Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/07/2003 01:15 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 7, 2003                                                                                          
                           1:15 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hugh Fate, Chair                                                                                                 
Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Carl Morgan                                                                                                      
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Cheryll Heinze                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner, Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Kevin Duffy - Juneau                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
KEVIN DUFFY, Commissioner                                                                                                       
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointed commissioner of the                                                                 
Alaska Department of Fish & Game.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DON JOHNSON                                                                                                                     
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on  the appointment of Kevin Duffy                                                               
as the commissioner  of the Alaska Department of Fish  & Game; he                                                               
asked  if Commissioner  Duffy's intention  was to  hire a  deputy                                                               
commissioner for  the commercial fisheries as  had been indicated                                                               
to the sport fishing industry.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PAUL SHADURA, President and Executive Director                                                                                  
Kenai Peninsula Fishermen's Association                                                                                         
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  the appointment of                                                               
Kevin Duffy as the commissioner  of the Alaska Department of Fish                                                               
& Game                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
TAPE 03-25, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representatives  Fate,  Gatto,  Lynn,  Wolf,  and  Kerttula  were                                                               
present at  the call  to order.   Representatives  Masek, Morgan,                                                               
and  Guttenberg   arrived  as   the  meeting  was   in  progress.                                                               
Representative Heinze was excused.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HUGH FATE  called the  House Resources  Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order at 1:15 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Commissioner, Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE  announced  that the  committee  would  consider  the                                                               
confirmation of  the appointment  of Kevin Duffy  as commissioner                                                               
of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0108                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  DUFFY,  Commissioner, Alaska  Department  of  Fish &  Game                                                               
(ADF&G),  explained  that  he  had met  several  members  of  the                                                               
committee both  in his  previous roles and  in his  current role,                                                               
and  that he'd  recently engaged  in some  very "spirited"  chats                                                               
with committee  members.  He  pledged to work with  those members                                                               
on issues in ADF&G such  as improving the department's science or                                                               
collaborative efforts  to ensure that ADF&G  has a scientifically                                                               
based,  sound  system   in  which  the  department   works  in  a                                                               
collaborative fashion  with the  Board of Game  and the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries to  provide the  best information  for those  bodies to                                                               
make allocation  decisions.  Commissioner  Duffy said  he thought                                                               
it is  the role of  ADF&G to  implement those decisions  based on                                                               
the  regulatory  structure  that  is  generated  based  on  those                                                               
decisions by  the boards.  He  said there is no  doubt that being                                                               
the commissioner  of ADF&G  is a challenging  task that  covers a                                                               
whole  range  of  issues,  but   he  does  look  forward  to  the                                                               
responsibility  and  the  challenges associated  with  being  the                                                               
commissioner.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY told  members that he'd been  with [ADF&G] for                                                               
over  21 years  beginning in  1981, and  he'd worked  his way  up                                                               
through  the commercial  fish "side  of the  equation."   He said                                                               
he'd been introduced to international  fisheries issues and North                                                               
Pacific  [Fishery Management]  Council  (NPFMC)  issues in  which                                                               
[ADF&G] managed  groundfish fisheries in  the Gulf of  Alaska and                                                               
the Bering  Sea, and  he'd done  that for  almost the  last three                                                               
years.   He noted that there  is often controversy over  fish and                                                               
game management issues  but it comes with the  territory of being                                                               
commissioner.   Commissioner  Duffy said  this is  because Alaska                                                               
residents feel  very strongly  about these  issues and  feel very                                                               
connected to  the resources  and the  way resources  are managed.                                                               
He said  it is fair  for members of  the public to  express those                                                               
opinions about how resources are managed and used.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0370                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said  he is committed as  commissioner to good                                                               
science  and good  public policy  based on  that science  and the                                                               
management of Alaska's  fish and game resources  through a system                                                               
that does recognize the diversity in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0417                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE  asked Commissioner  Duffy to  address issues  that he                                                               
thought may be problematic in the future.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said he would  start by addressing  issues on                                                               
fisheries and then move to game  issues.  He brought attention to                                                               
the salmon issue by saying that  the state is struggling with low                                                               
ex-vessel prices  and increased  competition from  farmed salmon.                                                               
He  said the  ex-vessel price  for salmon  and the  low ex-vessel                                                               
price is ubiquitous across all regions  of the state.  He said he                                                               
thought  potential  solutions  to  help  bolster  the  commercial                                                               
salmon industry  should be  addressed on a  regional basis.   For                                                               
example, he  said a co-op  structure had  been set up  in Chignik                                                               
for  management or  for management  allocations and  it seems  to                                                               
work fairly  well in that  region, but  he did not  conclude that                                                               
that co-op system  works in other regions of the  state.  He said                                                               
the closure of  Ward's Cove facilities and  processing plants had                                                               
a   big   impact   on  Southeast   Alaska's   salmon   fisheries.                                                               
Commissioner  Duffy said  he believed  [ADF&G] had  been able  to                                                               
identify sufficient  processing capacity  to help  [the region's]                                                               
commercial fishermen.  He suggested  that people need to focus on                                                               
a long-term vision for the salmon industry in Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY  said   Alan  Austerman   [Fisheries  Policy                                                               
Advisor, Office  of the Governor]  had indicated that is  a major                                                               
focus of his over  the next few years.  He  said he'd pledged his                                                               
support for that effort from his  position and that of the agency                                                               
for  fisheries issues.   Commissioner  Duffy said  he planned  to                                                               
hire two  deputy commissioners but  it is dependant  on [ADF&G's]                                                               
budget.   He noted that  one of those deputy  commissioners would                                                               
focus on fisheries  issues and would be tasked  with working with                                                               
the governor's office  to focus on developing  a long-term vision                                                               
for the salmon industry.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0708                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said he thought  there is a different solution                                                               
for Southeast and one of the  things that should be considered is                                                               
a buy-back  program to reduce  the number of participants  in the                                                               
[salmon] fleet in Southeast Alaska.   He said he thought that was                                                               
a concept that  would be looked at seriously in  Bristol Bay.  He                                                               
explained that  the Bristol Bay Economic  Development Corporation                                                               
(BBEDC)  had just  come  out with  a study  that  focused on  the                                                               
future  of the  salmon  industry, although  had  not talked  with                                                               
Robin Samuelsen from that group  he suspected that the concept of                                                               
a permit  reduction program  or buy-back program  may be  part of                                                               
the solution in Bristol Bay.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY said  he thought  maintaining and  increasing                                                               
market  share wherever  possible should  be done  collectively by                                                               
harvesters and  processors in the  salmon industry, the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries,  and  ADF&G.    He said  he  thought  Alaska's  salmon                                                               
production  should  be  focused   in  domestic  markets  and  the                                                               
European  market  because  there  seems to  be  some  opportunity                                                               
there.     Commissioner  Duffy  suggested  that   the  processing                                                               
industry  is going  through some  restructuring  and is  probably                                                               
going to consolidate  some under the current  price structures it                                                               
is facing.   He  said there  is a  whole range  of issues  in the                                                               
commercial salmon  fisheries, and  as commissioner he  would like                                                               
to  really  focus on  being  a  part  of developing  a  long-term                                                               
strategy.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  noted  that  the  state  currently  has  $35                                                               
million  in   disaster  aid  funding  provided   by  the  federal                                                               
government for  [regions] across the state  that have experienced                                                               
problems in the  salmon industry.  He said  the administration is                                                               
looking  at  things it  might  be  able to  do  to  help out  the                                                               
industry.   For example,  he said fresh  salmon fillets  in boxes                                                               
ready for  air shipment are  sometimes "bumped" because  of other                                                               
cargo priorities.   The result is  that the shipment sits  on the                                                               
runway in 60-degree  weather, which is not good  for the salmon's                                                               
quality   or   Alaska's  marketing   efforts.      He  said   the                                                               
administration  is considering  building cold  storage facilities                                                               
in airports, but so far has  not made a commitment.  He suggested                                                               
that the  department needs to  work with the legislature  to find                                                               
solutions for some of these problems.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0911                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY  said   a   very  important   part  of   the                                                               
commissioner's  job is  to ensure  that ADF&G  and the  divisions                                                               
that  deal with  various fisheries  allocations provide  the best                                                               
scientific information  possible to the  Board of Fisheries.   He                                                               
said some  concerns had been  pointed out  to him with  regard to                                                               
different regions of the state and  the type or way or quality of                                                               
work  that [the  department]  provides.   He  pledged  to do  all                                                               
things  possible to  ensure that  there is  internal coordination                                                               
between  the  Division   of  Sport  Fish  and   the  Division  of                                                               
Commercial  Fisheries and  that there  is internal  peer-reviewed                                                               
information.    He  ensured  the committee  that  he  would  work                                                               
specifically with  the directors  of the  Division of  Sport Fish                                                               
and  the  Division  of  Commercial   Fisheries  to  be  sure  the                                                               
department is providing  the Board of Fisheries  process with the                                                               
best quality of  scientifically defensible biological information                                                               
as possible.   He said  it is in  [ADF&G's] role to  provide that                                                               
information  and  it is  the  Board  of  Fisheries role  to  make                                                               
allocation decisions.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1010                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY noted  that allocation  decisions among  user                                                               
groups are controversial.   He said it is also  [ADF&G's] role to                                                               
manage those  resources under  a regulatory  structure consistent                                                               
with  allocation decisions  from the  [Board of  Fisheries].   He                                                               
noted that he  would be working to ensure  that sound information                                                               
is provided.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1062                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF expressed  concern about  issues during  the                                                               
previous  administration  regarding   mutual  trust  between  the                                                               
department,  the public,  and  staff  members.   He  said he  had                                                               
concerns  about maintaining  the highest  standard of  scientific                                                               
[information]  and professionalism  within  the  department.   He                                                               
suggested   that   these   concerns  had   arisen   many   times.                                                               
Representative  Wolf offered  his  belief  that some  individuals                                                               
still  working with  ADF&G had  convoluted the  integrity of  the                                                               
department, manipulated  data numbers, had not  provided accurate                                                               
information  to  the  Board  of Fisheries,  or  had  worked  with                                                               
private organizations  to direct allocation issues  to manipulate                                                               
the [Board  of Fisheries].   He asked Commissioner Duffy  what he                                                               
would  do  to remove  those  individuals  and ensure  that  those                                                               
activities cease.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1206                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA objected  to Representative  Wolf's line                                                               
of  questioning.    She said  unless  Representative  Wolf  could                                                               
provide   [some   corroborating]   evidence   [to   support   his                                                               
allegations]  she didn't  think  [it was  appropriate] to  impugn                                                               
people's character  and ask for  [those individuals] to  be fired                                                               
[from  the  department].   She  suggested  that the  commissioner                                                               
should  have   a  chance   to  review   all  of   the  [relevant]                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1242                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE   agreed  with  Representative  Kerttula   and  asked                                                               
Representative Wolf to rephrase his question.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1296                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO offered  Commissioner Duffy  his impression                                                               
of what  it would be  like to be the  commissioner of ADF&G.   He                                                               
noted that a large portion of  the public is involved in fish and                                                               
game issues,  and he  suggested that it  is really  important for                                                               
Commissioner Duffy  to recognize that  "reality is not  nearly so                                                               
important as  the impression of  reality."   Representative Gatto                                                               
said while  a lot  of people  might think that  ADF&G is  doing a                                                               
wonderful  job, he  thought that  many people  have some  serious                                                               
concerns about fish and game.   He remarked, "Certainly, now that                                                               
we're in the  flux they have even more  concerns.  Representative                                                               
Gatto  suggested that  Commissioner Duffy  had a  big problem  to                                                               
deal with in how to make  people feel better about fish and game.                                                               
He said  some of  the problems  have to  do with  using Executive                                                               
Orders to accomplish  things and some of the problems  have to do                                                               
with Commissioner  Duffy's qualifications.   Representative Gatto                                                               
asked Commissioner  Duffy if  it is  true that  he didn't  have a                                                               
background in biology.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY answered in the affirmative.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  said  Commissioner Duffy's  background  is                                                               
instead in administration and that  the [public's perception] may                                                               
be [affected negatively]  by that information.  He  noted that he                                                               
wasn't  criticizing Commissioner  Duffy and  that he  thought the                                                               
commissioner  had probably  done a  marvelous job  in his  career                                                               
choices or he would not have  been [nominated for the position of                                                               
commissioner].   He  said  those impressions  of  the public  are                                                               
present  and  are  something that  Commissioner  Duffy  would  be                                                               
[contending]   with  in   addition  to   his  regular   workload.                                                               
Representative Gatto  suggested that  the committee  meetings and                                                               
Commissioner Duffy,  in particular, is  being watched by  a large                                                               
number  of people.   He  told Commissioner  Duffy that  he is  in                                                               
"that ruling  position" where  people look at  him and  start out                                                               
with some criticism.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said it is  his hope that Commissioner Duffy                                                               
would  be able  to overcome  some of  that criticism  because [he                                                               
didn't  think  it  really  mattered]  that  Commissioner  Duffy's                                                               
[background is  in administration]  because he  would be  doing a                                                               
lot of [administrative work].  He  said it would be expected that                                                               
Commissioner Duffy  have some "red-hot" biologists  that he would                                                               
give some  reign to.   He drew a comparison  to the war  in Iraq,                                                               
and  he suggested  that President  [George] Bush  is not  running                                                               
that war  [himself] and  it is going  very well.   Representative                                                               
Gatto said  in a similar  way the [commissioner] of  ADF&G should                                                               
be relying  on [the department's] biologists  to "essentially run                                                               
the  operations the  best they  can."   He indicated  that it  is                                                               
expected that  the department's biologists would  be answering to                                                               
Commissioner  Duffy  and  [the information  that  the  biologists                                                               
provide] would be right.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1539                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY,  in response,  said  as  commissioner it  is                                                               
better  for him  to approach  problems, call  them opportunities,                                                               
and focus on a solution to  solve what some people consider to be                                                               
problems.  He  said he likes to look at  [problems] as challenges                                                               
and focus  on them one  at a time to  try and find  a resolution.                                                               
He  expressed hope  that this  method would  collectively make  a                                                               
difference in improving  the situation.  He said it  is true that                                                               
he doesn't  have a  degree in  biology, but he  does have  a B.A.                                                               
[Bachelor of  Arts degree]  in political  science and  a Master's                                                               
Degree in public administration with  a focus on natural resource                                                               
management.  He said he has 21  years of experience in ADF&G in a                                                               
number of  roles and he  has a  pretty good understanding  of how                                                               
ADF&G works.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said  the way ADF&G works  under his authority                                                               
and  under previous  commissioners  is  that management  decision                                                               
making authority on  fisheries and wildlife is  delegated down to                                                               
the area level,  which are the biologists and  managers that have                                                               
the most expertise  on opening and closing  [hunting and fishing]                                                               
seasons.  He said he  reinforces the structure in which decisions                                                               
are made at the area level.   He said his role of commissioner is                                                               
not going  to put him in  a position in  which he is going  to be                                                               
managing  fisheries.    However,  he said  he  will  be  tracking                                                               
decisions  that are  made and  coordinating through  the division                                                               
directors to what is happening  in different regions of the state                                                               
during a fishing  season.  He said  he didn't see it  as his role                                                               
to  engage  in  management  decision-making  at  the  area  level                                                               
because he doesn't have the expertise  and he doesn't know all of                                                               
the details at any particular point in time.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1668                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  said   it  is  his  job   to  reinforce  the                                                               
department's people out  in the field and to  give them political                                                               
support;  to ensure  those  people that  the  people leading  the                                                               
agency are very  supportive of those efforts;  and reinforce that                                                               
they are the  people that make the decisions.   He said he didn't                                                               
see it  as his role  to make a  bunch of management  decisions on                                                               
how fisheries  or wildlife resources  are managed.   Commissioner                                                               
Duffy  conveyed his  belief that  his role  is to  work with  the                                                               
division directors  and the scientific  experts in  each division                                                               
to ensure  that management is  effective at  the area level.   He                                                               
said the  job of  the [commissioner] is  very challenging  and he                                                               
welcomed the  discourse of residents  of the state that  are very                                                               
interested in  fish and  game issues.   Commissioner  Duffy noted                                                               
that he is  accountable to the legislature, and he  said he would                                                               
have an open  door policy and the only person  that could preempt                                                               
his  attendance  at  a  meeting   with  the  legislature  is  the                                                               
governor.  He  clarified that he is a part  of the administration                                                               
and  that  [the  administration]  wanted  to  work  with  him  as                                                               
commissioner on all fish and game management issues.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY,   in  response  to   Representative  Gatto's                                                               
comment  about the  problems with  ADF&G, said  he would  like to                                                               
know what all of those complex issues are.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO talked  about  the  commissioner's role  in                                                               
selecting the deputy  commissioners, and he said  even though the                                                               
commissioner may  not get  involved in  commercial fish  or sport                                                               
fish  [issues]  the deputy  [commissioner]  that  is selected  is                                                               
going  to send  a very  powerful message.   He  talked about  the                                                               
balance in selecting the deputy  [commissioners], and he said the                                                               
person [the  commissioner] selects is "absolute  dynamite" as far                                                               
as the  community is concerned.   Representative Gatto emphasized                                                               
that people are  really watching [the commissioner],  and he told                                                               
Commissioner Duffy  that he is  essentially in the middle  of the                                                               
"fish bowl,"  which has to  do not with  his decisions on  how to                                                               
manage [fisheries]  but on whom  he picks.  He  said Commissioner                                                               
Duffy's success will  be determined, to a great  degree, on those                                                               
selections.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1860                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MASEK said  she  represents an  area that  mainly                                                               
consists  of sport  fishing, and  due  to the  activities on  the                                                               
Kenai Peninsula  it seems like  the Susitna River and  the Little                                                               
Susitna  River are  going  to have  a pretty  big  impact on  the                                                               
area's sport  fishing industry.   She said the [increase]  in the                                                               
number  of sport  fishing licenses  that are  purchased indicated                                                               
that  the  [amount  of  sport  fishing  activity]  is  going  up.                                                               
Representative  Masek noted  that  she does  a  lot of  traveling                                                               
around the  Parks Highway where there  is a lot of  sport fishing                                                               
taking place, and she said  there is practically "combat fishing"                                                               
in those  areas.   She turned  attention to  Commissioner Duffy's                                                               
resume, and  she said she noticed  that he didn't appear  to have                                                               
much   involvement  in   sport   fisheries.     She  noted   that                                                               
Commissioner Duffy's resume did reflect  a lot of activity in the                                                               
North Pacific [Anadromous] Fish  Commission (NPFMC) and fisheries                                                               
in  the  Bering  Sea  and   the  Aleutian  Islands.    She  asked                                                               
Commissioner Duffy for his opinion  on the sport fishing industry                                                               
and on  legislation that  had been  created to  address emergency                                                               
closures.  She  noted that the state had  experienced an increase                                                               
in population and an increase  in the sport fishing industry, and                                                               
that both  residents and  nonresidents take  part in  the [sport]                                                               
fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1983                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said he thought  the economic  importance and                                                               
the increased  economic importance from the  recreational fishing                                                               
industry in  Alaska is a  known factor  and one that  he follows.                                                               
He explained that  he does often work with the  Division of Sport                                                               
Fish, and he tracks recreational  interests across the state.  He                                                               
said  he  has  had direct  experience  representing  recreational                                                               
fishermen   [for  the   State  of   Alaska  on   negotiation  and                                                               
implementation]  of  the  Pacific Salmon  Treaty.    Commissioner                                                               
Duffy explained  that [Alaska]  has a  coast wide  chinook salmon                                                               
agreement  and Southeast  Alaska is  part of  a "complex  set" of                                                               
chinook  [salmon] stocks  that migrate  up from  as far  south as                                                               
Oregon  and Washington  State  into Southeast  waters.   He  said                                                               
[fishermen] capture  a great deal  of those fish in  the Columbia                                                               
River  and on  the Oregon  Coast.   Commissioner Duffy  explained                                                               
that the chinook salmon fishery  in Southeast Alaska is currently                                                               
based on  Board of Fisheries regulations  that divide [abundance]                                                               
between the commercial and recreational  fisheries [80 percent to                                                               
the  commercial  fisheries and  20  percent  to the  recreational                                                               
fisheries].                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  asked Commissioner Duffy if  he could speak                                                               
specifically to the  drainage areas around the  Susitna River and                                                               
the Little Susitna River.   She asked Commissioner Duffy if those                                                               
areas were impacted by [the  Board of Fisheries regulations] that                                                               
he was explaining.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2060                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said the areas Representative  Masek inquired                                                               
about  were  not  impacted  by  the  [regulations]  that  he  was                                                               
explaining.  He said he was  trying to provide the committee with                                                               
examples in  which he had represented  the recreational fisheries                                                               
in  terms of  negotiating international  fishery agreements  with                                                               
Canada and the United States (U.S.).   He offered his belief that                                                               
he had, in some public  forms, represented a recreational fishing                                                               
interest.   Commissioner Duffy said  the recreational  fishery is                                                               
directly  involved  in  council  halibut issue  and  as  a  state                                                               
representative   on  the   council  he   didn't  represent   just                                                               
commercial  fishing interests;  he represented  the interests  of                                                               
recreational  and commercial  fishermen  as  well as  subsistence                                                               
users for  the resource.   Commissioner Duffy said  he recognized                                                               
the growing importance of those  recreational fisheries issues to                                                               
Alaska.  He noted  that he is not an expert  on those issues, and                                                               
he  said  he  relies  on  his  division  directors  in  both  the                                                               
commercial  fisheries division  and  the sport  fish division  to                                                               
keep him  informed on those  issues.  Commissioner Duffy  said as                                                               
commissioner  he  would track  those  issues  and  try to  be  as                                                               
knowledgeable  as  possible about  all  sides  of any  particular                                                               
fisheries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  said she thought  there were going to  be a                                                               
lot of conflicts coming up.  She  noted she had been in that area                                                               
since  1986, and  she said  in talking  with her  constituents in                                                               
that area she's  realized there is a shortage of  access and that                                                               
combat fishing [is  occurring].  She said she didn't  know if the                                                               
Division of Sport Fish had any  plans to do anything to help with                                                               
the issue the  area is facing, and she didn't  like to see combat                                                               
fishing.   Representative  Masek emphasized  the fact  that sport                                                               
fishing is a big deal because  the area receives a lot of funding                                                               
through sport fishing related activities  such as the purchase of                                                               
fuel  and the  utilization  of the  area's  infrastructure.   She                                                               
asked Commissioner  Duffy to speak  to legislation that  had been                                                               
created to address emergency closures.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2192                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY explained that the  Division of Sport Fish had                                                               
recently developed a strategic plan  to address future priorities                                                               
and  through   its  funding   sources  it   provides  a   lot  of                                                               
recreational  access through  boat launches,  ramps, and  such to                                                               
provide additional recreation opportunities.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said  there is so much  demand by recreational                                                               
fishermen  for  access  to  the  resource  that  it  creates  the                                                               
crowding  conditions  that  Representative  Masek  had  expressed                                                               
concerns about.  He said he  didn't have any current plans on how                                                               
he  might  deal  with  that  issue as  commissioner,  but  it  is                                                               
something that he would consult  with his division director about                                                               
to  try to  address some  of  those issues.   Commissioner  Duffy                                                               
noted that  he is familiar  with some  of the issues  relating to                                                               
the  Kenai Peninsula  and  the Kenai  River.   He  said the  bill                                                               
relating  to  emergency  closures   addresses  the  role  of  the                                                               
commissioner  following an  allocation decision  by the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries.   He said  in the  event that  the Board  of Fisheries                                                               
makes  an allocation  decision and  certain things  happen during                                                               
the season  relative to the  abundance of those  returning salmon                                                               
stocks   that  might   provide   additional  commercial   fishing                                                               
opportunities  without upsetting  the  allocation  plan to  other                                                               
affected  users, [the  bill  specifies]  the commissioner's  role                                                               
under those circumstances.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2311                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY indicated that in  some "circles" it seemed as                                                               
though  his authority  is being  diminished  some.   Commissioner                                                               
Duffy said  he felt it  was his job to  manage the agency  and to                                                               
provide the  best information  to the board,  and once  the board                                                               
makes  an allocation  decision, he  felt it  is the  department's                                                               
role, under his  direction, to support those decisions.   He said                                                               
he  thought there  is a  balance in  place, and  he wanted  to be                                                               
careful that he is not put in  a role, under statute, in which he                                                               
would  be  spending  a  lot of  his  time  second-guessing  every                                                               
decision  that the  Board of  Fisheries makes  depending on  what                                                               
happens during the season.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  said she  had done  research on  some court                                                               
cases  that deal  with subsistence  and "the  clause that  we are                                                               
fighting  now;  that the  resource  has  been  put out  for  each                                                               
Alaskan; [and]  that we should  enjoy the ... [resources  of] the                                                               
state."   She asked  Commissioner Duffy if  he thought  the state                                                               
was right in  implementing the limited fisheries  entry permit at                                                               
the time, and also whether he  felt that the state should propose                                                               
to  buy-back the  limited  entry  permits and  do  away with  the                                                               
limited entry fisheries.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2399                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  said  the question  is  [difficult]  and  he                                                               
thought the  limited entry system  was extremely effective  for a                                                               
number of  years in what  it was originally  intended to do.   He                                                               
said he thought that because of  the way it was structured it was                                                               
time to  look at some different  approaches to how it  is set up.                                                               
Commissioner Duffy,  in response  to the  question of  whether he                                                               
would support the idea of the  state in buying back limited entry                                                               
permits,  explained  that he  would  first  support working  with                                                               
[Alaska's] delegation in Washington  D.C. to provide some federal                                                               
funds to  support some  sort of a  permit reduction  in different                                                               
regions  of the  state.   He said  he thought  the limited  entry                                                               
system  until  now  has  been   a  unqualified  success  in  most                                                               
circumstances.  However,  he said he thought there  is a changing                                                               
dynamic in the  world of commercial salmon  fisheries and looking                                                               
at  buy-back  programs  that aren't  frustrated  by  the  current                                                               
statutes for  the limited entry system  might be a good  thing to                                                               
pursue.  Commissioner Duffy indicated  that initially he would be                                                               
fiscally conservative  because of  the fiscal constraints  of the                                                               
general   fund.     He  mentioned   the  efforts   made  by   the                                                               
administration   to  be   fiscally  conservative,   such  as   in                                                               
streamlining permitting.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MASEK  talked  about Canada's  trouble  with  its                                                               
fisheries, and  she suggested that  Canada's economy  was largely                                                               
dependant  on its  fisheries at  the  time of  the salmon  market                                                               
crash, and that  most of the workforce's income  was based mainly                                                               
on the industry's fisheries.   She said the [salmon market] crash                                                               
prompted  the Canadian  government to  assemble a  workforce that                                                               
taught  fishermen  a  different   occupation  to  [lessen]  their                                                               
dependency on the fisheries [market].   Representative Masek said                                                               
she thought Alaska  is heading in the same  direction [as Canada]                                                               
because of problems the state  is having with marketing fish, and                                                               
she  suggested  that  the  state's fisheries  are  not  a  viable                                                               
industry anymore.   She said disaster relief  funding is provided                                                               
each  year to  people that  make  their living  from the  fishing                                                               
industry.  She asked how much  longer [the State] could afford to                                                               
subsidize  its  fisheries and  whether  the  Department of  Labor                                                               
could  help   to  change  the   State's  workforce   and  educate                                                               
[fishermen]  in other  [trades], so  there isn't  the problem  of                                                               
them not being able to support their families and communities.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2563                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  said  he  is  fairly  familiar  with  policy                                                               
changes in Canada  because he had been  the Alaska representative                                                               
on  the [Pacific  Salmon Treaty].   He  explained that  it's true                                                               
that  the provincial  and  federal government  in  Canada made  a                                                               
policy change years  ago to make the  commercial fishing industry                                                               
in  British  Columbia  less  of  a  priority  than  it  had  been                                                               
historically.    As  a  result,  he  said  Canada  implemented  a                                                               
province-wide fleet  reduction program  - a buy-back  program for                                                               
its   commercial  fisheries   in  the   different  gear   groups.                                                               
Commercial  fishing fleets  in  Canada were  reduced  by over  50                                                               
percent in  the past  seven years.   The fleet  reduction program                                                               
that  the  Canadian  government initiated  happened  concurrently                                                               
with some declining salmon stocks in Canada.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2607                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said he didn't think  it was fair to say there                                                               
was a  disaster situation on  the abundance of salmon  in Canada,                                                               
although  there  were  some  specific  declines  in  sockeye  and                                                               
chinook  stocks  in different  areas  of  British Columbia.    He                                                               
explained  that [the  Canadian government]  made a  conscientious                                                               
policy call  to reduce  the commercial  fishing fleet  to provide                                                               
salmon returns  to aboriginal  fisheries in  Canada and  to focus                                                               
more on  the recreational fishery.   Concurrent with  that policy                                                               
change, he said Canada has  also been emphasizing finfish farming                                                               
for  salmon, which  is  closed  cage finfish  farming.   He  said                                                               
[Alaska]  had  experienced  the   impacts  of  [Canada's  finfish                                                               
farming] and those impacts are potentially biological.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY said  each year  [Alaskan fishermen]  capture                                                               
more  of those  escapes  from Atlantic  salmon  farms in  British                                                               
Columbia and  Southeast Alaska and  in other areas of  the state.                                                               
He noted there are concerns  about that.  Commissioner Duffy said                                                               
Representative Masek was  shedding doubt on the  likely future of                                                               
the commercial salmon industry in  Alaska and he appreciated that                                                               
perspective and  knew she  was very  familiar with  it.   He said                                                               
there have  been disaster declarations  up in AYK  [Arctic Yukon-                                                               
Kuskokwim], and Bristol  Bay has had a few problems.   He said in                                                               
some circumstances such  as in AYK, historically, it  has been an                                                               
abundance  problem and  has created  financial  problems for  all                                                               
residents in that region who try  to make a living off commercial                                                               
fishing on those  stocks.  He said the other  side of the problem                                                               
is the  marketing problem -  the international  competition issue                                                               
from  farmed  fish -  farm  production  from Canada,  Chile,  and                                                               
Norway is strong competition.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  indicated the administration wanted  to focus                                                               
on everything it  could in an effort to  have Alaska's commercial                                                               
salmon  fishery  be   viable.    He  said   there  are  different                                                               
strategies  for different  regions of  the state,  and he  agreed                                                               
that in certain regions of  the state [some commercial fisheries]                                                               
may not  be an  effective commercial  engine at  some point.   He                                                               
expressed   optimism  regarding   Alaska's  [commercial   salmon]                                                               
fisheries, and he  said he would like  to do as much  as he could                                                               
to  [help Alaska's  commercial  salmon fisheries].    He said  as                                                               
commissioner he  would spend  time trying to  work on  that long-                                                               
range  vision for the commercial salmon fisheries in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2744                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GUTTENBERG   said    he   appreciated   all   of                                                               
Commissioner  Duffy's efforts  and  accomplishments.   He  turned                                                               
attention to the  problem faced by fish hatcheries,  and he asked                                                               
Commissioner   Duffy  how   much  of   that  problem   [is  being                                                               
addressed].  Representative Guttenberg  said the hatchery located                                                               
at  Clear  [Air  Force  Station]   had  closed  and  one  of  the                                                               
hatcheries located  at either  Elmendorf Air  Force Base  or Fort                                                               
Richardson Army Post is closing.   He remarked, "The military has                                                               
said they're  losing the hot  water off the power  plants because                                                               
they're  outsourcing that;  one of  them on  the short  term, the                                                               
other one on  the long term."  He said  those hatchery facilities                                                               
are  20  years old  and  the  science  had changed  [since  those                                                               
facilities had been built].                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  said there is  a move in  Fairbanks to                                                               
build  a new  hatchery using  the power  plant and  federal money                                                               
[had  been  provided]   to  do  a  study  about  it.     He  said                                                               
Representative Masek  made a good  point that fisheries  get more                                                               
restriction and  that creates  more pressure  such as  the combat                                                               
fishing  occurring  in  Kenai.   He  indicated  Alaska's  growing                                                               
population  results in  people wanting  to fish  locally and  not                                                               
have  to  travel  far.    He   said  one  of  a  fish  hatchery's                                                               
[responsibilities]  is to  stock lake  trout, which  gives people                                                               
the ability  to go to  local lakes [for fishing]  and [eliminates                                                               
the  need] for  people  to  travel across  the  state  or take  a                                                               
commercial fish charter.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2836                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG suggested it  was critical to keep some                                                               
of the  pressure off  some of those  other fisheries  and provide                                                               
alternative  places  for  people  to  fish.    He  asked  if  the                                                               
situation  [regarding fish  hatcheries  had been  brought to  the                                                               
commissioner's attention]  and whether he  is aware of  the [fish                                                               
hatchery]   study  occurring   in   Fairbanks.     Representative                                                               
Guttenberg  suggested  there  is  a   crisis,  and  he  said  his                                                               
understanding is that some fish  and game personnel don't seem to                                                               
recognize  [the crisis]  and others  do.   He asked  Commissioner                                                               
Duffy  if he  is  familiar  with the  dialog  pertaining to  this                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said  he is somewhat familiar  with the issue,                                                               
but  probably   not  to  the   same  degree   [as  Representative                                                               
Guttenberg].   He  said one  of his  duties was  to develop  [the                                                               
department's]  federal   budget  request  to  support   fish  and                                                               
wildlife management  in the state.   Commissioner Duffy explained                                                               
that  in   last  year's   federal  appropriations   request  [the                                                               
department] asked  for some  funding for  a feasibility  study to                                                               
look  at  the concept  of  a  hatchery  in  Fairbanks and  he  is                                                               
supportive of that  effort.  He explained that  the fish stocking                                                               
program is  incredibly successful and does  provide opportunities                                                               
in new locations that sometimes  relieves pressure elsewhere.  He                                                               
said  he agreed  with the  concept and  he is  supportive of  the                                                               
sport fish-stocking program statewide.   Commissioner Duffy noted                                                               
that  the program  is  very  large in  the  Interior  and in  the                                                               
Matanuska Valley.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  explained  that  he  would  support  federal                                                               
funding  to enhance  that effort  if it  is based  on feasibility                                                               
work  that's going  to be  done  in Fairbanks.   He  said if  the                                                               
conclusion is  it is appropriate  to build a facility  which will                                                               
help provide additional opportunity up  in that area, he would be                                                               
very supportive of that as commissioner.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  apologized if  he offended anybody  with his                                                               
previous  question.   He said  the perception  in the  Cook Inlet                                                               
region is that there are several  people that still remain in the                                                               
department that are  not necessarily friendly to the  use of fish                                                               
and game  for the  maximum benefit for  the residents  of Alaska.                                                               
Representative Wolf  asked Commissioner Duffy how  he intended to                                                               
reorganize   the    department   to   ensure   that    there   is                                                               
professionalism and to  build trust within the  department and in                                                               
the public process.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-25, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2970                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY  spoke   about   the  department's   mission                                                               
statement and he said he  supported those guiding principles that                                                               
focus  on professionalism  and  those  activities.   Commissioner                                                               
Duffy  acknowledged   concerns  [that  had  been   brought  forth                                                               
regarding certain  people in the  department or the way  data had                                                               
been presented to  the Board of Fisheries in the  past].  He said                                                               
he  would  need  to  look  at the  details  and  know  the  facts                                                               
surrounding  the issue  before he  would be  willing to  take any                                                               
specific action  and he thought  it is  incumbent as a  leader to                                                               
know all sides of the issue.   Commissioner Duffy said he expects                                                               
professionalism from the  people that work for and with  him.  He                                                               
said his  approach to management  of fish and  wildlife resources                                                               
is a teamwork approach.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  pledged he  would do  everything he  could to                                                               
ensure  that the  department is  providing timely,  accurate, and                                                               
scientifically valid  information to  the respective boards.   He                                                               
said if members of the public  do not feel that the department is                                                               
providing that  kind of  information to  these boards,  he wanted                                                               
those people to contact him to work through those problems.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2904                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOLF   suggested   the  five-year   ocean   fish                                                               
escapement goals  on the  Kenai River early  run and  King salmon                                                               
run had  dropped to  849 in  the last  seven years.   He  said it                                                               
falls  below  the  1989  escapement  run of  1134.    He  said  a                                                               
moratorium was  placed on  the guide numbers  on the  Kenai River                                                               
late last year.   He asked Commissioner Duffy how  he thought the                                                               
department should try to correct  the fall of the five-year ocean                                                               
fish.    He  asked  whether   there  was  the  possibility  of  a                                                               
restriction and if he supported an enhancement program.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY, in response, said  he is not very well versed                                                               
on the  particular issue and  he could not immediately  provide a                                                               
detailed  response to  the  question.   He  offered  to pursue  a                                                               
detailed response for Representative Wolf following the meeting.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF said  he  would  provide Commissioner  Duffy                                                               
with a copy of the report and discuss it further with him.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  asked Commissioner Duffy's for  his opinion                                                               
on the make  up of the Board of Fisheries  and whether he thought                                                               
it is  balanced to represent  the sport fish industry  versus the                                                               
commercial fishing industry.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 2:07 p.m. to 2:08 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2778                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  said in reviewing  the resumes of  Board of                                                               
Fisheries  appointees she  noticed  that there  may  only be  one                                                               
[appointee]  that  could  adequately  represent  the  sport  fish                                                               
industry.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY,  in response,  said there  are two  new board                                                               
appointments coming up  that he thought were very  important.  He                                                               
said from what he had seen  of the new board [excluding those new                                                               
appointments] he was excited about  how each board member was not                                                               
only representing his or her  parochial interests but also trying                                                               
to represent a  broad spectrum of Alaskan interests.   He said he                                                               
had discussed  with board  members the need  to represent  a full                                                               
spectrum of interests when sitting  on a board that allocates the                                                               
resources of the  state.  Commissioner Duffy said  he thought the                                                               
new board was very representative  of the range of interests, and                                                               
he  hoped and  believed  that the  new  appointments coming  soon                                                               
would continue  to support a broad  range of interests.   He said                                                               
he is hopeful that the  recreational fisheries will be adequately                                                               
represented.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2686                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MASEK  suggested  that commercial  fisheries  are                                                               
seen as  an Alaskan way of  life, and the income  is focused just                                                               
on "comp fish."  She said  to date the legislature had introduced                                                               
over 200 bills that help out the commercial fisheries industry.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said  she is an Alaska Native  who has lived                                                               
in the  state since  she was born,  and that she  grew up  on the                                                               
Yukon River.   She  said her dad's  [fishing] permit  isn't worth                                                               
[much money] and he is having  a lot of trouble because of what's                                                               
happening with the fishing industry.   She remarked, "I am afraid                                                               
that  with  it starting  off  at  that  area  ... it's  going  to                                                               
continue  to   spread  like  a  virus."     Representative  Masek                                                               
explained that she would like to  see this state focus a lot more                                                               
on the sport fishing industry  because there are many people that                                                               
come  here [to  fish].   She  remarked, "If  we can  help ...  to                                                               
balance it  out; to ...  keep in touch  with our comp  fish area,                                                               
but try to focus  more on the sport fish."   She said she thought                                                               
the legislature supports "comp fish"  but really needs to look at                                                               
the sport fish industry.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2612                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  talked about the appearance  of farmed fish                                                               
at the  grocery store, and he  suggested that it looks  great and                                                               
consumers may  assume that [farmed  fish] must be a  better fish.                                                               
He suggested  that farmed fish  appear to be uniform,  clear, and                                                               
undamaged, and  he said it's  difficult to get a  commercial fish                                                               
that's  [appearance] is  equal  to that  of a  farmed  fish.   He                                                               
indicated that  farmed fish  are easier to  obtain, and  he noted                                                               
that   the   appearance   of  the   fish   is   very   important.                                                               
Representative Gatto  suggested that wild fish  are very valuable                                                               
and are  under priced,  and farmed fish  are more  expensive than                                                               
wild fish  even though wild fish  are more valuable.   He said he                                                               
assumed it is  done that way "because we're stuck,"  and he noted                                                               
that  the  fish  farmers  are   able  to  keep  the  costs  down.                                                               
Representative Gatto  asked if there was  a way to get  the price                                                               
of a very valuable commodity up.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY noted  that he is not a  marketing expert, and                                                               
he  suggested that  a marketing  professional could  provide more                                                               
detail  and much  more definitive  answers.   He  said Alaska  is                                                               
attempting to  maintain market share  in most  circumstances, but                                                               
there are  some opportunities in  Europe and the  domestic market                                                               
to  expand  the State's  efforts  with  new  product forms.    He                                                               
remarked, "So, that's one way to  try and increase the price; ...                                                               
to look at  new product forms and to try  and create new markets,                                                               
but  there  are  a  lot  of  barriers  to  doing  those  kind  of                                                               
activities."    Commissioner  Duffy mentioned  new  products  are                                                               
coming out on the market.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2480                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  indicated that new products  are gaining some                                                               
market share.  He said there  are other salmon product forms that                                                               
are being  looked at, and he  suggested that the focus  should be                                                               
on  new  product form  and  niche  markets.   Commissioner  Duffy                                                               
talked about Alaska's success with  Copper River salmon and early                                                               
season sockeye, which he said is  one of the biggest things going                                                               
in Seattle.   He suggested  others are  trying to build  on those                                                               
marketing efforts.   Commissioner  Duffy remarked, "I  think it's                                                               
day  by day,  step  by step;  there  is no  silver  bullet."   He                                                               
suggested  it's a  matter of  concentration focus,  finding niche                                                               
markets,  and  positively  exploiting   those  [markets]  to  the                                                               
[greatest] extent possible to try  to get more money for Alaska's                                                               
salmon.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF said a national  survey showed U.S. residents                                                               
spent $537  million on fishing  trips and equipment in  Alaska in                                                               
2001.    In 2002,  he  said  Alaska residents  purchased  187,031                                                               
fishing licenses and  287,834 nonresident sport-fishing licenses.                                                               
Representative  Wolf  offered  his understanding  that  ADF&G  is                                                               
doing a study to try and  determine why residents are buying less                                                               
licenses.  He asked if it is due to overcrowding.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY   exclaimed,   "That's  a   million   dollar                                                               
question."   He said  yes; overcrowding  could be  a part  of the                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2368                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked Commissioner  Duffy if he  knew if                                                               
the governor is going to have a resource cabinet.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  said  a  specific  decision  on  a  resource                                                               
cabinet  had  not  been  made, but  the  new  administration  had                                                               
[started  to  address]   the  volume  at  which   fish  and  game                                                               
management  or  resource issues  are  brought  to the  governor's                                                               
office for  consideration.  He said  the administration certainly                                                               
considers it to  be a priority focus and he  would be encouraging                                                               
some sort of  a resource cabinet focus.   Commissioner Duffy said                                                               
within the  cabinet there are  commissioners from  the Department                                                               
of Commerce  and Economic Development, ADF&G,  and the Department                                                               
of Labor  and Workforce Development  who are focusing on  a rural                                                               
development strategy, which is in  the formative stages.  He said                                                               
there  are  three  commissioners  plus Alan  Austerman  from  the                                                               
governor's  office who  are  focusing on  some  of these  federal                                                               
disaster monies  that the  state had received  for salmon,  but a                                                               
fisheries cabinet or  sub-cabinet and not been set up.   He noted                                                               
that  similar things  are being  done, and  he said  he would  be                                                               
encouraging that kind of a  specific focus on resource management                                                               
issues.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KERTTULA  said   she   tended   to  agree   with                                                               
Commissioner Duffy in terms of  management of the department, and                                                               
she thought  he was [correct]  in his [management methods].   She                                                               
offered her  observation that morale  in [ADF&G] is about  at the                                                               
bottom  right now,  and she  asked Commissioner  Duffy about  his                                                               
vision for  the department and  about what he  is going to  do to                                                               
help the morale in the department.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY  told   Representative  Kerttula   that  her                                                               
observation about ADF&G having some  morale problems is accurate.                                                               
He mentioned that the department  is currently going through some                                                               
streamlining and reorganization issues.   He said he didn't think                                                               
that had helped  the situation, especially for  those people that                                                               
are   adversely   impacted   from   an   employment   standpoint.                                                               
Commissioner Duffy said  he thought that there was  still a sense                                                               
of professionalism  among colleagues  within the  department even                                                               
with some of the difficult issues  that the department faces.  He                                                               
said ADF&G  employees are dedicated  professionals who  work many                                                               
hours in the  summer time, sometimes working 18 hours  a day, and                                                               
there is a sense of pride  in what [ADF&G employees] do that it's                                                               
not just a job; it's a profession and a career.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2179                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said he wanted  to support the pride  in what                                                               
ADF&G employees do, and he thought  there are a number of ways to                                                               
do that  such as  by ensuring that  the department's  experts are                                                               
provided  with  opportunities  to   speak  in  public  scientific                                                               
forums, both  nationally and internationally, to  present cutting                                                               
edge work that is being done.   He said there are internal reward                                                               
systems for  outstanding performance  that he  would foster  as a                                                               
commissioner.   He said additional  training to help  people move                                                               
up the  "career ladder" is  important and he would  support those                                                               
type of  activities.   Commissioner Duffy said  he thought  it is                                                               
also important  to look  at inner  divisional activities,  and he                                                               
said  he   would  like  to   consider  cross  training   in  some                                                               
circumstances.  For example, he  said a biologist in the Division                                                               
of Sport Fish  might work on a commercial fish  issue for a while                                                               
or perhaps the  other way around.  He remarked,  "I would like to                                                               
say that  I am  going to  be the  champion of  dramatic increased                                                               
compensation  to fish  and game  employees; that  everyone around                                                               
this table, including me, is  cognizant of the fiscal constraints                                                               
that we are all operating under."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2111                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said that may  change through time  and there                                                               
may be  opportunities, but he is  focusing on trying to  push the                                                               
professionalism   and   display   the  professionalism   of   the                                                               
department's  people.   Commissioner  Duffy  said  those are  the                                                               
types of  things that he  would be  focusing on over  a four-year                                                               
period, but he  was really thinking about this for  the first six                                                               
months as  commissioner and then  he would think about  adding on                                                               
to that.   He stated that he  would like to try  and accomplish a                                                               
few  things  in  a  short  time frame  and  then  build  on  what                                                               
successes he has.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 2078                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE offered  his understanding  that there  was a  recent                                                               
ruling made  by the subsistence  board regarding the  Yukon River                                                               
that allows  part of a  subsistence catch to  be sold.   He asked                                                               
Commissioner  Duffy if  the state  is taking  a position  on that                                                               
ruling.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said yes; other  parties have already filed an                                                               
appeal to the federal subsistence  board, although he didn't know                                                               
the exact  language.  He noted  that he had not  had a discussion                                                               
with  his  bosses  in  the  governor's  office,  but  it  is  the                                                               
intention of the  department to pursue a  reconsideration of this                                                               
action that was taken by  the federal subsistence board about two                                                               
months ago.   Commissioner Duffy said  the department [considered                                                               
the ruling]  to be  too open  and not well  defined and  it might                                                               
also be inconsistent with ANILCA  [Alaska National Interest Lands                                                               
Conservation  Act].   He said  the department  will be  making an                                                               
appeal of that decision.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE  offered  his  belief  that there  was  a  time  when                                                               
approximately  eight [fish]  buyers  ranged between  the City  of                                                               
Galena and  what would be  considered "the bridge" or  just below                                                               
Stevens  Village  today.    He said  these  were  all  commercial                                                               
buyers, and the  fishermen on the Yukon were all  making a decent                                                               
amount of money.  However, he  said today there is only one buyer                                                               
and  that buyer  can't [make  a decent  amount of  money] off  of                                                               
Yukon fish.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE explained  that part  of the  reason was  due to  the                                                               
regime shifts,  but another  part of it  was that  the commercial                                                               
fishery at the mouth of the  Yukon River went over its quota year                                                               
after year  by as much  as 10 percent.   The result was  that the                                                               
fishery's overage  was almost as much  as the rest of  the entire                                                               
Yukon River  quota.   Chair Fate asked  Commissioner Duffy  if he                                                               
would use  his influence  on the brown  water fisheries  to bring                                                               
back commercialization.   He said markets are  strong, local, and                                                               
don't depend so much on  international markets because those fish                                                               
are sold locally, yet those markets have been destroyed.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Chair  Fate said  he hoped  enhancement would  be looked  at once                                                               
more,  and he  relayed  his  understanding that  as  long as  the                                                               
genetic stock from  those river systems are used  in the hatchery                                                               
and are  made available to  those hatcheries, then  "the hatchery                                                               
word  isn't  that  bad  of  a  word"  in  some  of  those  areas,                                                               
particularly on  the upper  Yukon River.   He  asked Commissioner                                                               
Duffy  if  he  was  going  to look  into  enhancing  those  river                                                               
fisheries.   He remarked, "After  all, if  you don't have  a good                                                               
river fishery,  you certainly aren't  going to have a  blue water                                                               
fishery;   that's  where   they   spawn."     Chair  Fate   asked                                                               
Commissioner Duffy  if he is  going to look into  the subsistence                                                               
issue that had been raised.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1877                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said Alaska had received  significant federal                                                               
resources  because  of  a disaster  declaration  and  [ADF&G]  is                                                               
working with  its constituents in  the AYK region.   He explained                                                               
that  [ADF&G] also  has a  collaborative  research program  which                                                               
currently  has  $10  million  in funding  to  identify  what  the                                                               
biological issues are associated  with declining salmon stocks in                                                               
the AYK  region.  He said  he is excited about  the collaborative                                                               
work the department is doing in  the that region.  The department                                                               
has significant  funding to  analyze what the  problems are.   He                                                               
said  he  thought  the problems  [that  Representative  Fate  had                                                               
raised]  regarding  declining  salmon   runs  are  becoming  even                                                               
greater  because of  a declining  abundance,  allocations, and  a                                                               
particular downriver  action that  has a greater  impacts upriver                                                               
in a  declining resource  situation.   He said  he will  find out                                                               
through  the Division  of Commercial  Fisheries what  the current                                                               
status  is of  the different  commercial fisheries  on the  Yukon                                                               
River.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY,  in   response  to   Representative  Fate's                                                               
question about enhancement of the  Yukon River, said one of thing                                                               
first  things he  worked on  when  he first  started working  for                                                               
ADF&G was regional  and comprehensive salmon plans  and in trying                                                               
to determine  where the salmon  enhancement or  hatchery programs                                                               
should be 20  years later.  Commissioner Duffy was  told that the                                                               
decision not  to put  enhancement facilities  on the  Yukon River                                                               
had been decided  prior to his career in  the department starting                                                               
in 1981.   He  said his first  action would be  to talk  with the                                                               
area  management   biologists  on  the  Yukon   River  about  the                                                               
particular circumstances, get their  opinions initially, and have                                                               
the biologists talk with the  regional management structure about                                                               
the possibility for enhancement on the Yukon.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  stated he  would look into  it but  would not                                                               
make  any promises  about  what the  outcome  of that  particular                                                               
issue might  be.  He said  it is a  complex issue on a  main stem                                                               
river system  where a lot  of research  is already being  done to                                                               
try  and  find  out  what  had  caused  previous  problems.    He                                                               
remarked,  "I'm  not  saying that  the  enhancement  program,  by                                                               
definition, would  cause problems;  it's just  an issue  that was                                                               
...  decided upon  from a  policy perspective  a number  of years                                                               
ago; ...  not [to] pursue it  for the Yukon."   He explained that                                                               
the  current dual  management structure  consists of  the federal                                                               
subsistence  board  which is  advised  by  the regional  advisory                                                               
councils.   He said there is  an effort to develop  some protocol                                                               
between the  federal managers and  state mangers to make  the in-                                                               
season   management system  as tolerable  as possible  given that                                                               
there are  two structures operating  in the  Yukon.  He  said the                                                               
department  is trying  to  do everything  it can  to  try not  to                                                               
forfeit any  management decision  making authority on  ADF&G, and                                                               
the department  is trying  to work  with the  federal subsistence                                                               
staff [not  only] to gain  input, "but really  to keep us  in the                                                               
driver's seat."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1611                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said inevitably  a dual management system will                                                               
lead to  conflict and could  lead to an in-season  special action                                                               
request through the  federal subsistence board.  So,  he said the                                                               
department   is  trying   to  make   a  difficult   situation  as                                                               
comfortable as it  possibly can and is cooperating as  much as it                                                               
can without giving  up any management authority.   With regard to                                                               
the   morale  problem,   this  dual   management  structure   has                                                               
dramatically increased  the workload  for a number  of management                                                               
biologists   and  regional   managers  within   the  department's                                                               
structure.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  explained   that  [biologists  and  regional                                                               
managers]  now  attend  regional  advisory  council  meetings  to                                                               
provide information to  the federal system, and  they also attend                                                               
federal  subsistence board  meetings.   Nevertheless, he  said as                                                               
long [Alaska] is  in this dual management  system, the department                                                               
will  continue  to  try  to   provide  the  best  biological  and                                                               
scientific information  it can to  the federal  subsistence board                                                               
and the  regional advisory  councils in the  hope that  they make                                                               
intelligent decisions about the  use and management of [Alaska's]                                                               
resources.   Commissioner Duffy  said he  thought this  speaks to                                                               
the professional nature of the people in ADF&G.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1514                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE asked  if there  had been  any discussion  since he'd                                                               
been  with  department that  related  to  the abrogation  of  the                                                               
rights  of   Alaskan's  on   navigable  waters   vis-à-vis  those                                                               
contracts or  management agreements with the  federal government.                                                               
He remarked,  "The state is  managing something that  they should                                                               
be  managing in  some view;  I don't  think that  navigable water                                                               
issue has been put to rest; ...  are they in fact aiding the feds                                                               
in cementing in place their domain ... in navigable waters?"                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said he thought  the answer to  that question                                                               
was no.   He explained that he participated  in the federal/state                                                               
interagency workgroup for  a period of time when he  was a deputy                                                               
director in the  Division of Commercial Fisheries.   He said [the                                                               
workgroup] constantly  ensured that any language  it was crafting                                                               
was  reviewed by  the attorney  general's office  with regard  to                                                               
working on memorandums of understanding  (MOUs) - how things will                                                               
work  given a  dual  management  system out  in  the  field.   He                                                               
indicated  the state  was  not acquiescing  any  state rights  or                                                               
state's  authorities under  that system.   He  said MOUs  are not                                                               
legally binding and  are not contracts.   Commissioner Duffy said                                                               
the department had been really careful  not to "move in the wrong                                                               
direction"  on  this  one.   He  said  he  is  not an  expert  on                                                               
navigable waters and  needed to learn more about that  issue.  He                                                               
noted that he  does have good people in the  department who focus                                                               
on  those issues  and work  with the  attorney general's  office.                                                               
Commissioner Duffy stated  that he did not have  the expertise to                                                               
elaborate  on the  navigable waters  situation at  this point  in                                                               
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE offered  his  belief  that there  is  only one  sonar                                                               
located  at Pilot  Point, and  he  said different  groups on  the                                                               
Yukon River had requested at least  three sonars.  He said by the                                                               
admission  of  the  Division  of  Commercial  Fisheries  and  the                                                               
subsistence  fisheries   in  Fairbanks  and  the   Interior,  the                                                               
percentage of runs  that go up the Tanana River  or that continue                                                               
up  the  Yukon  River  into  the Porcupine  River  and  into  the                                                               
spawning  beds are  not known.   Representative  Fate said  there                                                               
have been  efforts to get an  accurate count on where  those fish                                                               
really go and [the efforts result  in] having the count coming in                                                               
to  a certain  lower  portion of  the river  where  the sonar  is                                                               
located at Pilot Point.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1327                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  said  it  was his  hope  that  ADF&G  could                                                               
provide better  research on both  the Kuskokwim and  Yukon Rivers                                                               
as well  as some of the  other major spawning rivers  to get some                                                               
data that is  meaningful and will help ADF&G begin  to manage for                                                               
abundance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  offered  his understanding  that  the                                                               
federal government pays biologists more  than the state does.  He                                                               
asked Commissioner Duffy how many  state biologists the state had                                                               
lost to the federal government.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY said  the  state  had lost  around  30 to  50                                                               
biologists, which  was significant.   He said the state  is faced                                                               
with a situation in which  a number of department biologists have                                                               
been on 20-year retirement programs  that are slowly coming to an                                                               
end as those people retire, because  there is no longer a 20-year                                                               
retirement  program in  the department.   He  said there  is also                                                               
increasing   opportunity   through   the   federal   system   for                                                               
biologists, and  not only is  the base  compensation in a  lot of                                                               
circumstances higher,  but [federal employees] also  receive a 25                                                               
percent Cost  of Living Allowance  (COLA) in the  federal system.                                                               
He said there  are very well trained,  very professional wildlife                                                               
and fisheries  biologists reaching  20 years with  the department                                                               
with secondary opportunities out  there in which the compensation                                                               
is  significantly higher.   Commissioner  Duffy explained  that a                                                               
lot of people  have been availing themselves  of that opportunity                                                               
on  an  annual basis.    He  said  the  state had  experienced  a                                                               
significant movement of  biologists from the state  system to the                                                               
federal system.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked Commissioner  Duffy if  his statement                                                               
that he worked for the governor was correct.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY stated  that the  governor is  his supervisor                                                               
but he works  for the State of Alaska  representing all interests                                                               
and  representing  the   conservation  of  long-term  enhancement                                                               
protection of the fish and wildlife resources of Alaska.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1128                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTO  said   the  public   expects  [government                                                               
officials] to do the best job  possible.  He noted there had been                                                               
a hint that the Division  of Habitat and Restoration Services may                                                               
be  transferred.    Representative  Gatto stated  that  ADF&G  is                                                               
charged in  statute to  protect [Alaska's]  resources [regardless                                                               
of  which  department the  Division  of  Habitat and  Restoration                                                               
services  is located  in].   He said  it is  so important  to the                                                               
community that the resource, habitat,  and everything else around                                                               
those things is  well protected.  Representative  Gatto said [the                                                               
public  is  counting  on  the   commissioner  of  ADF&G  and  the                                                               
legislature] to ensure  that happens.  He  reminded the committee                                                               
that [government officials]  work for the public, and  he said if                                                               
the public is happy, then those jobs are really being done well.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said  he takes the discharge of  his duties as                                                               
commissioner under  Title 16 very  seriously and he  is committed                                                               
to do everything possible to discharge his duties effectively.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FATE  said it was brought  to his attention by  a member of                                                               
his  staff that  there  "are  other fish  to  fry."   He  brought                                                               
attention  to the  halibut, crab,  and shrimp  industries and  he                                                               
asked Commissioner Duffy to comment on those industries.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0952                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY   said  he   is  actively  engaged   in  crab                                                               
management  issues through  NPFMC.   The department  had recently                                                               
designed  a   rationalization  program  that  includes   a  fleet                                                               
reduction of  crab vessels.   The program  is an  IFQ [individual                                                               
fishing  quota] program  for  the individual  vessel  based on  a                                                               
catch history.   There is a processor quota component  based on a                                                               
processor's previous  participation in the fishery  and there are                                                               
also a  number of  community protection  measures built  into the                                                               
rationalization program.  He said some  of the crab stocks in the                                                               
Bering  Sea aren't  doing so  well  and the  fisheries have  been                                                               
seriously curtailed  to address those  issues.  He said  the hope                                                               
is  for a  rebound in  some  of those  crab stocks,  and that  he                                                               
thought the  management program is  sound on crab.   Commissioner                                                               
Duffy  said  with a  rationalized  fishery  where the  number  of                                                               
participants will be downsized and  an IFQ system is implemented,                                                               
there will no longer  be a race for crab or fish.   He said under                                                               
an  IFQ system  one  will  be able  to  harvest  crab within  the                                                               
biological  perimeters  of  the  animals and  will  not  have  to                                                               
participate any longer in a race for fish.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY explained  that  harvesters will  be able  to                                                               
harvest   for   market   opportunity    and   timing   with   the                                                               
[participating] processor.   He said he thought that  some of the                                                               
resources relating  to the  crab industry  are struggling  a bit,                                                               
but the  department is designing  a program  that is going  to be                                                               
responsive.  He said the  program is not without its controversy,                                                               
but there  are not many fish  and game issues in  which decisions                                                               
are made that  do not have some controversy.   Commissioner Duffy                                                               
stated that  he is in  support of  the program, and  he suggested                                                               
that moving to  an IFQ program fishery for crab  in the future is                                                               
the way to go.  He said  the department is doing some basic stock                                                               
assessments  and  research on  shrimp  stocks.   There  are  some                                                               
shrimp  fisheries   in  Southeast  that  have   experienced  some                                                               
increase in the  shrimp populations, such as in  the Kodiak area.                                                               
He said he  is tracking some of those issues  and that pollock is                                                               
the "big driver" under NPFMC in the groundfish [industry].                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY said  pollock "row"  early in  the season  in                                                               
February through the  trawl, longline, and pot  fisheries, and is                                                               
providing a lot of economic  opportunity in Alaska.  He explained                                                               
that  pacific  cod  is  another fishery  that  is  managed  under                                                               
[NPFMC] and  is doing very  well on  abundance in the  Bering Sea                                                               
and  Aleutian Islands.   He  said perhaps  there are  some issues                                                               
associated with  the biological status  of Pacific cod  stocks in                                                               
the Gulf of Alaska, but nothing  alarming; it's an issue that the                                                               
[department  is   following].     Commissioner  Duffy   said  the                                                               
groundfish industry in Alaska is very solid.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0685                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DON JOHNSON testified,  and he said those people  involved in the                                                               
confirmation and appointment process  of Commissioner Duffy got a                                                               
"semi-deal" that was  struck by the commercial  and sport fishing                                                               
industries  with regard  to deputy  commissioners.   He said  the                                                               
[sport]  and  commercial  fishing  industry were  in  support  of                                                               
Commissioner Duffy  with the understanding  that there  was going                                                               
to be  a deputy  commissioner appointed  for both  the commercial                                                               
and sport  fishing industries.   He said it is  his understanding                                                               
that  since   the  appointment   [of  Commissioner   Duffy],  the                                                               
commercial fisheries deputy [commissioner]  was appointed but the                                                               
sport  fisheries  deputy [commissioner]  is  no  longer a  viable                                                               
idea.   He remarked,  "I guess  I am feeling  a little  bit short                                                               
changed out  the deal."   Mr. Johnson said he  questioned whether                                                               
the "semi-deal"  that the  industries had  worked out  in getting                                                               
behind the appointments  is actually going to be  carried out and                                                               
followed through  to provide a  sport fisheries  deputy alongside                                                               
the  commercial  fisheries deputy.    He  asked if  a  commercial                                                               
fisheries deputy commissioner was going to be hired.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0537                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said  he didn't know about any  deals that had                                                               
been  made.   He  noted  that  he  hadn't  hired anyone  for  any                                                               
positions in the  commissioner's office since he'd  taken over as                                                               
active commissioner.   Commissioner Duffy said he  is looking for                                                               
someone who can  represent varied interests, and  he indicated he                                                               
did not  have the funding  to hire deputy commissioners  for each                                                               
particular  interest.   He pledged  that  he is  looking for  the                                                               
quality of candidates  who can represent all interests.   He said                                                               
he acknowledged  and respected Mr.  Johnson's point  about people                                                               
wanting  representation and  he  would do  everything  he can  to                                                               
bring in people who represent a number of interests.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0386                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL SHADURA,  President and Executive Director,  Kenai Peninsula                                                               
Fishermen's Association (KPFA),  testified.  He said  KPFA was in                                                               
support of the earnest efforts  by Governor [Frank] Murkowski and                                                               
the administration to strengthen and  add vigor to the commercial                                                               
fishing industry.  He relayed  KPFA's belief that the concepts of                                                               
sound  biological management  and the  highest sustainable  yield                                                               
are hallmarks to bring profitability  and integrity back into the                                                               
state's most  diversified industry.   He noted  that Commissioner                                                               
Duffy  was not  [KPFA's]  prime choice  for  the commissioner  of                                                               
ADF&G,  but   he  said  if   the  governor  feels   confident  in                                                               
[Commissioner Duffy's] abilities to  manage the state's resources                                                               
for the maximum benefit of  its commercial fishing industry, then                                                               
KPFA is in support of the appointment of Commissioner Duffy.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  SHADURA  relayed KPFA's  belief  that  the main  issues  lie                                                               
within the  "building blocks"  of the  management team  of ADF&G.                                                               
He said the strong scientific  commitment with the direction of a                                                               
statewide salmon  fisheries business  plan is imperative,  and he                                                               
suggested [Alaska] is playing a "game  of catch up" in the global                                                               
salmon  market and  is  in  need of  support  staff -  directors,                                                               
deputy directors,  and deputy commissioners  - that can  "run the                                                               
marathon race and win."   He said contentious individuals are not                                                               
needed  in  this  arena,  and  the integrity  of  the  sport  and                                                               
commercial fisheries division must be  of the highest order.  Mr.                                                               
Shadura suggested  that professionalism and dedication  should be                                                               
rewarded,  and  he  invited  the  commissioner  to  come  to  the                                                               
Southcentral  fishing  community  to  see and  hear  the  regions                                                               
complex  problems.   He said  with this  mutual knowledge  and an                                                               
honest dedicated  effort, long  lasting management  solutions can                                                               
be found.   Mr. Shadura said if new investments  are brought into                                                               
[Alaska's]  distressed salmon  fisheries, then  stabilization and                                                               
opportunities for all of the  state's fishing communities in each                                                               
region must be ensured.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0125                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said wildlife management is  a very important                                                               
issue in Alaska, and a lot of  people engage in the Board of Game                                                               
process to  affect allocation decisions and  engage in contacting                                                               
him,  legislators,  and  the governor's  office  with  particular                                                               
perspectives on game  management issues.  He said  he thought the                                                               
importance  of these  issues from  a  crossover perspective  from                                                               
fish to game is consistent  and very significant to residents and                                                               
nonresidents in Alaska.   He conveyed his belief that  it will be                                                               
necessary  to  have some  expertise  on  game management  in  the                                                               
commissioner's office.  Commissioner  Duffy said one concept he'd                                                               
been thinking about is not only  to have two deputies but also to                                                               
enhance  the   scientific  presence   of  people   with  wildlife                                                               
experience in the  commissioner's office, such as  with a science                                                               
advisory  or wildlife  scientist  type position  to bolster  that                                                               
issue [tape ends midspeech].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-26, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY told  the committee  that the  public advises                                                               
the  game board  through a  proposal process  and the  game board                                                               
makes  decisions on  allocations.   The game  board may  at times                                                               
make recommendations  to the commissioner  of ADF&G.  He  said he                                                               
thought it  was a sound system  that doesn't need to  be changed,                                                               
rather it  needs to be supported.   He said it  is important that                                                               
the department within the Division  of Wildlife Conservation have                                                               
adequate  funding  to  provide  that  scientific  and  biological                                                               
expertise to the  game board, so it can make  the best decisions.                                                               
He  said  the  Division  of  Wildlife  Conservation,  unlike  the                                                               
commercial fish division, is primarily federally funded.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said things  get complicated  and politically                                                               
charged   when   talking   about  certain   wildlife   management                                                               
decisions,  and   he  understands   that.     He  said   in  most                                                               
circumstances  he  believes in  a  maximum  sustained yield  that                                                               
provides as  much opportunity  as possible  to both  resident and                                                               
nonresident  consumptive  users in  Alaska.    He explained  that                                                               
there are  certain activities that  the department  is evaluating                                                               
such as a  predator control program in the McGrath  area based on                                                               
problems with moose populations.   Commissioner Duffy stated that                                                               
he  was  in  support  of predator  control  programs  in  certain                                                               
circumstances,  and   he  said   the  game   board  has   made  a                                                               
recommendation to  the department  on a predator  control program                                                               
for moose  and bears in  [Game Management Unit (GMU)]  13 located                                                               
in the Nelchina Basin.  He remarked:                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     What we  are doing  in that  area is  over the  next 11                                                                    
     months we're  ... really going  out and talking  to all                                                                    
     users of the resource ....   I'm calling the process an                                                                    
     informed consent process to try  and bring some buy-in,                                                                    
     if  possible,  into  a  particular  approach  for  this                                                                    
     program.   The  reason  I am  taking  that approach  is                                                                    
     because  ... if  we  are going  to  engage in  wildlife                                                                    
     management  programs  that  are controversial,  then  I                                                                    
     think we need to at least  ... bring ... members of the                                                                    
     public up  to speed  on the  particular issue,  and why                                                                    
     particular decisions are being made.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  stated that  the public  arena is  really the                                                               
Board of Game  arena, and he was  not taking away from  that.  He                                                               
said  if the  [department] is  going  to [create]  these type  of                                                               
programs,   they  need   to  be   sustainable   and  long   term.                                                               
Commissioner  Duffy said  in some  circumstances he  thought that                                                               
was  a  better approach  than  a  decision and  [introducing]  an                                                               
immediate  program that  is extremely  controversial  only to  be                                                               
potentially shut down by litigation or some other means.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 0300                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY  said   when   talking   about  game   board                                                               
recommendations or decisions on  predator control programs, he is                                                               
required  to make  a finding  on those  issues, and  had recently                                                               
done that in the McGrath area.   Commissioner Duffy said it is no                                                               
secret  that   he  is  consulting  with   the  administration  on                                                               
decisions in those  arenas.  He said [the  department] had agreed                                                               
and written  back to the  game board on a  particular perspective                                                               
that  is  somewhat  controversial,  but  nevertheless  he  is  in                                                               
support  of  predator  control   programs.    Commissioner  Duffy                                                               
remarked, "I  don't want to focus  on this only, because  I think                                                               
when  you talk  about the  wildlife management  arena you  have a                                                               
range of  tools that  our managers and  our scientists  have, and                                                               
that they advise the game board  in their decisions on."  He said                                                               
the predator control  program could be put on one  end and on the                                                               
other  end, for  example,  could  be the  recent  expansion of  a                                                               
buffer  zone in  Denali  National Park  and  Preserve to  protect                                                               
wolves.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0383                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY said he is not  an expert in this arena but he                                                               
has a lot of experts that work with  him.  He said he is going to                                                               
try to embellish that scientific  expertise in the commissioner's                                                               
office, but  that doesn't  mean that  he is  going to  change the                                                               
decision making process  that he supports in the  department.  He                                                               
said  from  a  day-to-day   wildlife  management  perspective  he                                                               
supports  management at  the area  level similar  to that  of the                                                               
commercial  fisheries.   Commissioner  Duffy  said  he wanted  to                                                               
bolster that team and he is  relying on the expertise of a number                                                               
of researchers,  managers, and biologists within  the Division of                                                               
Wildlife Conservation.  He said  he is relying on their expertise                                                               
from an  area level  up through the  regional level  advising the                                                               
game board,  and he  looks forward  to a  cooperative, productive                                                               
working relationship  with the game board.   He said he  is under                                                               
no   illusions  about   how  difficult   these  situations   are.                                                               
Commissioner Duffy pledged  to work with the public  body and the                                                               
Board  of Game  on making  public  policy decisions  in the  best                                                               
interests of  the state.   He said  he will internally  work with                                                               
his  staff on  a  daily basis  to ensure  that  the advice  being                                                               
provided  to  the  Board  of   Game  is  sound  and  biologically                                                               
defensible.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE asked  Commissioner  Duffy if  he  would be  actively                                                               
managing instead of passively managing.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  DUFFY  said  he  would   be  supporting  an  active                                                               
management approach as commissioner of ADF&G.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE noted  that  Commissioner Duffy  had  stated that  he                                                               
would   rely  very   heavily  on   scientific  evidence   and  on                                                               
biologists, but  he didn't  mention some of  the local  people in                                                               
the areas that are affected by  some of the decisions he would be                                                               
making.   He asked where local  people come into that  "power ...                                                               
in the decision making formula."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   DUFFY   apologized   for  not   mentioning   local                                                               
participation, and he  said it was an oversight on  his part.  He                                                               
said there are multiple entry points  but one of the first one is                                                               
to ensure  that local  people can participate  in the  game board                                                               
allocation   process    and   the   decision    making   process.                                                               
Commissioner  Duffy said  he would  be  supporting programs  that                                                               
would  create  cooperative   working  relationships  between  the                                                               
department  and local  residents.   He  said  [the department  is                                                               
considering]  enhancing local  predator  control  efforts in  the                                                               
McGrath area  to reduce the  population of wolves in  that region                                                               
through  facilitating  their  pursuit  of wolves.    He  said  he                                                               
thought  working  with  local residents  is  imperative  in  this                                                               
process, and he wants their active involvement in Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0688                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE   suggested  that  there  are   scientists  and  game                                                               
biologists who put  a "twist" or a "spin" on  their findings.  He                                                               
asked  Commissioner  Duffy  what  his philosophy  on  hiring  his                                                               
employees is and what kind of a  spin he would allow to be placed                                                               
on things.   Chair Fate remarked,  "So, if we rely  so heavily on                                                               
those  people that  place this  spin, we're  right back  where we                                                               
started."  He asked Commissioner  Duffy how he proposed to handle                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER DUFFY  said he  planned on a  program that  does not                                                               
put  a spin  on scientific  and biological  studies and  he wants                                                               
research done that  is brought to the game board  or other public                                                               
forums based  on its scientific  merits.   He stated that  he did                                                               
not support  a program  that [involves]  twisting the  numbers to                                                               
come out with  a certain philosophy, and he said  he thought that                                                               
would   be   irresponsive  of   the   department   to  do   that.                                                               
Commissioner  Duffy  said  he  had spoken  with  a  member  about                                                               
similar concerns but it was in  not in regard to game management.                                                               
He  said he  would not  support that  for game  management issues                                                               
internally, but  he could  not control what  twist or  spin other                                                               
non-department members  put on  scientific information  that they                                                               
have.   Commissioner Duffy  said Board of  Game members  are very                                                               
bright,  have a  lot of  scientific expertise,  and are  going to                                                               
recognize that kind of information when it comes out.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0904                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  FATE, upon  determining  no one  else  wished to  testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   WOLF   complimented   Commissioner   Duffy   for                                                               
"stepping right into that predator control."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[Though no  motion was  made, the appointment  of Kevin  Duffy as                                                               
the commissioner  of the Alaska  Department of Fish and  Game was                                                               
advanced.]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:04 p.m.                                                                 

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