Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/19/1993 08:00 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         April 19, 1993                                        
                            8:00 a.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Representative Bill Williams, Chairman                                       
  Representative Con Bunde                                                     
  Representative Pat Carney                                                    
  Representative John Davies                                                   
  Representative Joe Green                                                     
  Representative Jeannette James                                               
  Representative Eldon Mulder                                                  
  Representative David Finkelstein                                             
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  Representative Bill Hudson, Vice Chairman                                    
  OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                    
  Senator Robin Taylor                                                         
  Senator Mike Miller                                                          
  Representative Gene Therriault                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SB 43:    "An Act relating to transplantation of elk."                       
            CSSB 43 (FIN) (EFD FLD) HEARD AND HELD IN                          
            COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION                                
  SB 46:    "An Act relating to moose farming and relating to                  
            game farming."                                                     
            CSSB 46 (FIN) HEARD AND HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR                      
            FURTHER CONSIDERATION                                              
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Senator Robin Taylor                                                         
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 30                                                       
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                   
  Phone:  465-3873                                                             
  Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, SB 43                                     
  David Kelleyhouse, Director                                                  
  Division of Wildlife Conservation                                            
  Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                           
  P.O. Box 25526                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska  99802-5526                                                   
  Phone:  465-4190                                                             
  Position Statement: Opposed SB 43                                            
  Senator Mike Miller                                                          
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol, Room 423                                                      
  Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                   
  Phone:  465-4976                                                             
  Position Statement: Prime Sponsor, SB 46                                     
  Bill Ward                                                                    
  Ward Farms                                                                   
  Soldotna, Alaska                                                             
  Phone:  262-5135                                                             
  Position Statement: Objected to moose farming in Alaska                      
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  SB  43                                                                
  SHORT TITLE:  GRANTS TO TRANSPLANT ELK                                       
  BILL VERSION: CSSB 43(FIN)(EFD FLD)                                          
  SPONSOR(S):   SENATOR(S) TAYLOR                                              
  TITLE: "An Act relating to transplantation of elk."                          
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/11/93        26    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/11/93        26    (S)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                               
  01/20/93              (S)   RES AT 03:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM                   
  01/20/93              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                      
  01/25/93              (S)   RES AT 03:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM                   
  01/25/93              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                      
  01/27/93       168    (S)   RES RPT  CS  2DP 4NR  (NEW                       
  01/27/93       168    (S)   ZERO FN TO SB & CS PUBLISHED                     
  03/05/93              (S)   FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                   
  03/08/93       656    (S)   FIN RPT  CS  3DP 4NR  (NEW                       
  03/08/93       656    (S)   ZERO FN TO FIN CS (S.FIN/F&G)                    
  03/09/93              (S)   RLS AT 12:15 PM FAHRENKAMP ROOM                  
  03/09/93              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                      
  03/10/93       710    (S)   RULES RPT 3 CALENDAR 1NR   3/10                  
  03/10/93       711    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                             
  03/10/93       711    (S)   FIN  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                     
  03/10/93       712    (S)   AM NO  1     FAILED  Y8 N11 E1                   
  03/10/93       713    (S)   AM NO  2     FAILED  Y8 N11 E1                   
  03/10/93       714    (S)   ADVANCE TO 3RD READING FAILED                    
                              Y11 N8 E1                                        
  03/10/93       714    (S)   THIRD READING 3/11/93 CALENDAR                   
  03/11/93       750    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 43                     
  03/11/93       750    (S)   RETURN TO 2ND FOR AM 1 ADPTD                     
                              Y11 N8 E1                                        
  03/11/93       751    (S)   AM NO  3 BY ADAMS FAILED Y8 N11                  
  03/11/93       752    (S)   RETURN TO 2ND FOR AM 4 ADPTD                     
                              Y12 N7 E1                                        
  03/11/93       752    (S)   AM NO  4 BY ADAMS FAILED Y8 N11                  
  03/11/93       753    (S)   RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 6 UNAN                   
  03/11/93       753    (S)   AM NO  6 BY ADAMS FAILED Y8 N11                  
  03/11/93       754    (S)   AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING                   
  03/11/93       754    (S)   PASSED Y12 N7 E1                                 
  03/11/93       755    (S)   EFFECTIVE DATE FAILED Y12 N7 E1                  
  03/11/93       755    (S)   DUNCAN  NOTICE OF                                
  03/12/93       782    (S)   RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD                        
  03/12/93       782    (S)   PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y11                    
                              N8 E1                                            
  03/12/93       783    (S)   EFFECTIVE DATE FAILED ON RECON                   
                              Y12 N7 E1                                        
  03/12/93       786    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                               
  03/15/93       642    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/15/93       642    (H)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                               
  04/16/93              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                      
  04/19/93              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                      
  BILL:  SB 46                                                                 
  SHORT TITLE:  AUTHORIZE MOOSE FARMING                                        
  BILL VERSION: CSSB 46(FIN)                                                   
  SPONSOR(S):   SENATOR(S) MILLER,Frank,Pearce,Sharp,Taylor;                   
  REPRESENTATIVE(S) Therriault                                                 
  TITLE: "An Act relating to moose farming and relating to                     
  game farming."                                                               
  JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                     
  01/14/93        60    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/14/93        60    (S)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                               
  01/15/93        76    (S)   COSPONSOR:  LINCOLN                              
  01/29/93       189    (S)   COSPONSOR:  SHARP                                
  02/01/93              (S)   RES AT 03:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM                   
  02/01/93              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                      
  02/03/93              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                      
  02/05/93       240    (S)   RES RPT  4DP                                     
  02/05/93       240    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G)                           
  02/17/93              (S)   FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                   
  03/01/93              (S)   FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                   
  03/03/93       588    (S)   FIN RPT  CS  5DP 1DNP     NEW                    
  03/03/93       588    (S)   FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (DNR)                     
  03/03/93       588    (S)   ZERO FNS TO CS (F&G, DEC)                        
  03/09/93              (S)   RLS AT 12:15 PM FAHRENKAMP                       
                              ROOM 203                                         
  03/09/93              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                      
  03/10/93       710    (S)   RULES RPT 3 CAL 1NR   3/10/93                    
  03/10/93       714    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                             
  03/10/93       714    (S)   FIN  CS ADOPTED Y14 N5 E1                        
  03/10/93       715    (S)   AM NO  1     FAILED  Y5 N14 E1                   
  03/10/93       716    (S)   AM NO  2     FAILED  Y7  N12 E1                  
  03/10/93       717    (S)   AM NO  3     FAILED  Y8 N11 E1                   
  03/10/93       715    (S)   AM NO  4     FAILED  Y8 N11 E1                   
  03/10/93       716    (S)   ADVANCE TO 3RD READING FLD Y11                   
                              N8 E1                                            
  03/10/93       719    (S)   THIRD READING 3/11 CALENDAR                      
  03/10/93       723    (S)   COSPONSOR:  TAYLOR                               
  03/11/93       755    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB
  03/11/93       755    (S)   PASSED Y11 N8 E1                                 
  03/11/93       756    (S)   ADAMS  NOTICE OF                                 
  03/11/93       757    (S)   COSPONSOR WITHDRAWN:  LINCOLN                    
  03/12/93       784    (S)   RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD                        
  03/12/93       785    (S)   PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y12                    
                              N7 E1                                            
  03/12/93       786    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                               
  03/15/93       642    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/15/93       642    (H)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                               
  03/15/93       658    (H)   CROSS SPONSOR(S): THERRIAULT                     
  04/16/93              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                      
  04/19/93              (H)   RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-48, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  The House Resources Committee was called to order by                         
  Chairman Bill Williams at 8:25 a.m.  Members present at the                  
  call to order were Representatives Williams, Bunde, Carney,                  
  Green, James, Finkelstein and Mulder.  Members absent at the                 
  call were Representatives Hudson and Davies.                                 
  CHAIRMAN BILL WILLIAMS announced that the meeting was being                  
  held by teleconference with a number of sites statewide.  He                 
  said the committee would first consider SB 43, followed by                   
  SB 46.                                                                       
  SB 43:  GRANTS TO TRANSPLANT ELK                                             
  Number 080                                                                   
  SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, PRIME SPONSOR OF SB 43, referred                       
  committee members to a written sponsor statement in members'                 
  packets, and said that rather than read from that statement,                 
  he would address his comments to respond to criticisms                       
  raised regarding the bill.  (A copy of the Senator's sponsor                 
  statement may be found in the House Resources Committee                      
  Room, Capitol Room 124, and after the adjournment of the                     
  second session of the 18th Alaska State Legislature, in the                  
  Legislative Reference Library.)  During his remarks, his                     
  legislative aide played video footage showing elk that had                   
  previously been transplanted to Afognak Island.                              
  SENATOR TAYLOR referred to the successful transplant of                      
  bison in Delta Junction, which he described as a profitable                  
  venture.  Eight hundred people, he said, applied for bison                   
  permits, with a $10 fee charged each applicant.  He also                     
  noted that the presence of bison had not endangered any                      
  other species in the area.                                                   
  Number 105                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR, addressing the concerns raised by Alaska                     
  Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) biologists, said that                    
  the ADF&G had not conducted sufficient research to be able                   
  to determine what effect elk would have.  Specifically, he                   
  said there were no conclusive studies of what the elk would                  
  eat and how that would affect native deer populations.  He                   
  pointed out that in 1928 and 1929, the federal government                    
  transplanted elk, and those elk populations were not                         
  Number 224                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR addressed additional issues of concern                        
  related to the proposed elk transplant.  Regarding the                       
  potential for the spread of disease, he noted that elk                       
  transplanted six years ago are healthy.  He said that on                     
  Afognak Island, there is no evidence that the presence of                    
  elk has adversely affected deer populations.  He also                        
  refuted the argument that the transplant would result in a                   
  small gene pool among the transplanted elk.  He criticized                   
  the ADF&G for its failure to fund and conduct studies on the                 
  previously transplanted elk populations.                                     
  Number 313                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR told the committee that the elk transplant                    
  had the support of the Ketchikan, Sitka and Stikine                          
  sportsmen's associations, who he said had gathered up to                     
  1,200 names on petitions that showed their interest.                         
  Regarding a previous elk transplant, Senator Taylor noted                    
  that he had seen data in a doctoral thesis which, he said,                   
  concluded that deer and elk have a symbiotic relationship,                   
  and that the presence of elk actually has the effect of                      
  giving deer a better chance of surviving predation.                          
  Number 372                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER referred to the ADF&G fiscal                     
  note related to SB 43.  He commented that it seemed out of                   
  line and asked Senator Taylor to respond.                                    
  Number 378                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR replied that he would like to see the ADF&G                   
  actually spend that much on elk research, but added that the                 
  state cannot afford that with its other priorities.  He                      
  commented that the ADF&G should have spent more in the past                  
  30 years.  He added that the size of the fiscal note could                   
  be an indication that the ADF&G is trying to "bury the                       
  Number 410                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked what would be a more reasonable                  
  estimate of the cost of the transplant.                                      
  SENATOR TAYLOR replied that the sportsmen's associations                     
  would pay for the transplant as a volunteer effort.  He                      
  clarified that SB 43 only authorizes the transplant, and is                  
  not intended to fund the transplant of elk.                                  
  Number 425                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN remarked that the ADF&G                     
  fiscal note included one million dollars for moving the                      
  animals.  Another $560,000 over six years was included in                    
  the fiscal note for research, he commented.  The question,                   
  he added, was that assuming the associations wanted to pay                   
  the million dollars, and if SB 43 has the power to override                  
  the Board of Game, would anyone who has enough money be able                 
  to do whatever they want with game in Alaska.  He suggested                  
  it would be a terrible precedent to set.                                     
  Number 458                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR replied that the authorization by the                         
  legislature would not allow anyone besides the ADF&G to                      
  bring in wild game animals from outside the state.  He noted                 
  that the importation of game animals would still have to go                  
  through the permitting process, the game would have to be                    
  examined by doctors in both states, and would still be                       
  subject to regulation by the ADF&G.  He mentioned that,                      
  according to Senator Fred Zharoff, there were suspicions                     
  that approximately 70 elk had been run off a cliff three                     
  years ago by an ADF&G helicopter.                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN again suggested that by granting                  
  the legislative authorization for the transfer of elk now,                   
  it would have the result of superceding the authority of the                 
  Board of Game, not just in this instance, but by                             
  establishing that policy for the future.                                     
  Number 491                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR reiterated that he did not believe SB 43                      
  would override the gatekeepers' role, which is the role of                   
  the ADF&G.                                                                   
  Number 496                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER suggested it was fully within the                      
  scope of the legislature to give direction to the ADF&G and                  
  the Board of Game.  He said it was a question of whether to                  
  expand the state's resources or leave things at the status                   
  quo.  Referring to the fiscal note, he said it calls for elk                 
  transplants to four locations in Southeast.  He noted that                   
  the back-up material in members' packets indicated the ADF&G                 
  Commissioner Rosier's statements that elk had been                           
  inadvertently introduced to Zarembo Island and Prince of                     
  Wales.  He asked Senator Taylor whether any documentation                    
  supported that claim.                                                        
  SENATOR TAYLOR replied that it appeared elk had reached                      
  other islands than those they had been transplanted to                       
  because they are good swimmers.  He indicated that the ADF&G                 
  policy seems to be to shoot those that migrate to other                      
  Number 522                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE PAT CARNEY asked Senator Taylor to elaborate                  
  on comments he had made twice regarding the ADF&G shooting                   
  Number 525                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR referred to a resolution he said was, in                      
  part, drafted by someone from the ADF&G, which was placed                    
  before the Board of Game.  The resolution was initiated, he                  
  said, by people from Ketchikan who had seen the success of                   
  past elk transplants and wanted to have a drawing for a                      
  permit to hunt one elk.  The resolution was submitted to the                 
  Board of Game through the local advisory board, he                           
  explained.  Somehow, he said, that was changed into a                        
  resolution calling for an open hunting season on any elk                     
  found anyplace other than Zarembo or Etolin Islands, without                 
  restrictions on sex, season, or number.                                      
  Number 550                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR explained that he contacted the chairman of                   
  the Board of Game and asked how the ADF&G would regulate                     
  where elk was being hunted and he did not receive a                          
  satisfactory answer.  He suggested the result of such a hunt                 
  opening would be to eliminate every elk in Southeast Alaska.                 
  The board reversed that policy, he said, after objections.                   
  Number 570                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN, referring to SB 43, asked                        
  whether the language is written so as to make the transplant                 
  mandatory or discretionary.  He pointed to the use of the                    
  word "shall," and recommended the committee hear from the                    
  Division of Legal Services on the matter.                                    
  Number 580                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS raised the issue to Senator Taylor of the                  
  legislative budget cutting process.  He remarked that it                     
  usually is the case that field services and personnel are                    
  cut, and said that the Senate had cut the budget for the                     
  ADF&G significantly.  Regarding Senator Taylor's comments                    
  that the ADF&G had not adequately studied the elk previously                 
  transplanted, Chairman Williams suggested that the ADF&G has                 
  not had funding to do this research.  In Ketchikan, he said,                 
  only one field person in the ADF&G is assigned to cover a                    
  large amount of land.  He asked Senator Taylor if the cuts                   
  in the ADF&G budget could relate to poor research of the                     
  Number 600                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR said he would not suggest that.  He did not                   
  know how the ADF&G established its priorities, or why the                    
  elk had not been studied.  Regarding Representative                          
  Finkelstein's comments on the mandatory nature of the                        
  language in SB 43, he explained that the use of "shall"                      
  gives direction to the ADF&G and the Board of Game to                        
  authorize the elk, and reiterated that the actual transplant                 
  would be a volunteer effort.                                                 
  Number 620                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE asked Senator Taylor to comment on                  
  how elk would fit in the subsistence issue, and also whether                 
  there was a sufficient elk population in the Lower 48 to                     
  justify the transplant.                                                      
  Number 628                                                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR replied that elk could not be subsistence                     
  hunted in Southeast because that would not meet the                          
  traditional use guidelines.  He raised the point that if the                 
  elk population impacted the native deer population, which is                 
  subsistence-use game, that would be another question.                        
  Regarding the question about Lower 48 elk populations, he                    
  had been assured there were sufficient numbers, particularly                 
  in Oregon, from which the elk would come.                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted that there was subsistence                        
  hunting for bison, which are not traditional use animals.                    
  He suggested this approach be looked into.                                   
  SENATOR TAYLOR commented that in the future subsistence use                  
  might include elk, and he would not have any problem with                    
  that as long as there was sound management of the game.                      
  Number 652                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced that the committee would next                    
  hear public testimony.                                                       
  CONSERVATION, ADF&G, told the committee that he was upset by                 
  Senator Taylor's allegations.  He assured the committee that                 
  the ADF&G boasts the finest professional biologists.  He                     
  said that the ADF&G's concerns over introduction of an                       
  exotic species to Southeast are valid.  He said those                        
  concerns are based on the experiences of other northwestern                  
  states, and referred to a behavioral study on competition                    
  and dominance in elk and deer populations.  He said that                     
  there should be more studies before elk are introduced, and                  
  suggested that the 1987 transplant of elk may have been a                    
  Number 690                                                                   
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE, referring to Senator Taylor's comments that                 
  the ADF&G had failed to adequately study elk populations,                    
  said that because elk densities are so low in Southeast, the                 
  ADF&G has not been able to study the food habits as                          
  conclusively as they would like.  He recommended that elk                    
  not be transplanted until such information can be                            
  quantified.  On Afognak Island, he said, deer and elk have                   
  crashed over 50% in the past four years.  He said an area                    
  biologist with twenty years experience had determined that                   
  there is competition between deer and elk on Afognak Island.                 
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE reported that the biologist felt it would be                 
  a mistake to introduce elk to increase hunting                               
  opportunities, because deer would outproduce elk for hunting                 
  purposes ten to one.  He noted that approximately three to                   
  four deer can be harvested per square mile per year,                         
  compared to one-third of an elk.  Hunter success between the                 
  two species he said, is about 85% for deer and 15% for elk.                  
  He also mentioned that there is no wolf predation on Afognak                 
  Island, which is a reason both elk and deer have prospered                   
  on the island.  The presence of an alternative prey species,                 
  he explained, will change the balance.                                       
  TAPE 93-48, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE told the committee that he would not have                    
  opposed the introduction of bison and musk ox to Alaska                      
  because those species were determined to have been native                    
  species in the past.  Regarding the allegation that the                      
  ADF&G helicopters had run 70 elk off a cliff, he called the                  
  charge untrue and unsubstantiated.  The ADF&G feels, he said                 
  that more time is needed to study the Etolin transplant                      
  before it is implemented.                                                    
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE referred to the Board of Game, and said the                  
  board's actions were consistent with a management plan                       
  drafted in 1986, which said that the elk would be put on                     
  Etolin Island and any elk that ventured off that island                      
  would be captured and put back on the island or a hunting                    
  season would be opened to prevent the elk from spreading to                  
  other parts of Southeast.  He acknowledged that elk                          
  disburses widely, and noted that the ADF&G's policy is that                  
  if that turns out to be injurious to native species, the elk                 
  should be contained to one island.                                           
  Number 044                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked Mr. Kelleyhouse to explain the                   
  competition for forage among the deer and elk populations on                 
  Afognak Island.                                                              
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE said that in any place where deer and elk                    
  coexist, deer will outnumber elk.  He noted, however, that                   
  where elk has been introduced, there has been a documented                   
  decline in the abundance of deer.                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked how those facts relate to                        
  regulations proposed by the Board of Game to have an open                    
  season on elk.                                                               
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE explained that the regulation was taken off                  
  the books by the board within three days of its passage.                     
  The management plan, he said, called for increasing the elk                  
  on Etolin Island to 250 before instituting a harvest, and                    
  providing that the elk would not leave Etolin Island.  It                    
  was not intended to eliminate elk on Etolin or Zarembo                       
  Islands, he added.                                                           
  REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked whether data had been                         
  gathered on how the elk and deer interact in areas in the                    
  Lower 48 where they share a habitat area.                                    
  Number 098                                                                   
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE clarified that the species of deer in                        
  Southeast, the Sitka black-tailed deer, is a different                       
  species than the deer that share habitat with elk in the                     
  Lower 48.  He described the eating patterns of deer and elk                  
  in the Lower 48, with deer as browsers and elk as grazers.                   
  The eating patterns here are different, he said, and elk and                 
  deer would share the same food source with more overlap.  He                 
  noted that the presence of predator species would also play                  
  a role.                                                                      
  Number 130                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether there were instances                      
  where both deer and elk coexist without predators.                           
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied that this was the case on Afognak                    
  Island.  He added that the ADF&G was concerned with the                      
  effects of deep snows and competition in a limited area for                  
  the same forage.                                                             
  Number 155                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE was most familiar with the elk found on                 
  the Olympic Peninsula, where there was abundant old growth                   
  timber similar to the habitat found in Southeast Alaska.  He                 
  asked whether there were any comparison studies of the two                   
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied that the Olympic Peninsula habitat                   
  was similar, but not exactly the same as Southeast's.  He                    
  called Vancouver Island more similar in habitat to                           
  Southeast.  He added that much of the research material the                  
  ADF&G has received has been from the British Columbia                        
  Number 168                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked whether the Columbia black-tailed                 
  deer was native to Vancouver Island.                                         
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied in the affirmative, and said that                    
  the Columbia black-tailed deer has different food habits                     
  from the Sitka black-tailed deer.                                            
  REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked why the ADF&G had not done more                  
  studies of the previously transplanted elk.                                  
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied that because there are so few                        
  animals and the island is so big, there is little impact                     
  from competition for food.  He said the ADF&G had done                       
  limited monitoring of radio collars to track the                             
  disbursement of the animals on Etolin.  Afognak would be a                   
  better site, he added.  The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation                    
  had given the ADF&G several thousand dollars to study elk on                 
  Afognak Island, and the ADF&G, he said, was negotiating with                 
  the foundation on whether to use the money there or on                       
  Etolin.  He noted that it was a matter of priorities, and                    
  that the ADF&G does not have a large research staff.                         
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE explained that research biologists' primary                  
  duties are to enumerate the animals to set hunting seasons,                  
  and said that in that regard, they have focussed their                       
  efforts on native species.  The situation on Etolin, he                      
  said, had not developed to the point where any definitive                    
  answers could be derived from the research.  Problems might                  
  not develop for nearly 30 years, he added.  Reports from                     
  other jurisdictions indicate that the ADF&G's concerns are                   
  valid, he added.                                                             
  Number 213                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked whether it would be possible, if                 
  the elk population got out of balance because of                             
  competition, that hunting regulations could be used to                       
  control the situation.                                                       
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied that elk are difficult to hunt,                      
  particularly in areas of heavy timber cover.  Once the elk                   
  are introduced to the system, they are not easy to take out,                 
  he concluded.                                                                
  Number 227                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked whether the Board of Game had                    
  ever adopted the policy that was drafted.                                    
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied that the board had passed a                          
  resolution.  The bottom line, he said, was that elk should                   
  be maintained on Etolin Island and prevented from spreading                  
  to other islands and the mainland.  The resolution came from                 
  the Board of Game itself, and not through the ADF&G, he                      
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked whether the policy on which the                  
  resolution was based was in existence at the time the elk                    
  had been transplanted to Etolin.                                             
  Number 258                                                                   
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied that in 1986, there were provisions                  
  in the plan that elk would be maintained on Etolin Island.                   
  The policy was not anything new, he assured the committee.                   
  REPRESENTATIVE MULDER concurred with Representative Carney                   
  that an elk hunting permit would be a highly sought-after                    
  Number 271                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if the legislature had ever                 
  taken action like the one in SB 43, other than in the case                   
  of elk.                                                                      
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE was not aware of any specific action except                  
  for the 1987 elk transplant.  In that instance, he added,                    
  the transplant was carried out over the objections of the                    
  Number 296                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE had mixed feelings on the issue.  He                    
  agreed with Mr. Kelleyhouse that elk are difficult to hunt,                  
  and added that he had been in Ketchikan in the 1960's when                   
  elk had been transplanted and they had all been killed.  He                  
  asked whether the legislators could get copies of any                        
  studies done on the elk/deer issue.  Regarding the crash of                  
  deer populations on Afognak Island, he asked about the                       
  reasons for that, and how hunting bag limits were affected                   
  by the decline in population.                                                
  Number 320                                                                   
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE told Representative Bunde that a series of                   
  severe winters with heavy snow cover reduced the elk                         
  population from 1500 to 800.  Regarding the bag limits on                    
  deer during that period, he said he would provide that                       
  information to the committee.                                                
  Number 336                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES was surprised that someone                    
  from the ADF&G would not know the answers to all of the                      
  committee's questions.  She knew that deer and elk do not                    
  eat the same things.  She asked why populations could not be                 
  controlled through intensive management.                                     
  Number 368                                                                   
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE responded that the ADF&G does have a general                 
  knowledge of the issues raised, but does not have all of the                 
  specific information in every instance.  Because of low                      
  densities in the elk population, he said that there have not                 
  been the demand for such detailed information.  He                           
  reiterated that the eating patterns of deer in Southeast                     
  Alaska are different from those of deer that coexist in elk                  
  habitat areas in the Lower 48.  He said that the discussion                  
  related to SB 43 would initiate further research, and                        
  stressed that the ADF&G opposes SB 43.                                       
  Number 385                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE JAMES remarked on the challenge involved in                   
  hunting elk, and suggested that the state might encourage                    
  elk populations for the benefit of sports hunters.                           
  MR. KELLEYHOUSE noted that Alaska has 14 natively occurring                  
  species of big game animals.  He added that he himself has                   
  been a big game hunter all his life.  The scientific                         
  evidence, however, suggests that the introduction of elk                     
  could, in the long term, diminish hunting opportunities                      
  rather than expand them.                                                     
  Number 399                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted that there were 15 to 20 people                      
  waiting to testify on SB 43, and he wished to move on to                     
  public testimony.  He apologized to those at teleconference                  
  sites and said there would not be time to hear all testimony                 
  at this meeting.                                                             
  SENATOR TAYLOR clarified that the management plan to which                   
  Mr. Kelleyhouse had referred had never been formally                         
  adopted.  He also wanted to see the studies to which Mr.                     
  Kelleyhouse had referred.  He called it incredible that the                  
  ADF&G had been unable to manage elk herds in Southeast                       
  Alaska if they grew too large in size.  Regarding the crash                  
  of the elk population from 1,500 to 800 on Afognak Island                    
  due to winterkill, he suggested that this was not a                          
  reasonable explanation or a good example of the ADF&G's                      
  management of game.                                                          
  SENATOR TAYLOR remarked that even after the crash of deer                    
  populations on Afognak Island, the hunting bag limits                        
  remained the same.  The main reason for having harvest                       
  tickets for up to six deer, he said, was because the ADF&G                   
  had allowed the herds to grow so large they were fearful of                  
  large winter kills.                                                          
  Number 445                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS told those assembled that the committee                    
  was out of time for testimony on SB 43, and would next                       
  consider SB 46.                                                              
  SB 46:  AUTHORIZE MOOSE FARMING                                              
  Number 454                                                                   
  SENATOR MIKE MILLER, PRIME SPONSOR OF SB 46, told the                        
  committee that similar legislation had been introduced in                    
  the 1992 legislative session.  The bill would provide for                    
  the development of moose farming in Alaska, is intended to                   
  expand economic development opportunities, and would also                    
  include caribou.  The bill transfers regulatory powers to                    
  the ADF&G, the Department of Natural Resources, and the                      
  Department of Environmental Conservation.                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked why caribou had been added, but                  
  not reindeer.                                                                
  Number 498                                                                   
  SENATOR MILLER said this was in keeping with federal                         
  regulations which govern reindeer.                                           
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if the concept included hunting                   
  as is done with bison in the Interior, or would it strictly                  
  call for farming in corralled areas.                                         
  Number 505                                                                   
  SENATOR MILLER replied that a variety of ways were provided                  
  for under the provisions of SB 46.  These included farming                   
  the animals for slaughter, and that idea could be expanded                   
  to the Native corporations farming moose to meet village                     
  needs.  He said that regulations would ensure everything was                 
  done properly.                                                               
  Number 522                                                                   
  REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if that would create a more                       
  difficult oversight to prevent poaching.                                     
  Number 527                                                                   
  SENATOR MILLER stressed that regulations regarding sale of                   
  moose meat would create a reporting system which would                       
  reduce that risk.                                                            
  Number 535                                                                   
  BILL WARD, WARD FARMS OF SOLDOTNA, told the committee that                   
  he had a background in game farming, having raised elk on                    
  the Kenai peninsula since 1990.  He noted that he currently                  
  raises 57 head of elk.  He described the background of the                   
  statute authorizing elk farming.  He commented that SB 46                    
  provides for good game management by regulating the                          
  Number 650                                                                   
  MR. WARD noted that objections to game farming based on the                  
  threat of disease in the animals were unfounded.  He said                    
  that the oversight of the state veterinarian would prevent                   
  that.  Regarding the threat of escapement, he said                           
  regulations provide for adequate fencing.  He also noted                     
  that threats of poaching have not materialized.  He objected                 
  to the tactics of those who oppose the farming of wild game                  
  TAPE 93-49, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  MR. WARD concluded his remarks by stating that he did not                    
  believe moose farming would be unsustainable, but said that                  
  caribou would be supportable and was a valid potential                       
  Number 042                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced that the committee would have to                 
  discontinue testimony because of time constraints.  He                       
  announced that the committee planned to meet on Wednesday,                   
  April 21, 1993, at 8:00 a.m., to consider SB 77 and SB 132.                  
  There being no further business to come before the House                     
  Resources Committee, Chairman Williams adjourned the meeting                 
  at 9:55 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects