Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124

04/01/2009 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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01:05:10 PM Start
01:05:48 PM HB70
01:18:27 PM Big Game Commercial Services Board
02:23:28 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Big Game Commercial Services Board
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 70 ALASKA GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 70(RES) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 1, 2009                                                                                          
                           1:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Craig Johnson, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mark Neuman, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Kurt Olson                                                                                                       
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 70                                                                                                               
"An   Act  establishing   the  farm-to-school   program  in   the                                                               
Department  of Natural  Resources, the  Alaska grown  fresh fruit                                                               
and vegetable  grant program in  the Department of  Education and                                                               
Early  Development, the  farmers'  market technology  improvement                                                               
pilot program  in the  Department of  Environmental Conservation,                                                               
and the farmers to food banks  pilot program in the Department of                                                               
Commerce, Community, and Economic Development."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 70(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Paul Johnson - Elfin Cove                                                                                                  
     Dirk Nickisch - Coldfoot                                                                                                   
     Betty Jo "BJ" Schmitz - North Pole                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB  70                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GATTO                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/20/09       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/16/09                                                                               

01/20/09 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS

01/20/09 (H) RES, FIN 03/18/09 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124 03/18/09 (H) Heard & Held 03/18/09 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/23/09 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124 03/23/09 (H) Moved CSHB 70(RES) Out of Committee 03/23/09 (H) MINUTE(RES) 04/01/09 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124 WITNESS REGISTER REX SHATTUCK, Staff Representative Mark Neuman Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: During hearing on HB 70, explained why the previously reported version of the bill needed to be replaced. SANDRA WILSON, Staff Representative Carl Gatto Alaska State Legislature Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: During the hearing on HB 70, answered questions. PAUL JOHNSON, Appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board Elfin Cove, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board. DIRK NICKISCH, Appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board Coldfoot, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board. BETTY JO "BJ" SCHMITZ, Appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board North Pole, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board. ACTION NARRATIVE 1:05:10 PM CO-CHAIR MARK NEUMAN called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. Representatives Neuman, Edgmon, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Tuck, Wilson, and Olson were present at the call to order. Representatives Johnson and Seaton arrived as the meeting was in progress. HB 70-ALASKA GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS 1:05:48 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN announced that the first order of business would be reconsideration of HOUSE BILL NO. 70, "An Act establishing the farm-to-school program in the Department of Natural Resources, the Alaska grown fresh fruit and vegetable grant program in the Department of Education and Early Development, the farmers' market technology improvement pilot program in the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the farmers to food banks pilot program in the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development." [CSHB 70(RES), Version E, was previously reported from the committee.] CO-CHAIR NEUMAN explained that HB 70 was again before the committee in order to take care of a technicality. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved that the committee rescind its action on HB 70 labeled 26-LS0284\E, Bannister, 3/24/09. There being no objection, passage of -Version E was rescinded. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON moved to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HB 70, Version 26-LS0284\S, Bannister, 3/25/09, as the work draft. There being no objection, Version S was before the committee. 1:07:06 PM REX SHATTUCK, Staff, Representative Mark Neuman, Alaska State Legislature, explained that during the final drafting process of Version E, Legislative Legal and Research Services pointed out that the language on page 6, lines 23-24, "if the money from the sale is used to support the operation of a school garden, greenhouse, or farm under this section", violates the state's constitutional prohibition against dedicated funds. This concern was raised because a school district might be considered a political subdivision of the state or an agency of the municipality and a municipality is a subdivision of the state. He said this language has been deleted from Version S. 1:09:57 PM REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI noted that Version E states that the vegetables may be sold if the money is used to support the operation of the school gardens and Version S simply states that the vegetables may be sold. He asked how the problem is solved by leaving it open as to where the money can be spent. MR. SHATTUCK replied that the intent of the committee through its previous discussions seemed to not want to send the money any place else, but to allow it to be a local decision. He related that Legislative Legal and Research Services said this is the minimum that could be done to still allow local decision without directing funds and running afoul of the constitutional prohibition. SANDRA WILSON, Staff, Representative Carl Gatto, understood that it is legal as long as it is provided that the vegetables can be sold and there is no directive for how the funds must be used. 1:12:13 PM REPRESENTATIVE TUCK inquired how this is different from bake sales and other events that raise money for school sports teams and bands. MR. SHATTUCK said that kind of fund raising is through the general public and not from the state general fund, and therefore he thinks it is a different issue. REPRESENTATIVE TUCK said he had assumed money from fundraisers for bands was going directly to the activity. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN pointed out that the sponsor's intent and the legislative intent do matter, and the intent in HB 70 is to help make the school garden program as self-sustaining as possible through proceeds received from the produce. MS. WILSON agreed that this is the sponsor's intent. REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG stated that he thinks members agree on the intent, but he does not see how deleting the aforementioned language changes anything. He assumed the money will go into the school district's account and that there is no intent by the committee that the money be returned to the state. He asked whether there is a way to make this work that is cleaner. 1:15:27 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN inquired whether the bill drafter, Mr. Bannister, knew the committee's intent and drafted language that would cover this intent. MR. SHATTUCK understood from his conversations with Legislative Legal and Research Services that the language was crafted to adopt the will of the committee while staying within the constraints allowed. He said Legislative Legal and Research Services also pointed out that it is a financial issue and HB 70 has a referral to the House Finance Committee where the language can be further crafted. REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON stated that he does not see where the money from any of these types of sales is directed to go to schools, but he doubted that any of the approximately 80 funds currently in state statute have such language because of the constitutional prohibition. He said he is therefore satisfied that this does what is needed and if it needs to be revisited the House Finance Committee can do so. CO-CHAIR JOHNSON moved to report HB 70, Version 26-LS0284\S, Bannister, 3/25/09, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 70(RES), Version S, was reported from the House Resources Standing Committee. ^CONFIRMATION HEARINGS(S): ^Big Game Commercial Services Board 1:18:27 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN announced that the next order of business would be confirmation hearing on the appointments of Paul E. Johnson, Dirk Nickisch, and Betty Jo "BJ" Schmitz to the Big Game Commercial Services Board. He requested Mr. Johnson to introduce himself. PAUL JOHNSON, Appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board, stated that he was born in Juneau and has spent his life in this area. He said he was first appointed to the Big Game Commercial Services Board by Governor Steve Cowper and that this would be his last stint on the board. 1:20:37 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked Mr. Johnson to outline his general philosophy as a professional guide. MR. JOHNSON said he believes that Alaska's big game resources are one of the state's most valuable renewable resources and they need to be nurtured and taken care of. Alaska's guiding and transporter industry is a $250 million industry that needs to be regulated with reason and ethical standards. Alaska is competing with other states and countries and the state must keep its standards up so that people will be willing to pay the amount of money that the state needs to receive from these resources. He said he hopes that after a few more years, Alaska will have an industry that it can be very proud of. He added that he is thankful for the life he has had in this industry and he is participating in this program to help the younger people who are getting into this industry and to ensure that this industry will be here long after he is gone. 1:22:54 PM CO-CHAIR JOHNSON noted that Mr. Johnson's application is not included in the committee packet. He asked a series of questions as to whether Mr. Johnson: has been convicted of a misdemeanor within the past five years or a felony within the past ten years, is prepared to make any financial disclosures, and whether he or a family member could be affected financially by decisions made by the Big Game Commercial Services Board. MR. JOHNSON replied that he has not been convicted of anything. He said he has made financial disclosures many times and turned in his paperwork in February [2009]. He noted that he did not realize the application was not done because he was simply notified that he was re-appointed and did not fill out anything new. In regard to whether he or a family member could be affected financially by decisions made by the Big Game Commercial Services Board, Mr. Johnson said no. 1:24:46 PM REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG requested an explanation of what the Big Game Commercial Services Board does and what Mr. Johnson's role on the board has been. MR. JOHNSON said the board was originally established in 1988 or 1989 and replaced the "guide board". "It put hats on the different users on the commercial side of big game, transporters, and big game guides," he explained. The nine- member board has two private land holders, two public members, a Board of Game member, two transporters, and two guides, of which he is one of the two guides. The board administers the testing and applications of guides and the applications of transporters. The board also set up the regulations under the statutes passed by the legislature to drive ethics and standards for the industry. The board was sunsetted in 1995, then re-established in 2005. He said he thinks the board has accomplished a lot and it was re-authorized in 2008. 1:26:34 PM REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG asked Mr. Johnson to name someone who could be contacted as a reference. MR. JOHNSON listed the following people as references: Bobby Fithian, Executive Director of the Alaska Professional Hunters Association; Joe Klutsch; Senator Donny Olson; and Senator Bert Stedman. 1:27:42 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN inquired about exclusive guide areas and whether there is a change underway. MR. JOHNSON recounted that Alaska had restrictive guide areas until 1988 or 1989 when the [Alaska Supreme Court] ruled in the Osachuk (ph) decision that under the common use clause the guide is equal to the hunter and therefore falls under the common use clause. The court provided four different categories in a restrictive guide area, but implementation by the state led to quite a bit of confusion and heartache and in 1995 the Big Game Commercial Services Board was sunsetted. During that time period, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service stepped in and created exclusive guide areas on the federal lands within the state. A prospectus bid process was established for federal lands, limited in duration to 10 years with a renewal clause. Over time this has switched the remaining folks onto state and private lands, he continued, which is why there are two private land holders on the Big Game Commercial Services Board. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), at the Board of Game's request, has spent the last three years developing a system for state lands. At the last Board of Game meeting, 36 proposals were submitted by the public and various advisory committees to eliminate nonresident hunting in Alaska unless something is done and DNR is looking at this further. The Board of Game's toolbox is pretty limited, he said, and unless DNR is able to proceed nonresident hunting will end in major portions of Alaska, which was done after the Osachuk decision and which will only get worse. 1:32:14 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN asked whether Mr. Johnson supports exclusive guide areas. MR. JOHNSON replied yes. He said he has a joint use in a federal exclusive guide area. He explained that he does not want to use the word exclusive because they are concession areas and his concession area has three other guides. His concession permit is with the U.S. Forest Service and he is allotted a certain number of bears. He pointed out that the Board of Game can eliminate, and has eliminated, nonresident hunting without the legislature's approval. He stated that going into a permit basis is the death throw of guiding in an area. He said he supports exclusive guide areas because Alaska is competing on a worldwide basis and hunters will choose to go to a place where they know there is an opportunity, rather than a place where there are lots of other hunters in the same area. This is how it is done throughout the world, he continued, and it is a very convoluted and complex issue. He offered to fly to Juneau to speak with legislators in detail about the issue. 1:34:20 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN said it seems to him that if Mr. Johnson is already a registered guide, it would be a conflict if he were to get exclusive rights to guide in an area in Alaska. MR. JOHNSON responded no, he is on federal land. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN inquired whether Mr. Johnson supports establishing exclusive guide areas on state lands. MR. JOHNSON answered that DNR will be making the decision because it owns the land. However, if DNR were to ask him whether he supports doing this, he said he would. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN commented that he and Co-Chair Johnson would be very interested in looking at this issue and it appears from the expressions of the other committee members that they are too. MR. JOHNSON again offered to come to Juneau. 1:36:01 PM [Committee members discussed the procedure for advancing the names of state board appointees.] 1:50:07 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN requested the next appointee, Mr. Nickisch, to state why he would like to be on the Big Game Commercial Services Board. DIRK NICKISCH, Appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board, stated that he operates a small, family-owned air taxi business in the Brooks Range of Alaska and that he is a transporter of hunters. He said he is interested in being on the board because there are a lot of issues his industry is involved in that need to be looked at and he wants to represent his industry in this regard. 1:51:17 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN recounted a recent discussion in which he was told that the Board of Game and the guides are not the problem and that the problem is the transporters and the lack of regulation for controlling the movement of transporters. MR. NICKISCH agreed that this is an accurate statement. How to control transporters is a large issue, he said, and the line between what is a transporter and what is an air taxi is very vague. He pointed out that right now if someone is a guide and things do not work out, the person can quit being a guide and be a transporter. Likewise, a person running an air taxi that serves a lot of hunters, but who does not want to play by the existing rules of the transporter, can just quit being a transporter and simply be a "135 air taxi" because the regulations can be gotten around by being careful about how the business is advertised. He is the last person to want more regulation given that regulation is very difficult for a small business, he opined, but without regulation there will not be an industry. He stated that his wife, a commercial fisher, points out that no one likes it when the Alaska Department of Fish & Game shows up, but if the department had not shown up quite awhile ago there would be no fishery left in the state, and this is how he feels about the transporters. Transporters need to be regulated more and in order to do that there needs to be a better definition of what is transporting a hunter. However, he said this needs to be done in a manner that does not chase everybody away from being a transporter and having them play the game under a different license. 1:54:05 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON asked whether a transporter and an air taxi are the same thing. MR. NICKISCH replied no, both have their own set of regulation by different bodies. In order to be an air taxi a business must fall under all the rules of being a "135 operator" and this includes drug, maintenance, and pilot training programs as well as high levels of inspection and scrutiny by the Federal Aviation Administration. Under current state regulations, the differentiation between a transporter and an air taxi is that an air taxi does not charge a higher fee for hunters and does not advertise for hunting, he said. A person could be a transporter for a long time, then quit and go back to being an air taxi and rely on his or her customer list rather than advertising. There is more reporting and more ability to potentially regulate a transporter, but right now it is hard to regulate a transporter without all the transporters just disappearing. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON surmised that an air taxi takes someone to a certain location by air and then turns around and leaves, whereas a transporter could take someone by boat, horseback, or other means. MR. NICKISCH responded correct. He said he is aware that there are a lot of issues in Southeast Alaska with water transporters, but his experience is limited to the aviation end of the industry. 1:57:12 PM REPRESENTATIVE WILSON understood that in order not to be considered a guide, a water transporter cannot let hunters shoot from the boat and must drop the hunters off on land to hunt on their own. MR. NICKISCH agreed that there are regulations along that line and those regulations are similar to same-day airborne regulations where a hunter cannot get out of the airplane and shoot the same day. However, some people feel that water transporters act like guides because they travel along the beaches looking for an animal, at which point the transporter skiffs the hunter to shore where the animal is shot. He said this is creating some issues with the ability to regulate because there is no state or federal agency jurisdiction on the water or at the point of water and shore. MR. NICKISCH, in response to Co-Chair Neuman, explained that as an air taxi he can haul a hunter and his equipment into the field and if the hunter shoots something he can pick the hunter back up, but he cannot recommend a place for the hunter to go, cannot charge the hunter a higher amount than what is his normal fare, and cannot advertise for hauling hunters. Many people who are not licensed transporters haul game in Alaska, he added. 2:00:06 PM REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG inquired whether Mr. Nickisch is aware of how much time this board will take. MR. NICKISCH said yes, he has spoken to board members and others about the time requirements. REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG commented that serving on any of the various boards is very time consuming. MR. NICKISCH stated that he and his family fly the Brooks Range because they truly love it there. He said he would like to be on the Big Game Commercial Services Board because he thinks his industry needs some changes and he wants the industry to be here for the long run. He would like for his children to have this same opportunity should they choose to fly and live the lifestyle that he and his wife have chosen. 2:02:19 PM REPRESENTATIVE SEATON noted that Mr. Nickisch answered yes on his application in regard to whether he or his family could be affected financially by actions taken by the board. He noted that the board is comprised of participants in the industry as well as members of the public. He asked whether Mr. Nickisch would be taking one of the licensed guide seats. MR. NICKISCH replied that he is not a guide and does not have a guide license. He said he is an air taxi and a transporter and since the Big Game Commercial Services Board creates regulations for his industry and makes policy recommendations to agencies such as DNR, decisions by the board will affect his entire industry. So, this is why he answered yes to the question. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said he does not have problems with this because that is how the board is set up. He asked whether Mr. Nickisch is applying for a transporter or an air taxi seat. MR. NICKISCH said the seat is designated for a transporter. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN inquired whether any other names were forwarded for the air transporter position. MR. NICKISCH answered that he does not know, but that he had heard there was discussion of filling the seat with a water transporter. 2:04:08 PM REPRESENTATIVE TUCK understood that Mr. Nickisch is licensed for a 135 air taxi. He asked whether Mr. Nickisch has ever been a transporter. MR. NICKISCH stated that he was a transporter a number of years ago and then chose not to be as involved. He reiterated that it is a fine line between a taxi and a transporter, and he found that he did not fall under the regulatory needs of being a transporter. However, he said he feels his industry needs some additional regulation and some oversight, and the best way of doing that is to tighten up and consider as transporters those people who transport hunters into the field. This would then encompass him as a transporter, he added. 2:05:14 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN requested the next appointee to introduce herself. BETTY JO "BJ" SCHMITZ, Appointee to the Big Game Commercial Services Board, said she has been sitting as a public member on the board for the past four years and would like to serve another four years. She and her husband own a small farm between North Pole and Salcha where they raise sheep, and in the past she has worked as a biological technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She said she is a hunter and that as a public member she has tried to represent the interests of local people, while understanding the industry of hunting, guiding, and transporting. Because she is not involved in guiding in any way, she said she has been on a learning curve over the past four years and would like to continue her involvement. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON inquired how much time it takes to be on the board. MS. SCHMITZ responded that over the past couple of years the board has met twice a year in December and March for three to five days per meeting. The scheduling is done around the seasons for the guides and transporters, she said. Tests for the guides are scheduled at the end of the time and a lot of the people involved in the boards help administer the tests. There are additional hours here and there depending upon which committees a board member is on. 2:07:43 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN asked what the largest controversies before the board have been and how did Ms. Schmitz deal with them. MS. SCHMITZ answered that one main controversy is problems with transporters in northwestern Alaska. Guides in this area are well regulated, she said, but transporters fly into certain areas and dump hunters on top of each other. There is a working group dealing especially with Unit 23, she added. The board is just in the beginnings of trying to decide what is necessary because, the board does not want to put a bunch of regulations on people, but something must be done. There is a lot of ill will amongst the local people in that area, as well as some Interior areas, toward transporters who are putting in way too many hunters. MS. SCHMITZ said the other thorny issue is exclusive guide areas. There is a lot of fear amongst the newer guides about being regulated out of the business by not having areas to hunt, she related, but there are also issues where there are too many guides in particular choice areas. Over the past few years there have been discussions with DNR about how to help the industry, the local people, and the resource. One of the suggestions DNR has brought forward is concession use areas. These are not exclusive areas, but the number of people will be limited in an area, and they will probably have to fill out a prospectus to qualify or compete for that area. It is a way of separating hunters and local people and spreading out the pressure instead of concentrating it in certain areas. 2:10:29 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN stated that the House Resources Standing Committee does not feel too highly about exclusive guide areas and will be asking DNR to address the issue. MS. SCHMITZ said there are many things involved in this issue and it is very hard to understand the details, plus every part of the state has different issues that need to be considered. REPRESENTATIVE WILSON inquired whether the problem is that multiple transporters are dropping off hunters in the same place or one transporter is dropping off multiple parties of hunters in the same place. MS. SCHMITZ replied that both of these happen. She pointed out that transporters are not limited on where they can put hunters unless they are using federal lands which require a permit, whereas a guide is limited on where he or she can conduct hunting because of the regulations that are already in place. A transporter can put a hunter anywhere and does not have to account for it, and some transporters will hunt out an area knowing that they can then move to another area. In further response, Ms. Schmitz said there are ethical transporters as well as unethical transporters and that different people have different perceptions as to what constitutes an acceptable distance between hunting parties in an area. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON understood there are guides, transporters, and air taxis, and an air taxi does not need to have either a transporter or a guide license. MS. SCHMITZ responded correct. 2:14:37 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN remarked that the Big Game Commercial Services Board is one of the tougher boards to be on. He asked whether Ms. Schmitz would support exclusive guide areas if they are recommended for state lands. MS. SCHMITZ explained that DNR is not considering an exclusive guide area system. She advised members to talk to DNR as the system being proposed is completely different than that of the 1970s. She said she would support the system currently being proposed by DNR, which is a competitive system - not exclusive - and it is not transferable and must come up for another bid in so many years. She related that DNR has talked to numerous guides to determine how many guides should be in each area and that most of the guides she has talked to realize something needs to be done and would support this type of system. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN contended that the guides supporting the proposed system have been there for a long time and are the ones who would get the permits and the problem is how someone new can get into the system. He said the committee will ask DNR to come explain the difference between transporters, guides, and exclusive hunting areas. 2:16:34 PM CO-CHAIR JOHNSON asked whether Ms. Schmitz hunts. MS. SCHMITZ replied that she hunts quite a bit, usually taking a moose each year along with bird hunting. She said she is not involved in guiding or transporting. CO-CHAIR JOHNSON stated that he wants to make sure the committee is not putting someone on the board who is anti-hunting. REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON commented "tongue in cheek" that it is too bad Representative Austerman is not before the committee with his resolution on the western Gulf of Alaska in terms of limited licenses because maybe the same model could be applied here. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN said it is a large policy call and he thinks it is up to the legislature to weigh in on policy calls like this; therefore, he will be asking DNR to speak to the committee. 2:18:32 PM CO-CHAIR JOHNSON pointed out that there is nothing preventing a private Alaska citizen from going into an exclusive guide area and hunting there on his or her own, and that the discussion is related only to guided hunts. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON said Alaska used to have exclusive guide areas but they were thrown out by the court. He understood that the Big Game Commercial Services Board does not establish policy like the Board of Fisheries or Board of Game; rather, the policy setting is up to DNR. He said he therefore does not understand where the conversation is going by asking the appointees whether or not they support exclusive guide areas. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN acknowledged this, but said it is still a question to be asked of appointees. CO-CHAIR JOHNSON interjected that there is a move afoot to make exclusive guide areas legal through legislation, so it is important to know where the appointees stand on this issue. 2:21:14 PM REPRESENTATIVE SEATON clarified that he was only pointing out that the Big Game Commercial Services Board cannot institute this policy, given that it would have to be done legislatively. CO-CHAIR JOHNSON agreed, but noted that the recommendation of a member of the Big Game Commercial Services Board would carry weight with some legislators, and this is the purpose for asking the appointees where they stand. CO-CHAIR NEUMAN concurred. He announced that it is the committee's will to move ahead and allow each member to determine whether or not to sign the green sheet for advancing each individual appointee. CO-CHAIR JOHNSON moved to forward the names of Paul E. Johnson, [Dirk] Nickisch, and Betty Jo "BJ" [Schmitz] to the joint session of the House and Senate for confirmation. There being no objection, the confirmations of Paul E. Johnson, Dirk Nickisch, and Betty Jo "BJ" Schmitz were advanced from the House Resources Standing Committee. 2:23:28 PM ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:23 p.m.

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