Legislature(2003 - 2004)

02/25/2004 01:07 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 25, 2004                                                                                        
                           1:07 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom, Co-Chair                                                                                        
Representative Beverly Masek, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Cheryll Heinze, Vice Chair                                                                                       
Representative Carl Gatto                                                                                                       
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Nick Stepovich                                                                                                   
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 188                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to the  authority of the Department  of Natural                                                               
Resources  to  issue  citations for  certain  skiing  violations;                                                               
relating  to  establishing a  bail  schedule  for certain  skiing                                                               
violations and to procedures for  issuing a citation for a skiing                                                               
violation."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 188 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 35                                                                                                   
Relating to  mad cow disease  and country-of-origin  labeling for                                                               
meat products.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHJR 35(L&C) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 344                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to  annual rental fees  for mining  claims, and                                                               
providing for reduced  royalties during the first  three years of                                                               
production."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 344(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 341                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the dive fishery management assessment."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 341 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 188                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BAIL SCHEDULE FOR SKIING VIOLATION                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) HAWKER                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/12/03       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/12/03       (H)       RES, STA                                                                                               
02/25/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 35                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MAD COW DISEASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KERTTULA                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/05/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/05/04       (H)       L&C, RES                                                                                               
02/16/04       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/16/04       (H)       Moved CSHJR 35(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/16/04       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/18/04       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) NT 5DP 1NR                                                                             
02/18/04       (H)       DP: CRAWFORD, LYNN, GATTO, DAHLSTROM,                                                                  
02/18/04       (H)       GUTTENBERG; NR: ANDERSON                                                                               
02/25/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 344                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MINING FEES, RENTALS, & ROYALTIES                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) FATE                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/2/04                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/12/04       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/04/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/04/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/04/04       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/23/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/23/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/04       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/25/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 341                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DIVE FISHERY MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WILLIAMS                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/2/04                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/12/04       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/04/04       (H)       FSH RPT 6DP 1NR                                                                                        
02/04/04       (H)       DP: GARA, OGG, HEINZE, WILSON,                                                                         
02/04/04       (H)       SAMUELS, SEATON; NR: GUTTENBERG                                                                        
02/04/04       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/04/04       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/04/04       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/16/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/16/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
02/25/04       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE HAWKER                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 188 as sponsor.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
PAUL SWANSON, Area Manager                                                                                                      
Eaglecrest Ski Area                                                                                                             
City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ)                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 188.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LARRY DANIELS                                                                                                                   
Alyeska Ski Resort                                                                                                              
(no address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 188.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RICK THOMPSON, Regional Land Manager                                                                                            
Southcentral Region Office                                                                                                      
Division of Mining Land and Water                                                                                               
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During hearing on HB 188, answered                                                                         
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
AURORA HAUKE, Staff                                                                                                             
to Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented CSHJR 35(L&C) on behalf of                                                                       
Representative Kerttula, sponsor.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
PHIL KASPARI, Agricultural Agent                                                                                                
Cooperative Extension Service (CES)                                                                                             
Delta Junction, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During   hearing  on  CSHJR  35(L&C),  he                                                               
encouraged  letting  sound  science rule  decision-making  rather                                                               
than  politics,  and  urged the  committee  to  support  specific                                                               
research on animals with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PAUL KNOPP, Dairy Producer                                                                                                      
Delta Junction, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Expressed   concerns  relating  to  CSHJR                                                               
35(L&C).                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JIM POUND, Staff                                                                                                                
to Representative Hugh Fate                                                                                                     
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During hearing  on CSHB  344(RES), provided                                                               
information and  answered questions  on behalf  of Representative                                                               
Fate, sponsor.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
BOB LOEFFLER, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During hearing  on CSHB  344(RES), provided                                                               
information and answered questions.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
TIM BARRY, Staff                                                                                                                
to Representative Bill Williams                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:      Presented   HB  341   on   behalf   of                                                               
Representative Williams, sponsor.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JULIE DECKER, Executive Director                                                                                                
Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association (SARDFA)                                                                   
Wrangell, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:     During  hearing  on   HB  341,  provided                                                               
information and answered questions.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-8, SIDE A                                                                                                             
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  NANCY DAHLSTROM  called  the  House Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 1:07 p.m.   Representatives Masek,                                                               
Dahlstrom, Heinze,  Wolf, Guttenberg,  and Kerttula  were present                                                               
at  the  call  to  order.     Representatives  Gatto,  Lynn,  and                                                               
Stepovich arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DAHLSTROM passed the gavel over to Co-Chair Masek.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 188-BAIL SCHEDULE FOR SKIING VIOLATION                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 188, "An Act relating to  the authority of the                                                               
Department of  Natural Resources  to issue citations  for certain                                                               
skiing violations;  relating to establishing a  bail schedule for                                                               
certain  skiing  violations  and  to  procedures  for  issuing  a                                                               
citation for a skiing violation."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0135                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE HAWKER,  Alaska State  Legislature, speaking                                                               
as sponsor, explained that HB 188  was brought forth on behalf of                                                               
Alaska's skiing industry.  He  said former Senator [Jay] Kerttula                                                               
was  instrumental in  sponsoring  and moving  a  bill called  the                                                               
[Alaska]  Ski  Safety  Act, which  defined  responsibilities  and                                                               
guidance for the management and  operation of ski areas that were                                                               
developing in  the state.   He  said that  particular legislation                                                               
created some  obligations on the  part of skiing  participants to                                                               
be  safe and  prudent, but  it didn't  compromise the  ability to                                                               
enjoy an aggressive  and adventurous sport.  However,  he said it                                                               
did provide some  "does and don'ts," which  are fairly consistent                                                               
with  some prudent  practices.   Representative Hawker  indicated                                                               
that  under the  Alaska Ski  Safety Act,  a skier  involved in  a                                                               
collision with another skier, that  results in an injury, may not                                                               
leave the scene [of the accident]  except to secure aid.  He said                                                               
it was anticipated that the  Alaska Supreme Court would establish                                                               
a bail  schedule -  a schedule  of fines  - for  non-felony, non-                                                               
misdemeanor, and "traffic-ticket type of violations."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER said the  Alaska Supreme Court [determined]                                                               
that the  language wasn't clear enough  and a letter in  the bill                                                               
packet from  the National Ski  Patrol offers a  particularly good                                                               
analysis of  the Alaska Supreme  Court's view and  an explanation                                                               
of  its problem  with  the creation  of the  bail  schedule.   He                                                               
paraphrased  from  the  letter,  which  read  in  part  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
      The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the language in                                                                       
      the original legislation was not specific enough to                                                                       
     give them the authority to establish a bail schedule.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER  continued   paraphrasing  from  the  last                                                               
paragraph on page  1 of the letter, which read  in part [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Administrative  Rule 43(a)  states: "The  Supreme Court                                                                    
     will consider adopting a  bail forfeiture schedule only                                                                    
     when so authorized by statute  ...".  The Court decided                                                                    
     the  language in  AS 05.45.100(h)  is  not an  adequate                                                                    
     authorization.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  indicated that  the intention of  the bill                                                               
is to  further fix a piece  of excellent legislation and  make it                                                               
work  as it  was originally  intended to.   He  said part  of the                                                               
original concern  was that the  authority to have  bail schedules                                                               
only  applied  to ski  operations  on  land  that the  state  had                                                               
jurisdiction.  He said it wasn't  clear that this was to apply to                                                               
both  privately operated  facilities  and those  operated by  the                                                               
state, which Section 1(h) addresses.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0710                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  noted that  Section 2  was added                                                                    
     to  [order the  Alaska  Supreme Court]  to establish  a                                                                    
     bail schedule,  and he explained  that the  language is                                                                    
     consistent with existing statute  in which similar bail                                                                    
     schedules  are  authorized  in the  state  for  boating                                                                    
     violations,  fish and  game fines,  and motor  vehicles                                                                    
     fines and schedules.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER noted  that it doesn't make a  lot of sense                                                               
in reading  the bill, and he  remarked, "You've got to  go in the                                                               
context of  the law  in which  it was intended  to operate."   He                                                               
concluded that  the bill authorizes  the Alaska Supreme  Court to                                                               
set up  a bail schedule,  a schedule  of fines for  violations of                                                               
specific provisions of  the Alaska Ski Safety  Act, and clarifies                                                               
that  the Alaska  Ski Safety  Act was  intended to  apply to  ski                                                               
resorts operating  on private land  throughout the state  as well                                                               
as land owned by the state.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0858                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked about money collected from fines.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  explained that  the Alaska Ski  Safety Act                                                               
does not establish  a specific fund to get  around the dedication                                                               
prohibitions,   so   it    ultimately   becomes   "general   fund                                                               
appropriateable money."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0914                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF asked  if  all ski  resorts  in Alaska  have                                                               
liquor licenses.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER  deferred  the question  to  ski  industry                                                               
members.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF asked about the  fiscal note in relation to a                                                               
peace officer issuing citations.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER asked  which provision  involving a  peace                                                               
officer is of concern.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF asked if it would  be an expense to the state                                                               
for peace officers to issue citations.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER said  he thought  Representative Wolf  was                                                               
referring to AS 41.21.960.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM clarified  that  the statute  in question  is                                                               
listed on page 1, line 10 of the bill.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  said the statute  is also listed on  page 2,                                                               
[line 13].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1010                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER said it is  contextual and that a reference                                                               
to peace  officers is  not involved  in this  citation.   He said                                                               
that section is  intended strictly to authorize  a bail schedule.                                                               
He  explained that  the issue  would be  regarding whether  it is                                                               
applicable  under the  existing Alaska  Ski Safety  Act if  a DNR                                                               
employee or  an Alaska State  Trooper is enforcing  violations on                                                               
state lands.   Representative  Hawker said in  that case,  DNR is                                                               
authorized  to  empower people  who  meet  its qualifications  to                                                               
issue  citations  on nonpublic  lands.    He explained  that  the                                                               
violations are not authorized to  involve attorneys or additional                                                               
court  time, which  is  why  there is  a  bail schedule,  because                                                               
[these types  of cases]  get dispensed  very rapidly  without the                                                               
need for legal costs to the state.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM  said  she  also   had  some  of  these  same                                                               
questions and believes the next  committee of referral, the House                                                               
State Affairs  Standing Committee,  is the appropriate  place for                                                               
that discussion to take place.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1129                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  pointed out that the  packet contains three                                                               
or  four  pages   that  deal  with  AS   05.45.100,  "Duties  and                                                               
responsibilities of  skiers."   He asked  a question  relating to                                                               
subsection (c), paragraph (2), regarding  the requirement for the                                                               
ski  to be  "equipped with  a strap  or other  device capable  of                                                               
stopping  the  ski should  the  ski  become unattached  from  the                                                               
skier".                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DAHLSTROM said she thought it  was a valid issue, but it                                                               
should  be addressed  in House  State Affairs  Standing Committee                                                               
rather than in the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1242                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH  asked if  the liabilities  already take                                                               
into  consideration  what  Representative  Hawker  is  trying  to                                                               
[address with this bill].                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  explained that this bill  does not attempt                                                               
to  rewrite  or  reconsider  the  statutory  authority  that  was                                                               
created in  the Alaska Ski  Safety Act itself; instead  this bill                                                               
was drafted  to deal  with a  specific problem  with implementing                                                               
the Alaska Ski Safety Act.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH said  he is  under the  impression that                                                               
[ski  areas are  already  enforcing the  issues being  addressed]                                                               
with  this  bill.    He  asked if  the  ski  patrol  could  issue                                                               
[citations under the authority of DNR].                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER remarked:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     That would be  a decision ... made  by the commissioner                                                                    
     of  natural   resources  [DNR]  who  ...   in  self  is                                                                    
     constrained by  the regulations ... that  would need to                                                                    
     be  promulgated  to  quantify -  ...  essentially,  ...                                                                    
     investing  that authority  within the  commissioner ...                                                                    
     either  to  comply  with   existing  regulation  or  to                                                                    
     develop  the  regulation  necessary  to  (indisc.)  ...                                                                    
     authorize persons to provide for citations.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH   asked  if   [the  bill   would  allow                                                               
citations] to be written on the ski hill for certain violations.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER  replied no.   He explained that  this bill                                                               
specifically  authorizes the  Alaska  Supreme Court  to create  a                                                               
bail  schedule  for citations  that  would  be issued  under  the                                                               
authority that  was provided  in the  original Alaska  Ski Safety                                                               
Act.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH  said it  seems  like  the [Alaska  Ski                                                               
Safety Act] addressed these [issues].                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HAWKER   offered   to   provide   Representative                                                               
Stepovich with a  letter from the Alaska Supreme Court.   He said                                                               
the Alaska Supreme Court has  asked [the legislature] to grant it                                                               
specific authority and it would  develop the bail schedule, which                                                               
was contemplated in the original Act.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM asked  Representative Hawker  to provide  the                                                               
committee with  a copy  of the  letter and to  include it  in the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee's  bill packets.  She said                                                               
she  was  positive  these  concerns   will  and  do  need  to  be                                                               
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MASEK explained  that the  purpose  of the  bill is  to                                                               
address technical issues  that were not addressed  in the [Alaska                                                               
Ski Safety Act].  She said she  thought the intent of the bill is                                                               
to clarify the statutes in order  for the [Alaska Ski Safety Act]                                                               
to work.  She said the  courts can't really implement the [Alaska                                                               
Ski  Safety  Act]  or  enforce  it unless  it  is  authorized  in                                                               
statute,  because the  Alaska Supreme  Court has  determined that                                                               
there is no  clear authorization in statute for  such a schedule.                                                               
Co-Chair Masek called the bill "clean  cut," and she said DNR had                                                               
worked on implementing a bail  schedule, which is included in the                                                               
bill packet.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1571                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH remarked:                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     In  respect  to people  that  bring  bills before  this                                                                    
     committee; they  want them  all to go  through.   ... I                                                                    
     don't know  where to  address this.   ...  I am  on the                                                                    
     resource committee;  I'm not on  state affairs.   ... I                                                                    
     just have trouble with the  qualifications of those who                                                                    
     are going to be able to get  these out.  I just want it                                                                    
     stated for  the record.   Qualifications for  those who                                                                    
     are going  to give  these tickets out  on the  ski hill                                                                    
     and their abilities to assess  the skills of the skiers                                                                    
     that they're going to give the tickets to.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1619                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  SWANSON,  Area  Manager,  Eaglecrest  Ski  Area,  City  and                                                               
Borough of  Juneau testified.   Mr. Swanson paraphrased  from the                                                               
following  written testimony,  which  read [original  punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Thank  you Madame  Chair and  Members of  the Committee                                                                    
     for  the  opportunity  to  testify  this  afternoon  in                                                                    
     support of HB 188.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     For the  record, my name  is Paul  Swanson.  I  am Area                                                                    
     Manager  of  Eaglecrest Ski  Area  which  is owned  and                                                                    
     operated by the City and Borough of Juneau.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     When the Alaska  Ski Safety Act was enacted  in 1994 it                                                                    
     clearly identified duties  and responsibilities of both                                                                    
     the ski area and the skier.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     However, currently  we are unable to  fully enforce all                                                                    
     provisions due  to the fact  that the bail  schedule as                                                                    
     called for in  the Act has not been  established by the                                                                    
     courts.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     I feel that  passage of this bill is  needed to support                                                                    
     the intent of the Ski  Safety Act and reinforce current                                                                    
     area operations and safety policies  as approved by the                                                                    
     Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The establishment  of the bail  schedule will  allow us                                                                    
     to  deal  more  effectively  with  violators,  such  as                                                                    
     skiers  who enter  a closed  area and  those under  the                                                                    
     influence of alcohol and controlled substances.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     It is important to note  that the Act does not prohibit                                                                    
     skiers from going  out of the ski area  boundaries - at                                                                    
     their own risk.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I appreciate your support and  am willing to answer any                                                                    
     questions you might have.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH inquired about the number of violations                                                                
that have occurred at Eaglecrest Ski Area.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SWANSON said  there were  less than  10 instances  of people                                                               
going into closed areas this year.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH  asked if the Eaglecrest  Ski Area deals                                                               
with violations itself.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SWANSON said it does at  the present time.  He explained that                                                               
the  ski area  deals with  it  by revoking  skiing privileges  or                                                               
taking the  skier's pass for  30 days,  which might occur  at the                                                               
end of the day.  However, he said  there is really no way to keep                                                               
that person away for 30 days.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH noted that he  would rather pay the fine                                                               
than have  his privileges revoked.   He asked if there  are a lot                                                               
of collisions or civil suits against [Eaglecrest Ski Area].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SWANSON  remarked, "Not in  our case."   He said  many people                                                               
would not  want to  pay the  fine, and  he felt  the [bill]  is a                                                               
better avenue for  [the ski industry] to take.   Mr. Swanson said                                                               
he  doesn't consider  there  to be  a lot  of  offenders, but  if                                                               
[violators] had  to pay for  his or  her mistakes, he  thought it                                                               
would be  looked at  better than  the way  it is  currently being                                                               
dealt with.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH  said some might  argue that it  is very                                                               
expensive  to go  skiing, but  he knows  Eaglecrest Ski  Area has                                                               
good prices.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SWANSON replied, "We're not making any money."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH related his belief  that $50 is the most                                                               
someone in Alaska would pay to go  skiing, which is a lot for one                                                               
day.   He  offered his  belief that  $50 citations  can still  be                                                               
issued under current statute, and said  he would like to see [how                                                               
many citations have been issued thus far].                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM asked  Representative Hawker  to provide  the                                                               
committee with that information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER  said   existing  circumstance  allows  an                                                               
operator to  issue a $50 maximum  fine.  He said  the bill packet                                                               
contains an additional letter offered  by the Eaglecrest Ski Area                                                               
that identified  the original DNR  proposed bail  schedule, which                                                               
identified  the  priorities where  DNR  wishes  to increment  the                                                               
individual fines beyond  the $50 maximum.  He  explained that the                                                               
Alaska Supreme  Court was asked  to authorize a bail  schedule to                                                               
put $150 for  skiing on a closed slope or  trail, $100 for riding                                                               
lifts  or skiing  under the  influence of  alcohol or  drugs, and                                                               
$150 for a  skier having a hit and run  accident.  Representative                                                               
Hawker said the  point of the bail schedule is  to increase a few                                                               
of these violation charges.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2047                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  DANIELS,  Alyeska  Ski Resort,  testified.    Mr.  Daniels                                                               
stated his support for HB 188  as proposed.  He explained that he                                                               
was  involved in  the original  legislation and  in promoting  it                                                               
through  the  legislature.    Mr. Daniels  said  this  bill  just                                                               
perfects  the original  Alaska Ski  Safety  Act of  1994, and  to                                                               
finish  the intent  of the  original legislation,  which did  not                                                               
provide that  specific authorization to the  Alaska Supreme Court                                                               
to  establish a  bail schedule.   He  explained that  on occasion                                                               
there are problems  with skiers colliding with each  other and in                                                               
some cases it can result in  a fairly serious injury.  Currently,                                                               
he said there is no deterrent  from that person running away from                                                               
the accident.   He  said even  if that  person is  identified and                                                               
caught,  the  process that  would  have  to  be gone  through  to                                                               
involve  the   Alaska  State  Troopers  and   using  assault-type                                                               
processes  have, to  this point  in time,  been essentially  non-                                                               
effective  because it  takes  so much  investigative  time and  a                                                               
large  degree of  effort on  behalf of  the district  attorney to                                                               
process.  He  said Alyeska Ski Resort has only  had one situation                                                               
like that, but currently there is no deterrent.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. DANIELS said  another example is of people skiing  in an area                                                               
that is  exposed to avalanche  conditions, and not only  do those                                                               
people expose  themselves to danger  but they  potentially expose                                                               
other  skiers and  the ski  patrol, if  a rescue  is needed.   He                                                               
compared it  to having speed limits  on a highway and  not having                                                               
the ability to  issue citations for driving violations.   He said                                                               
he didn't  think that enacting  HB 188 would increase  the number                                                               
of tickets  being written.   He remarked, "Once the  deterrent is                                                               
there, and  a few were  written - in  only the most  egregious of                                                               
cases  -  then  I  think  that   we  could  expect  to  see  some                                                               
significant reduction in those kinds of issues."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2231                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  turned attention  to page 1,  line 11,                                                               
and  he asked  about  the jurisdictional  change  and the  larger                                                               
affect of the change.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2293                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RICK  THOMPSON,   Regional  Land  Manager,   Southcentral  Region                                                               
Office,  Division  of  Mining,  Land  and  Water,  Department  of                                                               
Natural Resources,  testified.  Mr.  Thompson said his  belief is                                                               
[the  bill] changes  the  jurisdiction from  ski  areas on  state                                                               
owned land to any ski area operator in the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HAWKER  noted that  the  bill  packet contains  a                                                               
letter  from the  commissioner of  DNR.   He  explained that  the                                                               
first paragraph  of the letter  does address that the  purpose of                                                               
this is  to provide  "the authority  to establish  bail schedules                                                               
for ski safety  act violations and that all ski  areas - those on                                                               
state  land and  those on  other lands  - be  treated equally  in                                                               
regards to  enforcement of these  violations."   He said it  is a                                                               
clarifying point.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH  asked [Mr. Thompson] how  he envisioned                                                               
this bill working and who would be [issuing the citations].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON said  DNR is looking forward to the  passage of this                                                               
bill.   He explained  that the ski  patrol would  investigate the                                                               
incident, write  a report,  and pass  on the report  to DNR.   He                                                               
said DNR  employees appointed  to work on  that project  would be                                                               
issuing  any [citations].   He  said typically,  DNR may  only be                                                               
issuing about  three [citations]  per year.   Mr.  Thompson noted                                                               
that there  was a high of  nine [citations] issued one  year, but                                                               
there  are zero  [citations]  issued  many years.    He said  the                                                               
violations are typically pretty serious when they do occur.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2433                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  thanked Mr.  Swanson for  accommodating his                                                               
13 year-old son last year  during a one-day visit snowboarding at                                                               
Eaglecrest Ski Area.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2455                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE  moved to  report HB  188 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 188 was reported  from the                                                               
House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HJR 35-MAD COW DISEASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELS                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 35, Relating  to mad  cow disease                                                               
and country-of-origin labeling for meat products.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MASEK   noted  that   CSHJR  35(L&C)  was   before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA, speaking  as  sponsor,  noted that  her                                                               
staff would be presenting the  resolution, and she remarked, "The                                                               
ex-director of agriculture,  who was also the  ex-Senator we just                                                               
heard about,  was evidently a  better farmer than he  was lawyer,                                                               
so I can  tell you that he's worked very  hard on this particular                                                               
piece  of legislation,  and it's  basically a  labeling piece  of                                                               
legislation ... supporting that."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK inquired  about the changes made  in the committee                                                               
substitute (CS)  and asked  that Representative  Kerttula's staff                                                               
speak to those changes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2553                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
AURORA HAUKE,  Staff to  Representative Beth  Kerttula, presented                                                               
CSHJR  35(L&C) on  behalf  of  Representative Kerttula,  sponsor.                                                               
Ms. Hauke explained that  bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE),                                                               
"mad cow  disease," and the disease  humans can get from  it, the                                                               
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease  (CJD), are very  scary.   The diseases                                                               
are  invariably fatal  and  there is  no cure,  but  they can  be                                                               
prevented, she  said.   This resolution  supports efforts  of the                                                               
USDA  [United States  Department of  Agriculture] to  prevent the                                                               
disease and  also encourages  earlier implementation  of country-                                                               
of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef,  she said.  Turning attention                                                               
changes made in  the CS, she directed attention to  page 2, lines                                                               
1-2, and  she said the  language in the [original  resolution was                                                               
changed to reflect  the actions of the USDA].   Language found on                                                               
page 1, line 16,  through page 2, lines 1 and  2, of the original                                                               
resolution read:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     WHEREAS  the United  States  Department of  Agriculture                                                                    
     has  taken steps  to identify  and destroy  cattle that                                                                    
     are from  the same herd  as the infected cow  and other                                                                    
     animals that may have been exposed to that cow; and                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HAUKE explained  that the  USDA stopped  searching for  more                                                               
cows from that herd, so the language was changed to read:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
      WHEREAS the United States Department of Agriculture                                                                       
          has taken steps to control bovine spongiform                                                                          
     encephalopathy; and                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. HAUKE said another change made  to the CS was the addition of                                                               
"bovine spongiform encephalopathy" into the title.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2628                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM, noting  that  she  appreciated the  changes,                                                               
asked what  other states  are doing  to implement  regulations or                                                               
anything pertaining to the same subject.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HAUKE explained  that eight  other  states have  legislation                                                               
pending.   One  state  has passed  a  resolution encouraging  the                                                               
opening  of  international beef  markets.    Four states  already                                                               
require the  labeling of imported  beef.  The other  eight states                                                               
have various  legislation that  mostly have  to do  with tracking                                                               
and identification,  and there  are a couple  of bills  that deal                                                               
with meat  processing and  rendering regulations,  she explained.                                                               
There is  a bill that  would make it a  crime not to  test animal                                                               
feed  or not  to ensure  animal  feed is  safe, and  there is  an                                                               
appropriation for an identification system.   She said Iowa has a                                                               
resolution to  support the implementation  of [COOL]  labeling by                                                               
2004, and  last year, it  had a resolution to  support postponing                                                               
that, but after  the discovery of the "mad cow"  [in the state of                                                               
Washington]  "they changed  their  minds, I  guess."   Ms.  Hauke                                                               
remarked, "New  York has  had legislation  since 2002,  so that's                                                               
not new."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2710                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK asked  what Congress is doing with  regard to this                                                               
issue.  She turned attention to page 2, lines 17-19, which read:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     FURTHER  RESOLVED  that  the Alaska  State  Legislature                                                                    
     supports  any  efforts   by  the  Alaska  congressional                                                                    
     delegation to implement  country-of-origin labeling for                                                                    
     meat  products sooner  than the  current implementation                                                                    
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. HAUKE  said in the  omnibus appropriations bill,  the country                                                               
of  origin  labeling,  which  was  supposed  to  take  effect  in                                                               
September  2004, was  pushed back  to September  2006.   She said                                                               
there were several  reasons for that and there was  also a lot of                                                               
opposition.   She  said  there  has been  talk  about moving  the                                                               
implementation date back  up.  Ms. Hauke said a  member of United                                                               
States  Senator  Ted  Stevens' staff  said  Senator  Stevens  was                                                               
involved in discussions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2764                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE asked Ms.  Hauke if the Canadian government                                                               
is cooperating with the United States and to what extent.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HAUKE said  the  [the Canadian  government] implemented  the                                                               
feed ban at the  same time as the United States.   She stated her                                                               
belief that  the [Canadian government] is  being very cooperative                                                               
with the  United States, and said  it had shut down  some borders                                                               
from [allowing  in] beef shipments  from the United  States, even                                                               
those going through.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HEINZE pointed  out that  last spring,  [Canadian                                                               
customs] were stopping [vehicles] at  the border for having items                                                               
such as  beef broth.  She  asked if [the resolution]  will affect                                                               
this in any way.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  said  she   had  heard  that  [Canadian                                                               
customs] had even  taken dog food.  She said  she didn't know the                                                               
current situation  at the border,  but this  [resolution] doesn't                                                               
impact that except in terms of  recognizing that issue.  She said                                                               
this  [resolution] is  "going more  toward" the  labeling of  the                                                               
animal product.   Representative  Kerttula, noting  it is  a good                                                               
question,  offered  to check  to  see  [what products  are  being                                                               
stopped at the Canadian border].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2764                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO, directing  attention to  page 2,  lines 11                                                               
and  13,  noted  previous  discussion in  the  [House  Labor  and                                                               
Commerce Standing  Committee] about  the language  "deserve", and                                                               
he said he didn't remember [what outcome of that discussion].                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA clarified that  there had been discussion                                                               
in  the  previous  committee about  whether  the  word  "deserve"                                                               
should stay  in the legislation.   She  said she didn't  have any                                                               
particular belief on  it, but the previous  committee really felt                                                               
that it was  something that Americans did deserve to  know and it                                                               
wanted to keep the stronger language in the resolution.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO noted that he  was uneasy with the word, and                                                               
said he didn't think it  properly described what "we were after."                                                               
He  suggested [it  read] "Americans  have the  right to  know" or                                                               
"Americans should be advised" because  he said the word "deserve"                                                               
is so compelling and so focused  that "there isn't any way out of                                                               
it."  He remarked, "Everybody deserves  to know, and I thought, I                                                               
know that's  not going  to change  the effect of  the bill."   He                                                               
said  he  still  likes  the alternative  terminology  because  he                                                               
didn't think "deserve" was the  right word.  Representative Gatto                                                               
said he  felt he had to  bring that up,  and he was not  going to                                                               
object to it.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2933                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  said he  thought what happened  in the                                                               
House Labor and  Commerce Standing Committee is  it couldn't find                                                               
something  that better  fit what  was felt  or a  substitute that                                                               
actually  met   that.    Addressing  a   previous  question  from                                                               
Representative Heinze,  he said  he had  dog food  confiscated at                                                               
the border and  he knew of a  staff member that had  also had dog                                                               
food confiscated  at the border but  the manufacturer compensated                                                               
her for that.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2961                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH noted that he liked the word "need."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-8, SIDE B                                                                                                             
Number 2978                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PHIL KASPARI,  Agricultural Agent, Cooperative  Extension Service                                                               
(CES),  testified.    He  said  in general  he  agreed  with  the                                                               
resolution but he  was concerned by one item in  particular.  Mr.                                                               
Kaspari  directed attention  to page  2, [line  4], the  language                                                               
"nonambulatory disabled cattle", and he  said the USDA has a made                                                               
the decision  to ban those  animals from  slaughter.  He  said he                                                               
was  not an  expert  but  he felt  like  that  was a  reactionary                                                               
maneuver on  the part of the  USDA to calm the  public's concerns                                                               
regarding the  safety of the  meat being purchased.   Mr. Kaspari                                                               
suggested  that  the  [USDA]  was  not  necessarily  using  sound                                                               
science.  He said there are  so many questions regarding BSE that                                                               
scientists and researches  have not yet been able  to answer that                                                               
he felt  like things might have  to be slowed down  just a little                                                               
bit to  let sound  science rule the  decision making  rather than                                                               
politics.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KASPARI said  the number  of "downer  animals" that  do come                                                               
into a slaughter  generally have very obvious problems  such as a                                                               
broken leg  or what is  referred to  as "hip lock,"  which occurs                                                               
when the animal experiences problems  during the calving process.                                                               
Generally,  he said  producers  look upon  downer  animals in  an                                                               
ethical  manner, rather  than wasting  that commodity,  producers                                                               
would  just as  soon use  it in  an ethical  manner and  have the                                                               
animal  utilized.   He  said  if the  use  of  downer animals  is                                                               
banned, then  a couple of  things happen.   For example,  he said                                                               
there  is a  certain  amount of  economic  hardship imposed  upon                                                               
producers, and it  also [causes] a certain amount  of paranoia in                                                               
producers.   He  said he  knows that  this whole  issue is  being                                                               
discussed on  a national  basis and is  evolving, and  he thought                                                               
user groups are talking to USDA representatives.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. KASPARI  said he hoped  the committee  would add a  line that                                                               
would  mention  supporting  specific  research  on  BSE  animals,                                                               
because  scientists are  currently  allowed  to research  chronic                                                               
wasting disease (CWD),  which is basically the  same disease that                                                               
occurs  in the  deer  family  such as  Elk.    He mentioned  [CWD                                                               
occurrences  in] white  tailed deer  in Michigan,  Wisconsin, and                                                               
parts of  Minnesota, and  he said wild  herds are  suffering with                                                               
this disease.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2774                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  KNOPP, Dairy  producer, began  by saying  he has  some real                                                               
concerns with  this resolution.   He said he wonders  where these                                                               
statements come  from because they  haven't all  necessarily been                                                               
proven by  science.   Mr. Knopp asked  if the  state veterinarian                                                               
has  been contacted  about this  statement.   He  said he  really                                                               
thought this  should be  taken further, which  he thought  is why                                                               
the USDA has  initiated a two-year moratorium, to look  at it and                                                               
get some scientific evidence "of where they're trying to go."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  thanked both  Mr. Kaspari and  Mr. Knopp                                                               
for testifying and  she told them she was really  open to talking                                                               
more with them about their concerns  after the meeting.  She said                                                               
the   Department   of   Environmental  Conservation   (DEC)   was                                                               
contacted,   and  that   she   had   thought  about   introducing                                                               
legislation to  "require inspection"  coming into Alaska  but she                                                               
felt  satisfied  after speaking  to  DEC  that it  wasn't  really                                                               
necessary, and  she decided  instead to  go with  the "resolution                                                               
route."  She  said a lot of the information  in the resolution is                                                               
taken  directly from  the Federal  Register, the  USDA, and  also                                                               
from information and  research that was put out at  the time that                                                               
BSE was  found in the cow  in [Washington], and in  articles from                                                               
The  New York  Times.   She said  Mr. Kaspari  made a  good point                                                             
about a cow that breaks its leg,  but the idea is when there is a                                                               
nonambulatory  disabled  cow, which  is  defined  in the  Federal                                                               
Register as dead, dying, disabled,  and diseased.  Representative                                                               
Kerttula said Mr. Kaspari is talking  about a cow that she didn't                                                               
think any  farmer "in their  right mind" is  going to put  into a                                                               
food strain.   She  said maybe  that language  could be  a little                                                               
more specific but generally she thought that was the idea.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  said  she  didn't  disagree  that  care                                                               
should be  taken with regard  to factual information, but  all of                                                               
the things in  the resolution have been researched  back to fact,                                                               
which is the  reason for the nonambulatory  disease cattle phrase                                                               
that  was taken  directly from  the Federal  Register.   She said                                                               
this is not  [intended] to do something radical or  that may hurt                                                               
the  industry  and  is  really much  more  about  protecting  the                                                               
industry and ensuring "we know what we're getting."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 2585                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM   moved  to  report  CSHJR   35(L&C)  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHJR  35(L&C)  was                                                               
reported out of the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MASEK passed the gavel back to Co-Chair Dahlstrom.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 344-MINING FEES, RENTALS, & ROYALTIES                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DAHLSTROM announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 344,  "An Act  relating to annual  rental fees                                                               
for  mining claims,  and providing  for reduced  royalties during                                                               
the first three years of production."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  MASEK  clarified  that   [Version  I]  was  before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2517                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JIM  POUND,  Staff  to Representative  Hugh  Fate,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, came forward  to explain CSHB 344(RES)  on behalf of                                                               
Representative Fate, sponsor.  Mr.  Fate said the language in the                                                               
CS  more so  meets the  requirements of  what the  intent of  the                                                               
original bill  was, which was to  help the small miner  "get back                                                               
out in  the field  and stay back  out in the  field" in  order to                                                               
bring [the small mining] economy back  to Alaska.  He said the CS                                                               
allows that  if the small  miner is  late on filing  the required                                                               
paperwork,  that  person  is not  automatically  deemed  to  have                                                               
abandoned the  site, and it gives  [the small miner] a  "cure" in                                                               
order to prevent  that from happening, although  the cure doesn't                                                               
come without  penalty.  If  the paperwork  is filed even  one day                                                               
late,  the small  miner will  ultimately have  to pay  one year's                                                               
rent on his or  her claims.  He said the  sponsor worked with the                                                               
Department  of Natural  Resources  (DNR) and  the Alaska  Miner's                                                               
Association very closely and it  was mutually agreed that this is                                                               
the  direction that  will have  the most  positive impact  on the                                                               
mining industry.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2449                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked how  much money  this bill  will save                                                               
the average placer miner.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. POUND  said it is  not so much  a case  of saving money.   He                                                               
said currently,  if a miner  files his  or her paperwork  one day                                                               
late, the  state deems  that mine as  abandoned, and  that person                                                               
will ultimately  lose his or her  claims.  He said  the amount of                                                               
money  a particular  miner might  lose is  dependant on  how much                                                               
that person has in his or her claims.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2414                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked about  extensions for filing late                                                               
paperwork.   He  asked how  much time  a small  miner would  have                                                               
under the bill before the mine is considered abandoned.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
BOB  LOEFFLER,  Director, Division  of  Mining,  Land and  Water,                                                               
Department of Natural Resources, replied  that the way the system                                                               
has worked  since the 1872  mining law,  is that the  mining year                                                               
ends on  September 30,  and the  miner has  until November  30 to                                                               
either pay  or record his  or her annual  labor and pay  rent [on                                                               
the mining  claim].   If for  some reason the  miner is  late, he                                                               
said those claims are abandoned by  operation of law and there is                                                               
nothing he can do about it.   Mr. Loeffler said it is the miner's                                                               
responsibility and has  been since 1872 to ensure that  he or she                                                               
files  the [required  paperwork] on  time.   Every year,  he said                                                               
there are about a dozen people  that don't have a good excuse and                                                               
some of those  people come in begging [him] to  do [something for                                                               
them],  although there  is nothing  he can  do under  the current                                                               
law.   He said  this bill would  give a miner  who pays  late the                                                               
opportunity to cure.  Under  current law, the mines are abandoned                                                               
and  may not  be staked  for  a year.   During  that year  period                                                               
someone  else may  stake  that  claim and  it  would become  that                                                               
person's claim.   He  said the  [late paying]  miner can  cure by                                                               
paying a  penalty.   Mr. Loeffler said  it's typically  the small                                                               
miners -  through error,  incompetence, or old  age -  that "blow                                                               
it" occasionally,  and it averages about  a dozen or two  dozen a                                                               
year.  He  said this [bill] gives those miners  an opportunity to                                                               
keep working.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  what the  remedy would  be with                                                               
the passage of this bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER said  it would allow the miner to  pay a penalty and                                                               
the abandonment is cured.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked what the penalty is.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOEFFLER said  the  miner  would have  to  pay  for what  is                                                               
already owed and  an additional penalty equal to  the annual rent                                                               
for that mining claim.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTOM  offered  her understanding  that  the  year's                                                               
annual  rent  will be  a  different  number for  each  individual                                                               
claim.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER said  the annual rent depends on how  long the claim                                                               
has been  in existence, so there  could be a couple  of different                                                               
numbers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2163                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH asked  what the  time limit  is on  the                                                               
penalty.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER said  there is no time limit, but  there would be no                                                               
real reason to  do it after a year because  that miner could just                                                               
re-stake his or her claim.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH asked if anyone could stake the claim.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER said  the law is really consistent  with history and                                                               
tradition since  1872, and  the it works  if someone  else hasn't                                                               
asserted  contrary rights.   If  someone else  stakes the  claim,                                                               
that person gets the claim.   He indicated that a miner could not                                                               
lose his or her claim if  over-staked by another miner as long as                                                               
the paperwork is current.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2105                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  asked how  long a person  could be  late on                                                               
filing his or her paperwork.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOEFFLER said  as  long as  no  one stakes  a  claim to  the                                                               
contrary and the  miner wants to pay all of  the penalties, it is                                                               
fine with him.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH  asked if a  slow pay is better  than no                                                               
pay.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. LOEFFLER replied yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 2039                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE moved to report  CSHB 344(RES), Version 23-                                                               
LS1298\I,  Bullock,  2/20/04  out of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  344(RES)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 341-DIVE FISHERY MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM announced  that the  final order  of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL  NO.  341, "An  Act  relating  to the  dive                                                               
fishery management assessment."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1988                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TIM BARRY,  Staff to Representative  Bill Williams,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  speaking  on  behalf  of  Representative  Williams,                                                               
sponsor, told  the committee HB  341 is a  "housekeeping measure"                                                               
requested  by  the  Southeast   Alaska  Regional  Dive  Fisheries                                                               
Association  (SARDFA)   to  provide   more  flexibility   in  its                                                               
operations.   He  turned attention  to a  fact sheet  provided by                                                               
SARDFA,  and explained  that SARDFA  members  pay a  tax that  is                                                               
based on  the percentage of  the value of  their catch.   He said                                                               
the revenue from  this tax is spent on managing  the various dive                                                               
fisheries that members  are involved with.  Mr.  Barry said under                                                               
current state  law, association members  elect to  tax themselves                                                               
by species  at a rate of  1, 3, 5, or  7 percent of the  value of                                                               
the landings in a given dive fishery.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1857                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JULIE DECKER, Executive Director,  Southeast Alaska Regional Dive                                                               
Fisheries Association, testified.   She stated that  this bill is                                                               
mainly a housekeeping measure.   Members are currently allowed to                                                               
assess themselves  at either 1,3,5,  or 7 percent and  would also                                                               
like to be given  the ability to assess themselves at  2, 4, or 6                                                               
percent, which is what this bill  would do, she said.  Currently,                                                               
she  said  the sea  cucumber  and  the geoduck  fisheries  assess                                                               
themselves  at 5  percent, and  the sea  urchin fishery  is at  7                                                               
percent.   Ms. Decker said  she believes the original  reason why                                                               
the bill had to specify the 1,  3, 5, or 7 percentages is because                                                               
the legislature  is the only body  that has the authority  to tax                                                               
and it couldn't  give that authority in a broad  sense to SARDFA.                                                               
However,  she   said  the  legislature  could   give  SARDFA  the                                                               
authority  to  vote and  tax  itself  at a  [specific  percentage                                                               
amount].                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG   asked  Ms.  Decker  if   $66,695  is                                                               
SARDFA's administrative budget.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER  said correct but she  thought that amount was  from a                                                               
previous year.   She said  the [administrative budget] is  in the                                                               
$50,000 range each year.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  Ms.  Decker if  SARDFA is  only                                                               
trying   to  raise   the   amount  of   money   needed  for   its                                                               
administrative budget.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER  said SARDFA  is not looking  to change  anything with                                                               
this  legislation  aside  from  the  ability  in  the  future  to                                                               
possibly change  the rate  that SARDFA assesses  itself at.   She                                                               
said  the rate  at which  SARDFA assesses  itself equates  to the                                                               
[total value of  assessments for each fiscal year]  and the total                                                               
amounts are generated by the  percents, which are currently 1, 3,                                                               
5, and 7.   Ms. Decker said  SARDFA would like the  ability to do                                                               
2,4, or  6 percent if  it needs to.   She said currently,  in the                                                               
sea cucumber fishery,  in particular, SARDFA has a  little bit of                                                               
an excess at  5 percent, but if it lowers  the assessment down to                                                               
3 percent it would be a  40 percent reduction and SARDFA would be                                                               
a little bit short.  Ms.  Decker said SARDFA is trying to foresee                                                               
that it may  be able to reduce  it down to 4 percent  and be just                                                               
right.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1665                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF   asked  Ms.  Decker  if   SARDFA  currently                                                               
assesses itself at 1, 3, 5, or 7 percent.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER said  SARDFA has the ability to vote  to tax itself at                                                               
those percentages.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF  asked Ms. Decker  how the  percentages would                                                               
be adjusted with the passage of the bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER said  there was talk among divers in  the sea cucumber                                                               
industry  that they  may look  at  reducing the  assessment to  4                                                               
percent, if they had that ability.   She remarked, "We don't have                                                               
that ability,  so we're trying to  look forward and ...  see that                                                               
coming."   She  said the  geoduck fishery  is also  talking about                                                               
increasing  its assessment  but  if the  assessment  needs to  be                                                               
changed, it  has to come  from a petition from  within membership                                                               
or within the  permit holders, and they always  have that ability                                                               
to change the assessment if they would like.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1584                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HEINZE directed  attention to page 1,  line 8, and                                                               
she asked who determines the election.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER explained that the  association would hold an election                                                               
and  all of  the  permit  holders within  each  fishery who  have                                                               
legitimate permits would be able to vote.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1539                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  said it  looked  as  though the  executive                                                               
director's salary  is half of  SARDFA's budget, and he  asked how                                                               
that salary is determined.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER  said every year  SARDFA's board of directors  signs a                                                               
contract with the current executive  director and every year that                                                               
is up for change.  She  said the budget within the administration                                                               
is just the "nuts and bolts,"  and SARDFA has a budget outside of                                                               
that for  having contracts with  people to do (indisc.)  work and                                                               
PSD  [prevention of  significant  deterioration] sampling,  water                                                               
sampling, and other projects.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  said he was  curious to see how  much money                                                               
SARDFA  is spending.   He  asked how  much money  SARDFA actually                                                               
spends.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. DECKER turned attention to  the SARDFA handout entitled "Dive                                                               
Fisheries Fact  Sheet -  Corrected," and she  said number  six is                                                               
the assessment that SARDFA collects each year.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1426                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH moved to report  HB 341 out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 341 was reported  from the                                                               
House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:25 p.m.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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