Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/12/1995 05:06 PM FSH
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES April 12, 1995 5:06 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Alan Austerman, Chairman Representative Gary Davis Representative Kim Elton Representative Scott Ogan MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Carl Moses, Vice Chairman COMMITTEE CALENDAR Confirmation Hearings for Trefon Angasan and Dr. John White to the Board of Fish. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE * HB 292: "An Act relating to searches by peace officers who enforce fish and game laws and to false statements and omissions in regard to application for fish and game licenses, tags, and permits." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE * HB 296: "An Act relating to the authority of the State of Alaska over fish and game." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HJR 38: Relating to reauthorization of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act. PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE * HB 254: "An Act relating to the management of fish and aquatic plants; establishing the Board of Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries and the Board of Marine Fisheries; and providing for an effective date." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER TREFON ANGASAN Box 100-220 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 Telephone: 265-7829 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided brief statement DR. JOHN WHITE Post Office Box 190 Bethel, Alaska 99559 Telephone: 543-3778 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided brief statement DALE BONDURANT HC 1 Box 1197 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: 262-0818 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported both confirmations, Supported HB 292, and Supported HB 296 JOHN GLASS, Colonel Alaska Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection 5700 East Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225 Telephone: 269-5509 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 292 JOE RYAN, Legislative Assistant Representative Al Vezey Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 216 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: 465-3258 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided Sponsor Statement for HB 296 MIM ROBINSON, Chairman Port Alexander Fish and Game Advisory Committee Post Office 8045 Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: 568-2236 POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concerns about HB 296 GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison Office of the Commissioner Alaska Department of Fish and Game Post Office Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526 Telephone: 465-6143 POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concerns about HB 296 and Supported HJR 38 MARTIN WEINSTEIN, Assistant Attorney General Alaska Department of Law Post Office Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: 465-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concerns about HB 296 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 216 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: 465-3258 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime Sponsor HB 296 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 292 SHORT TITLE: FISH & GAME ENFORCEMENT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) OGAN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/05/95 1026 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/05/95 1026 (H) FSH, JUDICIARY 04/12/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 296 SHORT TITLE: STATE AUTHORITY OVER FISH AND GAME SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/05/95 1027 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/05/95 1027 (H) FSH, RESOURCES 04/12/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HJR 38 SHORT TITLE: MAGNUSON FISHERY CONSERVATION & MGMT ACT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) AUSTERMAN,Navarre,Grussendorf JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/24/95 895 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/24/95 895 (H) FSH, RESOURCES 04/05/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 04/05/95 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 04/10/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 04/12/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 254 SHORT TITLE: ESTABLISH TWO FISH BOARDS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) AUSTERMAN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/15/95 742 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/15/95 742 (H) FISHERIES, FINANCE 04/12/95 (H) FSH AT 05:00 PM CAPITOL 124 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-22, SIDE A Number 000 The House Special Committee on Fisheries was called to order by Chairman Alan Austerman at 5:06 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Davis, Elton and Ogan. The meeting was on teleconference with Anchorage, Bethel, Port Alexander, and Soldotna. CONFIRMATION HEARING - BOARD OF FISH Number 033 TREFON ANGASAN, testified via teleconference from Bethel, giving a brief statement to the committee. He stated that he is a lifelong commercial fishermAn, holds a drift permit for the Bristol Bay fishery and employed by the Bristol Bay Native Corporation. He commented, "I have followed the Board of Fish process, since the inception of the board process. I've attended nearly all the meetings." He further stated, "I've always been a strong advocate of the board process as a way to regulate the fishery. I was first appointed to the board in 1992. When I came to the board, I believe that I was fair with all the people." He believes that people should have fair and equal access to the Board of Fish. He also indicated that he has a strong interest in the conservation of the resource. Number 094 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Mr. Angasan if he was still commercial fishing. MR. ANGASAN responded in the affirmative. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN also asked Mr. Angasan if he had any comments about the False Pass, Kodiak and Cook Inlet intercept issues. MR. ANGASAN answered that because of the way the conflict of interest laws are written, he was usually excluded from the False Pass issues. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN clarified that his comments were directed more to the issue of intercept fisheries. MR. ANGASAN stated that fishermen have a right to make a living. He went on to say that it's a waste of time to try and put other fisheries out of business. He also believes that conservation has got to be the highest priority. He said, "When we're dealing with conservation, there needs to be a balanced historical harvest from both ends of the user chain and incorporate that into the management plan. I think when we see growth in the interception of certain stocks that it has its entitlement to sound management for conservation. I know that terminal fisheries for example, don't fish until the escapement goals have been achieved. So that's the difference between a terminal fishery and a mixed stock fishery, where they're allowed a quota." MR. ANGASAN went on to say that the Area M fishery is assured of an escapement goal. Because of this, the intercept fishery is a viable part of the economy in the False Pass area. The Cook Inlet and Kodiak situation is completely different. He remarked, "There isn't that much information regarding the level of intercept, if you will, in the Kodiak fishery. I know that Kodiak is a historical fishery. The Native people and the Native villages have thrived on the salmon for hundreds of years." He expressed that the level of interception is a hard one to call for the Kodiak area, because of the lack of information. Number 187 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS asked Mr. Angasan for a simple definition of sustained yield. MR. ANGASAN responded, "Sustained yield is the ability to perpetuate a fishery through conservation and allow for an orderly extraction of that resource." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS followed up by asking Mr. Angasan how he felt about fishermen who have obtained a permit to be a commercial sport fish guide or a commercial drift and setnet fisherman. MR. ANGASAN related that there needs to be a controlled harvest. The historical catch of the fishery has to be looked at and allocated accordingly. He remarked, "Things aren't constant. As growth and population occur, we need to incorporate some of that. But I also think that there needs to be some safety net to radical changes in the fishery. We need to avoid those kinds of situations where radical changes occur where one user group is reaping all of the benefits and eliminate those that have historically caught fish in the area." Number 246 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON asked Mr. Angasan if he was comfortable with the review process in Cook Inlet, as proposed by the Governor. MR. ANGASAN asserted that it is helpful if more people are involved with the process. The Cook Inlet issue needs as much information as possible. He mentioned that he is a strong advocate of personal use fishery in the Cook Inlet fishery. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Mr. Angasan if he had any final comments. MR. ANGASAN commended the committee for having this hearing in spite of the current workload of the legislature. Number 288 DR. JOHN WHITE testified via teleconference from Bethel. He pointed out that he has been a member of several committees, task forces and coalitions dealing with fisheries. He is currently the president of the Salmon Research Foundation. He stated for the record, "My philosophy basically grinds down to, treat fairly those people that come before you, be a very careful listener about what people have to say and know always that your constituency is not particularly any individuals from the state of Alaska. Your constituency is also the way of the fish." Number 330 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Dr. White if he was still commercially fishing. DR. WHITE said that he is a drift gill netter in the Kuskokwim area. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Dr. White if he could also respond to his earlier question about the intercept issues. DR. WHITE detailed, "The most important thing is that people who are involved in the contentious of over-resolving the problem, should have gotten together a long time ago and figured out the research that was needed and the constructions of progressive management plans to (indisc.--coughing) rate the effects of those fisheries. That has to start with the stake holders. If those kinds of things would have gone on in the Area M fishery, 10 or 12 years ago, I think many of our problems would have been solved." CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN thanked Dr. White for his willingness to serve on the board. He asked him if he had any further comments. DR. WHITE thanked the committee for taking the time to conduct these hearings. Number 370 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that he certainly didn't want to switch jobs with either one of these two gentlemen. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved the names of Dr. John R. White and Mr. Trefon Angasan from committee to the Resources Committee without indicating any position from this committee. Number 385 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked the Chair if the confirmations were going on to the Resources Committee. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN replied in the affirmative. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON objects to all these confirmation type motions that are made in this way. He stated that he supports the nominees. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN hearing no objections, ordered both names to the Resource Committee. HB 292 - FISH AND GAME ENFORCEMENT Number 404 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN briefly outlined the advantages of HB 292. He read from his sponsor statement that these proposed changes would enable the Alaska Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection (ADFWP) to more effectively enforce the residency requirements for licenses, tags, and permits, and to reduce court dismissals, by clarifying that false residency statements are strict liability violations, that can result in a misdemeanor conviction and require a bail set by the bail schedule and reduce the officers' paperwork burden, so that they can devote more time to enforcement duties. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN added that the sponsor statement serves as a sectional analysis and would be happy to go over that with the committee. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested that Representative Ogan go ahead and explain what this proposed legislation does. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to his sponsor statement in advising the committee as to the current requirements of issuing a statement of intent to search. He did specify that adoption of this bill would not change the requirement that the ADFWP would still have to have probable cause. He also reported that another area of concern when prosecuting residency cases, deals with the culpable mental standard of "knowingly" currently used in AS 16.05.420. HB 292 also updates the penalty to reflect the new strict liability nature of the offense of "unsworn falsification." He went on to elaborate with a couple examples. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN opened the testimony to teleconference participants. Number 490 DALE BONDURANT testified via teleconference from Soldotna, in support of HB 292. His one concern was if it was specifically named at tier two. He certainly is opposed to this type of exclusion of people in Alaska to participate. He was also in full support of the two Board of Fish nominees. Number 512 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Representative Ogan to respond to Mr. Bondurant's concerns about tier two. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN specified that this was not directed at tier two, however, there are problems in tier two applications and some falsification that goes on. In an effort to prosecute the worst cases, it could apply to tier two. His main focus was hunting and fishing licenses and the out-of-state tags that are not purchased. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Colonel Glass how widespread the problem of falsification is. Number 537 COLONEL JOHN GLASS, Alaska Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, in response to Representative Ogan's question. He did not know how many there are. In response to Mr. Bondurant's concerns he stated, "This is more specifically aimed for the licensing portion of individuals who claim the 12-month residency, when in fact they have not been residents for the 12-month period of time that's required. As to the tier two permits, Major Russel informs me that the Board of Game just recently passed some regulations under five (5) Alaska Administrative Codes (AAC) in which it specifically addressed those concerns." Number 555 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Colonel Glass about the intent to search form (12-504) and whether the protection officers needed a magistrate to sign those. COLONEL GLASS responded that if they fail to fill one of these out, any evidence they seize would be of no value to them in court. But he did state, "It does not at all make or change any differences as for as obtaining a search warrant." He further indicated that this form was a redundant piece of paper that doesn't serve any purpose. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS commented that his support for this bill is growing since it also seems to be a paper reduction act. COLONEL GLASS agreed with Representative Davis and added that it will not cause any hardship on a suspect, because they are still bound by the laws of search and seizure. Number 585 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Colonel Glass if a license is classified as a paper that would fall under the constitutional prohibition for a warrantless search. COLONEL GLASS indicated that he wasn't sure if he understood the question. But he did give a case scenario to try and explain how this form is used in the field. He related, "If I come across you hunting in Unit 19, you have your tent there and I ask you if I can search your tent for evidence of a set of moose antlers. And you give me that consent to search. I then have to issue this form advising you that you've given me the consent to search your tent. It does not in any way allow me to search that, if it's against your wishes to search that tent." REPRESENTATIVE ELTON followed up by asking, "If you ask a sports fisherman for his license, he has to give you consent before you can look at the license?" COLONEL GLASS said it was a separate issue. They are not required to have a search warrant to ask for a fishing license. People have to show it to them under different laws. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON ended with a question about how many of the ADFWP's officers are seasonal temporaries and how many of them are full-time employees. COLONEL GLASS replied that their current staffing level is 81 field commissioned officers. He also indicated that there is between 20 and 25 seasonal employees that have no enforcement authority at all. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that the seasonal aides would not be covered. COLONEL GLASS confirmed this was true. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS made a motion to move HB 292 out of committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN hearing no objections, ordered HB 292 moved out of the Fisheries Committee to the Judiciary Committee. HB 296 - STATE AUTHORITY OVER FISH AND GAME Number 639 JOE RYAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Al Vezey, read the following sponsor statement for HB 296 into the record: "HB 296, `An Act relating to the authority of the State of Alaska over fish and game' would codify the primacy of the state of Alaska over the federal government on matters concerning the management of fish and game resources. It is a state's right enjoyed by 49 other states. "The power to manage fish and game was given to the state of Alaska as a condition of our becoming a state and as a condition of entry into the Union. This power cannot be abridged or altered, except by mutual agreement of the people of the state of Alaska and the federal government. "This bill will give the state of Alaska a tool with which it can enforce the right of the state to manage its fish and game resources. The bill also provides that state funds cannot be used to implement or enforce federal fish and game regulations. "This bill will send a message to the Congress and people of the United States that the state of Alaska or an agency created by the state, will be the only one permitted to manage fish and game within the borders of the state of Alaska." Number 650 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked how this piece of legislation would affect the United States/Canadian salmon negotiations, Magnuson Act and some of the other federal and state protocols that we have in place for the management of fisheries resources. MR. RYAN explained that it has been a policy of the U.S. Department of State on managing those matters of foreign policy not to consult the state of Alaska. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that he felt there was state participation because of the activities of our two U.S. Senators, our U.S. Congressman and the authorization of the Magnuson Act. He is concerned about the affect this bill would have on those protocols if this was to be enacted. MR. RYAN said that he really didn't know. This was a broad policy statement that the sponsor felt the legislature should adopt. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON indicated that he would hold any further questions for the Alaska Department of Law. Number 681 MR. BONDURANT testified via teleconference from Soldotna, in support of this proposal. He also voiced his opinion about Senate Joint Resolution 19 and its shortcomings. He is amazed that the state pays agency personnel to assist the federal subsistence board in enforcing Title 8 of the Alaska Native Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), after the Supreme Court tell us that Title 8 is in conflict with the Alaska State Constitution. Number 695 MIM ROBINSON, Chairman, Port Alexander Fish and Game Advisory Committee, testified via teleconference from Sitka, indicating that residents have written a letter to the Governor concerning cuts to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game budget. TAPE 95-22, SIDE B Number 000 GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, had concerns about this piece of legislation. He stated, "It's our impression that this legislation is primarily motivated by the conflict that has existed between the ANILCA and the State Constitution. However, it also extends over into a lot of other arenas, where the state government and the federal government cooperate, in many instances very much to the state's benefit." He specified that the Pacific Salmon Treaty, Magnuson Fishery and Conservation Act, International Halibut Treaty and the Migratory Bird Treaty are a few examples of how the state and federal government cooperate. He further specified, "In all of these arenas, the ultimate decision making authority rests with the federal government, but the state as a member of the negotiating team, as a player at the table, has very significant input into the kind of program the federal government develops." MR. BRUCE commented that if we go further in polarizing our relationship with the federal government, it will jeopardize some of those areas of cooperation, which have been very beneficial to the state of Alaska. He mentioned that many of the fish and wildlife that the state manages or participates in, are highly migratory species and they only spend a portion of their life in Alaska. He said, "Whether we want to manage them entirely or not, it is not within our power to manage them entirely because they do not, their life cycles are not limited to the state of Alaska. We require the cooperation of other states and in some cases, other countries, in order to develop and implement successful management programs which provide for the sustained yield use of these resources for Alaskans." He further remarked that if we as a state can't participate in these joint forums, the state would be jeopardizing major tools they use in assuring Alaskans get their fair share of these resources. MR. BRUCE spoke to Section 1 (d) of HB 296. He wasn't sure what this section would do in respect to the Pacific Salmon Commission. He specified, "Several fisheries in Southeast Alaska, are managed under annexes of that salmon treaty. This is an international treaty. Of course, since it is an international treaty, the federal government is the signatory for Alaska and the rest of the United States." He went on to say, "This treaty has essentially had a preemptive impact on the management of these salmon resources within Southeast Alaska. However, I don't think that the passage of this law is going to make this treaty go away." Additionally he stated, "People from Washington and Oregon have requested significant reductions, more than 50 percent reductions, in the Chinook salmon harvest in Southeast Alaska. Every time those proposals have come forward, the Alaskan negotiating team has been able to go to the table and successfully beat those back and get a much larger allocation for Southeast Alaska. It's our interpretation of this Section 1 (d), that we would not be able to do that any more." MR. BRUCE wrapped up by saying the federal government provides tens of millions of dollars to the state of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife. He felt it was in the best interest of the state to maintain that funding. Number 184 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to Section 1 (d), lines 4, 5 and 6 of HB 296. He asked if it would take a law to continue the North Pacific Salmon Management Treaty. MR. BRUCE replied that he felt it would require a state law or regulation because of the language contained in Section 1 (d), but would do nothing to negate the federal law that is in place. Number 232 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Mr. Bruce, as an example, what would happen if this law was in effect and the state of Alaska determined that they were going to take more Chinook salmon, because it wasn't worth taking any cuts to preserve a total of six Snake River fish. MR. BRUCE responded that the Endangered Species Act is a player in the Pacific Salmon Commission. He advised, "Because there are some listed species harvested in Alaska, we have to get a Section 7 permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to even conduct any level of Chinook salmon harvest in Southeast Alaska. If we told the federal government, we were not going to comply with the terms of the treaty, we would probably not get a Section 7 permit from the NMFS. We would forego any commercial and recreational Chinook harvest in Southeast Alaska." Number 266 MARTIN WEINSTEIN, Assistant Attorney General, Alaska Department of Law, testified with concerns about HB 296. He followed up on a couple of points, as laid out by Mr. Bruce. In regards to Section 1 (d) of this bill he asserted, "As we manage the state resources, even under state law, we're going to be constrained by certain federal laws." He further specified, "We can't manage our resources inconsistent with these federal laws." His impression was that we leave ourselves wide open for civil and criminal violations under the Endangered Species Act. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Mr. Weinstein why couldn't we manage our resources inconsistent with federal regulations. MR. WEINSTEIN specified that federal law supersedes state law. Number 310 MR. RYAN spoke again to the committee. He said, "We have a bone of contention in the state, of who actually owns the resources. We have a constitutional state Supreme Court ruling that said what these are. We have, as I've included in the small packet, a copy of the Statehood Agreement, that says the management of fish and game will be the conditions under which it will be turned over to the state." Number 342 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON expressed his feelings about how we can change things we don't like within the parameters of the law. He is offended by this piece of legislation. Number 353 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS commented that this bill says we don't care what laws are in position in the federal government. He felt we would wind up in court if this legislation were to become law. He shared that this bill would state an opinion from the legislature over some related subsistence court cases that are still pending. He suggested that they hold HB 296 until they can hear from the sponsor on some of the questions and issues raised before the committee. Number 393 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated that he too, was committed to getting the federal government out of the management of our fish and wildlife. But he felt there were enough legal complications with HB 296 that he questioned the wisdom of proceeding with this bill. Number 403 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN indicated that HB 296 would be held until Representative Vezey is available to discuss it further with the committee. HJR 38 - MAGNUSON FISHERY CONSERVATION & MANAGEMENT ACT Number 414 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN spoke as the prime sponsor of this resolution and read his own sponsor statement into the record: "House Joint Resolution 38 speaks to the upcoming Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act reauthorization which was last re-authorized in Congress for a period of three years and is set to expire at the end of this year. The Act serves two purposes: 1) to make a national claim on the fisheries resources of the continental shelf in the band of marine waters from 3 to 200 miles offshore -- the exclusive economic zone (EEZ); and 2) to set up a system for managing and conserving the fisheries resources within the zone. To meet this management and conservation aim, Congress created the Regional Fishery Management Council system. Alaska is represented on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. "In creating the Council system, Congress recognized the strong interest coastal states had in the fisheries resources of the EEZ off their shores. Congress charges the Councils with the primary responsibilities for determining management policy, within the EEZ, and mandates that the voting members of each of the eight regional Councils be drawn from the relevant coastal states. There is only one voting member representing the federal government on each Council. "The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is unique among the eight regional Councils created by Congress. This Council is the only one assigned the EEZ lying directly and entirely off the coast of a single state -- Alaska. All of the other Councils' regions of authority span multiple state coastlines. Congress recognized this uniqueness, as well as the historic participation in the fisheries off Alaska by residents of Washington and Oregon, when prescribing the voting membership of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. There are 6 votes from Alaska, 3 from Washington, 1 from the National Marine Fisheries Service. "Maintaining that Alaska majority on the NPFMC is one of the principal issues during this and former Magnuson Act reauthorizations and is addressed in this resolution. This resolution also suggests several provisions for the state's best interest be included within the reauthorization. "Thank you for your consideration of this resolution." Number 447 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS appreciated that fact that the last bill was held so the committee could vote on this Resolution. Number 459 MR. BRUCE set forth that the ADF&G does support HJR 38. Number 471 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN indicated there are two amendments in the committee packets. He further stipulated that the first amendment for consideration is numbered G.2. He noted the changes would add the "be it resolved" issues that the committee would like to see covered. Number 485 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved amendment number one. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS objected for the sake of discussion and study. Number 501 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS withdrew his objection without discussion taking place. Number 503 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked for an explanation of amendment one, paragraph five, which talks about Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQ). Specifically, he wanted to know if there was presently a provision to provide a portion of the annual harvest in a fishery, subject to ITQs for entry level fishermen or small vessel owners who do not hold ITQs. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN responded that there wasn't and that was why this paragraph was in the amendment. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON further asked if we were establishing the parameters under which we want the Magnuson Act renewed. He related that somebody could come to the conclusion that the state of Alaska doesn't want it renewed because we didn't do anything about reserving a portion of the ITQs for the entry of fishermen. He was generally concerned that it could be perceived as a list of conditions, under which the state would then accept the renewal of the Magnuson Act. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN agreed with Representative Elton that there was always that possibility of misperception. Number 523 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS somewhat agreed, but pointed out that the language contained in this Resolution is such, that it requests, doesn't demand the federal government to reauthorize the Magnuson Act. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN acknowledged Representative Davis' comments and also recognized Representative Vezey and informed him that HB 296 had been heard, but held. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS requested that HB 296 be reopened so Representative Vezey could answer the questions of the committee. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN indicated that the committee would finish up with HJR 38 first and time permitting would take additional testimony on HB 296. Number 539 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN ordered amendment number one passed upon hearing no objections. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN indicated that the second proposed amendment was listed as G.3. Number 544 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved and objected to amendment number two. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN pointed out that this amendment was self- explanatory, but there was a typo on line 5 of the proposed amendment number two. It should read "United" not "Untied." REPRESENTATIVE ELTON remarked that he kind of liked the typo and objected to its removal. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN specified very briefly what this amendment adds. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN removed his objection. Number 553 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN ordered amendment number two passed upon hearing no objections. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved CSHJR 38(FSH) with a zero fiscal note attached. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN upon hearing no objections, moved CSHJR 38(FSH) out of committee. HB 296 - STATE AUTHORITY OVER FISH AND GAME Number 563 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN informed the committee that he was reopening public testimony on HB 296. REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY made himself available to answer any questions of the committee. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN indicated that several questions were raised by the committee. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS mentioned that Alaska is party to several different treaties that accept a federal role. He asked Representative Vezey how HB 296 would affect some of those relationships. Number 577 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY revealed that what this bill attempts to do is codify what is already in the Statehood Compact. Alaska has been a part of all of these international treaties involving its resources. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS informed Representative Vezey that most of the discussion earlier had centered around Section 1 (d) of the proposed legislation. He wanted a clarification from the sponsor as to a conflict concerning the preemption clause of this section. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY felt there wasn't a conflict. He explained, "The federal government really doesn't do much management of fish and game in Alaska." He further reported, "They get the state of Alaska to enact regulations, what it amounts to, and then they depend upon the state to enforce them. They don't have the resources to actually enforce virtually any of the regulations. You're trying to carry this over into the area of allocation of international resources." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated that a federal treaty regulates the halibut fishery in this state. He asked Representative Vezey if he was saying that those fish are not within our jurisdiction because they're international fish. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that halibut are international fish. He said, "It is my understanding that the enforcement of this is done by the state." He remarked that there is federal monitoring, including the Coast Guard protecting our waters. He also felt that if we hadn't agreed to abide by this halibut treaty, we wouldn't have an international treaty. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS expressed that other comments from the committee included concerns about the Endangered Species Act and how HB 296 would affect this Act. He asked, "Should we tell the feds that we don't have authority in the state to enforce the Endangered Species Act?" Number 640 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY agreed with that conclusion. His inclination was to say that he doesn't think this bill impacts the Endangered Species Act. He related, "The state of Alaska doesn't enforce the Endangered Species Act per se. We don't hunt endangered species, we do in some cases fish for them in incidental catch, but again I don't know that I see a conflict there, because the Endangered Species Act has more to do with habitat than actual management of the resource itself." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS presented an example of the federal government placing the coho salmon on the endangered species list. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asserted that federal law would still supersede state law. He said, "We still have an agreement where we manage our fish and game resources. It would still be up to the state of Alaska to manage its coho salmon." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS understands this bill to be a management tool for the resources, without consideration of any laws made by the federal government. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY replied this was what the bill was attempting to do. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated that it clarifies it for him in some degree. Number 665 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN referred to HB 296, Section 1 (b) and asked Representative Vezey if this paragraph is trying to pre-empt subsistence. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that the intent was not to pre-empt subsistence, but it would pre-empt the federal government from managing a subsistence program in the state. Number 680 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON thanked Representative Vezey for coming down to the committee and clarifying the intent of this bill. He again referred back to Section 1 (d) of HB 296 and the Endangered Species Act. He stated, "It would seem to me that if the federal government makes a decision, and there is a management plan that results in reduction of power at certain..." TAPE 95-23, SIDE A Number 000 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON "...which would mean that any state agency that acquiesced in the management plan, would be in violation of this law." REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said, "If you're dealing with salmon that spawn in territory other than the state of Alaska, you're dealing with the management of that fisheries in Alaskan waters. Again, it's my understanding that the state is a part of those international and national negotiations. And we agree to abide by them. I do realize that there probably has been some cases, more than one, where there has just been an edict. You simply won't do that, because it's in violation of federal law. We still have to recognize that federal law would have primacy. But it would get down to a question of, would federal regulation have primacy over state law." Number 050 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that because of federal requirements, hundreds of fishermen have seen a diminishment in their catch. This in turn translates into lost income. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY agreed that this was a complex subject in regards to this bill. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON felt that at some point, someone is going to take the state to court because the state is not doing something they're supposed to be doing and a judge will make a decision concerning allocation. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Representative Elton to clarify if he was talking about state or federal. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON answered that he was talking about the issue of supremacy in federal law. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY specified that what this bill is saying is, "Going back to paragraph 1 (b), that whatever your fish and game laws are, they will be managed by state persons. The implication there is, if the federal government comes in and says state law doesn't permit you to do this, and we're going to come in and manage your fish and game. This very simply says, if you try and manage our fish and game, it is against our law." Number 130 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Representative Vezey if the Alaska Native Land Claims fell under federal law. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY indicated that ANILCA is under federal law. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if they're guiding subsistence under a federal law already, then would Section 1 (b) change this status. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that Section 1 (b) wouldn't change that. It simply says only the state would manage the resource. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN reiterated that this was the case except for subsistence, which is in ANILCA. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY indicated that ANILCA doesn't specifically provide for the federal government to come in and manage the resources. ANILCA provides for a subsistence preference, and the Secretary of the Interior designates what steps to take. Number 150 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented that ANILCA provides for a rural preference in subsistence. Number 154 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON again referred to paragraph (b) in conjunction with paragraph (d). REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded to Representative Elton's concerns. He set forth, "The federal government exercised its supremacy in law and enacted the Marine Mammals Act. That was in contradiction to Alaska's management policy for marine mammals. What the federal government wanted to do and negotiated for a long period of time, was to get the state to manage the federal regulations. In my opinion, the state of Alaska had the insight to say, we're not going to manage that program." REPRESENTATIVE ELTON reaffirmed what Representative Vezey said about the federal government having the responsibility to manage the Marine Mammals Act. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY also reiterated that the state does not enforce the Marine Mammals Act. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he would be concerned for the future, because it puts the resource at risk. The federal and state governments have less and less to manage these resources. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asserted that Alaska still has a management policy on marine mammals. But even those regulations refer to the federal regulations. He further stated, "What this bill does is it really puts pressure on the federal government to look at the jeopardy it's putting itself in. Number 220 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN thought it would be appropriate to contact the Alaska Attorney General's office in regard to this bill. Number 227 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked Representative Vezey if he would put salmon in the same category as halibut in regards to the federal government passing some law regulating the catch. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY was inclined to say yes. Alaska's fish could be harvested outside of our territorial waters. We have a vested interest in working with neighboring states and countries in regulating any harvest of fish. He alleged, "In 1976, when we adopted the 200-mile limit, I think the next five years, I think our fish harvest increased 500 percent." Number 267 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON appreciated Representative Vezey for taking the time to answer the questions and concerns of this committee. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY thanked the committee and again apologized for not being here earlier. Number 276 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN announced that this bill also has a referral to the Resources Committee. He suggested that HB 296 should be moved out of this committee. He also suggested that it could be moved out with a recommendation that the Attorney General's office be contacted. Number 289 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON felt that this bill should have a Judiciary Committee referral as well. Number 299 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY didn't have a problem with it going to the Judiciary Committee. He indicated that it would take a letter from the Chairman to request that the Fisheries Committee recommends that this bill gets a referral to the Judiciary Committee. Number 306 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved HB 296 out of the House Special Committee on Fisheries to the Resources Committee with individual recommendations, and the attached fiscal note. This motion also included a letter be sent, indicating the committee's desire that the bill also have a Judiciary Committee referral. Number 321 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN objected to the motion. He was amazed at the turn around by other members of the committee. He has reservations about the legal implications that this bill presents. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that since he and Representative Ogan both sit on the Resources Committee, they could make sure these concerns were addressed by the ADF&G and the Attorney General's office. Number 340 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN lifted his objections based on those recommendations. Number 344 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS accepted this as a friendly amendment to his motion. He indicated that the letter would request that the appropriate agencies would be contacted and involved. Number 349 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN hearing no further objections, passed HB 296 out of Fisheries Committee with individual recommendations and a letter of our concerns and desires to the Speaker of the House. This letter would include a recommendation for a referral to Judiciary and input from ADF&G on subsistence. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN adjourned the meeting at 6:56 p.m.