Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/22/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:03:26 PM Start
01:04:12 PM HB134
03:07:13 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 105 DENALI WOLF SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREA TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 134 BOARD OF GAME MEMBERSHIP TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 172 INDUSTRIAL HEMP PRODUCTION LICENSES TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= HB 46 PROCURE AK FISH/AG PROD.;ALASKA GROWN TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 22, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:03 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                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Chris Tuck (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 134                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the composition of the Board of Game."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                              
"An  Act  establishing  the  Gordon  Haber  Denali  Wolf  Special                                                               
Management Area."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARING CANCELED; BILL REPORTED OUT OF COMMITTEE 3/20/17                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 172                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to the regulation and  production of industrial                                                               
hemp; relating to industrial hemp  pilot programs; providing that                                                               
industrial   hemp  is   not  included   in   the  definition   of                                                               
'marijuana'; and  clarifying that adding industrial  hemp to food                                                               
does not create an adulterated food product."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 46                                                                                        
"An  Act   relating  to  the  state   and  municipal  procurement                                                               
preferences for agricultural products  harvested in the state and                                                               
fisheries products harvested or  processed in the state; relating                                                               
to merchandise sold and certain  fees charged or collected by the                                                               
Department of  Natural Resources; and providing  for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 134                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BOARD OF GAME MEMBERSHIP                                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/20/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/17       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
03/20/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/20/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/20/17       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/22/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
VIC VAN BALLENBERGHE                                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LYNN MITCHELL, Spokesperson                                                                                                     
Alaska Safe Trails                                                                                                              
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
EDWARD SCHMITT, President                                                                                                       
Alaska Wildlife Alliance (AWA)                                                                                                  
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
RON SOMERVILLE, Spokesperson                                                                                                    
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 134.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MARK LUTRELL                                                                                                                    
Seward, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KNEELAND TAYLOR                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT ARCHIBALD                                                                                                                
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JESSE ROSS                                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 134.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KEN GREEN                                                                                                                       
Cooper Landing, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NANCY HILLSTRAND, Spokesperson                                                                                                  
Coal Point Trading Company                                                                                                      
Kachemak, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ROBERTA HIGHLAND, Spokesperson                                                                                                  
Kachemak Bay Conservation Society                                                                                               
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
AL BARRETTE                                                                                                                     
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 134.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JAMES KOWALSKY, Spokesperson                                                                                                    
Alaskans for Wildlife                                                                                                           
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NANCY BALE                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SYLVIA PANZARELLA                                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CONNIE BRANDEL, Staff and Board Member                                                                                          
Alaska Wildlife Alliance (AWA)                                                                                                  
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
NANCY KUHN                                                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 134.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:03:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GERAN   TARR  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:03 p.m.   Representatives Tarr,                                                               
Josephson,  Parish,  Birch,   Johnson,  Rauscher,  Westlake,  and                                                               
Drummond were present at the call to order.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                HB 134-BOARD OF GAME MEMBERSHIP                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:04:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR announced that the  only order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 134 "An  Act relating  to the composition  of the                                                               
Board of Game."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON, prime  sponsor of  HB 134,  reminded members                                                               
that two  days ago he  introduced the  bill and had  begun taking                                                               
questions from the committee members.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:05:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  stated that the  Board of Game  (BOG) is                                                               
comprised of  people looking at  hunting regulations and  as such                                                               
is a consumptive use board.  He asked why putting non-                                                                          
consumptive users on the board would be wanted.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON allowed that this  is a fair question and said                                                               
the committee  will be hearing  testimony from an  individual who                                                               
was on  the Board of  Game over  a dozen years  ago.  He  said he                                                               
believes  this person  will testify  that the  methods and  means                                                               
practices that  have been allowed  by the contemporary  board are                                                               
practices that  previous boards would have  found unacceptable in                                                               
terms  of the  [North  American Model  of Wildlife  Conservation]                                                               
practices, fair  chase, and fair  hunt.  While the  current Board                                                               
of  Game is  not monolithic  and has  some diversity  of opinion,                                                               
there is  no way for  the occasional non-consumptive voice  to be                                                               
heard.   He  said  he  would entertain  a  term  other than  non-                                                               
consumptive  if  an  acceptable   one  could  be  found,  because                                                               
probably neither the non-consumptive  seat nor tourism seat would                                                               
oppose traditional hunts  in terms of, for example,  the yield of                                                               
caribou north of the Brooks Range.   The role of the seats is not                                                               
designed to be anti-hunting, but  rather a role that is sensitive                                                               
to  what  some  believe  are wildlife  practices  aimed  only  at                                                               
abundance, not diversity of species  and not the economics of the                                                               
tourism  industry.   In that  respect,  the non-consumptive  seat                                                               
would  frequently vote  in the  affirmative on  traditional hunts                                                               
that are open and voice concerns  only when there are issues like                                                               
the Denali wolf  issue heard by the committee  earlier this week,                                                               
as well as comparable issues where there are sensitivities.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:08:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  recalled that  during the  bill's previous                                                               
hearing  there was  repeated assertion  that the  [proposed] non-                                                               
consumptive  seat  or  the  tourism  seat  would  be  opposed  to                                                               
hunting.  He  said he takes issue with that  because he hunts and                                                               
fishes and has spent years  in tourism.  Conceivably, someone who                                                               
is also a subsistence hunter, or  a guide for non-residents, or a                                                               
wildlife photographer  like Representative Rauscher  could occupy                                                               
the  tourism seat.   There  is  not a  definite implication  from                                                               
someone  being primarily  a non-consumptive  user  to the  person                                                               
being opposed to any form of hunting.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON commented that if  this were to become law and                                                               
an occupant  of the  seats spoke  ill of the  demise of  any fur-                                                               
bearing animal,  he would find  it odd because that  is certainly                                                               
not what this is about.   This is about sensitivity to situations                                                               
where interests  clash and  there are  places where  there aren't                                                               
those sensitivities.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:11:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH said  he doesn't think this is  a good idea.                                                               
He  offered  his  understanding   that  currently  there  are  no                                                               
designated seats on the Board of  Game or the Board of Fisheries.                                                               
He  inquired whether  this would  start  going down  the road  to                                                               
suddenly designating board seats.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  replied that  anything  is  possible and  he                                                               
cannot speak to what other bills  could be filed.  There are over                                                               
100 boards  and commissions, he  noted, and more typical  is that                                                               
there  is a  designation rather  than not.   His  frustration has                                                               
been with the  lack of representation of visitors  to Alaska and,                                                               
more importantly,  of the hundreds  of thousands of  Alaskans who                                                               
have  thrown  up their  hands  and  don't  attend Board  of  Game                                                               
meetings because they've  basically said that this  isn't a model                                                               
that represents them  and allows them to be heard.   The enabling                                                               
act creating the  Board of Fisheries and Board of  Game says that                                                               
the  appointment  should  be  made   with  a  view  of  providing                                                               
diversity  of interest  and  points of  view  in the  membership.                                                               
While there are points of  view, there isn't sufficient diversity                                                               
on the board.   Of concern to  him is that when a  person finds a                                                               
practice offensive, the  person is reluctant to say  so given the                                                               
climate and culture  of the Board of Game and  the person feeling                                                               
marginalized.   He said, "I also  can't really see the  harm that                                                               
would be caused by having the  vast majority of the board members                                                               
continue to ostensibly  support the [methods and]  means ... that                                                               
they wish to."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:14:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  said harm  would  come  from this  because                                                               
there  is the  potential of  wedging somebody  into the  Board of                                                               
Game who looks  at viewing wildlife as a use.   A non-consumptive                                                               
use like wildlife  viewing is not a use, he  stated.  Anybody can                                                               
walk down the  street just about anywhere and view  wildlife.  He                                                               
said  his  understanding  is  that  the  Board  of  Game  relates                                                               
primarily to  the use, and that  would be the consumptive  use of                                                               
that resource, in  a manner that preserves that  resource for the                                                               
good of  the public.  It  doesn't limit viewing and  therefore he                                                               
doesn't see  this as  being consistent with  the Board  of Game's                                                               
marching orders.  He requested the sponsor to respond.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON allowed that  many people share Representative                                                               
Birch's view.   But, he continued, many people do  not share that                                                               
view and  think that the  viewing of wildlife  is a use,  that it                                                               
brings the state a tremendous amount  of money, and that there is                                                               
a value  there.   While Representative  Birch's position  is well                                                               
founded in some  respects, it illustrates the need  for this seat                                                               
or seats, he argued.  Seven members  of the board see it the same                                                               
way as  described by  Representative Birch;  but, with  a growing                                                               
population and  the increased intimate connection  between people                                                               
and  nature  resulting from  that  population  growth, there  are                                                               
people who feel  absolutely marginalized.  The Board  of Game has                                                               
much expertise,  but many Alaskans  are horrified by some  of the                                                               
things that  the board  has approved.   For  example, the  use of                                                               
artificial lights  to wake up bears  in their dens and  kill them                                                               
is a  relatively new  practice designed  to facilitate  the hunt,                                                               
but he thinks that most Alaskans  find it outrageous and there is                                                               
no one on the board to say so.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  said he  has used  artificial light  on the                                                               
Chatanika River  to spear whitefish in  the dark.  Whether  it is                                                               
light for  spearfishing or whatever,  he said, he sees  the Board                                                               
of  Game more  focused and  directed on  the responsible  use and                                                               
application of  statute in a  manner that preserves  and protects                                                               
the state's wildlife resources in  perpetuity.  While many people                                                               
would  like to  fence off  the whole  state and  preserve it  for                                                               
tourists, it must be ensured that  the people living in the state                                                               
are accommodated and still have wildlife viewing opportunities.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:18:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  inquired as to  how many seats  the bill                                                               
would create.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON replied it would  create two seats.  Thus, the                                                               
Board  of Game  would have  five seats  representing hunters  and                                                               
trappers,  one  seat  designated  for  representing  the  tourism                                                               
industry, and one seat designated  for a non-consumptive use such                                                               
as tourism, wildlife viewing, or scientific study.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER stated  that the  bill would  change the                                                               
demographics  of qualifications  for 33.5  percent of  the board,                                                               
which would  be a big  influence, not just  a voice.   He related                                                               
that as a  photographer he used to  go to Homer where  a lady fed                                                               
the eagles  and he would  photograph them.   This feeding  of the                                                               
eagles  created a  big hullabaloo  and  after a  while this  lady                                                               
became the  only person  left in  the state  that could  do that.                                                               
Tourists  from  all  over  the  world began  coming  to  see  and                                                               
photograph  these eagles.    Attracted by  the  hundreds to  this                                                               
small  feeding area,  the eagles  would fight  over the  food and                                                               
injure  each  other.    He   said  while  photographers  captured                                                               
excellent  shots  of  the  birds killing  each  other,  this  was                                                               
misguided  because of  tourism,  photography,  and other  reasons                                                               
that were  wrong.  He opined  that when tourism is  thought about                                                               
in terms of  the money that it  will bring into the  state, it is                                                               
being done  for all  the wrong  reasons.   The animals  are being                                                               
used and are not being helped,  and the bill would start this all                                                               
over again.   The bill would  not utilize the correct  reason for                                                               
the board.  The board was put  there because it would like to see                                                               
something  continue in  a  safe  way and  that  will provide  for                                                               
people and for future Alaskans;  therefore, the bill is headed in                                                               
the wrong direction.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON responded  that he  doesn't believe  that the                                                               
Board of Game  wants to change Alaska culture such  that there is                                                               
nothing  left to  consume.   However, he  continued, he  has real                                                               
concern about  the board's treatment  of prey  populations, which                                                               
in the  last dozen years  are a sea change  from what used  to be                                                               
allowed.   Practices allowed now  would have been  thought beyond                                                               
the pale just 10 or 15 years ago.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:24:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  offered her belief that  viewing animals                                                               
in their environment  is an appropriate use.   She concurred with                                                               
the sponsor that the Board of  Game does need to consider viewing                                                               
as a  use even though it  doesn't consume the animals.   She does                                                               
not see  where two out of  seven people will be  a presiding vote                                                               
on  almost any  issue,  it  just introduces  the  concept to  the                                                               
conversation and  will make for  much more spirited debate.   She                                                               
surmised that  all committee members  have had wildlife  on their                                                               
property and  said that while  she doesn't want  tourists viewing                                                               
wildlife in  her backyard, she does  want tourists to be  able to                                                               
see the things  that Alaskans have the privilege  of seeing every                                                               
day.  She expressed her support for the bill.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON noted  that under  the bill  it would  be two                                                               
voices out  of seven.   Often those two  voices would vote  for a                                                               
prescribed hunt, he said, and  therefore it would not necessarily                                                               
be a series of five votes to two.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:26:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  noted that these  statutes were written at  a time                                                               
much different  than the more  recent boards that have  come into                                                               
play.  She  said she has long thought that  both statutes need to                                                               
be updated  with respect to  what Representative Birch  is saying                                                               
because, for  example, the  seats on the  Board of  Fisheries are                                                               
not  designated  for  commercial  or sport  or  subsistence,  yet                                                               
people will talk about it as if there  is a de facto 3, 3, and 1.                                                               
She inquired whether people talk about  the Board of Game in this                                                               
same way  as far  as how  many guides,  resident hunters,  and so                                                               
forth should be on the board.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  replied that  this is  a good  point because,                                                               
relative  to the  Board of  Fisheries, this  is going  on in  the                                                               
[capitol] building anyway.  Relative to  the Board of Game, it is                                                               
known as was evidenced in  last year's confirmation hearing, that                                                               
there is  a real  battle between groups  that want  to prioritize                                                               
above all other  things the right for residents to  hunt visa vie                                                               
the right  for big game  guides to  practice their trade  the way                                                               
they  might want  to.   There are  people who  look at  the seven                                                               
members and  say, "Well, four  of them or  five of them  see this                                                               
issue this way and so we support  them and the other two we don't                                                               
support."    So, this  is  going  on  regardless of  whether  the                                                               
statute calls for it.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:28:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee  took a  brief at-ease  while Co-Chair  Tarr passed                                                               
the gavel to Co-Chair Josephson.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:29:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON requested Mr.  Vic Van Ballenberghe to provide                                                               
his invited testimony.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
VIC VAN  BALLENBERGHE stated  he has lived  in Alaska  since 1974                                                               
and has worked  as a biologist for the Alaska  Department of Fish                                                               
and  Game (ADF&G)  and the  research  branch of  the U.S.  Forest                                                               
Service.   He  served on  the Board  of Game  three times,  being                                                               
first appointed by  Governor Sheffield and two  times by Governor                                                               
Knowles.  Over  the years he has attended numerous  Board of Game                                                               
meetings when  he wasn't  on the board  and has  testified before                                                               
the board on many issues.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  BALLENBERGHE said  that regarding HB  134, the  issue at                                                               
hand is  diversity of Board  of Game  members.  Should  they only                                                               
represent the hunting and trapping  interests or should they have                                                               
broader emphasis  with some members  representing non-consumptive                                                               
interests who experience wildlife  through photography or viewing                                                               
or hearing  but who  don't kill  the wildlife?   In  recent years                                                               
governors have  appointed, and  legislators have  confirmed, only                                                               
those  representing consumptive  users  -  hunters and  trappers.                                                               
Historically, the idea  of a more diverse Board of  Game goes all                                                               
the  way  back  to  the Hammond  Administration.    Governor  Jay                                                               
Hammond appointed Jay  Meachum to the board in  the mid-1970's to                                                               
represent  non-consumptive  users.   At  that  time there  was  a                                                               
national  effort  to value  non-consumptive  use  of wildlife  by                                                               
people who  wanted to photograph  or experience  wildlife without                                                               
hunting or trapping.  Surveys done  in the 1970's and onward have                                                               
illustrated the importance of non-consumptive uses.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN  BALLENBERGHE,  regarding   committee  discussion  at  a                                                               
previous  meeting  about how  many  people  buy hunting  licenses                                                               
compared to  how many  don't, allowed  there are  various figures                                                               
but said  whether it is  80 percent  or 60 percent,  clearly most                                                               
people in Alaska  do not buy hunting or trapping  licenses and do                                                               
not  personally  hunt  or  trap.     Many  of  those  people  are                                                               
interested  in  seeing wildlife  and  having  the Board  of  Game                                                               
promulgate  regulations   that  can   ensure  or   enhance  that.                                                               
Governors   Cowper  and   Hickel  continued   Governor  Hammond's                                                               
tradition of  appointing someone to  the board to  represent non-                                                               
hunting   interests.      Mr.  Van   Ballenberghe   offered   his                                                               
understanding  that Juneau  resident  Joel Bennett  served for  a                                                               
long  time, about  13  years.   Governor  Tony  Knowles tried  to                                                               
appoint quite  a few members to  represent non-consumptive users,                                                               
but  during  that  time  the  legislature  adopted  a  much  more                                                               
aggressive approach toward confirming  Board of Game members than                                                               
it ever had in the past.  It  had a litmus test for Board of Game                                                               
appointees as to whether they  supported wolf control and if they                                                               
didn't  their chances  of confirmation  were very  slim.   During                                                               
Governor Knowles'  final year the  legislature failed  to confirm                                                               
several of his Board of  Game appointments because it feared that                                                               
the appointees  were not  totally in  favor of  predator control.                                                               
At  one  point  the  board  had five  vacant  seats  because  the                                                               
legislature did  not vote  on those  seats and a  no vote  is the                                                               
same  as  not  confirming  an appointee.    When  Governor  Frank                                                               
Murkowski was elected in 2002 there  was a real change in that no                                                               
longer  could a  governor be  willing to  appoint members  to the                                                               
board  who were  representing  non-consumptive  uses.   Governors                                                               
Sarah Palin  and Sean Parnell  followed suit.   Even last  year a                                                               
Board  of Game  appointee was  not confirmed  by the  legislature                                                               
because  he admitted  to  having  sympathies for  non-consumptive                                                               
users; he  was deemed unfit  by the  legislature to serve  on the                                                               
board.   Currently -  through the governor  who appoints  and the                                                               
legislature  who confirms  - not  a single  member of  the seven-                                                               
member Board of  Game represents non-consumptive uses.   From the                                                               
committee's earlier  discussion, he observed that  there is still                                                               
disagreement and strong  feelings that diversity on  the board is                                                               
a  valuable thing.   However,  he continued,  many people  in the                                                               
state do  think it is  a valuable thing and  would like to  see a                                                               
Board of  Game on  which there is  some representation  for their                                                               
interest rather than no representation  and a board that has been                                                               
captured by the hunting and  trapping special interests.  But, if                                                               
it is  agreed that representing  non-consumptive interests  has a                                                               
long history and is important, the  question is whether it is now                                                               
important to mandate that by statute.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:35:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN BALLENBERGHE stated that  the Board of Game should remain                                                               
focused on hunting and trapping.   But, he added, the majority of                                                               
Alaskans who don't  hunt or trap deserve representation  too.  In                                                               
his  view,  hunters  and  trappers   should  not  have  exclusive                                                               
representation on the  board; wildlife should be  managed for the                                                               
common good,  not just the  special interest good  of consumptive                                                               
users.   Evidence of a Board  of Game process that  went awry and                                                               
that  excluded non-consumptive  interests, he  continued, is  the                                                               
"Denali [wolf] buffer issue," an  issue the committee is familiar                                                               
with through its  consideration of HB 105.  In  1992 the Board of                                                               
Game  established  a  buffer  to  protect  wolves  that  wandered                                                               
outside Denali  National Park and  Preserve ("Denali  Park") that                                                               
got  hunted and  trapped and  that affected  the ability  to view                                                               
wolves in the park.  In  2000 and 2002 the board further enhanced                                                               
boundaries of those  buffers.  In 2010 the  National Park Service                                                               
(NPS) came forward  with a proposal that would solve  some of the                                                               
problems that were still occurring  given the buffers existing at                                                               
that time.   The NPS had a very firm,  large, and convincing data                                                               
set to  make its  arguments, plus there  were other  proposals by                                                               
conservation  groups  at that  time.    A couple  hundred  people                                                               
contacted  the  board  through oral  or  written  testimony  that                                                               
supported  these proposals.   Besides  not responding  to all  of                                                               
that,  the  Board  of  Game proceeded  to  rescind  the  existing                                                               
buffers, mystifying  those people  who had  worked on  this issue                                                               
for years and who  never thought it would come to  that.  In 2017                                                               
this issue  came up  again and  again.   Despite a  National Park                                                               
Service compromise proposal that would  have left the hunting and                                                               
trapping  seasons open  for half  the  year and  closed them  the                                                               
other half,  the Board of Game  voted seven to zero  to not adopt                                                               
that or  any of the other  proposals.  In this  action, the Board                                                               
of  Game protected  the  opportunity of  about  five hunters  and                                                               
trappers to  kill wolves  and greatly  reduce the  opportunity of                                                               
hundreds  of  thousands of  park  visitors  to experience  wolves                                                               
while they  contributed hundreds of  thousands of dollars  to the                                                               
Alaska  economy.   Alaska's wildlife  offers great  potential for                                                               
residents  and visitors  alike to  experience nature  on a  grand                                                               
scale, but  the present board structure  limits this opportunity.                                                               
He urged  the committee to support  HB 134 because it  would help                                                               
rectify this issue.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. VAN  BALLENBERGHE addressed  the interaction  among committee                                                               
members regarding  whether a non-consumptive user  would be anti-                                                               
hunting  and   therefore  would   poison  the  Board   of  Game's                                                               
activities.   Some  committee members,  he said,  seem to  assume                                                               
that  a  person  representing non-consumptive  interests  on  the                                                               
board would be anti-hunting.   However, going back to the Hammond                                                               
Administration,  none  of  the  previous  nominees  appointed  to                                                               
represent non-consumptive users were  anti-hunting.  Some did not                                                               
hunt, but they did not oppose  hunting.  Those who were confirmed                                                               
voted  dozens  or  hundreds of  times  on  proposals  benefitting                                                               
hunting and  trapping.  His  own case demonstrates that  Board of                                                               
Game appointees  can wear two hats.   He started hunting  when he                                                               
was 10  years old  63 years ago.   Over those  years he  has held                                                               
hunting licenses somewhere and hunted  something in six different                                                               
states.    He  has  never  missed a  year  of  hunting  something                                                               
somewhere.  While he  is now too old to pack out  a moose, he can                                                               
pack out three  pheasants just fine and that is  the bag limit in                                                               
South Dakota where  he hunted last November.  He  said as a Board                                                               
of Game  member, he supported  hundreds of  proposals benefitting                                                               
hunters and trappers while  also supporting proposals benefitting                                                               
non-consumptive  users.   He stated  that if  HB 134  resulted in                                                               
appointees who are anti-hunting  and generally oppose consumptive                                                               
uses of wildlife,  then he would oppose the bill.   In any event,                                                               
he  said, he  has faith  that  governors would  not appoint,  and                                                               
legislators would not confirm, candidates  who oppose hunting and                                                               
trapping.   There  is no  reason to  believe that  Board of  Game                                                               
members can't wear two hats, he reiterated.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:42:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  recalled his own testimony  about there being                                                               
a change  in what is  viewed as  an acceptable practice  over the                                                               
last 12-15  years.   He requested Mr.  Van Ballenberghe  to state                                                               
his agreement or disagreement with  this statement and to provide                                                               
some examples that are of concern to him.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VAN   BALLENBERGHE  replied   that  Co-Chair   Josephson  is                                                               
referring  to some  practices  that came  about  within the  last                                                               
several years  related to reducing  bear and wolf  populations to                                                               
try  to increase  moose and  caribou populations.   One  of those                                                               
practices was the gassing of wolf  pups in their dens.  Who would                                                               
have  ever thought  20 years  ago that  this would  be seen,  but                                                               
suddenly  it  became  lawful.   Another  practice  is  the  whole                                                               
program of  aerial shooting  since the  Murkowski Administration.                                                               
About every year, over 100  private pilots have been permitted to                                                               
shoot wolves  from aircraft in  the wolf control programs.   That                                                               
followed a  couple of  decades where  the state  severely limited                                                               
aerial shooting  by private  pilots.   At one  point there  was a                                                               
land-and-shoot program where  the plane had to be  landed and the                                                               
hunter  had to  get out  to shoot  rather than  shooting directly                                                               
from the air,  but now wolves can  be shot from the  air.  Again,                                                               
this  was controversial  and  again  it was  adopted.   Also,  he                                                               
questioned,  who would  have ever  thought 20  years ago  that it                                                               
would be  legal as  a predator  control method  to trap  bears or                                                               
shoot cubs  or shoot sows with  cubs or hunt and  shoot bears the                                                               
same day  of being airborne?   Those are all practices  that were                                                               
outlawed decades ago  but have come back in  recent years because                                                               
of this overriding desire to reduce  bears and wolves in order to                                                               
benefit prey  populations.  There  are other practices,  he said,                                                               
but the aforementioned list is enough.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON requested  Ms. Lynn  Mitchell to  provide her                                                               
invited  testimony.   He  asked  Ms.  Mitchell  to speak  to  the                                                               
research  she  did and  the  spreadsheet  she prepared  [entitled                                                               
"Summary  of Non-consumptive  Proposals w/  Final Board  Actions"                                                               
and provided in the committee packet].                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
LYNN MITCHELL,  Spokesperson, Alaska Safe Trails,  explained that                                                               
she prepared the spreadsheet in  anticipation of filing a lawsuit                                                               
against  the State  of Alaska.   Per  the constitution,  wildlife                                                               
must be managed  for the benefit of all, she  said, but under the                                                               
current Board  of Game it  is very  evident that wildlife  is not                                                               
managed  for  the  benefit  of  all.   In  anticipation  of  that                                                               
lawsuit, she  was asked by the  attorney to research 19  years of                                                               
Board of  Game meetings, which  she did,  and it is  court ready.                                                               
She identified  non-consumptive user proposals or  proposals that                                                               
were  non-consumptive  in  nature   and  included  them  in  this                                                               
spreadsheet that covers all the  board's meetings from March 1998                                                               
through 2016.   However, there were many  proposals put forwarded                                                               
by hunters  who wanted areas  closed because terrain  and habitat                                                               
were being destroyed and animals  were moving out of these areas.                                                               
She did not include those  proposals because she did not identify                                                               
them as non-consumptive,  even though it could be  said that that                                                               
was non-consumptive bent.  She  relayed that all her findings are                                                               
summarized in this  spreadsheet, and she has  all the information                                                               
printed  and attached  to  each meeting  summary,  which she  has                                                               
stored in  her possession.   When she  was uncertain  whether the                                                               
user was  or was not  consumptive, she researched the  person who                                                               
submitted  the proposal.   She  remarked that  because she  deals                                                               
with  the Internal  Revenue Service  (IRS), she  knows how  to be                                                               
prepared for court cases.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MITCHELL   noted  that  she  also   pulled  some  population                                                               
statistics, with 2013 being the  most recent population statistic                                                               
that she  could find.   In  2013 the  number of  Alaska residents                                                               
over the age of 18 was 546,215  and in 2015 the number of hunting                                                               
and trapping  licenses that  she came  up with  was 97,942.   She                                                               
qualified  that   there  is   probably  duplication   within  the                                                               
statistics  for hunting  and  trapping  licenses, because  people                                                               
might  buy one  or  more  licenses and  they  are counted  twice;                                                               
therefore, she is  being extremely generous in that  she is using                                                               
an  outdated   population  figure   that  is  probably   low  and                                                               
statistics  for  hunting and  trapping  licenses  from 2015  with                                                               
probably some  duplication.  Dividing  the license figure  by the                                                               
population figure  comes up  with 18  percent.   These statistics                                                               
highlight  the question  that if  the constitution  mandates that                                                               
wildlife must  be managed  for the  benefit of  all, then  who is                                                               
really benefiting?                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL recalled  [Representative Rauscher's] statement that                                                               
tourism shouldn't  be considered  and suggested that  perhaps the                                                               
many  out-of-state   hunters  coming   to  Alaska   shouldn't  be                                                               
considered  either  and  Alaska's  wildlife  shouldn't  be  being                                                               
managed  for their  benefit.    If tourists  aren't  going to  be                                                               
considered, then her question to the  committee is:  Why are out-                                                               
of-state hunters being considered?                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:51:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON, regarding  Ms. Mitchell's  research for  the                                                               
years  1998-2016,   inquired  as   to  the  percentage   of  non-                                                               
consumptive proposals  that were  passed either in  original form                                                               
or as amended.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL answered 5 percent.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:52:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  requested Ms.  Mitchell to address  the other                                                               
spreadsheet that she referenced.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL replied  that the other spreadsheet was  for her own                                                               
information and  in it she  established categories based  on what                                                               
these  proposals  addressed.   She  explained  that this  was  "a                                                               
little more  squishy" because  so many  of these  proposals could                                                               
fall into a couple of different  categories.  She did her best to                                                               
come up  with some idea  of what the  proposals related to.   For                                                               
example, under  the category  of buffer zone  she looked  only at                                                               
the  Denali Park  buffer zone  and she  believes there  were more                                                               
proposals that  may not have  hit the meeting  summaries relating                                                               
to  that, but  she strictly  went  from meeting  summaries.   The                                                               
proposals  under   the  category   of  trapping   were  primarily                                                               
proposals  having to  do with  restricting trapping  in populated                                                               
areas.   Another category  she included  was wildlife  or habitat                                                               
preservation.   Some  of these  proposals were  from lodges  near                                                               
refuges that  wanted restrictions on hunting  activities in those                                                               
areas so the tourists they were  catering to would be able to see                                                               
the  wildlife that  they were  coming  to view.   Some  proposals                                                               
addressed the bigger issue of public safety.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:54:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[Although  not stated  on the  audio recording,  public testimony                                                               
was opened.]                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:55:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EDWARD  SCHMITT,  President,   Alaska  Wildlife  Alliance  (AWA),                                                               
testified  that the  state designed  the board  process to  allow                                                               
citizens to  give input and  guidance to their  governing bodies.                                                               
The board  process functions best  when the opinions of  all user                                                               
groups  are  heard  and  carry  some  weight.    He  opined  that                                                               
currently the  Board of Game  does not represent all  user groups                                                               
in  Alaska and  is distinctly  non-representative of  Alaskans as                                                               
the majority of Alaskans do not hunt  or trap.  The Board of Game                                                               
is currently  composed of hunters  and trappers exclusively.   He                                                               
proffered that  the state and  its citizens would be  much better                                                               
served  by allowing  the voices  of non-consumptive  users to  be                                                               
heard.  Doing  this would allow for more  balanced discussion and                                                               
better  decision  making  about   the  state's  iconic  wildlife.                                                               
Democratic institutions  work best  when well-informed  and well-                                                               
intentioned people gather to discuss  issues facing the citizens.                                                               
Presenting  multiple  points  of   view  often  leads  to  better                                                               
information  and informs  better  decision-making.   Mr.  Schmitt                                                               
said changing  the composition of  the Board  of Game would  be a                                                               
great step forward  in assuring that Alaska's  resources are best                                                               
managed for the benefit of all Alaskans.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:56:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  requested clarification  on those  who have                                                               
been invited to testify and public testimony.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON clarified  that Mr.  Schmitt's statement  was                                                               
public testimony, and that Mr.  Van Ballenberghe and Ms. Mitchell                                                               
were invited  to testify.   For the record, he  officially opened                                                               
public testimony, saying he meant to  do so prior to Mr. Schmitt.                                                               
He stated that witnesses would have two minutes to testify.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:58:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE,  Spokesperson, Alaska Outdoor Council,  stated he                                                               
is a  lifelong Alaskan, served five  years on the Board  of Game,                                                               
and worked  twenty-four years for  the Alaska Department  of Fish                                                               
and  Game (ADF&G).    He  recalled that  many  years  ago he  and                                                               
Senator [Joe]  Josephson had  this same  discussion while  he was                                                               
working  for  ADF&G.    Things  have changed  and  this  was  not                                                               
reflected in  the earlier testimony,  he maintained.   Looking at                                                               
the constitution  is important and  even though it says  that the                                                               
state's resources must be open  to common use, Article 8, Section                                                               
2,   states  that   the  legislature   shall   provide  for   the                                                               
utilization,  development,  and   conservation  of  all,  natural                                                               
resources belonging to  the state, including land  and water, for                                                               
the  maximum benefit  of its  people, not  non-residents.   While                                                               
there are  people who take  non-residents hunting or  fishing, it                                                               
needs to be kept in mind that this benefits Alaskans.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SOMERVILLE addressed  the testimony  about things  that have                                                               
happened  in the  past and  said  the legislature  would have  to                                                               
repeal  the  intensive management  model  that  it passed,  which                                                               
directs that subsistence is the  highest priority use of fish and                                                               
wildlife in the  state.  The legislature instructed  the Board of                                                               
Game to develop methods and means  by which it would increase the                                                               
subsistence use  of resources.   There are  seven members  on the                                                               
Board of  Game, and  it angers  him when  someone says  that non-                                                               
consumptive users aren't against  hunting, because hunters aren't                                                               
necessarily opposed to  viewing.  For example, he  said he enjoys                                                               
watching wildlife,  is a photographer, and  appreciates the value                                                               
of tourism.  While at ADF&G  he tried to get the tourism industry                                                               
to work towards  some system where it helped pay  its way towards                                                               
the  process  of managing  fish  and  game,  but both  times  the                                                               
industry unanimously rejected it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SOMERVILLE  said  the  Board  of  Game  is  responsible  for                                                               
balancing all these demands, but  that doesn't mean they all must                                                               
be balanced  in the same  area.  The federal  government controls                                                               
63.8  percent  of the  373  million  acres  in Alaska.    Federal                                                               
overreach is  quickly diminishing  the state's ability  to manage                                                               
wildlife on  63 percent  of the  state.   In addition,  there are                                                               
also  state parks  and refuges  amounting to  3.2 million  acres.                                                               
So, a  significant amount of  the state is set  aside exclusively                                                               
for  viewing, but  there are  no areas  that are  exclusively for                                                               
hunting.   Very few areas  are open to hunting  year-round except                                                               
for small game.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE  said he was on  the Board of Game  when the issue                                                               
of the  Stampede wolves came about.   He said the  issue disgusts                                                               
him more than  anything else, because when he  [worked for ADF&G]                                                               
and served on the "D2 Task  Force," he spent four years trying to                                                               
get the  National Park Service  (NPS) to not have  these straight                                                               
lines  running across  millions  of acres  as  this would  create                                                               
conflicts  due  to  state  management on  one  side  and  federal                                                               
management on the other.  The  NPS said there needed to be buffer                                                               
zones, so the preserves were  established specifically to provide                                                               
the buffers to  the national park systems that  were in existence                                                               
when  the   Alaska  National  Interest  Lands   Conservation  Act                                                               
(ANILCA) was  passed.   That is important  because now  [the NPS]                                                               
wants  more buffer  areas.    The reason  the  Stampede area  has                                                               
become such a controversy is because  the NPS has done nothing to                                                               
cooperate  with  the  state,  yet  the NPS  wants  the  state  to                                                               
cooperate with  it.   The NPS  will not allow  the state  to have                                                               
access into  some of the  areas in  the preserves.   He indicated                                                               
that the NPS will not  allow people to exercise their subsistence                                                               
rights,  granted  by the  federal  legislation,  in some  of  the                                                               
preserves  and park  areas.   Mr. Somerville  questioned why  the                                                               
state always  must give in  and provide  [the buffer areas].   He                                                               
opined that what happened with the  Board of Game this time was a                                                               
case  of  "gol-dangit we're  just  not  going to  continue  doing                                                               
this."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SOMERVILLE  stated that  statistics  can  be deceptive,  one                                                               
problem being that  people under age 16 are not  required to have                                                               
hunting licenses.  How many  families are dependent upon that one                                                               
hunter to  kill moose and  caribou?   Many people in  rural areas                                                               
refuse to buy a hunting license,  so this statistic is being used                                                               
against them.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE  allowed that the  controversies mentioned  by Mr.                                                               
Van Ballenberghe were bad.   He said he was on  the Board of Game                                                               
[at the  time] and wasn't  too happy  himself with some  of them,                                                               
but  the point  is that  they  were selectively  applied and  not                                                               
applied statewide.   For example, he  was kind of opposed  to the                                                               
concept  of trapping  bears  because he  thought  it would  cause                                                               
adverse reaction  [to Alaska]  from the  outside public,  but the                                                               
board went ahead  and tried it.  Bears take  a significant number                                                               
of moose  calves, more than  wolves in  many cases, so  the board                                                               
was  trying to  reduce  the black  bear population  particularly.                                                               
However,  brown bears  also  take calves.    [An ADF&G]  research                                                               
project  in Game  Management Unit  13  showed that  brown/grizzly                                                               
bears, not  wolves, were taking most  of the caribou calves.   To                                                               
abide by the intensive management  law passed by the legislature,                                                               
[game managers]  must try to  affect in some way  the populations                                                               
of brown bears and black bears.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:06:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON interpreted  Mr. Somerville's  statement that                                                               
intensive game management is tied  to subsistence as meaning that                                                               
some intensive  game management  (IGM) is  needed to  provide and                                                               
meet subsistence goals.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE replied yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON addressed Mr.  Somerville's statement about 63                                                               
percent of  the state being  federal.   He noted that  about one-                                                               
third [of Denali  National Park and Preserve] is  park, while the                                                               
rest is preserve  in which sport hunting  and subsistence hunting                                                               
take place.  He interpreted  Mr. Somerville's testimony as saying                                                               
that hunting wasn't taking place in preserves.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE clarified  he didn't mean there was  no hunting in                                                               
the preserve, but rather that  the state's management authorities                                                               
were significantly  reduced in the  preserve.  The  National Park                                                               
Service  recently passed  regulations restricting  some of  these                                                               
intensive  management practices  that  the state  has been  using                                                               
outside of the preserve.   Because these practices cannot be used                                                               
within the preserve,  the NPS is restricting  the state's ability                                                               
to manage  animals inside  of [the preserve],  which would  be of                                                               
benefit to subsistence users.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON related that  yesterday Congress passed a law,                                                               
HJR 69,  which now only  needs the president's signature.   Under                                                               
this  law,  he  said,  the federal  involvement  in  wildlife  on                                                               
federal lands would  be greatly diminished.   He inquired whether                                                               
that would be  cause for increased support  for a non-consumptive                                                               
seat [on the Board of Game].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE answered that this  resolution would only apply to                                                               
the  U.S. Fish  and Wildlife  Service;  it would  not affect  the                                                               
preserves at all.  Regarding  what is being contemplated, he said                                                               
more pressure would  be put on the state economically  as well as                                                               
socially  for issues  like  fish and  wildlife  management.   The                                                               
seven  members of  the Board  of Game  must now  more intensively                                                               
manage state and  private lands to provide for  the mandates that                                                               
the  legislature passed  to  provide for  subsistence  uses.   He                                                               
opined that  this is  very disrespectful to  the rural  people of                                                               
Alaska.   How many  people in Barrow  or other  rural communities                                                               
will be willing to  give up a seat that they've  had on the board                                                               
for a  long time?  Almost  all the board appointments  have tried                                                               
to  provide   for  a  geographic   balance,  not  a   balance  of                                                               
philosophy.     Because  of   that,  Anchorage,   Fairbanks,  and                                                               
Southeast  get  a majority  of  the  seats,  and the  others  are                                                               
reserved for rural  parts of the state.  He  asked, "Who wants to                                                               
give  up  these two  seats  on  the  seven-member board  just  to                                                               
provide for non-consumptive use advocacy?"                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:10:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  offered her  understanding that  administration of                                                               
intensive game  management practices costs hundreds  of thousands                                                               
of  dollars and  suggested that  they may  need rethinking  as to                                                               
whether the intended benefit is  being achieved.  Some people are                                                               
saying that despite the money spent  there has not been a rise in                                                               
[prey] populations, which could be  due to other factors that are                                                               
influencing [the prey populations].   She asked Mr. Somerville to                                                               
comment in  this regard given  his comments that  legislation was                                                               
passed requiring these intensive management practices.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE replied  that there is no  perfect game management                                                               
program  and   disagreed  that  intensive   management  practices                                                               
haven't  worked.   Because of  these programs,  moose populations                                                               
are up  significantly in Game Management  Unit 13, as well  as in                                                               
units 19  and 20, although in  units 19 and 20  that is partially                                                               
from good winters.   Other areas of the state  have benefitted to                                                               
some  degree,  although  Unit  16  hasn't been  as  good  as  the                                                               
department would  like.   As to  whether the  cost to  benefit is                                                               
there, he  said a lot  of state programs probably  wouldn't shine                                                               
up too  well when the  cost to benefit is  looked at.   They have                                                               
been  beneficial because  once equilibrium  has been  established                                                               
between predators and prey it can  stay that way for a long time.                                                               
The time  when it is  bad is when the  predator-prey relationship                                                               
drops down to  a predator pit situation where  the predators keep                                                               
the ungulate  population so low  that it doesn't have  any chance                                                               
of recovering.  Once out of  that, like in Unit 20, his criticism                                                               
is that hunters  aren't taking enough moose and so  the moose are                                                               
impacting that range.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:12:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  recalled the testimony that  there was a                                                               
non-consumptive seat  from Governor Hammond onward.   However, he                                                               
remarked, it seems  to be a democratic process as  to whether the                                                               
seat  is consumptive  or non-consumptive.   It  therefore puzzles                                                               
him  that  the talk  now  is  about  creating seats  rather  than                                                               
letting the  democratic rule of law  make that happen.   He asked                                                               
whether he is missing something.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SOMERVILLE responded  that he  doesn't think  Representative                                                               
Westlake is missing  something.  The problem, in  his opinion, is                                                               
that  the  designation  of  two  seats  as  non-consumptive  will                                                               
increase significantly  the controversy on  the board.   That may                                                               
be good for the people who  don't want to see predator control or                                                               
they want to see more areas  established for viewing.  If that is                                                               
the  intent,  his  recommendation  is  to  create  viewing  areas                                                               
exclusively or for  certain parts of the year.   A state park was                                                               
created  right  outside  of   Anchorage  and  people  immediately                                                               
advocated  for  closing it  to  hunting.    He was  the  regional                                                               
supervisor [at ADF&G]  at the time and ADF&G  negotiated with the                                                               
parks people  and it was  found that  the major problem  was with                                                               
after Labor Day, so it was  established to not have major hunting                                                               
until after Labor  Day.  To this  day that park is  still open to                                                               
hunting and  open to some controversial  trapping.  Consideration                                                               
should be given to all the  things that the legislature is asking                                                               
these seven board  members to do and  putting two non-consumptive                                                               
people  there   and  creating   controversy  would   be  counter-                                                               
productive.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER   requested  Mr.  Somerville   submit  a                                                               
written statement  if he has  any other  things he would  like to                                                               
tell the committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK LUTRELL  thanked the  committee for  considering HB  134 and                                                               
said that having some non-consumptive  users on the Board of Game                                                               
would help  to solve  the board's  present problem  of unbalanced                                                               
representation.   Currently the  board is composed exclusively of                                                               
hunters, guides, and trappers; none  of them shoot with a camera.                                                               
Even the name of the board is a  clue as to which way the members                                                               
are going  to go.  Renaming  it the Board of  Wildlife would take                                                               
it  from that  approach rather  than assuming  right off  the bat                                                               
that the animals  are there to be  killed.  The Board  of Game is                                                               
so  deaf to  non-consumptive  users  that there  is  no point  in                                                               
offering proposals  anymore.  Ms. Mitchell's  statement that only                                                               
5 percent of such proposals  get accepted underscores this point.                                                               
Non-consumptive uses are not represented  and instead the four or                                                               
five trappers on  Stampede Trail get all the wolves  there at the                                                               
expense of  all the  visitors in  the tourism  industry.   In the                                                               
"Yukon-Charley" 40 wolves have been  killed in the last few weeks                                                               
and  619  wolves have  been  killed  there  since  2005.   It  is                                                               
certainly consumptive use and it  represents the kind of attitude                                                               
that the Board  of Game has.  Non-consumptive users  like him are                                                               
shut out  of this.   He said  he is dismayed  with Representative                                                               
Birch's extreme position  that the proposed actions  under HB 134                                                               
would result  in fencing  off the whole  state as  such hyperbole                                                               
skews the  discussion.  He  stated his  support for the  bill and                                                               
everything said by Mr. Van Ballenberghe.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:19:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KNEELAND TAYLOR  testified he  has lived in  Alaska for  42 years                                                               
and has been a hunter, although  he doesn't hunt anymore.  He has                                                               
been involved  in wildlife issues  for 20 years,  including three                                                               
Board of  Game subcommittees.  He  has applied for a  position on                                                               
the Board  of Game.   If  appointed he  would probably  have very                                                               
little substantive  impact given  he'd be  one non-hunter  out of                                                               
seven members.  However, he  could play an important and positive                                                               
role because one non-hunter/non-trapper  on the board would bring                                                               
out a  lot of  other citizens  to testify.   He has  attended the                                                               
board's  meetings  for  years  and   the  extent  to  which  non-                                                               
consumptive  users do  not  show  up and  do  not participate  is                                                               
appalling, but  [their non-attendance] is because  of the hostile                                                               
reaction.   He  recently  listened to  the board's  deliberations                                                               
regarding  the  Stampede  area  and Denali  wolves.    The  board                                                               
members talked  about the  impact on tourism,  the impact  of the                                                               
money that  would be made, and  the impact on trappers  who would                                                               
be inconvenienced, but  not a single mention  about the enjoyment                                                               
that  Alaskans like  him get  from seeing  a wolf.   Had  he been                                                               
there as a  board member he could have brought  up that different                                                               
point  of view.   Much  urbanization is  happening in  Alaska and                                                               
city people  such as himself  are like  the city people  in other                                                               
states - going  to the wild lands on weekends  to enjoy wildlife.                                                               
Alaska's  wildlife  belongs  to  all Alaskans  and  having  [non-                                                               
consumptive seats] on the board  would bring a different point of                                                               
view and would not create controversy.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:22:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH   asked  Mr.   Taylor  what  he   would  do                                                               
differently if  seated on the  board and whether the  board would                                                               
operate differently  if he were  a member.  For  example, whether                                                               
as a board member in this  capacity Mr. Taylor would advocate for                                                               
less hunting or less trapping or less taking of wildlife.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. TAYLOR replied that he  has made proposals for setbacks along                                                               
popular  trails so  that  dogs don't  get trapped.    He is  also                                                               
interested  in  no wolf  trapping  in  the Stampede  trail  area.                                                               
Perplexing and worrisome to him  is the intensive game management                                                               
statute.  As  an attorney who has  appeared before administrative                                                               
hearing officers and  judges, he said he knows  the importance of                                                               
having impartial  people there, and  as a board member,  he would                                                               
be impartial  when there are  clear and specific mandates,  as he                                                               
believes anyone would whether or  not he/she is a non-consumptive                                                               
user.   However, within the  mandates there is room  for wildlife                                                               
viewing or no  wolf trapping in the Stampede road  area and there                                                               
is room for  setbacks and there are some areas  in which wildlife                                                               
viewing could be increased - for  example, there are two or three                                                               
spots in the state where there is good Dall sheep viewing.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:25:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT ARCHIBALD testified  he has been in Alaska  since 1978 and                                                               
currently he is  a non-consumer.  The issue at  hand, he said, is                                                               
how to change, or whether to  change, the population of the Board                                                               
of  Game.    Putting  a non-consumptive  position  on  the  board                                                               
doesn't mean  that that member is  a non-hunter - a  person could                                                               
have hunted in  the past and would therefore  be knowledgeable in                                                               
that regard.   Many people just don't hunt anymore,  so it cannot                                                               
be  categorically  said that  that  is  going  to be  a  tourist-                                                               
inclined person.   The Board  of Game lacks  scientific knowledge                                                               
these days.  While the members  may be fine hunters and trappers,                                                               
they have not  taken the very profound information  that has been                                                               
put forth  by the scientific  community.  It would  therefore not                                                               
hurt to  have a  different make-up  of the board.   The  board is                                                               
tasked with  managing the game  for successful population  of the                                                               
state  and  he would  like  to  see  it  a little  more  diverse.                                                               
Regarding the eagles in Homer,  the issue was rather cantankerous                                                               
and some good science on that would have helped.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:27:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSE ROSS said  he has been an Alaska resident  for 21 years and                                                               
currently holds the trapping seat  on the Juneau-Douglas Advisory                                                               
Committee  (AC).   Advisory  committees  are  located in  various                                                               
areas throughout Alaska, he explained,  and they advise the Board                                                               
of Game and  the Board of Fisheries on issues  pertaining to each                                                               
AC's  area  as  well  as statewide  areas.  Co-Chair  Josephson's                                                               
statement that  non-consumptive users do  not have any  other way                                                               
to  voice  their   opinion  is  untrue,  he   said,  because  all                                                               
communities  in  Alaska  have   representation  via  an  advisory                                                               
committee and  non-consumptive users  can voice their  opinion to                                                               
their respective advisory committee.   There is a designated seat                                                               
for non-consumptive, for non-consumptive  commercial such as tour                                                               
operators,  as well  as designated  seats for  hunters, big  game                                                               
guides, commercial fishermen,  and sport fishermen.   This is the                                                               
process that  has been in place  for many years.   While he wants                                                               
to  support everybody,  the Alaska  constitution states  that the                                                               
mission  is to  protect, maintain,  and improve  fish, game,  and                                                               
aquatic plant  resources of  the state and  manage their  use and                                                               
development  in  the  best  interest   of  the  economy  and  the                                                               
wellbeing  of  the  people  of  the  state  consistent  with  the                                                               
sustained yield  principle.  The sustained  yield principle means                                                               
predator  control.   To  boost prey  populations  such as  moose,                                                               
caribou, deer,  and mountain goat  there may have to  be predator                                                               
control measures.   Being a game manager or Board  of Game member                                                               
is not an easy job because pleasing everybody cannot be done.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:30:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON addressed Mr.  Ross's assertion that there are                                                               
other avenues  for non-consumptive voices  to be heard.   He said                                                               
his understanding is that it  is only the Juneau-Douglas Advisory                                                               
Committee that  has a dedicated  seat for a  non-consumptive user                                                               
and therefore it is untrue  that other advisory committees have a                                                               
non-consumptive seat.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSS offered  his belief that the aforementioned  is not true                                                               
because there  are dedicated seats  based on the population.   He                                                               
suggested talking to "board support" in this regard.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:31:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  reiterated his understanding that  it is only                                                               
the Juneau-Douglas  Advisory Committee that has  a dedicated non-                                                               
consumptive seat.  He asked whether that is true or false.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSS replied  he believes it is false because  there are open                                                               
seats  on every  advisory  committee.   A  democratic process  is                                                               
already in  place and saying  that [non-consumptive  users] don't                                                               
have a voice is trying to change  the game.  There is very much a                                                               
voice  here,  [non-consumptive users]  can  be  heard by  getting                                                               
involved in  their local AC;  for example, three  alternate seats                                                               
are vacant on the Juneau AC but nobody shows up to participate.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:31:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON proffered  that he and Mr. Ross  may agree and                                                               
that he and Mr. Ross are  just using different terms for the same                                                               
thing.   He said he doesn't  doubt that there are  open seats and                                                               
that theoretically anyone can fill  them.  However, he continued,                                                               
"I had a separate question, and I didn't really get an answer."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSS  continued his  testimony.  He  said several  issues are                                                               
going on and he  thinks the sponsor is trying to  use the bill as                                                               
an avenue to address not  hunting but predator control, which are                                                               
two different things in Alaska.   The state has a system in place                                                               
for appointment to the Board of Game.   Anyone can send a name to                                                               
the governor for nomination of an  appointee to the Board of Game                                                               
when  a seat  becomes available.    The governor  then selects  a                                                               
person  and that  person must  be confirmed  by the  legislature.                                                               
This   is   a   democratic   process.      During   the   Knowles                                                               
Administration,  it was  a  very liberal  Board  of Game  because                                                               
those were the  people appointed by Governor Knowles.   He is all                                                               
for every user group to be  represented, he said, but the mission                                                               
of  ADF&G  is  to  stay   consistent  with  the  sustained  yield                                                               
principle, which is written in the state constitution.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:33:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  noted that  one of his  staff is  a former                                                               
member  of  the [Juneau-Douglas]  Advisory  Committee.   But,  he                                                               
said, it  would be useful to  have on the record  the composition                                                               
of  the Juneau-Douglas  AC.   Recalling that  Mr. Ross  holds the                                                               
designated trapping seat, he asked what are the other seats.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROSS confirmed  he holds  the  trapping seat,  and said  the                                                               
other  seats include  a  hunting  guide, several  non-consumptive                                                               
seats, and  alternate seats  without a title  in case  someone is                                                               
unable  to  attend   the  meeting.    These   are  just  advisory                                                               
committees and, as  such, all the AC's do is  give feedback based                                                               
on the  local issue  at hand  to the  Board of  Game or  Board of                                                               
Fisheries.  There are commercial  fishermen, a commercial seafood                                                               
processor,  and a  non-consumptive  commercial user  like a  tour                                                               
operator, so  it is a well-rounded  group of people and  at times                                                               
this results in some lively debates.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH inquired  whether  this  breakdown of  the                                                               
advisory committee works well and  allows for a robust debate and                                                               
the forwarding of good suggestions to the full Board of Game.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROSS responded yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:36:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEN  GREEN  offered  his  support  for HB  134.    He  said  non-                                                               
consumptive users  deserve to be  heard and  have a place  on the                                                               
board.  It is very difficult to  deal with the board as it is set                                                               
up today.   At the moment it  is almost like speaking  to an "old                                                               
boy"  network.   He  has dealt  with the  board  on trapping  and                                                               
setback issues.   During his  last effort  he was told  about how                                                               
the  Board  of  Game  attempts  to deal  with  people  who  bring                                                               
proposals to it.   That the board doesn't deal  with proposals is                                                               
reflective in the unanimous votes  opposing anything.  This makes                                                               
him suspicious because  it shows that other people  are not being                                                               
represented and  are flat being  ignored, and this is  not right.                                                               
He said  he is in  favor of diversity  on the board  because then                                                               
there would be some recognition of scientific information.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:39:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  inquired as to Mr.  Green's profession and                                                               
whether he has any economic involvement with wildlife.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GREEN  replied he  is retired and  is allowed  to subsistence                                                               
fish on  the Russian and  Kenai rivers.   He noted that  his dogs                                                               
have been caught in traps three  times and he was able to release                                                               
them  each time,  but  now  one dog  is  missing  for an  unknown                                                               
reason.   One of the  traps was  a snare and  each time it  was a                                                               
difficult emotional  experience to  go through  and that  is what                                                               
got him involved with the Board of Game.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:40:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  HILLSTRAND,  Spokesperson,  Coal  Point  Trading  Company,                                                               
explained that her customers are  fishermen and wildlife viewers.                                                               
She served on  the fish and game advisory committee  for 17 years                                                               
and has participated in the Board  of Game and Board of Fisheries                                                               
process for  35 years.   There  is an elephant  in the  room, she                                                               
said,  and it  is  the  wildlife viewers  who  come every  summer                                                               
wanting  to  see  moose,  marine  mammals,  and  other  wildlife.                                                               
Almost 670,000 visitors come to  Alaska each year specifically to                                                               
view wildlife plus  there are almost 200,000  residents that view                                                               
wildlife.    These people  bring  $2.7  billion into  the  state;                                                               
hunting  brings in  $1.3  billion, half  the  amount of  wildlife                                                               
viewing.    She  urged  the  committee  to  read  the  statistics                                                               
compiled by  ADF&G regarding the economic  importance of Alaska's                                                               
wildlife.    Regarding  government   revenue,  she  relayed  that                                                               
wildlife viewers brought  $231 million into the  state of Alaska,                                                               
whereas hunting  brought in  $112 million.   Labor  [for wildlife                                                               
viewing] was  nearly 19,000 people  versus 8,000 for  hunters, so                                                               
[wildlife viewing] is a huge economic engine to Alaska.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HILLSTRAND said  things are  changing and  this proposal  is                                                               
necessary for  the Board of  Game because regulations  are needed                                                               
for  the  huge  amount  of  people  coming  into  the  state  and                                                               
utilizing the state's wildlife.   According to the tourism board,                                                               
the  reasons  why people  come  to  Alaska  are its  beauty,  its                                                               
wildlife,  and shopping.    She expressed  that  it is  extremely                                                               
important to  get a balanced view  on the Board of  Game because,                                                               
in her experience,  it is not balanced.   She said she  has had a                                                               
hard time getting in any type of proposal.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HILLSTRAND said  she has  no  problem with  hunting, as  her                                                               
whole  family hunts  and she  has  hauled out  moose and  skinned                                                               
moose and  deer.  She  emphasized that  hunting is not  the point                                                               
here; the point  is that Alaska has a huge  amount of people that                                                               
need to be regulated,  and this is needed on the  board so it can                                                               
do a good job for the  state's wildlife and future and uphold the                                                               
state  constitution  for  the  preference of  all  people.    She                                                               
pointed out  that the  "North American  Waterfowl Plan"  has been                                                               
revised because  based on the  realization that  wildlife viewers                                                               
must  be incorporated  into the  fold.   She  further noted  that                                                               
several years  ago, she came to  the legislature to try  to get a                                                               
$5 license  for non-consumptive users  to be able to  bring money                                                               
into ADF&G, but  it was brought up  to a $25 emblem.   She opined                                                               
that $5 is  more appropriate, because [paying more  than that] is                                                               
hard when people aren't taking meat home.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  asked  Ms.  Hillstrand  whether  she  sees                                                               
sustained yield  as unable  to coexist  with wildlife  viewing by                                                               
the public.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HILLSTRAND  replied that  she worked with  the Board  of Game                                                               
and was on the advisory committee  prior to Senate Bill 77, which                                                               
brought  into  being  the  maximum   sustained  yield  for  human                                                               
harvest.   Prior to  that requirement  it had  to do  with making                                                               
sure the populations  were robust and populations; it  was a more                                                               
balanced view  of predator-prey relationships.   She  stated that                                                               
when it comes to viewing,  only two places are designated viewing                                                               
areas and they  are packed with people.  The  state could put any                                                               
price it  wants on them  because people want  to go to  McNeil to                                                               
see  the bears,  yet  having  any more  areas  than  that is  not                                                               
allowed  when  it  comes  up  before the  Board  of  Game.    Ms.                                                               
Hillstrand said  it is an interesting  imbalance and it is  not a                                                               
democratic process  any more.   She opined that more  science and                                                               
more  information are  needed on  the  board to  ensure that  the                                                               
state's  wildlife  population  is  managed  by  sustained  yield.                                                               
Often populations  are taken too far  "over the edge" and  then a                                                               
long time is needed to rehabilitate them.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:47:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERTA   HIGHLAND,  Spokesperson,   Kachemak  Bay   Conservation                                                               
Society, testified that her organization  is not anti-hunting and                                                               
strongly supports  HB 134.   Diversity  on the  Board of  Game is                                                               
important, she said.  She has been  in Alaska for 45 years and is                                                               
one  of those  people  who have  been horrified  by  some of  the                                                               
board's  decisions.    She  has  felt  marginalized  as  well  as                                                               
discriminated  against.     Her  organization  supports  wildlife                                                               
viewing and  photography because  they are  wonderful attractions                                                               
for  people living  in and  traveling  to Alaska,  plus they  are                                                               
sustainable ways  for Alaskans to  make a  living.  She  said she                                                               
disagrees  with  maximum  yield  and  finds  the  word  "maximum"                                                               
frightening.   These  user groups  should be  represented on  the                                                               
Board of Game,  plus her organization would like to  see it taken                                                               
one step  further with the  establishment of a wildlife  stamp so                                                               
these users could  add to the state's coffers.   She, too, thinks                                                               
the board  should be  called the Board  of Wildlife,  because the                                                               
Board of Game  makes it focus only  one way.  She  said the Homer                                                               
Advisory  Committee  is  frequently   not  listened  to,  so  the                                                               
statement that  one's voice can be  heard through the AC  has not                                                               
proven to  be true.  This  situation has been ongoing  for a long                                                               
time and  it is past  time for a change.   Adding only  two seats                                                               
still won't  make it even; it  would be preferable to  balance it                                                               
with three  and three  and one  that goes either  way.   She said                                                               
that given  there is no balance,  she is happy to  see this bill.                                                               
Wildlife  viewing is  a  moneymaker, she  said.   She  concluded,                                                               
"Seeing one animal by a  thousand people versus one person taking                                                               
that animal - it hasn't made sense."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:50:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AL  BARRETTE stated  he is  former Board  of Game  member and  is                                                               
currently  a 17-year-long  advisory committee  member.   He urged                                                               
the committee  not to  support HB  134.   The current  statute is                                                               
fine, he said, and what it  all boils down to is the legislature.                                                               
The  governor can  appoint  somebody, but  it  is ultimately  the                                                               
legislature that is responsible for who  is on the Board of Game.                                                               
Designated seats  are not needed;  the makeup of  the legislature                                                               
will  determine who  is  or is  not  on the  board.   Fixing  the                                                               
perceived problem here is the  responsibility of the legislature.                                                               
People's voices are  heard at the Board of  Game, although people                                                               
may not like the answers or  votes that come back from the board.                                                               
The board deliberates on every  proposal, hears public testimony,                                                               
and takes written  comments.  He said he has  written hundreds of                                                               
proposals in the  last 17 years and probably hasn't  had any more                                                               
success than  somebody writing a  proposal to close  the Stampede                                                               
Trail  area.   The Board  of  Game must  operate under  sustained                                                               
yield  and  it  meets  that requirement  which  means  there  are                                                               
populations of game  for people to view, but it  may not be where                                                               
people want to go view them.   The current makeup of the board is                                                               
diverse, it has  two bonafide biologists on it and  it has people                                                               
who  probably don't  hunt anymore  but who  do consume  wildlife.                                                               
Regarding the proposal  that somebody must be  appointed from the                                                               
tourism industry,  he said  that the  hunting guide  currently on                                                               
the board is  already engaged in tourism because  big game guides                                                               
are part of tourism.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:53:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAMES  KOWALSKY, Spokesperson,  Alaskans for  Wildlife, testified                                                               
in support  of HB 134.   He said  the Board  of Game has  for too                                                               
long been  way out of touch  with the demographic reality  of the                                                               
state.   He noted  that [Article  8], Section  3, of  the state's                                                               
constitution states that fish, wildlife,  and waters are reserved                                                               
to  the people  for common  use.   It  does not  say to  "certain                                                               
people," it says "the" people, he  pointed out.  For too long the                                                               
state has had a Board of Game  that has nowhere near that kind of                                                               
guidance and therefore  his organization supports a  change.  The                                                               
two representatives that  would be enabled by HB  134 would still                                                               
leave the  Board of Game  out of sync  with the realities  of the                                                               
state.   He urged it be  recognized that all people  in the state                                                               
are stakeholders and need representation,  which is not currently                                                               
the case.   This Board  of Game is  an exclusive group  that does                                                               
not represent the state's public.   He expressed his hope for the                                                               
bill making some headway.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY BALE  stated that HB  134 is a good  idea.  She  noted that                                                               
the  Board of  Game statute  under  AS 16.05.221  and the  duties                                                               
under  AS 16.05.225  provide that  there be  a diversity  and the                                                               
ability to put  into regulation a wide variety  of proposals, not                                                               
just  proposals for  hunting and  maximizing hunter  opportunity,                                                               
but  also  setting  aside  game   reserve  areas.    Refuges  and                                                               
sanctuaries are part of the statutory  role of the Board of Game.                                                               
In HB 134  the sponsor is not trying to  make the board different                                                               
but  trying  to  make  it  so the  board  can  realize  its  full                                                               
potential.   She recently attended  the Board of Game  meeting in                                                               
Fairbanks.   She belongs  to the  Denali Citizens  Council, which                                                               
brought one  of the Denali  wolf buffer proposals,  Proposal 142.                                                               
She has gone to Board of  Game meetings and just listened and she                                                               
has a great deal  of respect for the board who  is taking care of                                                               
the needs  of the many  hunters throughout the roadless  areas of                                                               
Alaska who have  asked the board to intervene on  their behalf so                                                               
they will have  enough animals for their table.   She appreciates                                                               
what the board does to provide  meat for the state's citizens and                                                               
yet she  believes that  when it  comes to  a proposal  that would                                                               
take hunter  opportunity the  board seems  quite reticent  and is                                                               
much  more likely  to believe  testimony from  trappers, hunters,                                                               
and subsistence user groups that don't  want to share.  She wrote                                                               
the Board  of Game  executive director  Kristy Tibbles  and asked                                                               
whether  the  board is  only  making  decisions based  on  hunter                                                               
opportunity.   She  then  read the  following  from Ms.  Tibbles'                                                               
reply:  "The board makes  policy and allocation decisions and can                                                               
make  decisions  that  reduce hunter/trapper  opportunity.    For                                                               
example, access  can be restricted  in certain areas,  bag limits                                                               
and  seasons  serve as  restriction,  methods  and means  can  be                                                               
prohibited, and so on.   Specific examples include the closure to                                                               
hunting  outside  McNeil  River  and Seymour  Canal."    So,  she                                                               
posited, by  saying this, the Board  of Game can do  so much more                                                               
than it  has been doing and  is statutorily authorized to  do it.                                                               
Other states  try to take  care of  this allocation thing,  so it                                                               
wouldn't be  unusual for Alaska  to do something in  this nature.                                                               
Alaska's Big Game Commercial Services  Board has nine members and                                                               
allocates all the  seats - two members from  licensed guides, two                                                               
from transporters, one from the  Board of Game, two who represent                                                               
private  landowners affected  by guided  hunting, and  two public                                                               
members not otherwise allocated.   In Wyoming, not more than five                                                               
members of the seven-member board can be of a single party.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:59:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SYLVIA  PANZARELLA said  she has  lived in  Alaska for  18 years.                                                               
She offered  her support for HB  134 and said it  is long overdue                                                               
for  having at  least  two  members representing  non-consumptive                                                               
use; they are  not second-class citizens.  So  often when someone                                                               
supports having other  user groups on the board it  is as if they                                                               
are  going  against mom  and  pop  having  enough food  in  their                                                               
freezer; however,  denying a subsistence  person or  other people                                                               
from putting  a moose in their  freezer is not the  point at all.                                                               
She said so much  of the Board of Game seems  to be going towards                                                               
the big game hunting groups,  outside groups like the Safari Club                                                               
and  such; game  management doesn't  mean having  a game  farm in                                                               
Alaska.  She said so often it  is heard about not wanting to have                                                               
the state  made into a national  park, but she said  she does not                                                               
want the  state made into  a game  farm; therefore, she  said she                                                               
would like to have some non-consumptive  users on the board.  She                                                               
opined that integration is not easy  and sometimes it has to come                                                               
with a mandate.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:01:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CONNIE BRANDEL, Staff and Board  Member, Alaska Wildlife Alliance                                                               
(AWA), said  she is a  30-year resident  of Alaska.   She offered                                                               
her organization's strong  support for HB 134,  saying the bill's                                                               
provisions are  something her group has  supported unsuccessfully                                                               
for years.   Highly qualified people  have submitted applications                                                               
to   the   governor's   office  to   serve   as   non-consumptive                                                               
representatives, from  hunters to  wildlife biologists  to people                                                               
with  decades of  experience  on wildlife  issues.   These  fair-                                                               
minded people would support non-consumptive  uses of wildlife and                                                               
the  responsible  scientifically  managed harvest  of  game,  but                                                               
these  candidates  just  aren't chosen.    Non-consumptive  users                                                               
simply cannot  get a voice,  much less a seat  at the table.   As                                                               
was stated by  Ms. Mitchell, the Board of Game  has approved only                                                               
5  percent of  the non-consumptive  proposals submitted  over the                                                               
last 20 years.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRANDEL  stated that as a  supporter of this bill,  she never                                                               
contemplated  that these  two  non-consumptive  seats would  come                                                               
from a  mindset of opposing  hunting or trapping  proposals; that                                                               
would be  counterproductive and negate  everything AWA  is trying                                                               
to achieve.   The only difference  would be to make  the votes on                                                               
the  Board of  Game  for non-consumptive  proposals  five to  two                                                               
instead of seven to zero, so  things would be where they are now.                                                               
She said the AWA  wants the people in these two  seats to be open                                                               
to  consumptive use  of wildlife  and  be willing  to debate  and                                                               
compromise, and AWA would hope for  quid pro quo from the rest of                                                               
the board.   The  Denali wolf buffer  issue has  been stonewalled                                                               
for years,  she added.   Not only  was the existing  buffer taken                                                               
away, a six-year  moratorium was enacted banning  the public from                                                               
even submitting buffer proposals.   Therefore, how can it be said                                                               
that the board is receptive to non-consumptive users?                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:04:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY KUHN  testified that  she has attended  some Board  of Game                                                               
meetings and  came away  frustrated after  sitting for  hours for                                                               
several days.   She said she  supports HB 134 because  it is time                                                               
to get  some new voices  and not to be  afraid of the  little old                                                               
ladies who may come in and say  they don't need to have the Board                                                               
of Game tell them how many moose  they can kill or bears they can                                                               
trap.   It is time for  the board to  open its ears to  new words                                                               
such as sustained yield.  Does  that mean that every month people                                                               
will  go out  and kill  something for  putting on  their wall  or                                                               
putting in their stomachs?  Is it  that the Board of Game will go                                                               
to a  museum to view  things and then say  that it is  not making                                                               
use of  the museum because  it didn't  kill and eat  the animals?                                                               
She has been in Alaska since 1975  and she has yet to see a wolf.                                                               
She would like to think that before  she dies she will see a wolf                                                               
and not  have to go to  a museum or zoo  to do so.   The Board of                                                               
Game  needs to  get  modern; women  and citizens  are  not to  be                                                               
feared.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:06:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON, after  ascertaining  no one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 134.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON held over HB 134.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:07:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:07 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0134 BoG proposals spreadsheet.xlsx HRES 3/22/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/24/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 134