Legislature(2007 - 2008)BARNES 124

02/13/2008 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HJR 31 OPPOSE FED LAW RE AERIAL HUNTING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 348 BOARD OF GAME REGULATIONS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 13, 2008                                                                                        
                           1:06 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Carl Gatto, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Craig Johnson, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Bob Roses                                                                                                        
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31                                                                                                   
Opposing the enactment of the Protect America's Wildlife Act of                                                                 
2007 that intends to prohibit aerial hunting of wildlife, which                                                                 
is essential for predator control in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 348                                                                                       
"An Act relating to the adoption of regulations by the Board of                                                                 
Game."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 31                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OPPOSE FED LAW RE AERIAL HUNTING                                                                                   
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLER                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/30/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/30/08       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
02/13/08       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 348                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BOARD OF GAME REGULATIONS                                                                                          
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLER                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/31/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/31/08       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/06/08       (H)       SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED                                                                          
02/06/08       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/08       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/13/08       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WES KELLER                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented his sponsor statement for HJR 31.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JIM POUND, Staff                                                                                                                
to Representative Wes Keller                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HJR 31.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HJR 31.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT FITHIAN, Executive Director                                                                                              
Alaska Professional Hunters Association (APHA)                                                                                  
Lower Tonsina, Alaska                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HJR 31.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JERRY MCCUTCHEON                                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported the basic premise of HJR 31.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT OGAN, President                                                                                                           
Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW)                                                                                           
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HJR 31.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DOUG LARSON, Director                                                                                                           
Division of Wildlife Conservation                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  During hearing on HJR 31, answered                                                                       
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WES KELLER                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented his sponsor statement for HB 348.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN SAXBY, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                                  
Natural Resources Section                                                                                                       
Civil Division (Anchorage)                                                                                                      
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding SSHB 348.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SSHB 348.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT OGAN, President                                                                                                           
Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW)                                                                                           
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported the concept of SSHB 348.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT FITHIAN, Executive Director                                                                                              
Alaska Professional Hunters Association (APHA)                                                                                  
Lower Tonsina, Alaska                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SSHB 348.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   CARL  GATTO   called  the   House  Resources   Standing                                                            
Committee  meeting  to  order  at  1:06:24  PM.    Representatives                                                            
Seaton,  Roses,  Kawasaki,  Fairclough, Johnson,  and  Gatto  were                                                              
present  at  the  call  to  order.    Representatives  Guttenberg,                                                              
Edgmon, and Wilson arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO stated that the House Resources Standing                                                                         
Committee would not be meeting on Friday [2/15/08].                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HJR 31-OPPOSE FED LAW RE AERIAL HUNTING                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:07:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                              
be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31,  Opposing the enactment  of the                                                              
Protect America's  Wildlife Act of  2007 that intends  to prohibit                                                              
aerial  hunting  of  wildlife, which  is  essential  for  predator                                                              
control in Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:07:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WES  KELLER, Alaska State Legislature,  speaking as                                                              
the sponsor of HJR  31, stated that outside groups  have for years                                                              
tried to  manage Alaska's  assets of  fish and  game.   The latest                                                              
attack is coming  from the U.S. Congress with  the introduction of                                                              
H.R. 3663,  [the Protect America's  Wildlife Act of 2007].   While                                                              
the  bill  language  does  not specify  that  it  is  directed  at                                                              
Alaska,  a press  release on  the  bill is  aimed specifically  at                                                              
Alaska.  He  said HJR 31 says  no to federal legislation  and says                                                              
Alaska's biologists  and [Board of Game] members  know better than                                                              
the Washington  politicians.  The  resolution asks members  of the                                                              
U.S.  Congress  to  join  Alaska's   Congressional  Delegation  in                                                              
saying no.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JIM  POUND, Staff,  to  Representative  Wes Keller,  Alaska  State                                                              
Legislature,  in  response  to   Co-Chair  Gatto,  confirmed  that                                                              
copies of H.R. 3663 are in the committee's packets.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:09:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO inquired who the sponsor of H.R. 3663 is.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. POUND responded Congressman George Miller of California.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  noted the bill's nickname,  the PAW Act.   He said                                                              
Congressman  Miller is  a member  of the U.S.  House Committee  on                                                              
Natural Resources and has some clout.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. POUND replied correct.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO opened public testimony on HJR 31.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:10:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO,  Executive Director,  Alaska Outdoor Council,  testified                                                              
that  his organization  of over  10,000 Alaskans  supports HJR  31                                                              
because  it is  extremely important  that the  U.S. Congress  know                                                              
the  Alaska State  Legislature  is behind  Alaska's  Congressional                                                              
Delegation  in opposing  H.R. 3663.   He said  the Alaska  Outdoor                                                              
Council requests that  one amendment be made to HJR  31 on page 2,                                                              
line  6,  which  reads:   "Whereas  moose  and  caribou  represent                                                              
livestock  to many  Alaskans".   Alaskans  do  not consider  their                                                              
wild food harvest  to be livestock, he stated.   The definition of                                                              
livestock is horse,  cattle, sheep, and other useful  animals kept                                                              
or raised  on a  farm or ranch.   In  response to Co-Chair  Gatto,                                                              
Mr. Arno  agreed that using the  term "food stock" would  be fine.                                                              
In further  response to  Co-Chair Gatto,  Mr. Arno confirmed  that                                                              
he is familiar with H.R. 3663.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:11:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO asked  what is included in the  federal legislation                                                              
that should prompt the Alaska State Legislature to oppose it.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNO  answered that Congressman  Miller is joining  in consort                                                              
with the Defenders  of Wildlife, the national  organization behind                                                              
the  2008 Airborne  Wolf Ballot  Initiative which  would ban  same                                                              
day airborne  or aerial control of  predators.  He said  H.R. 3663                                                              
would make changes  to the federal Airborne Hunting  Act [of 1972]                                                              
to stop Alaska's ability to do predator-prey management.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO said he sees it that way also.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:13:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT FITHIAN,  Executive Director,  Alaska Professional  Hunters                                                              
Association (APHA),  stated that the APHA supports  HJR 31 because                                                              
it  is  vital  to  the  integrity  and  fiber  of  Alaska's  rural                                                              
lifestyles, the guided hunting industry, and hunters in general.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  inquired whether many people  in APHA think                                                              
moose and caribou are livestock.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. FITHIAN  responded no, APHA  concurs with Mr.  Arno's proposed                                                              
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GATTO  asked  whether  the  term  food  stock  would  be                                                              
satisfactory.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FITHIAN  said he is unsure that  food stock is the  right term                                                              
and is thinking  perhaps wildlife resources.  He  deferred to what                                                              
Mr. Kevin Saxby would recommend.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG inquired  how many  clients the  Alaska                                                              
Professional Hunters Association has in a year.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. FITHIAN stated  that APHA has 150-160  individual professional                                                              
members that  provide guide  service in Alaska.   He said  he does                                                              
not  know the  exact  total number  of  clients,  but the  average                                                              
number per  APHA member  would be about  15-20.  His  organization                                                              
represents an industry of over $200 million per year, he noted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:16:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  MCCUTCHEON spoke  on behalf  of himself  in support  of the                                                              
basic premise  of HJR 31.   He has  watched wolves and  other game                                                              
for  more years  than  most of  the  committee  members have  been                                                              
alive, he  remarked.  He said  he remembers when Don  Sheldon used                                                              
to  complain about  the federal  government  poisoning wolves  and                                                              
how it caused  the deaths of other  kinds of animals as  well.  He                                                              
also  remembered  an  aerial hunting  accident  that  wrecked  the                                                              
plane,  killed two  people, and  injured  two people  back in  the                                                              
days when  Lowell Thomas,  Don Sheldon,  and  Jay Hammond  used to                                                              
hunt.   Why does the  federal government  now want to  protect the                                                              
wolves it  used to poison,  he asked.   The wolves  ate themselves                                                              
out of house and  home in [Denali National Park  and Preserve] and                                                              
then migrated  out to  state land.   He said he  does not  see why                                                              
the  state needs  to feed  the wolves  like  the "greenies"  think                                                              
should be done.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:18:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  OGAN, President,  Sportsmen  for Fish  and Wildlife  (SFW),                                                              
pointed  out  that he  is  testifying  on  his  own time  and  his                                                              
comments  do  not  represent  his   employer,  the  Department  of                                                              
Natural  Resources, State  of Alaska.   He  said his  organization                                                              
strongly supports  HJR 31 and the  only regrettable thing  is that                                                              
the [U.S.  Fish and  Wildlife Service]  is underutilized  in doing                                                              
predator control in Alaska.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GATTO closed  public testimony  after ascertaining  that                                                              
no one else wished to testify.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:20:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GATTO moved  that  the committee  adopt  Amendment 1  as                                                              
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "livestock"                                                                                                    
          Insert "food stock"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH objected to Amendment 1.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:20:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH  moved  that  the  committee  adopt  an                                                              
amendment  to Amendment  1  as follows:    delete "livestock"  and                                                              
insert "a  subsistence and  urban food supply  source".   She said                                                              
the problem  with using  food stock  is that  it is  a food  and a                                                              
value to  Alaskans in different  ways.  It  is not just  a hunting                                                              
for  the kill;  it is  to supply  families  with nourishing  food.                                                              
Thus, Amendment 1, as amended, would be as follows:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "livestock"                                                                                                    
          Insert "a subsistence and urban food supply                                                                           
     source"                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:21:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:22:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI said  he does not  think subsistence  and                                                              
urban covers everybody, for instance people living in Delta.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  commented that someone  could be a rural  user but                                                              
not a  subsistence user.   He said 100  percent coverage  could be                                                              
provided  by   saying,  "both  subsistence   and  nonsubsistence".                                                              
Picking  out the  two  groups of  subsistence  and hunting  leaves                                                              
some  people  out.    Representative   Fairclough's  amendment  to                                                              
Amendment 1 tends not to cover everybody.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:24:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH,  in  response  to  comments  from  the                                                              
committee  members,  withdrew her  amendment  to  Amendment 1  and                                                              
moved that the committee  adopt a new amendment to  Amendment 1 as                                                              
follows:   delete "food stock",  insert "a food supply  source for                                                              
all  Alaskans".   Thus,  Amendment  1,  as  amended, would  be  as                                                              
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "livestock"                                                                                                    
          Insert "a food supply source for all Alaskans"                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:24:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOHNSON requested  the  committee  entertain adding  the                                                              
word "asset",  such  as, "a valuable  asset and  food source  [for                                                              
all Alaskans]".   He  said this  is a  clearer definition  of what                                                              
the committee  believes and  is consistent with  SSHB 348,  a bill                                                              
that is coming before the committee next.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:25:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  the committee  needs to  look at  the                                                              
federal  legislation  [H.R.  3663]   because  it  deals  with  all                                                              
wildlife,  not  just predator  control.    He  noted that  HJR  31                                                              
specifies moose  and caribou, thus  the resolution  excludes other                                                              
important  food sources  such as  sheep, goat,  and rabbits.   The                                                              
federal  legislation   would  result   in  being  unable   to  fly                                                              
somewhere and hunt  rabbits that same day, unless  the hunter flew                                                              
on a  regularly scheduled commercial  aircraft.  He  expressed his                                                              
concern that the  request for rejection of H.R. 3663  is being too                                                              
narrowly  defined by  basing it  solely  on the  idea of  predator                                                              
control  for  two   species.    This  does  not   cover  the  full                                                              
parameters on which  the request for rejection is  based, he said.                                                              
For instance,  there could be a  subsistence emergency in  a rural                                                              
area  that would  necessitate the  Board of  Game passing  special                                                              
regulations allowing  flights to another  area to take  extra game                                                              
animals.   He  urged the  committee  to keep  the objection  broad                                                              
enough to cover a multitude of circumstances.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:28:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON, in  response to  Co-Chair Gatto  regarding                                                              
the amendment  to Amendment  1, stated he  does not object  to the                                                              
broad idea of saying,  "a food source for Alaskans",  but he would                                                              
prefer it  to say, "moose,  caribou, and other wildlife  represent                                                              
an important food source for Alaskans".                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:29:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GATTO suggested,  "regular  and  dependable food  source                                                              
for Alaskans".                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH withdrew her amendment to Amendment 1.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:30:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ROSES  moved that  the committee adopt  Amendment 2                                                              
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
          Delete "moose and caribou represent livestock"                                                                        
         Insert "much of Alaska's wildlife represents a                                                                         
     natural food source"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:31:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WILSON objected  to Amendment 2.   She  offered an                                                              
amendment  to Amendment  2 as  follows:   Page 2,  line 6,  delete                                                              
"to", insert  "for".  Thus, Amendment  2, as amended, would  be as                                                              
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6:                                                                                                            
       Delete "moose and caribou represent livestock to"                                                                        
         Insert "much of Alaska's wildlife represents a                                                                         
     natural food source for"                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There  being  no  objection,  the amendment  to  Amendment  2  was                                                              
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON withdrew her objection to Amendment 2.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 2, as amended, was adopted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:33:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH said  she would  like the committee  to                                                              
consider  some  additional language  and  have  the maker  of  the                                                              
resolution comment on it.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:34:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER, in  response  to Co-Chair  Gatto, said  he                                                              
has no problem with  the language of Amendment 2,  as amended.  He                                                              
explained that  the word  livestock was  chosen because  H.R. 3663                                                              
provides  an exemption  that allows  the killing  of predators  by                                                              
aerial or any other means in order to protect livestock.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  moved that the committee adopt  Amendment 3                                                              
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 11, after "sent":                                                                                             
          Insert "electronically"                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:36:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   FAIRCLOUGH  asked   for  the  sponsor's   opinion                                                              
regarding insertion of the following language:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, after line 6:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          WHEREAS airborne hunting is illegal in Alaska;                                                                      
     and                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          WHEREAS [the] Alaska predator control program is                                                                    
     mandated   by   the  Alaska   State   Legislature,   and                                                                   
     regulated  by the  independent Alaska  Board [of]  Game;                                                                   
     and                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          WHEREAS Alaska's wildlife management programs are                                                                   
     conducted  entirely within  the tenets  of the  Airborne                                                                   
     Hunting Act; and                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          WHEREAS predator management in specific areas of                                                                    
     the state  increases opportunities  for Alaskans  to put                                                                   
     healthy food on their families' dinner table[s];                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH noted that  much of the  aforementioned                                                              
language  is  taken  from  the   governor's  [2/27/07]  letter  to                                                              
Congressman George Miller of California.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  said he thinks  the language would  have to                                                              
be, "airborne hunting 'of game' is illegal ...."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:37:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG LARSON, Director,  Division of Wildlife  Conservation, Alaska                                                              
Department  of  Fish  &  Game,  noted  that  airborne  hunting  is                                                              
something  that comes up  repeatedly.   Predator control  activity                                                              
is not  hunting, he pointed  out.  The  two are different.   Thus,                                                              
it is appropriate  that airborne hunting is not  hunting in regard                                                              
to Alaska's predator control programs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  asked whether Mr.  Larson has any  suggestions for                                                              
changes or deletions in the resolution's language.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. LARSON  replied he  did not  get all the  details of  what was                                                              
put forward,  but he did not  hear anything out of  place relative                                                              
to the  information put out  by ADF&G and  what the  governor sent                                                              
in her letter to Congressman Miller.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES said  aerial  hunting is  illegal in  Alaska                                                              
and his understanding  is that Representative Fairclough  was just                                                              
stating that.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  understood  the  Board  of  Game  has  not                                                              
allowed  same day airborne  hunting  of bear,  but that it  could,                                                              
and  that is  why bear  was put  [into HB  256].   "Was that  then                                                              
illegal,  or was it  just not  happening at  the current  time but                                                              
the Board of Game has the ability to allow that," he asked.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LARSON  answered  yes.  Currently,  if a  proposal is  brought                                                              
forward to  include bears for landing  and shooting, the  Board of                                                              
Game  could  do  that  as  a  viable   method  under  the  hunting                                                              
regulations.    He said  [HB  256]  would  add  brown bears  as  a                                                              
species  for which  the board  could  not allow  [land and  shoot]                                                              
under hunting regulations.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:40:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he is  removing his objection  in case                                                              
he had made one.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:41:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  moved that the committee adopt  Amendment 4                                                              
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 3, after "livestock":                                                                                         
          Insert "or biological emergencies"                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  explained   he  is  adding  this  language                                                              
because  H.R.  3663, Section  3,  is  a provision  for  biological                                                              
emergencies.    In  response  to  Co-Chair  Gatto,  Representative                                                              
Seaton agreed  to make Amendment  4 conceptual in case  this issue                                                              
appears elsewhere in HJR 31.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  said he  does not  have  a problem  with                                                              
Amendment   4,  but  thinks   lines  2-3   are  false   given  his                                                              
interpretation  of the  backup material  provided  for H.R.  3663,                                                              
Section 3.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:43:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  cited Section 4  of H.R. 3663  which states                                                              
that  predators   can  be   shot  from   the  air  under   certain                                                              
conditions, one  of those being  a biological emergency.   He said                                                              
he thought he  and Representative Kawasaki were  talking about the                                                              
same thing  in not  wanting the  resolution to  be limited  to the                                                              
protection  of livestock  because there  is nothing  in Section  4                                                              
that  says it  is for  the protection  of livestock,  it says  for                                                              
biological emergency.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  commented that  the problem  with the  language in                                                              
H.R. 3663, "to  prevent a biological emergency", is  that it means                                                              
once you have it there is nothing that can be done about it.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  pointed out the  use of the term  "irreversible"                                                              
in the  definition of  biological emergency in  Section 4  of H.R.                                                              
3663.   He  asked  whether the  state  of Alaska's  definition  of                                                              
biological emergency is the same as that in H.R. 3663.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LARSON  replied that this  clause concerns ADF&G  because once                                                              
there is  an irreversible decline,  it is too  late.  That  is why                                                              
[HB  256] talks  about active  management, he  said.   When it  is                                                              
seen  that something  is happening  in a  population, taking  some                                                              
sort  of action  under  those  circumstances  makes sense.    What                                                              
would be  the point of  doing anything  once it reaches  the point                                                              
of being irreversible, he asked.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  noted that H.R.  3663 limits the state  to proving                                                              
that the  irreversible decline  is caused by  predators.   He said                                                              
it  does not  matter what  causes  the decline  because the  state                                                              
needs the  ability to  act on it  before it  is irreversible.   He                                                              
asked  whether the  language  in  HJR 31  should  be clarified  to                                                              
reflect  the term  irreversible decline  when defining  biological                                                              
emergency.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LARSON  explained that the  existing intensive  management law                                                              
speaks  to population  objectives  and  harvest objectives.    The                                                              
law's premise  is that  information will  be obtained  relative to                                                              
populations,  and that  when those  objectives are  not being  met                                                              
the department will  provide information as to the  cause.  To the                                                              
extent that  predators play into  that, the department  would take                                                              
on predator  management.  He said  H.R. 3663 is a  whole different                                                              
paradigm  with   biological  emergency   because  it   is  totally                                                              
different  from   the  intensive   management  law  and   how  the                                                              
department is currently expected to operate.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:47:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  pointed  out that  he  is not  arguing  to                                                              
change Alaska's  laws to  correspond with  federal laws.   Rather,                                                              
he  is arguing  that  on page  2  of  HJR 31  it  is important  to                                                              
address aerial  predator control as  it relates to  both livestock                                                              
and biological emergencies.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  commented that  members do  not want something  to                                                              
be said that is  untrue and have the U.S. Congress  say the Alaska                                                              
State Legislature does not know what it is talking about.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ROSES  said this  is  a  resolution, not  a  bill.                                                              
While it  is important to  be accurate,  the reality is  that most                                                              
people will not  read past the first two lines on  the first page.                                                              
There  is even  the  question  of  how effective  resolutions  are                                                              
anyway, but  that does not diminish  the fact that it  needs to be                                                              
done.  The committee  is getting nitpicky, he said,  and this does                                                              
not  change  the end  result  that  a resolution  is  passed  that                                                              
opposes H.R. 3663.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:49:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH  said she  would  offer her  additional                                                              
language in another  committee so the resolution will  not be held                                                              
up and can go forward.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:49:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO said  he does not think the  congressmen themselves                                                              
will  read   the  resolution  but   their  aides  will,   and  any                                                              
misstatements in  the resolution will  take away from  what Alaska                                                              
wants to do now and in the future.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:50:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON withdrew  Amendment 4.   He moved  that the                                                              
committee adopt Amendment 5 as follows:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete "except for the protection of livestock"                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment 5 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:53:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH declined  to offer  her four  suggested                                                              
"whereas's" as an  amendment.  She agreed the  resolution needs to                                                              
be accurate  and said she will leave  it to the sponsor  to choose                                                              
whether to incorporate her suggested language.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO said  the resolution will not be  heard again until                                                              
next Wednesday [2/20/08].                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH  said  she  is not  offering  a  formal                                                              
amendment because  she does not want  to slow down the  process on                                                              
this urgent matter since the session is only 90 days.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:56:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER,  in  response to  Co-Chair  Gatto,  stated                                                              
that the next stop for the resolution is the House floor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GATTO  advised  that  the committee  must  then  get  it                                                              
right.   Following  discussion about  whether  to hold  HJR 31  or                                                              
report  it  from committee  as  amended,  Co-Chair Gatto  said  he                                                              
would hold the resolution.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:57:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KELLER  spoke   to  Representative   Fairclough's                                                              
suggested  additional ["whereas"]  language.   The  intent of  the                                                              
resolution is not  to be specific and to analyze  the federal act,                                                              
he said, the intent  is to simply say that Alaska  is managing its                                                              
own.   Therefore, he  is happy  to not  include extra language  as                                                              
the resolution is accurate as amended.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO held HJR 31.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 348-BOARD OF GAME REGULATIONS                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:58:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  announced that  the next  order of business  would                                                              
be SPONSOR  SUBSTITUTE FOR  HOUSE BILL NO.  348, "An  Act relating                                                              
to the adoption of regulations by the Board of Game."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   JOHNSON  moved   to  [place]   SSHB  348  [before   the                                                              
committee].  There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:59:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WES  KELLER, Alaska State Legislature,  speaking as                                                              
the  sponsor of  HB 348,  stated that  Alaska's wildlife  managers                                                              
are trained professionals  who consult with the Board  of Game and                                                              
the public  to ensure  an abundant  wildlife  resource.  For  more                                                              
than  10  years  there  has  been   repeated  outside  attacks  on                                                              
Alaska's knowledge,  and these attacks  are money  raising schemes                                                              
having  nothing to  do with  science, he  charged.   The Lower  48                                                              
needs  to  get  the  message  that  people  in  Alaska  understand                                                              
wildlife  management and  are doing  a good  job.   Wildlife is  a                                                              
valuable asset that  generates income for Alaska  through viewing,                                                              
hunting,  and guiding.    He  said SSHB  348  sends  a message  by                                                              
codifying  Alaska  Supreme  Court  language  that  calls  game  an                                                              
asset.    The  bill  clarifies  that  Board  of  Game  regulations                                                              
adjusting  the methods,  means, seasons,  and bag  limits are  all                                                              
allocative in  nature.  He acknowledged  that SSHB 348  may result                                                              
in more  work for  the Board  of Game  but asserted  that this  is                                                              
good  management.     The  bill  brings   Alaska's  constitutional                                                              
language  into  statute  by  adding  the  term  preferential  use.                                                              
Using  supreme  court  and  constitutional   language  in  statute                                                              
provides  a rich  context for  clarifying the  intent of  Alaska's                                                              
Board of  Game, he opined.   This bill and  HJR 31 go  together to                                                              
show  Alaska's negative  reaction to  Congressman George  Miller's                                                              
bill, H.R. 3663.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:03:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   GATTO    asked   whether   Mr.   Saxby    can   address                                                              
constitutional questions about a statute.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN   SAXBY,   Senior  Assistant   Attorney   General,   Natural                                                              
Resources Section,  Civil Division (Anchorage), Department  of Law                                                              
(DOL), responded that it depends on the question.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO opened public testimony on SSHB 348.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:04:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO,  Executive Director,  Alaska Outdoor Council,  testified                                                              
that   his   organization  wholeheartedly   supports   SSHB   348.                                                              
Changing Title 16  by adding "asset of game" would  be of value to                                                              
all Alaskans who use that wild food source, he said.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  inquired why  the  change of  language                                                              
would be so important.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ARNO replied  he  clearly sees  the  reason from  discussions                                                              
with  the Division  of Habitat  over the  past year.   Alaska  has                                                              
clear parameters  for protecting  fish habitat  and fish  streams,                                                              
he said, but there  are few parameters for uplands.   For example,                                                              
the value of the  Nelchina caribou herd could be  quantified as an                                                              
asset to  the 7,000 Alaskans who  annually apply for  that permit.                                                              
If an  open pit  mine was  proposed for  the uplands  used by  the                                                              
Nelchina caribou  herd, the value  of that caribou  resource could                                                              
be considered during the permitting process.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  asked  why  calling  [game]  an  asset                                                              
changes their function and how they are dealt with.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNO  answered he  is a hunting  guide not  a lawyer,  but his                                                              
understanding  is that if  game are  considered an asset  lawsuits                                                              
could then be brought for civil damages.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:06:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO inquired what Title 16 is.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNO stated Title 16 is the fish and game code.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO said  he wants to make sure what  the bill proposes                                                              
to do is legal.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  requested the Department of  Law to address                                                              
how SSHB  348 merges with HB  256 in terms of  harvestable surplus                                                              
and higher levels of human consumption.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:07:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO reiterated his question about what Title 16 is.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY responded  that Title 16 is the fish and  game code.  In                                                              
further response to  Co-Chair Gatto, Mr. Saxby said  he drafted HB                                                              
256 and  he is the senior  assistant attorney general  assigned to                                                              
game issues.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  expressed his  concern that  using the  word asset                                                              
might be a constitutional issue.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  agreed.   The wrong  statute is  being used  to address                                                              
the issue, he said.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:09:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAXBY  began  his testimony  with  the  disclaimer  that  his                                                              
personal view  is closely  aligned with that  of the  sponsor, but                                                              
that he is charged  with giving the most objective  legal analysis                                                              
that he can.   He said the  Department of Law's testimony  is page                                                              
2 of the fiscal note submitted by the department.  He specified:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     SSHB  348 was written  for the  purpose of  emphasizing,                                                                   
     in  statute,   the  allocative   nature  of  many   game                                                                   
     regulation decisions,  so that such decisions  would not                                                                   
     be subjected  to the whims  of political change  through                                                                   
     the  initiative process.    Unfortunately,  the way  the                                                                   
     bill is worded,  it could easily be interpreted  - and I                                                                   
     actually  think  it will  be  interpreted -  as  serving                                                                   
     primarily  to  limit  the Board  of  Game's  ability  to                                                                   
     exercise  many  of its  most  important powers  to  only                                                                   
     those  situations in  which  the regulations  are  being                                                                   
     done  "as  a  means  to allocate  the  asset  of  game."                                                                   
     Because  of this danger,  the board  would be forced  to                                                                   
     build  a   record  for   every  regulation  during   its                                                                   
     meetings which  illustrates how the board  is allocating                                                                   
     game  through that regulation.   This  would likely  add                                                                   
     several   days  to  each   major  board  meeting,   with                                                                   
     resulting  costs,  and  to   more  legal  arguments  and                                                                   
     challenges  regarding  whether, and  how,  the board  is                                                                   
     allocating,  also with resulting  costs.  And  perhaps I                                                                   
     can illustrate  it this way.  The underlying  purpose of                                                                   
     [SSHB 348]  is to affect what  the public can  or cannot                                                                   
     do  vis-à-vis  the initiative  process.   But  what  the                                                                   
     bill actually  does is  say what the  Board of  Game can                                                                   
     or  cannot do....   It  ... effectively  limits many  of                                                                   
     the  board's   most  important  powers  to   only  those                                                                   
     situations where  the board is  able to show that  it is                                                                   
     in  fact allocating  game.    ...   That  raises a  real                                                                   
     potential  conflict with the  board's enabling  statute,                                                                   
     AS  16.05.221(b),  which  says,  "For  purposes  of  the                                                                   
     conservation  and development of  the game resources  of                                                                   
     the state,  there is created a  Board of Game ...."   So                                                                   
     the  board  is  created  for the  purpose  of  not  just                                                                   
     developing,   allocating,    but   also   for   adopting                                                                   
     regulations   that  are   related   to  a   conservation                                                                   
     rationale.   So,  that ...  is  the effect  that we  see                                                                   
     with the current language in the bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:12:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON inquired how the goal can be accomplished                                                                      
without handcuffing the Board of Game.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY replied  the more direct route would be  to directly say                                                              
what the public  can or cannot do  rather than say what  the board                                                              
can or  cannot do.   He  said he  cannot come  up with a  specific                                                              
amendment  right  now,  but offered  to  approach  the  governor's                                                              
office  and the  ADF&G commissioner  about tasking  him with  that                                                              
job if it is the committee's desire.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  said he cannot  speak for the committee,  but as                                                              
an individual representative he would like Mr. Saxby to do so.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON stated no.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:13:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  noted that  the term asset  is referenced                                                              
in the finance section  of the index of the statutes.   If game is                                                              
considered an  asset, does  that mean it  can be sold  and traded,                                                              
he asked.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAXBY understood  the  sponsor's purpose  in  using the  term                                                              
asset in  SSHB 348  is to come  within some  of the language  that                                                              
the Alaska  Supreme Court  has already  issued, especially  in the                                                              
Pullen v.  Ulmer case.   There was an  initiative that  would have                                                            
directly allocated  up to five percent of  escapement, essentially                                                              
harvestable  surplus,   of  salmon  to  sport  and   personal  use                                                              
fishing.   The [Alaska] Supreme  Court ruled that was  an improper                                                              
subject  for  the  initiative  process  under  the  constitutional                                                              
language  governing initiatives.    Thus, the  initiative was  not                                                              
allowed  to  proceed  to  the  ballot  because  it  was  a  direct                                                              
allocation of  a state  asset - fish  were an asset.   He  said he                                                              
thought  it  could  be  deduced  from that  ruling  that  game  is                                                              
likewise  an asset.   So,  in some  circumstances,  an attempt  to                                                              
allocate game  through the initiative  process would run  afoul of                                                              
that  supreme court  case.   He  understood  that SSHB  348 is  an                                                              
attempt to create that situation generally.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:15:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  said a  2/5/08  legal opinion  from  Brian                                                              
Kane,  Legislative   Counsel,  Legislative   Legal  and   Research                                                              
Services identifies  the same  problem noted  by Mr. Saxby.   [The                                                              
opinion addresses  the question, "What  does SSHB 348 do,  and how                                                              
would this  bill change  the legislature's constitutional  mandate                                                              
to manage fish and  game resources?"]  He read the  second to last                                                              
paragraph  of  the  opinion  which  states  (original  punctuation                                                              
provided):                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  main effect  of  these changes  could  be that  the                                                                   
     Board of  Game is  limited in the  reasons for  which it                                                                   
     can   adopt  regulations   under   AS   16.05.255(a)(2),                                                                   
     (a)(3),  or (a)(4).   Under  the added  language, it  is                                                                   
     possible that  "to allocate the asset of game"  would be                                                                   
     the  only  reason  the board  could  have  for  adopting                                                                   
     regulations   to  carry   out  the   provisions  of   AS                                                                   
     16.05.255(a)(2), (a)(3), or (a)(4).                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:16:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG   observed  that  fish   are  sold  and                                                              
bartered  and asked  whether there  could  be a  domino effect  on                                                              
Alaska's  game laws.    Additionally, he  asked,  would this  turn                                                              
over the  legislature's fiscal  responsibilities  to the  Board of                                                              
Game, creating a separation of powers issue.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY  answered the second question  first.  He said  there is                                                              
a difference  between money  and an asset,  and there  is probably                                                              
enough  discussion in  the Pullen  case to  be able  to draw  that                                                              
distinction.   He  cited two  reasons for  why he  does not  think                                                              
there  would  be a  problem  of  running  afoul of  separation  of                                                              
powers issues:   1) assets do not necessarily  include just money,                                                              
they include  state property such  as computers and  other things;                                                              
2)  Article  8  of the  constitution  gives  the  legislature  the                                                              
authority  to  regulate  the  state's   natural  resources.    The                                                              
legislature  has delegated  that authority  to the  Board of  Game                                                              
and  the board  cannot  exceed  the legislature's  guidelines  and                                                              
directives.    Regarding  the  first  question  about  the  domino                                                              
effect,  Mr. Saxby  stated that  both he  and legislative  counsel                                                              
Brian  Kane are  saying there  is  a potential  domino effect  the                                                              
committee should be aware of should SSHB 348 pass as worded.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:19:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  directed  attention  to  a  2/11/08  legal                                                              
opinion from  Mr. Kane  addressing the  question, "Would  SSHB 348                                                              
prohibit  citizens'  initiatives  that restrict  predator  control                                                              
programs by restricting  greatly or prohibiting outright  the same                                                              
day  airborne  shooting  of  wolves?"     He  read  a  portion  of                                                              
paragraph  2 in the  opinion, which  states [original  punctuation                                                              
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I do  not think  that the additions  to AS  16.05.255(a)                                                                   
     by  the  bill  will  necessarily  prohibit  a  citizens'                                                                   
     initiative  regarding predator control  or the  same day                                                                   
     airborne  shooting  of  wolves.    As  I  stated  in  my                                                                   
     February 8 memo  to your office, the court  will examine                                                                   
     the provisions  of the state constitution  without being                                                                   
     required to  look at any  statutory sections  that might                                                                   
     relate to  those constitutional  provisions.  The  court                                                                   
     will look  at the constitutional  provision in  question                                                                   
     and make its  own determination based on  that provision                                                                   
     alone.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON thus  advised that  SSHB 348, as  currently                                                              
worded, would not  accomplish its goal and could  potentially have                                                              
severe consequences to the operation of the Board of Game.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:20:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  cited a 2/13/08 legal  opinion from Mr.                                                              
Kane responding  to the  question of, "How  does the  court's view                                                              
of an  allocation of  an asset  factor into  the prohibition  of a                                                              
citizens' initiative  in relation to an appropriation?"   The crux                                                              
of SSHB  348, he said,  is that  it will make  it a lot  harder to                                                              
get through  a ballot  initiative regarding  game management.   He                                                              
read the second  to last paragraph on page 2 of  the opinion which                                                              
states [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Based  on the court  ruling in  Pullen, the court  would                                                                   
     likely   consider  that   an  allocation   of  what   it                                                                   
     considers  a state  asset  could not  be  allowed as  an                                                                   
     appropriation in a voter initiative.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said there is a distinction  between Pullen                                                            
v. Ulmer and  SSHB 348.  Pullen  v. Ulmer is about  the allocation                                                          
of  an asset  between  citizens  of the  state  or  groups of  the                                                              
state.   However,  SSHB 348  would  ban an  initiative that  would                                                              
prevent  predator  control, which  is  not an  allocation  between                                                              
different groups  of citizens  of the state.   Thus, he  said, the                                                              
committee needs to  ensure that the action it  takes will actually                                                              
accomplish the intended goal.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG  asked  Mr.  Saxby what  Mr.  Arno  was                                                              
talking  about when  he stated that  calling  game an asset  would                                                              
provide the ability to sue for damages.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY responded he would be guessing.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:23:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOHNSON  suggested a broader  look be taken at  this than                                                              
just aerial  wolf hunting  because it  could include fishing,  fur                                                              
trapping, and  other things.  He said  if SSHB 348 was  a piece of                                                              
legislation  intended to  stop a  particular  initiative, then  he                                                              
would have  trouble with it.   However, he  said he sees  the bill                                                              
as  an  attempt  to  use  the  state's   professionals  to  manage                                                              
Alaska's  game  rather  than  the   emotional  outcry  of  outside                                                              
groups.  While one  of the consequences may, in fact,  be the wolf                                                              
hunting initiative,  he said  he would hate  to see  the committee                                                              
get  wrapped around  that topic  when the  real issue  is to  stop                                                              
managing game and biology at the ballot box.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:24:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  OGAN, President,  Sportsmen  for Fish  and Wildlife  (SFW),                                                              
pointed  out  that he  is  testifying  on  his  own time  and  his                                                              
comments  do  not  represent  his   employer,  the  Department  of                                                              
Natural Resources,  State of Alaska.   He said Sportsmen  for Fish                                                              
and Wildlife was  founded with one main objective -  to enable the                                                              
Alaska  Department of  Fish  & Game  and the  State  of Alaska  to                                                              
manage  for abundance.    He maintained  that  SSHB  348 does  not                                                              
change  existing  laws on  initiatives.    It returns  control  of                                                              
Alaska's game management  to the preferential use  of Alaskans, by                                                              
Alaskans, for Alaskans,  without the influence of  outside special                                                              
interests, as  prescribed in Alaska's  constitution.   "The Alaska                                                              
Department of  Fish & Game would  be allowed to manage  game as an                                                              
asset rather  than managing  people by  unnecessarily limiting  or                                                              
cutting off  seasons and bag limits",  he stated.   The department                                                              
could  establish  scientific  rather   than  political  goals  for                                                              
predator-prey relations  to manage for maximum sustained  yield as                                                              
prescribed in the constitution.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  OGAN   cited  Utah's   management  system  of   predator-prey                                                              
relationship which  stopped the mortality of young  ungulates from                                                              
cougars  and   resulted  in  the   flourishing  of   that  state's                                                              
wildlife.  Utah  amended its constitution to require  a two-thirds                                                              
vote to  pass wildlife  initiatives,  he related.   He noted  that                                                              
when he was a  member of the Alaska State Legislature,  he opposed                                                              
giving priority  for fish and  game to  one group of  people based                                                              
on where they lived.   However, he is now sitting  on a board with                                                              
a person  with whom he  previously disagreed  and the two  of them                                                              
have put  that issue aside  to agree on  the concept of  SSHB 348.                                                              
Alaskans have been  divided and conquered long  enough, he opined,                                                              
and  urban  and  rural Alaskans  must  unite  and  stand  together                                                              
against  outsiders  who  are  trying to  run  Alaska  through  the                                                              
initiative  process.   The Alaska  Supreme Court  has spoken  that                                                              
fish are an asset  of the state and not subject  to an initiative.                                                              
This bill  would bring game  up to the  same level  of recognition                                                              
as fish, he said.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO closed public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:30:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON inquired  what the net  effect would  be if                                                              
HB 256, SSHB 348,  and the 2008 Aerial Wolf Ballot  Initiative all                                                              
became law.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. SAXBY replied  that the underlying motives of HB  256 and SSHB                                                              
348  are similar  - to  manage for  abundance  and thereby  reduce                                                              
conflict.   He said HB  256 is an  effort to simplify  and clarify                                                              
the  current laws  and  make them  as workable  as  possible.   He                                                              
noted that  each time a same day  airborne law has been  passed by                                                              
the citizens,  the legislature has had  to act to simplify  it and                                                              
make it workable,  and HB 256 would  provide ways to make  it even                                                              
more  workable.   He  said he  views  SSHB 348  as  an attempt  to                                                              
ensure that  game is treated  as an asset  and that  regulation of                                                              
game is viewed  as allocation of  assets.  He said he  thinks SSHB                                                              
348  will   be  unsuccessful  and   will  result  in   more  legal                                                              
challenges,  eventually  serving  to  limit the  Board  of  Game's                                                              
powers rather  than to  make its decisions  more defensible.   [If                                                              
HB 256]  and the  2008 initiative  pass, he  said, the  state will                                                              
have a  mandate to  conduct active  management for important  game                                                              
populations,  which in some  instances translates  into a  mandate                                                              
to kill  wolves, along  with another law  that makes  it extremely                                                              
difficult to kill wolves.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON agreed the  state will  have a mess  on its                                                              
hands if both HB 256 and the 2008 initiative become law.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  asked how  classifying  game  as an  asset                                                              
will preclude mining operations in Alaska.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAXBY explained  that  game is  already  considered an  asset                                                              
under current  law, just like  fish is  considered an asset.   The                                                              
dispute   is  over  whether   a  given   initiative  is   actually                                                              
allocating an asset,  he said.  In Pullen v. Ulmer  the court held                                                            
that - in  that case - the  initiative was a direct  allocation of                                                              
a state  asset.   Regardless of  whether or  not SSHB  348 passes,                                                              
that  will be  the  test  the court  will  look at  should  people                                                              
choose  to  make  that  argument   in  the  future.    As  to  how                                                              
classifying  game  as  an  asset might  affect  mining  and  other                                                              
resource uses in  the state, he said he believes  it is the desire                                                              
of some  groups to see  more recognition  of game as  an important                                                              
asset  when  the   commissioner  of  the  Department   of  Natural                                                              
Resources  is calculating  a best  interest  finding for  proposed                                                              
resource  development activities  in  the state.   Thus,  explicit                                                              
legislative  recognition of  game  as an  asset will  carry a  bit                                                              
more weight  in some cases when  these best interest  findings are                                                              
being made.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:37:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  inquired whether this would  relate only to                                                              
the agency process  of balancing a best interest  finding or would                                                              
it promote  a legal challenge to  the utilization of mining  as an                                                              
asset versus the statutory designation of game as an asset.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SAXBY  answered  he  is  unsure   he  fully  understands  the                                                              
question.    But,  he said,  having  defended  the  state  against                                                              
challenges  by environmental groups  for a  number of  decades, he                                                              
knows that  any hook  or argument  available to  an opponent  of a                                                              
particular  development project  will  be used.   If  there is  an                                                              
argument  that can  be  made based  on legislative  language  that                                                              
seems  to  add  weight  to  an   opponent's  side  of  things,  it                                                              
certainly will be used at some point.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:39:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GATTO said he  is holding  SSHB 348  so the sponsor  can                                                              
work with  Mr. Saxby  and others  to come  up with something  that                                                              
does not give the committee pause as far as constitutionality.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GUTTENBERG asked  when HJR  31 is  needed to  meet                                                              
the congressional timeline.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER said  he  did not  know [the  congressional                                                              
timeline].                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. POUND  stated that  Congressman Young would  like to  have the                                                              
resolution as soon as possible.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:41:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  reopened public testimony  due to an error  on the                                                              
witness signup sheets.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT FITHIAN,  Executive Director,  Alaska Professional  Hunters                                                              
Association  (APHA), stated  that his  organization supports  SSHB                                                              
348  because  it  will  protect  and  conserve  Alaska's  wildlife                                                              
resources,  bridge the urban/rural  divide,  and create sound  and                                                              
sustainable   economy   throughout   rural   Alaska.      Alaska's                                                              
stewardship  failure due to  ballot initiatives  will rate  in the                                                              
top  five of  all  historical  wildlife conservation  failures  in                                                              
North America's  history, he said.   This bill will  facilitate an                                                              
ending of this  situation and allow the Alaska  Department of Fish                                                              
& Game to do  its job as mandated by state constitution.   He said                                                              
APHA  believes  it  is  important   to  understand  that  Alaska's                                                              
founding  fathers had  no knowledge  and little  foresight of  the                                                              
political arena into  which the state would eventually  be cast to                                                              
effectively  manage  its  wildlife  as  per  their  constitutional                                                              
requirements.  This  bill would secure their work  and provide for                                                              
the  best  interests  of  the whole  of  Alaska  and  not  special                                                              
interests.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. FITHIAN  noted that the  long-term sustainability of  the over                                                              
$200 million  a year guide  industry is dependent  upon allocation                                                              
of  sustainable  harvestable surpluses,  and  SSHB  348 will  help                                                              
generate this  important requirement.   He urged the  committee to                                                              
work together  to accomplish  the bill's goals,  even if  it means                                                              
new language  to resolve  the Department  of  Law's concerns.   He                                                              
related  that APHA's  counsel,  Bill Horn,  has  advised that  the                                                              
repeated references  to fish  and wildlife  as assets  is designed                                                              
to prevent  any fish  and game  oriented ballot  initiatives.   If                                                              
fish  and wildlife  are  assets  they cannot  be  allocated by  an                                                              
initiative, which  is good.   Just as  importantly, SSHB  348 does                                                              
not impact the  state's ability to allocate these  resources among                                                              
users,  including providing  preferential  uses.   Guide  required                                                              
rules and  other plans  to facilitate  guided hunting  and fishing                                                              
likely  fall within  the scope  of  preferential uses.   He  noted                                                              
that the  one concern cited  by Mr. Horn  has been brought  to the                                                              
attention of the sponsor's staff.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:45:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO inquired  whether Mr. Fithian objects  to the state                                                              
having an initiative process.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FITHIAN  responded  no.   In  further  response  to  Co-Chair                                                              
Gatto,  Mr. Fithian  agreed that  the  initiative process  belongs                                                              
and is valuable.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR GATTO  pointed out  that the cruise  ship tax and  the 90                                                              
day legislative  session are both  the result of  initiatives, and                                                              
a failed initiative  is the reason  why the state does  not have a                                                              
reserves  tax.   However,  he said,  there  cannot be  initiatives                                                              
that  reappropriate  or  appropriate   assets,  especially  money,                                                              
because  otherwise  all the  biggest  cities  would have  all  the                                                              
projects.    Thus,  there  are  strong  restrictions  on  what  an                                                              
initiative can  do.  The question  is going to become  whether the                                                              
term asset  will have to  be defined in  a very specific  way, but                                                              
right now, there may be a constitutional issue.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:46:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FITHIAN commented  that that there is very  little ability for                                                              
the  legislative  body  or the  lieutenant  governor's  office  to                                                              
prohibit  the initiative  process.   The initiative  process  is a                                                              
method  of fundraising  for  outside  interests that  care  little                                                              
about the  effect of  their actions  on the state  as a  whole, he                                                              
said.  If SSHB  348 can be constructed to benefit  the whole, then                                                              
it starts  to give  some of  the stewardship  provisions that  are                                                              
needed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GATTO   agreed  and  said  he  would   like  the  Alaska                                                              
Department of Fish & Game to be the scientists and the managers.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[SSHB 348 was held over.]                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further business  before the committee,  the House                                                              
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:48 p.m.                                                                 

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