Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/12/1995 05:06 PM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                                                                
 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             
 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               
 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               
 DR. WHITE said that he is a drift gill netter in the Kuskokwim                
 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                    
 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                
 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                     
 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               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented that the seasonal aides would not be           
 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                       
      "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                  
 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                 
 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              
 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                  
      "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              
 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             
 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               
 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                    
 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                   
 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           
 Number 665                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN referred to HB 296, Section 1 (b) and asked                
 Representative Vezey if this paragraph is trying to pre-empt                  
 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               
 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               
 Number 340                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN lifted his objections based on those                      
 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.                                          
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN adjourned the meeting at 6:56 p.m.                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects