Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/27/1997 01:21 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                              
                         March 27, 1997                                        
                           1:21 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman                                       
 Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman                                        
 Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                      
 Representative Fred Dyson                                                     
 Representative Joe Green                                                      
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
 Representative Reggie Joule                                                   
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Ramona Barnes                                                  
 Representative William K. ("Bill") Williams                                   
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 21                                                 
 Relating to amendment of Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest           
 Lands Conservation Act.                                                       
                                                                               
      - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                 
                                                                               
 SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 128                                     
 "An Act relating to water quality; directing the Department of                
 Environmental Conservation to conduct water quality research;                 
 establishing the Water Science Oversight Board; and providing for             
 an effective date."                                                           
                                                                               
      - MOVED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                 
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 141                                                            
 "An Act relating to a vessel permit moratorium for the Alaska                 
 weathervane scallop fishery; relating to management of the scallop            
 fisheries; and providing for an effective date."                              
                                                                               
      - MOVED CSHB 141(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                   
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 144                                                          
 "An Act authorizing the Department of Environmental Conservation to           
 charge certain fees relating to registration of pesticides and                
 broadcast chemicals; and providing for an effective date."                    
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 19                                                             
 "An Act relating to licensing of sport fishing services operators             
 and fishing guides; and providing for an effective date."                     
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 16(RES) am                                 
 Relating to reauthorization and reform of the Endangered Species              
 Act.                                                                          
                                                                               
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HJR 21                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: REQUESTING CONGRESS TO AMEND ANILCA                              
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MASEK, Ogan                                     
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 02/12/97       314    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/97       314    (H)   RESOURCES, STATE AFFAIRS                          
 03/13/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 03/13/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 03/20/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 03/20/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 128                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: WATER QUALITY; WATER SCIENCE OVERSIGHT BD                        
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HUDSON                                          
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 02/12/97       318    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/12/97       318    (H)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                                
 02/18/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 02/18/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/20/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 02/20/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 02/27/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 02/27/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 03/18/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 03/18/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 03/19/97       756    (H)   SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED -                   
                             REFERRALS                                         
 03/19/97       756    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/19/97       756    (H)   RESOURCES, FINANCE                                
 03/20/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 03/20/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 03/25/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 141                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: SCALLOP FISHERY/VESSEL MORATORIUM                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) AUSTERMAN                                       
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG                 ACTION                                   
 02/17/97       374    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/17/97       374    (H)   FSH, RESOURCES                                    
 02/26/97              (H)   FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 02/26/97              (H)   MINUTE(FSH)                                       
 02/27/97       508    (H)   FSH RPT  CS(FSH) 5DP                              
 02/27/97       508    (H)   DP: AUSTERMAN, KUBINA, HODGINS, IVAN              
 02/27/97       508    (H)   OGAN                                              
 02/27/97       508    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G)                            
 03/18/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
 03/18/97              (H)   MINUTE(RES)                                       
 03/27/97              (H)   RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                        
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant                           
    to Representative Alan Austerman                                           
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 434                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4230                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for HB 141.                  
                                                                               
 EARL KRYGIER, Extended Jurisdiction Program Manager                           
 Division of Commercial Fisheries Management and Development                   
 Department of Fish and Game                                                   
 P.O. Box 25526                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99802-5526                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-6112                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 141.                              
                                                                               
 MARK KANDIANIS, Owner                                                         
 F/V Provider                                                                  
 326 Center Avenue, Suite 205                                                  
 Kodiak, Alaska  99615                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 486-3309                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 141.                                     
                                                                               
 BRUCE SIEMINSKI                                                               
 P.O. Box 1302                                                                 
 Seward, Alaska  99664                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 224-3636                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 141.                       
                                                                               
 MAX HULSE, Owner                                                              
 F/V LaBrisa                                                                 
 P.O. Box 770881                                                               
 Eagle River, Alaska  99577                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 694-2413                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 141.                                     
                                                                               
 WILLIAM KOPPLIN                                                               
 P.O. Box 192                                                                  
 Ester, Alaska  99725                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 479-5426                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 141.                                     
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-34, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0001                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN called the House Resources Standing                    
 Committee meeting to order at 1:21 p.m.  Members present at the               
 call to order were Representatives Ogan, Hudson, Masek, Dyson and             
 Green.  Representatives Nicholia and Joule both arrived at 1:24               
 p.m.  Absent were Representatives Barnes and Williams.                        
                                                                               
 HJR 21 - REQUESTING CONGRESS TO AMEND ANILCA                                
                                                                               
 Number 0091                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the first order of business was House              
 Joint Resolution No. 21, relating to amendment of Title VIII of the           
 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).  He                 
 advised that public testimony was closed following the special                
 testimony the previous week.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0115                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called an at-ease, at Representative Dyson's                 
 request, at 1:23 p.m.  He called the meeting back to order at 1:29            
 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0187                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE read from the state constitution,                 
 Article XII, Section 12, which says in part:  "The State of Alaska            
 and its people forever disclaim all right and title in or to any              
 property belonging to the United States or subject to its                     
 disposition, and not granted or confirmed to the State or its                 
 political subdivisions, by or under the act admitting Alaska to the           
 Union.  The State and its people further disclaim all right and               
 title in or to any property, including fishing rights, the right or           
 title to which may be held by or for any Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut,            
 or community thereof, as that right or title is defined in the act            
 of admission.  The State and its people agree that, unless                    
 otherwise provided by Congress, the property, as described in this            
 section, shall remain subject to the absolute disposition of the              
 United States."                                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE referred to extinguishment of aboriginal                 
 rights under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and to           
 John Borbridge's testimony March 13 regarding the conference                  
 committee that met prior to ANCSA.  Representative Joule said it              
 was not the intent of Congress to totally disclaim hunting and                
 fishing rights for Alaska Natives.  Because the state and the                 
 Secretary of Interior did not settle the issue, Title VIII of                 
 ANILCA was introduced.                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0458                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said under ANILCA, the state agreed to                   
 language regarding rural people that did not specify Native                   
 Alaskans.  Concessions had been made then to accommodate the                  
 state's concerns.  He believes HJR 21 goes against a deal that was            
 made and he objects to it.  He suggested figuring out a way to                
 resolve the issue from a broader perspective.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0650                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said on its face, HJR 21 appears to be a good-           
 faith attempt that calls for interested parties to sit down and               
 find common ground on definitions in the agreement.  He does not              
 see it as an attempt to go back on anything.  However, to his                 
 disappointment, it is not being perceived that way.  Without all              
 the parties at the table, he does not believe there will be an                
 Alaskan solution acceptable to everyone.                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he is troubled by his own vote, as he               
 gave his word to vote it out of committee.  He recommends that                
 everyone put energy toward finding common ground and some basis on            
 which to all sit down at the table.  He expressed great distress at           
 the polarization, reactions, and paranoia on several sides of the             
 issue.  He does not want his vote in committee to be construed as             
 taking sides or breaking a deal.  Neither does not believe this               
 effort, well-intended as it appears, will be successful unless                
 major portions of the Native community come forward and find common           
 ground with others.  He emphasized he is casting no aspersion.                
                                                                               
 Number 0884                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON concurred.  He recognizes the difficulty of           
 resolving this issue to everyone's satisfaction.  He believes the             
 most important element of HJR 21 is trying to prevent federal                 
 takeover of management of Alaska's fish and game.  It does not                
 resolve subsistence nor take one side over another.  However,                 
 testimony from rural regions indicates no support for it, which               
 troubles him.                                                                 
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said he does not know how to regain trust, have            
 meaningful discussion and find a solution.  It clearly will call              
 for leadership and statesmanship, with less divisiveness.  He                 
 expressed uncertainty as to his final vote, but believes it does no           
 good to keep the resolution in committee.  He suggested this issue            
 should go through the whole process.  He hopes people from rural              
 and Native communities will help find a solution and break the                
 impasse.                                                                      
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated his belief that there is enough fish and            
 game to satisfy everyone's interests.  He said he worries about               
 failing to act and letting the federal takeover of management of              
 Alaska's fish and game become so entrenched that Alaska cannot get            
 it back.  "So I guess I'm pleading for the real leaders, who                  
 understand this issue better than I do, to help us find solution,"            
 he concluded.                                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1106                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA stated her opposition to HJR 21.  She           
 feels that it is not a resolution to the federal-state subsistence            
 impasse.  It divides communities, it is not written with a spirit             
 of cooperation, it is unnecessary, and it does not build trust.  It           
 also eliminates customary trade.  For example, people who are                 
 widowed, elderly, crippled or have some kind of a disease that                
 precludes them from fishing or hunting for their own families may             
 use customary trade to exchange gasoline for fish or meat.                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA mentioned supplementing budgets with                  
 subsistence.  She said rural people cannot survive without                    
 resources such as big game and fish.  She also said HJR 21 ensures            
 that regional advisory councils are ineffective or abolished.  "We            
 have great pride in voting for the person that represents us on               
 these regional councils," she stated, noting that council members             
 live in the area, follow caribou herds, know game and fish                    
 populations and work closely with biologists.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1270                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA said HJR 21 weakens Title VIII of ANILCA,             
 which they depend on for survival and connection to cultural                  
 activities.  Title VIII connects them to customary trade options              
 and to the earth and all its resources.  She emphasized that Title            
 VIII only falls into place for the rural priority when there is a             
 resource shortage.  In her district, that had not yet happened.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA pointed out there are private lands under             
 Native corporations in her region.  Although they could do so, they           
 have not kicked anyone off those lands for hunting or fishing.  She           
 said they are trying to work with outsiders and those from urban              
 Alaska who fish and hunt in her district.  "They're great for our             
 economy," she said.  "We realize that.  And we welcomed them into             
 our communities.  I've gone up and talked to those guys.  They've             
 had a lot of exchanges with us."  She concluded by saying HJR 21              
 further divides village communities from urban communities.  She              
 does not believe HJR 21 will resolve the impasse.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1401                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN acknowledged this is a much-discussed,               
 sensitive and divisive issue.  He pointed out Alaska's enormous               
 size and said the square miles are equivalent to the "main actors"            
 in the Civil War.  He said in that case, the ultimate good was                
 worth the strife.  Here, there are two polarized views that will              
 never come together.  However, cultures and times are changing,               
 with use of motorized vehicles and boats in rural areas, for                  
 example.  Whereas when he came to Alaska, people thought it absurd            
 to walk a mile for a moose, now that short distance would be                  
 welcome.  Saying Alaska will forever remain as it was 100 or 50               
 years ago is not heading into the 21st century with the right                 
 attitude.  He believes Alaska's fight collectively should be with             
 the federal government, not internally over a few issues.  As                 
 painful as it may be, he plans to support HJR 21.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1664                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK said the subsistence issue has been              
 around many years, and the state has tried to resolve it.  The                
 congressional delegation has consistently requested a position from           
 the state on this issue.  Now, federal agencies have draft                    
 regulations in place to initiate preemption action against the                
 state, including state land and navigable waters.  She said HJR 21            
 looks at the fine points as far as what the state will be up                  
 against.                                                                      
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK stated that preemptive regulations could                 
 ultimately have a big impact on commercial fisheries, and they                
 could be initiated as early as October 1997.  Finding common ground           
 is important, and it is the reason she introduced HJR 21.  The                
 resolution is designed to return fish and wildlife management to              
 the state, while retaining some preference for subsistence on                 
 public lands.  It is also designed to specifically exempt state and           
 private lands or waters from any federal preemption, which she                
 believes is extremely important.                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said the majority of the Senate and House                
 clearly indicated a state constitutional amendment is neither                 
 possible nor desirable at this time.  Therefore, the only                     
 possibility of relief from federal preemption lies within amending            
 ANILCA.  Delays in amending ANILCA only place the state at greater            
 risk of total preemption by the federal government.                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK spoke of efforts by former Governor Hickel and           
 current Lieutenant Governor Ulmer to resolve this issue.  The                 
 Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) rejected attempts in both cases.           
 The AFN has adopted a no-net-loss position; she noted that                    
 committee members have copies of this policy.  Representative Masek           
 said the question is what is necessary to protect the state's                 
 interests, including all users of Alaska's fish and wildlife.                 
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK acknowledged testimony regarding fears that              
 the rural preference will be in jeopardy.  She emphasized that HJR
 21 retains the rural preference.  She concluded by thanking                   
 everyone for their input and opinions.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 1928                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said he too has a heavy heart.  He emphasized that           
 he is acting with malice towards none.  His goal in moving HJR 21             
 is to facilitate conversation and hopefully bring all parties to              
 the table.  "Because if we don't do this, then all the motivation             
 for solving this goes away," he stated.                                       
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said the problem people have with customary trade            
 is not that it's "here's some fish for some gas."  He does not                
 believe anyone would have a problem with that.  However, people               
 have a problem with outright sale of large quantities of                      
 subsistence-caught fish or game.  He believes that goes against the           
 spirit of subsistence.                                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised listeners that this is not a law but a               
 resolution, an advisory position of the legislature asking Congress           
 to make these changes.  He shares the concern that Alaska is                  
 running out of time.  His concern is for the resource.  Looking at            
 the state of Washington, for example, he does not believe either              
 rural or urban Alaskans want their resource compromised like that.            
                                                                               
 Number 2017                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN recounted how a pastor had shown excitement over             
 change resulting from a crisis.  He noted that HJR 21 brings this             
 situation to a crisis.  Many feel threatened by it, which he                  
 understands wholeheartedly.  However, he believes the crisis will             
 bring necessary change.  It will require leadership by not only the           
 legislature but the Governor's office, the Native community, the              
 Alaska Outdoor Council and others.                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN expressed hope for a consensus.  He said according           
 to Co-Chairman Hudson, when a consensus is reached, generally                 
 everybody is a little bit unhappy and then you know it is a good              
 consensus.  Co-Chairman Ogan said he wants to move HJR 21 because             
 otherwise the issue will not be resolved.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2123                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA noted that the congressional delegation               
 requested that Alaska come forward with unified voice on a solution           
 to this problem.  "We don't have a unified voice," she stated,                
 asking whether passing the resolution out of committee was for                
 nothing.  She asked whether the sponsor wished to address that.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK declined, shaking her head.                              
                                                                               
 Number 2160                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated his wish to bring people to the table to              
 discuss this.  He said he would be working towards that goal.  He             
 reiterated his reason for moving HJR 21 is that if it stays in                
 committee, the discussion ends.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 2196                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE advised that the congressional delegation                
 indicated they had been putting together waivers to extend this.              
 He suggested letting them know this issue is on the table, that               
 Alaska would like to leave it on the table and have them obtain a             
 waiver.  Work could then be done in the interim.                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE acknowledged that a conclusion may not reached           
 by the next session.  He noted that some people have a problem with           
 customary trade and barter, some with the state providing                     
 definitions, for example.  He suggested taking up one issue at a              
 time, dealing with it and then putting it away, so that people do             
 not feel they must address everything at once.                                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE, responding to Representative Green's                    
 comments, said "our people have learned to adapt."  He noted that             
 although motorized boats are enjoyed, people still use skin boats             
 for whaling because they are quiet.  Although the equipment has               
 changed, the harvest, the attitude and the spiritual connection               
 have not.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2344                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK made a motion to move HJR 21 out of committee            
 with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE objected and asked about the tabled motion               
 made at a previous hearing by Representative Barnes, currently                
 absent.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 2390                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called an at-ease at 2:11 p.m.  He called the                
 meeting back to order at 2:17 p.m.                                            
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated his belief that the motion by                       
 Representative Barnes, left on the table at the March 13 meeting,             
 had died because it was not taken up March 20.  He believed the               
 current motion was proper.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 2430                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON expressed appreciation for Representative           
 Joule's suggestion of a waiver, which he understood to be                     
 postponement of the federal takeover.  He offered to work on a                
 joint resolution to that end.  He agreed with Representative                  
 Nicholia that HJR 21 would do no good without a "wide buy-in" by              
 most Alaskans.                                                                
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-34, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0006                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DYSON said he would not vote to move the bill                  
 further than committee unless he sees wider agreement.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE maintained his objection.                                
                                                                               
 Number 0053                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked for a roll call.  Voting to move HJR 21 from           
 committee were Representatives Masek, Dyson, Green, Hudson and                
 Ogan.  Voting against it were Representatives Nicholia and Joule.             
 Representatives Barnes and Williams were absent.  So HJR 21 moved             
 from the House Resources Standing Committee.                                  
                                                                               
 SSHB 128 - WATER QUALITY; WATER SCIENCE OVERSIGHT BD                        
                                                                               
 Number 0075                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next order of business was Sponsor             
 Substitute for House Bill No. 128, "An Act relating to water                  
 quality; directing the Department of Environmental Conservation to            
 conduct water quality research; establishing the Water Science                
 Oversight Board; and providing for an effective date."                        
                                                                               
 Number 0087                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON advised that final action was deferred at the              
 March 25 hearing to allow Representative Green to address                     
 questions.  He further advised that the letter recently received              
 from the Alaska Clean Water Alliance refers to standards in the               
 original bill, not SSHB 128.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0165                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained that his concern had been whether              
 small companies or individuals abiding by existing standards might            
 experience hardship because of changing standards.  For example, he           
 knew of cases where samples for toxicity tests were sent to three             
 different labs because of conflicting results; that is unaffordable           
 to mom-and-pop operations.  However, after talking with the mining            
 community and people in the science field, he is satisfied.                   
                                                                               
 Number 0289                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to move SSHB 128 from committee            
 with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.  There             
 being no objection, SSHB 128 moved from the House Resources                   
 Standing Committee.                                                           
                                                                               
 HB 141 - SCALLOP FISHERY/VESSEL MORATORIUM                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0344                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next order of business was House               
 Bill No. 141, "An Act relating to a vessel permit moratorium for              
 the Alaska weathervane scallop fishery; relating to management of             
 the scallop fisheries; and providing for an effective date."                  
 Before the committee was CSHB 141(FSH), version 0-LS0112\R.                   
                                                                               
 AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to                        
 Representative Alan Austerman, said HB 141 implements a moratorium            
 within state waters off Alaska, similar to that being implemented             
 by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), which                
 affects federal waters off Alaska.  She read from the sponsor                 
 statement:                                                                    
                                                                               
 "Without a moratorium implemented in state waters, it is probable             
 that there would be an increase in effort on our state water                  
 scallop stocks, as well as on the associated marine habitat, and              
 create an unmanageable fishery.                                               
                                                                               
 "Worldwide, scallops have proven to be susceptible to overfishing             
 and boom/bust cycles.  Scallops are a long-lived shellfish.  The              
 large scallop meats which bring premium prices come from scallops             
 eight years or older.                                                         
                                                                               
 "The Alaska scallop fishery started in 1968.  Nineteen East Coast             
 scallop vessels came to Alaska and took 1.7 million pounds of                 
 scallop meat.  The fishery continued at a harvest level of 1.3                
 million pounds of meat annually until 1973.  Catches dropped off              
 sharply after '73, and fishing ceased in 1978 when the scallop beds           
 were depleted.  This boom-and-bust cycle was repeated in the 1980s            
 and appeared to be repeating for a third time in the 1990s until              
 the state developed a fishery management plan for scallops in 1993.           
 All scallop fishing was stopped in February 1995 in order to                  
 prevent an East Coast scalloper, Mr. Big, from fishing in                     
 unregulated federal waters.  The fishery reopened in late 1996                
 under a federal management plan.                                              
                                                                               
 "At present, weathervane scallops are managed jointly by the                  
 federal government and the State of Alaska.  There is a federal               
 fishery management plan to delegate management authority of                   
 scallops to the state `in process,' but it has not been finalized.            
 The management plan includes mandatory 100 percent observer                   
 coverage, caps on the amount of crab bycatch which can be taken and           
 area-specific quotas.  Under new language in the Magnuson-Stevens             
 Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the State of Alaska                
 could exercise management authority out to 200 miles under                    
 delegated authority.                                                          
                                                                               
 "It is also in the State of Alaska's best interest that both the              
 state and federal scallop fisheries have similar management plans             
 and be managed by the State of Alaska.  Representative Austerman's            
 goal is delegation of management authority by the U.S. Department             
 of Commerce to the State of Alaska with a more restricted                     
 moratorium base.  It should be noted that the council's                       
 Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Impact Review found that              
 four vessels could efficiently harvest the Alaska scallop quotas.             
                                                                               
 "Within this legislation, Representative Austerman has separated              
 out the weathervane scallop fishery conducted in Area H, or Cook              
 Inlet.  That fishery is unique in that it is managed an entirely              
 separate fishery, has different gear specifications and has more              
 recently been developed.                                                      
                                                                               
 "HB 141 is needed to ensure careful consideration [note:  written             
 statement says conservation] of the scallop stocks, as well as the            
 marine habitat in which the scallops live, and to ensure that the             
 bycatch of other marine animals, such as crabs, are properly                  
 controlled and managed.  It's imperative to implement a moratorium            
 on new entrants into the weathervane scallop fishery now."                    
                                                                               
 Number 0492                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. DAUGHERTY discussed the three proposed amendments.  Amendment             
 1 stems from a drafting oversight and makes language within the               
 bill consistent.  More substantial, Amendment 2 changes one of the            
 qualifying years for the Area H fishery from 1995 to 1994, as that            
 area was closed in 1995.  On the basis of fairness, it also allows            
 inclusion of someone who consistently participated in that fishery            
 but with different vessels.  Amendment 3 resulted from the fact               
 that the statewide scallop fishery is due to open July 1.  Without            
 the amendment, someone could fish July 1 and possibly qualify under           
 HB 141.  Therefore, the date will be June 30.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0560                                                                   
                                                                               
 EARL KRYGIER, Extended Jurisdiction Program Manager, Division of              
 Commercial Fisheries Management and Development, Department of Fish           
 and Game (ADF&G), came forward to testify.  He coordinates many               
 interactions between the state and federal governments because many           
 Alaska resources are either on the three-mile boundary or cross               
 back and forth.  He noted that with him from the division was Ken             
 Griffin, coordinator for crab and scallop.  Those resources are               
 under fishery management plans in the federal zone.                           
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER said through 1995, the fishery was managed wholly by              
 the state.  Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and             
 Management Act, the state can extend its authority to manage                  
 vessels registered under state law into federal waters.  Until                
 1995, that was never challenged.  However, in 1995, the F/V Mr.               
 Big, a large offshore catcher-processor, did not register with the            
 state and fished with no seasons or size limits.  That obviously              
 created a problem.                                                            
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER advised that worldwide, scallops are susceptible to               
 overfishing.  Many overfished resources have been depressed for 10            
 or 20 years and may never return.  Compared with that of other                
 areas of the United States, the resource off Alaska is small.  For            
 example, on the East Coast, 30 million pounds of shucked meats are            
 taken annually.  Off Alaska over the last five years, the harvest             
 has been 700,000 to 1.8 million pounds.  The ADF&G has set an upper           
 limit for extraction of the statewide resource at 1.8 million                 
 pounds.                                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER said because of increased fishing beginning in 1990,              
 the state developed a management plan.  They conducted research and           
 set guideline goals, such as making sure habitat and bycatch were             
 not impacting other important species.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER explained that scallops do not move around once they              
 settle.  Therefore, the state manages the fishery by small regions,           
 which are either a bed or a series of beds.  In some areas,                   
 reasonable harvest rates are determined by surveys.  In others, the           
 annual limit is based on a long-term, mid-level catch range.                  
                                                                               
 Number 0747                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER said the state requires offshore vessels to carry                 
 certified observers; it costs $6,000 to $7,000 per month for an               
 observer.  The state is trying to become a better manager by                  
 gathering information about the resource.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER said presently, the offshore fisheries are harvested by           
 fairly large catcher-processor vessels, ranging from 80 to 114 feet           
 in length, which carry up to 12 crew members.  In scallop                     
 fisheries, efficiency is basically restricted by the number of crew           
 members, who hand-shuck the meat.                                             
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER reported that in Cook Inlet, the harvestable resource             
 is only 20,000 to 28,000 pounds.  A number of years ago, the Board            
 of Fisheries recognized a special fishery there.  It limited dredge           
 size to six feet and set up crab bycatch levels to keep fishermen             
 out of important crab areas such as Kamishak Bay.  In addition, the           
 ADF&G sometimes sends out a department employee as a short-term               
 observer; the fishermen do not pay for that.  He noted that in the            
 offshore fishery, two 15-foot-wide dredges are used simultaneously.           
 It is more industrial than the small-boat fishery inshore, which              
 has vessels up to 70 feet long.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0869                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER said after the Mr. Big came in and tried to fish                  
 uncontrolled in federal waters, the state asked the NPFMC to close            
 the waters, which they did for 18 months.  During that time, the              
 state tried to put together a joint management regime to help                 
 manage this fishery.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER advised that federal managers are not really interested           
 in managing that fishery because the state has done so for a long             
 time.  Currently, they mirror closures by the state.  He stated,              
 "They'd like to get to the point where they actually delegate the             
 authority back to the state to manage, and there would be the two             
 management plans.  They have put in place a moratorium in federal             
 waters.  And since ... many of the beds are trans-boundary beds,              
 they're right on the three-mile line, and we don't have exact                 
 measurements of the numbers of animals in those beds, it's                    
 impossible for us to say that so much could be take on one side,              
 inside the three-mile zone, and so much in the federal zone.                  
 Fishermen have fished those beds, back and forth across the line,             
 so ... either you're an outside fisherman or you're a Cook Inlet              
 fisherman."                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0927                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated his understanding that during                     
 harvesting, a big scoop was pulled, picking up everything.                    
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER said it is a dredge, a metal bag that has a bar on the            
 front.  It digs into the surface a little bit.  In places like                
 Yakutat, where there are observers on board vessels, there is                 
 almost no bycatch of any other species.  In other areas, there is             
 some bycatch.  "But we have the observers on board, and we'll                 
 actually shut down a fishery if they're starting to cause some                
 interaction problems," he explained.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0972                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN compared dredging with mowing a lawn.  He                
 asked what happens to the scallop bed.                                        
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER replied that on similar beds on the East Coast, harvest           
 had occurred for numerous years.  The dredge kind of bounces along            
 the bottom, without digging in all the way.  It has rings large               
 enough to allow most smaller scallops to pass through.  Since 1968,           
 a number of beds have been harvested in a sustainable manner.  The            
 ADF&G is not concerned about impacts on the beds themselves, as               
 long as enough spawning biomass remains to ensure replacement.                
                                                                               
 Number 1056                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether this plan covers both state and            
 federal waters.                                                               
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER replied this is presently for state waters.  However,             
 it is similar to that put together for federal waters.  It is a               
 little more restrictive, but it basically mirrors the major                   
 portions of the fishery that ADF&G is concerned about.                        
                                                                               
 Number 1091                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked whether, once harvested, a bed could be            
 harvested again, and after how long.                                          
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER indicated there could be an annual harvest of a portion           
 of the beds.  For example, at Kayak Island there had been a                   
 sustainable annual harvest of 50,000 pounds from one bed.  After              
 the Mr. Big came in, that fishery was shut down for a year, after             
 which the bed was surveyed.  This year, only 20,000 pounds was                
 allowed.  The ADF&G hopes within a few years it will return to a              
 sustainable harvest level of about 50,000 pounds.                             
                                                                               
 Number 1163                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked why there is such a significant                    
 difference in harvest levels between the East Coast and Alaska.               
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER explained that the East Coast has a large area of                 
 highly productive beds, probably related to the Gulf Stream.  The             
 scallops are broadcast spawners, similar to oysters.  Beds remain             
 in one place, and the males and females broadcast spawn into the              
 water.  Many settle in the same bed or at the edges.  However, if             
 currents are strong, they settle in new areas.  In Alaska, the area           
 productive for scallops is smaller than elsewhere.  In addition, a            
 few areas have been permanently closed to scalloping to protect               
 bycatch of crab, for example.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1266                                                                   
                                                                               
 MARK KANDIANIS, Owner, F/V Provider, came forward to testify.  An             
 Alaska scallop fisherman since 1980, he had been through two boom-            
 and-bust cycles of the fishery, in addition to the current slower             
 bust cycle.  In 1992, there was an influx of boats, new arrivals              
 from the East Coast, including the Mr. Big.  The Mr. Big attracted            
 attention from the East Coast, which had mismanaged its fisheries.            
 In Alaska, there had been little regulation.  Suddenly, vessels               
 were coming to Alaska, going through the Panama Canal two at a                
 time, resulting in a "feeding-frenzy type of fishery."                        
                                                                               
 Number 1364                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KANDIANIS indicated they approached the NPFMC in 1992 for a               
 federal moratorium; however, it took three or four years to get it            
 in place.  The scallop fishermen suffered.  The fleet more than               
 doubled in size, beyond the break-even capacity.  The Mr. Big then            
 got its permit back from the state, "by some mistake, I guess," and           
 went out to fish alone in federal waters, with no observers, and              
 fished in areas where the guideline harvest quotas had been taken.            
 As a result, the NPFMC closed the fishery for 18 months.  Mr.                 
 Kandianis lost a half million dollars net, and the captain of his             
 boat lost his home and family.                                                
                                                                               
 MR. KANDIANIS said this legislation is important.  Although perhaps           
 too liberal, it is, he has been told, probably the best deal he               
 will get for now.  He believes the fishery can support three or               
 four boats, less in some years.  However, the limits the state has            
 come up with are almost double that.  Mr. Kandianis suggested the             
 scallopers would "fight it out on the grounds" to find out who                
 would survive economically.  He urged passage of HB 141.                      
                                                                               
 Number 1513                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 1, 0-                     
 LS0112\R.1, Utermohle, 3/4/97, which read:                                    
      Page 5, line 1:                                                          
           Delete "Alaska"                                                     
           Insert "the state and the adjacent United States                    
           exclusive economic zone"                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was any objection.  There being               
 none, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1531                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 2, 0-                     
 LS0112\R.4, Utermohle, 3/27/97, which read:                                   
      Page 3, line 24:                                                         
           Following "registration area":                                      
           Insert "(1)"                                                        
           Delete "1995"                                                       
           Insert "1994"                                                       
           Following "1996":                                                   
           Insert "; and                                                       
                          (2) during each of at least three calendar           
           years between 1984 and 1996, inclusive"                             
                                                                               
      Page 3, following line 24:                                               
           Insert a new subsection to read:                                    
                "(f) Notwithstanding (d) and (e) of this section, a            
           vessel owner who does not own a commercial fishing vessel           
           that qualifies for a vessel permit for a scallop fishery            
           registration area may receive a vessel permit for that              
           registration area if the vessel owner owned and fished              
           two or more commercial fishing vessels whose combined               
           participation in the scallop fishery for that                       
           registration area would satisfy the requirements for a              
           vessel permit for that registration area under this                 
           section.  The commission shall issue a vessel permit                
           under this subsection to the last commercial fishing                
           vessel that the vessel owner owned to satisfy the                   
           requirements for the vessel permit for the registration             
           area if the vessel owner still owned that commercial                
           fishing vessel on July 1, 1997.                                     
                                                                               
      Reletter the following subsections accordingly.                          
                                                                               
      Page 3, line 28:                                                         
           Delete "(d) - (f)"                                                  
           Insert "(d) - (g)"                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1539                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN objected for discussion.                                 
                                                                               
 MS. DAUGHERTY explained that the first part is necessary because              
 the Area H fishery was closed in 1995.  Next, it places a                     
 requirement of three calendar years.  The bulk deals with                     
 situations where a person did not consistently fish the same vessel           
 during the qualifying years.  This is a vessel moratorium; the                
 amendment makes a slight adjustment in talking about vessel owners            
 instead of just vessels.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1715                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN removed his objection.                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was further objection.  There being           
 none, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1722                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to adopt Amendment 3, which read:            
      page 3, line 14:                                                         
      change "July 1" to "June 30"                                             
                                                                               
 MS. DAUGHERTY explained because the statewide fishery opens July 1,           
 someone could qualify by fishing one day in 1997.  This stays with            
 the intent that everyone who qualifies has already fished this                
 year.                                                                         
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was any objection.  There being               
 none, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1801                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked what the "United States exclusive                  
 economic zone" is.                                                            
                                                                               
 MS. DAUGHERTY replied it is from three to 200 miles.                          
                                                                               
 Number 1810                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN referred to page 2, line 20, which says it is the            
 intent of the legislature that the Board of Fisheries maintain 100            
 percent observer coverage for all vessels engaged in the Alaska               
 weathervane scallop fishery.  Referring to the zero fiscal note, he           
 asked how this will be paid for.                                              
                                                                               
 MS. DAUGHERTY explained that is for "statewide," the outside                  
 fishery, and the vessels pay for it.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 1883                                                                   
                                                                               
 BRUCE SIEMINSKI testified via teleconference from Seward in                   
 opposition to HB 141.  He came in Alaska in 1968 to fish scallops             
 and has been here since.  He noted there is no provision for the              
 original fishermen who are still trying to get money together to              
 buy a vessel.  Although he believes the fishery should be managed             
 to a certain extent, he opposes the permit system giving the right            
 to only a few people.                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. SIEMINSKI reported that there had been observers aboard the               
 vessels all the time he fished from 1970 to 1975.  He said for                
 every crab a scalloper killed, a crabber probably killed 100,000;             
 he saw no danger from scallopers in that regard.                              
                                                                               
 Number 1978                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. SIEMINSKI referred to Area H and suggested the state look at              
 more of the three-mile limit for the whole state.  There are other            
 places where scallops can be fished year-round and into the three-            
 mile limit, such as off Yakutat, the Fairweather Grounds, Sitka and           
 elsewhere.  He suggested that be allowed.                                     
                                                                               
 MR. SIEMINSKI restated his opposition to this permit system.  He              
 cited the example of permitting at Bristol Bay 20 years ago.  Those           
 families have children who are now grown, and there is now one                
 permit for five or six families, or one boat carrying six or seven            
 people.  He concluded by asking what would be done for people who             
 had been here a long time but were waiting to get back into the               
 fishery.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 2099                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN reminded Mr. Sieminski he could submit written               
 testimony as well.                                                            
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called an at-ease at 3:00 p.m.  He called the                
 meeting back to order at 3:01 p.m.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 2129                                                                   
                                                                               
 MAX HULSE, Owner, F/V La Brisa, testified via teleconference from             
 Anchorage.  A scallop fisherman who owns a boat with his son, he              
 referred to a fax he had sent concerning their history of scallop             
 fishing.  They had written the proposal to open the scallop fishery           
 in Cook Inlet.  They fished scallops from 1982 until 1988, and in             
 1994 and 1996, during which time they owned and fished three                  
 different vessels.  He thanked those responsible for Amendment 2,             
 adopted that day, which allows them to fish in Cook Inlet.                    
                                                                               
 MR. HULSE said they will qualify in the moratorium in federal                 
 waters to fish both Cook Inlet and the outer fishery in Alaska.               
 However, he believes they have enough equity in the Alaska scallop            
 fishery that they should also qualify in statewide waters.  He                
 further believes minor changes in HB 141 could allow that without             
 affecting the overall intent of the bill.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2304                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted that Amy Daugherty was nodding her head,               
 indicating she expects Mr. Hulse to be in touch with her.  He                 
 encouraged anyone else to do likewise.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 2330                                                                   
                                                                               
 WILLIAM KOPPLIN testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, saying           
 he has owned a small scallop boat in Homer for three or four years.           
 He referred to a fax he had sent.  He stated, "We have fished in              
 state waters; we have fished in federal waters.  And this bill                
 would not allow us to fish in federal waters.  And I just don't see           
 that's fair, since we are Alaskan residents.  It is an Alaska                 
 resource."  He said he has proposed amendments that he will contact           
 "the proper channels" about.                                                  
                                                                               
 MR. KOPPLIN had been told that in 1996, the scallop quota was                 
 approximately 1.5 million pounds.  He said the ex-vessel price per            
 pound for scallops is seven dollars, which comes to $10.5 million.            
                                                                               
 TAPE 97-35, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0001                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KOPPLIN asked where the analysis came from that says the                  
 fishery can only handle four boats.  He said originally, the NPFMC            
 was going to allow 11 vessels.  "Even 11 boats divvying up $10.5              
 million seems like a pretty decent catch," he said.                           
                                                                               
 Number 0083                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER responded that in 1996, there were 733,000 pounds                 
 harvested.  At seven dollars a pound, the total value was $5.13               
 million, and the average per vessel was about $500,000 per vessel.            
 He understood Mr. Kopplin to be mixing both Area H and the                    
 statewide fishery when talking about the two numbers.  "There's               
 about four vessels under the federal and state moratorium for the             
 Cook Inlet area," he said.  "And the total is eleven under one and            
 seven under the other for the outside waters.  So that's the                  
 difference."                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 0166                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KOPPLIN asked whether eleven vessels were allowed for the                 
 federal waters, with only four now being allowed under HB 141.                
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER replied, "The number is actually five in Cook Inlet.              
 We've added that extra one with that inclusion, and seven on the              
 outside.  So that's a total of twelve."                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0223                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KOPPLIN referred to page 5, lines 4 through 12.  He asked                 
 whether someone could send or fax him the applicable statutes.                
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that section was being removed from the              
 statute.  He suggested Amy Daugherty could discuss it with him.               
                                                                               
 Number 0320                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. KOPPLIN asked whether, if HB 141 is adopted, it will supersede            
 the moratorium placed by the NPFMC or whether there would be two              
 different moratoriums and sets of regulations.                                
                                                                               
 MR. KRYGIER explained, "Presently, the federal moratorium is still            
 in the federal process.  It hasn't been published.  The council's             
 already ready to go to the next step, and the next step would be a            
 license program.  And what they'll do is, is they'll adopt a                  
 license program which basically mimics what you do in the state               
 moratorium, so that they'll both be consistent out the back door."            
                                                                               
 Number 0411                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to move the amended committee                
 substitute with the attached fiscal note.  He asked unanimous                 
 consent.  There being no objection, CSHB 141(RES) moved from the              
 House Resources Standing Committee.                                           
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0436                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee             
 meeting at 3:11 p.m.                                                          
                                                                               

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