               
significantly  increase  the  amount of  resources  available  to                                                               
secure that particular zone from the Yukon River to Deadhorse.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS asked,  "When you set up these  screenings at the                                                               
bridge  and someone  drives through,  if they  had a  snowmachine                                                               
trailer on  the back  of their  truck, you'd  screen that  at the                                                               
same time that you would their truck?"                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURGESS   responded,  "We   have  established   check  point                                                               
procedures when  we set  those up,  such as  there on  the Dalton                                                               
Highway, Yukon River Bridge.   The procedures call for asking the                                                               
occupant of  the vehicle to  volunteer to an inspection  and then                                                               
contingent upon passage  further up the highway.  I  would say to                                                               
you that they would look over  the snowmachine and they might ask                                                               
them to open  a container or an enclosure on  the snowmachine but                                                               
I think that would be the extent of the inspection."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked,  "So  there's no  greater  threat from  a                                                               
snowmachine than there is from a  pick-up truck as long as you've                                                               
inspected them both."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS replied, "Yes sir."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said that more  than half the pipeline  is below                                                               
the river than above the river,  and asked, "You've driven up the                                                               
Haul Road haven't you?"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS said, "Yes sir."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said, "Ninety percent  of the time  the Pipeline                                                               
is in  view of  the Haul  Road and someone  with a  pick-up truck                                                               
could go drive right over  underneath it without anybody stopping                                                               
them.  Isn't that correct?"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS said, "That's correct sir."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked,  "Why  would, if  someone  were going  to                                                               
damage the Pipeline,  would they want to do it  by getting out of                                                               
their truck that  they could drive right underneath  the Pipe and                                                               
get on their snowmachine in order to get underneath the Pipe?"                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURGESS responded,  "We hadn't  viewed it  exclusively as  a                                                               
snowmachine issue.  We would think  it would be all forms of off-                                                               
road vehicles."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said, "To get to  the Pipeline from the  road, I                                                               
mean, my wife  drives a Lincoln Navigator and she  could do it in                                                               
most of those places.   It would seem to me  that that road, just                                                               
the vehicular traffic up and  down that road would constitute any                                                               
kind of a  threat, that being able to use  an off-road vehicle to                                                               
get to your  trap line wouldn't be any greater  threat than that.                                                               
The number  of people that  you have up  there, if you  have that                                                               
checkpoint and you've screened them,  in order to go any further,                                                               
you've screened  everything that  they have in  their possession.                                                               
Am I right in assuming that?"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS said, "Yes sir.   During those periods when we set up                                                               
the checkpoints we screen the entire vehicle."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said,  "But you can't stop an  airplane that flew                                                               
from a private airfield someplace north.  Am I correct on that?"                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURGESS said, "Yes sir."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said he understands  the need for security and he                                                               
wasn't trying  to be belligerent  but was saying that  if someone                                                               
were  to  try  to  deliberately harm  the  Pipeline  north,  they                                                               
probably would not be somebody who  is going out for an afternoon                                                               
of snow machining up there.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MIKE  TINKER,  Chairman  of  the  Fairbanks  Fish  and  Game                                                               
Advisory Committee, reported that the  Board of Game that morning                                                               
raised  the population  objective  for the  Chesana (ph)  caribou                                                               
herd to 32,000  animals, and set the harvest  objective at 2,000.                                                               
The annual harvest over the last  five years has been between 435                                                               
and 470 animals of  that herd, some of those in  the far north of                                                               
their  range, and  over by  Nuiqsut, and  the others  coming from                                                               
along  the  corridor,  taken  under  the  [indisc.]  bull-hunting                                                               
regulations.   Those are increases  from the  previous population                                                               
objective  of 20,000  and the  previous harvest  objective around                                                               
1,000.   His point  was that  that caribou herd  is in  very good                                                               
shape  and  has  been  recognized   as  able  to  withstand  some                                                               
additional harvest.   The Central Arctic  caribou herd, according                                                               
to all of  the previous testimony, and expertise  from the board,                                                               
does not  mix a lot  with the Western  Arctic herd, and  does not                                                               
mix  much with  the Chuck  buck herd  which is  also used  by the                                                               
Nuiqsut folks.   The fears of the Alaskans who  live in Anaktuvuk                                                               
Pass and those places are perceived more than actual.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TINKER continued  that it  bothers him  when Alaskans  don't                                                               
want other  Alaskans sharing the  publicly owned resources.   "We                                                               
are caring people here in Fairbanks  and if we would like to come                                                               
up and  hunt caribou, we  would operate  in ways that  are unlike                                                               
most of the  North Slope residents."   That is, if he  were to go                                                               
caribou hunting,  he would probably  be interested in  staying as                                                               
close  to the  outside  edge  of that  five-mile  corridor as  he                                                               
could, just  from an efficiency  standpoint.  He  mentioned going                                                               
for a short period of  time, snow machining across that corridor,                                                               
getting outside  where it  was legal to  harvest, and  then going                                                               
back home.  He said he  wasn't interested in going 75 miles along                                                               
the corridor and then dropping down  to Anaktuvuk Pass or all the                                                               
way up  to Nuiqsut or  toward Kaktovik; it just  wouldn't happen.                                                               
That might happen under some  organized expedition like Mr. Leary                                                               
talked about.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. TINKER summarized by saying the  land managers at BLM and DNR                                                               
can easily  handle the conditions  under which  off-road vehicles                                                               
get authorization.   "Those are  the practical,  physical natures                                                               
and  that's where  I would  like you  to go  with your  decision-                                                               
making process, and try to stay  away from all of these perceived                                                               
problems."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DOREEN   LAMPE,  with  the   North  Star   Borough  Planning                                                               
Department,  a  land  officer  and  a  prior  community  planner,                                                               
testified  that   in  1999  the  planning   department  issued  a                                                               
publication  entitled, "Minimum  Adequate  Public Facilities  and                                                               
Services  for the  Dalton Highway  from  Coldfoot to  Deadhorse."                                                               
She  read a  few pages  from the  final report  of standards  and                                                               
implementing responsibility  for the  North Slope Borough  on the                                                               
Dalton  Highway,  Chapter  7,  Land  Use  Plans  and  Regulations                                                               
Related to Highway Services and Facilities:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     [Borough Land Management Regulations, page 106:]                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The Borough  has also  initiated Borough-wide  land use                                                                    
     controls  to implement  the  comprehensive  plan.   The                                                                    
     Borough  Land Management  Regulations (LMR),  contained                                                                    
     in   Title  19   of   the   Borough  code   established                                                                    
     Transportation Corridor zoning  district for uses along                                                                    
     the  highway.   The  purpose  of  this district  is  to                                                                    
     provide  a   strip  of   land  to   accommodate  linear                                                                    
     transportation facilities such  as roads and pipelines.                                                                    
     The Transportation Corridor district  is to ensure that                                                                    
     development   complies   with  all   Borough   policies                                                                    
     including   policies   that   apply   specifically   to                                                                    
     transportation  corridors.    All  of  the  officially-                                                                    
     designated development nodes are  zoned by the Borough.                                                                    
     Most  types of  activities  require Borough  permitting                                                                    
     approval.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     [Municipal Land Entitlements, page 107:]                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska Statute Title 29  establishes a land entitlement                                                                    
     for Alaskan  municipalities.   The North  Slope Borough                                                                    
     has  an entitlement  of  89,000 acres.    In 1990,  the                                                                    
     Borough selected  state land  at the  designated nodes:                                                                    
     Deadhorse (1,670  acres), north of Happy  Valley (5,90-                                                                    
     acres), and  Franklin Bluffs (2,299  acres).   In 1994,                                                                    
     the ADOT&PF applied for  an Interagency Land Management                                                                    
     Agreement  (ILMA),   which  is   a  transfer   of  land                                                                    
     management   authority   at    Happy   Valley.      The                                                                    
     adjudication of the Borough  selections and the ADOT/PF                                                                    
     request is still under review by ADNR.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The ownership  of the nodes  will be important,  as the                                                                    
     landowner  will  be in  the  primary  position to  make                                                                    
     decisions about  which uses will  occur and  where they                                                                    
     will locate.   All  of the node  areas are  large (most                                                                    
     are over a square mile) but  each one has a smaller key                                                                    
     developed  area,  usually  adjacent  to  the  airstrip.                                                                    
     Ownership of  the heart of  the nodes, land  around the                                                                    
     air facilities, gravel pads and  along the access roads                                                                    
     is especially important in  determining future uses and                                                                    
     facilities.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LAMPE concluded  by saying  she doesn't  understand why  the                                                               
state continually  supports everybody  and encourages use  of all                                                               
the  land and  is  always  against the  North  Slope Borough  and                                                               
doesn't  even  honor the  North  Slope  Borough's municipal  land                                                               
selections in over 30 years.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MATT  ROBUS,  Director   of  Wildlife  Conservation,  Alaska                                                               
Department  of Fish  &  Game,  said he  was  available to  answer                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if there was a fiscal note.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS said  he did not have  a fiscal note to  report at this                                                               
time.   He said he was  ready to talk about  the management tools                                                               
that  the  department,  the  Board  of  Game  and  the  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries  could use  in managing  additional  access that  would                                                               
result from this bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN asked  how the  fish and  game would  be managed                                                               
with the opening up of this vast area.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS replied that depends on  what the results were from any                                                               
action taken  to repeal this  prohibition on ORVs and  the extent                                                               
to which pressure on wildlife  or fish resources increased.  Both                                                               
Boards  have  the  power  to take  information  provided  by  the                                                               
department   regarding   how   harvest  pressure   is   affecting                                                               
populations,  and  take  actions  that can  range  anywhere  from                                                               
restrictions  on  access  -  such  as what's  in  the  five  mile                                                               
corridor, either side  of the road at present for  the purpose of                                                               
hunting -  to much  milder types  of tools  such as  changing bag                                                               
limits or changing season dates where  it can be ensured that the                                                               
affordable amount  of harvest  won't be  exceeded, so  that those                                                               
populations would continue to do well.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  asked  if  he  was saying  that  a  plan  is  not                                                               
currently  in  place,  should  this  repeal  of  the  statute  go                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS replied  that season  and  bag limits  are already  in                                                               
place.   What  would  happen  is that  through  reporting of  the                                                               
harvest,  and monitoring  by staff,  the department  would report                                                               
any  recommendations  for  changes  to  the  regulations  to  the                                                               
Boards,  should   those  be   necessary.     Similarly,  advisory                                                               
committees and  members of the  public have the  same opportunity                                                               
to put recommendations to the Boards  of Game and Fisheries if it                                                               
is felt that adjustments  need to be made.  There  is no plan per                                                               
se, but there  is certainly a mechanism on both  the wildlife and                                                               
the fisheries  side to deal  with any management issues  that may                                                               
come up as a result of this.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked if he was  saying that they would  use the                                                               
same process  that is  already used  on these  lands and  used on                                                               
other public lands.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS  confirmed  this  was  correct.   He  added  that  the                                                               
department  has emergency  order authority  in case  closures are                                                               
necessary.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN  said she was  a little  confused.  She  said the                                                               
sponsor had indicated  that to get to those areas  one would have                                                               
to fly  or walk in.   "Now, to open  up this tremendous  area for                                                               
off-road vehicles, when you say  'observation' I am still puzzled                                                               
-  and I  guess Finance  will  have to  take  it up  - that  your                                                               
department  will  observe what's  going  on  here and  then  take                                                               
action. "How are  you going to do that with  the personnel that's                                                               
on hand right now?"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS said  perhaps his  wording  had been  misleading.   He                                                               
explained  that throughout  the  state most  of the  department's                                                               
observing of  hunting seasons and estimation  of harvest pressure                                                               
is not  through direct observation,  but rather  through indirect                                                               
means such  as reporting  on harvest tickets  and permits  and so                                                               
forth.   This builds  a picture of  how harvest  pressure changes                                                               
and  how  modes  of  access  change  while,  at  the  same  time,                                                               
biologists  are responsible  for keeping  track of  how different                                                               
wildlife  populations are  doing.   Based  on those  two sets  of                                                               
data, the department  arrives at the best  recommendation for the                                                               
Board of Game to consider  regarding regulation changes.  He said                                                               
he  didn't mean  that "we'd  be out  there orbiting  overhead the                                                               
whole  time but  we would  in a  fairly short  time follow-up  on                                                               
changes  and how  hunts are  conducted  and how  many people  are                                                               
accessing particular populations."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LINCOLN  asked how this  would be done with  the existing                                                               
staff.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS responded that much  of the current operation was based                                                               
on  prioritization, as  there  is  far more  to  do  in terms  of                                                               
management and  research than  staff can  undertake in  any given                                                               
year.  "We would have to kind  of move the chess pieces around on                                                               
the board  to deal with  changes of this  sort that are  put into                                                               
place."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN asked  if he  anticipates having  to move  chess                                                               
pieces around.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS said  metaphorically speaking,  probably some  of this                                                               
would  have to  be  done.   He  said he  imagined  that the  area                                                               
biologists responsible for game  management units surrounding the                                                               
Haul Road  would have to  pay closer  attention to access  off of                                                               
the Haul Road,  if for no other reason, to  try to detect whether                                                               
substantial  differences are  resulting  from the  change in  the                                                               
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LINCOLN  asked  if  he  agreed  with  earlier  testimony                                                               
indicating that people could change  the migration pattern of the                                                               
caribou herd.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-10, SIDE A                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
MR. ROBUS responded  that he was not a caribou  biologist but has                                                               
repeatedly  heard that  concern in  many different  parts of  the                                                               
state when  either different user groups  or development projects                                                               
or  similar types  of [indisc.]  cause changes  in the  ranges or                                                               
migratory corridors  for caribou herds.   He said he  didn't know                                                               
enough about the  Central Arctic herd or its movements  to give a                                                               
professional analysis,  but could say  that it is  an often-heard                                                               
concern  of  subsistence  users   and  people  living  in  remote                                                               
villages.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked if  Mr. Robus was  a biologist  and received                                                               
confirmation that he was trained as  a biologist.  He referred to                                                               
the testimony  from the  biologist from  the North  Slope engaged                                                               
with the caribou and the  musk oxen herd who expressed opposition                                                               
to  the bill,  and  asked Mr.  Robus if  he  disagreed with  that                                                               
practical, on-site experience.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS responded  that the  previous testifier  gave personal                                                               
testimony and  expressed concerns of North  Slope residents about                                                               
potential for  access from the  Haul Road  to the corridor.   The                                                               
department does not have a position  on this bill.  He stated his                                                               
purpose was  to talk  about the  management tools  the department                                                               
has available through the Board  system, to manage the effects of                                                               
changes like this.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON stated the sponsor of  this bill has pointed out in                                                               
a number of other bills that  ADF&G has been close to mismanaging                                                               
the  state's  resources  if  one  looks at  the  out  of  control                                                               
predator populations,  such as bears  and wolves;  this certainly                                                               
has had  a negative  affect on the  moose population  and nothing                                                               
has been  done until the  recent past,  thanks to the  sponsor of                                                               
this bill.   He said, "It's  almost too little too  late from the                                                               
action we've seen  by ADF&G.  Is that  an unfair characterization                                                               
of your department?"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS responded  that  he would  respectfully  say that  the                                                               
department has  done the best  it can, operating within  the laws                                                               
and regulations  that exist.   He pointed  out that while  it's a                                                               
bit  unrelated,  the  department  is  presently  engaged  in  two                                                               
predator-control  projects for  the  first time  in  well over  a                                                               
decade.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said the  same has gone on at the  other end of the                                                               
spectrum  whereby   the  caribou   population  has   pretty  much                                                               
exploded.  He quoted the  Western Arctic caribou herd at 400,000,                                                               
saying he  understood that  it is  closer to  500,000 and  such a                                                               
large  population  could  be  in  danger of  a  crash.    It  has                                                               
decimated  the reindeer  herds on  the Seward  Peninsula.   There                                                               
were 14  herds and now  there are 2.   He  asked if this  was Mr.                                                               
Robus's understanding.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS replied that he was  not aware of the current situation                                                               
of  the reindeer  industry, although  he knows  that the  Western                                                               
Arctic caribou  herd's migrations  have been  a problem  for many                                                               
years.  The Western Arctic herd  is still the largest herd in the                                                               
state  and is  at the  high end  of what  the range  can probably                                                               
carry.    The  department  biologists  have  been  watching  that                                                               
situation for years  and that's why the Board of  Game has such a                                                               
liberal bag limit.  Not only  is that an important herd for food,                                                               
but it makes a  lot of sense to crop as many  animals out of that                                                               
herd when it's at the high end.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON said  being a reindeer herder,  and owning reindeer                                                               
himself, he  noted the  exploding population  has had  a negative                                                               
effect on the herders.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  COWDERY said  he understood  that  Senator Olson  will,                                                               
with the sponsor, address a committee substitute.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said  he has agreed to sit down  with the Senator                                                               
who represents the North Slope Borough  to take a look at some of                                                               
the concerns and  to look at other alternatives.   He said as the                                                               
sponsor he doesn't  want to force anything  down anyone's throat,                                                               
but these  are public  lands and there  are Alaskans  who believe                                                               
they are  being illegitimately  locked out of  public lands.   He                                                               
said he  wanted to look  at those  concerns from both  sides, and                                                               
that he  was willing  to sit  down and talk  about that  with the                                                               
minority members who have some  concerns.  He said that hopefully                                                               
in the time that the bill  goes from this committee to Finance, a                                                               
CS  could be  crafted that  would allay  some concerns  that have                                                               
been addressed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked if anybody  from the oil company  or Alyeska                                                               
Pipeline would be testifying either for or against this bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER said he hadn't seen anybody on the list.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said he had told them early on about this bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON said  in reviewing  testimony given,  this reminds                                                               
him of  the ANWR situation whereby  Alaskans who want to  open up                                                               
ANWR are  being overruled by  those living outside of  the state,                                                               
and  that  is reprehensible  and  somewhat  offensive.   All  the                                                               
testimony  heard  from people  who  come  from the  North  Slope,                                                               
Native  and non-Native,  professional and  not professional,  has                                                               
been against  this bill.   A  number of  people from  outside the                                                               
area are the ones  in favor of this bill.  He  said he would have                                                               
to vote against this bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he'd like to  make it clear for  the record                                                               
that  he  thinks that  most  of  the  criticism directed  at  the                                                               
department  is  rightfully  directed towards  the  administration                                                               
further up the chain.   There have been administrations that were                                                               
not interested in managing, but  in monitoring wildlife.  He said                                                               
he has great  empathy for those members who are  employees of the                                                               
state who  are also eager  to manage wildlife but  are prohibited                                                               
from doing so by political decisions.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   LINCOLN  said   she   didn't   quite  understand   this                                                               
discussion.   She  thought the  Senator was  asking that  this be                                                               
held in committee  to work out a potential  amendment because the                                                               
area  involves  a  considerable distance  (178  miles)  from  the                                                               
bridge and affects  surrounding communities.  She  said she would                                                               
have a great  problem if the bill moves out  of committee without                                                               
viewing an  amendment, which is rightfully  this committee's, not                                                               
Finance's, to address.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER suggested  that the  sponsor get  together with                                                               
Senator Olson.   He said he had some questions  of the sponsor as                                                               
well.  He  said this involves a  lot of land and  maybe there was                                                               
some middle ground for everybody.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR COWDERY said there is  currently no fiscal note, and one                                                               
should probably be addressed in Finance.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS said he agreed with that but he didn't think                                                                    
that there would be a huge cost to allow a small number of                                                                      
people to go up there.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER said he didn't think this would change the way                                                                 
ADF&G or the state troopers manage things.  He said the bill                                                                    
would be held in committee until Tuesday.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business to come before the committee, he                                                                
adjourned the meeting at 3:28 p.m.                                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects