Legislature(2019 - 2020)Anch LIO Lg Conf Rm

09/03/2020 10:00 AM FISHERIES

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10:04:54 AM Start
10:06:24 AM Confirmation Hearing(s): Board of Fisheries
03:07:05 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Joint with House Resources Committee
+ Governor's Appointees - Board of Fisheries: TELECONFERENCED
McKenzie Mitchell
Abe Williams
John Jensen
John Wood
- Public Testimony (Telephonic Only)
-- <3 Minute Time Limit> ---
- All Off Net callers must hang up immediately
after testifying to keep lines open
- May be on Gavel to Gavel TV, check listing
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                            
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                        
                       September 3, 2020                                                                                        
                           10:04 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Louise Stutes, Chair                                                                                            
 Representative Bryce Edgmon (via teleconference)                                                                               
 Representative Chuck Kopp (via teleconference)                                                                                 
 Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (via teleconference)                                                                    
 Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                      
 Representative Sarah Vance (via teleconference)                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                            
 Representative John Lincoln, Co-Chair (via teleconference)                                                                     
 Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair (via teleconference)                                                                  
 Representative Sara Hannan (via teleconference)                                                                                
 Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                      
 Representative Ivy Spohnholz (via teleconference)                                                                              
 Representative Dave Talerico (via teleconference)                                                                              
 Representative George Rauscher (via teleconference                                                                             
 Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
 Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Harriett Drummond (via teleconference)                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     McKenzie Mitchell  Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                       
     John Wood  Willow, Alaska                                                                                                  
     John Jensen  Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                            
     Abe Williams - Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEGAN WALLACE, Director                                                                                                         
Legislative Legal Services                                                                                                      
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided invited comment about the board                                                                 
confirmation process.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MCKENZIE MITCHELL, Appointee                                                                                                    
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Board of                                                                   
Fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOHN WOOD, Esq., Appointee                                                                                                      
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Willow, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Board of                                                                   
Fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ABE WILLIAMS, Appointee                                                                                                         
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Board of                                                                   
Fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GARY CLINE                                                                                                                      
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to the appointment                                                               
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY ZOCH, Regional Fisheries Coordinator                                                                                    
Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC)                                                                            
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON DONAHUE                                                                                                                 
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC)                                                                                   
Haines, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MELISSA STERITZ                                                                                                                 
Eyak Preservation Council (EPC)                                                                                                 
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN HIMELBLOOM                                                                                                                
Kodiak, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  the appointment of                                                             
John  Jensen, and  expressed concern  about  the appointments  of                                                               
John Wood,  McKenzie Mitchell, and  Abe Williams to the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SERENA FITKA, Executive Director                                                                                                
Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association (YRDFA)                                                                              
Valdez, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Testified   that  given  the   Board  of                                                             
Fisheries'  current membership  and  nominee panel,  it does  not                                                               
have fair representation of all of Alaska.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
EVELYN CORBETT                                                                                                                  
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MALCOLM VANCE                                                                                                                   
McCarthy, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LINDSAY LAYLAND, Deputy Director                                                                                                
United Tribes of Bristol Bay (UTBB)                                                                                             
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JEFF SKRADE                                                                                                                     
La Crosse, Wisconsin                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT HEYANO                                                                                                                   
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams and in support  of the appointment of John Jensen                                                               
to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
STEVE HYAMS                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
NELS EVENS                                                                                                                      
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JACK DONACHY                                                                                                                    
Chignik Lake, Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JUDY GONSALVES                                                                                                                  
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
OLIVA EDWARDS                                                                                                                   
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CRAWFORD PARR                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PHIL HILBRUNER, Owner                                                                                                           
Lakeview Outfitters                                                                                                             
Cooper Landing, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
AMANDA JOHNSTON                                                                                                                 
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VIVIAN MENDENHALL                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE CARSCALLEN                                                                                                            
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
VERNER WILSON III                                                                                                               
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe  Williams and expressed  concern about the  appointment of                                                               
John Wood to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DIANE FOLSOM                                                                                                                    
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the appointments                                                             
of Abe Williams and John Wood to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MARIEL TERRY                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MARK RICHARDS                                                                                                                   
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  the appointment of                                                             
McKenzie Mitchell  and in  opposition to  the appointment  of Abe                                                               
Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CORAY KAHN                                                                                                                 
Lake Clark, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DONNA RAE FAULKNER                                                                                                              
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DON MCNAMARA                                                                                                                    
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the appointments                                                             
of John Wood and Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD GUSTAFSON                                                                                                               
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  opposition to the appointments                                                             
of Abe Williams and John Wood to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MAGGIE BURSCH                                                                                                                   
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KALEB WESTFALL                                                                                                                  
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  to the appointment                                                             
of Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK DERRICK, President                                                                                                        
Chitina Dipnetters Association (CDA)                                                                                            
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of the appointments of                                                             
McKenzie Mitchell and John Wood to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK MCCALLUM                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of the appointments of                                                             
McKenzie Mitchell and John Wood to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT HEYANO                                                                                                                   
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  the appointment of                                                             
John Jensen to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BEN MOHR, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA)                                                                                     
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of the appointments of                                                             
McKenzie Mitchell,  John Wood, John  Jensen, and Abe  Williams to                                                               
the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN DOHERTY, Executive Director                                                                                               
Southeast Alaska Seiners Association (SEAS)                                                                                     
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  the appointment of                                                             
John Jensen to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
FORREST BRADEN, Executive Director                                                                                              
Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO)                                                                                    
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of the appointments of                                                             
McKenzie Mitchell,  John Wood, John  Jensen, and Abe  Williams to                                                               
the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
GEORGIE HEAVERLEY                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Provided  testimony expressing  her concern                                                             
that  the people  of  Alaska are  losing faith  in  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries process.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE  QUINN-DAVIDSON,  PhD,  Director,  Yukon  River  Inter-                                                               
Tribal Fish Commission                                                                                                          
Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC)                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Provided   testimony  urging   that  the                                                             
administration  go back  to  the drawing  board  and nominate  an                                                               
appointee with knowledge of and experience in subsistence.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KAREN HOFSTAD                                                                                                                   
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  the appointment of                                                             
John Jensen  and in  opposition to  the appointments  of McKenzie                                                               
Mitchell and Abe Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GALE VICK, Member                                                                                                               
Fairbanks Fish & Game Advisory Committee                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  the appointment of                                                             
McKenzie Mitchell to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:04:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LOUISE  STUTES  called  the joint  meeting  of  the  House                                                             
Special Committee  on Fisheries and the  House Resources Standing                                                               
Committee to order  at [10:04] a.m.   Representatives Tarr, Tuck,                                                               
Kopp (via  teleconference), Kreiss-Tomkins  (via teleconference),                                                               
Edgmon   (via   teleconference),  Vance   (via   teleconference),                                                               
Rauscher  (via  teleconference),   Hannan  (via  teleconference),                                                               
Talerico (via teleconference),  Hopkins (via teleconference), and                                                               
Stutes  were  present at  the  call  to order.    Representatives                                                               
Spohnholz  (via  teleconference),  Rasmussen,  and  Lincoln  (via                                                               
teleconference)  arrived   as  the   meeting  was   in  progress.                                                               
Representative Drummond was also present (via teleconference).                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S): Board of Fisheries                                                                                    
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
                       Board of Fisheries                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
             [Includes brief discussion of HB 309]                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:06:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
confirmation hearings for the Board of Fisheries.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES stated  that  due to  a loophole  in  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries confirmation  statutes and  the timing of  the COVID-19                                                               
virus  there is  a  situation where  four  sitting board  members                                                               
could  be  making  allocative  decisions before  a  vote  by  the                                                               
legislature  or  testimony  opportunity   by  the  public.    She                                                               
specified that today's meeting was  called to ensure the public's                                                               
right to weigh in on  appointees before those appointees can make                                                               
decisions affecting the public's livelihoods  and way of life, as                                                               
well  as  to   allow  committees  to  review   and  question  the                                                               
appointees  prior to  a  joint session  for  consideration.   The                                                               
Board  of  Fisheries   is  a  unique  allocative   board  with  a                                                               
tremendous impact  on the  lives of Alaskans,  which is  why this                                                               
opportunity for public and legislative  input is crucial.  Nearly                                                               
500 written  public comments have  already been received  and are                                                               
posted in BASIS.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES pointed out that  committees do not have the ability                                                               
to  hold  confirmations  from  moving   forward.    Today  is  an                                                               
opportunity for  public input, she  continued, but  the committee                                                               
cannot hold  names.   She said Ms.  Megan Wallace  of Legislative                                                               
Legal  Services has  been invited  to provide  a statement  about                                                               
this unique situation and the board confirmation process.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:08:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEGAN WALLACE, Director,  Legislative Legal Services, Legislative                                                               
Affairs  Agency, Alaska  State Legislature,  explained that  this                                                               
year's  board confirmation  process has  been complicated  by the                                                               
COVID-19  pandemic  and the  legislature's  early  recess of  the                                                               
second  regular  session.    The  legislature  contemplated  that                                                               
unless it  did something  to act,  all the  governor's appointees                                                               
would  have  been considered  declined  upon  adjournment of  the                                                               
regular session, she  recounted.  So, before  going into extended                                                               
recess in March,  the legislature passed and enacted  into law HB
309, which extended the time  for which the legislature could act                                                               
to confirm or decline to confirm the governor's appointments.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALLACE further  explained that HB 309 extended  the time for                                                               
the  legislature  to   hold  a  joint  session   to  confirm  the                                                               
governor's appointees  and provided for  a date   the  earlier of                                                               
1/18/21 or 30  days after expiration of  the disaster declaration                                                               
-  by which  the  failure  of the  legislature  to  act would  be                                                               
considered a  declination of the  confirmation of  the governor's                                                               
appointees.     Under  SB  241,   another  bill  passed   by  the                                                               
legislature,  the  disaster  declaration  is  set  to  expire  on                                                               
11/15/20.    If  the  legislature  were to  meet  to  extend  the                                                               
disaster declaration, that  would also extend the  time for which                                                               
the legislature  could act to  confirm or decline to  confirm the                                                               
governor's  appointees, but  under HB  309 the  legislature would                                                               
still  need to  act by  1/18/21, if  under that  hypothetical the                                                               
disaster  declaration  was  extended.   As  situated  today,  the                                                               
governor's appointees would be considered  declined 30 days after                                                               
expiration of the disaster declaration.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:12:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK asked  whether  the  governor has  statutory                                                               
requirements for  filling the [currently empty]  attorney general                                                               
position within a certain amount of time.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WALLACE  offered  her  understanding   that  there  isn't  a                                                               
specific date,  but qualified she  hasn't looked at that  to know                                                               
whether  there is  a specific  date  by which  the governor  must                                                               
appoint a new attorney general.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:13:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  noted the  House  Special  Committee on  Fisheries                                                               
heard  confirmation of  Mr. John  Wood  in early  March, but  the                                                               
House Resources  Standing Committee didn't have  that opportunity                                                               
before COVID-19  forced an  early adjournment.   She  thanked Mr.                                                               
Wood for coming forth a second time.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  invited  appointee McKenzie  Mitchell  to  testify                                                               
first.   She noted Ms. Mitchell  was appointed on 7/1/20  and, if                                                               
confirmed, her term  would run through 6/30/2023.   She requested                                                               
Ms. Mitchell tell  about herself and state why she  is a good fit                                                               
for the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:15:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MCKENZIE MITCHELL,  Appointee, Board of Fisheries,  stated she is                                                               
testifying from a boat on the  Yukon River where she is currently                                                               
working  as a  moose hunting  guide.   She said  she was  born in                                                               
northern  California  where  her  parents took  her  hunting  and                                                               
fishing.  She has now been in  Alaska for 11 years after buying a                                                               
one-way ticket to Anchorage at the  age of 20.  She began calling                                                               
hunting and  fishing lodges,  landing a job  at a  remote hunting                                                               
and  fishing  lodge near  Kodiak  where  she worked  for  several                                                               
years, eventually  getting her  captain's license,  assistant big                                                               
game guide license, and sport fish guide license.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  said she went  on to  earn her [B.A.]  in Economics                                                               
and her  [M.S.] in Resource  and Applied Economics, with  a focus                                                               
on  her  passion of  fisheries,  from  the University  of  Alaska                                                               
Fairbanks (UAF).   Earning her graduate degree  required that she                                                               
critically  look  at  fisheries management  policies,  allocative                                                               
decisions, and  best practice  principles of  maximum sustainable                                                               
yield    basically the process  for fisheries management  and how                                                               
to find  values to  various resources  that typically  don't have                                                               
monetary  values  that are  observable  in  a  market.   She  now                                                               
continues to work as a seasonal  hunting and fishing guide and is                                                               
teaching economics and recreation management courses at UAF.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  said she views being  on the Board of  Fisheries as                                                               
the ability  to give back to  a state that has  provided her with                                                               
everything  she  wanted  to  do  in her  life.    If  given  this                                                               
opportunity, she  will work hard  to make the best  decisions she                                                               
can.   The best  way to  do that is  to consider  the information                                                               
provided by the Alaska Department of  Fish & Game (ADF&G) and the                                                               
data and the  science, as well as the importance  of fisheries to                                                               
people's lives  in Alaska.   She will listen to  the stakeholders                                                               
and educate  herself on  the various  fisheries around  the state                                                               
and their importance to the people  as well as the market demands                                                               
that they satisfy.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:19:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ   asked  whether  Ms.  Mitchell   is  a                                                               
professor or adjunct faculty at UAF.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  replied she  doesn't have  a doctorate  degree, but                                                               
rather a master's degree in  resource and applied economics.  She                                                               
contracts  each semester  to teach  a  couple different  courses.                                                               
Responding further, she confirmed she is adjunct faculty.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:20:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN calculated  that serving  on the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries could  mean up to  30 days  of board meetings  over the                                                               
next calendar  year.  She  inquired how that intersects  with Ms.                                                               
Mitchell's  obligations  to  current employers  and  whether  Ms.                                                               
Mitchell will be able to fully attend the meetings.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL  responded  that  she  works  as  a  hunting  guide                                                               
typically in August and September.   This year it seems as though                                                               
her working  schedule conflicts  with her  ability to  be present                                                               
for the  Board of Fisheries  meetings, but she has  still managed                                                               
to make what she can work.   However, she noted, this is a COVID-                                                               
19 related situation  as typically the process  occurs earlier in                                                               
the spring when she does  have availability.  Regarding conflicts                                                               
with teaching at UAF, she  teaches online courses, giving her the                                                               
flexibility to be  in various places and having  her laptop along                                                               
to orchestrate  the courses.   The department in which  she works                                                               
is supportive and willing to work with her.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:22:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  acknowledged Ms.  Mitchell has  spent time                                                               
in rural  Alaska, but said  it appears she is  missing experience                                                               
with subsistence users given her  experience is as a commercially                                                               
employed  consumer  of  sport  fisheries.     She  requested  Ms.                                                               
Mitchell  describe   her  knowledge   and  experience   with  the                                                               
importance and  economic value of subsistence  users of fisheries                                                               
across Alaska.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL concurred  she hasn't  necessarily participated  in                                                               
the  subsistence fishery  in  Alaska.   However,  she noted,  she                                                               
spends a  lot of time  working remotely.   For example,  she just                                                               
took a boat  480 miles down the Yukon River  and is familiar with                                                               
the  villages along  the route.    Working this  remotely in  the                                                               
hunting  and   fishing  industry  often  requires   support  from                                                               
villages that  are incredibly dependent upon  Alaska's resources.                                                               
The resources  supply so many  Alaskans with a lifestyle  and way                                                               
of life  that is incredibly  important.   While that way  of life                                                               
may not have an observed monetary  value in comparison to a sport                                                               
or  commercial  fishery,  the subsistence  fishery  has  enormous                                                               
value, and it is important  to maintain and preserve the people's                                                               
right to the land.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:24:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR opined  that  it  is important  for  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries to have good representation  from all regions of Alaska                                                               
and from  different perspectives.  She  offered her understanding                                                               
that the  first board meeting  ever attended by Ms.  Mitchell was                                                               
after  her appointment.    Co-Chair Tarr  recounted  that in  the                                                               
past, appointees have had more  experience with the board process                                                               
and/or have been members of  the advisory committees at the local                                                               
level, and therefore this lack  of experience has been brought up                                                               
as a concern with Ms.  Mitchell's appointment.  She requested Ms.                                                               
Mitchell address this concern.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL answered that she  understands the concern about not                                                               
being involved in  the process prior to appointment.   She stated                                                               
she  decided to  put  her  name in  last  winter  when she  heard                                                               
positions were  coming open.   She explained she  wasn't involved                                                               
before because she  just graduated school in May 2019.   While in                                                               
school and  completing her pilot  ratings she waited  tables five                                                               
or six nights  a week.  With graduation, she  has had more stable                                                               
employment  along  with the  credentials  to  afford a  different                                                               
lifestyle  than when  a  student  and paying  for  school.   This                                                               
change  in her  life  is  giving her  the  opportunity to  become                                                               
involved and that is what she is trying to do.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:27:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON  asked why  Ms.  Mitchell  applied to  the                                                               
Board of Fisheries  rather than the Board of Game  since it seems                                                               
her experience is primarily with game.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  replied she would  be interested in serving  on the                                                               
Board of  Game, as well,  given her experience with  both hunting                                                               
and fishing in  Alaska is well balanced.  During  her first years                                                               
in Kodiak at the hunting and  fishing lodge she worked a nine- or                                                               
ten-month season:  fishing in  summer, bear hunting in spring and                                                               
fall, and  deer and elk later  into the year.   She has continued                                                               
to  work in  the sport  fish industry  this summer  and the  game                                                               
industry this spring and fall.   As a student there were a couple                                                               
years when  she wasn't  in big  game hunting  commercial services                                                               
and one or two summers where she  wasn't a sport fish guide.  She                                                               
cares for  both resources, but  had the opportunity to  apply for                                                               
one.  Because fisheries is  her educational background, it is the                                                               
one for which she is most qualified.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:30:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  requested  Ms. Mitchell  describe  her                                                               
perspective on how  the board should use  the allocation criteria                                                               
and where subsistence fits into that allocation scheme.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  responded that as a  board member, she is  aware of                                                               
the allocative guidelines the board  follows, and the board looks                                                               
at the  science and  data to make  the best  allocative decisions                                                               
that it can.   The idea is to conserve,  develop, and utilize the                                                               
fishery according  to Article  VIII [of  the Constitution  of the                                                               
State  of   Alaska].    A   big  buzzword  in  this   article  is                                                               
conservation for the people of  Alaska, she added, and that would                                                               
highlight the subsistence use of fisheries in the state.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  noted that  subsistence has  a priority                                                               
over other consumptive  uses.  It is important,  she stated, that                                                               
any member  of the Board  of Fisheries understands  that priority                                                               
and the way allocation needs to take place in Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:31:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  related that Alaska's constitution  says all                                                               
Alaskans  own all  the  state's  fish and  water  resources.   He                                                               
further related  that Alaska's Anadromous Fish  Act requires that                                                               
anyone  conducting activities  which may  harm [anadromous]  fish                                                               
habitat must  apply for a permit  from ADF&G and that  there must                                                               
be public  notice and opportunity  for public comment.   However,                                                               
he continued, that  isn't currently happening.  He  asked how Ms.                                                               
Mitchell would ensure that there  is adequate public testimony if                                                               
she were to be confirmed to the board.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL answered that Alaska's  fisheries are one of the few                                                               
in the U.S. that are managed  in such an open and public process.                                                               
Maintaining  that  process  is   really  important,  she  stated,                                                               
because Alaska's  resources are for  the people of the  state and                                                               
that  is a  priority.   [As  a board  member]  she would  support                                                               
public processes throughout because that  is the way of fisheries                                                               
management for Alaska and maintaining that is a good thing.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:34:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK drew  attention  to a  letter and  documents                                                               
submitted  by  Ms.  Mitchell  and  observed  that  none  of  them                                                               
specifically mention  conservation.   He inquired about  the role                                                               
conservation has with  the Board of Fisheries and  how much focus                                                               
Ms. Mitchell will put on  conservation to ensure viable fisheries                                                               
for the future.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL replied that much of  what she provided is where her                                                               
education and  experience falls into  fisheries.   She reiterated                                                               
that her background  is resource and applied  economics, and that                                                               
education  focuses on  allocative decisions,  supply and  demand,                                                               
satisfying  market demand,  assigning value  to goods  that don't                                                               
necessarily have observable market value  or dollar flows to look                                                               
at and  make comparisons.   Dollar flows  cannot be looked  at to                                                               
compare  across  Alaska's  different fish  groups     commercial,                                                               
subsistence, personal use, and sport  fish   because, like apples                                                               
and  oranges, they  cannot  be  compared.   So,  when asked  what                                                               
conservation means to her, she continued,  it means the duty of a                                                               
board  member  because  of  Article  VIII,  which  says  to  make                                                               
resources  available  for  maximum  use  consistent  with  public                                                               
interest  and public  interest being  all user  groups.   Article                                                               
VIII also says  to utilize, develop, and  conserve the resources.                                                               
Conserving the resources  is one of the most  important things to                                                               
do because if a resource isn't  preserved it can't be utilized or                                                               
developed.   Subsistence user groups are  incredibly important in                                                               
the state,  Ms. Mitchell  stressed; they have  a priority  in the                                                               
state for obvious  reasons.  If a resource  isn't sustained, then                                                               
it cannot be utilized or developed, so conservation is key.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:37:34 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK allowed it wouldn't  be easy to take a strong                                                               
stance  especially with  a lot  of  seasoned board  members.   He                                                               
posed  a  scenario in  which  ADF&G  decides  not to  provide  an                                                               
opportunity  for public  comment on  a fish  habitat permit.   He                                                               
asked what  actions Ms.  Mitchell would take  to ensure  that the                                                               
public comment process would be followed.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  responded that  she couldn't  speak to  what action                                                               
specifically because that would be  a process, and she would need                                                               
to understand  the reasons why.   If it is a  funding issue, then                                                               
making sure that the department has  the resources it needs to be                                                               
able to  provide things to  maintain the status of  how fisheries                                                               
are  managed in  Alaska  is going  to be  important.   While  she                                                               
cannot say specifically  what action she would take,  she can say                                                               
the  public nature  of how  fisheries  are managed  in Alaska  is                                                               
important and it should be preserved as best as the state can.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  urged that Ms. Mitchell,  if confirmed, take                                                               
into consideration the food security  of all Alaskans and make it                                                               
a  priority,  especially given  the  COVID-19  situation and  low                                                               
salmon returns  on the  Yukon.   That is  why he  asked questions                                                               
about conservation,  he explained.   He  further urged  that when                                                               
looking  at  the  supply,  Ms.  Mitchell look  at  the  needs  of                                                               
Alaskans as much as possible.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:39:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES requested Ms. Mitchell  to explain what her graduate                                                               
thesis entails and why she considers it fisheries management.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  answered that  her thesis is  on the  newly adopted                                                               
Recreational  Quota Entity  (RQE).   A nonprofit,  the RQE  is to                                                               
help conduct  the transfer of  commercial halibut permits  to the                                                               
sport fish side to better  utilize the available halibut resource                                                               
and "whether  or not  the determinance of  sport fish  anglers to                                                               
pay in  support of that  program through  ... some sort  of means                                                               
like a  halibut stamp similar to  a king salmon stamp  or ... the                                                               
federal  duck stamp."    She said  she  considers that  fisheries                                                               
management because it's  an idea about how to  manage the halibut                                                               
fishery and how  to better conduct the management  of the halibut                                                               
resource for the  state of Alaska by allowing  the commercial and                                                               
sport  fish  user  groups  to   essentially  equate  the  halibut                                                               
resource  in the  most  economically  efficient way.    It was  a                                                               
management idea on how to allow them to do that.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:41:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES inquired  whether Ms. Mitchell is  familiar with the                                                               
Community Development Quota (CDQ) program,  what it is about, and                                                               
how it operates in the state of Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL replied that the  RQE piggybacks off the CDQ program                                                               
in a way, however it wasn't  applied to sport fish and commercial                                                               
fisheries.   She  said she  isn't "super  familiar" with  it, but                                                               
during her  time conducting  research it was  an entity  that was                                                               
helping to  allocate a  resource as well,  similar to  the Guided                                                               
Angler Fish (GAF) program.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES noted  that there are several of  them across Alaska                                                               
and  it's a  huge  resource  and a  huge  concern  to many  rural                                                               
communities.   [The CDQ  program] contributes  significant social                                                               
and economic benefit  to residents of about 65  communities.  She                                                               
asked whether she  is correct in concluding  that sport fisheries                                                               
are Ms. Mitchell's main focus.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  confirmed her industry  experience is in  the sport                                                               
fishery and her thesis focused  on a particular management policy                                                               
that bridged  the sport  fish and commercial  fishery.   But, she                                                               
specified,  as  a Board  of  Fisheries  member she  realizes  the                                                               
importance of fisheries to all user  groups in the state and that                                                               
her  responsibility  as  a  board  member is  to  make  the  best                                                               
decisions  under the  guidelines of  fisheries management  in the                                                               
state  of Alaska.   This  will obviously  require her  to gain  a                                                               
significant amount of education, to  talk to a lot of subsistence                                                               
users, and probably  to travel to learn more  about various areas                                                               
of  the  state so  she  can  make  the  best decisions  for  each                                                               
fishery,  not  just  the  ones  for which  she  has  industry  or                                                               
education experience.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:44:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS inquired about the GAF program.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL explained that the  Guided Angler Fish (GAF) program                                                               
is  similar to  the recreational  quota entity  (RQE) program  in                                                               
that  the GAF  program aimed  to  allow the  transfer of  halibut                                                               
quota between commercial  and sport fish user groups,  but at the                                                               
individual vessel level as opposed  to the RQE program which aims                                                               
to do it across the whole user group for various areas.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS requested  Ms.  Mitchell speak  to                                                               
the  analogy she  referenced  between the  CDQ  and GAF  programs                                                               
[when responding to a question from Chair Stutes].                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL responded  that they  are "not  anywhere analogous,                                                               
just more so as kind of  the development for the RQE program kind                                                               
of  as  it started  as  the  GAF  program,  so it  wasn't  really                                                               
necessarily with the CDQ."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:46:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES asked  whether Ms.  Mitchell realizes  that halibut                                                               
isn't a state managed fishery.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL answered "Yes, absolutely."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:47:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  related that, historically, representation  on the                                                               
Board of Fisheries has been  a split between commercial and sport                                                               
interests and  then subsistence representation.   That has gotten                                                               
out of sync, she opined, not  just in these appointments but over                                                               
the  last  few years.    There  is  some  concern about  lack  of                                                               
representation from Western Alaska  and Yukon River fisheries and                                                               
from  someone living  currently in  the Bristol  Bay region.   Of                                                               
concern to  her with  decisions made by  the Board  of Fisheries,                                                               
she opined further,  is that a lot  of work could be  done on the                                                               
front  end to  avoid conflict  and to  work with  stakeholders to                                                               
identify people who would have  broad support from the public and                                                               
different  user groups.   Unfortunately,  it  seems this  process                                                               
doesn't  work in  that  way.   When  people  don't work  together                                                               
appointments become  highly controversial and  there is a  lot of                                                               
conflict.   In turn it  makes the  board process not  function as                                                               
well  as it  should  because  of the  conflict  that was  created                                                               
through the  nomination and appointment  process.   Co-Chair Tarr                                                               
pointed  out that  the  current board,  seated  and nominees,  is                                                               
comprised  of  five  sport interests,  one  commercial,  and  one                                                               
subsistence; six  members are from  Interior Alaska and  one from                                                               
Coastal Alaska.   She inquired whether Ms.  Mitchell believes the                                                               
current board  reflects the diversity  of the state and  that all                                                               
voices are being heard.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  replied she understands  some of the  opposition to                                                               
board members  based on their  geographic location in  the state.                                                               
She offered her  belief that no matter where  the appointees came                                                               
from there would probably still  be some contention because it is                                                               
hard  to  get  geographic  representation from  everywhere  on  a                                                               
seven-member board in such a  large state.  The responsibility of                                                               
the board members, she opined,  is to educate themselves the best                                                               
they can  on all the  fisheries in  Alaska, the user  groups, and                                                               
the  importance of  the  fish to  those user  groups.   That  may                                                               
require  travel and  talking to  stakeholders while  in different                                                               
parts  of the  state.   The position  is voluntary  and providing                                                               
services, Ms. Mitchell continued,  and ultimately it will require                                                               
that a  lot of time  be dedicated to it.   She is  fortunate that                                                               
her  work oftentimes  takes her  to  various parts  of the  state                                                               
where she  can talk to  people and get  better educated so  to be                                                               
able to make decisions for the people and the resource.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:51:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked  whether Ms. Mitchell would be  a proponent of                                                               
shifting  some  of the  commercial  halibut  quota to  the  sport                                                               
industry.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL responded that that  is a really difficult question.                                                               
She explained  that her thesis  focused on looking at  what would                                                               
be the  best way to  fund a  management program that  had already                                                               
been adopted at the  time.  The idea was to  figure out a funding                                                               
mechanism  for this  already-adopted  program.   The most  likely                                                               
mechanism was  going to be  a halibut  stamp of some  sort, which                                                               
would  require the  sport fishermen  themselves to  purchase that                                                               
stamp.  She  looked at how much could potentially  be charged for                                                               
such a stamp, and  how much revenue could be made.   She did this                                                               
by sending  a survey to  10,000 sport fishermen which  asked them                                                               
how  they would  like their  halibut  catch to  be regulated  and                                                               
whether they  were willing  to pay this  additional amount  to be                                                               
able to  do that.   Ms. Mitchell stressed  her thesis was  not to                                                               
make  a  statement  on  whether  she thinks  there  should  be  a                                                               
transfer of halibut between the  user groups.  Rather, her thesis                                                               
was to analyze and look critically  at a newly adopted program to                                                               
see how it would work and what ways it would be effective.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL  addressed  the  question  of  [whether  she  is  a                                                               
proponent of  transferring some commercial  halibut quota  to the                                                               
sport industry].  She stated  that if commercial fishermen aren't                                                               
harvesting all  their halibut [in  a given] year,  then providing                                                               
them an opportunity to transfer  the excess to another user group                                                               
to utilize  for a  fee could  support them.   She said  she would                                                               
need to  talk with both  user groups to  see whether that  was in                                                               
their interest, but she imagines  that the development of the RQE                                                               
program  and  its ability  to  get  adopted  meant there  was  an                                                               
interest from both sides for that to happen at some level.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES said  she  presumes Ms.  Mitchell's  answer to  the                                                               
aforementioned  question is  basically  yes.   She then  inquired                                                               
whether  Ms. Mitchell  was asked  to submit  her name  or applied                                                               
independently for a seat on the Board of Fisheries.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  answered that she  received a phone  call informing                                                               
her  that there  was a  position  open, and  after thinking  hard                                                               
about it she decided to submit her name.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:56:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  asked whether  Ms. Mitchell is  a commercial                                                               
pilot or private pilot with instrument ratings.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL  replied   she  is  a  commercial   pilot  with  an                                                               
instrument rating.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:56:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP stated  that  Ms. Mitchell's  thesis on  the                                                               
willingness to  pay estimates from  anglers seems  very thorough.                                                               
Given  Ms.  Mitchell's  commitment   to  pursuing  education  and                                                               
driving at  best results,  he requested an  example of  where she                                                               
has changed her view on  a significant public policy matter based                                                               
on what she had learned.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL  explained she provided  her thesis to show  she has                                                               
the ability to  critically think about and  conduct research, but                                                               
not necessarily  to make statements  about anything.   She wanted                                                               
to show that  in a Board of Fisheries  position, her mathematical                                                               
skills and scientific related research  with fisheries would give                                                               
her  an advantage  when  looking  at hard  data.   Regarding  the                                                               
question itself, Ms.  Mitchell stated that her  opinion on things                                                               
changes  all  the  time,  especially the  deeper  she  digs  into                                                               
research,  data, and  comprehension.   She  noted  that a  thesis                                                               
takes several years to complete, and  one goes into a thesis with                                                               
a theory  and a hypothesis.   Many of  the results on  her thesis                                                               
work surprised her.   One question she asked the  anglers was how                                                               
they  prefer  for  their  halibut  catch  to  be  regulated;  for                                                               
example, regulation  can be by  size limits, spot  limits, number                                                               
of  fish per  day, or  number  of fish  per season.   Seeing  and                                                               
understanding how  sport fishermen prefer  for their catch  to be                                                               
restricted  made her  think very  differently  on how  management                                                               
policies come  into play a lot  of the time.   Ms. Mitchell added                                                               
that her ability  to have boots on the ground  as a hunting guide                                                               
and sport fish  guide, and to travel to rural  parts of the state                                                               
where she  sees how  rural communities live,  really gives  her a                                                               
different perspective.  Her thoughts  change oftentimes with more                                                               
knowledge from talking to people,  reading papers, and looking at                                                               
the science and the data.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:01:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  asked whether Ms. Mitchell  is familiar with                                                               
the  legal precedent  in Alaska  that establishes  subsistence as                                                               
the highest priority for consumptive use.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL responded  yes, she is familiar  that subsistence is                                                               
of highest  priority for  consumptive use  and she  supports that                                                               
notion.   She added that  there are  many rural Alaskans;  it's a                                                               
way of life up here, so  she is familiar with it, understands it,                                                               
and supports it.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  offered his belief  that in 1978  the Alaska                                                               
State Legislature  was the  first to  put subsistence  into state                                                               
law.  Under the 1980  Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation                                                               
Act  (ANILCA), Congress  passed  a priority  subsistence law  for                                                               
federal lands within the state.   Subsistence, he stated, is very                                                               
much a  part of  Alaska's culture  and is  based on  thousands of                                                               
years of tradition.  Subsistence  use of products is much greater                                                               
than  just fish;  it gets  into  clothing, fuel,  transportation,                                                               
home goods, and  the sharing of fish and  wildlife with neighbors                                                               
who cannot hunt and fish for themselves.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:03:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  related her  understanding that  due to                                                               
COVID-19 the Division of Sport Fish  has lost about $8 million in                                                               
revenue,  presumably from  the lack  of tourism  and out-of-state                                                               
fishing licenses.   Given the  division's budget is  $50 million,                                                               
she requested Ms. Mitchell's thoughts  on how to reconcile such a                                                               
large loss to the division's revenue stream.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL answered  that it is going to require  a lot of hard                                                               
work  to rebuild  and continue  to  support the  way things  have                                                               
been.  She said she doesn't  have a specific way for solving that                                                               
problem or promoting  any one way to deal with  the revenue loss.                                                               
She stressed  the importance of  ADF&G and the importance  of the                                                               
department  to continue  having the  ability to  conduct research                                                               
and provide scientific data to board members.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN asked  whether  Ms.  Mitchell would  be                                                               
supportive of increasing current user  fees, looking at taxes the                                                               
state charges on gear, or increasing commercial fish.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL  replied  she wouldn't  feel  comfortable  choosing                                                               
without  critically  thinking about  that  because  every one  of                                                               
those decisions has  rippling effects on the  various user groups                                                               
and  the  resource.   She  would  need to  spend  a  lot of  time                                                               
thinking about  it and  working with  others on  the best  way to                                                               
deal with it.   All the options mentioned  are possibilities that                                                               
would need to be looked at.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:07:44 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES invited Ms. Mitchell to make a closing statement.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL stated  she would  do the  same to  educate herself                                                               
while on  the Board of  Fisheries as she  did during the  past 11                                                               
years  of immersing  herself  into  the Alaska  way  of life  and                                                               
getting her education  and credentials.  She said it  is an honor                                                               
to serve  and to give back  and that she appreciates  being given                                                               
the opportunity.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:08:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  invited appointee John  Wood to testify.   She said                                                               
Mr. Wood  was appointed to  the Board of Fisheries  on 5/24/2019.                                                               
If confirmed,  Mr. Wood's  term would run  until 6/30/2021.   She                                                               
noted Mr.  Wood has served  on the board  for some time,  but has                                                               
yet  to  come  up  for  a  [confirmation]  vote.    Chair  Stutes                                                               
requested Mr. Wood  state why he is  a good fit to  remain on the                                                               
Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:09:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN WOOD,  Esq., Appointee, Board  of Fisheries, stated  he came                                                               
to Alaska in  1971.  He worked  for the Alaska Court  System as a                                                               
court attorney for  the Superior Court in Anchorage.   Working as                                                               
a standing master,  probate master, and interim  master, he heard                                                               
cases and made recommendations as  to what the judges should rule                                                               
upon.  He then went  into private practice, which he discontinued                                                               
in the  mid-1990s when  he retired.   He has  been living  in the                                                               
Willow area on 65 acres between two salmon streams.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOD said  his first  experience  in Alaska  was fishing  in                                                               
Alexander Creek in 1972, a creek  that has gone from an abundance                                                               
of king salmon  to almost barren of king salmon.   He pointed out                                                               
it isn't  just that particular  creek system; the issue  is found                                                               
throughout areas that were  formerly world-famous fishing grounds                                                               
and  now are  barely holding  on.   He said  this is  an outright                                                               
concern of  his, which must  be addressed  across the board.   As                                                               
staff  for then  Senator Dunleavy  in  2013 and  2014, he  worked                                                               
closely with fish related matters  for the senator's constituency                                                               
and was active during the 2013  and 2014 sessions of the Board of                                                               
Fisheries.  He wasn't working  with Senator Dunleavy in 2017 when                                                               
he  observed   the  Board  of   Fisheries  and   didn't  actively                                                               
participate.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD stressed that the  one approach he takes foremost before                                                               
anything else is what he calls  a conservation approach.  He said                                                               
he would like  to see the actions that he  has helped take result                                                               
in more  fish, and  fish in their  historical size,  returning to                                                               
Alaska's  streams.   That is  his  number one  priority.   Before                                                               
getting  to any  of the  subsistence, allocation,  or consumption                                                               
questions, it must first be  assured that the fisheries are going                                                               
to be here  in the future for future generations.   He would like                                                               
to see  the board be more  active much along the  lines seen with                                                               
the  federal board  to  rebuild  stocks, and  to  do so  requires                                                               
getting  directly  into  the  habitat   issue.    Many  different                                                               
problems  are  occurring  in  the  spawning  beds  that  must  be                                                               
addressed and remedied.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:12:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  related that throughout  all the meetings of  this last                                                               
cycle he  actively reached out  to all stakeholders to  get their                                                               
perspective on the  current situation and how they  would like to                                                               
see it  change.   Prior to  his first  meeting, he  continued, he                                                               
drove to Homer  on his own time and nickel  to attend the "salmon                                                               
committee  of  the North  Pacific  committee"  because they  were                                                               
dealing with  a lawsuit brought  by a user group,  a stakeholder,                                                               
that  he thinks  had  and  may still  have  huge  impacts on  the                                                               
fisheries  in Alaska.   He  then  stayed an  extra day  to go  to                                                               
Soldotna and  Kenai to  meet with several  of the  setnetters and                                                               
United Cook  Inlet Drift Association  (UCIDA) folks to  get their                                                               
take on  which actions they'd  like to see  and why, and  the why                                                               
was much more important to him.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  stated he  has a  reputation for  his ability  to bring                                                               
parties together.   He said  he has  been in enough  positions on                                                               
boards  and administrative  bodies to  know to  create a  win-win                                                               
whenever  possible.   As a  result of  insisting on  stakeholders                                                               
getting together  at these  last board  meetings, groups  are now                                                               
talking to  each other  that never  did before.   Outside  of the                                                               
Board  of Fisheries  he  is in  communication  with the  National                                                               
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  (NOAA) to conduct some of                                                               
the  research in  the  blue water  at no  expense  to the  state.                                                               
Right  now, he  explained,  there  is very  little  data on  what                                                               
happens to the fish  once they get out into the  blue water.  His                                                               
fear, he said, is  that every net and line could  be taken out of                                                               
the  water, yet  what  happens  in the  blue  water  is going  to                                                               
dictate  for the  most part  what the  returns are  going to  be.                                                               
Under  that scenario  it  would dictate  100  percent and  things                                                               
might  still be  way under  goals.   Getting a  grasp on  that is                                                               
needed, and that kind of information isn't currently available.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  noted that due to  COVID-19, the Board of  Fisheries is                                                               
holding a special meeting in a  couple weeks to decide what to do                                                               
with the meetings  coming up this cycle.  He  said his concern is                                                               
that  the meetings  will  be  postponed or  not  held because  of                                                               
participants not  being able to meet  in person.  This  year that                                                               
would  result in  Ketchikan  and Cordova  issues  falling to  the                                                               
wayside,  something   he  isn't  willing   to  see.     From  the                                                               
recommendations e-mailed to him last  night, which he has perused                                                               
but  not yet  studied, it  appears the  direction is  towards not                                                               
holding in-person  meetings.  This  would be a sad  situation, he                                                               
opined,  because  the  Board  of   Fisheries  brings  the  unique                                                               
perspective of the  public getting to directly  interact with the                                                               
people who are making the actual decisions.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:16:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked whether Mr.  Wood is presently employed in any                                                               
capacity by the State of Alaska.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  replied yes, he  is under contract with  the Department                                                               
of Administration  and the Office  of the Governor.   In response                                                               
to  a follow-up  question, he  said  he reports  directly to  the                                                               
governor.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  asked Mr. Wood whether  he thinks a conflict,  or a                                                               
strong  potential  for  a  conflict,   exists  when  a  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries  member  on a  state  contract  for other  business  is                                                               
reporting directly to the governor,  regardless of whether it's a                                                               
technicality or  a technical  violation of  state statute.   This                                                               
seems like a dangerous precedent, she opined.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  answered that the  contract specifically  addresses the                                                               
issues  and  no  fish  issues   whatsoever  are  covered  by  the                                                               
contract.   So, he continued, he  doesn't believe that to  be any                                                               
kind of conflict.  About 99 percent  of what he has done thus far                                                               
is  related   to  trying   to  develop   a  strategy   for  labor                                                               
negotiations  with  the various  bargaining  units  that will  be                                                               
taking place over the next several years.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES inquired  whether she  is correct  in understanding                                                               
that Mr. Wood reports directly to the governor and no one else.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD confirmed he reports  directly to the governor and added                                                               
that he communicates  several times a week with  folks within the                                                               
labor negotiating team at the Department of Administration.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES stated that this  is personally very alarming to her                                                               
and that it is a moral and ethical conflict in her opinion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:18:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN requested  further detail  on what  Mr.                                                               
Wood's contract entails for the Department of Administration.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  replied that the  department and the  governor's office                                                               
are developing the strategy for  labor negotiations, which is the                                                               
vast majority of  the work he's done thus far  by a large margin.                                                               
That is trying to have an approach  as uniform as can be with the                                                               
different  bargaining units  so the  state can  accomplish across                                                               
the board efficiencies and more effective government.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked when  Mr. Wood's contract with the                                                               
Department of Administration would expire.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD offered his belief that it is April 2021.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:19:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR related  that Mr. Wood's contract  has been brought                                                               
up as a concern.  She asked  whether Mr. Wood would be willing to                                                               
consider changes  in his contract  and to share with  members the                                                               
terms of  his contract to  help them understand how  any possible                                                               
conflicts or  autonomy are addressed.   She  said she sees  it as                                                               
problematic even  if Mr. Wood  isn't working on  fisheries issues                                                               
because if Mr.  Wood is aware that the governor  has a particular                                                               
position on  a fishery  issue and doesn't  want to  get crosswise                                                               
with the  governor because that  influences where he  stands with                                                               
his  contract, then  that  could  cause Mr.  Wood  to feel  undue                                                               
pressure.   She  said  this  is the  same  concern  she has  with                                                               
another individual  who is  currently employed  and there  is the                                                               
possibility  for  undue  pressure  with trying  to  make  choices                                                               
between  employment  and  paycheck   and  the  fishery  resource,                                                               
resulting in bad decisions.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  offered his  belief that  his contract  is part  of the                                                               
public record for anyone to view.   He said he has not considered                                                               
choosing one  or the other.   He noted  that the contract  was in                                                               
existence  and disclosed  back when  he was  initially appointed.                                                               
It went  through all the  conflict processes - to  the Department                                                               
of Law and back to the chair of  the board   and each time it was                                                               
uniformly  determined that  there  was no  conflict of  interest.                                                               
Regarding whether  he would step  down from that if  appointed to                                                               
the board, Mr. Wood said he  doesn't know he will be appointed to                                                               
the board  until there  is a  vote, and  so he  is in  an awkward                                                               
situation at  best.   He stated he  was asked to  do the  work on                                                               
labor,  he didn't  seek  it out,  and thus  far  he has  received                                                               
absolutely  no pressure  whatsoever  and no  discussion from  the                                                               
governor about what way to go on anything with the board.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  stated she would  look for Mr. Wood's  contract in                                                               
the public  record.   She clarified that  it's an  ongoing issue,                                                               
not specific  just to  Mr. Wood.   Questions  have come  up about                                                               
these close  relationships, she continued,  and she is  trying to                                                               
learn as much as she can to evaluate this.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD replied that he understands.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES inquired whether Mr.  Wood is suggesting that at the                                                               
last  hearing  before  the  Special  Committee  on  Fisheries  he                                                               
disclosed the contract that he had with the governor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD responded "absolutely."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES said  she doesn't  recall that  and will  listen to                                                               
those minutes.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:23:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  stated  she  is  looking  at  Mr.  Wood's                                                               
contract from  the perspective that ADF&G  employees in different                                                               
bargaining units  are providing professional guidance  and advice                                                               
to the Board of Game on  a variety of proposals before the board.                                                               
She  asked  whether Mr.  Wood  sees  that those  employees  could                                                               
perceive that their guidance to  him could impact their positions                                                               
in  bargaining  units  and  therefore  put  them  in  an  awkward                                                               
position, or  whether Mr.  Wood sees his  contract and  advice as                                                               
being  far removed  from impacting  those ADF&G  employees.   She                                                               
further asked whether Mr. Wood  has thought about this and talked                                                               
about this.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  answered he hasn't thought  about it a great  deal.  He                                                               
said his advice  to the governor is at the  30,000-foot level and                                                               
he can  never envision  it going  down below that  level.   It is                                                               
geared toward  subject matter type  of discussions as  opposed to                                                               
specific individuals.   He stated  he doesn't recall  having ever                                                               
talked about specific individual positions.   It deals with broad                                                               
issues, such as how to address  health insurance or whether to go                                                               
to a  multi-year approach for  wage formats, and  therefore isn't                                                               
at the level that is of concern to Representative Hannan.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  inquired whether in his  contract Mr. Wood                                                               
shares guidance  and background with  Tandem Motion,  the company                                                               
that seems  to also  be providing some  contract analysis  to the                                                               
Department of Administration about very similar issues.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOD   replied  no,   he  has  nothing   to  do   with  that                                                               
organization.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:26:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  asked whether there  is a renewal  clause in                                                               
Mr. Wood's contract.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  responded no, it  expires.  He  said renewing it  is an                                                               
independent choice, which was done recently.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  inquired as  to  when  Mr. Wood's  original                                                               
contract started prior to being renewed.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOD offered  his  belief  that it  was  early spring  2019,                                                               
probably April, and then it was renewed this year.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:27:24 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR recalled Mr. Wood's  comment that he would like for                                                               
the Board  of Fisheries  to be more  active in  rebuilding stocks                                                               
and getting into habitat issues.   She noted that that has been a                                                               
highly controversial  topic with  the citizen initiative  and the                                                               
legislature has heard legislation.   She stated she would like to                                                               
keep the science situated at  the department to depoliticize that                                                               
as much as possible, keep  the allocation decisions at the board,                                                               
and  strengthen  the  advisory  committee  process.    She  asked                                                               
whether Mr. Wood sees taking  actions for improving habitat to be                                                               
at the board level or the department level.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  answered that the  board can  identify and ask  for the                                                               
research to be done to  identify what habitat issues are impeding                                                               
the stocks  in specific streams,  and this  has been done  in the                                                               
past.  However, he pointed out,  a real problem is that the board                                                               
is  without authority  to direct  the department  to do  anything                                                               
specific and  to that  degree the  board is  severely restricted.                                                               
The department  must balance a  whole litany of  different items,                                                               
he  continued,  the budget  not  being  the  least of  which  the                                                               
department has  to deal with.   A good example of  that happening                                                               
this season  is that weirs  are being  pulled weeks ahead  of the                                                               
time when  they were pulled  historically, so the counts  of fish                                                               
returning won't be accurate.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR said  she appreciates Mr. Wood's  comment and added                                                               
that it  sounds like  support for  having a  real budget  for the                                                               
department  because those  are  the individuals  who  need to  be                                                               
available and with the capacity to do that work.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD concurred that the work can't be done without a budget.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:29:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES asked  whether Mr.  Wood agrees  that the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries is a very active public process in its meetings.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD agreed  and added that it is a  more public process than                                                               
he has ever seen before.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES concurred and said  it is probably because the Board                                                               
of Fisheries has  the ability to affect the  livelihoods of many,                                                               
many Alaskans.   She inquired whether Mr. Wood  has a suggestion,                                                               
considering the  COVID-19 situation, for how  this public process                                                               
can take place in October if the board meeting goes forward.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  replied that  he is  willing to meet  in person  if the                                                               
board is  willing to  meet.   However, he said,  if the  board or                                                               
staff is  concerned about  doing that,  then he  wishes he  had a                                                               
system  that  could be  put  in  place.    He has  attended  Zoom                                                               
meetings in  the past and  they aren't  going to be  effective in                                                               
accomplishing what the  chair has described, he  opined, nor will                                                               
teleconferencing.  He  said that when attending  a board meeting,                                                               
a  board member  expects to  start  at 6:00  a.m. with  breakfast                                                               
meetings with  one or two different  stakeholders, lunch meetings                                                               
with stakeholders,  and dinner meetings  with stakeholders.   The                                                               
only  time he  didn't meet  with stakeholders  during the  entire                                                               
process of  each meeting was  the night  before the vote  when he                                                               
would go back  to his hotel room to study  everything that he had                                                               
available on the subject matter.   At some point, he explained, a                                                               
board member  must get away  to process  in his/her own  mind all                                                               
the information received.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:32:25 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked whether  Mr. Wood has any thoughts                                                               
on how to capture the nearly  $8 million in revenue that has been                                                               
lost from [the lack of] license purchases due to COVID-19.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  responded that  it is  a hard question  to answer.   He                                                               
recalled  a time  when license  holders were  asked whether  they                                                               
would be  willing to  participate at a  larger dollar  amount and                                                               
the  answer was  yes provided  the dollars  went to  research and                                                               
enforcement.  The hatchery program,  he noted, is a success story                                                               
in   that  the   commercial   fishermen  ponied   up  to   ensure                                                               
continuation of the program.  He  said he doubts, however, that a                                                               
license fee increase  would meet the full figure  [of $8 million]                                                               
because  he  doesn't  know  that there  are  enough  licenses  to                                                               
support  such a  figure.   There are  going to  be reductions  in                                                               
service, and it  will require being selective in how  to go about                                                               
doing it.  For example, if  he were making the decisions, then he                                                               
would cut  the two lake system  weirs that give no  data that can                                                               
be  used for  in-season management  before  he made  cuts to  the                                                               
weirs located toward  the mouth of the drainage that  do give in-                                                               
season  ability.   Better science  could  also be  used, such  as                                                               
having genetics  play a much  bigger role given that  samples are                                                               
already being  taken.  For example,  it could be done  like it is                                                               
in Canada,  with a 24-hour  turnaround.  Decisions could  then be                                                               
made, and the budget would not be hugely impacted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN inquired  whether Mr.  Wood thinks  the                                                               
state is  currently doing  an adequate  job with  random sampling                                                               
and ensuring that statistical analysis is accurate.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD answered that random sampling  is never precise.  It may                                                               
be the  only thing  that can be  done and used,  he advised.   It                                                               
isn't that it's the best science,  but that it's the only science                                                               
available.  It depends entirely on how "random" is done.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:35:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  said her  constituents appreciate  Mr. Wood                                                               
coming  to Homer  to hear  their perspectives  about the  ongoing                                                               
issues in  Cook Inlet.  She  asked Mr. Wood to  give his thoughts                                                               
on the phrase "there are winners and losers in the fishery."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD replied that there is  a limited resource in the numbers                                                               
of fish  that are available to  be harvested.  If  one particular                                                               
group harvests amounts  that result in another  group not meeting                                                               
what it feels is its just share,  then he guesses that is what is                                                               
meant  by one  being  a  winner and  one  being  a loser  because                                                               
whichever  fish went  to the  one particular  group would  not be                                                               
available to the other group.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:37:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  recalled Mr. Wood  mentioning he wants to  get more                                                               
king salmon in the rivers.   She inquired whether Mr. Wood thinks                                                               
the lack  of king  salmon has  anything to  do with  the northern                                                               
pike predation situation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD responded "yes."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  asked whether  this  is  something that  could  be                                                               
addressed by the Board of Fisheries in its capacity.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOD  answered  yes,  the  board can  identify  but  has  no                                                               
authority to direct, and that is where the rub comes in.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:38:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  related his  understanding that  ADF&G isn't                                                               
issuing  proper public  notice for  public  comment when  dealing                                                               
with permits for  fish habitat.  He offered his  belief that both                                                               
Alaska  statute and  constitution clearly  say that  all Alaskans                                                               
own the  state's fish and  water resources.   He asked  where Mr.                                                               
Wood stands  on ensuring that  proper public notice is  given and                                                               
that public hearings are held  for public comment on fish habitat                                                               
permits.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOD  replied that  when  it  comes  to Board  of  Fisheries                                                               
matters  the board  is overly  emphatic on  public participation.                                                               
However, he  explained, the Board  of Fisheries doesn't  have any                                                               
ability  to direct  ADF&G  to follow  the law  when  it comes  to                                                               
habitat permits.   It's in statute, it's  ADF&G's obligation, and                                                               
is something  that absolutely should  be followed, but  the Board                                                               
of Fisheries  doesn't have  the authority  to make  it mandatory.                                                               
The board is more limited in  authority than people would like to                                                               
believe.   That  was evidenced  last year  when people  asked the                                                               
board  to close  the hatcheries,  but the  legislature has  acted                                                               
quite clearly that that is not within the purview of the board.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  inquired whether  Mr. Wood would  be willing                                                               
to write a letter to ADF&G  if the department doesn't give proper                                                               
public notification and tell ADF&G why it is important.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD  responded he is willing  to do anything of  that nature                                                               
if the department isn't following  the law.  He related, however,                                                               
that he  has voiced his concerns  on other issues, and  it didn't                                                               
go particularly forward with the department.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:40:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  asked whether Mr.  Wood has other areas  of concern                                                               
as a Board of Fisheries member besides the Cook Inlet area.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD answered  that he has concerns across the  board, but is                                                               
more familiar  with the  Cook Inlet  area than  he is  with other                                                               
areas.  However,  he continued, the same  concerns are applicable                                                               
in  Southeast Alaska,  on the  Yukon, and  elsewhere.   A concern                                                               
that came  to light this  year that he  wasn't aware of  until he                                                               
started  dealing  with is  that  there  are crab  fisheries  that                                                               
haven't been allowed to be open  in 30 years.  Something is wrong                                                               
there,  he  stated,  it  shouldn't  take  a  stock  30  years  to                                                               
replenish itself.   So, yes, there are concerns not  just in Cook                                                               
Inlet that  he wants to  explore.  He  will take the  same effort                                                               
that he  did in  going to  Homer and he  has already  talked with                                                               
board member John Jensen about concerns in Southeast Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES invited Mr. Wood to provide closing comments.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD,  regarding subsistence,  urged members  to look  at the                                                               
record  for the  Board of  Fisheries meeting  in Seward  when the                                                               
board was being asked to make  an allocative decision.  There was                                                               
no amount  necessary for  subsistence (ANS),  he related,  and he                                                               
insisted that that  be established before the  board went forward                                                               
and  that was  done.   Then it  was done  several meetings  later                                                               
consistently before  any allocative  requests were  made.   It is                                                               
his opinion,  he continued,  that subsistence  is second  only to                                                               
conservation.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:43:35 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES invited appointee John  Jensen to testify.  She said                                                               
Mr. Jensen is  the longest currently serving member  of the Board                                                               
of Fisheries,  having held a seat  on the board since  2003.  She                                                               
noted Mr.  Jensen was re-appointed  on 7/1/20 and,  if confirmed,                                                               
his term would run to 6/30/23.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
[MR. JENSEN was not online.]                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:45:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES invited  appointee Abe  Williams to  testify.   She                                                               
said Mr. Williams was appointed  on 7/1/20 and, if confirmed, his                                                               
term would run to 6/30/23.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:45:40 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ABE  WILLIAMS, Appointee,  Board  of Fisheries,  stated  he is  a                                                               
lifelong Alaskan, born  in King Salmon.  He has  lived in Bristol                                                               
Bay for  the majority of his  life, he related, but  has lived in                                                               
Anchorage since  2010.   He just finished  his thirtieth  year of                                                               
commercial fishing  in Bristol Bay.   Two  of his three  sons own                                                               
their  own operations  in the  fishery and  the other  son fishes                                                               
with  him.   Over the  years  he has  served on  the Bristol  Bay                                                               
Borough Assembly,  the school board, and  the Naknek/Kvichak Fish                                                               
&  Game Advisory  Committee.    Mr. Williams  said  he has  owned                                                               
multiple businesses,  one of which serves  the commercial fishing                                                               
industry in  Bristol Bay, and  currently he works as  director of                                                               
regional  affairs  for  the  Pebble  Limited  Partnership.    His                                                               
participation in Board  of Fisheries meetings over  the years has                                                               
given  him knowledge  of the  process  and of  the importance  of                                                               
commercial, sport,  and subsistence  fisheries around  the state.                                                               
He stated that  his ability to listen proactively to  any and all                                                               
user groups makes him an extremely qualified candidate.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:47:47 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN shared that  she has heard concern about                                                               
Mr.  Williams's  role  at  Pebble  Partnership  and  a  potential                                                               
conflict that  it might  bring to  the Board  of Fisheries.   She                                                               
asked Mr. Williams to speak to why it would not be a conflict.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  replied that he  has taken a proactive  approach to                                                               
the Pebble  Project for many years.   It started in  2009 when he                                                               
was president of  a village corporation in Naknek  and there were                                                               
severe recessed  runs and  financial issues  with the  fishery in                                                               
Alaska.   He proactively  looked at different  options in  how to                                                               
diversify  the  economics of  Southwest  Alaska  as well  as  the                                                               
economics of  communities that  don't necessarily  participate in                                                               
the commercial  fishery.  For  the last  two years he  has worked                                                               
directly for  the project as  director of regional  affairs where                                                               
he engages  with multiple communities, commercial  fishermen, and                                                               
others about the  project.  He stated he respects  those who look                                                               
at  his position  with the  Pebble Project  and assume  he has  a                                                               
conflict of interest,  but he thinks it is just  the opposite and                                                               
he doesn't have  a conflict of interest.  He  further stated that                                                               
if the Board  of Fisheries chooses to take up  an issue in regard                                                               
to the  Pebble Project itself,  which he doesn't think  the board                                                               
will  do, nor  that the  board has  jurisdiction to  do, he  will                                                               
conflict himself out as he has done in the past.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN shared  that  concern  has been  raised                                                               
regarding  a  lawsuit  brought forward  by  a  fellow  commercial                                                               
fisherman.  She requested Mr. Williams speak to this.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS responded  he brought a lawsuit  against the Bristol                                                               
Bay  Regional   Seafood  Development  Association   (BBRSDA),  an                                                               
organization  set up  under  state statute  that  is designed  to                                                               
brand  and  promote  marketability  of regional  products.    The                                                               
BBRSDA is tasked  with the ability to brand  Bristol Bay products                                                               
and  bring  awareness to  the  marketplace.   His  challenge  was                                                               
related to  the large  sums of monies  that [fishermen]  pay into                                                               
BBRSDA  being directed  to organizations  like  United Tribes  of                                                               
Bristol Bay  and Salmon State  where those funds  were designated                                                               
and designed to actively promote and  aid folks in the ability to                                                               
comment on the U.S. Army  Corps of Engineers environmental impact                                                               
statement (EIS) process.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:52:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN inquired  whether her  understanding is                                                               
correct that  Mr. Williams  felt it was  more appropriate  to use                                                               
the  money to  pursue  marketability of  commercial fish  product                                                               
coming  from   Bristol  Bay  and  raising   awareness  about  the                                                               
importance  of the  fish in  Bristol Bay  than use  the money  to                                                               
oppose the Pebble Project.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  answered that  the monies  designed to  travel from                                                               
the  BBRSDA  were funneled  to  these  certain organizations  for                                                               
specific purpose of  commenting on the EIS process  that the U.S.                                                               
Army Corps of Engineers was holding,  which he said he and others                                                               
viewed as [inappropriate] use of  the tax revenues that fishermen                                                               
pay into  BBRSDA.   Under the statute,  fishermen are  taxed, and                                                               
those taxes  are to  be used  to promote  and market  products in                                                               
Bristol Bay.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:54:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked about the outcome of the lawsuit.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS replied that it was dismissed.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:54:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON posited  that  Mr.  Williams, through  his                                                               
role as director  of regional affairs at  the Pebble Partnership,                                                               
has received  a lot more visibility  in the region than  he would                                                               
have had in the past.  This  role, he opined, has created quite a                                                               
strain relative to relationships with  a lot of people around the                                                               
region.  Polls have shown time and  again that 8 out of 10 people                                                               
in the  Bristol Bay region  oppose the Pebble Mine,  perhaps even                                                               
more.   Representative  Edgmon stated  that when  he goes  to the                                                               
communities,  he hears  it regularly  and  it is  the number  one                                                               
issue to  a lot of people.   People are very  concerned about the                                                               
downstream impacts of the mine  on the commercial and subsistence                                                               
fisheries  and the  cultural  way of  life    the  future of  the                                                               
region.   To  provide context  about the  high visibility  of Mr.                                                               
Williams,  Representative Edgmon  related that  his household  in                                                               
Dillingham has  received at least  five large-size  postcards, at                                                               
least  two having  Mr. Williams's  name on  them, asking  that he                                                               
sign up for  the Pebble performance dividend,  the dividend being                                                               
a unique thing on its own.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  noted that Mr.  Williams lost his  seat on                                                               
the BBRSDA because many people  were unhappy with his position on                                                               
Pebble.   He  said he  hopes  Mr. Williams  sees this  as a  fair                                                               
question, because clearly Mr. Williams has  to know that a lot of                                                               
people in  the Bristol  Bay region are  very concerned  about the                                                               
Pebble Project,  as are many people  around the state.   He asked                                                               
how  Mr. Williams  is going  to work  with those  members of  the                                                               
region who are  aligned on the opposite side of  the Pebble issue                                                               
from Mr. Williams.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON stressed  the importance  of the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries process and  noted that the Bristol Bay  cycle comes up                                                               
every three  years where the  board comes  to the region  to meet                                                               
and to personally interface with  key leaders and people who want                                                               
the best  for the fishery and  who don't see that  putting a huge                                                               
open pit  mine at the headwaters  of very sensitive habitat  is a                                                               
part of  that.   He asked  how Mr.  Williams reconciles  all that                                                               
discord and will make all that  work as the so-called Bristol Bay                                                               
representative on the board.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:58:31 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS responded  that in  his years  of participation  in                                                               
leadership roles in  Bristol Bay he has always  been engaged with                                                               
everyone  and  not necessarily  key  leaders.   Key  leaders  are                                                               
important to  listen to,  but so are  individual persons  in each                                                               
community, he said,  and in his position at Pebble  he does that.                                                               
He travels  to the  region and he  talks to  people individually.                                                               
It sets  his course as  to how he  does the  things he does.   He                                                               
stated he  thinks he  is high profile  only because  certain loud                                                               
voices, or  certain people who  are well thought of,  oppose this                                                               
particular  project  or  they  highlight   him  as  somebody  who                                                               
supports mining in Bristol Bay.   Mr. Williams added that he is a                                                               
people person,  he has  engaged with people  for quite  some time                                                               
and will continue doing  so, and he thinks he is  one of the best                                                               
to do it.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:00:31 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  stated he  didn't hear  a response  to his                                                               
question.  He  recalled that the board's last  meeting in Bristol                                                               
Bay  was in  Dillingham in  2018.   He related  his understanding                                                               
that at  this meeting Mr.  Williams sponsored the proposal  to do                                                               
away with   the 32-foot  boat length  in  Bristol Bay,  which the                                                               
region at-large  vociferously opposes.   Yet Mr. Williams  is out                                                               
there talking  to people and  working to  build a consensus.   He                                                               
asked how Mr.  Williams could reconcile that with  his ability to                                                               
work with the region as a whole, not just key leaders.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS replied  that Representative  Edgmon's recollection                                                               
is incorrect.   He said he didn't sponsor such  an effort to lift                                                               
the 32-foot limit.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON asked whether  Mr. Williams has sponsored a                                                               
proposal like that in the past.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS replied he has not  sponsored a proposal to lift the                                                               
32-foot limit on the fisheries.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
12:02:02 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  said he stands  corrected, but it  was his                                                               
understanding  that Mr.  Williams either  did or  was part  of an                                                               
effort  to  support   it.    He  stated  that  it   is  a  unique                                                               
circumstance of  being a  Board of  Fisheries member  with direct                                                               
knowledge about the largest salmon  fishery in the world, but yet                                                               
possibly being  on the other  side speaking of  the controversial                                                               
Pebble Mine  that keeps coming back  cycle after cycle.   He said                                                               
he presumes [the  Pebble Mine] will come up when  the board meets                                                               
in the Bristol Bay cycle in  2021.  He asked whether Mr. Williams                                                               
would support  doing away  with the 32-foot  limit if  a proposal                                                               
comes before the board at the 2021 meeting.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS responded:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I don't know  that I would be supportive  to doing away                                                                    
     with the  32-foot limit.   I think that  ... definitely                                                                    
     here in the most past recent  years a lot of folks have                                                                    
     invested  into quality  efforts  on  boats and  they've                                                                    
     done so in a meaningful  way that was restricted ... or                                                                    
     some  people  feel that  they  were  restricted by  the                                                                    
     length  of the  boat.   So you  have a  lot of  capital                                                                    
     outlay on  existing vessels, and  so lifting  the limit                                                                    
     could  pose certain  burdens  and  certain problems  on                                                                    
     others.   Having  said that,  I am  sympathetic to  the                                                                    
     conversation  as  we look  to  bring  the best  quality                                                                    
     product from  the Bristol Bay  fishery into  market and                                                                    
     raise  our value,  raise ...  the commercial  value and                                                                    
     the  ex-vessel  value.   It's  important  to  have  the                                                                    
     proper tools to  do that, and as a fisherman  I can see                                                                    
     where the limit of  [a] 32-foot [vessel] really creates                                                                    
     a strain  on your  ability to do  so adequately  and be                                                                    
     safe when you do it.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:04:26 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  offered his appreciation for  the dialogue                                                               
with Mr. Williams.  He noted he  has known Mr. Williams for a lot                                                               
of years and said it isn't  personal.  He offered his belief that                                                               
Mr.  Williams knows  what he  is  stepping into,  that he  keenly                                                               
knows  the  nature  of  the  Pebble issue  from  being  a  Pebble                                                               
employee, and that there is support  for the mine in some pockets                                                               
of the  region, but that  by and  large the opposition  is deeply                                                               
embedded.   There  are  going  to be  people  in  the region,  he                                                               
opined,  who think  the fox  is  in the  hen house  now with  Mr.                                                               
Williams being  on the Board  of Fisheries, and  it is up  to Mr.                                                               
Williams  to prove  that that's  an inaccurate  characterization.                                                               
He further  stated that whether  in a public or  private setting,                                                               
he doesn't  want to be  party to slandering  anybody's character,                                                               
but he wants to make these  views publicly known because a lot of                                                               
people  are really  concerned about  this and  concerned about  a                                                               
project that  may ultimately be  shelved anyway with  the current                                                               
permitting process that's  underway.  He said  he appreciates Mr.                                                               
Williams' forthrightness  and looks  forward to working  with him                                                               
if he is confirmed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
12:06:02 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  said he appreciates  Representative Edgmon's                                                               
line of  questioning.  He  stated it is hard  for him to  not see                                                               
that there is conflict because of  the nature of the Pebble Mine,                                                               
where it's located,  and the concern about  the salmon fisheries,                                                               
one of the  most abundant salmon fisheries in the  world.  It's a                                                               
conflict  not  only  in  the position,  he  continued,  but  also                                                               
looking  at mines  versus salmon  in  this particular  situation.                                                               
The opposition  isn't because  of not  wanting a  mine developed,                                                               
but because  of the mine's  location and what the  potential harm                                                               
is to  the fisheries.  The  main role of the  Board of Fisheries,                                                               
he  stated,   is  to  conserve   and  develop   Alaska's  fishery                                                               
resources, which, to him, also  insinuates protecting the state's                                                               
fisheries.   He asked  what Mr. Williams  thinks is  the greatest                                                               
salmon producing lake in Alaska.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS  answered  that multiple  lakes  are  great  salmon                                                               
producing lakes - the Wood-Tikchiks,  Naknek Lake, Becharof Lake,                                                               
Ugashik  Lakes     but  this doesn't  preclude  other  lakes  and                                                               
streams and tributaries that are in  the Bristol region.  It is a                                                               
large area  at 40,000 square  miles and seven large,  major river                                                               
systems.    All  these  in  consort make  up  this  great  salmon                                                               
resource that is being discussed.   Managing and conserving these                                                               
fisheries   is   important   but   it   is   larger   than   just                                                               
generalizations.   He said he  doesn't think his position  at the                                                               
Pebble  Partnership  should  define his  qualifications;  he  has                                                               
fished in  Bristol Bay for 30  years.  He has  subsistence fished                                                               
with his grandmother, sport fished  with his family and kids, and                                                               
he cherishes this resource.  But,  he continued, he also is very,                                                               
very connected  to the people  of the  region, and when  he looks                                                               
around at  the social issues  taking place - schools  closing and                                                               
populations moving away  - it raises a red flag  to him, which is                                                               
why he is involved not only  with the Pebble Project but also the                                                               
commercial fishery right now.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
12:09:52 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  maintained that  Lake Iliamna,  which wasn't                                                               
mentioned,  is one  of  the most  important lakes.    He said  he                                                               
understands Mr.  Williams's justification for wanting  to promote                                                               
the Pebble Mine  with the social aspects that  were mentioned and                                                               
the economy,  but the  fishery is  a big part  of the  culture in                                                               
that area.  He said he has  concerns and doesn't see how there is                                                               
no  conflict  in Mr.  Williams's  position.    He asked  why  Mr.                                                               
Williams wants to serve on the Board of Fisheries.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  replied he has  been involved in the  fisheries for                                                               
many years as  he described and over those years  he was involved                                                               
with policies  and how the fishery  is managed and executed.   He                                                               
said it started when he was  serving on the Naknek/Kvichak Fish &                                                               
Game Advisory  Committee, on which  he served for nine  years and                                                               
co-chaired for six  years.  His interest  in participating didn't                                                               
come overnight.   One  of the most  prominent leaders  in Bristol                                                               
Bay  asked  him  if he'd  be  willing  to  sit  on the  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries,  he  related,  even  though   the  two  of  them  have                                                               
differing opinions  on the Pebble  Project.  He  declined because                                                               
he was busy at  that point in his life and  didn't have the time.                                                               
The previous  board member that  he is now replacing  was chosen.                                                               
Alaska has  many resources,  and the  fisheries resource  is very                                                               
important throughout all of the  state and to many different user                                                               
groups, he opined.   The state has other resources  that are also                                                               
important to all  Alaskans, and he takes the approach  of an open                                                               
mind  and being  an approachable  person.   He can  sit down  and                                                               
critically think,  take in public  comment and  public criticism,                                                               
and be effective  at making decisions that are  beneficial to the                                                               
state of Alaska as a whole.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS apologized  for leaving out Lake  Iliamna and stated                                                               
it is  the greatest  lake in all  of Alaska in  his opinion.   He                                                               
recounted that  in 1996 the  Kvichak River began having  an issue                                                               
that created  some conservation management that  was important to                                                               
the  Bristol Bay  fishery as  well as  to the  people around  the                                                               
area.   Some folks in  the Lake  Iliamna area were  restricted in                                                               
their ability  to harvest subsistence  foods.  That hit  close to                                                               
home.  That said, he continued,  the Kvichak River failed to meet                                                               
its minimum  escapement goal for  many years.   Now it  is slowly                                                               
coming back,  but there  is still concern  and issues  around it.                                                               
These are  issues he has addressed,  and that is why  he believes                                                               
he is qualified for this position.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
12:13:59 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES inquired  whether Mr. Williams has  support from any                                                               
commercial fishery groups.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  responded he  doesn't know.   In Bristol  Bay there                                                               
are certain  factions of groups.   He said he  does get a  lot of                                                               
support from folks, a lot of encouragement regarding that.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES asked whether it is individuals in the groups.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS answered  yes, from individuals.   It's important to                                                               
pay  attention to  individuals,  he stated,  because they  aren't                                                               
always aligned  with certain groups or  certain activities around                                                               
groups; so, that  is where he pays close attention.   It's not to                                                               
disenfranchise groups or organized  groups, but to highlight that                                                               
he's   available  to   talk  to   anyone   regardless  of   their                                                               
affiliation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:15:06 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  requested Mr. Williams to  elaborate on his                                                               
business activity, his direct  involvement in commercial fishing,                                                               
and how much influence Pebble has into his income.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS replied that regarding  his business activity he and                                                               
his wife own Bristol Bay  Rentals, a real estate rental business.                                                               
He owns  Maritime Industries, a  service industry in  the Bristol                                                               
Bay region and a small-boat  storage.  He requested clarification                                                               
on  whether he  is being  asked to  compare his  income from  the                                                               
Pebble  Partnership   to  his  income   from  his   business  and                                                               
commercial fishing activity.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE answered yes.   She related that many of her                                                               
constituents  are  concerned  that  because Mr.  Williams  is  on                                                               
Pebble's payroll, he  will put Pebble before the  interest of the                                                               
fishery.  She asked Mr. Williams to justify this relationship.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS responded  that his Pebble income is  less than half                                                               
of what  he makes from  his commercial fishing operation  and, if                                                               
his business income  is included, then it is even  less.  He said                                                               
he recognizes the  concern.  He emphasized that he  has fished in                                                               
Bristol  Bay for  30 years,  his boys  fish in  Bristol Bay,  his                                                               
family  members fish  in Bristol  Bay,  and there  is nothing  he                                                               
would ever do  to compromise their ability to do  that year after                                                               
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
12:17:41 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES inquired  whether Mr. Williams owns any  part of the                                                               
Pebble Mine or Northern Dynasty  Minerals Ltd., such as shares or                                                               
something else along that line.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS replied  that through his job he  has stock options,                                                               
but he has not exercised them.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES offered her understanding  that Mr. Williams said he                                                               
does not own any shares in Pebble Mine or Northern Dynasty.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
12:18:20 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked whether  Mr.  Williams  was on  the                                                               
[BBRSDA]  board at  the time  he filed  the lawsuit  against that                                                               
organization.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS responded no, he was not on the board.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked whether Mr. Williams  had previously                                                               
been on the [BBRSDA] board.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS answered yes.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN   asked  whether  Mr.   Williams  resigned                                                               
because of the decision that he then sued [BBRSDA] over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS replied no, he served  a three-year term and was not                                                               
elected back to the organization.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
12:19:03 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN stated  she is aware that  Mr. Williams has                                                               
sponsored  proposals before  the  Board of  Fisheries on  several                                                               
occasions.  As recently as  2018, she continued, Mr. Williams had                                                               
a  board  proposal  to  allow for  permit  stacking,  which  many                                                               
Bristol Bay  fishermen support, especially ones  who have permits                                                               
and do  not live in the  region; but permit stacking  seems to be                                                               
opposed by most  local permit owners and  the smaller communities                                                               
around  Bristol Bay.    She  noted that  as  a  board member  Mr.                                                               
Williams  cannot sponsor  that  proposal, but  asked whether  Mr.                                                               
Williams is  still interested in  pushing for permit  stacking to                                                               
be allowed  in the Bristol  Bay fishery.   She further  asked how                                                               
permit stacking would impact the region.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS  confirmed he  sponsored  the  proposal for  permit                                                               
stacking.   The  majority  of folks  in  the commercial  driftnet                                                               
fleet, he stated,  look at permit stacking as a  valuable tool to                                                               
achieve  the  optimum  number  as  described  by  the  Commercial                                                               
Fisheries Entry Commission  and ADF&G in the  Bristol Bay region,                                                               
as  well  as an  important  tool  to  manage and  be  financially                                                               
successful in  the fishery.   In 2015, price and  ex-vessel value                                                               
drastically dropped to  about 50 cents a pound.   Ironically that                                                               
was  when he  was elected  to  the Bristol  Bay Regional  Seafood                                                               
Development Association  (BBRSDA) - fishermen were  scrambling to                                                               
figure  out ways  to bring  value to  their fishery.   Commercial                                                               
fishery permit  holders see this  as something that is  of value,                                                               
he  reiterated.   There is  a  difference of  opinion in  certain                                                               
factions in the  region, but there is probably  larger support in                                                               
the region  for permit stacking  than what has been  portrayed to                                                               
Representative Hannan.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:21:54 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN said  she  is trying  to draw  distinction                                                               
between Bristol Bay permit holders  and Bristol Bay residents who                                                               
are also permit  holders.  She stated it seems  that the resident                                                               
fishermen  of Bristol  Bay  have not  been  supportive of  permit                                                               
stacking even though  many Seattle based permit  holders are, due                                                               
capitalization  costs and  the idea  of making  a more  efficient                                                               
fishery.   But that money would  be taken out of  the region, she                                                               
continued, and  the number of  jobs would be decreased  for local                                                               
crew.   Noting that the  proposal for permit stacking  has failed                                                               
on  several occasions,  she asked  whether pushing  that proposal                                                               
again  is one  of the  reasons for  Mr. Williams  getting on  the                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  responded no, that is  not a reason for  him to get                                                               
on the  board.   He said  he supports that  type of  concept, but                                                               
explained he will  be restricted in ways that  he can participate                                                               
in  the  conversation  on  that.     If  someone  submitted  that                                                               
proposal, then  he would probably  be recused from it  because he                                                               
currently fishes  in Bristol  Bay.  He  maintained that  there is                                                               
large  support  from local  permit  holders  in the  Bristol  Bay                                                               
fishery for permit stacking.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:24:03 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  said  he  is aware  of  the  long                                                               
tenure of  work done by  Mr. Williams in  Bristol Bay.   While he                                                               
might not  always see  eye-to-eye with Mr.  Williams, he  said he                                                               
knows  Mr. Williams  is knowledgeable  on the  issues.   He asked                                                               
whether  the decision  to serve  on the  board at  this time  was                                                               
because Mr. Williams  was asked to serve by another  party or was                                                               
of his own volition.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  answered he has  been approached multiple  times to                                                               
apply for this position.   Ironically, people see his ability and                                                               
encourage him  to do something of  this nature, and that  is what                                                               
he is doing.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:25:54 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS offered  his understanding that Mr.                                                               
Williams is saying  he was asked by others to  serve on the Board                                                               
of Fisheries  this go around.   He asked which  parties requested                                                               
Mr. Williams to put his name in.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS  replied  he  has  had  multiple  fellow  fishermen                                                               
encourage him to  throw his name into the hat  for this position.                                                               
He  neglected to  do it  before  because he  had multiple  things                                                               
going on in  his life.  Now  he has found the time  and can apply                                                               
some effort, so that is what he is doing.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:26:55 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP inquired  whether  as a  Board of  Fisheries                                                               
member Mr.  Williams would have  any authority,  jurisdiction, or                                                               
input on the Pebble Project permit.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS  responded  no,  he  doesn't  think  the  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries  will  take  up  anything in  relation  to  the  Pebble                                                               
Project or the permit.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:27:54 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP stated  that that is how he also  sees it; he                                                               
doesn't  see  any  decision-making  authority  over  Pebble  Mine                                                               
permitting.  He  related that he and Mr. Williams  have known one                                                               
another  for quite  a  number of  years.   As  a lifelong  fellow                                                               
commercial fisherman  and fellow Alaskan  in Bristol Bay,  he too                                                               
is  a fisherman  who supports  mining and  fishing.   He said  he                                                               
supports the  nomination of  Mr. Williams  and that  Mr. Williams                                                               
has  a sterling  reputation.   He added  that he  appreciates Mr.                                                               
Williams's comment  of listening  to everybody and  being willing                                                               
to work with the other side  because that pushes back the current                                                               
political  climate  to  not  do  that.    Every  member  of  this                                                               
committee,  Representative  Kopp  opined, has  suffered  in  some                                                               
regard  or  the  other  for   making  hard  decisions  that  were                                                               
necessary because he or she  was willing to learn information and                                                               
based on that  speak the truth and  stick to it.   He stated that                                                               
Mr. Williams  possesses the  integrity to  do this  job in  a way                                                               
that is honorable and that will  reflect well on both the fishing                                                               
industry and mining  industry.  He inquired  whether Mr. Williams                                                               
would continue  to support the  Pebble Project if the  project is                                                               
unable to meet  the bar that the administration has  laid down to                                                               
mitigate wetland and tributary damage.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WILLIAMS  answered  that  all projects  in  Alaska  must  go                                                               
through permitting  processes.   The state's  representatives and                                                               
people have  set that bar,  he continued, and projects  unable to                                                               
meet that bar ultimately won't  get their permit.  Currently, the                                                               
Pebble Project  is going through the  federal permitting process,                                                               
which is  coming to a  close, and mitigation standards  will have                                                               
to be  met.  He  stated he hopes  that all projects  are assessed                                                               
through a process vetted in science, not politics.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP said he appreciates  Mr. Williams as a leader                                                               
showing up for  his community and putting  forward real solutions                                                               
over many decades.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
12:31:57 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR recalled  Alaska's late  U.S. Senator  Ted Stevens                                                               
stating he  isn't opposed to  mining, but in reference  to Pebble                                                               
the wrong  mine for the wrong  place.  She stated  she is putting                                                               
it in  this context because  she doesn't think she's  alone among                                                               
Alaskans in  this belief  and that that's  why the  committee has                                                               
received  over  500  emails  opposing   the  appointment  of  Mr.                                                               
Williams.   It's her job to  listen to Alaskans and  that's where                                                               
her opposition  is also coming from.   The governor has  a lot of                                                               
power in  making these appointments, she  opined.  One way  to do                                                               
that would be  to get the stakeholders together to  try to remove                                                               
the conflict before  the appointments were made  and put together                                                               
a  group that  could be  embraced by  Alaskans and  there are  no                                                               
broad conflicts where it compromises  the process.  Regarding the                                                               
conflict over  the Pebble Mine,  she noted that there  is already                                                               
an individual  on the  Board of  Fisheries who  previously worked                                                               
for Pebble  Mine and that  the commissioner of the  Department of                                                               
Environmental  Conservation   is  also   a  former   Pebble  Mine                                                               
employee.   She said she  thinks Alaskans are saying  there needs                                                               
to be separation from these conflicts  and there needs to be more                                                               
trust in this  process.  She asked whether Mr.  Williams is aware                                                               
of this high  level of opposition to his appointment  and how Mr.                                                               
Williams thinks  he can be  a successful board member  when there                                                               
is such significant opposition and lack of trust by Alaskans.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  confirmed he is aware  of folks who are  opposed to                                                               
his  appointment to  the  Board of  Fisheries.   He  said he  has                                                               
reviewed a lot  of the form letters and was  amused that he would                                                               
draw such activity.  While he  respects the Alaskans who spoke in                                                               
concern of what they perceive as  a conflict, he has some concern                                                               
about the  lack of original thought  as many of the  documents he                                                               
reviewed were  generated by  some kind of  a "robo-text"  or form                                                               
letter, with  letters coming  from as far  as New  York, Montana,                                                               
and California.   He hasn't calculated how many  are from Alaska,                                                               
he  continued,  but  recognizes  that there  are  those  who  are                                                               
concerned, and he respects that.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
12:36:00 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  pointed  out  that   of  the  over  500  responses                                                               
mentioned  by  Representative  Tarr,  very  few  were  from  non-                                                               
Alaskans, most  were from Alaskans  who included their  names and                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  argued  that   it's  an  unfair  characterization                                                               
regarding a  form letter  versus a written  letter.   She pointed                                                               
out that  people are currently  homeschooling their  children and                                                               
may not  have had  the capacity  to type a  thorough email.   She                                                               
maintained that when [legislators] hear  from Alaskans it must be                                                               
accepted as public testimony.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES agreed  with Representative  Tarr  and stated  that                                                               
however generated, [the emails] were from individual Alaskans.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
12:37:20 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  related that  of the first  100 letters                                                               
reviewed by  her staff this morning,  96 were form emails  and 24                                                               
were out of state.   She pointed out that close  to 60 percent of                                                               
[Bristol Bay]  permits are owned  by non-Alaskans, so  she thinks                                                               
the  intent behind  Mr. Williams's  earlier action  with stacking                                                               
permits  was to  address a  possible problem  of needing  to find                                                               
ways  to ensure  that  Alaskans have  more  opportunities to  own                                                               
these  permits  and keep  Alaskans  hired.   Alaska's  fish,  she                                                               
opined, are  one of  Alaska's best  resources and  the commercial                                                               
fishing industry  provides a  lot of  great paying  jobs.   It is                                                               
important that legislators  find ways to support  Alaska hire and                                                               
support the  board in whatever  it can do  for Alaska hire.   She                                                               
asked Mr. Williams about how  many Board of Fisheries meetings he                                                               
has participated in in some capacity over the last 10 ten years.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS  replied that he  doesn't have an exact  number, but                                                               
it  has been  many.    He explained  that  typically he  actively                                                               
participates  in each  and  every board  cycle  that pertains  to                                                               
Bristol Bay and, if not, he listens by phone.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
12:39:46 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN inquired  whether Mr.  Williams recalls                                                               
the board taking  direct action on the Pebble Mine  during any of                                                               
the meetings in which he actively participated                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILLIAMS responded that he does not.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN recognized that there  has been a lot of                                                               
concern from Alaskans  about the Pebble Mine issue.   She said it                                                               
is  important  that  lawmakers  and  others  familiar  with  this                                                               
process reassure people that there  are no instances in which the                                                               
Board  of  Fisheries would  approve  or  deny any  permitting  or                                                               
anything pertaining to Pebble Mine.   In looking at the resume of                                                               
Mr. Williams, she continued, it's  clear that he has an extensive                                                               
background  in commercial  fishing  and is  a  business owner  in                                                               
Bristol Bay.   Qualified candidates  from the coastal  region are                                                               
being  looked for,  and  while Mr.  Williams  currently lives  in                                                               
Anchorage, he presumably spends a lot  of his time in the Bristol                                                               
Bay  region.   He  is a  well-qualified applicant  to  be on  the                                                               
board, she opined,  and he has done an admirable  job of handling                                                               
himself  despite opposition.   The  Board of  Fisheries wants  to                                                               
ensure that  Alaska's fish  resource is managed  in the  best way                                                               
possible and while there are  differences of opinion, it is those                                                               
differences that  make the  process great  and that  are compiled                                                               
into making the best policy.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:42:25 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES remarked  that regardless of whether  the letters of                                                               
comment are from  in-state or out-of-state, they  signify what an                                                               
incredible and impactful area the  Bristol Bay fisheries are   on                                                               
the whole  of the United States  as well as worldwide.   There is                                                               
vast concern about maintaining that  pristine area as a fisheries                                                               
area, she stated.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
12:43:13 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 12:43 to 1:02 p.m.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:02:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES opened  public testimony on the  appointments of Abe                                                               
Williams, McKenzie  Mitchell, John Wood,  and John Jensen  to the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries.  Today's  testimony will be taken  by phone,                                                               
she noted,  and written comment  will be accepted  throughout the                                                               
month.  She explained  that a yay or nay vote  cannot be taken in                                                               
the committee, but that there will  be a floor vote at some point                                                               
and public comment will be part of the record.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:04:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY CLINE, noted  he is the regional fisheries  director for the                                                               
Bristol  Bay   Economic  Development  Corporation   (BBEDC),  but                                                               
qualified he  is testifying on behalf  of himself.  He  stated he                                                               
is a commercial  fisherman and the father of  a two-year-old son.                                                               
He purchased  a Bristol Bay drift  permit in 2018 and  bought his                                                               
boat in  June 2020.   It took him a  while to gain  confidence to                                                               
invest  in this  fishery, not  because he  was worried  about his                                                               
ability to succeed as a fisherman,  but because he was so nervous                                                               
about the impacts  of the proposed Pebble Mine.   It deterred him                                                               
from buying  into the  fishery in 2012  because he  was concerned                                                               
how the [proposed mine] would  impact the region's salmon markets                                                               
and  the  ecosystem.   Eventually  he  decided  to not  let  fear                                                               
dictate  his  decisions and  he  bought  into  the fishery.    He                                                               
couldn't  be happier  with his  decision because  he was  able to                                                               
employ two of his brothers and a cousin throughout this summer.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLINE stated that as a  new entrant he is deeply concerned as                                                               
to who is  appointed to the Board of Fisheries.   Within the last                                                               
several  years  he  has attended  various  [Board  of  Fisheries]                                                               
meetings, along  with some work  sessions, and he served  a short                                                               
stint on the  local advisory committee (AC).  He  has learned how                                                               
important  the  Board  of  Fisheries   is  and  how  the  board's                                                               
decisions could impact  the livelihoods of fishermen.   Given the                                                               
Board of Fisheries main role  is to conserve and develop Alaska's                                                               
fishery  resource,  he finds  it  highly  contradicting to  elect                                                               
someone such  as Abe Williams  who works  for the Pebble  Mine, a                                                               
project  that  could impact  the  marketability  of the  region's                                                               
salmon,  but  more importantly  destroy  the  ecosystem that  the                                                               
fishery  relies on.    He  said he  therefore  believes that  Mr.                                                               
Williams  should  not  be  confirmed,  nor  anyone  else  who  is                                                               
affiliated with the Pebble Mine project.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLINE pointed  out that he is opposed to  permit stacking and                                                               
increasing the vessel length.   Permit stacking is not the answer                                                               
to increase  the amount  of permits  into local  Alaskan's hands.                                                               
He  said  he  believes  most  locals  feel  this  way,  which  is                                                               
highlighted by the public comments  submitted throughout the last                                                               
Bristol Bay finfish meetings.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:07:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY  ZOCH,   Regional  Fisheries  Coordinator,   Bristol  Bay                                                               
Economic   Development   Corporation    (BBEDC),   testified   in                                                               
opposition to  the appointment of  Abe Williams.  He  stated that                                                               
it is appalling  the governor would appoint someone  to the Board                                                               
of   Fisheries  who   currently  works   for  the   Pebble  Mine,                                                               
particularly  when  the board's  main  role  is to  conserve  and                                                               
develop  the fishery  resources of  the state.   This  presents a                                                               
huge conflict of  interest as a Board of  Fisheries member should                                                               
not work for a highly  controversial project that could devastate                                                               
the  ecosystem of  Bristol  Bay  and the  economy  of the  salmon                                                               
fishery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ZOCH said  it is  heart  wrenching knowing  that the  salmon                                                               
returns in other  parts of Alaska have been very  poor this year.                                                               
He  related that  Cordova  has requested  the  state and  federal                                                               
governments  to  declare  an  economic  disaster.    The  sockeye                                                               
fishery in  the Chigniks had one  of the worst years  in history,                                                               
he continued.  He cannot  imagine the hardships those fishers and                                                               
communities  will  face.    [The  Bristol  Bay  region]  is  very                                                               
fortunate that over  57 million sockeye have  returned to Bristol                                                               
Bay and  it is hoped that  the salmon will continue  to return to                                                               
support the local residents, fishers, and economy.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. ZOCH explained  that one of the main reasons  the Bristol Bay                                                               
fishery has been  so resilient and sustainable is  because of the                                                               
genetic  diversity of  the salmon  populations that  spawn within                                                               
the watershed.   The Pebble Project, he  continued, could destroy                                                               
certain  salmon  populations,  which  would  damage  the  genetic                                                               
diversity of  the two  most prolific rivers  in Bristol  Bay, the                                                               
Nushagak and  Kvichak.   Furthermore, if Pebble  Mine were  to be                                                               
developed  it  could  potentially disrupt  the  marketability  of                                                               
Bristol Bay salmon for future  generations.  This would undermine                                                               
all the  efforts that  fishers have made  to improve  the quality                                                               
and value  of their catch,  including the marketing  endeavors by                                                               
the  Alaska  Seafood  Marketing Institute  and  the  Bristol  Bay                                                               
Regional Seafood Development Association.   Therefore, he stated,                                                               
it is crucial  not to confirm Abe Williams or  anyone else to the                                                               
Board  of  Fisheries who  is  closely  tied  to the  Pebble  Mine                                                               
Project.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:09:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHANNON DONAHUE,  Southeast Alaska Conservation  Council (SEACC),                                                               
noted  that   SEACC  represents  constituents   across  Southeast                                                               
Alaska.    She  said  SEACC is  concerned  with  the  sustainable                                                               
management of Alaska's fisheries  and the communities that depend                                                               
on them.  She stated she  serves on the Upper Lynn Canal Advisory                                                               
Committee,  but is  not  in any  way speaking  on  behalf of  the                                                               
advisory committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. DONAHUE testified  against the nomination of  Abe Williams to                                                               
the Board  of Fisheries.    She  stated that his  employment with                                                               
the Pebble Partnership  is a conflict of interest  that makes him                                                               
unfit  to serve  on the  board that  oversees the  regulations of                                                               
Alaska's fisheries.   She further  stated that his  nomination is                                                               
one of many  examples of stacking high level  positions that make                                                               
critical  decisions   on  the  management  of   Alaska's  natural                                                               
resources with people deeply associated  with the mining industry                                                               
who  stand  to  profit  over decisions  that  privilege  resource                                                               
extraction   over   the   sustainable  management   of   Alaska's                                                               
fisheries.   She  said the  appointment  of Mr.  Williams to  the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries would jeopardize  Alaska's fisheries  and the                                                               
communities that  depend on them  and urged that  his appointment                                                               
be denied.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:11:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELISSA STERITZ,  Eyak Preservation Council (EPC),  testified she                                                               
works for the Eyak Preservation  Council, a nonprofit, Native-led                                                               
organization based in  Cordova that works to  protect wild salmon                                                               
habitat and traditional  ways of life.  She said  the Eyak people                                                               
of the Copper River Delta have  millennia of history in the delta                                                               
and are the original rightful stewards of the lands and waters.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. STERITZ stated  that the Eyak Preservation  Council stands in                                                               
solidarity with the United Tribes  of Bristol Bay in opposing the                                                               
appointment of  Abe Williams to  the Board  of Fisheries.   As an                                                               
employee of  the Pebble Partnership, she  continued, Mr. Williams                                                               
stands to  benefit from  large-scale open  pit mining  in Bristol                                                               
Bay,  which the  council sees  as a  major conflict  of interest.                                                               
Mr.  Williams should  not  be  allowed to  sit  on  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries  because of  this conflict  of  interest.   All of  the                                                               
board's seven  appointees should be  people who are  unbiased and                                                               
stand for  a strong future  for Alaska's  wild salmon.   She said                                                               
large-scale open  pit copper  mines like  Pebble have  a terrible                                                               
track record around the world  of disasters and failures and this                                                               
cannot  be afforded  in  any of  Alaska's  remaining wild  salmon                                                               
fisheries.  Salmon are more  than a resource, they are relatives,                                                               
and the  Eyak Preservation Council  believes it  is inappropriate                                                               
to appoint someone  to this level of responsibility  who has such                                                               
blatant conflicts of interest.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN  HIMELBLOOM,  said  he  is a  33-year  resident  of  Kodiak                                                               
Island.    He  offered  his  belief that  there  should  be  more                                                               
cultural representation like  there was in the past,  but that he                                                               
does support John Jensen's appointment.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HIMELBLOOM expressed  his concern about John Wood  due to Mr.                                                               
Wood's limited  fisheries experience.  He  questioned whether Mr.                                                               
Wood's  previous  service  as  staff   to  former  state  senator                                                               
Dunleavy  may have  led  to  the state  contract  where Mr.  Wood                                                               
reports  to   now  Governor  Dunleavy   and  said  he   finds  it                                                               
concerning.    He maintained  that  Mr.  Wood  did not  list  the                                                               
contract or the [contract] renewal  in his application, which may                                                               
affect fisheries employees  since Mr. Wood is  dealing with union                                                               
materials.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HIMELBLOOM stated  he finds  McKenzie Mitchell's  experience                                                               
skimpy and  narrow.   Because Ms. Mitchell  had never  attended a                                                               
Board  of Fisheries  meeting [previous  to  her appointment],  he                                                               
recommended that she  serve at the local  advisory level, perhaps                                                               
in Fairbanks,  because it would be  more suited for her  to learn                                                               
about Board of Fisheries issues.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HIMELBLOOM  allowed  that  Abe  Williams  has  an  excellent                                                               
fisheries  pedigree,  but said  he  is  very concerned  that  Mr.                                                               
Williams is a  highly paid Pebble Mine employee.   This is a huge                                                               
conflict of  interest, he stated,  since it is known  what Pebble                                                               
Mine is going  to be if it  happens.  He further  stated that Mr.                                                               
Williams is at  odds with the majority of  Bristol Bay fishermen,                                                               
and  that  he is  troubled  by  the  lawsuit Mr.  Williams  filed                                                               
against the BBRSDA.   Given the stock options in  addition to his                                                               
pay,  he continued,  Mr. Williams  has a  vested interest  in the                                                               
wellbeing of Pebble Mine, which  would overshadow the rest of the                                                               
board and would be a loss-loss to Alaska.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  noted Mr. Williams told  the committees                                                               
that he does not have any stock interest in the Pebble Project.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:17:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SERENA FITKA, Executive Director,  Yukon River Drainage Fisheries                                                               
Association  (YRDFA), explained  that her  nonprofit organization                                                               
is  comprised  of subsistence  and  commercial  fishers with  the                                                               
mission  of  protecting  and promoting  all  wild  fisheries  and                                                               
traditional cultures within the Yukon  River drainage.  Formed 30                                                               
years  ago in  Galena, the  YRDFA board  and alternates  together                                                               
represent  over 40  Alaskan communities  within  the Yukon  River                                                               
drainage.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. FITKA  testified that given  the Board of  Fisheries' current                                                               
membership and nominee  panel, YRDFA believes the  board does not                                                               
have  fair representation  of all  of  Alaska.   The YRDFA  board                                                               
highly  recommends  an  appointee  to   the  board  who  has  the                                                               
qualifications  of  residing  in   a  rural  community  and  with                                                               
knowledge of those fisheries.   To balance the Board of Fisheries                                                               
representation,  she  continued,  there   needs  to  be  adequate                                                               
representation  of  subsistence  interests and  someone  who  has                                                               
lived or worked in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:19:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  clarified that Mr.  Himelbloom stated  Mr. Williams                                                               
has stock options, not that Mr. Williams is a stock owner.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:19:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EVELYN CORBETT, stated  she is a member of the  Curyung Tribe and                                                               
a subsistence  setnetter.  Today,  she said, she  is representing                                                               
herself  as a  Yup'ik woman  with responsibility  to protect  the                                                               
land and waters.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CORBETT  testified that  she opposes  the appointment  of Abe                                                               
Williams because  it tilts  the tables  of bias  on the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries.   It  is known  that Mr.  Williams is  a supporter  of                                                               
Pebble  Mine,  she  said,  and  it is  known  that  Alaskans  are                                                               
overwhelmingly  against  [the  Pebble  Mine].     While  economic                                                               
infrastructure  is  a reason  given  for  the Pebble  Mine,  this                                                               
reason   is  not   valid  enough.     "No   amount  of   economic                                                               
infrastructure  is worth  risking our  salmon, our  clean waters,                                                               
our  food sovereignty,  and our  livelihoods," she  stated.   She                                                               
continued:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     What  is  Abe  Williams?   Is  he  a  fourth-generation                                                                    
     fisherman of  Bristol Bay or  the director  of regional                                                                    
     affairs for  the Pebble Partnership?   These  two parts                                                                    
     of identity conflict each  other almost entirely, there                                                                    
     is no  way that they  don't.   I won't take  the chance                                                                    
     that  Pebble  Mine  is  "safe."   There  are  too  many                                                                    
     instances where  the government  deemed things  such as                                                                    
     mining safe  and they devastated the  lands and waters,                                                                    
     and nothing  was done about  it.  It is  not reasonable                                                                    
     to ask  the residents  of Bristol Bay  and the  rest of                                                                    
     Alaska to  accept this nomination.   There is obviously                                                                    
     a  conflict between  the  salmon and  the  mine.   "The                                                                    
     salmon  are  ours to  care  for  and  live by,  and  by                                                                    
     allowing   this  conflict   into  our   space  we   are                                                                    
     disregarding that responsibility entirely.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:21:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MALCOLM VANCE, said  his winter residence is in  McCarthy and for                                                               
the  past 40  summers he  has fished  the Bristol  Bay area.   He                                                               
testified that he opposes the  appointment of Abe Williams to the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries.  He  stated that it  is a travesty  of power                                                               
that the Dunleavy  Administration would allow such  a conflict of                                                               
interest  to infiltrate  and  become  a member  of  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:22:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDSAY LAYLAND,  Deputy Director,  United Tribes of  Bristol Bay                                                               
(UTBB),    explained that UTBB is a  tribal government consortium                                                               
that represents 15  tribal governments in the  Bristol Bay region                                                               
and over 80 percent of  the year-round population in Bristol Bay.                                                               
She said the  consortium's mission is to  protect the traditional                                                               
way of  life of  the Indigenous people  of Southwest  Alaska, who                                                               
are  dependent  on  a  healthy and  pristine  ecosystem  and  the                                                               
abundant wildlife  and wild  salmon returns  that the  region has                                                               
produced for millennia.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAYLAND  testified that UTBB  opposes the appointment  of Abe                                                               
Williams  to the  Board of  Fisheries.   She said  UTBB does  not                                                               
believe  Mr. Williams  is an  appropriate fit  for the  board for                                                               
[two]  reasons.   First, though  Mr.  Williams is  a Bristol  Bay                                                               
permit holder, he  has not lived in the Bristol  Bay region for a                                                               
decade.    [Six  of  the  board's  seven  members]  are  recently                                                               
appointed  and  do  not  live   in  rural,  coastal  Alaska,  she                                                               
continued.    This  is  highly concerning  given  that  the  vast                                                               
majority of  commercial, sport, and subsistence  activities occur                                                               
outside  of  the   Anchorage,  Matanuska-Susitna,  and  Fairbanks                                                               
areas.    Without  adequate  rural  representation  this  current                                                               
makeup of  the board  cannot be  trusted to  accurately represent                                                               
the fishing communities.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAYLAND stated that the second  reason Mr. Williams is not an                                                               
appropriate  fit  is  that  he  is  an  employee  of  the  Pebble                                                               
Partnership,  a  development  project  that  threatens  the  very                                                               
ecosystem and habitat that Bristol  Bay communities, culture, and                                                               
fisheries depend upon.  Though  Mr. Williams claims he may recuse                                                               
himself  from  decisions  about  Bristol  Bay  specifically,  she                                                               
continued,  there is  no guarantee  that his  input on  any issue                                                               
that the board  takes up will not be swayed  by the priorities of                                                               
the Pebble Partnership.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAYLAND maintained that it  is ridiculous that two members of                                                               
this  seven-member  board  are  either  previously  or  currently                                                               
employed by the Pebble Partnership.   She urged the committees to                                                               
take a  hard look at who  is selected to represent  the fisheries                                                               
interests  of   the  state  before   moving  forward   with  this                                                               
confirmation.    She  said  it is  clear  from  committee  member                                                               
questions, to news articles, to  op-eds, to public testimony that                                                               
the people of  Alaska are concerned about  Mr. Williams's ability                                                               
to separate Pebble from the Board  of Fisheries.  That this topic                                                               
is taking up  so much time in these public  hearings raises a red                                                               
flag   and   Mr.  Williams   should   withdraw   his  name   from                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAYLAND stated it is critical  that the Board of Fisheries is                                                               
made up of a group of people who  hold the trust of the people of                                                               
Alaska to make  sound management decisions that are  based in the                                                               
best interest  of the  state's people  and the  sustainability of                                                               
the state's  fisheries.  Even  though Mr. Williams  was qualified                                                               
to  hold this  position, she  continued,  he lacks  the trust  of                                                               
Alaskans and the trust of Bristol  Bay.  She urged the committees                                                               
to  not recommend  Mr. Williams's  name for  confirmation to  the                                                               
full legislative  body.  She  further urged that  the legislature                                                               
and  the governor  seek a  more qualified,  less conflicted,  in-                                                               
region representative to sit on the esteemed Board of Fisheries.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:26:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF SKRADE,  testified that  he opposes  the appointment  of Abe                                                               
Williams  to the  Board of  Fisheries.   Presently a  resident of                                                               
Wisconsin,  he  explained that  he  spent  48 years  involved  in                                                               
professional fishery  experience in Bristol  Bay.  He  arrived in                                                               
1971,  worked  his way  up  to  area  biologist in  Nushagak  and                                                               
managed Nushagak  and Togiak  salmon as  well as  Togiak herring.                                                               
He then  worked 22 years  for Peter Pan Seafoods  before retiring                                                               
last summer.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SKRADE  explained  that the  board  and  advisory  committee                                                               
process were set up through  the Alaska Administrative Procedures                                                               
Act.  He  spent many years attending board  meetings and advisory                                                               
meetings,  he  said,  and this  wonderful,  painfully  democratic                                                               
process works.   The  Bristol Bay  salmon fishery  is flourishing                                                               
because  of the  involvement  of  the board  and  the people  out                                                               
there.   The  participants  have made  many  sacrifices over  the                                                               
years,  he continued,  and "participants"  is  a key  word.   His                                                               
memory is that there has always  been a Board of Fisheries member                                                               
and resident in Bristol Bay.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SKRADE stated that while  Mr. Williams is obviously very well                                                               
qualified, he is  no longer a Bristol Bay resident  and it's been                                                               
a  decade  since he's  lived  there.    He  said he  opposes  the                                                               
appointment of Mr. Williams.   Image is everything, he continued,                                                               
and the  mystique of the  pristine Alaska  wilderness contributes                                                               
to  the  marketability of  Alaska's  fish.   The  perspective  of                                                               
people having a  member of a group, this mine  that is opposed to                                                               
a lot of  the values in Bristol Bay, is  probably the worst thing                                                               
he can think of.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:28:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  HEYANO, noted  that  he  is a  lifelong  resident of  the                                                               
Bristol Bay  region.   He said  his primary  source of  income is                                                               
from  commercial  drift  gill  netting  for  salmon  and  seining                                                               
herring in Bristol Bay.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEYANO  pointed out that  Alaska is  a large state  with many                                                               
commercial, sport,  subsistence, and personal use  fisheries.  As                                                               
a past  member of the Board  of Fisheries, he said  what he found                                                               
helpful  in  making  an  informed decision  was  the  ability  to                                                               
physically meet,  listen, and interact directly  with the public.                                                               
Detailed reports  and comments provided by  the Alaska Department                                                               
of Fish  & Game  (ADF&G), and a  diverse expertise  and knowledge                                                               
from the  other six  members, contributed  to the  discussion and                                                               
debates.   He added that he  shares and supports the  concerns of                                                               
the  lack  of  Board  of Fisheries  representation  from  coastal                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEYANO related  that while recently reviewing  the policy for                                                               
management of sustainable salmon  fisheries he found reference to                                                               
habitat in  37 different paragraphs/sections.   His  takeaway, he                                                               
continued,  is   that  habitat  is   an  important   factor  when                                                               
considering management  and regulation pertaining to  fishery and                                                               
the resources.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HEYANO  maintained  that  Abe  Williams  has  a  history  of                                                               
supporting  the destruction  of fish  habitat in  Bristol Bay  by                                                               
supporting  the development  of the  Pebble Mine.   Based  on the                                                               
importance  of   habitat  and  a   diverse  Board   of  Fisheries                                                               
representation  from  coastal  communities,  he  urged  that  the                                                               
committees  and the  legislature oppose  the confirmation  of Abe                                                               
Williams.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEYANO expressed his support of John Jensen.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:31:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   RASMUSSEN  noted   that   several  people   have                                                               
referenced  a lack  of  diversity of  coastal  communities.   She                                                               
requested  a   definition  of   coastal  community   given  that,                                                               
technically, Anchorage is a coastal community.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEYANO  replied that in  the past there was  a representative                                                               
from the Kodiak region, a  representative from Bristol Bay, and a                                                               
representative from  the Southeast Alaska  area.  That  was about                                                               
three of  the seven board members.   Currently there is  only one                                                               
member from what  he would consider a coastal  community and that                                                               
is Southeast Alaska.   There are enough seats on  the board to go                                                               
around and  diversification is important given  the importance of                                                               
these  fisheries  to  those  communities  where  the  fishery  is                                                               
happening.  It is important to  the municipalities as well as the                                                               
residents residing in them.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN asked whether  coastal community is more                                                               
geographic  distance or  different  regions of  the state  versus                                                               
coastal communities or something off the road system.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  clarified  that  the issue  is  not  only  coastal                                                               
communities but rural coastal fishing  communities.  She said the                                                               
concern is that  fewer and fewer of  Alaska's fishing communities                                                               
are having representation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HEYANO concurred with Chair Stutes.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:33:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE HYAMS, said he is a  resident of Anchorage and King Salmon.                                                               
He  urged  the  legislature  to  reject  the  nomination  of  Abe                                                               
Williams.   He encouraged  the governor to  find a  more suitable                                                               
candidate  who  has  the  faith of  the  fishermen  and  Alaska's                                                               
populace in general  in fulfilling the board's  important role in                                                               
managing the  state's fisheries.   He stated  that the  basis for                                                               
his position is  that the primary responsibility  for the members                                                               
of the  Board of Fisheries  is to provide  appropriate management                                                               
of  these  fisheries.   He  asked  how  someone could  trust  Mr.                                                               
Williams's approach  to other areas  of the state  where resource                                                               
development threatens  critical fisheries.   He  maintained that,                                                               
ultimately,  the appointment  of  Mr. Williams  gives Pebble  yet                                                               
another  boost to  the  detriment  of Bristol  Bay  and that  his                                                               
appointment is  a deplorable use of  Governor Dunleavy's position                                                               
of power.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:35:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NELS EVENS,  noted he is  a lifelong  resident of Alaska  who has                                                               
participated in  the Bristol Bay  drift fishery for the  last six                                                               
years.   He has owned  and operated his  own vessel for  the last                                                               
three years.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. EVENS  said the Pebble Mine  scares him because he  knows how                                                               
many people  rely on the  fishery, how much people  have invested                                                               
into it, and how much the  communities of Bristol Bay rely on the                                                               
fishery.   He stated he  opposes the appointment of  Abe Williams                                                               
because the appointee's connection  to the Pebble Partnership and                                                               
the  Pebble Mine  is not  in line  with the  Board of  Fisheries'                                                               
goals  of conservation  and  development  of Alaska's  fisheries.                                                               
The potential  of that mine going  in, he added, could  be to the                                                               
detriment of the Bristol Bay fishery.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:37:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACK   DONACHY,  testified   he  is   strongly  opposed   to  the                                                               
appointment  of Abe  Williams  to  the Board  of  Fisheries.   He                                                               
quoted  from the  board's  home page  on  ADF&G's website,  which                                                               
states that  the board's  "main role is  to conserve  and develop                                                               
the fishery  resources of the state."   He drew attention  to the                                                               
word "conserve."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DONACHY   stated  that  Mr.  Williams's   advocacy  for  and                                                               
employment   with  Pebble   Partnership  represents   an  extreme                                                               
conflict of  interest.  He related  that he has asked  Pebble and                                                               
its supporters whether  they can show anywhere in  the world that                                                               
a  design like  what  is proposed  in Bristol  Bay  has not  done                                                               
significant  damage   to  the  watershed   where  it   is  sited.                                                               
Apparently,  no such  example exists,  he  continued, because  no                                                               
party that he has reached out  to has responded to this question.                                                               
The  Pebble  Mine  will  significantly  damage  the  Bristol  Bay                                                               
fishery, he said.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DONACHY maintained  that when  asked  a yes  or no  question                                                               
regarding stock ownership, Mr. Williams  was evasive to declining                                                               
to  provide  a  straightforward  yes   or  no  response,  instead                                                               
referring only to  stock options through his work.   Mr. Williams                                                               
claims to communicate, but  then immediately dismisses opposition                                                               
as "loud  voices and robo-texts,"  he continued, and  further Mr.                                                               
Williams  is   apparently  choosing  to  ignore   numerous  polls                                                               
indicating strong  statewide and regional Bristol  Bay opposition                                                               
to Pebble.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. DONACHY  stated that  the nomination of  Mr. Williams  to the                                                               
Board  of  Fisheries  is  shocking given  his  advocacy  for  and                                                               
employment  with Pebble.   Mr.  Williams's views  do not  comport                                                               
with  the board's  main  role, he  continued,  and therefore  his                                                               
nomination should  be summarily rejected.   What is needed,  is a                                                               
conservation-minded,    science-following   representative    who                                                               
actually lives in a coastal Southwest Alaska fishing community.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:39:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUDY  GONSALVES, said  she and  her family  used to  live in  the                                                               
Bristol Bay area and continue to  fish there.  She noted that her                                                               
children are taking over the fishing operation.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. GONSALVES testified  that she is opposed  to the confirmation                                                               
of Abe  Williams to the Board  of Fisheries.  She  explained that                                                               
her  concerns over  his appointment  are twofold.   First  is his                                                               
connection to and employment with  Pebble Partnership.  Second is                                                               
that  while Mr.  Williams  comes  from the  Bristol  Bay area  he                                                               
hasn't lived  there for some  time, which relates to  there being                                                               
rural coastal fishing regional representation on the board.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GONSALVES maintained  it's  clear  that [Governor]  Dunleavy                                                               
stands  on   the  development  of   the  Pebble  Mine,   so  this                                                               
appointment sort  of makes sense    put an  additional pro-Pebble                                                               
person on the board.  However,  she pointed out, the primary goal                                                               
of the Board of Fisheries is  to preserve and develop the state's                                                               
fisheries.    She  questioned  how   Mr.  Williams  could  be  an                                                               
objective, unbiased,  and trusted  board member with  his current                                                               
employment  and strong  pro-Pebble stance.   Mr.  Williams has  a                                                               
direct conflict of  interest even though he says  he doesn't, she                                                               
continued.   Optics is everything -  it's like hiring the  fox to                                                               
guard the henhouse.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. GONSALVES  stated that  even if Mr.  Williams were  to recuse                                                               
himself from  board decisions involving  Bristol Bay  issues, his                                                               
mining-over-fishery  stance   does  not  make   him  trustworthy.                                                               
Members  of  the  Board  of  Fisheries  need  to  be  trusted  by                                                               
Alaskans, she  said.  It sounds  like Mr. Williams has  a no vote                                                               
of confidence from myriad levels  of fishermen in the Bristol Bay                                                               
area, be  they sport,  commercial, or  subsistence fishers.   She                                                               
asked whether members of the  committees want to ignore that over                                                               
80 percent of the region is against Pebble Mine.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. GONSALVES argued  that in the spirit  of full representation,                                                               
there are  plenty of smart,  capable, and involved  people living                                                               
in the  Bristol Bay  region who  would make  good members  of the                                                               
Board of  Fisheries.   The Board of  Fisheries has  an incredible                                                               
responsibility  to  both  represent   rural  areas  and  to  have                                                               
trustworthy  objective  board  members.     If  Mr.  Williams  is                                                               
confirmed there  will then be  two board members with  direct and                                                               
clear  Pebble  connections,  she   stated,  which  doesn't  sound                                                               
reliable, objective, or trustworthy.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GONSALVES recalled  the  statement by  Mr.  Williams in  his                                                               
testimony that with his 30 years  of fishing, there is nothing he                                                               
would  do to  compromise his  ability to  continue fishing.   She                                                               
said that  statement confuses  her because  the advent  of Pebble                                                               
Mine directly conflicts that potential                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:44:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
OLIVA  EDWARDS,   requested  that  the  legislature   reject  the                                                               
confirmation  of Abe  Williams to  the Board  of Fisheries.   She                                                               
said she believes that Mr.  Williams holds a conflict of interest                                                               
with his current employment by the Pebble Partnership.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  EDWARDS   offered  her  understanding  that   the  Board  of                                                               
Fisheries  has not  in  the  past, and  likely  will  not in  the                                                               
future,  be in  a decision-making  position on  the Pebble  Mine.                                                               
However, she  continued, Mr. Williams's  apparent support  of the                                                               
mine itself  is cause for concern  when it comes to  other issues                                                               
that the  board will  address.  She  worries what  other valuable                                                               
fisheries he might be willing to  risk or decisions he might make                                                               
that  are not  in  line with  sustaining  Alaska's fisheries  for                                                               
future  generations.    Ms.  Edwards  urged  that  a  replacement                                                               
nominee and  future nominees come from  rural fishing communities                                                               
to ensure that all Alaskans are represented on the board.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRAWFORD PARR, testified that he  opposes the confirmation of Abe                                                               
Williams to the Board of  Fisheries primarily because the board's                                                               
job  is  conserving  and  developing  Alaska's  fisheries.    Mr.                                                               
Williams,  he   continued,  supports  an  organization   that  is                                                               
advancing  a plan  to  do  the opposite     almost  200 miles  of                                                               
streams  would  be  destroyed  in  Phase  I  alone  of  the  mine                                                               
permitting process.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PARR stated  that his  opposition is  also because  a Pebble                                                               
employee being  able to become a  sitting member of the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries   lends  some   sort  of   legitimacy  to   the  Pebble                                                               
Partnership as a  group that has a stake in  the conservation and                                                               
advancement  of  Alaska's   commercial,  sport,  and  subsistence                                                               
fisheries.   This couldn't  be farther from  the truth,  he said,                                                               
considering all  the opposition to  the partnership  building the                                                               
mine in a  sensitive area perched right above  Lake Iliamna, with                                                               
tributaries leading  into Lake Iliamna,  the Mulchatna,  and then                                                               
ultimately the Nushagak River.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:47:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PHIL  HILBRUNER, Owner,  Lakeview Outfitters,  stated he  opposes                                                               
the appointment  of Abe Williams.   There is an  obvious conflict                                                               
of interest  with Mr.  Williams being an  employee of  the Pebble                                                               
Partnership, he maintained.   If confirmed, Mr.  Williams will be                                                               
charged   with  making   decisions  that   directly  affect   him                                                               
personally  as well  as  his  business and  he  cannot trust  Mr.                                                               
Williams to do so.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HILBRUNER recalled  Mr. Williams's  testimony about  priding                                                               
himself  on   considering  science   and  listening   to  people.                                                               
However,  Mr. Hilbruner  continued,  the  science has  repeatedly                                                               
demonstrated that Pebble is too much  of a risk to Alaska's other                                                               
resources.  Regarding  listening, he said peers  and neighbors in                                                               
Bristol Bay,  and people from  across the state, are  speaking in                                                               
opposition to Mr.  Williams.  He urged Mr. Williams  to listen to                                                               
the people now  and withdraw his name so that  the look can begin                                                               
for a person more suited to the position.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:49:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMANDA JOHNSTON, noted she is  an Alaska resident and Bristol Bay                                                               
fisher  who is  not  a  robot and  not  copying  and pasting  her                                                               
testimony.   She is a  real person  with real concerns  about the                                                               
future and management of Alaska's fisheries.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  JOHNSTON  urged  the legislature  to  [confirm]  only  those                                                               
people whose interests clearly align  with the goals of the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries,   which  are  to   protect  Alaska's   rivers  and                                                               
resources.   She stated that  Abe Williams is in  direct conflict                                                               
with such values.  The idea  of Mr. Williams serving on the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries  is a  blatant  and  absurdly obvious  conflict  of                                                               
interest, she  maintained.  Wouldn't the  Pebble Partnership just                                                               
love to have  one of its paid employees sitting  on a state board                                                               
that's meant to make important  decisions about salmon fisheries?                                                               
Specifically Bristol  Bay where  the company  wants to  develop a                                                               
mine?   Isn't it obvious why  Mr. Williams is here  now trying to                                                               
get  on the  board?     Ms. Johnston  requested that  legislators                                                               
listen to  their constituents and  not [confirm] Abe  Williams to                                                               
the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:51:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VANCE  stated she  understands the  concern people                                                               
have  about   Abe  Williams's  position  with   Pebble  and  that                                                               
testifiers feel  there is  a severe conflict  of interest.   But,                                                               
she continued, she would like to  hear how people feel about John                                                               
Wood's  direct connection  with  the  administration through  the                                                               
contract  that he  has.    If legislators  are  supposed to  take                                                               
testimony about Pebble in that light,  she asked why it would not                                                               
apply  to  another board  member  and  therefore she  would  like                                                               
people's insight on that as well and not just Pebble.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES announced  she must  leave the  hearing to  catch a                                                               
flight but that  she would like to provide  her closing comments.                                                               
She  stated she  is  deeply concerned  over  the governor's  most                                                               
recent nominations  to the Board  of Fisheries and what  it means                                                               
to the board balance.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES  said that  because the  House Special  Committee on                                                               
Fisheries heard Mr. Wood's confirmation  earlier in the year, she                                                               
wouldn't  rehash her  statements.   However,  she continued,  she                                                               
wasn't aware  at the time and  only recently became aware  of the                                                               
disturbing revelation  and precedent that  a member of  the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries  would  be  on  contract  to  the  state  reporting                                                               
directly to the governor.  If  that isn't a conflict of interest,                                                               
she opined, then the statute needs to be revised.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  stated  she  has   nothing  personal  against  Ms.                                                               
Mitchell and Mr. Williams.  She  said she wishes Ms. Mitchell had                                                               
a  bit  more  experience  with board  meetings  and  exposure  to                                                               
commercial  fishing   and  that  she  does   not  think  Pebble's                                                               
employees should be on the board.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STUTES  explained  that  for  her,  this  is  about  board                                                               
balance.  She  pointed out that if all  the governor's appointees                                                               
were to be confirmed there would  be:  one coastal member and six                                                               
Anchorage/Fairbanks  members; only  one  commercial fishing  seat                                                               
and no subsistence  seat; and one former Pebble  employee and one                                                               
current Pebble employee.  That  isn't a balance that's reflective                                                               
of  Alaska or  its  diversity of  fisheries  and viewpoints,  she                                                               
opined.  The Board of Fisheries  has always been about a delicate                                                               
balance  that no  one is  happy with,  but that  people can  live                                                               
with.  This  isn't anything personal against  the appointees, she                                                               
continued,  but they  would  move a  very  imbalanced board  even                                                               
further toward  a sport  fishing Cook Inlet  centric body.   User                                                               
groups deserve  a fairer  and equally  represented board  when it                                                               
comes to the allocation of this most precious resource.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STUTES stated  that strictly based on  board balance alone,                                                               
she  will  be  opposing  the  governor's  nominations,  with  the                                                               
exception of John Jensen.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:54:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:54 p.m. to 1:55 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[CHAIR STUTES passed the gavel to Co-Chair Tarr.]                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:55:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  explained that witnesses  have signed up  to speak                                                               
to  specific appointees  and  the witnesses  heard  thus far  had                                                               
signed up  for Mr.  Williams.   She noted  that for  Mr. Williams                                                               
there were 17 additional people  who had signed up from Sterling,                                                               
Anchorage,  Wasilla, Petersburg,  North  Pole, Girdwood,  Bristol                                                               
Bay, Fairbanks, and Homer, but they had dropped off the line.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:56:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VIVIAN MENDENHALL, said she has lived  in Alaska for 40 years and                                                               
is a retired  biologist and environmental scientist.   She was on                                                               
setnet crews in the Nushagak Bay salmon fishery for 12 years.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MENDENHALL  submitted that Abe Williams  would not contribute                                                               
to  the  board's  purposes of  conservation  and  development  of                                                               
fisheries, and  that he has  a major  conflict of interest.   Mr.                                                               
Williams clearly knows a lot about  fishing and the people in his                                                               
corner in Bristol  Bay, she said, but that doesn't  mean he knows                                                               
and  understands environmental  science, including  protection of                                                               
fish habitat.   Mr.  Williams has shown  that he  understands the                                                               
future needs of  a mining corporation, she argued,  but not those                                                               
of most people and cultures around Bristol Bay.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MENDENHALL related that the  Executive Branch Ethics Act says                                                               
the standards  of ethical  conduct for  members of  the executive                                                               
branch need to  distinguish those conflicts of  interest that are                                                               
substantial  and   material.     Mr.  Williams,   she  continued,                                                               
currently works for  a mining company, which  could, if approved,                                                               
damage essential fish habitat for  Bristol Bay's largest and most                                                               
important  salmon runs.   Mr.  Williams has  shown that  he is  a                                                               
vigorous opponent  of habitat conservation, she  stated, given he                                                               
and   five  others   sued  the   Bristol  Bay   Regional  Seafood                                                               
Development Association  (BBRSDA) for  opposing the  Pebble Mine,                                                               
and were  paid to do  so.  The  judge threw  out the case  in May                                                               
2020, she reported, because the  BBRSDA has the responsibility to                                                               
maintain the marketability  and the habitat for the  salmon.  She                                                               
said a  government board  should avoid even  the appearance  of a                                                               
conflict of  interest, let  alone a major  actual conflict.   She                                                               
urged that Mr. Williams's appointment not be confirmed.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  requested Mr.  Williams to  respond in  writing to                                                               
the statement that he was paid to file suit against BBRSDA.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:59:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE   CARSCALLEN,  noted   she   is   a  lifelong   Bristol                                                               
Bay/Dillingham   resident   and   a   lifelong   commercial   and                                                               
subsistence fisher.  Most of  her family also commercially fishes                                                               
Bristol Bay, she added.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARSCALLEN   stated  she  is  highly   concerned  about  the                                                               
appointment  of Abe  Williams to  the  Board of  Fisheries.   She                                                               
posed  the possibility  that the  governor  is trying  to send  a                                                               
message  to  Bristol Bay  and  Alaskan  fishermen by  removing  a                                                               
sitting  board  member  in  good standing  from  the  region  and                                                               
replacing  him  with  a  Pebble  employee.    She  suggested  the                                                               
committee backup the residents and  fishermen by sending a return                                                               
message that  they will not  allow the  Board of Fisheries  to be                                                               
politicized.   She  offered her  belief that  committees are  not                                                               
required to  forward the names  of appointees and urged  that Mr.                                                               
Williams's name not be forwarded for a full vote.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARSCALLEN  questioned the  ability of Mr.  Williams to  be a                                                               
representative  of the  best  interests  of fishing  communities,                                                               
given his dismissal of the  testimony against his appointment and                                                               
laughing  because there  was an  organization effort.   Regarding                                                               
"robo-texts," she  noted that  her fishing  group was  created to                                                               
protect the  Bristol Bay  fishery from the  threat of  the Pebble                                                               
Partnership, the  employer of Mr.  Williams.  The group  paid $50                                                               
to sign up for an easy  text service, collected text numbers from                                                               
its fishermen,  and sent  out an  alert about  this hearing.   If                                                               
that  somehow disqualifies  the  volume of  fishermen and  Alaska                                                               
residents who have called in  to oppose his appointment, will Mr.                                                               
Williams dismiss  grassroots efforts when  he is a  sitting Board                                                               
of Fisheries  member?  Ms.  Carscallen stated that over  the past                                                               
decade Mr.  Williams has  been one of  the most  prominent voices                                                               
pushing  Pebble Mine  in the  Bristol Bay  region and  in no  way                                                               
represents the best interest of the region's fishermen.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARSCALLEN addressed the topic  of geographic distribution on                                                               
the  Board  of  Fisheries  and that  the  board  makes  decisions                                                               
concerning fisheries for the entire  state.  She pointed out that                                                               
over the years  state management has been  consolidated and moved                                                               
centrally to  save money,  with a loss  of ADF&G  staff positions                                                               
within the  Bristol Bay  region.   Therefore, she  maintained, it                                                               
must be  ensured that Alaska's  public boards remain  diverse and                                                               
representative of stakeholders.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:04:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERNER  WILSON III,  testified that  he is  a Bristol  Bay sport,                                                               
subsistence,  and   commercial  fisherman  born  and   raised  in                                                               
Dillingham.   He said he  commercial fishes with his  brother and                                                               
father who  has a  permit and  boat in Bristol  Bay.   He related                                                               
that  he  has  known  Mr.  Williams for  over  a  decade  and  is                                                               
concerned that Mr.  Williams won't conserve the  fisheries and is                                                               
concerned  about  previous  efforts  by Mr.  Williams  to  reduce                                                               
fishing benefits to more Alaskans.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON urged  a vote against appointing Mr.  Williams.  Given                                                               
Mr.   Williams's  controversial   stance   on  conservation,   he                                                               
continued, he thinks other fishermen  from around the state would                                                               
be concerned  about this  nomination.  He  cautioned that  if Mr.                                                               
Williams  is for  compromising  salmon habitat  in  his own  home                                                               
region for  pay, he might bring  that approach to other  areas of                                                               
the state  as well.   Aside from supporting Pebble,  Mr. Williams                                                               
supported permit  stacking in the  fishery, which would  have had                                                               
profound negative  impacts on fishing jobs  statewide, especially                                                               
for  young Alaskan  fishers, by  likely drastically  reducing the                                                               
number  of commercial  deckhand jobs,  for example.   Mr.  Wilson                                                               
argued  that  all communities  that  depend  on the  revenues  of                                                               
fisheries  should  be  concerned  by Mr.  Williams's  stance,  as                                                               
should businesses such as stores,  restaurants, and airlines that                                                               
benefit  from   the  broader   indirect  economic   impacts  that                                                               
fisheries bring to Alaska's coastal economies.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. WILSON offered his hope that  anyone in this position be able                                                               
to   discuss  these   important   conservation   issues  and   be                                                               
approachable and unbiased  to the many Alaskans who  need to feel                                                               
properly  heard  when  talking   to  board  members  about  their                                                               
livelihoods.  He again urged a  no vote on the appointment of Mr.                                                               
Williams.  He further stated that  he also has concerns about the                                                               
appointment of Mr. Wood.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:06:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIANE FOLSOM, said she is a  member of the Curyung Tribe and that                                                               
she  is testifying  on  behalf  of herself  and  her family,  all                                                               
active  members  of  the  Bristol   Bay  commercial  fishery  and                                                               
subsistence fishers.   She  noted she is  shore support,  and her                                                               
husband is captain of their  commercial fishing boat and that her                                                               
family's  subsistence setnet  site is  in Dillingham.   They  are                                                               
recent  purchasers  of a  limited  entry  Bristol Bay  commercial                                                               
fishing  permit  and  a  32-foot  commercial  fishing  boat,  she                                                               
continued,   and  her   family  is   multi-generational  in   the                                                               
commercial fishing industry.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. FOLSOM  stated she opposes  the appointment of  Abe Williams.                                                               
His  appointment  would  be  a huge  conflict  of  interest,  she                                                               
maintained, due to  Mr. Williams being an employee  of the Pebble                                                               
Partnership.  Mr.  Williams is not a resident of  the Bristol Bay                                                               
region and does  not represent her interests,  she argued, rather                                                               
he  represents his  personal interest  in the  Pebble Mine.   She                                                               
urged  the  committees  and  [the   legislature]  to  oppose  the                                                               
confirmation of Mr. Williams.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. FOLSOM  said she also  opposes the appointment of  John Wood.                                                               
Given  that Mr.  Wood  is employed  by the  State  of Alaska  and                                                               
answers directly  to the  governor, she stated,  he has  a direct                                                               
conflict of  interest by sitting  on this board.   She encouraged                                                               
starting over and looking for  qualified applicants who reside in                                                               
the  Bristol Bay  region, who  commercially or  subsistence fish,                                                               
and who don't have conflict of interest issues.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:09:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIEL TERRY, noted  she is a born-and-raised  Alaskan who splits                                                               
her time between  Anchorage and Bristol Bay where she  works as a                                                               
fishery scientist,  and said she  opposes the appointment  of Abe                                                               
Williams to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. TERRY expressed her concern  with the prospect of someone who                                                               
is  receiving   payment  and   employment  by   out-of-state  and                                                               
international corporate  interests that are very  misaligned with                                                               
the majority  view of the region  to which Mr. Williams  would be                                                               
tasked  to represent.    She  noted the  Board  of Fisheries  was                                                               
established for  purposes of conserving and  developing fisheries                                                               
resources  around   Alaska.    However,  she   continued,  Pebble                                                               
Partnership,  the  employer of  Mr.  Williams,  is attempting  to                                                               
permit  a  development  project  that  the  U.S.  Army  Corps  of                                                               
Engineers recently  admitted would  likely result  in significant                                                               
adverse  effects  to  the  aquatic   system.    She  offered  her                                                               
understanding that  it is a  project in direct conflict  with the                                                               
mission  to conserve  and develop  the fishery  resources of  the                                                               
region.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. TERRY  argued that a  lengthy body of evidence  suggests that                                                               
Mr. Williams has a clear and  targeted agenda.  For example, in a                                                               
2013 interview Mr. Williams advocated  development of Pebble Mine                                                               
under  the pretext  that it  would bring  economic growth  to the                                                               
communities of Bristol Bay.  At  the time he sounded like a great                                                               
candidate to  hold a paid  position with the  Pebble Partnership,                                                               
which coincidentally  is now  what he does  as their  director of                                                               
regional affairs.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. TERRY  stated she is  concerned that an individual  with such                                                               
an overtly  political position would  be tasked  with objectively                                                               
synthesizing and incorporating  scientific assessment provided by                                                               
scientists at the Alaska Department of  Fish & Game (ADF&G).  She                                                               
further related  her concern that  a person tasked  with ensuring                                                               
the success  of this large-scale and  environmentally detrimental                                                               
mine  that  would  be  selected to  represent  a  community  that                                                               
opposes the  mine by 77  percent, according  to a recent  poll by                                                               
the Hayes Research Group.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. TERRY urged  the committees to reject the  appointment of Abe                                                               
Williams.     She  added  that   she  would  like  to   see  more                                                               
representation from rural, coastal fishing communities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:12:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK RICHARDS, noted he is a  member of the Fairbanks Fish & Game                                                               
Advisory  Committee, but  is testifying  on his  own behalf.   He                                                               
stated he  supports the appointment  of McKenzie  Mitchell, given                                                               
her many  accomplishments since  moving to  Alaska 11  years ago.                                                               
He  said her  accomplishments in  the sport  fishing and  hunting                                                               
industry, along with her UAF  credentials and work, show that she                                                               
is a fast learner and a hard worker.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  RICHARDS  addressed statements  made  in  opposition to  Ms.                                                               
Mitchell that  she isn't knowledgeable  enough on issues  at this                                                               
time to  serve on  the board  and that she  isn't from  a coastal                                                               
community.  As to the latter,  he argued that one doesn't have to                                                               
be  from a  "coastal"  community  to serve  on  the  board or  to                                                               
experience  impacts from  Board  of Fisheries  decisions.   Every                                                               
community  in  Alaska is  a  fishing  community  in some  way  or                                                               
another and is  affected by Board of Fisheries decisions.   As to                                                               
the notion  that Ms.  Mitchell is not  yet experienced  enough to                                                               
serve on  the board,  he pointed  out that she  has said  she has                                                               
work to  do to learn  the process and the  issues, and he  has no                                                               
doubt she  is capable and can  learn.  He further  stated that it                                                               
would be great  to get the perspective of someone  who is younger                                                               
and  is a  woman  to serve  on  the  board.   He  urged that  Ms.                                                               
Mitchell be confirmed in joint session.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. RICHARDS said  he opposes the appointment of  Abe Williams to                                                               
the  Board of  Fisheries.   He stated  it is  audacious that  the                                                               
governor  would   appoint  a  current  employee   of  the  Pebble                                                               
Partnership  to  the board.    He  recalled  that last  year  the                                                               
legislature voted to confirm Ms.  Carlson-Van Dort who five years                                                               
prior was  also the director  of regional affairs for  the Pebble                                                               
Partnership.   If Mr. Williams  is appointed, he noted,  both the                                                               
current and former  directors of regional affairs  for the Pebble                                                               
Partnership will be  serving on the board, which looks  bad.  The                                                               
public must  have some  trust in the  board's integrity  and know                                                               
the board is not biased.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:15:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CORAY  KAHN, related that her  family came to Alaska  in the                                                               
early  1950s.   She  was born  on Lake  Clark,  which joins  Lake                                                               
Iliamna.  The fish come up  the Kvichak River and many fish spawn                                                               
in Lake Clark.  Her brothers fished Bristol Bay in the 1950s.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAHN voiced her extreme  opposition to the appointment of Abe                                                               
Williams  to  the  Board  of  Fisheries.    This  appointment  is                                                               
unconscionable,  she  stated,  given  Mr. Williams  is  a  Pebble                                                               
Partnership employee.   It  is clearly  another move  by Governor                                                               
Dunleavy  to appoint  Pebble  supporters  to important  political                                                               
positions.  The governor used  this same tactic when he appointed                                                               
Pebble  supporter   Jason  Brune   to  head  the   Department  of                                                               
Environmental Conservation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. KAHN said  she is even more outraged by  this appointment now                                                               
that she  has heard Mr. Williams  speak.  The lawsuit  he brought                                                               
against  the labeling  of Bristol  Bay salmon,  she charged,  was                                                               
clearly  an  attempt to  undermine  the  importance of  the  wild                                                               
salmon market.   Furthermore, his language is evasive,  and he is                                                               
utterly  unconvincing in  his claim  to  not have  a conflict  of                                                               
interest  regarding Pebble.   Regarding  whether the  fishery can                                                               
exist with  a mine, Ms. Kahn  asked that the public  be shown one                                                               
example of  a large-scale  open pit  mine that  is near  a salmon                                                               
area  that has  not had  detrimental environmental  impact.   She                                                               
again  urged  that  the  appointment   of  Mr.  Williams  not  be                                                               
advanced.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DONNA RAE FAULKNER, testified that  during these stressful times,                                                               
Alaskans  don't  need more  drama  and  controversy.   While  she                                                               
doesn't  know  Abe Williams  personally  and  he may  have  great                                                               
integrity,  she   cannot  support  his  appointment   because  as                                                               
director of  regional affairs  for the  Pebble Mine  he naturally                                                               
has a conflict of interest.   Even if Mr. Williams were to recuse                                                               
himself    from   discussions,    the   appointment    is   still                                                               
inappropriate.   Making  controversial appointments  is insulting                                                               
to  Alaskans.     It  is  already  a   highly  charged  political                                                               
environment  and the  waters don't  need to  be muddied  further,                                                               
which sows more  distrust with leadership and the  process in the                                                               
state of Alaska.  She urged  that the appointment of Mr. Williams                                                               
be rejected.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:21:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON  MCNAMARA, expressed  his opposition  to the  appointments of                                                               
John Wood and  Abe Williams to the Board of  Fisheries.  He urged                                                               
that local  Bristol Bay people  be appointed to the  board rather                                                               
than Anchorage residents.  He  suggested that Pebble Mine is just                                                               
an amusement for Mr. Williams.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:21:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD GUSTAFSON, spoke in opposition  to the appointment of Abe                                                               
Williams.   He  related that  he is  a retired  biologist, having                                                               
served over  30 years with the  Alaska Department of Fish  & Game                                                               
(ADF&G).   Early in his career  he was in the  headwaters of most                                                               
of the eastern side of  Bristol Bay, which included Lake Iliamna,                                                               
and also on the  western side.  Pebble is a  really bad thing, he                                                               
stressed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUSTAFSON  said the  Board of Fisheries  is a  very important                                                               
process for the state.  Residents  need to have confidence in the                                                               
board's members,  he continued,  and the biologists  that testify                                                               
must try to make the  people understand the conservation moves to                                                               
apply to the  fisheries.  He stated that  Mr. Williams definitely                                                               
has a conflict  of interest and suggested that  the governor look                                                               
into and  appoint one of  the many  fishermen in the  Bristol Bay                                                               
region.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GUSTAFSON  said  John  Wood  seems to  have  a  conflict  of                                                               
interest given  he is being paid  by the State of  Alaska and the                                                               
governor to serve  on a board.   Mr. Wood needs to do  one or the                                                               
other because it doesn't pass the red-face test.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:23:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  asked  whether during  his  time  with                                                               
ADF&G Mr. Gustafson  ever testified directly before  the Board of                                                               
Fisheries about any Pebble measures.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. GUSTAFSON  replied that  he provided  testimony on  some clam                                                               
issues  in the  Homer area.   Mainly,  he was  the person  in the                                                               
field  collecting the  data, so  he wore  out many  pairs of  hip                                                               
boots in Bristol Bay.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN reiterated her question.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GUSTAFSON responded  no, not  about  Pebble Mine.   But,  he                                                               
continued, he testified  in many other instances, such  as to the                                                               
U.S. Army Corps  of Engineers and other places,  about the Pebble                                                               
Mine.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MAGGIE  BURSCH, said  she  grew  up in  Homer  and  is a  second-                                                               
generation commercial fisher in Bristol  Bay.  She bought her own                                                               
commercial fishing boat  and permit seven years ago  when she was                                                               
20 years  old.  Throughout her  childhood Pebble Mine has  been a                                                               
huge concern for her, she related.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. BURSCH  stated she  strongly opposes  the appointment  of Abe                                                               
Williams because  she is dependent  on fishing for  everything in                                                               
her life.   She pointed out that the Pebble  Mine's proposed plan                                                               
includes a gas pipeline that  would carry with it the possibility                                                               
of breaking during seismic action,  which would threaten the Cook                                                               
Inlet  fishery.   Mr. Williams  suing  the BBRSDA  because it  is                                                               
helping   to  fund   organizations   that   work  toward   salmon                                                               
conservation  is  very  telling  in where  he  stands  on  salmon                                                               
conservation, she said,  and therefore Mr. Williams  has no place                                                               
on this board.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:27:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN praised Ms.  Bursch for her endeavors in                                                               
the male-dominated commercial fishing industry.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BURSCH  responded that she has  lived in other places  in the                                                               
world and  Alaska is  a place  where a young  person can  start a                                                               
business by  money they  make exclusively  in that  business, and                                                               
that  is what  she  did  with commercial  fishing.   She  studied                                                               
economics, she continued, and having  small businesses and family                                                               
run businesses is  crucial and unique to this area  and she would                                                               
like to preserve that.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:28:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KALEB WESTFALL,  related that  he is  a lifelong  Alaska resident                                                               
and has  lived in and  commercially fished from  Dillingham since                                                               
2001.   He said  commercial fishing put  him through  college and                                                               
puts food on his table.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. WESTFALL  urged the  committees to  reject the  nomination of                                                               
Abe Williams  as well as any  other nominees who have  a conflict                                                               
of interest.   He maintained that  Mr. Williams is a  "win at all                                                               
costs" kind of  person.  He recalled that Mr.  Williams went from                                                               
being the  president of BBRSDA  to suing the  organization, which                                                               
he had helped  to build up.   He further recalled a  claim by Mr.                                                               
Williams that  his involvement  with Pebble  started in  2010 and                                                               
recounted  that  in  2014  the 1,650  members  of  BBRSDA  passed                                                               
opposition  to  large-scale  mining.     Mr.  Westfall  therefore                                                               
charged that this is testament to "a wolf in sheep's skin."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WESTFALL  recounted being  at  a  BBRSDA meeting  after  Mr.                                                               
Williams had stepped down as  president and at which Mr. Williams                                                               
touted  the wonders  of farmed  salmon possibly  starting in  the                                                               
East Coast.   In  talking about  conservation and  development of                                                               
Alaska's fisheries  Mr. Westfall said  he would be  interested in                                                               
how  that  would be  done  when  Mr.  Williams is  thinking  more                                                               
internationally and possibly specifically for Pebble Mine.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. WESTFALL shared  that while he was an intern  in 2007 for the                                                               
late  U.S. Senator  Ted Stevens,  the senator  and interns  would                                                               
have  discussions.   In these  discussions, he  reported, Senator                                                               
Stevens stated  that he  would never  trade a  renewable resource                                                               
for  a nonrenewable  resource, meaning  the  senator would  never                                                               
trade  salmon for  an open-pit  mine  or anything  else that  was                                                               
nonrenewable.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:31:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK DERRICK,  President, Chitina Dipnetters  Association (CDA),                                                               
noted that the  CDA represents about 10,000  Alaska residents who                                                               
annually  partake  in  the Chitina  personal  use  salmon  dipnet                                                               
fishery on the Copper River.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERRICK  testified that  CDA  supports  the appointments  of                                                               
McKenzie Mitchell  and John Wood to  the Board of Fisheries.   He                                                               
said  both  appointees are  knowledgeable  of  the importance  of                                                               
consumptive uses of salmon, whether  personal use or subsistence.                                                               
He stated that both appointees  support the high value these uses                                                               
bring to  food security for  the residents of Alaska  and economy                                                               
for the entire state.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:35:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK  MCCALLUM, related  he  has been  a  resident of  Anchorage                                                               
since  2002 and  has  been  involved in  the  Board of  Fisheries                                                               
process since 1988.  He noted  he is a retired Chignik commercial                                                               
fisherman  and the  executive director  of  the Chignik  Regional                                                               
Aquaculture Association (CRAA).                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCCALLUM  voiced his support  for John Wood's  appointment to                                                               
the Board  of Fisheries.  He  said Mr. Wood has  shown himself to                                                               
be  a  quick  study  of  the complex  management  issues  with  a                                                               
willingness to  view issues  from an  independent point  of view.                                                               
Mr. Wood has demonstrated an  ability to listen to and understand                                                               
all  sides  of  complicated  issues and  achieve  reasonable  and                                                               
equitable  management compromises.   The  Board of  Fisheries, he                                                               
continued,   needs  intelligent,   perceptive,  and   fair-minded                                                               
individuals like Mr.  Wood.  Alaska's natural  fish resources are                                                               
vitally important  and deserve highly qualified  members like Mr.                                                               
Wood to serve on the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCCALLUM also  voiced his  support  for McKenzie  Mitchell's                                                               
appointment to  the Board of Fisheries.   He related that  he has                                                               
spoken to Ms.  Mitchell about her appointment.   While her resume                                                               
is admittedly  a little  slim, he  said he thinks  she is  a hard                                                               
worker and will turn out to be a good member.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:37:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  HEYANO, reiterated  his  support for  the appointment  of                                                               
John  Jensen to  the  Board of  fisheries.   He  said Mr.  Jensen                                                               
brings diversity  and provides  representation for  rural coastal                                                               
communities to the board.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:39:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEN   MOHR,   Executive   Director,  Kenai   River   Sportfishing                                                               
Association  (KRSA),   explained  that   KRSA  is   a  charitable                                                               
nonprofit  dedicated to  ensuring sustainability  of the  world's                                                               
premier  sportfishing region,  which  is Alaska.   He  registered                                                               
KRSA's support  for the  confirmation of  each of  the governor's                                                               
four appointees.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOHR  stated he  has observed  John Jensen  and John  Wood at                                                               
Board of Fisheries meetings over  the last year and both nominees                                                               
demonstrated a clear  understanding that service on  the board is                                                               
a  public trust  responsibility and  their decisions  answered to                                                               
all  Alaskans.    It  is  common  to  see  multiple  stakeholders                                                               
promoting proposals or amendments  at these meetings, he related,                                                               
and both Mr.  Jensen and Mr. Wood proved to  be accessible to the                                                               
public  and  met  with  all  different  viewpoints  during  these                                                               
meetings.   Mr. Wood's most  significant character traits  is his                                                               
desire for  equity and  inclusiveness, which  he showed  at these                                                               
meetings by  constantly encouraging collaboration  across sectors                                                               
in order  to reach the ultimate  goal of the Board  of Fisheries,                                                               
which  is to  conserve  and develop  the  fisheries resources  of                                                               
Alaska.   Mr. Jensen has  served Alaska with distinction  and for                                                               
many years in  this role.  Mr. Jensen's  experience and knowledge                                                               
of Alaska's fishery sectors is an asset to the state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOHR  said Ms. Mitchell brings  to the board a  new and fresh                                                               
perspective  that  will  serve   Alaska  well.    Ms.  Mitchell's                                                               
familiarity with  Alaska's fisheries as  a guide is  an important                                                               
perspective  and  it deserves  representation,  he  stated.   Her                                                               
position as an  academic with a knowledge of  economies will also                                                               
influence  her decision-making  processes  when it  comes to  the                                                               
core goal  of the  board to conserve  and develop  the fisheries.                                                               
Ms. Mitchell  has an ability  to help  maximize the value  of the                                                               
fishery for all Alaskans.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOHR offered his understanding  that Abe Williams has been an                                                               
active participant  in the Bristol  Bay commercial  drift fishery                                                               
for 30 years,  often one of the most successful  fishermen in the                                                               
district.   He said Mr.  Williams has experience with  BBRSDA and                                                               
Naknek/Kvichak Fish & Game Advisory  Committee.  His knowledge of                                                               
the  commercial fisheries  in  Alaska  will be  of  value to  the                                                               
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. MOHR  said the Kenai River  Sportfishing Association applauds                                                               
the willingness of each of these  nominees to serve Alaska on the                                                               
Board  of Fisheries.    On behalf  of KRSA  he  urged a  positive                                                               
confirmation vote by these committees and the full legislature.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:42:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  commented  that Mr.  Mohr's  statement                                                               
about Ms.  Mitchell bringing a  new perspective to the  board was                                                               
something she  needed to  hear.   She related  that when  she got                                                               
elected to office, she had  never held any other political office                                                               
before that, which  she thought was good because  it is important                                                               
to have new perspectives.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:44:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  DOHERTY,  Executive  Director,  Southeast  Alaska  Seiners                                                               
Association (SEAS), related she is  speaking on behalf of the 100                                                               
members of SEAS.   She stated that SEAS  supports the appointment                                                               
of John Jenson and highly  recommends his confirmation.  She said                                                               
Mr. Jensen  has a  wealth of  knowledge about  Alaska's fisheries                                                               
and   has  demonstrated   his   approachability,  his   knowledge                                                               
concerning complex  user group  dynamics, and  a concern  for the                                                               
fisheries  resource as  a renewable  asset of  the state  and its                                                               
users.  Additionally,  Mr. Jensen is the lone  voice of Southeast                                                               
Alaska and of coastal fishing communities.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  DOHERTY  charged  that  the  Board  of  Fisheries  candidate                                                               
selection  and confirmation  process is  broken.   That names  of                                                               
individuals with years of fisheries  service around the state are                                                               
put forth  as candidates yet  not forwarded, while those  with no                                                               
experience are  forwarded, testifies  that the system  is broken,                                                               
she stated.   Alaska's fisheries and fisheries  resources are too                                                               
important to have people cut their teeth on.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DOHERTY said SEAS believes  that, unless being considered for                                                               
reappointment,  no  candidate should  be  able  to sit  and  make                                                               
judgment  decisions  that affect  the  lives  and livelihoods  or                                                               
cultural  opportunities of  Alaska's people  without first  being                                                               
confirmed.   She implored  the House and  Senate to  correct this                                                               
issue by  working together on  legislation and/or  amendments, or                                                               
the constitution if  necessary.  People who are  given such power                                                               
should  be  seasoned,  knowledgeable,  and fully  vetted  by  the                                                               
confirmation process.   While she  understands the  reason behind                                                               
the current language, appointments  made intentionally when there                                                               
is no  time to  confirm have overshadowed  the intent.   Expiring                                                               
terms are  scheduled and not  a surprise,  she pointed out.   The                                                               
selection,  vetting,   and  confirmation  process   should  start                                                               
perhaps  a year  from  any given  expiring seat  to  allow for  a                                                               
seamless and consistent sitting Board of Fisheries.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. DOHERTY  stated SEAS agrees that  coastal fishing communities                                                               
are  not   adequately  represented   in  the  current   slate  of                                                               
appointees.   She  said SEAS  understands that  there are  no set                                                               
seats,  but  argued  that  any  Board  of  Fisheries  that  makes                                                               
resource  decisions   throughout  the  state  should   also  have                                                               
balanced statewide  representation to have any  real credibility.                                                               
That  a   name  like  Robert   Ruffner  was  not   forwarded  for                                                               
confirmation  yet   people  with   absolutely  no   knowledge  or                                                               
experience  are on  the  list of  appointees  today is  criminal.                                                               
It's an indictment on the many  people who depend on this process                                                               
for their  livelihood and  the health  of the  resources, whether                                                               
they  are  commercial, subsistence,  or  sports  fishermen.   She                                                               
thanked Mr. Ruffner  for his service and years  of dedication and                                                               
stated that  his reappointment would  have served to  add coastal                                                               
fishing  community   representation,  as  well  as   much  needed                                                               
experience and knowledge to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:47:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FORREST  BRADEN,  Executive  Director,  Southeast  Alaska  Guides                                                               
Organization (SEAGO), explained that  SEAGO represents the marine                                                               
recreational  fishery in  Southeast  Alaska.   He voiced  SEAGO's                                                               
support for  all four appointees  being considered for  the Board                                                               
of Fisheries  and said SEAGO  is looking forward to  working with                                                               
them.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRADEN stated  SEAGO has  had personal  experience with  Mr.                                                               
Jensen in  a variety of fisheries  settings.  He said  Mr. Jensen                                                               
has a strong history with the  board with lots of exposure to the                                                               
dynamics  of  Alaska's  fisheries  and a  lot  of  experience  in                                                               
decision-making.  Mr. Jensen will be  a good anchor for the board                                                               
moving forward.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BRADEN  related that  he observed  Mr. Wood  at the  both the                                                               
Upper and Lower  Cook Inlet meetings during this past  cycle.  He                                                               
said Mr. Wood displayed a  sincere desire to understand the needs                                                               
and issues facing  fishermen regardless of user group.   Mr. Wood                                                               
was prepared  on proposals, he  continued, and showed  a tendency                                                               
to dig  and ask  questions to  get through  the things  he didn't                                                               
fully understand.   Further, he saw Mr. Wood  change his position                                                               
on an  issue based on new  information.  He didn't  find that Mr.                                                               
Wood had allegiance to anything other  than the facts and his own                                                               
conscience.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BRADEN said  Ms. Mitchell  and Mr.  Williams both  appear to                                                               
have  skill sets  suited  for  the board.    He  stated that  Ms.                                                               
Mitchell  has  enthusiasm  for  the  seat  and  familiarity  with                                                               
commercial, sport, and subsistence  uses of fishery resources and                                                               
an  educational background  that should  lend well  to processing                                                               
conservation  and  allocative issues.    While  Mr. Williams  has                                                               
taken flack  today for  his connection  with the  Pebble Project,                                                               
Mr.  Braden continued,  he personally  finds it  hard to  believe                                                               
that  Mr. Williams  would knowingly  jeopardize the  fishery that                                                               
has supported him for decades.   It seems like Mr. Williams has a                                                               
lot  at stake,  but it  may boil  down to  a risk  tolerance with                                                               
developing mine activity  in the Bristol Bay region.   He said he                                                               
thinks  Representative Rasmussen  was  getting at  the idea  that                                                               
there is a separation from  Mr. Williams's view of that situation                                                               
and his beliefs on the board.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:50:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGIE  HEAVERLEY,  related  that  she  is  a  born  and  raised                                                               
Alaskan, a  second generation commercial fisher,  a drift gillnet                                                               
permit holder in  Cook Inlet, and a member of  the Anchorage Fish                                                               
& Game  Advisory Committee.  She  further related that she  is an                                                               
active participant in the Board of Fisheries process.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HEAVERLEY  maintained that  the people  of Alaska  are losing                                                               
faith in  the Board  of Fisheries  process.   Several individuals                                                               
seeking  confirmation to  this board  today,  she continued,  are                                                               
glaring examples  as to  the reason for  this declining  trust in                                                               
the  system.   She questioned  how  Alaskans are  to place  their                                                               
confidence in a  board member that would be  unqualified as shown                                                               
through  Ms.  Mitchell's  inability   to  effectively  prove  her                                                               
fisheries  knowledge,  a  board  member who  would  be  blatantly                                                               
biased  toward   irresponsible  resource  development   as  shown                                                               
through Mr.  Williams's alarming  conflict of  interest regarding                                                               
the  Pebble  Mine,  or  a  board in  general  that  is  currently                                                               
unbalanced   like   never  before,   representing   sport-fishing                                                               
interests at the expense of  commercial.  Ms. Heaverley stated it                                                               
appears  that no  matter what  the people  of Alaska  are saying,                                                               
what they  are pleading, the  Board of Fisheries will  not listen                                                               
and instead vote in their own particular interest.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. HEAVERLEY argued  that confirming Abe Williams  does not mean                                                               
that  the Alaska  Legislature can  check the  box for  commercial                                                               
fishing representation  on the  Board of  Fisheries.   It doesn't                                                               
matter that  Mr. Williams  has fished Bristol  Bay for  30 years,                                                               
she  said,  it matters  that  he  works  for the  Pebble  Limited                                                               
Partnership.   The  lawsuit  that Mr.  Williams  was involved  in                                                               
against the  BBRSDA was widely  opposed by  commercial fishermen.                                                               
To appoint  Mr. Williams as  a commercial  fishing representative                                                               
that doesn't even have the support  of the sector is an insult to                                                               
this process and an insult to Alaska's fishermen.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HEAVERLEY  urged the committees  and legislature  to consider                                                               
appointees  who are  knowledgeable  in fisheries  issues and  who                                                               
currently live  in Alaska's coastal fishing  communities.  Alaska                                                               
should exemplify  the model of fisheries  management, she stated.                                                               
As Alaska's  leaders, consider  whom you  are putting  through to                                                               
these positions of power.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HEAVERLEY  said she is  proud to be a  part of the  young and                                                               
upcoming  generation   of  Alaska  commercial  fishermen.     Her                                                               
generation,  she added,  is asking  legislators to  stand up  for                                                               
them and the sustainability and the future of their industry.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:52:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE  QUINN-DAVIDSON,  PhD,  Director,  Yukon  River  Inter-                                                               
Tribal Fish Commission, Tanana Chiefs  Conference (TCC), said she                                                               
is  a fisheries  scientist and  that she  previously worked  as a                                                               
research  biologist and  then a  fishery manager  for the  Alaska                                                               
Department of  Fish and  Game (ADF&G)  on the  Yukon River.   She                                                               
stated  she  is testifying  today  in  her official  position  as                                                               
director  of the  Yukon River  Inter-tribal Fish  Commission with                                                               
TCC and  that the  Fish Commission  represents over  30 federally                                                               
recognized tribes along the Yukon River.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. QUINN-DAVIDSON related  that the decisions made  by the Board                                                               
of  Fisheries  directly  impact  the  livelihood,  and  physical,                                                               
mental,  and   spiritual  wellbeing  of  TCC's   people.    These                                                               
decisions need  to be  taken seriously, she  stated, and  she has                                                               
concerns with some of the  responses the committees have received                                                               
from  these  appointees  today that  showed  woeful  inexperience                                                               
with, and  knowledge of, Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim  (AYK) fisheries.                                                               
The AYK  region is the  largest subsistence region in  the state,                                                               
she  pointed out.   On  the Yukon  River this  year the  people's                                                               
king, chum, and silver salmon did  not return.  The people do not                                                               
have  the food  that they  depend on,  and have  depended on  for                                                               
generations.   She had to  purchase salmon from Bristol  Bay this                                                               
year so it  could be distributed to the elders  and those most in                                                               
need so that they have some food this winter.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. QUINN-DAVIDSON  stated that the  decisions made by  the Board                                                               
of Fisheries  are not just  important; they  are vital.   The TCC                                                               
tribes  in rural  communities are  already at  a disadvantage  of                                                               
participating  in  the  board's  public process.    The  advisory                                                               
committees  that advise  the board  meet fewer  times on  average                                                               
than  urban  or road  system  advisory  committees due  to  their                                                               
remote  locations,  cancelled  flights, bad  weather,  and  phone                                                               
connectivity  problems.   To  prepare for  and  participate in  a                                                               
Board of Fisheries meeting costs  the Fish Commission $100,000 to                                                               
have  its   advocates  participate  in  a   weeklong  meeting  in                                                               
Anchorage or Fairbanks.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR. QUINN-DAVIDSON said TCC believes  the legislature should send                                                               
the  administration back  to the  drawing board.   She  urged the                                                               
appointment  of   someone  who  is  knowledgeable   of,  and  has                                                               
experience in, the largest subsistence  region of the state.  She                                                               
further urged  appointing someone who is  actually qualified, not                                                               
someone  who   has  simply  floated   by  or  flown   into  these                                                               
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN   HOFSTAD,  offered   her  high   recommendation  for   the                                                               
appointment  of John  Jensen  to  the Board  of  Fisheries.   She                                                               
pointed  out his  experience and  dedication to  doing the  right                                                               
thing for all of Alaska.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOFSTAD maintained  that since  statehood Alaska's  Board of                                                               
Fisheries has been  balanced with all users    commercial, sport,                                                               
and  subsistence.    She  said she  finds  it  unbelievable  that                                                               
Governor  Dunleavy   has  not   appointed  any   commercial  fish                                                               
knowledge to the board given that  seafood is by far Alaska's top                                                               
export, number one private employer.   Governor Dunleavy wants to                                                               
tell the world Alaska is  open for business, contracting with new                                                               
businesses to bring business to town,  when he is working so hard                                                               
against Alaska's number one industry.   She said her question is,                                                               
Why?   The seafood industry  affects all Alaskans and  should not                                                               
be a political  issue.  There are many  experienced Alaskans that                                                               
know of  all fish types,  she continued.   The issue  is balance,                                                               
not bias.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOFSTAD urged  a no vote for Mr. Williams,  the Pebble Mine's                                                               
lobbyist, and  for Ms. Mitchell.   Balance is needed  and balance                                                               
means  commercial  fishermen,  she  said.   Everyone  is  working                                                               
together, but there cannot be only one user group represented.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:58:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GALE  VICK, Member,  Fairbanks Fish  &  Game Advisory  Committee,                                                               
noted she  is a fisheries  and policy consultant in  Fairbanks, a                                                               
52-year resident  of Alaska, and  a 40-year veteran of  many fish                                                               
arenas  in  the  state.    She  further  noted  that  she  was  a                                                               
commercial driftnet  fisher in Prince  William Sound for  over 20                                                               
years, a  subsistence fisher  in years  past, and  a recreational                                                               
and  personal use  fisher for  over 50  years.   She stated  that                                                               
because of  her work on the  Yukon River and other  rural regions                                                               
she is a very strong  supporter of subsistence priorities in both                                                               
law and  for food  security.   She is  an advocate  for increased                                                               
salmon science  and monitoring  as it  relates to  the continuing                                                               
loss of salmon size  and run strength all over Alaska.   As a co-                                                               
author of  a recent  scientific paper on  this subject,  she sees                                                               
this the predominant issue facing all fisheries stakeholders.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  VICK testified  in  support of  the  nomination of  McKenzie                                                               
Mitchell to  the Board of Fisheries.   While Ms. Mitchell  is new                                                               
to this  process, she  said the  advisory committee  believes Ms.                                                               
Mitchell  will bring  a unique  combination of  fishing, science,                                                               
and economics  experience to  the board.   She said  Ms. Mitchell                                                               
has illustrated  her belief in subsistence  priorities, has shown                                                               
a specific concern over the  resource itself, has illustrated her                                                               
ability  to critically  review hard  data and  understand complex                                                               
relationships,  and  has  energy  and  intellectual  interest  in                                                               
learning  about all  sectors  in  depth.   Ms.  Vick related  the                                                               
advisory  committee's belief  that Ms.  Mitchell is  an effective                                                               
listener and a  dedicated researcher who will  take seriously all                                                               
Board of Fisheries petitions with knowledge and equity.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:00:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR thanked  the witnesses  for  their testimony  [and                                                               
closed public testimony].                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:00:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  thanked the  witnesses for their  time and                                                               
for sharing their impassioned views.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:01:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   RASMUSSEN  offered   her  appreciation   to  the                                                               
witnesses.  She expressed her  alarm that nearly one-third of the                                                               
state's  commercial fishing  permits  are  held by  non-Alaskans.                                                               
She offered  her hope that  in the  future the number  of permits                                                               
held by residents could be increased.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:02:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK thanked  the witnesses.   He  requested that                                                               
another  joint meeting  between  the two  committees  be held  to                                                               
discuss this last year's fishing season.   He pointed out that in                                                               
Southeast Alaska the fish runs  were low, and the pandemic caused                                                               
a decrease  in fish prices  and there was a  lack of fish  on the                                                               
Yukon and in  the Interior.  He  would like to see  what could be                                                               
done  to help  out the  communities and  families in  the fishing                                                               
industry using  money from the  federal Coronavirus  Aid, Relief,                                                               
and Economic Security (CARES) Act.   He related he has heard from                                                               
a lot of people about needed relief from the poor salmon season.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:04:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR responded  that she  has  heard from  Commissioner                                                               
Anderson  that the  service industry,  hospitality industry,  and                                                               
fishing industry are  the number one applicants  for the business                                                               
relief.  She said she doesn't know if that included the sport-                                                                  
fishing folks  who were impacted  by the lack of  tourists coming                                                               
to  Alaska.   She  said  she would  follow  up on  Representative                                                               
Tuck's request.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:06:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  explained the confirmation process  by noting that                                                               
at  the committee  level the  committees do  not take  a vote  in                                                               
support or  opposition of  an individual.   The  committee action                                                               
today will  result in a  committee report that  this confirmation                                                               
hearing was  held, she  said.   Until the  legislature reconvenes                                                               
and sets  a time for a  joint session these individuals  will not                                                               
be taken  up for a vote.   She pointed out  that appointments are                                                               
not stopped at the committee level.   She closed the hearing with                                                               
the following statement:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The House Special Committee on  Fisheries and the House                                                                    
     Resources  [Standing]   Committee  have   reviewed  the                                                                    
     qualifications  of the  governor's appointees  as shown                                                                    
     below and recommends  that the names be  forwarded to a                                                                    
     joint  session  for  consideration.     This  does  not                                                                    
     reflect intent  by any  of the members  to vote  for or                                                                    
     against  the individuals  during  any further  sessions                                                                    
     for  the purpose  of confirmation  and that  applies to                                                                    
     Mr. Jensen, Ms. Mitchell, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Wood.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:07:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committees, the House                                                                
Special Committee on Fisheries and the House Resources Standing                                                                 
Committee joint meeting was adjourned at 3:07 p.m.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Abe Williams Opposition Letter-BBEDC 08.25.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Opposition to Board Makeup Letters (2) as of 9.2.20 at 10 am.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
SEAS Comments on BOF Appointees 8.31.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
TCC Opposition to BOF Composition 9.1.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Mitchell_ Fisheries RQE.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Mitchell2020_resume.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Resumes for Jensen, Mitchell, Williams.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Written Statement_Mitchell.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams and McKenzie Mitchell Opposition Letters (3) as of 9.4.20 at 11 am.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams and John Wood Oppistion Letter 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams and John Jensen Opposition Letter 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams Opposition Letter-Fritz Johnson 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams, McKenzie Mitchell, John Wood Opposition Letters (3) as of 9.3.20 at 11 am.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board Fisheries
Governor's Appointees Support Letter 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
John Jensen Opposition Letter 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
John Wood and John Jensen Opposition Letter 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
John Wood Support Letter-CRAA 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
McKenzie Mitchell Support Letter CRAA 9.3.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Opposition to Governor's Appointees Letters (4) as of 9.4.20 at 101am.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams Opposition Form Letters (563) as of 9.11.20 at 11am.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams Support Letters (6) as of 9.11.20 at 11 a.m.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
John Wood Support Letter CIC 9.11.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
McKenzie Mitchell Support Letter CIC 9.11.20.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
John Jensen Support Letters (5) as of 9.11.20 at 11am.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Board of Fisheries
Abe Williams Opposition Letters (59) as of 9.11.20 at 11 am.pdf HFSH 9/3/2020 10:00:00 AM
Boarf of Fisheries