Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/06/1996 08:08 AM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE March 6, 1996 8:08 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Joe Green, Co-Chairman Representative William K. "Bill" Williams, Co-Chairman Representative Scott Ogan, Vice Chairman Representative Alan Austerman Representative John Davies Representative Pete Kott Representative Irene Nicholia MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Ramona Barnes Representative Don Long COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL 175 "An Act relating to sport fish guides; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED CS HB 175 (RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL 296 "An Act relating to the authority of the State of Alaska over fish and game." - HEARD AND HELD *HOUSE BILL 329 "An Act providing for restitution to the state for the unlawful taking of game." - PASSED HB 329 OUT OF COMMITTEE (*First Hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 175 SHORT TITLE: SPORT FISH GUIDE LICENSING SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) AUSTERMAN,Ivan JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/10/95 303 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/10/95 303 (H) FSH, RESOURCES, FINANCE 02/27/95 511 (H) COSPONSOR(S): IVAN 03/13/95 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/13/95 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/29/95 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/29/95 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 01/31/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 01/31/96 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 02/07/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/07/96 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 02/21/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 02/21/96 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 02/23/96 2870 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) NT 2DP 1NR 1AM 02/23/96 2870 (H) DP: ELTON, AUSTERMAN 02/23/96 2870 (H) NR: G.DAVIS 02/23/96 2870 (H) AM: OGAN 02/23/96 2870 (H) FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 02/23/96 (H) RES AT 8:00 AM KENAI 02/28/96 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/06/96 (H) RES AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 296 SHORT TITLE: STATE AUTHORITY OVER FISH AND GAME SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) VEZEY JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/05/95 1027 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/05/95 1027 (H) FSH, RESOURCES 04/12/95 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 04/12/95 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 04/12/95 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 04/18/95 1349 (H) FSH RPT 1DP 3NR 04/18/95 1350 (H) DP: ELTON 04/18/95 1350 (H) NR: G.DAVIS, OGAN, AUSTERMAN 04/18/95 1350 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 04/18/95 1350 (H) ADDITIONAL REFERRAL TO JUD 04/18/95 1350 (H) REFERRED TO RESOURCES 04/28/95 (H) RES AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124 04/28/95 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/06/96 (H) RES AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 329 SHORT TITLE: RESTITUTION FOR CERTAIN GAME VIOLATIONS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BUNDE,Grussendorf,Ogan JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 05/03/95 1814 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 05/03/95 1814 (H) RESOURCES AND FINANCE 03/06/96 (H) RES AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER BARRY BRACKEN Kaleidoscope Charters P. O. Box 1201 Petersburg, AK 99833 Telephone: (907) 772-3736 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CS HB 175. KEVIN DELANEY, Director Division of Sport Fish Department of Fish and Game 333 Raspberry Road Anchorage, AK 99518-1579 Telephone: (907) 267-2218 POSITION STATEMENT: The department supports CS HB 175. KENT F. HALL 500 Lincoln Street, Suite 641 Sitka, AK 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-5089 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CS HB 175. DONALD WESTLUND P. O. Box 7883 Ketchikan, AK 99901 Telephone: (907)225-9319 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to CS HB 175. ALAN LeMASTER P. O. Box 222 Gakona, AK 99586 Telephone: (907) 822-3664 POSITION STATEMENT: Recommended changes to CS HB 175. JOE HANES P. O. Box 3132 Soldotna, AK 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-6388 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CS HB 175. ANDY SZCZESNY 198 Hillcrest Avenue Soldotna, AK 99669 Telephone: 262-9439 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CS HB 175. RUBEN HANKE P. O. Box 624 Kenai, AK 99611 Telephone: (907) 262-5097 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CS HB 175. BUD HODSON 4852 Hunter Street Anchorage, AK 99501 Telephone: (907) 243-8450 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports CS HB 175. JOHN WITTEVEEN P. O. Box 2239 Kodiak, AK 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-3953 POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concern with CS HB 175. GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison Commissioner's Office Department of Fish and Game P. O. Box 25526 Juneau, AK 99811-5526 Telephone: (907) 465-6141 POSITION STATEMENT: The department has concerns with HB 296. JOE RYAN, Legislative Staff to Representative Joe Vezey Alaska State Legislature Capitol, Room 13 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 3258 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of sponsor HB 296. DALE BONDURANT HC1 Box 1197 Soldotna, AK 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-0818 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 296. MICHAEL WALLERI, General Counsel Tanana Chiefs Conference 122 1st Avenue Fairbanks, AK 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-8257 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 296. DICK BISHOP Alaska Outdoor Council P. O. Box 73902 Fairbanks, AK 99707 Telephone: 455-4262 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 296. REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE Alaska State Legislature Capitol, Room 108 Juneau, AK 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3871 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 329. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-26, SIDE A Number 000 CO-CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN called the House Resources Committee meeting to order at 8:08 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Green, Williams, Ogan, Austerman, and Kott. Representatives Davies and Nicholia arrived late. Representatives Barnes and Long were absent. HB 175 SPORT FISH GUIDE LICENSING CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN announced the committee calendar and stated his intent to wrap up testimony on CS HB 175 and move the bill from committee. HB 296 and HB 329 would also be heard. Number 095 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN felt that the version of CS HB 175 before the committee is good compromise legislation. He said his main objective in sponsoring HB 175 is, (1) it registers sport fish operators, and (2) it requires them to report their catch. Number 240 C0-CHAIRMAN WILLIAM K. "BILL" WILLIAMS asked clarification of the registration requirements. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN replied that a business license does not register sport fish operators as a guide, it registers them in the state as a business. He said there is no set, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), code for sport fish operators. Number 336 BARRY BRACKEN, Owner, Kaleidoscope Cruises, testified in support of CS HB 175 recommending that the committee consider a decal, similar to what the game transporters use and the International Halibut Commission posts on all operating vessels. The decal would identify the year, and be issued with the license, making it easier for the Department of Public Safety to identify a legitimate charter operator. He said his only concern is how the funding will be generated for the department's reporting requirements. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Bracken if the decal, he envisions, would be similar to the Coast Guard decal. MR. BRACKEN responded yes, or similar to the International Halibut Commission decal or the game transporter decal. Number 508 KEVIN DELANEY, Director, Division of Sport Fish, Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) responded to Mr. Bracken's concern regarding how the ADF&G would finance the reporting requirements. The department foresees that the owner/operator guides would be required to purchase their licenses from ADF&G. At that time, they would provide the department with an affidavit saying that they meet the qualifications for the guide license. When they submit their fees, the department would provide their license and issue them a logbook. They would be required to keep a record of their harvest and distribution effort throughout the season. The logbook would be returned to the ADF&G at the end of the season. MR. DELANEY advised the panel that one person would be required to manage the system, assisted by a data entry person to enter that information into the data bank. The ADF&G area managers would then prepare the assessments from that information. The fee structure would cover those expenses and a few other expenses. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN noted the arrival of Representative John Davies. Number 649 KENT F. HALL, charter operator, stated that he generally supports this legislation. He said he had a concern about enforcement and wondered how the department would ensure that everyone is licensed. MR. DELANEY replied that the fiscal note for CS HB 175 provides for a Reimbursable Services Agreement (RSA) with the Department of Public Safety. The ADF&G and the DPS envision that one person from the Department of Public Safety, the first year, would become an expert in the implementation of the sports fish guide licensing procedures. The RSA would provide for salary and travel to follow this through. He mentioned Sitka, Homer, Valdez, Kenai and the lower Nushagak. Number 804 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES asked if the fee structure in the bill has enough funds in it to offset enforcement requirements. MR. DELANEY replied that it comes close to being a wash. He said the cost of employing one law enforcement staff, some travel and the ability to follow appropriate cases through the court system, for an entire year, would cost $100,000. That would be covered by the license fees. Number 874 DONALD WESTLUND, sport guide/charter operator, stated resentment of the proposed passage of CSHB 175 from the House Resources Committee as the committee had just received it. He said HB 175 will help report the catch, "I do not catch the fish, my client catches the fish." He said the ADF&G creel census takes that into account, and the legislature has not given enough time to the provision that registers guides that was passed last year. He further expressed concern with the issue of enforcement and the method of registering the guides. His closing remarks, "I am not favor of this bill!" CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN informed Mr. Westlund that there have been at least six prior hearings on HB 175. Number 1200 ALAN LeMASTER, testified from Glennallen, stating that the "transporter" can have an enormous affect on the river and felt the committee should give that point more attention. He elaborated on a hypothetical situation where the transporter impacted the river many times greater than the sports fish guide, and suggested that the transporters also be licensed and permitted, just like the guides, and under the same fee structure restrictions. He stated that because the transporters can have such an enormous impact on the river, if we get into a limited entry situation, which is probably not your focus, that should also be a question as to how many transporters would be allowed on the river compared to the number of guides. Number 1359 MR. DELANEY replied that the subject of transporters came up, continually, during the development of HB 175, and said it is very important that it is considered. The original bill had a provision for a transporter license but it is not there at the present time. When the definitions for the services of the operator and the guide were developed for HB 175, they were developed, in part, with an eye toward the transporter. MR. DELANEY said if the transporter of your hypothetical case were to drop everybody off and leave, never stay with them on the gravel bar long enough for them to get their equipment out and begin fishing, and never provide them with advice about the campground and, in the meantime, somebody is out getting their gear together and beginning to cast then, in fact, that transporter would be able to drop folks off and leave and probably escape from the definition and the licensing system in this bill. He said that is rarely the case over the course of a summer. He explained that there may come a day when a transporter provision is necessary, but, presently, it is the committee's intent to capture this in the definitions established by this bill and to keep this licensing system as simple as possible. Number 1449 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN informed the witness that there is a separate resolution that addresses limited entry. Number 1513 MR. LeMASTER contended that if the transporters were not controlled then why should the guides/operators pay all the fees when they can buy a boat, drop off 10 or 15 groups and make the same kind of money and be done by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. Number 1548 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN apprised the committee of considerable discussion on the transporters. A transporter can be air charter services; how can you require them to report how many fish they brought back in coolers. Is Alaska Airlines a transporter when they carry fish south? The House Special Committee on Fisheries looked at how the ADF&G was managing big game transporters and the board is phasing out that license because of the problems. We do recognize the amount of fish taken because of transporters, but how you regulate them and, actually, gather the information is a step further beyond the original intent of HB 175 in reference to sport fish guiding. He said that transporters can be revisited if it becomes a problem. Number 1626 JOE HANES, President, Kenai River Guide Association, testified for himself and agreed with the testimony of Mr. LeMaster concerning the transporters. He talked about a possible requirement for a guide/operator of holding an Alaska fishing license for three-five years and related that the Coast Guard has a requirement of 365 days of sea time but no manpower to check on that. He described the flow of people, coming and going, who have never seen the Kenai River before being a major safety concern on the river and the enforcement issue of verifying whether or not they held a license and had knowledge of the weather and tides. He debated the reporting requirements and said certain areas are already heavily scrutinized by the ADF&G and rather than duplicate that information, those areas should be excluded. Number 1723 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN stated that this issue had been discussed, at length, with the department. We are encouraging them to use other reporting systems, already in place, that provide the same information, separate from the creel count, than enforcing more work upon the operators. REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA asked if the Department of Fish and Game had provided a letter of support for HB 175. MR. DELANEY said the department did not have a letter but the Department of Fish and Game supports HB 175. He said there is a real convergence of interest between the department, the industry and Alaskans that have struck a good balance, and the department will support the legislation as long as it remains substantially similar. He said it is a good bill. Number 1800 ANDREW SZCZESNY testified from Kenai stating his support of HB 175, but he felt that stricter guidelines for the guides were needed, especially, for the people coming up here who have no experience. Number 1829 RUBEN HANKE testified from Kenai agreeing with Mr. LeMaster on the transporter issue. He said, "As a registered big game guide, I know what kind of problems transporters have caused over the years, and there has to be a way to get a handle on those guides." He felt that controlling the number of people that a guide takes is one possibility. MR. HANKE concurred with Mr. Hanes testimony regarding the guide requirement and the recommended stipulation that a guide should hold a season fishing license for at least five years. He asked if the definition of guide service operators meant that a person had to be a guide or have experience as guide, in order to qualify. MR. DELANEY responded, no. MR. HANKE stated that if that person can contract for services and not be a guide himself, then he was concerned about leaving a loophole for out of state, and out of country, booking agents. Number 1911 MR. DELANEY did not believe that the state can prohibit nonresidents from conducting business in the state of Alaska. The services license is basically a business license for a particular type of business which is sport fish guiding. He said the issue of a three-five year requirement of holding a sport fishing license in the state of Alaska would need to come in the guide licensing where you could make the argument that people who accompany folks in the field need to have that experience, but I do not believe it is legal for us to control who owns and operates a business in the state of Alaska. MR. HANKE said any booking agency, resident or nonresident, would be able to hold a services license and they may not even be present in the area while fishing is being conducted. Who is responsible when something happens? Number 1911 MR. DELANEY stated that there is not a mechanism for that in HB 175. Under this bill, the services operator would be liable for violations that are committed by clients in the field under that persons employ. There is a direct linkage back to the services operator. What we need to do is to get a licensing system in place and, if there are problems with the transporter segment, and, if there is a problem with the services operators not being present in the field while activities conducted by their business are ongoing, I think there will be ample opportunity to revisit that issue. Number 2098 MR. HANKE acknowledged that it would be difficult to create one bill that is all encompassing. He asked if there was time to add a provision for the three-five year fishing license prerequisite before the committee takes any action. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said he was not in favor of adding any new language at this particular point in time. This is the starting point on sport fish guide/operators licensing. Let us work with it for a year and then come back and attend to it, if necessary. MR. HANKE reaffirmed his support of HB 175. Number 2218 BUD HODSON supports the bill as written and said that it is long overdue. He referred to the transporter question and said if somebody is running people up and down the river, accompanying them in the field and providing services for sport fishing, they are outfitting. They are required to have a license. MR. HODSON felt that outside booking agencies wanting to become licensed operators probably would not want to pay $300,000 for an insurance policy. Number 2333 JOHN WITTEVEEN, lodge owner/charter boat operator, testified from Kodiak acknowledging that certain areas of the state are significantly impacted by sport fishing operations. He said contrary to other people's opinions today, we have far too many licensing requirements. He stressed that if this bill becomes law, his business would require somewhere near 11 or 12 licenses just to operate. He suggested that business license coding could be modified to identify the number of people that are in operation. MR. WITTEVEEN felt that HB 175 does not do anything in terms of the quality of the guides or the quality of operations. He said, "I do not think that you should lead yourself to believe that it will." "It does not lay out any minimum requirements." MR. WITTEVEEN further said, in terms of the reporting of the fish caught, one concern that charter boat operators have is some sort of future quota system or a system of limited entry. MR. WITTEVEEN further stated concerns with the reporting system in the bill and professed that he is an advocate of catch and release. He supported the deletion of the transporter license from the bill and asked whether a person can buy a sport fish operator/fishing guide license combination for single operators who are operators as well as guides. Number 2467 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN responded that the sport fish operator and the fishing guide license had been combined to accommodate small operators......(CHANGE TAPE) TAPE 96-26, SIDE B Number 000 MR. WITTEVEEN asked consideration that the licenses be modified to indicate the number of people that are in operation. Number 017 MR. DELANEY appreciated Mr. Witteveen's points about catch and release and record keeping. He responded that utilization of the licensing system data base will enhance the department's ability to characterize the sport fish industry, in an area, that goes beyond just the number of fish that they catch and kill. It will enable us to have a better idea of the harvest potential and to identify what is important and valuable to the sport fishing industry in that area. Those are exactly the types of things that our area managers want to consider when they select between an option that would close a season early, reduce a bag limit, restrict the use of bait or, in some cases, mandate catch and release. Number 075 MR. WITTEVEEN questioned the report logbook and whether the report would indicate what the catch and release totals were. MR. DELANEY replied in the affirmative. MR. WITTEVEEN asked if the bill pertains to only salmon and halibut and does it affect rock fish, ling cod, cod, pollock, or grayling. MR. DELANEY stated that the language in the bill states that we shall report on salmon and halibut. It does not prohibit us from looking at the other species. In most cases, I think we would be looking at the mix of species that go beyond salmon and halibut, but we want to keep it relatively simple from the onset. Number 148 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN commented that Mr. Witteveen is correct, HB 175 is not meant to be a qualifier for guides or operators; it sets up the system that identifies them. This bill is not designed for limited entry, or envisioned as limited entry, although limited entry is always a possibility. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said his office is looking at the issue of multiple licenses and has asked legislative research to conduct a study listing all the different licenses that people have to have. Number 207 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN referred to testimony offered during the February 23rd meeting in Kenai that the state of Oregon was able to limit guiding to instate guides. He asked the sponsor if he had looked at that issue, "It has always been my impression that we were not constitutionally able to limit guides to just Alaskan residents." REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN indicated that he had not followed up on that investigation. Number 269 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN moved Amendment Number 1: Page 3, delete lines 6, 7, 8, and 9. C0-CHAIRMAN GREEN objected for the purposes of discussion. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN stated that the amendment would delete the requirement of a general liability insurance policy for operators. He explained that the state of Alaska does not require businesses to have insurance to be on file in order to get a business license. Number 337 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN felt that without this requirement there would no recompense for a negligent operation that ended up hurting or killing someone. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN agreed with the Chairman but remarked that he has general problems with ordering it as a condition for licensing. Number 418 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN clarified that this provision was left in the bill to protect visitors to the state. Number 482 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL WILLIAMS explained that he had worked on similar legislation where companies in Ketchikan wanted assurance that passengers off the cruise ships were well taken care and wanted confirmation that the charter boat operators had insurance. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN concurred with Representative Williams stating that the cruise lines now require a million dollars worth of insurance before they let their passengers fly with an air charter service. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN explained that for operators in Mat-Su Valley, who do not own boats, to have to have $1500 worth of insurance is onerous when all they do is guide (drive) someone to a fishing hole and show them how to bait a hook and how to catch a king salmon. Number 525 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said the discussion of limited entry keeps coming up. If somebody buys $300,000 worth of insurance, then they are obviously not a speculator. Number 576 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that he would maintain his objection to the amendment and called for a roll call vote. Representatives Ogan and Williams voted in favor of the Amendment Number 1. Representatives Austerman, Davies, Kott, Nicholia and Green voted against Amendment Number 1. So Amendment Number 1 failed. Number 615 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved for adoption of Amendment Number 2: Page 3, delete lines 31 and 32. Page 4, delete lines 1 and 2. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN objected for purposes of discussion. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN specified that he had philosophical problems with the Department of Fish and Game being the policeman for the United States Coast Guard. Currently, it is illegal for someone to operate a boat for hire without a Coast Guard license; why should the state act as a policeman for the Coast Guard. I think it is inappropriate for the state to enforce federal laws by requiring people to show proof that they have a Coast Guard license to get a state guide license. Number 651 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN stated that the language in the bill was requested by a number of the operators. He said Representative Ogan was correct, it is a duplication of enforcing Coast Guard licensing but if we know that operator has a Coast Guard license then we know that he has gone through the testing requirements and has the appropriate number of hours at sea. Number 750 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN responded to a question from Chairman Green that a person did not need to be a boat operator in order to be a fish guide. He said he knew of several people who will be out of business if this is passed, operating a boat has nothing to do with being a fish guide. Number 786 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN referred to the language on line 32, "if a person uses a vessel in the provision of fishing guide services and the license is required by the Coast Guard." He clarified that rafts and canoes are primarily used upper reaches of some rivers in the Interior of Alaska and that provision was put in there to allow the people who are not using motor vessels to get a license. Number 810 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he stands corrected, but if that language on page 3, line 32, is going to remain; it should be amended to read, "if a person `operates' a vessel." REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said his original objection was that the state could become involved in enforcing federal law. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES referred to page 4, line 32, "for the area in which the fishing guide provides fishing guide services." He said he infers from the language that Coast Guard licenses are specific to an area and require some knowledge of operating vessels in that particular area, and if that inference is correct, then it would seem that this requirement would be useful from the point of view of trying to winnow down the number of people actually providing services in that area to those people who have experience in the area. At least, there is some requirement that a person have some area specific knowledge before operating there and to that extent, I think it is a good requirement. Number 946 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN called for a roll call vote on Amendment Number 2. Representatives Kott and Ogan voted in favor of the amendment. Representatives Austerman, Davies, Nicholia, Williams and Green voted against the amendment. So Amendment Number 2 failed. Number 988 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved for the adoption of Amendment Number 3: Page 4, delete lines 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN objected for the purpose of discussion. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said his concern is that the fish guide is required to carry around copious amounts of paperwork in the field such as proof of employment, proof of first aid and CPR. Number 1059 MR. DELANEY said the language was an enforcement tool since people licensed as guides are not the people contracting with the clients, those are the services operators. These are people contacted in the field by our people and this will be a quick way to identify the services operator that the guide is associated with. This would be the only tool in the field to make a direct link between the guide and the services operator. He said, in most cases, the enforcement officer will become fairly knowledgeable with the regular services operators and guides. MR. DELANEY related that the affidavit would be used to license the services operators or the service operator/guide combination. These licenses would be issued in the licensing section here in Juneau. He said this section covers the sport fish guides, these are the people that are services operators that accompany people in the field. The reason this was approached differently is because many services operators said that if they needed another guide immediately, then they wanted to get those people licensed through some other mechanism rather than sending a letter to Juneau. We can accommodate that through all, or part, of our vendor system. Number 1236 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he was looking at the practical aspect of packing around all this paperwork and wondered if there was a more efficient way of accomplishing this. Number 1300 MR. DELANEY replied that the paperwork is not a lot of bulk. ADF&G will assess, this first year, the most efficient way to issue guide licenses, not the services operator licenses, but the actual guide license. At the onset, the ADF&G is looking at vendors having the ability to sell that particular license. In future, if somebody is licensed for a number of years, perhaps this could be a multi-year license, similar to the Board of Game. Number 1424 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN discussed a conceptual amendment where the "fishing guide's employer shall keep on file at all times," items 2, 4, 5, and 6. The employer has the guide's license and his identification which is what the field officer needs to see. He said, "We are talking about a $500 fine, and after a second offense, your guiding days are over." Number 1491 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said that would be a major responsibility to the vendors. Number 1565 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said a water proof pouch should not be a burden. Number 1599 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT felt that having to carry the specified amount of paperwork did not seem that onerous. He said that a CPR card is nothing more than a small card in the wallet. He further said that the penalties are for knowingly or intentional violations which would be very difficult to prove. The department's position is a good one. Give it a couple of years to see whether or not we need additional changes, and if the Department of Fish and Game can become a one-stop shop. Number 1706 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN withdrew Amendment Number 3. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN imagined a case where someone lost this packet of identification/information and asked the procedure for reproducing the packet. REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN assured the committee that the guide could easily provide positive identification. Number 1737 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES offered an amendment on page 3, line 32, to delete the word "uses" and insert "operates" and continue the same amendment on page 4, line 30. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. Number 1868 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved that CS HB 175 as amended move from the House Resources Committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. Hearing no objection, CS HB 175 (RES) passed out of the House Resources Committee. HB 296 - STATE AUTHORITY OVER FISH AND GAME Number 1907 JOE RYAN, Legislative Staff to Representative Al Vezey, testified on HB 296 reading the sponsor statement into the record: "House Bill 296, an Act relating to the authority of the state of Alaska over fish and game, would codify the primacy of the state of Alaska over the federal government on matters concerning the management of fish and game resources. It is a state's right enjoyed by 49 other states. MR. RYAN proceeded, "The power to manage fish and game was given to the state of Alaska as a condition of our becoming a state and as a condition of entry into the union. This power cannot be abridged or altered, except by mutual agreement of the people of the state of Alaska and the federal government. MR. RYAN continued, "This bill will give the state of Alaska a tool with which it can enforce the right of the state to manage it's fish and game resources. This bill also provides that state funds cannot be used to implement or enforce federal fish and game regulations. MR. RYAN concluded, "This bill will send a message to the Congress and people of the United States that the state of Alaska or an agency created by the state, will be the only one permitted to manage fish and game within the borders of the state of Alaska." Number 2046 GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison, Department of Fish and Game, testified that the ADF&G, and the Department of Law, had expressed concern with HB 296, in the House Special Committee on Fisheries, last year. He referred to a work draft of the original bill and asked if that committee substitute had ever been adopted. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that the committee version was "K." MR. BRUCE said there is a difference between the two versions. He related that the Department of Law testified that the bill is a bit of a "catch 22," because if a state law says you do not have to follow federal law, what weight does it really have? The United States Constitution clearly states that federal law is supreme when there is a conflict between state and federal law. MR. BRUCE said that puts the staff from the Department of Fish and Game in a difficult position. If this law were to pass, the people in the field could be placed in a situation where they are being given conflicting messages. How does a wildlife biologist III, in the field, sort out whether he is supposed to follow a state law that says he cannot assist or cooperate with the federal wildlife agencies that he works with in some matter where the federal agency has jurisdiction or has regulations in place? MR. BRUCE informed that the bill seems to speak exclusively to the situation that exists with subsistence. He said it was the only situation where the federal government could and does exercise management authority over fish and wildlife separate from the state system. MR. BRUCE said another concern with this legislation pertains to the message -- we do cooperate, to a large extent, in a lot of areas to the state's advantage with the federal government in the management of fish and wildlife. The ADF&G receives approximately $30,000,000 a year from the federal government to assist in the management of fish and wildlife in the state. There are a number of areas where we work with the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council to secure the state's ability to manage groundfish resources in state waters within the three mile limit so that we can establish some near shore small boat fisheries that will extend the operation of our shore based plants and allow Alaska-based small boat fisherman opportunity. MR. BRUCE further stated that these issues require cooperation between the state and the federal entities to bring about and there is a balance between firmly asserting the state's right to manage its own fish and wildlife and being willing to cooperate with the federal agency where you have crossing jurisdictions and other reasons to cooperate. MR. BRUCE related that the department certainly has occasions where it differs from federal polices and federal managers and take those issues up on a case-by-case basis, but there are situations in which cooperation is mutually beneficial. MR. BRUCE emphasized the concern with HB 296 of the position it would place field staff. They are trying to do their job and a state law says they cannot work with the federal government on a subsistence issue and a federal regulation says something else. Number 2451 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT recalled that last year the House Resources Committee had referred this bill to a subcommittee. He asked if the subcommittee had reported it out. REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA remembered that the subcommittee was composed of Representatives Austerman, Davies and Ogan...(end tape). TAPE 96-27, SIDE A Number 000 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that there are a number of unanswered questions. MR. RYAN asked that committee substitute version "K" be introduced for the purposes of discussion. He said paragraph (d) on page 2 addresses last year's concerns about international agreements and the Magnuson Treaty, and now pertains to enforcing federal law that is the same as applied in all other states. He explained, "If the law does not apply equally among the states, and we feel it is being applied only, specifically, in Alaska then, perhaps, we should not cooperate if it is to our detriment." The bill gives the Department of Fish and Game employees the opportunity to cooperate with the federal government on all things that are applied equally among the states. It does not preclude enactment, adoption or enforcement of state laws which are substantially similar to federal law, or a law that preempts state management of fish and game. Number 187 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN clarified that the sponsor felt that subparagraph (d), in the proposed committee substitute, alleviates some of the ADF&G concerns. Number 237 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES recommended that the chair place the proposed committee substitute version "K" before the subcommittee. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN apprised the panel of three witnesses on the teleconference network waiting to testify on HB 296. He wondered about having the proposed committee substitute on the table as the working document. Number 267 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved for the adoption of committee substitute for HB 296 version "K." REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA objected. C0-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS clarified that HB 296 is in subcommittee. REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA said, yes it is. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES reiterated that the appropriate course of action would be for the committee substitute to be presented to the subcommittee and the subcommittee would report out its recommendation. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN agreed that would be the appropriate course of action. He indicated to Representative Ogan the point of order regarding his motion to adopt the committee substitute. REPRESENTATIVE KOTT interjected that a motion was not needed and that the subcommittee should work with the prime sponsor and the subcommittee should report back to the full committee. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN withdrew his motion. Number 400 DALE BONDURANT testified in support of HB 296 expressing his view that the state should maintain its authority to manage common property fish and game resources. Number 623 MICHAEL WALLERI, General Counsel, Tanana Chiefs Conference, testified in opposition to HB 296 and the committee substitute version "K." He said the bill boldly denies the obvious fact that the federal government has control over substantial aspects of fish and game management in Alaska. Of particular importance, the bill would suggest that no person, government agency or municipality may exercise authority over the management of fish and game unless authorized by state law, and it would direct state agencies to not cooperate or enforce federal law which preempts or supersedes state management of fish and game. MR. WALLERI emphasized concern that the bill would draw the state from participation in co-management agreements under Section 809 of ANILCA. Under that section, federal agencies managing fish and wildlife in Alaska may enter into cooperative management agreements with Native groups and other entities. There are currently three such agreements in the state involving Tanana Chiefs Conference and the Association of Village Council Presidents and the Copper River Native Association. MR. WALLERI stated that the purpose of these agreements is to coordinate research and management with user groups. Co-management agreements have also been used to facilitate management of moose populations in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta with tremendous success. He related that a recent Tanana Chiefs Conference study on Chum salmon in the Koyukuk River demonstrated and revealed important information about salmon runs in the area. It also challenged basic assumptions about state salmon counting methodology to estimate the run size for the Koyukuk River. These efforts led to a reassessment of the very serious problem in fish and game management in the Interior relating to Chum management. Number 800 MR. WALLERI cited Article 12, Section 2 of the state constitution authorizing state government to cooperate with the federal government in various endeavors including fish and wildlife management. He indicated that HB 296 may overstep the role of the legislature in such agreements. This section of the constitution limits this body to the involvement in considering appropriations in support of state and federal cooperative agreements. A blanket legislative veto of such agreements suggested by this bill may in fact violate the Alaska State Constitutional separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. Number 844 MR. WALLERI concluded stating that the Council encourages that there be state and federal cooperation involving user groups and co-management and, by this, we hope to improve fish and game management in the state as a whole. Number 880 DICK BISHOP, Executive Director, Alaska Outdoor Council, testified in support of HB 296 and the proposed committee substitute stating that he sees nothing in the bill that prohibits cooperation between the state and federal government either with respect to the Department of Fish and Game or with other entities. What it does do is make it very clear that the premise that fish and game management should be undertaken in the state should be consistent with the responsibilities and authorities of the state. He felt the one liner, "good fences make good neighbors" applies here. MR. BISHOP further stated that unless it is clear what the laws are, it is very difficult for people to work effectively within them. It is extremely important for the legislature to have taken this initiative in asserting state management authority for a number of reasons. The federal government will assume authority unless challenged. He said, "I think they need to be challenged and this is an important strategy in doing that. If they do not like it, let them take it to court." Number 1060 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN assigned HB 296 and the committee substitute to the subcommittee. He requested that Representative Con Bunde come forward and introduce HB 329. HB 329 - RESTITUTION FOR CERTAIN GAME VIOLATIONS Number 1096 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE said HB 329 is an Act providing for restitution to the state for the unlawful taking of game. "Penalties for violating wildlife protection laws vary with the crime and the state. The most common crime classification for wildlife violations in all states is the criminal misdemeanor. For misdemeanor, states generally give judges discretion in choosing the amount of the fine, length of jail term, or both. In Alaska, persons convicted of wildlife violations are guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalty is jail for up to a year and a fine of up to $5,000 (AS 16.05.925 (a)). "In addition to criminal penalties, some states have civil liability provisions of some kind. About half the state legislatures have assessed the value of wildlife for civil liability purposes and list damages which may be sought as part of a civil penalty. Some states require the violator to pay, as a condition of sentencing, restitution to the state for each animal take. Alaska is one of only 12 states which does not have restitution provisions for wildlife violations in statute. HB 329 provides a schedule of restitution for wildlife violators to repay as a condition of sentencing. "Alaskans are losing valuable wildlife to poachers. Each piece of game that is illegally taken from our state is an economic loss that affects both our hunting and tourism industries. HB 329 will hold those illegal takers of game accountable for the value of their lake. Poachers will now have to pay restitution, as well as, the penalties already in statute." Number 1246 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN related a first hand experience and requested to be included as a co-sponsor. He encouraged the committee to expedite the process and move the bill out of committee. Number 1298 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if the purpose of the legislation was to make a mandatory fine. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE explained that it is a civil penalty for the loss of that state property. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES stated that the prevailing penalty exceeds any of these, except if there were multiple cases, so the judge could fine up to that amount already. So, the argument from Representative Ogan's point of view is that while judges could do that, they don't do that, and so the purpose of this bill would be to set a floor on the penalties? Number 1330 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE responded in the affirmative stating that many first time offenders have pretty small fines and are liable for up to $5,000. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES presumed that the fines and the restitutions would be deposited in the general fund. CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that it would be a nondedicated fund. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said that is correct. It is a loss to the state. Number 1387 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN discussed with Representative Bunde whether the money going into the general fund would be lost rather than going to a dedicated area that would actually ensure the restoration of those diminished resources. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE replied that these are resources that are valued to the state, in general, and not just to the Department of Fish and Game. He said that representatives were here from the Department of Fish and Game. Number 1457 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA said she wanted to hear the full testimony from the Department of Fish and Game. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved that HB 329 move from the House Resources Committee with individual recommendations. There was an objection, so a roll call vote was taken. Representatives Ogan, Kott, Green and Williams voted in favor of moving the bill. Representatives Davies and Nicholia voted against moving the bill. So HB 329 moved from The House Resources Committee. Number 1532 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA asked for the fiscal note on the bill. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said the fiscal note was zero and that he would make a copy available to the committee. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Resources Committee, Chairman Green adjourned the meeting at 10:07 a.m.