Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/12/1996 08:09 AM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         April 12, 1996                                        
                           8:09 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 Don Long                                                       
 Representative Ramona Barnes                                                  
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 All members present                                                           
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 278                                                           
 "An Act relating to the authority of the Department of Natural                
 Resources to allow credits against fees at state historical parks."           
                                                                               
      - MOVED SB 278 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 230(FIN)                                               
 "An Act relating to management of state land, water, and land and             
 water as part of a state park, recreational or special management             
 area, or preserve; relating to reports to the legislature                     
 concerning prohibitions or restrictions of traditional means of               
 access for traditional recreational uses within a park,                       
 recreational or special management area, or preserve; relating to             
 Chilkat State Park; and relating to Denali State Park."                       
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSSB 230(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                   
                                                                               
 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 42 am                                  
 "An Act allowing a person to hold more than one entry permit for              
 certain fisheries and amending the definition of `unit of gear' for           
 purposes of the commercial fisheries limited entry program; and               
 providing for an effective date."                                             
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 548                                                            
 "An Act authorizing, approving, and ratifying the amendment of                
 Northstar Unit oil and gas leases between the State of Alaska and             
 BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.; and providing for an effective date."           
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 (* First Public Hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 278                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: CREDITS AGAINST FEES AT ST HISTORICAL PKS                        
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) TAYLOR                                                 
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 02/09/96      2352    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/09/96      2352    (S)   RES, FIN                                          
 02/19/96              (S)   RES AT  3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 02/19/96              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/21/96      2488    (S)   RES RPT  5DP                                      
 02/21/96      2488    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DNR)                            
 03/08/96              (S)   FIN AT  9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                
 03/13/96              (S)   MINUTE(FIN)                                       
 03/14/96      2736    (S)   FIN RPT  3DP 4NR                                  
 03/14/96      2736    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (DNR)                            
 03/18/96              (S)   RLS AT 12:20 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 03/18/96              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                       
 03/20/96      2807    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  3/20/96                        
 03/20/96      2810    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 03/20/96      2810    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 03/20/96      2810    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  SB 278                       
 03/20/96      2810    (S)   PASSED Y20 N-                                     
 03/20/96      2817    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 03/21/96      3233    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/21/96      3234    (H)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                                
 04/12/96              (H)   RES AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  SB 230                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: MANAGEMENT OF PARKS & RECREATIONAL AREAS                         
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) PEARCE, Frank, Green, Halford, Leman,                  
 Miller, R.Phillips Sharp, Taylor, Torgerson, Donley;                          
 REPRESENTATIVE(S) Kohring                                                     
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                  ACTION                                   
 01/22/96      2198    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/22/96      2198    (S)   RESOURCES                                         
 01/31/96      2267    (S)   COSPONSOR(S):   DONLEY                            
 02/09/96              (S)   RES AT  3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 02/09/96              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/12/96              (S)   RES AT  3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 02/12/96              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/13/96      2409    (S)   FIN REFERRAL ADDED                                
 03/13/96              (S)   RES AT  3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 03/13/96              (S)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 03/14/96      2735    (S)   RES RPT  CS  3DP 1NR      NEW TITLE               
 03/14/96      2736    (S)   FISCAL NOTE TO SB (DNR)                           
 03/22/96      2832    (S)   FISCAL NOTE TO CS (DNR)                           
 03/27/96              (S)   FIN AT  9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                
 03/27/96              (S)   MINUTE(FIN)                                       
 03/28/96      2940    (S)   FIN RPT  CS  3DP 3NR      NEW TITLE               
 03/28/96      2941    (S)   FISCAL NOTE TO CS (DNR)                           
 03/29/96              (S)   RLS AT 12:05 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 03/29/96              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                       
 04/02/96      3014    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR & 1 OTHER REC  4/2              
 04/02/96      3023    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 04/02/96      3023    (S)   FIN  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                      
 04/02/96      3024    (S)   AM NO  1     MOVED BY RIEGER                      
 04/02/96      3024    (S)   AM NO  1     FAILED  Y7 N13                       
 04/02/96      3025    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT            
 04/02/96      3025    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 230(FIN)                
 04/02/96      3025    (S)   PASSED Y17 N3                                     
 04/02/96      3030    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 04/03/96      3616    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/03/96      3616    (H)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                                
 04/04/96      3646    (H)   CROSS SPONSOR(S): KOHRING                         
 04/12/96              (H)   RES AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 JOE AMBROSE, Legislative Assistant                                            
   to Senator Robin Taylor                                                     
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 30                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4906                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave sponsor statement for SB 279.                       
                                                                               
 BILL GARY, Superintendent                                                     
 Southeast Area                                                                
 Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation                                      
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 400 Willoughby Avenue                                                         
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1796                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4563                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on SB 279.                            
                                                                               
 JIM STRATTON, Director                                                        
 Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation                                      
 Department of Natural Resources                                               
 3601 "C" Street                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5921                                                  
 Telephone:  (907) 269-8701                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on SB 279 and SB 230(FIN).            
 KEN ERICKSON, Legislative Administrative Assistant                            
   to Senator Drue Pearce                                                      
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 111                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4993                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave sponsor statement for CSSB 230(FIN).                
                                                                               
 CLIFF EAMES                                                                   
 Alaska Center for the Environment                                             
 519 West Eighth, Number 201                                                   
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 274-3621                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on CSSB 230(FIN).                              
                                                                               
 DON SHERWOOD                                                                  
 Alaska Boating Association                                                    
 1640 Brink Drive                                                              
 Anchorage, Alaska 99504                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 333-6268                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of CSSB 230(FIN).                   
                                                                               
 ROY BURKHART, Member                                                          
 Alaska Boating Association                                                    
 Box 204                                                                       
 Willow, Alaska 99688                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 495-6337                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of CSSB 230(FIN).                   
                                                                               
 SARA HANNAN, Executive Director                                               
 Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                    
 419 Sixth Street                                                              
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3366                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against CSSB 230(FIN).                         
                                                                               
 DAVID STANCLIFF, Legislative Assistant                                        
   to Representative Beverly Masek                                             
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 418                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2688                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on CSSB 230(FIN).                              
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-54, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN JOE GREEN called the House Resources Committee meeting            
 to order at 8:09 p.m.  Members present at the call to order were              
 Representatives Long, Williams, Austerman, Ogan and Green.  Members           
 absent at the call to order were Barnes, Davies, Kott and Nicholia.           
                                                                               
 SB 278 - CREDITS AGAINST FEES AT ST HISTORICAL PKS                          
                                                                               
 Number 051                                                                    
                                                                               
 The first order of business was SB 278, "An Act relating to the               
 authority of the Department of Natural Resources to allow credits             
 against fees at state historical parks."                                      
                                                                               
 JOE AMBROSE, Legislative Assistant to Senator Robin Taylor, came              
 forward and read the sponsor statement in to the record:                      
                                                                               
 "Senate Bill 278 was introduced to address concerns raised by the             
 Ketchikan Area State Parks Advisory Board and the Ketchikan Gateway           
 Borough Assembly.                                                             
                                                                               
 "SB 278 would provide a mechanism by which the Division of Parks              
 and Outdoor Recreation could acquire two small parcels of land                
 adjacent to Totem Bight State Historical Park.                                
                                                                               
 "The parcels are currently held by Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU)           
 as the site for a diesel generation plant.  KPU plans to vacate the           
 property, which would then revert to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.           
                                                                               
 "Senate Bill 278 would allow DNR to offer credits against fees paid           
 by commercial tour operators for payments made to a municipality              
 for the projects that will mitigate or alleviate access, congestion           
 and parking problems at historical parks.  The Division of Parks              
 and Outdoor Recreation has indicated that use of this provision at            
 any state historical park other than Totem Bight is unlikely.  In             
 any event, the authority would sunset on December 31, 2000.  The              
 three year window is needed to avoid drawing too quickly against              
 the fees.                                                                     
                                                                               
 "Totem Bight is a 12.5 acre state park located north of the City of           
 Ketchikan.  It had an estimated 160,000 visitors in 1995, about               
 half of them arriving on commercial tours.  In 1977, it was                   
 estimated that the park could handle between 636 and 744 people at            
 any one time.  That actual use now exceeds 925 people at a time.              
                                                                               
 "The park only has seven parking spaces for buses and often there             
 are 21 busses parked in the lot, on the road shoulders and at a               
 nearby gift shop.  Park staff is now advising independent travelers           
 and local park users to pay attention to the cruise ship schedule             
 and to avoid the park when the ships are in town.                             
                                                                               
 "To mitigate the overcrowding and congestion, DNR is proposing that           
 the tour operators pay for acquisition of the borough-owned parcels           
 to provide additional parking space and additional attractions such           
 as trails and possibly a carving demonstration area.                          
 "The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has                   
 indicated an interest in developing a transportation enhancement              
 project along the road at Totem Bight if this land becomes                    
 available.                                                                    
                                                                               
 "Totem Bight is a valuable asset.  The state has invested more than           
 a million dollars in capital improvements to the facility over the            
 past ten years.  By acquiring these two parcels we can spread out             
 the use area, enhance the park and mitigate the problems."                    
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said he would answer any questions committee members              
 may have.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 303                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL WILLIAMS asked, "Do you have an O.K. of                      
 acquisition?  Do you have any price there?"                                   
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said the department has indicated that they don't plan            
 to spend more than $150,000 of the fees on this acquisition.  Jim             
 Stratton, Director, Division of Parks, has stated that the bill               
 carries a zero fiscal note and they anticipate that the total paid            
 to the state from commercial operators in the summer of 1995 will             
 not decrease this coming summer.  Program receipts above the 1995             
 level is what they plan to use.  In 1997, fees at the park will be            
 increased from the current $3 per person for commercial operators             
 to $4 per person.  Mr. Ambrose said it won't impact current funding           
 as far a program receipts.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 553                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS indicated he is very familiar with the issue             
 and doesn't have anything against it.  He said his concern is that            
 the state of Alaska is in direct competition with this.  Co-                  
 Chairman Williams said, "As you know, Saxman has a tour and over              
 the last ten years we've put in a million dollars, ourselves, into            
 the project in Saxman along with the help of the state of Alaska.             
 Has your office given any thought to that?   How we can make them             
 at least so they won't compete with each other?"                              
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said he recognizes the problem Co-Chairman Williams has           
 pointed out.  There was some lobbying effort, on the part of the              
 tour operators, to try to discourage this increase.  The idea is              
 they should be paying more.  Mr. Ambrose said as he sees it, with             
 the increased volume of traffic coming through the community, we              
 really need to disburse them to both ends of the road.                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said he is very concerned about the                      
 competition that the state of Alaska is in with the private sector.           
 He said, "A $125,000 this year, or whenever it is, it's just                  
 helping traffic go that way.  Saxman can't take all of the buses              
 right now, but they're sure not getting 160,000 people out there              
 and they can do that at least, I know.  So I would hope that we can           
 work together to make sure that the state of Alaska is not in                 
 competition or at least make them pay their fair share."                      
                                                                               
 Number 599                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked, "How far apart are they - this location              
 and the park?"                                                                
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said about 15 miles.                                              
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if a package couldn't be involved that                
 would be advisable to show tourists both places.                              
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE explained the decision as to where to take the people             
 on the buses is made by the tour operators and cruse ship                     
 companies.  He said price motivates them.  Mr. Ambrose noted he               
 doesn't know what Saxman currently receives from tour operators.              
                                                                               
 Number 640                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said he had helped build up the Saxman tours             
 and they were charging approximately $35 per passenger.  The state,           
 at that time, was charging $1.50.  He said, "So our competition               
 there was - they look at Native experience.  The tour operators do            
 say -- they don't push the Native experience here in Juneau as they           
 do in Ketchikan.  In fact, Sealaska at one time was going to start            
 a Native experience here in Juneau and the tour companies told them           
 `You go and talk to Cape Fox Corporation and see how you can help             
 them with their tour.  We can't talk to you about it.'"                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said when the tour operators aboard ship are             
 selling the tours they say, "This is what you get for a Native                
 experience out in the Totem Bight and this is what you get for $35            
 for a Native experience.'  He said it's very difficult to compete             
 with that type of price difference.  Co-Chairman Williams said                
 hopefully, we can work together to at least get them comparable.              
                                                                               
 Number 756                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said of the 160,000 visitors in 1995, 70,000 came from            
 the tour operators that pay this fee.  There is no charge at the              
 park for walk-in traffic or local traffic.  The only people that              
 pay are the commercial tours.                                                 
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Co-Chairman Williams if the $35 includes              
 the bus transportation to and from Saxman.                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said it is made of up three areas.  The tour             
 operators gets their cut of the $35, the ship gets their cut and              
 the city of Saxman gets their cut.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said the fee that is currently $3 per person and is               
 going to $4 is not what the traveler pays.  That is what the                  
 company pays the state per person.  He noted he doesn't know what             
 the overall fee is when a person gets off the ship and goes in that           
 direction.  Mr. Ambrose said it is an entirely different experience           
 and if he were coming to Alaska for the first time on a cruse ship            
 and he had an option of what is offered at Saxman as compared to              
 what's offered at Totem Bight, Saxman is where he would go first.             
 He said he would probably want to see them both.  He said he would            
 find out what the total price is that the operators charge for                
 those tours.                                                                  
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if the time in port is a problem.  He asked           
 if there is plenty of time, would they want to go.                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS indicated they have plenty of time.                      
                                                                               
 Number 880                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DON LONG said, "I got a question on allowing credits           
 against fees.  Isn't that something like getting (indisc.) in                 
 funding."                                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said he has been advised that it's not.  He said the              
 department uses program receipts from this park and it is the only            
 one that generates this kind of revenue and has for years.  Mr.               
 Ambrose said he believes there is a separate account that is set up           
 similar to what is done with the Alaska Marine Highway System.  The           
 original proposal on this legislation was brought to Senator Taylor           
 by the Governor's legislative liaison.                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked that the record reflect that Representative           
 Davies, Kott, Nicholia have jointed the meeting.                              
                                                                               
 Number 933                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES questioned how these fees are different            
 than fees that are paid at any other park.                                    
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE explained the bill only applies to historical parks.              
 The only people who pay a fee at the park are people who come in on           
 a commercial tour.  He said, "Basically, what they're trying to do            
 is - it's a circular way of acquiring this property.  There are two           
 relatively small parcels, but will add tremendously to the                    
 accessibility of the facility which is really over burdened right             
 now."                                                                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "My only concern I share with                         
 Representative Williams is that I don't think the state should                
 supplement private parks.  By the same token, I don't think they              
 should use public funds to compete with themselves.  If there were            
 some way you could say that this is a taste and if you want the               
 whole meal, go to Saxman or something like that, I think that would           
 be great, but I know we can't do that as a state.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1031                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE explained he has lived in Ketchikan for almost 22 years           
 and has watched the evolution at Saxman.  He said it is real asset            
 to the entire community.  Mr. Ambrose said he thinks that we will             
 find out how comparable the rates are.  He stated he believes there           
 is a legitimate concern throughout the community.  Because of the             
 way Ketchikan is laid out with only one main drag, when you get               
 five of the huge ships in it becomes crowded.  The tourists need to           
 be dispersed as widely as possible, but we also need to encourage             
 increased traffic to the Saxman experience.                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if by making this a bus access or parking             
 area, would that blend in with what is currently there.                       
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said it would.  He noted Ketchikan Public Utilities is,           
 by law, responsible for cleaning up anything that is there as far             
 as if there is any hazardous waste or anything else from the diesel           
 generation plant.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 1150                                                                   
                                                                               
 BILL GARY, Superintendent, Southeast Area, Division of Parks and              
 Outdoor Recreation, Department of Natural Resources, said he would            
 be happy to answer any questions that he can.  He noted Jim                   
 Stratton, Director, was connected via teleconference.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked Mr. Gary if he could explain the              
 language in the bill that says, "mail out credits against fees due            
 to the department."                                                           
                                                                               
 MR. GARY said his understanding is that the language would allow              
 the department to apply additional fees above the existing level of           
 $3 per person.  He said they would enter into an acquisition                  
 agreement and the borough would give them management authority over           
 the lands over an extended period of time so that the amount of               
 money they make would meet the whatever price is negotiated.  That            
 price would be settled hopefully below $150,000, which is the                 
 amount that the department estimates that they could make in about            
 three to four years of the additional fees.  He noted the                     
 additional fees that they have been trying to charge at Totem Bight           
 is a delicate balancing act.  He said the department is very                  
 sensitive to the idea of competing with Saxman.  Mr. Gary said                
 since he has been with the department, his number one problem has             
 been trying to raise the fees.  The tour companies, of course, want           
 to keep them down.  He indicated that the department's position has           
 been that Saxman is a much different experience and they have been            
 trying to work with the cruse ship companies to describe that in              
 their information on the ships, which is where everything really              
 happens in sales.  He said they have been pretty successful with              
 that.  Mr. Gary referred to raising the price to $4 in 1997 and               
 said it is approaching what he feels is a comparable amount of                
 value for the service.  He noted he doesn't know the actual dollar            
 value that Saxman receives per person.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1308                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said, "We've been talking about this issue for           
 quite some time and we keep getting the same answer saying, `We're            
 trying to get it up there,' then we put another million dollars               
 into the project and we're out at the other end of town struggling            
 just to keep it going.  Can I get an answer from you?  I mean                 
 forget about what the tour companies are gunna do.  You know they             
 can drop that portion and they have done that to us in Saxman and             
 we tried to charge em a dollar a head to come across our land and             
 they just dropped us and it took us five years to get em back to              
 us.  So you know without -- lets say that we do something to make             
 you -- what can we do to make you at least get the prices                     
 comparable?"                                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. GARY said, "All I can say is we have been make it comparable.             
 It has gotten better and the price that we receive is negotiated              
 and we try to get it up every year.  And I think we've given them             
 the notice that in 97 it will go to $4.  The indications I get from           
 talking to Saxman tour operators is that it is getting to parity in           
 the value received and the issue is really more the information               
 they get on board ships and so what I've been more concerned about            
 is how the information on board ship compares the two experiences             
 so that people can make a better choice.  As far as figuring out              
 the pricing...."                                                              
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked Mr. Gary when he thinks we'll get a                
 return on that million dollars.  He said they just redid the whole            
 thing over the last year and a half.  They rebuilt the house,                 
 replaced a couple of the poles, built walkways, made different                
 trails and now we're going to make a bigger parking area.  He again           
 asked Mr. Gary when he thinks we'll get return on the million                 
 dollars.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1490                                                                   
                                                                               
 JIM STRATTON, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation              
 Department of Natural Resources, testified via teleconference from            
 Anchorage.  He referred to Co-Chairman Williams' question about               
 seeking a return on the investment in the parks and said he thinks            
 there is a fundamental difference between the purposes of Totem               
 Bight and the operation in Saxman.  He said what we have in Totem             
 Bight is a state historical park and the main purpose of the park             
 is not to generate fees, but to provide information about the                 
 original culture in the Ketchikan area.  When we start looking at             
 parks solely as a way to get a return on investment, we're missing            
 the purposes for which the parks were established.  He said that he           
 thinks that in order to maintain the Totem Bight facility for not             
 only the residents of Ketchikan and non-tour visitors, but also the           
 tour visitors, we need to generate some income from the commercial            
 operators to pay for that facility.  The fundamental purposes,                
 other than the indigenous culture education of the two facilities,            
 are different and that is something we need to keep in mind.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1555                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said this is not the first time that the problem            
 of competition between state owned facilities and private                     
 facilities has come up.  He asked Mr. Stratton if he feels that by            
 following what the bill would provide would increase competition or           
 detract from people wanting to go to the Saxman facility.                     
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said he doesn't think so.  He said he thinks that the            
 purpose of the bill is to free up the existing parking.  The tour             
 operators will continue to go to Totem Bight filling up the parking           
 lot and the private parking adjacent to Totem Bight.  The people              
 who are really getting squeezed out are the people in Ketchikan and           
 the independent travelers that aren't on a bus tour.  They come by            
 Totem Bight and they can't find a place to park.  The real winners            
 in the bill and with this acquisition are going to be the non-tour            
 visitors to the park because they are having a hard time getting in           
 there.  He said Mr. Ambrose has indicated when he has visitors in             
 town and the cruse ships are in town, he doesn't even bother to               
 attempt to visit the area.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1620                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ALAN AUSTERMAN asked Representative Williams if his            
 point is that the state parks needs to raise their fees so they're            
 competitive.                                                                  
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said he has been asking this for some time.              
 They're in direct competition with Saxman.  He indicated this                 
 discussion has happened almost every year for the last three years            
 and all he hears is "We're trying, we have to take care of the tour           
 companies, they're gunna be very upset with us."  He said they have           
 raised the fee every year a little at a time and the argument is              
 that we can't raise it because we'll drive away the bus companies.            
 Co-Chairman Williams said you can bring so many buses into the                
 park.  He said they tell the bus companies "These are how many                
 buses you'll have at this time, per hour."  He said they can't take           
 22 buses at one time.  Co-Chairman Williams said at Saxman, we've             
 had to build and expand that parking lot.  They have taken their              
 ball field out of that area and put it into another area.  He said            
 they have had to pay the state back for the ball field that they              
 received money for.  Co-Chairman Williams stated he supports the              
 bill and would like to see it move, but he would like the                     
 department to be a little bit more stronger in trying to be                   
 competitive with what is being done out there.                                
                                                                               
 Number 1738                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "Representative Williams, what sort of                
 number -- do you have a feel for what sort of a magnitude of number           
 we'd need here if that were going to be case that they would                  
 somewhat come to a parity?"                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS indicated he didn't know exactly what the                
 number is.  He referred to the $35 amount and explained the bus               
 company was getting an amount of money.  The shipping company                 
 received the biggest amount and then the bus company got their                
 amount and then we got whatever.  He said we were always having to            
 negotiate.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1798                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said what we need to find out is what the cruse line is           
 charging the passenger for that full package.  He asked if the                
 overall package is $35.                                                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said it was five years ago.                              
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said if it is going to take an increase in the fee at             
 Totem Bight to bring them into comparable levels, he is sure                  
 Senator Taylor will do everything he can to influence the division            
 to do that.  He said he agrees with Co-Chairman Williams in that we           
 constantly hear from cruse lines that "If you do this, then we are            
 going to pull out," and yet traffic seems to increase every year.             
 He said as a region, we're starting to realize that while one                 
 community doesn't dare put on a head tax, if we did it as a region            
 he doesn't think they'll all turn around and head for the                     
 Mediterranean.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1854                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said Co-Chairman Williams indicated that a fairly           
 large amount of that $35 stays with the shipping company or the               
 tour company.  That sounds like they would want to then advertise             
 or make available the knowledge that there is this trip to Saxman.            
 He asked if $3 or $4 versus $35 is what scares people off.                    
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said he doesn't believe that the cruse lines are                  
 charging their passengers $3 for the Totem Bight trip.  It is                 
 probably $25 or $30 to get on the bus to go out there.  That is               
 what the operator pays the state.  He said we need to find out how            
 they're similar.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1895                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said if we're going to do an apples and                 
 apples comparison, there has to be a comparison between what the              
 underlying value and what the experience is.  If one is simply the            
 ability to walk among some totem poles and the other is an active             
 demonstration of things -- if one is a big production and the other           
 is just a passive walk through a small park, those are different              
 experiences and they ought to have a different value.                         
                                                                               
 Number 1936                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE LONG referred to his earlier question regarding                
 credits against fees and said it was mentioned that the Division of           
 Parks collects fees for parks.  He asked what is done with the                
 fees.  He said it sounds like the division has the ability to use             
 the fees they collect.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said they currently collect approximately $2 million             
 in fees.  That is within the division's program receipt                       
 authorization within the operating budget.  Currently, the fees               
 they collect are authorized to go back into park authorizations for           
 the most part, system wide.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1985                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if this is essentially a funding                    
 mechanism for capital improvements.  He said he never really got a            
 clear answer on the question of allowing credits against fees due             
 to mitigate or alleviate access.  He asked if they are going to               
 take the money that is being collected and build new parking                  
 spaces.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said that is essentially what it is.  It is a funding            
 mechanism for a land acquisition so that federal highway monies can           
 be used to make a parking lot improvement.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if there is any reason why we don't get             
 a capital appropriation through the normal capital appropriation              
 process.                                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said the Division of Parks hasn't been successful in             
 recent years in securing very much of the capital budget.  The                
 capital budget they do get is focused primarily on deferred                   
 maintenance and park repairs.  Mr. Stratton explained, "The                   
 situation at Totem Bight is a little different in that what we're             
 seeing the fees coming from the operators that would go into this             
 funding mechanism really as a mitigation payment for displacing the           
 parking, you know, the independent traveler and the Ketchikan                 
 resident.  We're looking at this as a mitigation fee, you know,               
 more so than a straight capital acquisition.  So that's                       
 fundamentally what it is.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if the bill has a House Finance Committee           
 referral.                                                                     
 MR. AMBROSE responded that there was a Resources and Finance                  
 referral.  He explained this same discussion was brought up in a              
 Senate Finance Committee meeting.  He explained he has a tendency             
 to agree with the co-chair of Senate Finance in that while there is           
 a zero fiscal note, he isn't really sure that is the way it should            
 be done.  There obviously is going to be an expenditure of money              
 that would be coming to the state through this circular and the               
 state ends up with an asset.  The end result is the state owns this           
 property, but he doesn't know that a zero fiscal note is truly                
 reflective.  He referred to the explanation of "We're going to be             
 spending from the increased fee," and said there is still money               
 changing hands somewhere.  Mr. Ambrose stated he doesn't know how             
 accurate a zero fiscal note is.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 2117                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said, "Well on that point, clearly what this            
 would be is equivalent to the other cases we've had of designated             
 program receipts where a program receipt comes in but it is                   
 restricted to a particular purpose and it ought to be, you know, in           
 the same sense as the North Star pipeline permitting fees that come           
 in from BP (British Petroleum) for that particular purpose.  These            
 fees came in -- you know are coming in for a particular purpose and           
 we really do need, I think, to have -- we don't have in our                   
 bookkeeping system, right now, an adequate way to deal with                   
 designated program receipts.  And this is another example of that             
 problem and if we had, then we could showed it because these kinds            
 of receipts do have a zero impact on the fiscal gap.  They don't              
 increase or decrease (indisc.), but they are expenditures of funds            
 and ought to be accounted for.  So we need to have a mechanism, we            
 don't and that's the dilemma.  Having said that, I had one specific           
 question with respect to the fees and I want for Director Stratton            
 -- does -- you indicated the overall fees, I just wondered if you             
 have broken out and do you know if they fees that you collect at              
 Totem Bight cover the operations there?"                                      
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON informed the committee members that the fees do cover            
 the operations there.                                                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked Mr. Stratton if he would describe it as           
 kind of a break even thing or a small positive cash flow.                     
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said it is a positive cash flow.  The fees that they             
 are able to generate at Totem Bight fund most of the Ketchikan park           
 operation which includes a couple of other facilities.  He noted              
 Mr. Gary might know what the specific numbers are.  Mr. Stratton              
 said he knows that they more than pay for Totem Bight with the                
 fees.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2201                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said it seems to him that there are lots             
 of state parks around this state, some are historical and some are            
 not, that charge fees to use the parks.  The objective behind these           
 parks was to put something together that people could use at a                
 price that they could afford and when you get into commercial                 
 operators using them, he can understand that you'd want to raise              
 the price a little bit because they're making a profit.  He said,             
 "If you continue to raise the fees on these parks, do you want to             
 just turn them over to a private sector or do you want to continue            
 to have the state operating them, and I think that's basically what           
 the problem that Representative Williams is having is that on one             
 end of the road you've got a commercial operator and the other end            
 you've got the state and maybe the state should be a commercial               
 operator and be competing with the other one.  I don't know which             
 one was put in first so that would raise a little bit of question             
 on the till.  I mean if the state park has been there all along and           
 now Saxman has come along and is trying to compete with them then             
 I think Saxman has got the problem because if they're trying to               
 compete...  I don't know but the pressure being put on the state              
 parks to raise their fees - raise their fees to be, you know,                 
 competitive with the private sector, I think there is a little bit            
 of fallacy there."                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 2260                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said as he understand the problem, if they went             
 private then you'd have a problem with the walk-ins from Ketchikan            
 that aren't associated with this tour business who would go free.             
 If it goes commercial then these people will probably be charged as           
 well.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2271                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said, "What I'm driving at, Mr. Chairman,            
 is that this discussion that we're having of whether the fee should           
 be raised on this state park to be competitive with the private               
 sector is I don't think it necessarily should be the argument that            
 we should be having at this table.  I think the argument that we              
 should be having at this table then is whether that state park                
 should be turned over to concession to be competitive.  If that's             
 the kind of discussion we want to get into (indisc.) state parks              
 with the private sector."                                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said he thinks that is a side issue.  He said the           
 issue is whether or not we should allow this expansion, and in                
 order to do that - to pay that back we're going to have to increase           
 fees.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2297                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said he thinks he left the wrong impression.  The                 
 decision to increase the fee to $4 next year was made quite awhile            
 ago and preceded the bill by quite a ways.  This bill is not what             
 is driving the increase.  The increase has been something that                
 Representative Williams has been calling to the attention of the              
 division for quite awhile.  The increase would more than adequately           
 cover acquisition of the property over this period of time.  He               
 noted the bill is not driving the increase.                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said his point is that the committee spent           
 45 minutes talking about competition when actually it is separate             
 issue other than the fact Co-Chairman Williams wants to get the               
 point across.                                                                 
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said if we enhance or make available more parking           
 space for more buses, does that than work a hardship for a private            
 corporation?  In that case, the state is supplementing itself to be           
 in competition.  He said he isn't so sure we want to do that.                 
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said that is a totally different discussion from what             
 the bill is about.                                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said, "No because that competition would drive              
 whether we want to enhance that park.  If we don't want to enhance            
 it then this bill is dead and we have not encouraged a further                
 competition of private industry.  Is that a wrong statement?"                 
                                                                               
 MR. AMBROSE said they're going out there now despite the fact that            
 we don't have parking.  This will get them off the shoulders of the           
 road.  He said he believes Representative Davies is correct.  We              
 need to compare what is being offered to the traveling public.                
                                                                               
 Number 2401                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS made a motion to move SB 278 out of committee            
 with individual recommendations.                                              
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if there was an objection.  Hearing none,             
 SB 278 was moved out of the House Resources Committee.                        
                                                                               
 SB 230 - MANAGEMENT OF PARKS & RECREATIONAL AREAS                           
                                                                               
 Number 2423                                                                   
                                                                               
 The next order of business to come before the House Resources                 
 Committee members was CSSB 230(FIN), "An Act relating to management           
 of state land, water, and land and water as part of a state park,             
 recreational or special management area, or preserve; relating to             
 reports to the legislature concerning prohibitions or restrictions            
 of traditional means of access for traditional recreational uses              
 within a park, recreational or special management area, or                    
 preserve; relating to Chilkat State Park; and relating to Denali              
 State Park."                                                                  
                                                                               
 KEN ERICKSON, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Senator Drue            
 Pearce, Alaska State Legislature, came forward to give the sponsor            
 statement.  He said in the committee files, there is a sponsor                
 statement and a sectional analysis.  Mr. Erickson read the sponsor            
 statement into the record:                                                    
                                                                               
 "Senate Bill 230 was introduced to protect Alaskan's right to                 
 access state land and water for recreational uses.  In a time when            
 the federal government continues to restrict and prohibit Alaskan's           
 access to many areas of the state, we the state government, need to           
 ensure that decisions to restrict access on land we control are               
 made in a responsible, fair and well represented process.                     
                                                                               
 "Alaskans are presently losing their right to traditional                     
 recreational use on some state land and park land without                     
 appropriate notification and justification.  Citizens believe that            
 the public comment process is not being fairly administered and all           
 user groups are not being represented.  In some instances, the                
 management and authority to restrict and prohibit uses on state               
 land are being transferred from the Division....                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-54, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON continued reading the sponsor statement, "...of Lands            
 to the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.  Non-restricted              
 areas of our state are being closed without proper oversight by the           
 legislature.                                                                  
                                                                               
 "Decisions to deny access for recreational use, because of its                
 importance, have always been made by our legislature and not                  
 bureaucrats.  The Constitution of the State of Alaska recognizes              
 the importance of land closures and mandates that all closures over           
 640 acres must be legislatively designated.  We must continue to              
 recognize the importance of land closures and make necessary                  
 changes in the current process for restrictions and prohibitions in           
 areas less than 640 the acres.                                                
                                                                               
 "A change in this process, SB 230 in its current form or other                
 language that achieves this intent, would ensure that all Alaskans            
 would have proper representation by their elected officials and               
 restrictions and prohibitions on traditional recreational activity            
 would need to be justified to the legislature.  Many areas of                 
 Alaska may need to be restricted to some or all recreational                  
 activity, but these important decisions need to be made at the                
 legislative level, where the people have better access."                      
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON said that a few weeks ago, the committee heard HB 447            
 which is very similar in intent; however, the two bills has since             
 diverged in their approach to this problem and they do stand alone.           
 He said he would answer questions.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 059                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Erickson if he would be prepared to               
 explain to the committee the difference between SB 230 and HB 447.            
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON responded that HB 447 takes its approach in Title 38,            
 whereas SB 230 takes its approach in Title 41.  He said he believes           
 Title 38 deals with how the department handles just their general             
 land issues whereas Title 31 deals with park land issues.                     
                                                                               
 Number 089                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES said although these may deal with two            
 separate sections of the statutes, she personally would have to               
 oppose SB 230 because the other bill has already been passed, which           
 is in the Senate and they could amend it.  She said the House has             
 already transmitted a bill and the House bill should be the                   
 vehicle.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 110                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN indicated the committee amended HB 447 because of           
 its potential for crossing other land uses.  There primarily was a            
 safety issue, if they were to cross lands that might be available             
 for mining or other activities, it could create a problem with the            
 public.  He asked if the SB 230 provides that same sort of                    
 protection so that the owner of the lease, while they may have                
 access, they could actually direct people how to get around this              
 from a safety standpoint.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON said SB 230 specifically deals with park lands and               
 doesn't really deal with private property.                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN asked Mr. Erickson if he is only talking about access             
 to park land.                                                                 
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON answered in the affirmative.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 155                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said when HB 447 was before the committee,           
 the members did discuss incorporating Title 41 into it and the                
 sponsor, at that time, didn't want to do it.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said she believes the other bill deals with             
 everything that is in the Senate bill except for the addition of              
 the Chilkat State Park and the Denali State Park.  She said, "It              
 seems to me that the title of this bill, being what it is, that if            
 we stripped out everything out of it except that portion which                
 deals strictly with the parks - the Chilkat State Park, etc., this            
 bill goes far beyond parks.  It goes to state parks, recreational             
 or special management areas or preserves.  It incorporates the                
 House bill.  It may be the Senate President's bill, but that's just           
 too bad because I just think this is an injustice to the House one            
 (indisc.)."                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON said the two bills could stand on their own and they             
 would compliment each other.  He asked if it would help the                   
 committee if he reviewed the sectional analysis.                              
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if he would review the sectional analysis.            
                                                                               
 Number 236                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON explained Section 1 adds a list to the duties of the             
 Department of Natural Resources.  The department must annually                
 submit a report to the legislature on each designation of an                  
 incompatible use that prohibits or restricts a traditional means of           
 access.  The report must state the reasons for the restriction or             
 prohibition, the specific area affected and the duration of the               
 restriction or prohibition.                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON said Section 2 adds a further section to the list of             
 duties required by the Department of Natural Resources.  The                  
 department may not manage as special purpose park land those areas            
 not inside park boundaries as designated by the legislature.                  
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON referred to Section 3 and said it adds slightly under            
 11 acres of land to Chilkat State Park.  He said Jim Stratton,                
 Director of Parks, could perhaps speak more directly to this.  Mr.            
 Erickson said the reason for including this section is that his               
 predecessors had these lands transferred to the park using an                 
 interagency land management agreement (ILMA) and the lands were               
 originally purchased with federal funds that had strings attached             
 which said this land has to managed as it were Chilkat State Park             
 land.  Mr. Erickson said SB 230 says that he has to manage that               
 land under a slightly less restrictive management scheme, and if              
 that's the case, then he has to replace the 11 acres with similar             
 land.  He would have to do that at 1996 land prices.  One solution            
 to the problem is just add these 11 acres to Chilkat State Park.              
                                                                               
 Number 322                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked Mr. Stratton he had a problem with that as            
 far as how that will actually take place if the budget is set                 
 before this bill becomes effective.                                           
                                                                               
 JIM STRATTON, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation              
 Department of Natural Resources, said they are comfortable with               
 that part of the bill.                                                        
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON explained Section 4 adds a section to the statute                
 establishing Denali State Park specifying what constitutes an                 
 incompatible use.                                                             
 MR. ERICKSON referred to Section 5 and said it specifies that past            
 regulations, and regulations being currently promulgated,                     
 concerning Denali State Park take effect only if they are                     
 consistent with the provisions of this act.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 372                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said, "This bill was introduced two weeks               
 before this bill was introduced and it looks like to me what                  
 happened here somebody took the House bill and took a little                  
 different approach to it and stuck in the expansion of Chilkat                
 State Park and some other clarifying language as it relates to                
 Denali and I have a real problem with this.  And I think -- and               
 what I'd like to see happen is this bill held in the committee                
 until we resolve how this bill is going to be handled in the other            
 body."                                                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said he has a tendency to agree with                        
 Representative Barnes.  He noted he is thinking very seriously                
 about a subcommittee because he would like that completely                    
 resolved.  He said we're going through two different sections of              
 statute, but he doesn't want there to be a conflict.                          
                                                                               
 Number 442                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said he understands the motivations in                  
 Section 3.  He said he doesn't really understand the motivations in           
 Section 2.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON explained the department transfers lands to park unit            
 and manages those units as if they were park lands under the more             
 restrictive classifications of the statutes that designates those             
 park land, they there has been no legislative review of that                  
 transfer.  Essentially, the argument is, "Do we expand park lands             
 without undergoing legislative review?"                                       
                                                                               
 MR. ERICKSON said as the legislature has established each park, the           
 legislature has gone through and designated what they consider to             
 be a traditional and compatible use of that park land; however,               
 Denali State Park in its original authorizing statute just lists              
 the land that makes up the park.  It does not talk about what is a            
 traditional use in state land.  He referred to the question of "Is            
 there an event of sparking this," and said yes.  The park's                   
 director recently instituted some restrictions on Blair Lake and              
 Kasoogie (Sp.?) Ridge and Denali State Park says you cannot allow             
 float planes to land on that particular lake.  He noted he believes           
 the park's director also restricted some landings on Kasoogie                 
 Ridge.  Mr. Erickson said that is a traditional means of access for           
 the guide industry to conduct their hunts and other recreational              
 activities.  That traditional use existed far before Denali State             
 Park was even made a state park.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 578                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN informed the committee there are a number            
 of different things in the Senate bill than what is in the House              
 bill.  He said he distinctly remembers Representative Masek said              
 that she did not want Title 41 involved in ANILCA.  In that                   
 essence, there are two separate bills.                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said that is a good point.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 606                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said the reporting requirement in Section 1 is                   
 something that the department worked with the bill sponsor on.  He            
 said that is something that the department thinks is reasonable.              
 It is important to point out that a vast majority of the                      
 restrictions that they make on traditional recreational access are            
 made for public safety reasons and not for other reasons.  It would           
 be reporting on those lands that would be transferred to them under           
 the revised Title 38 rules that are in HB 447.  Mr. Stratton                  
 referred to Section 2 and said the impetus for this section has to            
 do with Blair Lake.  He said, "We have, in reality, only added                
 acreage to legislatively designated parks that expand the                     
 boundaries in two instances, one being Chilkat State Park and                 
 that's the reason that we have Section 3 in this bill is to take              
 care of that problem as Ken described earlier.  And The other is at           
 Denali with the addition of Blair Lank to the park through the ILMA           
 process about a year and a half ago.  We do propose a float plan              
 closure on Blair Lake.  I have withdrawn that from the regulation             
 package because I perceived a public safety concern that I had                
 there last fall has diminished, so that particular restriction is             
 no longer proposed.  We do still propose an aircraft closure on               
 Curry and Kasoogie Ridge, which really gets to the part of this               
 bill that Parks is opposed to and that is Section 4, which changes            
 the purposes for Denali State Park, from our perspective, after 26            
 years of citizen driven management and that this new purpose for              
 the park allows for preference for motorized access.  Now Ken was             
 correct in describing the legislation that created Denali in the              
 first place.  It did not identify incompatible uses where the                 
 legislature established the park, and when the legislature does not           
 identify compatible uses that need to be accommodated in the park             
 planning, we move ahead and try and try and find that balance                 
 between competing park uses and, in this case, motorized and non-             
 motorized uses within the park boundaries through the park planning           
 process.  There have been two plans done for Denali State Park, one           
 in 1975 and another one in 1989.  The most recent master plan in              
 1989, it took us two years to develop this plan.  We had three                
 rounds of public meetings.  Meetings were held in Anchorage,                  
 Fairbanks, Palmer and Talkeetna.  We had three opportunities for              
 people to provide written comments.  We had ten public meetings               
 over that two year period with the Mat-Su Parks Citizens Advisory             
 Committee to discuss the plan and all of those meetings were                  
 advertised in the newspaper and opened to the public, and it's that           
 citizen process - all of those meetings, all of that written                  
 comment - all of that public discussion, you know lacking any                 
 direction from the legislature, we crafted a balance between                  
 motorized and non-motorized use within the park and it was put                
 forth in the Denali master plan in 1989.  That master plan, after             
 all of this public involvement, recommended some areas of the park            
 be closed to motorized access including aircraft landing and snow             
 machines.  The area is (indisc.) Curry and Kasoogie Ridge.  It's              
 about 30 percent of the total park acreage.  Now Parks does not               
 like the propose regulations until we need them - until the use is            
 to the point where we're beginning to see conflicts between, you              
 know, different competing recreational uses.  We feel that point is           
 being reached in Denali State Park.  The public has been pushing              
 State Parks to implement the regulations - to implement the 1989              
 management plan.  The Mat-Su Advisory Board has been pushing it -             
 other members of the public.  So when we released the regulation              
 package last fall, it understandably so prompted an outcry to those           
 who were opposed to any motorized closures, and we feel that the              
 closures proposed in the Denali State Park Management Plan were               
 done with the benefit of a full and open public discussion,                   
 involvement of citizens from across the spectrum of Alaska users              
 and it's unfair to those hundreds of Alaskans that have spent                 
 thousands of hours crafting this compromise in Denali State Park              
 between motorized and non-motorized uses to have the legislature at           
 this stage of the game and change the ground rules.  Now we                   
 understand that -- in my discussions with the bill sponsor that the           
 proposed closures that we currently exist in - the master plan,               
 would not be considered ample or reasonable assets.  So we would              
 have to go back in -- while the bill does allow for some closures,            
 but the amount of closure that we have proposed in the 89 master              
 plan would not be compatible with this new language.  We'd have to            
 go in and redo the management plan because, given to historic                 
 involvement of any recreational user groups in this discussion and            
 the intensity of the debate - changing this balance is not                    
 something that we can do without a lot of public discussion and               
 that's why there is $105,000 fiscal note attached to this bill                
 because we're going to have to go back out with these new, if this            
 passes, with these new directions and guidelines from the                     
 legislature, trying to explain to these people who have been                  
 working our Denali plan for the last 15 - 20 years why the rules              
 were changed and then under this new framework, move ahead and try            
 and try craft a new balance between motorized and non-motorized               
 use.  That is not something that easily done.  As I know the                  
 members of the committee are well aware, and I certainly am as the            
 director of State Parks, Alaskans feel very strongly about how                
 their parks are managed and anytime you propose any kind of an                
 opening of an area or a closure of an area, you're going to bring             
 people out on all sides of the discussion."                                   
                                                                               
 Number 915                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said he noticed the current fiscal note predates            
 the committee substitute.  He asked that with the committee                   
 substitute is the fiscal note of $105,000 still applicable.                   
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON indicated it is still applicable.                                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN asked him if sees any conflicts between SB 230              
 and HB 447.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. STRATTON said he doesn't see any conflicts between the two                
 bills.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 945                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said it doesn't bother her that they would              
 have to go back out for more public comment.  She said she had read           
 too many articles as to how portions of the public have been                  
 treated not only in that park, but after public hearings.  It's               
 appalling.                                                                    
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN said he has heard similar comments from some of             
 his constituents and non-constituents.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 968                                                                    
                                                                               
 CLIFF EAMES, Alaska Center for the Environment, testified via                 
 teleconference from Anchorage.  He said his organization had                  
 testified on HB 447 and submitted a letter regarding that bill                
 which is also applicable to SB 230.  Mr. Eames said they agree with           
 Mr. Erickson in that the intent of the two bills is similar.  Both            
 of them are a reaction to the attempt by the Division of Parks,               
 which they believe was long overdue, to treat all recreational                
 users in Denali State Park fairly instead of the present situation            
 which favors motorized use.  The bills are an attempt to detour               
 both the Division of Lands and State Parks from trying to achieve             
 this balance.  He said the Alaska Center for the Environment                  
 believes, both as a practical matter and because of the chilling              
 effect, that we're going to continue with this situation where non-           
 motorized users are slighted and motorized or noisy use are                   
 favored.  Mr. Eames said they don't think that's fair and they hope           
 that the legislature does not intend to treat one segment of Alaska           
 recreation users unfairly.  He said he would note that the                    
 legislature will provide a balance of opportunities for visitors,             
 so it's motorized noisy opportunity and quiet non-motorized                   
 opportunities.  Mr. Eames said it is ironic that motorized uses are           
 considered to be traditional uses.  The non-motorized uses are far            
 more traditional than the motorized used.  Mr. Eames referred to SB
 230 in comparison to HB 447 and said the Senate version is more               
 onerous.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1103                                                                   
                                                                               
 DON SHERWOOD, Alaska Boating Association, testified via                       
 teleconference from Anchorage.  He noted he is on the Governor's              
 Advisory Board for the Susitna Basin Rec Rivers Management Plan.              
 He said he supports SB 230.  The reconvene is that they don't feel            
 that the State Parks administration is doing fairly to all users,             
 traditional and/or the old timers (indisc.)  He asked, "What is the           
 history of the historical means in paragraph (b).  Also, is it                
 grandfathered in to paragraph (a) what traditional means.  Mr.                
 Sherwood questioned where the study is on safety and danger in                
 these areas.  He said there isn't one.  Mr. Sherwood continued to             
 discuss the public process.  He referred to the $105,000 fiscal               
 note and said he thinks it should be defunded at this time.  He               
 thanked the committee for listening to his testimony.                         
                                                                               
 Number 1194                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked Mr. Sherwood if he thinks there are any           
 circumstances where provisions should be made for quiet use of                
 land.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. SHERWOOD said, "Yes, there is up in the upper part of the                 
 rivers when the rivers go down after we hunt in there early in the            
 spring.  Now I can't take my grandchildren in, thanks to the                  
 restriction, to bear hunt.  As the river falls, it restricts the              
 uses of these upper rivers.  Just nature takes care of its own and            
 it's quiet at that time."                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES referred to snow machine access and said                
 suppose there are four watersheds in a park and asked Mr. Sherwood            
 if he would supports perhaps closing one of them to motorized                 
 access.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. SHERWOOD said he can't see a reason for it.  He said he doesn't           
 see any walkers in there during the winter.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1250                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said she would like to withdraw her                     
 objections to SB 230(FIN) now that she has had further discussions            
 and better understands that HB 447, sponsored by Representative               
 Masek, will stand on its own.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1270                                                                   
                                                                               
 ROY BURKHART, Member, Alaska Boating Association, testified via               
 teleconference from Mat-Su in favor of CSSB 230(FIN).  He said,               
 "I've had a number of experiences dealing with Parks and Rec, both            
 as a representative of the Boating Association and also as a                  
 resident on Nancy Lake, which is involved in the Nancy Lake                   
 recreation area.  When - I think it was Mr. Stratton talked about             
 compromise, the only thing that I could ask, I would ask Cliff                
 Eames about compromise.  I would ask the Parks and DNR how many               
 areas in Alaska are in the state parks where if you do not have a             
 motorized transportation - you're prohibited from entering because            
 the conflict between the user groups are people that on motorized             
 transportation or recreation vehicles and non-motorized?  Now we              
 continually have what are referred to as noisy motorized and I                
 would like to ask how many of the areas are the southeast non-                
 motorized restricted from golf.  They can go anywhere we can and              
 then when it gets too crowed, they want (indisc.), but they don't             
 have many areas where they're not allowed to go.  On the (indisc.)            
 River management plan finally we were able to get em to go to a               
 compromise on the Little Susitna River where one week is float only           
 and the next week is motorized and that's a compromise, but not the           
 definition that they get.  And I would ask you to support Senate              
 bill 230 or some type of restrictions to where the Administration             
 does not have the power to shut us out of our own wilderness.  I'm            
 also a disabled Veteran and if I can't have motorized access, I               
 can't go.  That's all I've got.  Thank you."                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1406                                                                   
                                                                               
 SARA HANNAN, Executive Director, Alaska Environmental Lobby, came             
 forward to give her testimony.  She said she has been working on SB
 230, both in the Senate and the House, and also HB 447.  Ms. Hannan           
 said both of the bills came out of a management proposal that is              
 not in place.  The regulations that spurred this controversy in               
 Denali State Park started with a proposed closure at Blair Lakes.             
 She said what both of those bills do is put more burden on the                
 legislature to do more management.  Because there was great outcry            
 from some public members that this proposed management decision               
 wasn't good, the response has been that the legislature should                
 assume more management.  Ms. Hannan said she would assert that                
 that's the wrong burden and that management of agency                         
 responsibilities coming back to the legislature increases the                 
 legislature's workload.  She said she thinks that the extensive               
 process the agencies are asked to go through to do their management           
 is something we want to make sure that they do.  Ms. Hannan said              
 she believes there are many other ways for the legislators to carry           
 their point to them if they don't agree with the management such as           
 their budget process.  The legislature's political influence in               
 agency management is clear and direct.  She said she doesn't think            
 it requires statutory change.  It requires open flowing                       
 communication.  Ms. Hannan said that Representative Williams could            
 certainly speak to the fact that he hasn't been satisfied with                
 state park management in his areas, but going to a statutory remedy           
 is a very dramatic step, she believes, in a direction that burdens            
 the legislature.  She said she doesn't think that it is efficient             
 for government to do that.  Ms. Hannan said, "I believe it is fully           
 the responsibility of the legislature to communicate with agencies            
 if you believe that they're not carrying out your intent or that              
 you're changing the intent because of things they've carried out in           
 the wrong way."                                                               
                                                                               
 MS. HANNAN said, "With that aside, I (indisc.) speak strictly to              
 Denali State Park remembering that these statues don't just cover             
 Denali State Park, they cover all state parks.  When the                      
 legislature has designated state park land, it is because you've              
 said that those park lands have some special value or high use or             
 something to that effect.  When Denali State Park was created 26              
 years ago I think it was with a clear vision that Mount McKinley              
 and Denali National Park were a choice piece of Alaska for the                
 growth of future tourism and that we needed to reserve some area              
 around there because we knew that the national park was not going             
 to, forever, accommodate the increasing demand for tourism and                
 growth in Alaska.  And as tourism expands in Alaska and Alaska                
 grows, every acre of land will have more users and more conflicts             
 over use and those use development questions are complicate to                
 resolve.  If you've served on you local government you know the               
 most complicated use developments is what my neighbor is gunna do             
 adjacent to my land - does he get to build a fence or not?  How               
 high does that fence get to go and what does it get to look like?             
 And when you expand those kind of management decisions to state               
 parks and kinds of uses, I think it's an extensive process.  I                
 believe that the public process related to these new regulations in           
 Denali State Park is important and it's important to go forward               
 with them.  Regulations can be changed and I believe that                     
 legislative oversight and direction and communication would                   
 probably result in the quickest amount of change.  Director                   
 Stratton spoke to the fact that even before those regulations have            
 gone into place, he has heard clearly from the legislature and from           
 you constituents that their proposed closure on Blair Lakes, which            
 was not in place last year and is not in place, has been repealed             
 from being proposed.  Maybe it took a sledge hammer to get his                
 attention, but he heard it and it's not part of the proposed                  
 regulation package.  I believe that that's the appropriate process.           
 I don't think that changing the statutes that govern these parks              
 and changing the statutes that direct Denali State Park is an                 
 appropriate place for the legislature to go.  I think it's going to           
 burden you down and I think it's going to bring the conflicts that            
 are going to expand and increase in Alaska as management of land              
 increases in conflicting use.  Here to the table, I mean you're               
 gunna spend months and months and months making decisions that                
 should be made by our agencies.  I believe that if you don't agree            
 with those decisions being made by the agencies, there are other              
 mechanisms besides statutory change to effect those.  I'd asked you           
 keep 230 here in committee and let the regulations regarding Denali           
 State Park go forward.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1689                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES said what Ms. Hannan has said is idealistic.            
 She said, "I've beaten agencies over the head since 1979 and the              
 only time they ever listened is when you change the statutes and              
 I'll guarantee you they'll try to find a way to get around the                
 statutes too.  Unfortunately, that happens to be the case."                   
 Number 1727                                                                   
                                                                               
 DAVID STANCLIFF, Legislative Assistant to Representative Beverly              
 Masek, Alaska State Legislature, came forward to testify.  He said            
 he has closely followed both SB 230 and HB 447.  He said he would             
 like the committee members to know that he supports what Senator              
 Pearce is trying to do specifically with the ILMA authority and               
 specifically with prohibition of access in parks where there needs            
 to be more of a balance.  He said he doesn't see this bill in any             
 way, shape or form bumping Representative Masek's bill off the                
 calendar.  They kind of complete a broad picture.  He thanked the             
 committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1774                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES moved and asked unanimous consent to move               
 CSSB 230(FIN), out of committee with individual recommendations.              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES objected.                                               
                                                                               
 A roll call vote was taken.  Representatives Austerman, Barnes,               
 Kott, Ogan, Williams and Green voted in favor of the motion.                  
 Representatives Davies, Long and Nicholia.  So CSSB 230(FIN) was              
 moved out of the House Resources Committee.                                   
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN GREEN adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee            
 meeting at 9:31 a.m.                                                          
                                                                               

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