Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

04/19/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 203 REMOTE REC. CABIN SITE STAKING SALES TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ HB 107 FISH ENHANCEMENT PERMITS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 197 COMMUNITY SEED LIBRARIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 19, 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 David Talerico                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Chris Tuck (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 197                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the duties of the commissioner of natural                                                                   
resources; relating to agriculture; and relating to community                                                                   
seed libraries."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 107                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to certain fish; and establishing a fisheries                                                                  
rehabilitation permit."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 203                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the sale of certain state land for use as                                                                   
remote recreational cabin sites."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB 197                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMUNITY SEED LIBRARIES                                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOHNSTON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/24/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/24/17       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/10/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/10/17       (H)       -- Testimony <Invitation Only> --                                                                      
04/12/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/12/17       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/13/17       (H)       RES AT 5:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/13/17       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/17/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/17/17       (H)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
04/19/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
BILL: HB 107                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FISH ENHANCEMENT PERMITS                                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TALERICO                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/06/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/06/17       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/28/17       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
02/28/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/17       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
04/18/17       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
04/18/17       (H)       Moved CSHB 107(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/18/17       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
04/19/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER JOHNSTON                                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As the sponsor, introduced HB 197.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TERRANOVA TASKER, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Representative Johnston,                                                                    
sponsor, provided a sectional analysis of HB 197.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ARTHUR KEYES, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Agriculture                                                                                                         
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to HB 197.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROB CARTER, Manager                                                                                                             
Plant Materials Center                                                                                                          
Division of Agriculture                                                                                                         
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to HB 197.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRACE JOHNSTON                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 197.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
PATRICIA TREYDTE                                                                                                                
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 197, but noted                                                                
several concerns that she has with the bill.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID OTNESS                                                                                                                    
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 197.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ELIJAH VERHAGEN, Staff                                                                                                          
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Representative Talerico,                                                                    
sponsor, further introduced HB 107.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ALPHEUS BULLARD, Attorney                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal Services                                                                                                      
Legislative Affairs Agency                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 107.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
FORREST BOWERS, Deputy Director                                                                                                 
Division of Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions regarding HB 107.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GARY MARTINEK                                                                                                                   
Cape Coral, Florida                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 107.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MATHEW O'BOYLE, Spokesperson                                                                                                    
Skagway Community Fish Hatchery                                                                                                 
Skagway, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 107.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WILL MAYO, Executive Director                                                                                                   
Tribal Government and Client Services                                                                                           
Tanana Chiefs Conference                                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 107.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN WINNESTAFFER                                                                                                              
Chickaloon Native Village                                                                                                       
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 107.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
RICKY GEASE, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Kenai River Sport Fishing Association                                                                                           
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 107.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
NANCY HILLSTRAND                                                                                                                
Pioneer Alaskan Fisheries Inc.                                                                                                  
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 107.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE CAIN, President                                                                                                           
Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce                                                                                               
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 107.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN ASHTON                                                                                                                    
Wrangell, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 107.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GERAN   TARR  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:03 p.m.   Representatives Tarr,                                                               
Josephson, Johnson,  Birch, Talerico,  and Westlake  were present                                                               
at  the  call to  order.    Representatives Drummond  and  Parish                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                HB 197-COMMUNITY SEED LIBRARIES                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:04:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  197, "An  Act relating to  the duties  of the                                                               
commissioner of  natural resources; relating to  agriculture; and                                                               
relating to community seed libraries."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:04:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JENNIFER JOHNSTON,  Alaska State  Legislature, as                                                               
the  sponsor, introduced  HB  197.   She  explained  that HB  197                                                               
brings forth  local issues related  to growing one's  own produce                                                               
to feed  family members.  The  idea for the bill,  she continued,                                                               
was  brought to  her  attention by  her  daughter-in-law who  was                                                               
looking  at heirloom  seeds and  researching the  restrictions on                                                               
the local exchange of seeds.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:06:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRANOVA  TASKER,   Staff,  Representative   Jennifer  Johnston,                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature, on behalf of  Representative Johnston,                                                               
sponsor, provided a sectional analysis of HB 197 as follows:                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 would amend the  duties of the commissioner of the                                                               
     Department   of   Natural   Resources   (DNR)   to   include                                                               
     development  and regulation  of  noncommercial  seed use  in                                                               
     community seed libraries.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Sections 2 and 3 would  add subsection (b) to Alaska Statute                                                               
     (AS)  03.05.030 to  allow an  exemption  for seed  libraries                                                               
     from regulations governing commercial  seeds as long as they                                                               
     comply  with AS  03.20.[110], which  are the  guidelines for                                                               
     community  seed libraries,  and do  not violate  regulations                                                               
     that  pertain   to  patented  use  without   permission,  be                                                               
     misrepresented in  classification, or  be prohibited  by the                                                               
     department as a noxious (harmful) seed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section  4   would  add  new  section   03.20.110  providing                                                               
     guidelines  for seed  libraries as  follows:   an individual                                                               
     can establish a  community seed library that  allows for 100                                                               
     grams of  [one variety  of] seed  [per person  receiving the                                                               
     seed per year],  and the packaging must be  labeled with the                                                               
     variety,  seller's  name  and address,  year  of  packaging,                                                               
     weight  of the  contents,  and a  disclaimer statement  that                                                               
     says  not  for commercial  use.    This section  would  also                                                               
     direct  the  department  to  create   a  seed  registry  for                                                               
     publication online.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section  5   would  [add]  language  about   community  seed                                                               
     libraries  to  statute  regulating plant  materials  centers                                                               
     already  in  existence  within   the  University  of  Alaska                                                               
     system.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6  would amend AS  44.37.[030] to  include community                                                               
     seed libraries  in the information that  the department must                                                               
     publish online and in print.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Section  7   would  amend  [AS   44.37.030]  to   include  a                                                               
     subsection that  allows the Department of  Natural Resources                                                               
     to  advise people  interested in  starting a  community seed                                                               
     library on  best practices and  to submit  information about                                                               
     their library without a fee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:09:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH drew  attention  to the  bill  on page  2,                                                               
lines 2-6 which read:                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     assist  prospective settlers  and others  [DESIRING] to                                                                    
     engage  in the  agricultural industry  in the  state by                                                                
     providing  [WITH] information  about [CONCERNING  AREAS                                                            
     SUITABLE  FOR  AGRICULTURE  AND OTHER]  activities  and                                                                    
     programs  essential to  developing the  [DEVELOPMENT OF                                                                
     THE] agricultural industry and  areas in the state that                                                            
     are suitable for agriculture;                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH said  the bill seems to  make a substantial                                                               
increase in the responsibilities of  the commissioner of [DNR] by                                                               
adding, "areas that are suitable for agriculture."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TASKER  replied that  she  and  Rob Carter,  Manager,  Plant                                                               
Materials Center,  Division of  Agriculture, DNR,  have discussed                                                               
this and "suitable for agriculture"  is wording that both DNR and                                                               
the  sponsor like  to specify  whatever area  a community  garden                                                               
might  take,  whether that  be  someone's  backyard or  community                                                               
land.   Also, she noted,  the seed statutes haven't  been updated                                                               
since the 1980's, so some language  cleanup was done when she and                                                               
[an  attorney  from]   Legislative  Legal  Services,  Legislative                                                               
Affairs  Agency,  were  going  through the  bill.    She  further                                                               
pointed out that the bill has a zero fiscal note.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:11:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  referred to  a letter  from Representative                                                               
Talerico that he  believed all committee members  had signed, and                                                               
which  stated  a bridge  should  be  built  to  an area  that  is                                                               
suitable for agriculture.  Representative  Parish said he doesn't                                                               
want the [Division]  of Agriculture itself being  an advocate for                                                               
bridge  building because  that is  outside the  [division's] main                                                               
area of purview.   Yet, he posited,  the aforementioned provision                                                               
would  seem to  add  some responsibility  to  the [division]  for                                                               
that.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER deferred to DNR.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  returned attention to  page 2, line  6 and                                                               
further inquired whether it is  an increase in the responsibility                                                               
of  DNR to  assist all  the regions  of the  state in  developing                                                               
areas that are suitable for agriculture.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ARTHUR KEYES,  Director, Division  of Agriculture,  DNR, answered                                                               
that the Division of Agriculture  sees the entire state as having                                                               
agriculture  potential  of some  form  or  another.   In  further                                                               
response   to  Representative   Parish,   he  said   it  is   the                                                               
responsibility of the  division to help all regions  of the state                                                               
develop  areas  which  are  suitable   to  agriculture,  but  not                                                               
necessarily in regard to infrastructure.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:13:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  asked about the definition  of community                                                               
seed library and whether it is defined in statute.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER responded that the  term "community seed library" does                                                               
not  currently exist  in statute.   The  bill would  carve out  a                                                               
space  in the  statute that  says seed  libraries can  exist, and                                                               
provides the guidelines  for labeling for seed  libraries.  Other                                                               
states going through similar processes  ran into the issue where,                                                               
because  of the  way the  statutes were  written, every  seed was                                                               
regulated  as  if  it  was  a  commercial  seed,  which  requires                                                               
extensive  labeling and  testing.   Nebraska  and Minnesota  went                                                               
through  their   statutes  and   specifically  added   the  words                                                               
"community seed  library" to carve  out space  for them so  it is                                                               
very clear  that community seed  libraries can exist even  if not                                                               
for commercial use purposes.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:14:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND surmised  that "community  seed library"                                                               
is  defined  somewhere in  the  bill.    She inquired  whether  a                                                               
community  seed   library  includes   the  seed   exchanges  that                                                               
gardeners around the state conduct each spring.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER  answered that [in  the bill  on page 3,  beginning on                                                               
line  20], Article  1A. Community  Seed Libraries,  lays out  the                                                               
guidelines for a  community seed library.  The  issue the sponsor                                                               
has  run into  is that  there are  some community  seed exchanges                                                               
happening   around   the   state,  Ester   being   the   largest.                                                               
Unfortunately,  she  said, because  of  the  way the  statute  is                                                               
written and  based on  the way the  regulations are  written, any                                                               
seed that is  used for any capacity in the  state must go through                                                               
that extensive  testing -  germination percentages  and labeling.                                                               
Technically  speaking,  any seed  library  existing  today is  in                                                               
violation of the  code.  However, she related, she  has talked to                                                               
Rob Carter  and DNR thinks  seed libraries  are a great  idea and                                                               
therefore DNR  is not assessing  fees on current  seed libraries.                                                               
The  department likes  this bill  because it  would give  DNR the                                                               
authority to help and to promote seed libraries.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:16:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  asked  whether  this  means  that  seed                                                               
libraries currently  in existence  in Alaska are  doing something                                                               
illegal  and DNR  supports the  bill  in order  to control  [seed                                                               
libraries].  She said the intent  of the bill is unclear if there                                                               
are already community  seed libraries springing up  in an organic                                                               
local way.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JENNIFER JOHNSTON  replied  that  the bill  would                                                               
strengthen seed libraries  and would give them  greater access to                                                               
doing  what they  do  best.   She warned  [the  state] "could  be                                                               
getting into federal problems if we don't do this."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:17:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND noted  that her  district has  a farmers                                                               
market and she is getting  lots of feedback from her constituents                                                               
about  what this  bill means  for  the already-existing  informal                                                               
seed exchanges that  gardeners hold around the state.   She asked                                                               
what HB 197 means for existing seed exchanges.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ROB  CARTER,   Manager,  Plant  Materials  Center,   Division  of                                                               
Agriculture,  Department of  Natural  Resources (DNR),  explained                                                               
that the Plant  Materials Center maintains and  has the authority                                                               
to regulate  seeds, their transportation,  their sales,  and seed                                                               
lot sales  within the state  of Alaska.   In regard to  what this                                                               
bill would do  if seed exchanges are already there,  he said that                                                               
technically  seed libraries  or any  seed exchange  in Alaska  is                                                               
against the state's current regulations.   However, he continued,                                                               
it  is not  in  the  best interest  of  plant  diversity or  food                                                               
security in  the state for the  division to spend time  and money                                                               
harassing  community-oriented folks  who  are  sharing seeds  and                                                               
providing  opportunities for  food security  in a  region to  say                                                               
that they must  follow these regulations that  are really drafted                                                               
for commercial  use.   So, technically,  he reiterated,  the non-                                                               
commercial sharing  of seed -  under the prohibited  acts section                                                               
in [Alaska's] seed regulations - is outlawed.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  pointed out that  this bill, like many  others around                                                               
the U.S., is identifying that  non-commercial use is as important                                                               
as any issue that [the  division] deals with in Alaska pertaining                                                               
to food security.  Crop  genetic diversity, one of the foundation                                                               
cornerstones  of community  seed sharing,  is the  most important                                                               
key  to  sustainable agriculture  and  to  food security  in  any                                                               
region of the  world, he added.   The intent behind HB  197 is to                                                               
put in  statute that  this is  a legal  activity and  ensure that                                                               
this non-commercial  seed sharing  activity is secured.   Whether                                                               
this  activity is  through  a  garden club,  a  fair,  or a  seed                                                               
library,  the  bill  is needed  before  other  larger,  non-state                                                               
entities  come into  Alaska and  start pushing  federal or  state                                                               
regulations against these practices.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:20:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  inquired as  to how  this will  not cost                                                               
staff time  and money  for the Plant  Materials Center  to manage                                                               
these informal seed libraries that are already in existence.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARTER responded  as currently  written, the  bill says  DNR                                                               
"may"  and  does  not  direct  the  department  to  do  anything.                                                               
Community seed  library is  the legal language,  he said,  and HB                                                               
197 just  gives the  department the  opportunity to  promote seed                                                               
libraries and have a place  for them on the department's internet                                                               
site.   As a seed consumer  himself, he continued, he  would love                                                               
to see  a one-stop shop  in the  state that identifies  all these                                                               
seed sharing activities.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:21:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  asked  how the  division  will  contact                                                               
consumers in this regard.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER answered  that it would be a  multi-faceted front like                                                               
many  of the  things the  department  does.   The department  has                                                               
great resources, such as utilization  of the Alaska Grown program                                                               
and all the individual gardeners  and commercial farmers that the                                                               
department works  with already.   Once individuals  identify that                                                               
the department has the ability  to help support and promote their                                                               
activities, he said, a simple web  page could be put out where an                                                               
individual could choose to be part  of that web page.  He related                                                               
that he talks  to many individuals who participate  in these non-                                                               
commercial  seed sharing  activities  and the  community is  well                                                               
versed that  this legislation  is out  there.   Some of  them, he                                                               
added, would  be happy to  contribute their location  and contact                                                               
phone numbers and dates for community events.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:23:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  inquired  as  to how  this  type  of  seed                                                               
collection  would be  different from  commercial seed  collection                                                               
for carrots in  the Matanuska-Susitna Valley as to  the source of                                                               
the seeds and how they are preserved and maintained.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARTER  replied  that  there is  very  limited  carrot  seed                                                               
production in the state of  Alaska because carrots are a biennial                                                               
plant and flower  in their second year of  growth.  Commercially,                                                               
he explained,  carrot seeds  are grown in  areas like  the Skagit                                                               
Valley  in Washington  and other  places around  the world  where                                                               
they  are harvested  with a  combine like  any other  large-scale                                                               
seed production.   They are cleaned  and tested to meet  both the                                                               
state and  federal regulations, he  said, and then they  are sold                                                               
through  brokers.   Most of  the  farmers planting  carrots on  a                                                               
commercial  scale in  Alaska order  the seeds  from a  very large                                                               
agri-business that  sells tons of  seeds at  a time.   Seeds that                                                               
are  sold commercially,  he continued,  have very  strict federal                                                               
and state  guidelines to ensure  that they follow both  the state                                                               
regulations and Federal Seed Act.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:25:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH surmised that  when talking about regionally                                                               
adapted seeds  harvested from  plants grown  in-state, it  is not                                                               
necessarily a commercial operation.   It would be a framework for                                                               
monitoring and  permitting through  the internet the  exchange of                                                               
Alaska grown seeds.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER responded  that the bill does not  have any monitoring                                                               
requirements, nor  does he think there  is a need for  any.  Non-                                                               
commercial use tends to be  relatively small scale, he explained.                                                               
It is individuals  or a group of individuals who  get together to                                                               
try to overwinter some carrots  and then replant them and collect                                                               
the seeds  to share amongst  themselves.  These normally  are not                                                               
hybrids, but  rather heirlooms or open  pollinated varieties that                                                               
have  been around  for  decades or  longer.   They  are in  small                                                               
quantities.   The real  key to  it, he  said, is  individuals who                                                               
find  a type  or variety  of seed,  or a  genus or  species of  a                                                               
vegetable  that produces  well in  their  region.   In turn  they                                                               
could  harvest  seed  off  that  and  legally  share  it  amongst                                                               
themselves, with  no ramifications  from either the  Federal Seed                                                               
Act or Alaska state seed  regulations, and not impede the state's                                                               
commercial seed producers and sellers.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH said it sounds like a reasonable proposal.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:27:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON related  a  story of  working  in a  gift                                                               
store as  a teenager and  selling packages of Alaska  seeds, with                                                               
the  fireweed seeds  being wildly  popular.   Then at  some point                                                               
these  seeds could  not be  sold anymore  due to  regulations and                                                               
that is why she was pleased to become a co-sponsor of the bill.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:28:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  remarked a  good proportion of  the plants                                                               
grown in  Haines came  from his grandmother's  garden.   He asked                                                               
where in statute seed sharing is illegal.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER pointed out page  2, lines [12-14], establish that the                                                               
department is  regulating seeds,  plants, and  vegetables whether                                                               
they are sold or not sold for use in the state.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH observed that is in statute.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER responded yes.   Continuing her answer, she noted that                                                               
on  page 3,  lines 1-7  pertain to  the labeling  requirements so                                                               
that any product  that is being used, sold, or  exchanged must be                                                               
labeled.   Then, one must  go to the Alaska  Administrative Code,                                                               
Chapter 34,  she said.   This chapter  has two pages  of labeling                                                               
requirements  and sets  out the  germination  percentage and  the                                                               
weight.  Combining those two  parts together, she pointed out, is                                                               
makes it  almost impossible  for a seed  library to  exist, which                                                               
she has  confirmed with Mr.  Carter.  The statute  is complicated                                                               
and needs some updating, she added.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:31:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH observed  that on page 3,  lines 1-2, state                                                               
that  the  commissioner  "may"   adopt  rules,  regulations,  and                                                               
procedures.   He offered his understanding  that the commissioner                                                               
has  adopted  rules  and  procedures  which  make  all  the  seed                                                               
libraries  in the  state and  all the  individuals sharing  seeds                                                               
right now, if not criminals,  then at least engaged in extralegal                                                               
activities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TASKER answered  correct and  deferred to  Mr. Carter  for a                                                               
further response.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:32:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH directed  his question  to Mr.  Carter and                                                               
asked  whether  it is  a  regulatory  hurdle  that the  past  DNR                                                               
commissioner has put in place  that makes seed sharing by private                                                               
individuals and seed libraries technically illegal.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER replied  that the biggest hurdle in  those states that                                                               
have come  down hard  on seed  libraries and  non-commercial seed                                                               
sharing is the interpretation of  the regulations and definitions                                                               
of  the words  "offered for  sale,"  "barter," and  "trade".   In                                                               
Alaska, he  continued, what really hinders  non-commercial use is                                                               
under 11  AAC 34.075, ["Prohibited  acts"], which reads,  "(a) No                                                               
person may  sell, offer for  sale, expose for sale,  or transport                                                               
for use  in planting in  the state any agricultural  or vegetable                                                               
seed  that …  [in part]  (5) has  not been  tested within  the 18                                                               
months preceding  the sale,  offering, or  exposure for  sale, or                                                               
transportation".  The seed libraries  are not selling or offering                                                               
seed  for sale,  he said,  but  the key  to this  is the  testing                                                               
within the 18 months preceding.   So, technically, any individual                                                               
who is  moving seed  in the  state of Alaska,  whether it  is one                                                               
seed  or  a  million,  who  doesn't  have  the  current  labeling                                                               
requirement  of  testing  within   the  18  months  preceding  is                                                               
breaking the state's  current regulations.  In  Alaska and around                                                               
the country, that language is  utilized to ensure that seed being                                                               
moved around  doesn't have invasive weeds  in it and that  is why                                                               
that  testing requirement  has  always been  followed.   That  is                                                               
really  the tripping  hurdle -  anyone who  is transporting  seed                                                               
with the intended  use to plant that doesn't  have testing, which                                                               
is  required  by the  labeling  requirements  in Chapter  34,  is                                                               
breaking Alaska's regulations.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:34:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  inquired why the problem  cannot be solved                                                               
by  regulation.    For  example,  he  continued,  regulation  for                                                               
transportation of over  100 pounds of seed.   He further inquired                                                               
why there  isn't a  lower boundary on  the applicability  of that                                                               
because people have been doing seed  sharing for as long as there                                                               
has been agriculture.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  CARTER agreed  and said  [DNR]  has full  intent to  review,                                                               
update, and  modernize the regulations.   He advised  most people                                                               
do  not  realize  that  Alaska  has  a  lot  of  commercial  seed                                                               
production, and  DNR would rather  see those exemptions  made for                                                               
non-commercial  use than  to modify  things  that may  jeopardize                                                               
seeds being transported  for sale or offered for  sale within the                                                               
state that  do not meet  the state's regulation  requirements, he                                                               
said.     [The  department]  wants   to  avoid   loopholes;  seed                                                               
regulations are not  there to stop someone  from doing something,                                                               
he  explained, but  rather for  consumer protection  so that  the                                                               
seed really is  what the label says it is  for germination and no                                                               
noxious weeds.   Further, if he - in his  role as plant materials                                                               
manager - changed the regulations  so that non-commercial use and                                                               
seed libraries are not impeded,  the regulations could be changed                                                               
again  by  another  manager. Therefore,  putting  a  policy  into                                                               
statute protects this type of activity for generations to come.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:36:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH suggested  that perhaps  Mr. Carter  could                                                               
amend   the  {statue   and  regulation]   by   adding  the   word                                                               
"commercial"  or "for  commercial purposes"  so someone  wouldn't                                                               
have to  go through a  seed library to  legally be able  to share                                                               
seeds with neighbors.   He then observed that the  section of the                                                               
bill  for community  seed libraries  states  that someone  cannot                                                               
give more than  100 grams of one variety to  an individual within                                                               
12  consecutive months  [page 3,  lines 26-29].   He  pointed out                                                               
that some  seeds, such  as cherry pits,  would reach  that weight                                                               
limit quickly.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JENNIFER JOHNSTON  responded she  has forthcoming                                                               
amendments to offer.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:38:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH commented  that the  labeling requirements                                                               
seem a bit  stringent for what would normally be  handed off in a                                                               
Ziploc bag.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TASKER answered  that  the bill  has  five requirements  for                                                               
labeling, which  is a downgrade  from the [current] two  pages of                                                               
labeling requirements.  Based on  her talks with Mr. Carter about                                                               
the  requirements, she  said  there  is some  wiggle  room.   For                                                               
example,  someone could  have a  sign within  the space  with the                                                               
statement  "not authorized  for  commercial use"  rather than  on                                                               
every package.  The seller's name  and address could be kept in a                                                               
binder and not necessarily be on  the package of seed.  Something                                                               
as simple as  "purple flower" would be a  reasonable request, she                                                               
continued, as well  as the weight of the package  for purposes of                                                               
tracking the weight  limit requirement.  She  offered her opinion                                                               
that these requirements are limited  but the sponsor will address                                                               
any issues.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  related that the  100-gram limit and  the labeling                                                               
were   concerns  expressed   to  her.     She   asked  what   the                                                               
differentiation is  between someone  collecting seed from  his or                                                               
her own  backyard and gifting  it to a friend  versus individuals                                                               
participating in a seed library.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  replied the intent  of the bill, in  his professional                                                               
opinion,  is  the  bill  pertains  to  community  seed  libraries                                                               
defined as a place where individuals  can go and use those seeds.                                                               
The sponsor and  her staff have identified that  the bill doesn't                                                               
provide  an  exemption so  that  two  persons could  individually                                                               
share seeds  with one another.   That would  be easy to  put into                                                               
Article 1,  he said, but the  amendments need to be  heard before                                                               
it can be discussed much further.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR urged  that  this  differentiation be  considered.                                                               
She pointed out that people  who collect seed for contributing to                                                               
a seed library  are going to want to include  the genus, species,                                                               
or variety information.  This type  of person is one step up from                                                               
folks who just buy a few plants  and have a pot in front of their                                                               
house,  she  said, and  therefore  the  committee might  want  to                                                               
segregate that.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:41:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON noted  that some  of the  letters in  the                                                               
committee packet state  that the bill is alarming.   She said she                                                               
thinks some of the concerns  could be based on misinformation and                                                               
urged for further discussion of the concerns.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON responded  yes and  asked Ms.  Tasker to                                                               
discuss the forthcoming amendments.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:43:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  asked Ms. Tasker  to address amendments  about the                                                               
labeling concerns, the 100-gram  limit, the requirement for being                                                               
grown in-state, and treated seeds.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER related  that the sponsor is working  on amendments in                                                               
response to talks  with the seed libraries.  She  also noted that                                                               
some miscommunication about  what the bill does  has been brought                                                               
to the  attention of  the sponsors, so  the sponsors  are working                                                               
with stakeholders to explain what the bill really does.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER  said one forthcoming  amendment addresses  seeds that                                                               
are  grown outside  Alaska.   For example,  seed libraries  often                                                               
receive seed donations from The  Home Depot or other entities and                                                               
the libraries  have said they  would like  to be able  to include                                                               
these  seeds.   This makes  sense,  she said,  because the  seeds                                                               
traveling from  out of  state have  already undergone  a labeling                                                               
process as part of the federal interstate commerce rules.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER  stated the second  forthcoming amendment  responds to                                                               
the concern about  the weight limit and would  increase the limit                                                               
to one pound, which Mr. Carter  has agreed is a limit that should                                                               
cover most seed.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. TASKER  explained the  third forthcoming  amendment addresses                                                               
the  marijuana  seed  issue.     This  amendment  would  prohibit                                                               
marijuana seeds from the seed library exchange.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TASKER,  in  regard  to  Mr.  Carter's  discussion  about  a                                                               
personal exemption,  said she would  work with  Legislative Legal                                                               
Services on language for an amendment to address those concerns.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH requested an  explicit [exemption] be given                                                               
for personal non-commercial seed sharing.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:46:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR stated  that  this type  of  legislation has  been                                                               
passed by California, Nebraska,  Illinois, and Minnesota, and she                                                               
will post the  California legislation on the web  site for people                                                               
to  view.   She  said  the  aforementioned amendments  cover  the                                                               
issues that she  is concerned about.  She asked  Mr. Carter if he                                                               
would like to add anything about the forthcoming amendments.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  answered he  doesn't see  any issues  with increasing                                                               
the weight  limit.  He related  that he has heard  concerns about                                                               
potatoes and root  cuttings, but pointed out this  is a formality                                                               
with  the  state's  regulations because  the  regulations  define                                                               
bulbs,  straps, corms,  and other  such things  as plants  and so                                                               
those are  not regulated under  the state's seed  regulations and                                                               
would have  no weight restrictions.   He  said he feels  the seed                                                               
weight  limit could  be in  the one-pound  area without  directly                                                               
impacting anything and still providing the opportunity.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  pointed out  that agronomically  all seeds  cannot be                                                               
produced  in Alaska,  so  individuals get  seed  from friends  or                                                               
family in other  states, or purchase seed from  outside of Alaska                                                               
that   they  want   to  use   for  non-commercial   seed  sharing                                                               
activities.  That  exemption is needed, he said,  and Article 1A,                                                               
Community Seed Libraries,  could easily be amended  to provide an                                                               
exemption for  non-seed library seed sharing  activities to allow                                                               
for one person to give another  person a package of seeds for his                                                               
or her garden.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  stated it  would be  up to the  bill sponsor  for the                                                               
language that  is required  on packaging.   He  said that,  as he                                                               
reads the bill's  current language, this could be done  by a seed                                                               
library  with  a single  sign  written  on cardboard  [displayed]                                                               
above  the  library's  seed  sharing  activities  or  within  the                                                               
library's seed  sharing opportunities that just  states these are                                                               
seeds  grown  for non-commercial  use  and  that would  meet  the                                                               
requirements of the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER offered his opinion  that this is important; Alaska is                                                               
lucky  because  it   has  isolation  and  does   not  have  large                                                               
agriculture that  tends to push  a little heavier on  these types                                                               
of regulations.  The opportunity  for non-commercial use and seed                                                               
libraries, he  said, is  what is going  to provide  for long-term                                                               
sustainability and  self-reliance in the state  because people in                                                               
both remote  and non-remote  areas may not  have access  to seed,                                                               
but they  may have access  to seed that  has been grown  in their                                                               
region.  Having  an agricultural system that is  adapted to these                                                               
community environments to  be self-reliant is a  large portion of                                                               
sustainable agriculture in a state like Alaska, he advised.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:50:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:51:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRACE JOHNSTON  testified in  support of  HB 197.   She  said she                                                               
feels passionately  about this  bill because  she is  invested in                                                               
Anchorage gardening and loves how  a summer garden provides fresh                                                               
and nutritious food  for her family.  The longer  that produce is                                                               
on the  shelf, she explained,  the more the nutrition  decays, so                                                               
it  is important  to her  to be  able to  pick directly  from the                                                               
garden to table.   She stated she is also  firmly invested in the                                                               
future of  gardening in Alaska  through her young daughter.   She                                                               
would like  for her  daughter to be  able to grow  up in  a state                                                               
where the  specialized seeds that  can flourish in  Alaska, those                                                               
that  are cold-  and sun-adapted,  are readily  available because                                                               
these  seeds   are  not  commercially  viable   for  larger  seed                                                               
producers in the  Lower 48 or around the world.   It is therefore                                                               
important to  ensure that Alaskans  can legally and  widely share                                                               
these seeds throughout the state,  she said.  Explicitly allowing                                                               
for seed libraries  will ensure that that legacy  remains for the                                                               
present as well as future generations.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:53:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICIA  TREYDTE  testified  in  support of  HB  197,  but  with                                                               
reservations as  she has some concerns.   She stated that  if the                                                               
subject hadn't been brought up it  wouldn't need to be done.  One                                                               
of her concerns, she pointed out,  is that the bill says "seller"                                                               
as  the person  giving out  the  seeds.   She questioned  whether                                                               
"seller"  is  the  correct  term  or whether  a  term  should  be                                                               
invented, such as "exchanger" or "sharer".                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  observed  that "seller's  name  and  address"  is                                                               
included as one  of the five [labeling] requirements  [on page 4,                                                               
line 2].   She related that the sponsor and  her staff are taking                                                               
note of this concern.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TREYDTE reiterated  that she  doesn't know  what the  proper                                                               
term would be, but that she doesn't think it should be "seller".                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. TREYDTE said another of  her concerns is the 100-gram [weight                                                               
limit], which  would not go  far, particularly if  someone wanted                                                               
to grow  a quarter acre  of grain for  feeding to chickens.   She                                                               
urged that this be addressed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. TREYDTE pointed out that  Alaska has a viable commercial seed                                                               
potato industry and expressed her  concern that the bill does not                                                               
address potatoes  in either start  or seed form.   She recognized                                                               
that seed potatoes would not be  included in the bill, but warned                                                               
that potato,  tomato, and eggplant  seeds can carry  late blight.                                                               
Tomato seeds,  she continued,  are one of  the most  precious and                                                               
often exchanged seeds  because they are easy to save.   She asked                                                               
whether this  is something that  needs to be addressed  since the                                                               
potato industry needs to be protected.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR offered  her understanding  that  the purchase  of                                                               
certified seed  potatoes is required.   She requested  Mr. Carter                                                               
to  address  Ms.  Treydte's concern  about  potato,  tomato,  and                                                               
eggplant seeds.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:56:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER replied  that the purchase of  certified seed potatoes                                                               
is required for commercial use.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR   inquired  whether  Mr.  Carter   thinks  tomato,                                                               
eggplant,  and  other  seeds like  that  should  be  specifically                                                               
mentioned or differentiated in the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  responded that if it  the subject was live  plants he                                                               
would  say yes,  but the  bill is  only talking  about seeds  and                                                               
therefore he doesn't think it  is necessary.  Within that family,                                                               
the easiest  thing for seed  savers is  that they don't  look for                                                               
plants  that have  disease or  that biologically  aren't in  good                                                               
shape.   They are allowing  the fruit to  go to maturity  so that                                                               
the  seeds mature.    A  late blight  infected  tomato plant,  he                                                               
advised, would  be a very poor  performer and it would  not be in                                                               
the best interest  of anyone to maintain it or  collect seed from                                                               
it.  He  said the department currently has  registration for live                                                               
tomato  plants being  shipped  into  the state,  as  well as  for                                                               
potatoes and  within that family, but  within this non-commercial                                                               
seed sharing use he doesn't feel it is necessary.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR observed that Section  6 discusses the department's                                                               
duties and  gives DNR  the ability  to publish  information about                                                               
seed  libraries.   She suggested  that  perhaps this  information                                                               
could direct  seed libraries to be  careful in terms of  the kind                                                               
of information  that is shared  with participants so  things like                                                               
that could be prevented.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARTER  answered that currently  the department  doesn't have                                                               
the authority to  spend any time or effort working  with the non-                                                               
commercial use  of seed.  He  said he therefore believes  HB 197,                                                               
and that section specifically, would  provide DNR the opportunity                                                               
to not regulate, but to  help promote and identify non-commercial                                                               
seed sharing activities, and he is very comfortable with that.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:59:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID OTNESS testified  in support of HB 197.   He stated that as                                                               
a gardener  he wants  to see anything  that would  facilitate the                                                               
transfer  of seeds  and  provide  agricultural awareness  because                                                               
people growing their own food  is something that has really taken                                                               
off.   Anything to make  [seed transfer]  not illegal would  be a                                                               
good thing, he  added.  Drawing attention to page  2, line 25, he                                                               
asked why the bill includes regulating the farming of elk.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR replied that that  is an existing statute under the                                                               
current duties  of the DNR  commissioner and therefore it  is not                                                               
something  that is  being  added or  changed by  the  bill.   She                                                               
explained that  when a  section of statute  is amended  the whole                                                               
section shows up in the bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:01:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR, after  ascertaining that  no one  else wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:01:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 197 was held over.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                HB 107-FISH ENHANCEMENT PERMITS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:02:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  107, "An  Act relating  to certain  fish; and                                                               
establishing  a fisheries  rehabilitation permit."   [Before  the                                                               
committee was CSHB 107(FSH).]                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:02:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO,   sponsor,  introduced  HB  107.     He                                                               
explained that  it is a  fish rehabilitation bill and  the permit                                                               
described  in  the   bill  could  boost  the   survival  rate  of                                                               
fertilized eggs to  the fry stage from 5 percent  in nature to 95                                                               
percent  via  incubation.    He  said  the  fish  eggs  would  be                                                               
collected, fertilized, incubated, and  hatched, and the unfed fry                                                               
would be  released back into the  same water.  While  this is not                                                               
completely  natural, he  continued, it  is as  natural as  it can                                                               
possibly be made to rehabilitate or grow populations.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  pointed out that fish  incubation is not                                                               
new  and has  been done  for  nearly 40  years in  many areas  of                                                               
Alaska.    Similar  permits for  education  and  science  already                                                               
exist, he said, but this bill  would clean things up by outlining                                                               
these  permit requirements  in statute  and for  the purposes  of                                                               
rehabilitation.  The bill would create  the ability to not have a                                                               
project labeled  as either an  education or science  project, but                                                               
to be able  to utilize it as a rehabilitation  project.  It would                                                               
be  a   collaborative  effort  with  private   sector  nonprofits                                                               
actually doing the project while  under the complete direction of                                                               
[the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG)].                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO said his  motivation for the bill relates                                                               
to  the State  of Alaska's  current fiscal  constraints and  that                                                               
there is  at least  one party  very interested  in participating.                                                               
This party, he related, thinks  it has the ability to potentially                                                               
leverage  funds and  to use  some of  its own  funds to  do this,                                                               
while  it  would be  a  bit  tough  for  [the state]  given  [the                                                               
state's] current financial situation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO noted  he has been down  this path before                                                               
and that  at one point it  was declared as being  "bucket biology                                                               
and anyone  could do this."     However, he continued,  given the                                                               
requirements for  the permit  under this  bill, the  permit would                                                               
not be easy to obtain.   The applicant would have to satisfy many                                                               
requirements before  it could  head down this  road and  it would                                                               
require ADFG's  approval.  Once  permitted, the party  would have                                                               
to stay engaged with ADFG by  providing data in order to continue                                                               
the project.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO allowed that  different people would view                                                               
the bill  differently.  He said  some will see it  as an absolute                                                               
disaster and  some will  see it as  opportunity to  maybe provide                                                               
more  for sport  fishermen  and potentially  more for  commercial                                                               
fishermen.  However,  he emphasized, this wouldn't  be a hatchery                                                               
replacement bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  stated that for  his district this  is a                                                               
food source  bill.  He noted  that his district begins  in Tanana                                                               
on the Yukon River, goes all  the way to the Canadian border, and                                                               
includes also  a fair  portion of  the Tanana  River.   These two                                                               
enormous river  systems have traditionally  had runs in  them, he                                                               
said, but recently there have  been closures, including a closure                                                               
just put on the Kuskokwim drainage.   For the folks he represents                                                               
this is a critical food  source that they have traditionally used                                                               
for hundreds, if not thousands,  of years.  Currently that option                                                               
appears to be going away.   The bill, he continued, is an attempt                                                               
to figure out  a way to get  this food source back  so people can                                                               
continue  to  fish   from  Tanana  all  the  way   up  to  Eagle,                                                               
particularly in  the Yukon  where villages  have had  fish wheels                                                               
for centuries.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:08:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIJAH  VERHAGEN,  Staff,  Representative Dave  Talerico,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, explained  HB 107 in further  detail on behalf                                                               
of  Representative  Talerico,  sponsor.    He  noted  that  under                                                               
current  statute,   AS  16.05.050(a)(5),  a  duty   of  the  ADFG                                                               
commissioner is  to propagate fish  or increase  fish populations                                                               
throughout  the  state.    The  department  has  done  this  with                                                               
educational and  science permits, he  said, which are  similar to                                                               
what is  being proposed in HB  107.  The sponsor  has worked with                                                               
ADFG in crafting the bill's  permit criteria, which begin on page                                                               
2,  line 2,  and which  would require  that the  permit applicant                                                               
fill  out  the applicant's  name,  reasons  for doing  this,  the                                                               
conditions  justifying  the  project,  ample  communication  with                                                               
affected  people in  the area,  the location,  how many  fish and                                                               
fish  eggs  the   applicant  will  collect,  and   the  plan  for                                                               
incubation.   These requirements, he  stated, are to  ensure that                                                               
an unqualified  person can't get  a permit because  [the sponsor]                                                               
wants  this to  be a  safe  and reasonable  process to  propagate                                                               
fish.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN  related that over  the years the  ADFG commissioner                                                               
has  come  up  with  science and  educational  permits  that  are                                                               
similar but are nowhere in statute.   So, HB 107 would get a fish                                                               
permit into  statute.   Also, he added,  at least  one interested                                                               
party, the  Tanana Chiefs  Conference (TCC),  is ready  to invest                                                               
its own private dollars into obtaining  one of these permits.  He                                                               
said TCC has already worked with  the biologist who has done this                                                               
fish incubation and will be  able to responsibly and safely boost                                                               
the fish populations in the Nenana and Yukon rivers.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN  explained that under science  and education permits                                                               
an entity  would have to obtain  the permit under the  premise of                                                               
science, science  collection, or education, whereas  HB 107 would                                                               
allow the  entity to get  a permit simply  because of a  need for                                                               
more  fish and  would put  this type  of a  permit into  statute.                                                               
Escapement goals  haven't been met,  he said, and many  rivers do                                                               
not  even have  escapement  goals  or fish  counting  due to  the                                                               
state's  limited resources.   However,  he continued,  the locals                                                               
can attest that not near as  many fish are getting up the rivers,                                                               
especially as far as the Interior.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN  stated each permit would  have to be signed  by the                                                               
ADFG commissioner  and the permit  [would be subject to]  all the                                                               
checks and balances  listed on page 2, [paragraphs]  (1)-(8).  He                                                               
pointed out  that page  2, line 24,  states the  department "may"                                                               
issue  a  permit.   Therefore,  he  said,  ADFG would  have  full                                                               
latitude to reject  an application or ask the  applicant to amend                                                               
its  application  if the  department  feels  that the  person  or                                                               
organization isn't qualified.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN  noted that science  and education permits  are open                                                               
to  governmental agencies  and  schools, but  not to  businesses.                                                               
The hope  under HB  107, he  said, is for  the private  sector to                                                               
collaborate under the  oversight of ADFG and  use private dollars                                                               
to  boost  fish  populations.    But,  he  added,  these  private                                                               
entities would  not be able to  say, "These are our  fish, so you                                                               
can't touch  them."   The fish  coming from  these rehabilitation                                                               
projects would  be open to  everyone and it  will be in  the best                                                               
interest of everyone to get as many natural fish as possible.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VERHAGEN drew  attention to  the document  in the  committee                                                               
packet  entitled, "Early  Survival (emergent  fry) Comparison  of                                                               
Salmon  Naturally   Spawning  Versus  Assisted  Spawning."     He                                                               
explained that in  nature when salmon spawn many of  the eggs are                                                               
washed away  without getting fertilized.   Additionally, the eggs                                                               
are  subject to  predation by  other fish  and animals,  die from                                                               
being covered  by silt,  or die  from freezing  in winter  if the                                                               
water  table  drops.    With  all these  factors,  he  said,  the                                                               
survival  rate from  fertilized egg  to emergent  fry is  about 5                                                               
percent.   Through incubation, he  continued, that  survival rate                                                               
from fertilized egg  to fry is increased to  90-95 percent, which                                                               
has been  proven [by hatcheries]  for the  past 40 years.   Under                                                               
the bill the  fry would be unfed  and would be put  back into the                                                               
same  river that  [their parents]  were  taken out  of and  there                                                               
would be no risk of changing  the genetics.  [These released fry]                                                               
would  be just  like any  other emergent  fry and  would have  to                                                               
learn to fend for themselves naturally.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN stated  that the permit proposed under  HB 107 would                                                               
allow qualified  individuals, corporations, or other  entities to                                                               
use their  resources and money  to prove through  the application                                                               
process outlined in the bill that  they know what they are doing.                                                               
For  example, he  continued,  he  has been  working  on this  all                                                               
session and now has  a good idea of how to do  this, but he would                                                               
probably  be rejected  if  he  applied for  a  permit because  he                                                               
doesn't  have  the  money  or resources  to  get  the  incubation                                                               
equipment or  to build the troughs.   He further added  that [the                                                               
Gulkana  Hatchery  near Paxson  that  is  managed by  the  Prince                                                               
William Sound  Aquaculture Corporation]  has used  nearby natural                                                               
hot  springs  to adjust  the  water  temperatures throughout  the                                                               
winter while the eggs are growing.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:16:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN reiterated  that applicants would have  to know what                                                               
they are doing to  be given a permit.  The  permit would last for                                                               
five years  so that  a return  would be  seen on  the permittee's                                                               
efforts.   He noted  that on  page 3, beginning  on line  26, the                                                               
bill  directs  that  the  permittee  shall  collect  and  provide                                                               
project data  and reports  that are  reasonably requested  by the                                                               
department.  While the department is  doing a great job, he said,                                                               
the  state's money  is limited  and there  are many  rivers where                                                               
there are no escapement goals and  that have no fish counts being                                                               
done, even  though there are  locals depending on those  fish for                                                               
food.    In   the  event  the  department   receives  two  permit                                                               
applications for the same location  on a river, he continued, the                                                               
department would have the discretion  to either issue two permits                                                               
for the same  area if it would not overpopulate  the river, or to                                                               
request one  of the applicants  to change the  proposed location.                                                               
Both permittees  would then be  providing data to  the department                                                               
that ADFG  would not otherwise have  on many of these  rivers and                                                               
creeks.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:17:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated  that early in his career  he was the                                                               
project  manager at  Sikusuilaq  Springs Hatchery  on the  Noatak                                                               
River.  Therefore,  he said, he can understand  what an advantage                                                               
it  would be  to  have  this supplement  to  the  natural run  of                                                               
salmon.  One  of the challenges, he continued, is  making sure it                                                               
is a natural run and he  appreciates that the salmon would be put                                                               
back into  the stream where they  started.  The survival  rate is                                                               
phenomenal, almost like  "crowd sourcing" of salmon,  so he likes                                                               
the idea.   He  said he  would like  to hear  whether there  is a                                                               
downside even though  it looks to him like it  would leverage the                                                               
food source and he looks forward to supporting the bill.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:19:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  directed attention  to [the  bill on  page 4,                                                               
lines 30-31, and continuing to page 5, line 1] which read:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
           (e) In making a finding that the plans and                                                                           
      specifications for a proposed construction, work, or                                                                      
        use sufficiently protect fish and game under (d)                                                                        
        section, the commissioner shall consider related                                                                        
     fisheries enhancement projects under AS 16.05.855.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  expressed his  concern that  the commissioner                                                               
could  be   satisfied  by  showing  said   alternative  means  of                                                               
rehabilitation rather  than doing everything possible  to restore                                                               
wild  salmon  streams.    He  asked  Representative  Talerico  to                                                               
address this concern.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  replied that this has  been successfully                                                               
done in the  Copper River drainage for  a long time.   He said it                                                               
is remarkable  how the  operators of  the Gulkana  Hatchery, ADFG                                                               
and now the Prince William  Sound Aquaculture [Corporation], have                                                               
kept wild salmon  stock available in the Copper River  as well as                                                               
the volume of fish that they've  put down the river for people to                                                               
utilize on a regular basis.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  related that currently  his constituents                                                               
in the upper Yukon River are  at crisis levels with [the shortage                                                               
of] fish.  Jokes have been made  about how few fish there are, he                                                               
said, but  it is serious for  those people living in  Fort Yukon,                                                               
Rampart,   Tanana,   or   any    community   along   the   river.                                                               
Traditionally it  is a real  crisis and  it is critical  for [the                                                               
legislature]  to come  up with  the very  best plan  possible, he                                                               
continued.  While some may argue  that it might be detrimental to                                                               
the wild stock,  it is at a  level where action must  be taken to                                                               
get  these  supplies replenished  and  give  fish back  to  these                                                               
people.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO said the one  thing he is trying to avoid                                                               
is all  the theories of  why there  are no fish  because everyone                                                               
could spend the next 10 years,  like has been done these previous                                                               
10 years,  pointing a finger  at sport fishermen,  or subsistence                                                               
fishermen,  or   commercial  fishermen  and   getting  absolutely                                                               
nowhere.   Instead, he said,  he is  looking for a  resolution to                                                               
satisfy  the   user  groups   and  make   sure  Alaska   has  the                                                               
subsistence, sport,  and commercial  fish that  are vital  to the                                                               
state's employment and economy.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO maintained  the  bill would  not be  the                                                               
replacing  of  wild stock.    This  is as  wild  as  it gets,  he                                                               
posited.   Further, he said,  the bill  is not trying  to replace                                                               
hatcheries, which are  doing a great job of getting  lots of fish                                                               
out there and which he supports.    Rather, it is time to look at                                                               
this  in  a comprehensive  holistic  approach  and come  up  with                                                               
something to resolve the issue that is at hand.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:23:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VERHAGEN  suggested  the bill's  drafter,  Alpheus  Bullard,                                                               
might be able to address Representative Josephson's concerns.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALPHEUS   BULLARD,    Attorney,   Legislative    Legal   Counsel,                                                               
Legislative   Legal   Services,   Legislative   Affairs   Agency,                                                               
explained the  language is  conforming to  a section  in existing                                                               
law that  has to  do with  protection of fish  and game  with the                                                               
existence  of  these  new fisheries  enhancement  permits.    The                                                               
section of law  that's being amended is  AS 16.05.871, Protection                                                               
of fish and  game, and it has to do  with protection of waterways                                                               
for  anadromous  fish.    This   was  included  as  a  conforming                                                               
amendment because  these rehabilitation  permits are  relevant to                                                               
that effort.  He said he  doesn't know if it would allow anything                                                               
that wouldn't be allowed otherwise  and therefore he doesn't know                                                               
that he has an answer to Representative Josephson's question.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:26:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON requested the  definition of "construction" or                                                               
"work."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BULLARD  replied there  is no  set definition.   To  get some                                                               
idea of what would be  affected, he suggested that the department                                                               
be asked what it has regulated underneath this statute.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:26:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  said his  concern  is  that the  section  in                                                               
question is protection of waterways  for anadromous fish; that is                                                               
the  article  and  the  topic   is  protecting  anadromous  fish.                                                               
[Alaska  Statute 16.05.871(a)]  he  continued,  sticks with  that                                                               
subject and  notes the  importance of  the spawning,  rearing, or                                                               
migration of  anadromous fish.   He said he understands  that the                                                               
aforementioned language  is conforming, but stated  that it seems                                                               
to say, in effect, that if  there is some sort of construction or                                                               
work,  which  apparently  could include  hydraulic  projects  and                                                               
diversions,  one way  to get  to  meet the  requirements of  this                                                               
section  would  be  to  say  that  the  fisheries  rehabilitation                                                               
projects,  including  a hatchery  way  up  river, would  suffice.                                                               
Therefore, he  continued, his concern  is that in a  net-zero sum                                                               
situation, a commissioner might say that  he or she is willing to                                                               
continue  to sacrifice  improvements of  anadromous fish  because                                                               
[the department's]  fish goal is  going to  be met in  some other                                                               
way.   He stated he is  concerned as to what  policy statement is                                                               
being made by this  section of the bill.  He  asked whether he is                                                               
misreading subsection (e) on page 4, line 30, of the bill.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BULLARD responded  he  doesn't  believe that  Representative                                                               
Josephson is  misreading it.   He posed a  hypothetical situation                                                               
in which  there may be  constructions, works, or uses  that could                                                               
not  help  but  have  an   effect  on  existing  anadromous  fish                                                               
populations or other fish populations.   So, in this instance, he                                                               
said, it seems  appropriate that the commissioner  would be asked                                                               
to consider these fisheries enhancement permits.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:29:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FORREST   BOWERS,  Deputy   Director,   Division  of   Commercial                                                               
Fisheries, Alaska  Department of Fish  & Game (ADFG),  stated the                                                               
discussion between Co-Chair Josephson  and Mr. Bullard accurately                                                               
portrays the intent of that particular section.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:29:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON related that a  concern heard from wild salmon                                                               
advocates is that by definition  these hatcheries are designed to                                                               
replenish weakened stocks of wild  salmon.  However, he said, the                                                               
process  of  that  replenishment  could further  weaken  what  is                                                               
already  weakened  and  the  wild  salmon  suffer  further.    He                                                               
inquired whether the sponsor shares this concern.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  answered he  has heard that  concern and                                                               
added  that  several  people have  expressed  concern  about  the                                                               
diversity of the  different genetics in the salmon.   However, he                                                               
said, "Most of  us wonder how diverse do they  really get because                                                               
we know that  they just don't scatter-shot, they  usually go back                                                               
to where they were produced."   Wild salmon numbers getting lower                                                               
and lower and  the salmon continue to be fished  and the resource                                                               
depleted, but  there is  currently no  supplementing of  the wild                                                               
salmon with any other potential for  any other kind of catch.  He                                                               
said he looks  at this as more  like, "Are we just  going to work                                                               
our way to an extinction process?"   Obviously, he said, it would                                                               
have to stop at some point if numbers get that low.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  recalled a presentation provided  to the                                                               
committee  about a  rehabilitation  project on  the Tanana  River                                                               
near  Delta  Junction in  which  the  riverbank was  rebuilt  and                                                               
stabilized to  prevent loss of  a historical park  and buildings.                                                               
He said that  if a project were  to be approved in  that area, he                                                               
would  hate to  think  that the  fish would  be  made to  suffer.                                                               
These things are going to have  to cohabitate with each other, he                                                               
said.   Destabilized riverbanks will  need to be  stabilized, but                                                               
the potential  is still there to  [also protect] the fish  run in                                                               
the  Tanana River  even  though  the bank  was  stabilized.   Mr.                                                               
Bullard's  explanation   of  that  was  really   good,  he  said,                                                               
occasionally there will be those things and they can coexist.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN  pointed out that  the bill requires the  release of                                                               
only unfed  fry.  There is  a 10-day window, he  explained, where                                                               
fry  do not  need to  be fed  because they  emerge in  the alevin                                                               
stage [and are nourished by  their still-attached] yolk sac.  The                                                               
unfed  fry  will  be  mixing  with  the  natural  fish,  but  the                                                               
sponsor's argument  is that  the released  fry are  natural fish.                                                               
While humans incubated  them, nothing else was done to  them.  He                                                               
said the Gulkana Hatchery has been  doing this for 40 years and a                                                               
difference cannot be  seen between the incubated  fish versus the                                                               
natural fish.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:33:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  related  that  the  House  Special  Committee  on                                                               
Fisheries  discussed   the  difference   between  trying   to  do                                                               
enhancement for an entire fishery  versus enhancement for a stock                                                               
because the  bill is limited  to just  the stock of  a particular                                                               
river or river tributary, which should minimize that risk.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWERS  replied that applications  under the  proposed permit                                                               
in  HB  107  would  be  limited  to  500,000  eggs,  which  is  a                                                               
relatively small number of fish.   He said [the department] has a                                                               
genetics policy  that is meant  to preserve genetic  diversity of                                                               
wild  stocks, so  there would  be stipulations  on any  applicant                                                               
permitted  under this  bill that  they would  have to  meet their                                                               
population sizes to ensure that  genetic diversity of wild stocks                                                               
is not compromised.  He stated  that loss of genetic diversity is                                                               
a legitimate concern that it is taken seriously by [ADFG].                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  reiterated her  question regarding  the difference                                                               
between an enhancement project that  is directed toward an entire                                                               
fishery  versus  an enhancement  project  that  is directed  more                                                               
toward the stock level as provided in HB 107.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWERS  responded that it  would depend  on how a  fishery is                                                               
defined.   There could be  a recreational or  subsistence fishery                                                               
that targets  a very small  discreet stock in a  small tributary,                                                               
he said.   There are many examples of that  across the state; not                                                               
every  fishery  is targeting  a  resource  returning to  a  large                                                               
drainage.   He  surmised  that projects  permitted  under HB  107                                                               
would be attempting  to rehabilitate a stock that  is a component                                                               
of a larger  resource.  But, he continued,  certainly there could                                                               
be a  fishery or more than  one fishery that is  directed at some                                                               
of these  resources in small  tributaries that would  possibly be                                                               
considered under this bill.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:37:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON asked  whether there is any  evidence of which                                                               
Mr. Bowers  is aware that  hatcheries of this sort  have enhanced                                                               
wild stock populations.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWERS  answered that [ADFG] permits  several different types                                                               
of aquaculture projects intended  to enhance or rehabilitate fish                                                               
stocks,   primarily  through   the  private   nonprofit  hatchery                                                               
program, he  said, which includes  the big hatcheries  around the                                                               
state.  A few state-run  hatcheries are similar; for example, the                                                               
William Jack  Hernandez Hatchery in  Anchorage and a  hatchery in                                                               
Fairbanks, but  primarily big private, nonprofit  hatcheries such                                                               
as the  [Macaulay Salmon Hatchery/Douglas  Island Pink  and Chum,                                                               
Inc. (DIPAC)] in Juneau.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOWERS noted  that [ADF&G] also permits  other projects, such                                                               
as the  11 bio-enhancement research projects  that were permitted                                                               
in  2016.   He  said the  provisions of  those  permits are  very                                                               
similar to  those contained  in HB 107,  such as  the 500,000-egg                                                               
limit.   [The department] has  permitted some of  those projects,                                                               
in the Seward Peninsula in  particular, that have restored salmon                                                               
stocks  in streams  where salmon  were extirpated  due to  mining                                                               
activity; so there  have been some positive outcomes.   As far as                                                               
small-scale projects  like this,  he continued,  [the department]                                                               
doesn't permit  many of  them because the  number of  requests is                                                               
low.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:38:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  stated that  the hatchery on  the Noatak                                                               
River was successful.  Speaking  from his personal experience, he                                                               
related that  in the  1980's the  whole Kotzebue  fish population                                                               
crashed and was an economic disaster.   The hatchery has now been                                                               
closed about 15  years, he said, and he wonders  at what point do                                                               
[anadromous] fish  become indigenous  [fish].   He added  that he                                                               
travels past  that fish  hatchery and it  is teaming  with salmon                                                               
because that is  where they were born.  Since  the fisheries have                                                               
never come  back to what  they were  before, he continued,  he is                                                               
glad to see this bill.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:39:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  stated he  has several  reservations about                                                               
the bill as a  whole.  He noted he has a  degree in biology where                                                               
salmon was a frequent topic, did  a research project on Auke Lake                                                               
salmon, and worked a bit for ADFG.   He said he has visited a few                                                               
weirs, including  one on Frazer  Lake, which wasn't  previously a                                                               
salmon stream,  and where a  ladder was put  in and now  the lake                                                               
has a robust run.  There is also  DIPAC in Juneau.  He said he is                                                               
therefore not  inherently opposed to fishery  enhancements.  But,                                                               
he continued, he is concerned  that giving a "19-fold competitive                                                               
advantage  to a  subset  of  the population,"  as  would be  done                                                               
according  to  the sponsor's  survival  statistics,  would put  a                                                               
downward pressure  on genetic diversity.   Effectively increasing                                                               
a subset  of the  population's representation  19 times  over, he                                                               
posited, would result in the  remaining one-twentieth composing a                                                               
smaller portion of the overall population.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH offered  his  appreciation  that the  bill                                                               
would require [the fry] to be  returned to the same waters and be                                                               
returned unfed.  He said  this provision would avoid what happens                                                               
with hatchery  fish where they  are fed  and come out  larger and                                                               
stronger and so he commends the sponsor in this regard.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH reiterated his  concern about the long-term                                                               
downward pressure on  genetic diversity that HB  107 would result                                                               
in.  While  the bill would be  great in the short  term, he said,                                                               
it would  not be a  long-term solution,  and that leads  to other                                                               
factors affecting  fisheries such as climate  degradation, timing                                                               
mismatches  in outmigration  and  return,  and larger  population                                                               
blooms of prey when they  out-migrate.  Also, he inquired whether                                                               
there is a provision  for local citizens - who are  not keen on a                                                               
project happening in their traditional  fishing area - would have                                                               
a mechanism to say, "no thank you."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:43:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  VERHAGEN,  in  response   to  Representative  Parish's  last                                                               
question, directed attention  to the requirement on  page 2, line                                                               
8, which states that the  application for the permit must include                                                               
"any  communication, or  plan for  continued communication,  from                                                               
the applicant with affected  persons, relevant organizations with                                                               
applicable expertise, and stakeholders  in the project area," and                                                               
to page 3,  line 16, which states, "if the  proposed project is a                                                               
salmon rehabilitation  project, relevant and  applicable comments                                                               
relating  to  the  proposed  project   submitted  by  a  regional                                                               
planning  team established  under [AS  16.10.375] for  the region                                                               
that  encompasses  the project  area".    So, he  explained,  the                                                               
commissioner would be looking at  several things when considering                                                               
an application and  determining whether to accept it.   Page 1 of                                                               
the  application  includes   the  reasonable  communication  with                                                               
interested and  relevant parties  and organizations  and affected                                                               
persons.   The parties would  be able to have  discussions, which                                                               
would be  documented, and the  commissioner would be able  to see                                                               
that and know whether the locals are in favor of a project.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. VERHAGEN  then addressed genetic  diversity, stating  that in                                                               
the  late 1970's  and 1980's  ADFG successfully  planted over  20                                                               
million sockeye eggs in the  upper Karluk River and this restored                                                               
the depleted run  to pre-1921 populations.  Also,  he said, since                                                               
the 1970's the Gulkana Hatchery  has annually rehabilitated up to                                                               
40  million eggs  per year  in the  Copper River  watershed.   He                                                               
suggested Gary Martinek  be asked what the  Gulkana Hatchery does                                                               
for continuing  genetic diversity.   Mr.  Verhagen added  that by                                                               
incubating  the eggs  and putting  [the fry]  right back  in, the                                                               
bill is  trying to keep  everything as  natural as possible.   He                                                               
also pointed out that ADFG would  be using its genetics policy to                                                               
closely monitor those concerns.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:47:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR [opened public testimony].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:47:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARY MARTINEK testified that he  recently retired from working at                                                               
Gulkana Hatchery for  37 years and is speaking on  his own behalf                                                               
in support of  HB 107 and the rehabilitation of  salmon stocks in                                                               
a reasonable and  responsible way where conditions are  wild.  He                                                               
said the  hatchery is  located adjacent to  the Gulkana  River, a                                                               
tributary to  the Copper  River.  Located  260 miles  inland from                                                               
the marine  environment, the  hatchery was started  in 1973  as a                                                               
research  project by  the Division  of Fisheries  Rehabilitation,                                                               
Enhancement and  Development (FRED) within  ADFG to see  if there                                                               
was an  efficient low-cost method  of rehabilitating  the heavily                                                               
pressured Copper River  sockeye stocks.  The  hatchery is located                                                               
in a spring  system where the water temperature  only varies five                                                               
degrees summer  to winter and  a simple  non-powered gravity-feed                                                               
system is used to get water from the spring to the incubators.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTINEK  reported that from  1973-1980 Gulkana  Hatchery was                                                               
primarily a sockeye research facility.   From 1980-1984, he said,                                                               
production increased  to 20 million  eggs and by  1987 production                                                               
increased  to 36  million  eggs, making  it  the largest  sockeye                                                               
salmon  fry producer  in the  world.   The basic  premise was  to                                                               
increase the natural survival of  13-16 percent of sockeye in the                                                               
spring.   By  placing them  into  an incubator  the survival  was                                                               
increased to  as high  as 95  percent with  75 percent  being the                                                               
average historical survival.   He explained that  when fry emerge                                                               
from  the  incubator  they  are   counted,  otolith  marked,  and                                                               
released  into nursery  lakes where  they spend  one year  before                                                               
outmigrating to  the sea.   He  said the  fry encounter  the same                                                               
environmental  predation  issues that  all  wild  stocks have  to                                                               
overcome, and that 17 percent  of the returning adult sockeye are                                                               
four-year-old fish and 83 percent are five-year-old fish.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTINEK pointed out that  the Gulkana Hatchery stock is just                                                               
one stock of 136 sockeye stocks in  the Copper River.  He said an                                                               
intelligent management  program goes hand-in-hand to  ensure wild                                                               
stocks remain healthy and the  commercial fleet, subsistence use,                                                               
personal use, and  sport fisheries all benefit  from the 350,000-                                                               
400,000 annually  produced hatchery  salmon.  He  further related                                                               
that the  monetary value of  production to all user  groups since                                                               
the hatchery started in 1973 has been $700 million.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:50:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked how the emergent  state of hatchery-                                                               
raised  alevin compares  with the  emergent  state of  indigenous                                                               
populations of salmon.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARTINEK  replied that  in  the  1970's and  1980's  Gulkana                                                               
Hatchery did  research on the  hatchery spring and that  is where                                                               
it was determined that the survival  was only 13-16 percent.  The                                                               
hatchery  started  very  small  and  by  increasing  and  through                                                               
research the survival was increased to 75 percent.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:51:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH inquired  as  to how  the hatchery's  fry,                                                               
when introduced  to the stream, compare  developmentally with the                                                               
wild grown.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. MARTINEK  responded that  based on his  years at  the Gulkana                                                               
Hatchery, hatchery fry  are the same fitness as  the wild stocks.                                                               
Regarding earlier  questions about genetic diversity,  he advised                                                               
that wild  fish are coming into  the spring before and  after the                                                               
egg-take  for  the   hatchery.    By  looking   at  otoliths,  he                                                               
continued, it has  been determined that the  wild stock component                                                               
in the hatchery spring is still 47 percent.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:51:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MATHEW  O'BOYLE, Spokesperson,  Skagway Community  Fish Hatchery,                                                               
testified in  support of HB 107.   He said the  Skagway Community                                                               
Fish Hatchery  is a  newly founded  nonprofit formed  through the                                                               
local municipality to  address the low level  of returning salmon                                                               
in  Skagway.    In  the  past,  he  noted,  Skagway  has  been  a                                                               
collection  and  release  site for  king  salmon  through  ADFG's                                                               
enhancement  program encouraging  stock diversification,  but due                                                               
to dwindling return rates the  rearing facility could not sustain                                                               
involvement.   He explained  that during  the summer  king salmon                                                               
would be collected for egg  retrieval and the eggs transported to                                                               
DIPAC in Juneau  for incubation.  The following  spring the smolt                                                               
would  be returned  to Skagway,  but  a great  deal of  mortality                                                               
occurred in the  transfer from Juneau to Skagway.   With the lack                                                               
of eggs collected  in previous years due to low  return rates, he                                                               
said Skagway  is currently seeing  a closure to sport  fishing of                                                               
king salmon in northern Lynn Canal.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BOYLE  added that Skagway has  a natural run of  coho that,                                                               
with the  help of HB 107,  could be brought back  to a reasonable                                                               
population  level.    The  underlying  benefits  of  HB  107,  he                                                               
continued, are the economic and  educational values.  The tourist                                                               
dollars brought in through sport  fishing affect the community as                                                               
a whole.   The infrastructure  that is created for  this resource                                                               
can plant  the seed  for future generations.   He  said Skagway's                                                               
community has  always been  a big  supporter of  fish enhancement                                                               
through volunteers  and programs  through the  school.   The bill                                                               
would  provide  an  additional  tool  in  educating  high  school                                                               
seniors who are  interested in a fisheries job,  thus building on                                                               
Alaska's future.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:54:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILL  MAYO,  Executive  Director, Tribal  Government  and  Client                                                               
Services, Tanana  Chiefs Conference  (TCC), testified  in support                                                               
of HB 107.   He said TCC has had experience  working with ADFG to                                                               
develop  a program  that  could  be added  to  TCC's toolbox  for                                                               
fisheries.    He   explained  that  TCC  wants   to  develop  its                                                               
capacities  because in  recent years  [tribal members]  have felt                                                               
very  vulnerable   with  the  decline  in   their  primary  human                                                               
consumption fish species as well  as other [species] in the past.                                                               
However,  he noted,  TCC has  discovered that  the current  state                                                               
permitting system basically has two  types of permits, neither of                                                               
which can  be used  for the kind  of rehabilitation  project that                                                               
TCC would  like to do.   This bill  would provide a  third permit                                                               
that would  enable TCC to  proceed with  its projects in  a close                                                               
working relationship with ADFG.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. MAYO stressed that  TCC does not in any way  want to harm the                                                               
wild stocks  and is  not approaching this  haphazardly.   But, he                                                               
continued,  TCC would  like  to develop  the  ability to  enhance                                                               
these  stocks that  [its members]  depend upon  if needed  in the                                                               
future.  These  are TCC's motivations, concerns,  and reasons for                                                               
giving its hearty support to HB 107.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:57:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  said he  is very  encouraged to  hear TCC's                                                               
support.   He  asked how  TCC envisions  this moving  forward and                                                               
whether TCC  would deploy individual incubation  stations or have                                                               
a central location.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MAYO replied  that TCC  staff are  running various  projects                                                               
around the  Interior in different  river systems, all  within the                                                               
Yukon  drainage.   There are  counting stations  and weirs  among                                                               
other things.   He  said TCC is  identifying spawning  streams on                                                               
which enhancement projects  could be done to  enhance the returns                                                               
to that  area.  Working  with the department, TCC  is identifying                                                               
and choosing  where to  start a  project.   Brood stock  would be                                                               
taken from  an existing  stream, [the  eggs] would  be incubated,                                                               
and  then  at  the  eyed  stage  of  development  they  would  be                                                               
replanted into the gravel beds  of their native spawning streams.                                                               
The other  option is to  incubate the  eggs until they  emerge in                                                               
the alevin stage and then place them into their native stream.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:00:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN  WINNESTAFFER,  Chickaloon  Native  Village,  testified  in                                                               
support  of HB  107.   He  said he  works  for Chickaloon  Native                                                               
Village, which  is located in  the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.   He                                                               
outlined his  extensive work experience as  a fisheries biologist                                                               
and noted that Chickaloon Native  Village has worked on many fish                                                               
population   rehabilitation  projects   and  many   fish  habitat                                                               
restoration projects.   One of  the village's first  fish passage                                                               
restoration projects was on Moose Creek  in 2005 in which over $1                                                               
million  was  spent, mostly  in  federal  funds, to  reroute  the                                                               
stream   back  into   its  original   alignment  after   railroad                                                               
activities  in  the  early  1900's  straightened  the  creek  and                                                               
created waterfalls  that precluded  fish passage  and essentially                                                               
deleted  11  miles  of  spawning  and  rearing  habitat.    After                                                               
rehabilitating  the habitat,  he continued,  the village  began a                                                               
project  to restore  fish  numbers by  implementing  a moist  air                                                               
incubation project  from 2007-2010.   The village  partnered with                                                               
the  U.S.  Fish and  Wildlife  Service,  ADFG, and  the  National                                                               
Oceanic  and Atmospheric  Administration.   The  project and  the                                                               
process worked well and the returns  of salmon, based on foot and                                                               
aerial surveys,  remained level  when similar  stocks of  fish in                                                               
the area dwindled.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WINNESTAFFER  stated  that Chickaloon  Native  Village  also                                                               
replaced or  rehabilitated many culverts  under Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
Borough and state roads that  were not providing fish passage and                                                               
were on  their last  stage of  usefulness.   He pointed  out that                                                               
because  there  wasn't  a  fisheries  rehabilitation  permit  the                                                               
village  had  to apply  for  multiple  permits,  such as  a  fish                                                               
resource  permit and  fish transport  permit with  prior approval                                                               
from  the Cook  Inlet Regional  Planning Team.   He  said HB  107                                                               
would  have been  a permit  that  was apropos  for the  village's                                                               
project and  would have  allowed the state  to track  the project                                                               
better.   It  would have  been labeled  a rehabilitation  project                                                               
versus a science or education permit.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. WINNESTAFFER  noted that all  these projects  represent local                                                               
people taking  interest in the  resources.  Instead of  an agency                                                               
coming in  and telling  folks what  to do  there is  an excellent                                                               
collaboration between  agencies and  local folks  to rehabilitate                                                               
[the  state's] trust  resources.   Chickaloon Native  Village was                                                               
able to bring  forward fish passage and population  issues to the                                                               
agencies and  was able to  leverage federal and state  dollars to                                                               
solve these issues, of which most  were federal dollars.  He said                                                               
passage of HB 107 would get to  the heart of these projects.  The                                                               
ability to rehabilitate a resource  that was impacted in the past                                                               
is a win-win  for the people of Alaska, all  user groups, and the                                                               
resource itself.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  offered  her praise  to  Chickaloon  for                                                               
doing a great job in rehabilitating its streams.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:03:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICKY  GEASE,  Executive  Director,  Kenai  River  Sport  Fishing                                                               
Association  (KRSFA), testified  in  opposition to  HB  107.   He                                                               
posed  a scenario  in  which there  are 2,000  wild  fish in  the                                                               
Nenana River with  1,000 females and 1,000 males.   He calculated                                                               
that  if an  enhancement  program had  100 of  the  females at  a                                                               
survival rate  of 95 percent  and the wild  stock had 900  of the                                                               
females  at  a  survival  rate   of  0.5  percent,  in  just  one                                                               
generation  the genetic  diversity would  be reduced  because the                                                               
enhanced portion  would generate  two-thirds of the  fry outgoing                                                               
and the wild stock would generate one-third.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEASE  said he understands low  king returns because it  is a                                                               
statewide issue  and [the Kenai  area] feels  it just as  much as                                                               
anywhere  else.   He stated  that there  is a  difference between                                                               
rehabilitating  and  reintroducing  a population  that  has  been                                                               
extirpated  versus trying  to enhance  low numbers  of fish  in a                                                               
population.  He said KRSFA thinks  that the best strategy for low                                                               
numbers  of fish  is to  drastically reduce  fishing pressure  on                                                               
those  fish,  maintain good  habitat,  and  let nature  take  its                                                               
course.  While  it is painful to go through  these periods of low                                                               
abundance, it is really important that  this be done.  The budget                                                               
for king salmon research was once  $30 million and it is now half                                                               
that.  Budget  cuts are difficult, he said, but  this bill is not                                                               
the right path.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEASE  provided an example  of where hatchery  components and                                                               
enhanced components can result in a  "trap."  He said that in the                                                               
Kenai River there  are enhanced runs on Hidden  Lake [Trail Lakes                                                               
Hatchery] and  pointed out  about 90 percent  of the  returns are                                                               
[fish  that  live  one  year  in  freshwater  and  two  years  in                                                               
saltwater (1.2  fish)], which are  the really small  torpedo fish                                                               
that  swim through  dipnets and  commercial nets.   However,  the                                                               
majority of returns of sockeye on  the Kenai are 2.2 fish and 2.3                                                               
fish - really large sockeye.   So, he stated, the concept of loss                                                               
of  genetic  diversity is  a  really  critical concept  and  with                                                               
today's department  standards of  strict separation  between wild                                                               
stocks  and enhanced  stocks  or hatchery  stocks,  it is  really                                                               
important.   He further pointed  out that  in many of  the marine                                                               
waters there are  hatchery terminal fisheries that  don't go into                                                               
anadromous  streams  and which  he  thinks  is really  key  going                                                               
forward.  He urged that more  thought go into the concept of loss                                                               
of genetic diversity.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. GEASE,  responding to Representative  Parish, stated  he sent                                                               
copies of his testimony to committee members via email.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:07:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY HILLSTRAND,  Pioneer Alaskan  Fisheries Inc.,  testified in                                                               
opposition to HB 107.  She  said her company has been in business                                                               
in Alaska for 53 years and that  she worked for ADFG for 21 years                                                               
in hatcheries  where she  raised all five  species of  salmon and                                                               
two trout.  She stated she is  very aware of what is being talked                                                               
about in  HB 107 and is  against the bill, the  reason being that                                                               
she has seen a lot of problems with weakened wild fish.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HILLSTRAND said  Alaska is  blessed with  its wild  spawning                                                               
salmon and that  what needs to be done more  so than putting fish                                                               
into  these  river  systems  is  doing  what  has  been  done  in                                                               
Chickaloon -  fixing culverts,  fixing the  habitat, and  most of                                                               
all going to  the Board of Fisheries and asking  why the fish are                                                               
not  getting up  as far  as Tanana  because that  has to  do with                                                               
management  problems downriver.    She related  that people  have                                                               
worked  hard  to  get  the  North  Pacific  Fisheries  Management                                                               
Council  to stop  some  of  the trawling  bycatch  and have  been                                                               
fairly successful, so maybe that  will help.  But, she continued,                                                               
HB 107 is  putting the cart before the horse  because fishing and                                                               
fish populations do go up and down.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HILLSTRAND  noted that  ADFG has  written a  scientific paper                                                               
about what  has happened at  Hidden Lake [Trail  Lakes Hatchery],                                                               
and the paper states that there  is a risk with doing these kinds                                                               
of things.   She said  it is  important to read  these scientific                                                               
papers that show damage is being  done to the wild fish.  Oregon,                                                               
Washington, and  Vancouver have all  done damage,  she continued,                                                               
and there  are many scientific  papers showing that this  kind of                                                               
activity  - enhancement  - can  be very  detrimental because  the                                                               
released fish outcompete the wild fish.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HILLSTRAND  brought attention to page  5 of HB 107  and noted                                                               
that the  regional planning teams  (RPTs) were  restructured with                                                               
ADFG and now  most of those teams are made  up of hatchery people                                                               
who work  for the aquaculture  associations.  These teams  are no                                                               
longer made up of ADFG staff  although they might have that name,                                                               
she maintained,  and it  is really  important to  look at  who is                                                               
taking care  of the state's  supposed wild  fish.  She  urged the                                                               
committee to  take care of the  state's wild fish and  said there                                                               
are other  ways to do  rehabilitation, which is  totally separate                                                               
from enhancement.  She also urged the two be defined.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:09:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  CAIN,  President,  Copper   Valley  Chamber  of  Commerce,                                                               
testified in  support of HB 107.   He said many  of the chamber's                                                               
members are sport-fishing  guides, but that this  year the Copper                                                               
River  sport-fishing  season  for  king salmon  has  been  closed                                                               
because of a  lack of return.  There is  the Gulkana Hatchery, he                                                               
continued,  and  the  Gulkana  sockeye run  is  strong  at  about                                                               
300,000 returns  and has been  going on  since 1977.   The Copper                                                               
River fishery is one of the  best managed fisheries in the world.                                                               
He related that  the chamber has said it doesn't  want the Copper                                                               
River to become  like the Yukon River and the  hatcheries, one of                                                               
the reasons for  that.  But, he said, no  king salmon enhancement                                                               
is done  on the Copper  River and now  people are faced  with the                                                               
year of where  everything is closed because of lack  of return on                                                               
the king salmon.  Efforts must be balanced, he added.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. CAIN  maintained that  incubation boxes are  not an  issue of                                                               
genetic diversity because they come  from the wild stocks and are                                                               
hatched  just like  wild stocks.    He said  it is  a good,  non-                                                               
intrusive system that  has been tested and proven  for many years                                                               
to be  successful.   The Copper  River sport-fishing  guides will                                                               
not be  guiding this year, he  reiterated.  The fisheries  can be                                                               
closed like has  happened on the Yukon and people  can sit around                                                               
hoping things come  back.  Or, he continued, folks  can take care                                                               
of themselves,  which is part of  the approach of HB  107, a good                                                               
approach that he supports.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:12:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN  ASHTON testified  in support  of HB  107.   He said  he is                                                               
representing himself  but is before  the committee on  request of                                                               
Representative Talerico  to help answer questions  because he has                                                               
been involved  in salmon restoration for  over 15 years.   He was                                                               
involved in some  of the mega-hatcheries in  Southeast Alaska and                                                               
helped  develop some  of the  technologies that  are being  used.                                                               
From being  raised in villages, he  said, he has realized  that a                                                               
balance must be found with how  to help these fish survive, given                                                               
that  people are  certainly very  good at  taking them.   He  has                                                               
dealt with ADFG  for many years, he continued, and  is in support                                                               
of HB  107 simply because  it fills a  gap that exists  today for                                                               
being able to do this effectively  and have good controls on when                                                               
it is appropriate  and when it is not.   Other permits are trying                                                               
to be used that are not  appropriate, he said, and he appreciates                                                               
ADF&G for  the years  it has  helped to  make those  permits fit.                                                               
This bill  simply clarifies how to  do it when it  is appropriate                                                               
to do it.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. ASHTON  addressed some of  the statements made  in opposition                                                               
to the bill.  He offered  his belief that it was overstated about                                                               
the numbers  overwhelming the genetic  stocks of the fish.   When                                                               
talking  about genetics  policy  with the  fisheries managers  at                                                               
ADFG, they will specifically talk  about the numbers of fish that                                                               
are  going  to be  enhanced  because  they  have had  decades  of                                                               
experience looking at what the ratio  would be of those wild fish                                                               
spawning compared to greatly increasing  the survival of the wild                                                               
fish by  assisting their survival.   They  will look at  what the                                                               
escapement is and what the numbers  are, he said, and discuss how                                                               
to do this  without overwhelming the natural stocks,  in spite of                                                               
the  fact that  these fish  are wild  fish as  well.   The Copper                                                               
River  enhancement program  has had  40 million  eggs a  year for                                                               
decades and the stock is still well.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. ASHTON  stated that there  are stocks  of fish that  have not                                                               
come back.   The Bradfield River south of Wrangell  was a mutant-                                                               
sized fish  on a par  with the Kenai River,  he related.   It was                                                               
logged down to the watershed  and the habitat was never restored.                                                               
It should  be a [U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency] Superfund                                                               
project and  work is being  done on  getting that restored.   The                                                               
stock is so far  down in its numbers, he said,  that while it may                                                               
return  eventually it  would take  many decades  to do  it.   The                                                               
remnant  stock  could be  captured,  and  the population  brought                                                               
back.  These  Southeast Alaska fish were the size  of Kenai River                                                               
kings.  As oil continues  to diminish, it is critically important                                                               
to look at  Alaska's natural reoccurring stocks like  in the case                                                               
of salmon to ensure they are being helped as best as possible.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ASHTON pointed  out that  tribes on  Prince of  Wales Island                                                               
have  spent   over  10  years   restoring  the  habitat   in  the                                                               
watersheds, but  the stocks are  down so  much that they  look at                                                               
this as  the only option.   The tribes have restored  the habitat                                                               
to reintroduce  the fish that  are gone  that have not  come back                                                               
for decades.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. ASHTON stated there would not  be any feeding [under HB 107].                                                               
He said he helped write this  bill in collaboration with ADFG and                                                               
very conservative regulations were looked  at to ensure that this                                                               
policy could  not be abused.   The wild stocks and  the nature of                                                               
the wild stocks must be protected.   What is being proposed in HB                                                               
107 is absolutely different than  taking king salmon in the Lower                                                               
48 that  are incubated, reared  in pens, and  fed all the  way to                                                               
the smolt  stage for a year  in a conventional hatchery  and then                                                               
letting them come back.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. ASHTON offered  his belief that by law  the regional planning                                                               
teams  must have  ADFG  staff on  those  teams.   It  is good  to                                                               
question  who  is going  to  be  approving  these things  in  the                                                               
regional  planning  teams, he  said,  but  ADFG serves  on  those                                                               
boards.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ASHTON offered  his appreciation  for  Co-Chair Tarr  asking                                                               
that people with  concerns submit them in writing.   He said ADFG                                                               
can  provide  information  regarding  such  concerns  as  genetic                                                               
diversity.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:17:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  asked  what  made [the  Bradfield  River]  a                                                               
Superfund  site and  what hurt  the  habitat on  Prince of  Wales                                                               
Island.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ASHTON replied  that  it  is not  a  Superfund  site on  the                                                               
Bradfield River,  but he  suggested it  should be  considered one                                                               
because back  in the  1960's and 1970's  the U.S.  Forest Service                                                               
oversaw logging where gravel was  actually taken out of the river                                                               
to  build the  logging roads.   He  said it  was over  the entire                                                               
floodplain within  the water system  and it simply  decimated the                                                               
watershed.   Prince of  Wales Island had  logging that  was right                                                               
down to  the watershed as well,  he continued.  Great  steps have                                                               
been  taken because  the communities  are close  enough to  it in                                                               
collaborating  with state  and federal  agencies.   Environmental                                                               
groups have funded the restoration of that habitat, he noted.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:17:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  related   that  committee   members  have                                                               
received a letter  of concern from the Kenai  River Sport Fishing                                                               
Association  about the  biological diversity.   He  said he  will                                                               
provide this letter to Mr. Ashton  so that Mr. Ashton can provide                                                               
his comments between now and the committee's next meeting.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. ASHTON responded that he  will provide comment, but suggested                                                               
the letter  also be provided to  the genetics lab at  ADFG, which                                                               
has the  best genetics policies  in the world for  protecting the                                                               
state's stocks of fish.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:18:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   PARISH  recalled   Mr.  Ashton   mentioning  the                                                               
possibility of restoring  stocks to streams where  the salmon are                                                               
currently  not returning.    He inquired  whether  that would  be                                                               
permitted under the bill as it  currently stands in that it talks                                                               
about taking  eggs from one set  of waters and returning  them to                                                               
the same waters.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ASHTON  answered that  the  watersheds  he is  referring  to                                                               
actually have  a remnant stock, but  the stock is so  low that it                                                               
can't be expected to recover for a very, very long time.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
[HB 107 was held over.]                                                                                                         
3:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:19 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 197 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 4/10/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/26/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/28/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/1/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Version J 4.5.2017.pdf HRES 4/10/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/26/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/28/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/1/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Sectional Analysis ver J 4.6.2017.pdf HRES 4/10/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/26/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/28/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/1/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Fiscal Note - DNR-PMC 4.7.17.pdf HRES 4/10/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/26/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/28/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/1/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB197 Supporting Document - Article. Seed Bill 4.9.17.pdf HRES 4/10/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/12/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/17/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/26/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/28/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 5/1/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 197
HB 107 Sponsor Statement 2.8.17.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/26/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107
HB 107 Ver O 2.8.17.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107
HB 107 CS (FSH) WORK DRAFT version U 3.6.2017.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107
HB 107 CS (FSH) Explanation of Changes 3.6.2017.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107
HB 107 Sectional Analysis 2.8.2017.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107
HB107 Fiscal Note DFG-DCF 2.24.17.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107 Additional Documentation Egg to Fry survival rates.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107 Additional Documentation. Considerations for Salmon Restoration Planning.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 107 Additional Documents - Fish Enhancement in AK History.pdf HRES 4/19/2017 1:00:00 PM