Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

02/06/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        February 6, 2017                                                                                        
                           1:05 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Andy Josephson, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Dean Westlake, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Justin Parish                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Chris Tuck (alternate)                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 40                                                                                                               
"An Act prohibiting and providing penalties and civil remedies                                                                  
for trapping within 200 feet of certain public facilities,                                                                      
areas, and trails; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
HOUSE BILL NO. 6                                                                                                                
"An Act establishing the Jonesville Public Use Area."                                                                           
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB  40                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TRAPPING NEAR PUBLIC TRAILS                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
01/18/17       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/13/17                                                                               
01/18/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/06/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
BILL: HB   6                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: JONESVILLE PUBLIC USE AREA                                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAUSCHER                                                                                          
01/18/17       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/17                                                                                
01/18/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/17       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
01/27/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
01/27/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/27/17       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/06/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MEGAN ROWE, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Representative Josephson,                                                                   
sponsor, explained the differences between HB 40 Versions D and                                                                 
O, and the committee substitute for HB 40, Version U.                                                                           
KEN GREEN                                                                                                                       
Cooper Landing, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing of HB 40.                                                                   
LYNN MITCHELL, President                                                                                                        
Alaska Safe Trails                                                                                                              
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing of HB 40.                                                                   
PAT O'BRIEN                                                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing of HB 40.                                                                   
SCOTT LAPIENE, President                                                                                                        
Mat-Su Trails Council, Inc.                                                                                                     
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 40 as originally                                                              
LYNNE WOODS                                                                                                                     
Sutton, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 6.                                                                            
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:05:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ANDY  JOSEPHSON  called the  House  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   1:05  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Josephson, Birch, Drummond,  Johnson, Parish, Rauscher, Talerico,                                                               
Westlake, and Tarr were present at the call to order.                                                                           
               HB  40-TRAPPING NEAR PUBLIC TRAILS                                                                           
1:06:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that the  first order  of business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 40, "An  Act prohibiting  and providing                                                               
penalties  and civil  remedies for  trapping within  200 feet  of                                                               
certain public  facilities, areas, and trails;  and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
1:07:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  moved to adopt  the committee substitute  (CS) for                                                               
HB  40,  Version  30-LS0168\U,  Nauman/Bullard,  2/6/17  [as  the                                                               
working document].                                                                                                              
1:08:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO objected for discussion purposes.                                                                       
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON passed the gavel to Co-Chair Tarr.                                                                           
1:08:30 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at ease from 1:08 p.m. to 1:09 p.m.                                                                       
1:10:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MEGAN ROWE,  Staff, Representative  Andy Josephson,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  speaking  on  behalf of  Representative  Josephson,                                                               
sponsor,  provided a  summary of  changes made  by the  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS) for  HB 40,  Version U.   The  original version,                                                               
Version D,  was incorrectly labeled  as a sponsor  substitute, so                                                               
changes in  Version D and  Version O  were redrafted as  CSHB 40,                                                               
Version  U.     Version  U  adds  Section  1,   which  imposes  a                                                               
requirement that a tag issued by  the Alaska Department of Fish &                                                               
Game (ADF&G) be  affixed to a trap, and adds  a violation penalty                                                               
provision.   The  second change  is that  the bill  more narrowly                                                               
defines areas near which people  cannot place traps to within 200                                                               
feet  of a  campsite, recreational  beach, roadside  rest, scenic                                                               
site or  other public  facility or  area, and  a public  trail to                                                               
those  that are  developed or  improved by  public funds.   Also,                                                               
Version U  removes a  reference to the  statute that  created all                                                               
state parks,  and thus  restricted trapping  in all  state parks.                                                               
She stated  the intent of the  bill is to narrow  the areas where                                                               
trappers cannot  trap to places  that are frequently  peopled and                                                               
to  places that  the  government has  maintained, developed,  and                                                               
improved.  The bill leaves  public land areas where trappers have                                                               
made  trails, and  trails  that  have not  been  improved by  the                                                               
government, still free for trapping within 200 feet.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  TARR  directed  attention  to materials  found  in  the                                                               
committee packet further describing the aforementioned changes.                                                                 
1:13:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  removed his  objection, and  pointed out                                                               
that  the committee  is adopting  a committee  substitute without                                                               
hearing the original bill.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  asked for clarification of  the distinction                                                               
between a committee substitute and a sponsor substitute.                                                                        
CO-CHAIR  TARR  explained  that  changes  in a  bill  made  by  a                                                               
committee substitute  become the working  document.  This  is not                                                               
an endorsement, and  after a motion is made to  move the bill out                                                               
of committee, members can vote as they wish.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  expressed his interest in  learning whether                                                               
the  problem addressed  by the  bill  is a  recurring problem  in                                                               
District 17 and other parts of Anchorage.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked  if permission  from the  original                                                               
sponsor is required prior to drafting a committee substitute.                                                                   
CO-CHAIR TARR  responded that the bill  sponsor is Representative                                                               
Josephson, who supports the committee substitute.                                                                               
1:15:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  informed the  committee he  represents 17,000                                                               
residents of  Anchorage, however,  as a  member of  the committee                                                               
and of the legislature, he is  compelled to deal with issues from                                                               
all over  the state.  Although  one may believe that  the sponsor                                                               
of the bill  would be active with dog or  pet organizations, this                                                               
is untrue; in  fact, the reason he has sponsored  the bill is due                                                               
to the many documented instances  throughout Alaska - in the last                                                               
four to  five years -  of animals  other than the  target species                                                               
caught in traps,  and concerns for potential harm  to human life.                                                               
The bill is supported by  thousands, as evidenced by a Matanuska-                                                               
Susitna  (Mat-Su)  Valley petition  signed  by  3,500 that  would                                                               
remove  two  trails  [from trapping].    Mat-Su  has  experienced                                                               
population  growth and  there  is an  outcry  supported by  three                                                               
members  of  the  Mat-Su  Borough  Assembly  to  try  to  protect                                                               
domestic  animals, children,  snow machine  riders, and  sled dog                                                               
teams.   The  problem is  unresolved  because other  than in  the                                                               
Fairbanks  North  Star  Borough,  there  have  been  no  adequate                                                               
compromises.      Representative   Josephson  related   his   own                                                               
experience  before the  Board of  Game  (BOG), ADF&G,  is that  a                                                               
proposal  offered  to remedy  this  problem  before BOG  will  be                                                               
unsuccessful  as  the  board  does   not  represent  the  diverse                                                               
interests of  Alaskans, but represents the  consumptive interests                                                               
of outdoorsmen, and  he provided an example.   He agreed trapping                                                               
can be  the purview  of BOG, but  it is also  the purview  of the                                                               
legislature.  The bill requires  that in a described public trail                                                               
and related places, one cannot have a  trap that can kill a dog -                                                               
he  acknowledged that  there are  traps  that don't  kill dogs  -                                                               
within  200 feet.     Often  when dogs  are trapped,  there is  a                                                               
violation of leash  laws; however, leash laws  vary by geography,                                                               
in relation  to electronic  collars, and  for working  animals in                                                               
training.  Further,  the punishment for the violation  of a lease                                                               
law is not the dog's death.                                                                                                     
1:23:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  recalled  relevant  case  law  and  gave  an                                                               
example.    He  cautioned  the issue  is  getting  more  intense,                                                               
particularly in Mat-Su.  The bill  requires traps to be moved off                                                               
of public  trails for  200 feet, and  he suggested  a forthcoming                                                               
amendment  would  include  school  property.   He  concluded  the                                                               
trapping community  will continue to  use 99 plus percent  of the                                                               
opportunity available and the public would be better protected.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked whether  identification tags have ever                                                               
been required on traps  - in a manner similar to  crab pots - and                                                               
suggested that ADF&G could impose regulations to do so.                                                                         
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON expressed  his belief  ADF&G holds  statutory                                                               
authority,   but   BOG   "has  currently   stripped   away   that                                                               
requirement."   Opponents  to the  bill may  believe dog  walkers                                                               
would  deliberately  move  a  trap  so  it  merits  sanction,  or                                                               
disgruntled dog owners would call ADF&G and harass trappers.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  suggested  ordinances  addressing  this                                                               
issue are better  suited at a local, borough,  or municipal level                                                               
rather than  statewide legislation which would  have implications                                                               
for all districts.                                                                                                              
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON agreed  the  language of  the  bill could  be                                                               
improved to satisfy both interests.   In the Fairbanks North Star                                                               
Borough, traps  must be marked, but  the trails would have  to be                                                               
developed and  improved by government.   He opined  that boroughs                                                               
have not  been responsive  to media coverage  on this  issue, and                                                               
BOG will  not seriously consider  a non-consumptive concern.   He                                                               
agreed  trapping is  part of  the state's  heritage and  culture;                                                               
however, people need a remedy.                                                                                                  
1:31:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  asked to review [Alaska  Statutes] Title                                                               
29 related to  homerule, first class, and  second class municipal                                                               
governments  to better  understand  municipalities' abilities  to                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  referred to  legal memoranda supplied  by the                                                               
Mat-Su  Borough   attorney  stating  that  the   borough  has  no                                                               
authority  to issue  regulations  in this  regard [memoranda  not                                                               
provided].   He offered to  provide an  analysis on the  rules in                                                               
Anchorage,  and   the  differences  between   municipalities  and                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  noted "the  Mat-Su Borough did  have this                                                               
before them  and voted.   It  did not pass."   She  expressed her                                                               
concern about  seeking a statewide  solution to a  local problem;                                                               
populated  areas  located near  wilderness  invite  this type  of                                                               
conflict.    Her personal  experience  is  the identification  of                                                               
traps is  a separate  issue, and  also one  that would  require a                                                               
fiscal note to implement a registry system.                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  said there may be  a way to fashion  the bill                                                               
to satisfy  different types of areas  in the state.   Regarding a                                                               
fiscal note, the  bill requires the tags to  be self-funded, thus                                                               
a small fee would fund the resources needed by ADF&G.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  directed attention  to [page 2,  lines 6                                                               
through 10] Section  2, paragraph 1, identifies  within "200 feet                                                               
[of] a  developed or  improved campsite."   He pointed  out there                                                               
are registered  guides who hold  Department of  Natural Resources                                                               
(DNR)  permits  for  developed campsites  well  beyond  the  road                                                               
system that  would be covered  by this definition.   Also, scenic                                                               
sites  in Alaska  are  too  numerous to  list  and therefore  the                                                               
definition is too broad.                                                                                                        
1:38:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON explained  that scenic  sites are  previously                                                               
defined in  law.   Regarding "off system  campsites of  a guide,"                                                               
the bill is  focused on developed and  improved public facilities                                                               
such as  accessible sites near  Russian Creek or  Cooper Landing,                                                               
which are  completely open to  trapping.  In further  response to                                                               
Representative  Talerico,   he  agreed   that  the   language  as                                                               
currently written may not be accurate.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE    PARISH   asked    what   proportion    of   the                                                               
aforementioned incidents involved leg-hold traps.                                                                               
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON responded  the majority  are leg-hold,  foot-                                                               
hold, conibear,  and snare traps that  are not box traps  to keep                                                               
the  animal  alive.   Some  are  crushing  devices.   In  further                                                               
response to Representative Parish, he  said none of the incidents                                                               
involved noose traps.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH expressed his  concern with the "urban/rural                                                               
divide" in which  those living in urban areas seek  to change the                                                               
way  others live  in rural  Alaska.   He  suggested working  with                                                               
ADF&G to identify traps, and said  this is not a concern in South                                                               
Anchorage.  Representative Birch  cautioned the bill would affect                                                               
a subsistence lifestyle in rural parts of the state.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  observed South Anchorage abuts  Chugach State                                                               
Park,  where  the  issue  has  surfaced.    He  acknowledged  the                                                               
difficulty defining  subsistence, as  the Mat-Su and  Kenai areas                                                               
are  both urban  and rural.   Research  into this  issue revealed                                                               
that 10  years ago, and perhaps  still, this issue was  seen as a                                                               
blemish on good, ethical, trapping,  and he said a trapping group                                                               
in Delta Junction is supportive of portions of the bill.                                                                        
1:43:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  noted poor behavior is  widespread and said                                                               
he is interested in hearing from all viewpoints.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  stated subsistence trapping is  a way of                                                               
life in  his, and  other, prime trapping  areas and  he cautioned                                                               
against adding  an extra  burden for trappers  at licensing.   He                                                               
expressed his  interest in hearing  testimony from BOG as  it has                                                               
been working on this issue for about 10 years.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON spoke of  her personal experience trapping                                                               
and said  that "a  trap being set  so close to  a trail,  it goes                                                               
against  everything I  was  ever taught  about  ... trapping  and                                                               
things like  that."  She  noted identification tags on  traps can                                                               
be  difficult and  requested further  information on  the actions                                                               
taken  by   the  Mat-Su  Borough,   the  powers  held   by  local                                                               
government, and pertinent testimony from ADF&G.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  inquired  as to  whether  trapping  and                                                               
affected sportsman's  groups have offered, or  been approached to                                                               
offer, solutions.                                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  related one  question by trappers  is whether                                                               
new trails  made to access traps  would be included in  the scope                                                               
of the bill.  The answer is  no, because the new trails would not                                                               
be state or  locally maintained public trails.   In Kenai, groups                                                               
have  tried to  resolve the  issue by  self-policing and  through                                                               
signage but the compromise failed,  therefore, the dog owner user                                                               
group's  view  is  a  law   is  needed  because  the  problem  is                                                               
1:51:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER said  he is  searching for  consensus on                                                               
how to write a law amongst all of the user groups.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE suggested  rather than  an attempt  at a                                                               
statewide  resolution, ADF&G  use  game management  units to  act                                                               
specifically   with  municipalities   and   boroughs  for   local                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON opined 10 or 15  years ago, ADF&G and BOG were                                                               
more sympathetic to the "non-consumptive side."                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  pointed out  that people steal  traps and                                                               
game.    She  inquired  as  to  how  ADF&G  would  implement  the                                                               
identification process and determine ownership.                                                                                 
1:54:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR opened invited testimony on HB 40.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR returned the gavel to Co-Chair Josephson.                                                                         
1:55:14 PM                                                                                                                    
KEN GREEN informed  the committee he is involved  in the trapping                                                               
issue because  his dogs were  caught in traps  on a beach  near a                                                               
town.   The issue will take  a lot of detailed  work to progress.                                                               
Speaking  from  his  personal  experience,  the  Alaska  Trappers                                                               
Association (ATA)  and BOG  have sidestepped  the issue  for many                                                               
years.  Mr.  Green submitted proposals to BOG with  the intent to                                                               
narrow  the scope  and  reach a  compromise  with local  trapping                                                               
interests;  however, his  proposal was  not heard.   He  restated                                                               
there is  no cooperation from  ATA and during  multiple meetings,                                                               
BOG would  not hear proposals,  including discussion  about using                                                               
smaller traps close to town.   Further, if a proposal is taken to                                                               
BOG  it  can  be  rejected   without  debate  or  work  toward  a                                                               
compromise, and  he provided  an example.   Mr. Green  opined the                                                               
only  approach to  solve the  problems is  HB 40.   He  cautioned                                                               
there  will  be more  numerous  and  egregious conflicts  in  the                                                               
future and the two opposing sides must be brought together.                                                                     
2:04:25 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. GREEN, in response to  Co-Chair Josephson, said his puppy was                                                               
caught in a  trap on Waikiki Beach and he  kept the trap; another                                                               
dog was  caught in  a snare  close to town,  and another  under a                                                               
powerline.   He  then formed  a  group in  Cooper Landing  called                                                               
Footloose  Alaskans that  proposed  to BOG  250-foot setbacks  on                                                               
certain trails,  which encompassed  a large area.   As  a result,                                                               
signage was  placed informing users trapping  was not recommended                                                               
in certain areas.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH asked  whether the  witness has  approached                                                               
local government to identify areas.                                                                                             
MR. GREEN said he went to  a [Kenai Peninsula] Borough meeting in                                                               
Soldotna,  where members  were unaware  of the  problem, and  was                                                               
told there was nothing they could do.                                                                                           
2:12:19 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNN  MITCHELL,  President,  Alaska  Safe  Trails,  informed  the                                                               
committee  her  organization  has  been  advocating  for  changes                                                               
regarding trapping in  highly populated areas and  along high use                                                               
recreational trails  for about  four years.   In response  to Co-                                                               
Chair Josephson,  she said  the Mat-Su  Borough Assembly  has not                                                               
made a decision on traps near  trails at this time.  Although her                                                               
organization  presented petitions  to the  assembly approximately                                                               
one year ago  related to two popular trails  and school property,                                                               
it  has  made  no  presentation  to the  assembly.    In  further                                                               
response to Co-Chair Josephson, she  said three of seven assembly                                                               
members have  expressed sympathy to her  organization's position.                                                               
Ms. Mitchell opined  the issue must be solved  legislatively on a                                                               
state level because incidents continue  to be reported that local                                                               
recreational trails are  being used as trap  lines, against ADF&G                                                               
guidelines.  She  said residents are unaware of  the frequency of                                                               
these  incidents; in  fact,  the Mat-Su  animal  shelter has  two                                                               
spaces for animals in traps.   Due to the increase in population,                                                               
trail use has increased, as  have encounters.  Unethical trappers                                                               
are  "lazy"  and incidents  are  happening  throughout the  state                                                               
along trails that  are established for recreational  uses such as                                                               
hiking and  skiing.  Ms. Mitchell  gave an example.   She advised                                                               
0.4  percent  of  the  state's  population  is  controlling  99.6                                                               
percent  of  the use  of  public  land  in  winter.   A  brochure                                                               
distributed  by ADF&G  advises residents  to leave  an area  if a                                                               
trap  line  is  encountered;  in   fact,  hikers  with  pets  are                                                               
encouraged  to  pack rope,  wire,  zip-ties  and other  equipment                                                               
necessary to save a dog or a person from a trap.                                                                                
2:20:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR    JOSEPHSON   added    that   ADF&G    recommends   the                                                               
aforementioned precautions and  teaches pet owners how  to free a                                                               
pet from a trap.                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL opined  most pet owners would not be  able to save a                                                               
pet from a conibear trap or a snare.   She said a leash law is no                                                               
defense  because  there  is  no statewide  leash  law,  with  the                                                               
exception of some  areas of state parks;  in addition, electronic                                                               
collars  are legal.   Further,  search and  rescue, hunting,  and                                                               
sled dogs are exceptions to a leash law and have been trapped.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON   noted  the  bill  may   have  financial                                                               
implications  and  asked  "Is  anyone   really  making  a  living                                                               
trapping  by  the trails  in  the  valley  or  is it  just  hobby                                                               
MS. MITCHELL said the code  of ethics [document not provided] for                                                               
trapping directs  that trapping  should be concentrated  in areas                                                               
where animals  are overabundant for  the supporting  habitat, and                                                               
opined  this  is  not  applicable   to  an  urban  trail  system.                                                               
Speaking from  her experience as  a certified  public accountant,                                                               
she said  she lost clients  after forming Alaska Safe  Trails and                                                               
concluded  the  former clients  are  trappers  who do  not  claim                                                               
income thus  trapping is  not for  subsistence purposes  in urban                                                               
areas.  In  the last 19 years, BOG has  received 88 proposals for                                                               
setbacks on trails and none have passed.                                                                                        
2:28:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH said  he has  a  license to  trap which  he                                                               
keeps  as an  option.    His concern  is  the  initiative may  be                                                               
directed at  eliminating trapping; in addition,  highly populated                                                               
areas have a  form of local governance that is  attuned to issues                                                               
within its community.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  TARR  questioned   whether  pertinent  requirements  on                                                               
federal public land are effective.                                                                                              
MS. MITCHELL was unaware of requirements on federal public land.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER inquired  as to the stance  of the Mat-Su                                                               
Borough Assembly.                                                                                                               
MS.  MITCHELL  said  the Alaska  Trappers  Association  (ATA)  in                                                               
Fairbanks intervenes  in local affairs  and read from  a document                                                               
[document not provided].                                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON, in response  to Representative Rauscher, said                                                               
he has been  told the Mat-Su Borough could not  act, but only the                                                               
state could intervene, and offered  to research [Alaska Statutes]                                                               
Title 29.                                                                                                                       
2:34:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  read  from  a  document  found  in  the                                                               
committee packet dated 1/8/17, as follows:                                                                                      
     As   suburbia  replaces   frontier,  Mat-Su   considers                                                                    
     restricting trapping  for the  first time  ... numerous                                                                    
     Alaska towns  and cities  already restrict  trapping in                                                                    
     some  way including  Anchorage, Valdez,  Fairbanks, and                                                                    
     Juneau, but efforts to  address trail conflicts outside                                                                    
     city limits have run into opposition around the state.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  suggested other  viewpoints are  to make                                                               
local control the option.                                                                                                       
MS.   MITCHELL   pointed   out  statewide   legislation   creates                                                               
uniformity.   For example,  the state took  the step  to consider                                                               
the welfare of pets during a divorce.                                                                                           
2:37:13 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT O'BRIEN  informed the committee  she has lived in  Alaska for                                                               
almost 50 years in Hoonah and  Juneau.  Last year she presented a                                                               
proposal  to BOG  which was  rejected.   The proposal  included a                                                               
200-foot setback [near trails] similar  to the bill.  Ms. O'Brien                                                               
referred to  the March 2016,  BOG meeting at which  Juneau's rule                                                               
for trapping  tags was removed  and at  which Proposal 78  by the                                                               
Alaska  Trappers Association  was passed.   Proposal  78 proposed                                                               
removal of all requirements for  identification tags on traps and                                                               
snares, and  a statement of  legislative intent in  opposition to                                                               
future   implementation  of   any   regulations  requiring   trap                                                               
identification tags.                                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON asked  for clarification  that  Juneau had  a                                                               
local policy which  a statewide commission overrode,  and also on                                                               
the legislative statement.                                                                                                      
MS. O'BRIEN  said Proposal 78  read in part as  follows [document                                                               
not provided]:                                                                                                                  
    Legislative    intent   in    opposition   to    future                                                                     
      implementation of any regulation that would require                                                                       
     trap ID tags.                                                                                                              
MS. O'BRIEN spoke in support of  CSHB 40 and cautioned there will                                                               
be a  lot of  opposition from  trappers.   She read  further from                                                               
Proposal 78 related  to Section 1 of the bill,  and stated during                                                               
a  meeting  of  the  local  advisory  committee  to  BOG  a  crab                                                               
fisherman  noted crab  pots are  required to  have identification                                                               
(ID) tags.   She  recalled recently in  Juneau traps  were placed                                                               
near buildings in  Auke Bay but because there was  an ID tag, the                                                               
trapper was caught,  and she expressed her support of  ID tags on                                                               
traps.   Finally,  she opined  trappers are  concerned about  the                                                               
potential for  uneven enforcement, which  is a concern  about all                                                               
laws and  regulations.   Turning to Section  2, Ms.  O'Brien said                                                               
Section  2 of  the  bill  is well-crafted  and  directs ADF&G  to                                                               
further  identify areas  where  trapping is  prohibited.   As  an                                                               
aside, she  advised 200  feet is  about 40  paces for  an average                                                               
person.   She  expressed her  support for  Section 2,  subsection                                                               
(c),  and related  a  personal experience  of  dogs attracted  to                                                               
baited  traps.    She  closed, noting  that  the  ADF&G  Trapping                                                               
Regulations booklet  [document not provided] advises  trappers to                                                               
minimize conflict  between trappers  and other users  by avoiding                                                               
high  recreational  use areas;  however,  the  trappers' code  of                                                               
ethics  [document   not  provided]   does  not  contain   a  like                                                               
2:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH inquired whether  the use of radio frequency                                                               
(RF) tags,  which allow remote  monitoring, has  been considered.                                                               
He expressed his support for tagging traps.                                                                                     
MS.  O'BRIEN agreed  RF  tags  are a  great  idea,  but are  very                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON questioned whether  a trapper would mark a                                                               
certain  number on  each trap,  or if  individual traps  would be                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON opined a tag  would be purchased for each trap                                                               
which would correlate with the owner of the trap.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  cautioned purchasing  an ID tag  for each                                                               
trap would be more complicated.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  expressed his  interest in  learning how                                                               
Anchorage and other cities accomplished  tagging.  He also sought                                                               
testimony from BOG on its delay or conclusions in this matter.                                                                  
2:47:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  HB 40  was held  over with  public                                                               
testimony open.                                                                                                                 
               HB   6-JONESVILLE PUBLIC USE AREA                                                                            
2:48:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that the  final order  of business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL NO.  6, "An Act establishing  the Jonesville                                                               
Public Use Area."                                                                                                               
2:48:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT LAPIENE,  President, Mat-Su  Trails Council  Inc., informed                                                               
the committee  the Mat-Su  Trails Council  is a  nonprofit trails                                                               
organization  that has  been  in existence  for  about 20  years.                                                               
Mat-Su  Trails Council  has  a  long history  in  the Eska  area,                                                               
assisting in  the development  of multi-use  trails, construction                                                               
of  a  hiking  trail,  rebuilding  sections  of  the  all-terrain                                                               
vehicle (ATV) trail  and signage for multiple use:   hiking, ATV,                                                               
and off-road  vehicles.  The  council also brushed  trail between                                                               
Sutton and Buffalo  Mine Road.  He provided  brief information on                                                               
his  personal  experience.   Mr.  Lapiene  recalled the  original                                                               
intent  of the  [Jonesville/Slipper Lake  Action Committee]  that                                                               
proposed  this  legislation was  to  address  public safety  from                                                               
uncontrolled shooting.  Attendees  from the Alaska State Troopers                                                               
(AST) and  the Division of  Mining, Land & Water,  DNR, explained                                                               
AST is  "spread thin"  and DNR has  no enforcement  authority for                                                               
activities in  the area.     Mr. Lapiene  advised the  Knik River                                                               
Public Use  Area was  held as  an example  of a  formerly out-of-                                                               
control area  for which legislation  was passed and  a management                                                               
plan  was  created, with  a  fiscal  note, authorizing  DNR  with                                                               
specific enforcement  authority and thereby  improving recreation                                                               
and use  of the  area.   He observed the  members of  the Slipper                                                               
Lake committee  do not want  to change or restrict  activities in                                                               
the area;  furthermore, a mining  reclamation group  has invested                                                               
several  million dollars  creating campgrounds,  and the  council                                                               
has  counted  over  400  campsites  around the  lake  on  a  busy                                                               
weekend.   The  majority  of campers  are  recreating with  ATVs,                                                               
motorcycles, and other vehicles.                                                                                                
2:52:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON asked whether Mr. Lapiene supports the bill.                                                                 
MR. LAPIENE  expressed support for  HB 6 and urged  the committee                                                               
to  leave the  motorized  components of  the  bill as  originally                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  for   the  reasons  Mr.  Lapiene                                                               
opposes the forthcoming amendments.                                                                                             
[The referenced amendments were not before the committee.]                                                                      
MR. LAPIENE  referred to a  forthcoming amendment  containing the                                                               
language "on  trails designated and  constructed for  their use."                                                               
He  said there  are  10 miles  of trails  in  the Mat-Su  Borough                                                               
constructed  for ATV  use; the  existing trails  are from  legacy                                                               
mining, forestry,  and trapping, and  it is unlikely  trails will                                                               
be constructed specifically  for motorized use.   He cautioned an                                                               
additional  forthcoming  amendment  containing the  language  "to                                                               
correct existing damage  and minimize future" may  deny access or                                                               
limit  the  opportunity  to  create new  trails  because  of  the                                                               
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON surmised  there is  no money  to enforce  the                                                               
proposed   new   management   plan,   thus   the   amendment   is                                                               
MR. LAPIENE  warned if the  language is  included in the  bill it                                                               
would be  law, and could  be interpreted  as such.   He suggested                                                               
the  aforementioned  language  would  be more  appropriate  in  a                                                               
management plan.                                                                                                                
2:56:51 PM                                                                                                                    
LYNNE WOODS urged support for HB  6 because members of the Sutton                                                               
community will benefit from the  legislation as will all users of                                                               
the  public lands  in the  Jonesville area.   She  said she  is a                                                               
lifelong  resident  who  lives   on  the  Jonesville  Mine  Road.                                                               
Creating a public use area  will provide DNR, the Mat-Su Borough,                                                               
and the  community a tool  to effectively  manage the area.   She                                                               
related  her experience  at the  time the  Knik River  Public Use                                                               
Area  was  created, which  was  in  response  to "the  very  same                                                               
concerns."  Ms. Woods stated  the legislation is needed and urged                                                               
for its passage.  She expressed regret at the lack of funding.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked  Ms. Woods to explain  why a public                                                               
use area designation is needed to accomplish her stated goal.                                                                   
MS.  WOODS explained  with the  authority  of a  public use  area                                                               
[designation],  a  management  plan  can  be  established.    She                                                               
recalled  in the  past access  to various  recreation areas  have                                                               
been realized  after DNR was  granted a  public use area  and has                                                               
the tools to proceed with the help of the Mat-Su Borough.                                                                       
3:02:04 PM                                                                                                                    
[CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  HB 6  was held  over with  public                                                               
testimony open.]                                                                                                                
3:03:11 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:02 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB040 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
HB 40 support.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
HB040 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
HB040 Summary of changes.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
HB040 Supporting Documents 1.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
HB040 CS ver U.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
hb040 fiscal note 2 vers D.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
hb040 fiscal note 3 vers D.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
hb040 fiscal note 1 vers D.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40
HB 006 Josephson Amendment 1.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 006 Josephson Amendment 3.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 006 Josephson Amendment 2.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 006 Josephson Amendment 4.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 006 Josephson Amendment 5.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 006 Rauscher Amendment 1.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 006 Rauscher Amendment 2.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 006 Rauscher amendment 3.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
hb040 fiscal note 4 vers U.pdf HRES 2/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 40