Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/07/2018 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:02:42 PM Start
01:03:15 PM Presentation(s): Economic Benefits of Public Lands in Alaska
02:48:48 PM HB272
03:10:19 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Economic Benefits of Public Lands TELECONFERENCED
in AK for Small Business Development
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ HB 272 TANGLE LAKES STATE GAME REFUGE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 7, 2018                                                                                          
                           1:02 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Andy Josephson, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative John Lincoln                                                                                                     
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Justin Parish                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Chris Tuck (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF PUBLIC LANDS IN ALASKA                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 272                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing the Tangle Lakes State Game Refuge; and                                                                    
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 272                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TANGLE LAKES STATE GAME REFUGE                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
01/12/18       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/12/18                                                                               
01/16/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/18       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
02/13/18       (H)       FSH AT 11:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
02/13/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/13/18       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/27/18       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
02/27/18       (H)       Moved HB 272 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/27/18       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
02/28/18       (H)       FSH RPT 4DP 2DNP 1NR                                                                                   
02/28/18       (H)       DP:   EDGMON,    TARR,   KREISS-TOMKINS,                                                               
                         STUTES                                                                                                 
02/28/18       (H)       DNP: EASTMAN, NEUMAN                                                                                   
02/28/18       (H)       NR: CHENAULT                                                                                           
03/07/18       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LEE HART, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Valdez Adventure Alliance (VAA); Founder,                                                                                       
Confluence:  Summit on the Outdoors                                                                                             
Valdez, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the presentation on the                                                                  
economic benefits of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THOR STACEY, Director of Government Affairs                                                                                     
Alaska Professional Hunters Association (APHA)                                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the presentation on the                                                                  
economic benefits of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERICA CARROLL, Alaska Field Representative                                                                                      
National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the presentation on the                                                                  
economic benefits of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EJ REISER, Store Manager                                                                                                        
The North Face                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the presentation on the                                                                  
economic benefits of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS BECK, AICP, Principal/Founder                                                                                             
Agnew::Beck Consulting                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Participated in the presentation on the                                                                  
economic benefits of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN BLANCHARD, Owner                                                                                                            
UnCruise Adventures                                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Participated  in the  presentation on  the                                                             
economic benefits of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAILIN O'BRIEN-FEENEY, State and Local Policy Manager                                                                           
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA)                                                                                              
Boulder, Colorado                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Participated  in the  presentation on  the                                                             
economic benefits of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA DELANEY, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented HB 272 on behalf  of the sponsor,                                                             
Representative Andy Josephson.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
BRENT GOODRUM, Director                                                                                                         
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to HB 272.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:02:4PM                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  GERAN   TARR  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:02 p.m.   Representatives Tarr,                                                               
Josephson, Parish,  Talerico, Rauscher, and Lincoln  were present                                                               
at the  call to  order.   Representatives Johnson,  Drummond, and                                                               
Birch arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF PUBLIC LANDS IN ALASKA                                                                  
 PRESENTATION(S):  ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF PUBLIC LANDS IN ALASKA                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:03:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  presentations  related  to  the  economic  benefits  of  non-                                                               
extractive uses of public lands in Alaska.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR explained the [invited]  witnesses would be talking                                                               
about developing  outdoor recreation  adventure in  Alaska, which                                                               
would provide new  economic opportunities and jobs  to the state.                                                               
She said  the committee  has an  important role  to play  in this                                                               
development because  it has jurisdiction  over the  Department of                                                               
Natural  Resource (DNR),  Division  of Parks  and Recreation  and                                                               
Division of Land, Mining, and Water.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:05:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR introduced  the first  invited witness,  Lee Hart,                                                               
executive director  of Valdez Adventure  Alliance and  founder of                                                               
Confluence Alaska,  two coalitions dedicated to  growing Alaska's                                                               
economy  through the  mountain sports  lifestyle.   She said  Ms.                                                               
Hart  is chair  pro tem  of the  Valdez Economic  Diversification                                                               
Committee and  chair of the newly  formed recreation subcommittee                                                               
of  the U.S.  Bureau  of Land  Management  (BLM) Alaska  Resource                                                               
Advisory Council.   For  nearly 20 years,  Ms. Lee  has conducted                                                               
public  relations outreach  on behalf  of leading  brands in  the                                                               
outdoor, snow sports, bike, and adventure travel industries.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:06:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LEE  HART, Executive  Director, Valdez  Adventure Alliance  (VAA)                                                               
and Founder, Confluence:   Summit on the Outdoors,  noted she and                                                               
a  delegation are  in  the capitol  building  to help  illuminate                                                               
opportunities  for  the  state  to  create  jobs,  diversify  the                                                               
economy,  and  stimulate  rural economic  development     all  by                                                               
playing to the state's inherent  and biggest strength as the last                                                               
frontier  state.   She  said the  delegation  represents a  cross                                                               
section of stakeholders from the  outdoor recreation industry and                                                               
is present to talk about the  economic value of the industry that                                                               
many call the "sleeping giant."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART explained  this all started with creation  of the Valdez                                                               
Adventure Alliance two  years ago.  The alliance's  mission is to                                                               
diversify  the  economy in  Valdez  through  the development  and                                                               
promotion  of activities  and projects  that  support a  mountain                                                               
sports  lifestyle.   To  that end,  VAA  manages three  different                                                               
sporting events - an ice  climbing festival, a fat bike festival,                                                               
and a  rock and yoga  festival.   The alliance also  manages four                                                               
state  park units,  which  would  have been  closed  had VAA  not                                                               
responded  to  a request  for  proposals  (RFP).   About  100,000                                                               
visitors a year  come through the area for the  three events, she                                                               
reported.  This  led to the creation of  Confluence Alaska, which                                                               
held its  first conference in June  2016.  The rational  was that                                                               
she and  VAA could be more  successful if there was  more fertile                                                               
ground  around the  state.   A  gathering was  hosted of  diverse                                                               
voices with a stake in  Alaska's great outdoors   winter, summer,                                                               
motorized,   nonmotorized,    hunters,   anglers,   snowboarders,                                                               
kayakers, climbers, bikers,  academia, manufacturing, government,                                                               
nonprofit, retail, military, and  public health.  Participants in                                                               
the meeting confirmed there was  a depth and breadth of political                                                               
will to join forces to  convince elected officials to empower and                                                               
enable the  overlooked industry so  that it could reach  its full                                                               
potential.  She  said Alaska has an opportunity  to diversify its                                                               
economy and  accelerate its growth  with a coordinated  effort to                                                               
boost recreation activity on public lands.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART highlighted how the  outdoor recreation sector fits into                                                               
the  state's  [2017-2022]   economic  development  strategy  plan                                                               
["Northern Opportunity: Alaska's  Economic Strategy," prepared by                                                               
the Department  of Commerce, Community, and  Economic Development                                                               
(DCCED)].  This  plan is the trail map for  creating a stable and                                                               
sustainable  economy, she  said,  yet there  is  no reference  to                                                               
outdoor recreation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART posited this omission  is because the outdoor recreation                                                               
industry is  still being recognized  as its own  economic sector.                                                               
She  drew attention  to a  chart she  provided the  committee and                                                               
noted that  this new  data from the  U.S. Department  of Commerce                                                               
considers outdoor recreation as a  satellite account and shows it                                                               
contributes $374 billion  to the U.S. economy.   The data further                                                               
shows that the  outdoor recreation sector accounts  for 2 percent                                                               
of U.S. gross  domestic production (GDP) and that  growth in this                                                               
sector outpaces economic growth overall.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:11:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HART noted  the Business  Development Goal  in the  Northern                                                               
Opportunity plan  is to,  Cultivate a  resilient business climate                                                               
that  supports  growth and  expansion  of  existing and  emerging                                                               
industries."  She  said the outdoor recreation  industry would be                                                               
the perfect  mechanism for reaching  [the goal's  measurement] to                                                               
increase  the total  number of  visitors to  Alaska by  5 percent                                                               
annually, demonstrate an increase  in rural community visitation,                                                               
and increase shoulder season and  winter visitation by 5 percent.                                                               
This is being  done in Valdez, she continued,  with the festivals                                                               
attracting  a  steady base  of  sports  enthusiasts in  otherwise                                                               
"dead" seasons for Valdez.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HART related  that [another  measurement under  the Business                                                               
Development goal] is increased  capital investment and subsequent                                                               
jobs in rural Alaska.  She  further noted the [action item in the                                                               
strategic  plan]  to create  new  and  support existing  business                                                               
mentorship  programs  in  rural  Alaska.   She  said  this  could                                                               
include engaging in public relations  programs that highlight the                                                               
importance and  economic impact of  uniquely Alaska  products and                                                               
services that have been developed  and exported around the world,                                                               
such as  pack rafting  and fat biking,  and the  public relations                                                               
value Alaska's homegrown Olympians.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  said the plan  calls for increasing  sustainable growth                                                               
in the  emerging visitor  industry segments  of eco  tourism, geo                                                               
tourism, adventure travel,  and Arctic tourism, all  of which fit                                                               
exactly  with  outdoor  recreation.   The  plan  also  calls  for                                                               
increasing  shoulder  season  and  winter  visitor  capacity  and                                                               
infrastructure  by  promoting  Alaska specific  products,  iconic                                                               
features, and events to target markets.   The holy trinity in the                                                               
visitor industry,  she continued, is northern  lights, bears, and                                                               
glaciers, which  Alaska has  in spades along  with much  room for                                                               
growth in  events.   The Iditarod  Trail Sled  Dog Race  is known                                                               
around the world, she continued,  and with some marketing support                                                               
other things in Alaska could rise to the same level.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  addressed the strategic  plan's call for  continuing to                                                               
assess the  unmet workforce needs through  business retention and                                                               
expansion surveys and  other outreach.  She related  that for the                                                               
Valdez  ice fest,  the guides  who teach  the climbing  and heli-                                                               
skiing  classes are  largely  from the  Lower 48.    There is  no                                                               
reason,  she  opined, that  those  jobs  shouldn't be  cultivated                                                               
within Alaska's youth, so the  state has homegrown guides.  These                                                               
are   professional   careers   that   require   much   expertise,                                                               
certification, and acumen.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  spoke to  the strategic  plan's Finance  and Investment                                                               
Goal  to, "Maximize  the  productive use  of  capital for  Alaska                                                               
business expansion."   The  plan calls for  creation of  a formal                                                               
report on sources and gaps  in available capital for all business                                                               
investment in  Alaska, she continued, and  DCCED has commissioned                                                               
the University of Alaska to  conduct an emerging markets study of                                                               
outdoor recreation.   She said  [VAA's] intent is to  release the                                                               
study's findings  in conjunction with the  fall [2018] Confluence                                                               
conference.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:16:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART noted [an objective  of the Finance and Investment Goal]                                                               
is to maximize  existing sources and seek new  sources of capital                                                               
that  spread  out  risk  to  multiple  parties.    For  this  the                                                               
strategic  plan  references  [as  partners] the  U.S.  Bureau  of                                                               
Indian Affairs (BIA), U.S. Department  of Agriculture (USDA), and                                                               
the  Small Business  Administration  (SBA).   She suggested  that                                                               
through  the lens  of  outdoor recreation,  there  could also  be                                                               
coordination with  USDA's Forest  Service, the BLM,  the National                                                               
Park  Service,  and  Alaska's Department  of  Natural  Resources.                                                               
Regarding  the  plan's action  item  to  involve local  community                                                               
foundation  affiliate   organizations  in  the   facilitation  of                                                               
organizational capacity  building, she  argued that,  through the                                                               
lens of  the outdoor recreation industry,  community-based trails                                                               
organizations should be included in this.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HART turned  to the  strategic plan's  [Economic Development                                                               
Infrastructure  Goal to  "Build the  transportation, energy,  and                                                               
technological  foundations for  economic growth."]   She  pointed                                                               
out  that  infrastructure  in outdoor  recreation  includes  such                                                               
things as trails and hut-to-hut  systems.  The outdoor recreation                                                               
industry envisions being  part of a roundtable  with other Alaska                                                               
industries  to  mitigate  the daunting  challenges  of  exporting                                                               
innovative  Alaska-made products,  she  continued.   The  outdoor                                                               
recreation  industry  wants  to  join in  positioning  Alaska  to                                                               
thrive in a technology advanced  global economy and in the plan's                                                               
objective to increase the pipeline  of bankable startup companies                                                               
in  Alaska by  10 percent.   Alaska's  environment inspires  some                                                               
amazing technology, she  pointed out.  For  example, the aviation                                                               
industry  and  bush pilots  developed  the  technology for  short                                                               
takeoffs  and landings,  a response  to people  demanding to  get                                                               
into Alaska's backcountry.  Ms.  Hart addressed the plan's action                                                               
item     to,    "Support     and    expand     Alaska    Startups                                                               
(alaskastartups.com) a  central online  statewide hub  of startup                                                               
information,  events,  resources,  and partnerships."    This  is                                                               
something  her   friends  who  started   some  of   these  actual                                                               
industries  in  Alaska  would have  appreciated  when  they  were                                                               
starting up, she shared.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HART addressed  the strategic  plan's [Economic  Development                                                               
Capacity  Building Goal]  to, "Strengthen  the ability  of Alaska                                                               
organizations  to  execute  economic development  initiates  that                                                               
create jobs  and investment."   She stated  that for  the outdoor                                                               
recreation industry  those jobs and  investments would be  by and                                                               
for Alaskans.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART moved  to the plan's Quality of Life  Goal [to, "Improve                                                               
the  attractiveness  and  livability  of  Alaska  communities  to                                                               
attract  and  to  retain  a  quality workforce  and  to  set  the                                                               
foundations  for economic  well-being."]   She said  there is  no                                                               
question  that outdoor  recreation  is the  shining mechanism  to                                                               
enhance quality  of life  in the  state.   Many of  the sentences                                                               
[written  under  this  goal]  could   be  finished  with  outdoor                                                               
recreation.      For   example,  she   continued:   improve   the                                                               
attractiveness and  livability of  Alaska communities  to attract                                                               
and  retain  quality  workforces  and  set  the  foundations  for                                                               
economic  wellbeing     through  access  to  outdoor  recreation;                                                               
utilize  new metrics  to  inform and  implement  quality of  life                                                               
programs on a local level    with outdoor recreation programming;                                                               
assess  options for  reducing the  cost of  health insurance  and                                                               
individual health care programs  with outdoor recreation.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:21:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  noted that [one of  the action items under  the Quality                                                               
of  Life Goal]  is the  call to  expand and  promote recreational                                                               
access to  public lands.   This is  right in the  "wheelhouse" of                                                               
the outdoor recreation industry, she said.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  related the strategic plan  further identifies existing                                                               
industries that are fast growing and  likely to remain so for the                                                               
coming years, she continued.   The outdoor recreation industry is                                                               
not  listed here  because nobody  knew to  consider that  sector.                                                               
She  challenged committee  members  to begin  thinking about  the                                                               
outdoor  recreation sector  and  its considerable  impact on  the                                                               
Alaska economy - $7.3 billion  in consumer spending, 72,000 jobs,                                                               
and  $2.3 billion  in  wages and  salaries  generated from  those                                                               
jobs.   These  are not  minimum wage,  unskilled labor,  seasonal                                                               
jobs, she stressed.  These  are people making lifestyle decisions                                                               
as  they pursue  their careers,  build families,  and send  their                                                               
kids to college.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HART  further noted  that  the  strategic plan's  strengths,                                                               
weaknesses, opportunities, and threats  (SWOT) analysis calls out                                                               
the  natural beauty  that attracts  visitors  and new  residents.                                                               
However,  she  pointed  out,  the   opportunity  section  of  the                                                               
analysis doesn't  reference what might  be done to  channel that.                                                               
To  look at  something  tangible  in this  regard,  she said  she                                                               
reviewed National  Park Service statistics and  found that Denali                                                               
National  Park and  Preserve provides  $600  million of  economic                                                               
output in Alaska.  Kobuk Valley  National Park, a park not on the                                                               
road system,  generates $24.4 million  in visitor spending.   She                                                               
urged  that the  state  market  its other  parks  in addition  to                                                               
Denali.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART said reasons to  invest in the outdoor recreation sector                                                               
include that  it is  recession resistant,  grows Alaska  jobs for                                                               
Alaskans, and  has some of the  best building blocks in  the U.S.                                                               
She drew attention to page 32  of the strategic plan which states                                                               
that Alaska  has 34,000 miles  of marine shoreline and  3 million                                                               
lakes,  marshlands,  and  wetlands.   The  state  has  permafrost                                                               
[covering  almost  10,000  square miles]  and  glaciers  covering                                                               
28,000 square  miles.   Additionally, Alaska is  home to  some of                                                               
the  biggest  mountain  ranges  in the  world.    Therefore,  she                                                               
continued, Alaska has  the building blocks to do  something.  Ms.                                                               
Hart suggested that one way to  get started doing something is to                                                               
start  with preserving  and sustaining  funding for  Alaska state                                                               
parks.   The  state's park  division is  there to  help make  the                                                               
state parks more self-sustaining.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  concluded by urging  the committee to  consider outdoor                                                               
recreation and  how it might play  a role as the  committee plans                                                               
programs  and   invests  in  initiatives  today   that  will  pay                                                               
dividends for  the economy,  health, and  lifestyle of  the state                                                               
for generations to come.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:25:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   DRUMMOND  offered   her  appreciation   for  the                                                               
information provided  and inquired whether the  strategic plan is                                                               
available to the committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART  replied that the plan,  "Northern Opportunity: Alaska's                                                               
Economic Development  Strategy," is  a product of  the Department                                                               
of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED).                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:26:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  asked about  how to  attract more  winter visitors                                                               
and where winter visitors come from.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HART  responded that  the  recently  concluded ice  climbing                                                               
festival  is the  biggest festival  and  one of  the biggest  ice                                                               
fests  in  the world.    Most  people  attending the  recent  ice                                                               
festival  were  from  Anchorage  and  Fairbanks,  she  said,  but                                                               
visitors also  came from  12 states and  the countries  of Mexico                                                               
and the  Czech Republic.   The ice climbing community  is willing                                                               
to travel to enjoy the sport  in other places and the Valdez area                                                               
has a reputation for iconic and ridiculous natural ice features.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:27:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON remarked  that there is no  question as to                                                               
the  value of  outdoor  recreation  in Alaska  and  that her  own                                                               
daughter attended the recent ice festival.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   RAUSCHER  offered   his  appreciation   for  the                                                               
information.   Outside of  questions about the  jobs, he  said he                                                               
realizes the  market needs to be  improved and is already  one of                                                               
the main drivers in the state.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:28:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR stated  that rural  development is  something that                                                               
should be studied and thought about  more.  She asked whether Ms.                                                               
Hart's group is working with smaller communities.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HART  answered that  she  and  Chris  Beck gave  a  sold-out                                                               
presentation about a  year ago to a statewide  convention of city                                                               
planners, and there  was lots of interaction  from people working                                                               
with cities and boroughs for  recreation planning.  She said many                                                               
of the  jobs, guide  services, and  lodges are  essentially small                                                               
businesses,  but  small  businesses   are  the  backbone  of  the                                                               
American economy.  Thanks to  internet technology people can more                                                               
readily choose  which communities they  want to live in.   Access                                                               
to outdoor  recreation is an  important consideration  for people                                                               
who  are looking  into  starting  their careers.    So, there  is                                                               
plenty of  opportunity to talk  about how some of  Alaska's rural                                                               
communities and villages could benefit.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:30:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LINCOLN  asked whether  Ms. Hart  is aware  of the                                                               
decrease  in state  spending on  statewide  tourism marketing  as                                                               
well as aware of the bill that is being considered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HART confirmed she is aware  and that when budgets are cut it                                                               
is imperative for the agencies  to deliver the numbers and refine                                                               
their  targets.   She related  that for  small parks  there is  a                                                               
downturn  in  visitor  spending that  parallels  the  decline  of                                                               
marketing  revenues for  the Alaska  Travel Industry  Association                                                               
(ATIA).  In  further response, she said she would  provide a link                                                               
to where that information can be found.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:32:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  introduced the next invited  witness, Thor Stacey,                                                               
a lifelong Alaskan  born in a cabin in Indian,  Alaska.  She said                                                               
Mr. Stacey has guided hunters in  Alaska for 19 years and that he                                                               
grew  up with  a  passion for  hunting,  fishing, and  wilderness                                                               
adventure.   His family  made a living  operating a  small placer                                                               
mine in the  Arctic seven miles north of Wiseman,  she noted.  In                                                               
1988 while  serving in the  U.S. Marine Corps Reserve,  Mr. Stacy                                                               
was employed  in the  guide industry  as a packer.   He  became a                                                               
licensed  assistant guide  in  2000 while  still  serving in  the                                                               
reserve.  She further noted that  Mr. Stacey has also worked as a                                                               
miner,   commercial  fisherman,   trapper,  and   timber  feller.                                                               
Currently  he  has a  federal  hunting  guide concession  in  the                                                               
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)  where he guides hunts for                                                               
sheep, caribou, grizzly  bear, and wolves.   Additionally, he has                                                               
represented  the Alaska  Professional Hunters  Association (APHA)                                                               
before the legislature since 2012.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THOR STACEY, Director of  Government Affairs, Alaska Professional                                                               
Hunters Association (APHA), stated he  is before the committee on                                                               
behalf of  the APHA and its  president Mr. Sam Rohrer  of Kodiak.                                                               
While  much will  be  heard about  new  opportunities, he  noted,                                                               
guided  hunting  is  probably  the  oldest  outdoor  recreational                                                               
industry in the state, beginning in the 1920's or earlier.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY  turned  to  his  PowerPoint  presentation  entitled,                                                               
"Guided Hunting  in Alaska," dated  3/6/18, and  defined "hunting                                                               
guide"  as a  licensed  professional in  the  state who  conducts                                                               
guide activities.   He  pointed out  that there  is no  school or                                                               
vocational  program to  become a  licensed hunting  guide; it  is                                                               
only done  through on-the-job  training, usually  coming up  as a                                                               
packer.  The opportunity is open  to many rural Alaskans and even                                                               
some  non-Alaskans,  he said.    Hunting  guides accompany  their                                                               
visiting  clients  in  the  field,   provide  a  safe  adventure,                                                               
identify the desirable  animals to pursue, cook  for the clients,                                                               
care  for physical  ailments, cheer  on the  clients, pack  heavy                                                               
gear, answer  questions, and provide logistics  support, but most                                                               
importantly  a  solid  interpretive  experience.    There  is  no                                                               
guarantee that a client will harvest an animal, he added.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY noted  that  visiting hunters  wishing  to hunt  Dall                                                               
sheep,  brown bear,  or mountain  goats are  required [by  Alaska                                                               
law] to  hire a guide.   However, he continued,  visiting hunters                                                               
do choose to  hire guides for animals such as  moose, caribou, or                                                               
deer, species which do not require a guide.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY addressed  the  economics of  the  guide industry  by                                                               
referencing  two McDowell  reports in  the committee  packet, one                                                               
finished in  2016 but based on  2015 numbers, and the  other more                                                               
detailed report  completed in 2012.   In 2015, he  related, there                                                               
was a total  of $87.2 million of economic activity  in the state,                                                               
of  which $52.5  million was  new dollars  to the  state economy.                                                               
There  was a  total of  3,240 guided  trips in  the state,  which                                                               
represents about  3 percent  of the allocation.   Another  way to                                                               
say it,  he continued,  is that  3 percent  of the  total hunting                                                               
effort in the state was by customers of hunting guides.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. STACEY  said Alaska's guide businesses  are small businesses.                                                               
Most  contracting guides,  about 80  percent, serve  15 or  fewer                                                               
clients each  year.   Therefore, hunting  guides represent  a low                                                               
volume, but high margin, type of small business.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. STACEY  pointed out that  hunting guides use State  of Alaska                                                               
public  lands, U.S.  Fish &  Wildlife  Service wildlife  refuges,                                                               
U.S. Forest  Service national forests, and  National Park Service                                                               
preserves.   He  added that  there  is increasing  use of  Native                                                               
corporation  lands   as  regional  corporations   understand  the                                                               
sustainable business opportunity that guiding hunters offers.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. STACEY reported that 89  percent of the 575 registered guides                                                               
in the state  in 2012 were Alaska residents.   The rate of Alaska                                                               
ownership in Alaska hunting guide  business is among the highest,                                                               
if not the  highest, of the resource dependent  industries in the                                                               
state.   He said [APHA] has  worked hard to maintain  that Alaska                                                               
ownership and  it isn't  easy.   At one time  100 percent  of the                                                               
Alaska  guide  businesses  were  Alaska  owned  and  that  number                                                               
continues  to slowly  slip.   Mr. Stacey  stated that  registered                                                               
hunting  guides live  everywhere across  the state,  although the                                                               
majority live in the major urban  centers.  Slightly more than 50                                                               
percent of the  economic impact of the hunting  guide industry is                                                               
felt in  rural Alaska, he  added, which is  spending, employment,                                                               
and goods and services.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:41:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY pointed  out  there  is more  than  the economics  as                                                               
hunting guides are  using valuable food animals  and guides share                                                               
much  of this  valuable food  source.   An  individual guide  can                                                               
provide much more  meat and sustenance than he/she  needs for his                                                               
family, he  said.  Therefore,  the tradition of sharing  meat and                                                               
supporting local communities and elders  across the state is very                                                               
strong with  the Alaska guide  community.  Because all  game meat                                                               
is wanted and  sharing it is something of value,  he said he uses                                                               
the word "share"  rather than the word "donate."   Hunting guides                                                               
shared 230,000 pounds of game meat in 2015.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. STACEY recognized Representative  Talerico's hard work during                                                               
the last  legislature to  raise the  state's hunting  license and                                                               
tag fees by  sponsoring House Bill 137.  The  hunting license and                                                               
tag fee is the public/private  partnership that the hunting guide                                                               
industry participates in, he said.   About 72 percent of Division                                                               
of  Wildlife   funds  for  managing  the   state's  wildlife  are                                                               
attributed  to non-local,  visiting hunters.   The  hunting guide                                                               
industry's  customers   are  almost  100   percent  non-resident,                                                               
visiting  hunters, so  the hunting  guide  industry supports  the                                                               
state  and all  the management  for everyone's  enjoyment of  the                                                               
state's wildlife.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY  noted there  are  other  users, including  federally                                                               
qualified  rural subsistence  hunters,  Alaska resident  hunters,                                                               
other guides,  and other  commercial recreation  users.   He said                                                               
APHA is very cognizant of  the potential for conflicts with other                                                               
wildlife  users.   The APHA  supports all  types of  policies, he                                                               
continued, and has many ideas on  how to prevent conflicts and to                                                               
keep  its   industry  up-to-date   and  in  line   with  conflict                                                               
mitigation, whether it be state or between private parties.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY addressed  the future.    He said  the hunting  guide                                                               
industry  relies  on  the  opportunity  to  harvest  animals  and                                                               
charges  a fee  to do  so.   The APHA  realizes those  are loaded                                                               
things in  the discussion  over wildlife  and people's  values of                                                               
wildlife.   The  APHA's  priority, he  stated,  is a  sustainable                                                               
harvest  through   the  support  of  wildlife   conservation  and                                                               
stepping forward to  support things like paying  more for hunting                                                               
licenses  and  APHA  customers'  nonresident  tags.    These  are                                                               
important, he  continued, because  without the  wildlife resource                                                               
and  a sustainable  management strategy,  [hunting guides]  don't                                                               
exist.   He pointed out  that [professional hunting  guides] have                                                               
the lowest priority  to allocation of any of the  users that rely                                                               
on wildlife.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY, regarding  the social  perceptions of  hunting, said                                                               
APHA realizes  it must stay  up-to-date and must be  sensitive to                                                               
the perception  of wildlife  take by  other groups,  both hunters                                                               
and nonhunters  alike.   The APHA  works on  that, he  noted, and                                                               
hopes to  interact with the  legislature and other  policy makers                                                               
to keep policy up-to-date with society's expectations.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  STACEY,  regarding land  management  policy,  said the  APHA                                                               
works hard with  federal land managers and attempts  to work with                                                               
Alaska's Department of Natural Resources  on wise land management                                                               
policies that  are good for APHA  members as well as  other users                                                               
and ensures a future for guides in the state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:46:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR introduced  the next  invited  witness, Ms.  Erica                                                               
Carroll of  the National  Parks Conservation  Association (NPCA).                                                               
She related  that Ms. Carroll moved  to Alaska with the  U.S. Air                                                               
Force where she was the  program administrator for the Nordic Ski                                                               
Club of Fairbanks.   She said Ms. Carroll is now  a member of the                                                               
National Guard,  lives in Anchorage,  and advocates  for Alaska's                                                               
16  national parks  and  the $1.7  billion  in economic  benefits                                                               
contributed by visitors to the national parks.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:47:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERICA  CARROLL,  Alaska   Field  Representative,  National  Parks                                                               
Conservation Association  (NPCA), stated that NPCA  is nationwide                                                               
nonprofit with  members across the  U.S., including  2,000 within                                                               
the state of Alaska.  She said  NPCA was established in 1919 as a                                                               
nonpartisan independent voice to  protect and enhance the natural                                                               
resources and cultural areas in the U.S. for future generations.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL said  public lands are plentiful in  Alaska, with the                                                               
state's  16  national  parks  containing   54  million  acres  of                                                               
unparalleled  wilderness,  fish,  and  wildlife.    This  acreage                                                               
comprises 60  percent of the  national park acreage in  the U.S.,                                                               
she continued.   While access to some of  Alaska's national parks                                                               
is difficult, it is also an  opportunity for recreation.  In 2016                                                               
Alaska's national  parks attracted 2.7 million  visitors and this                                                               
number is expected  to be higher in 2017.   The national parks in                                                               
Alaska  contribute  $1.7  billion  in economic  benefits  to  the                                                               
state's  economy.   Additionally, they  have created  over 17,600                                                               
jobs within the  local communities, many of which are  not on the                                                               
road system and are small gateway communities.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL  stated she came to  Alaska on active U.S.  Air Force                                                               
duty in  2009.  When  she separated  from active duty  she became                                                               
the director of the Nordic Ski  Club of Fairbanks where she lived                                                               
for five  years.   Winter recreation is  a huge  opportunity, she                                                               
said, and the  Olympics show that Nordic skiing is  a big part of                                                               
Alaska's  outdoor recreation;  visitors come  to Alaska  to enjoy                                                               
the snow.   She added that she and her  husband joined the Alaska                                                               
Air  National Guard  and moved  to  Anchorage where  he works  in                                                               
aerial search and rescue.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL advised  that access into Alaska's  national parks is                                                               
where local businesses  come in.  Her first trip  to Gates of the                                                               
Arctic  National  Park and  Preserve,  a  park  not on  the  road                                                               
system, entailed  a long drive,  a stay at  a hotel, eating  at a                                                               
restaurant,  and bush  transportation.    These local  businesses                                                               
support  hunters as  well as  outdoor  recreationists in  getting                                                               
into the state's national parks.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARROLL related  that with its partners, NPCA  has a national                                                               
constituency  of  1.3 million  members  nationwide.   With  these                                                               
partners, NPCA  markets the  visiting of Alaska.   She  noted the                                                               
states of  Colorado and Utah  have offices of  outdoor recreation                                                               
programs, which  is a  place for  having a  common voice  and for                                                               
outdoor recreation  advocates and  businesses.   While advocating                                                               
for visiting  Alaska is happening,  she said,  it is hard  to get                                                               
everyone together, and [a state  program] would provide one solid                                                               
voice and representation  at the state level,  especially for the                                                               
national parks side of it.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR introduced  the next  invited witness,  EJ Reiser,                                                               
store manager  for The North Face  in Anchorage.  She  noted that                                                               
Mr. Reiser is on the  corporate steering committee with The North                                                               
Face, the premier leader in outdoor  products; is a member of the                                                               
Alaska Mountain  Rescue Group where  he chairs the  public search                                                               
and  rescue;  and  serves  on  the  health  subcommittee  of  the                                                               
Anchorage Trails Initiative.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EJ  REISER, Store  Manager, The  North Face,  introduced what  he                                                               
called a "hidden  element" to the idea of  outdoor recreation and                                                               
its  economic impact.   He  said the  straight-line idea  of this                                                               
money driving force  is guides, lodging, and flights  in and out,                                                               
and North  Face represents the  outfitting and  enabling thereof.                                                               
He related  that his company  has been in its  Anchorage location                                                               
for three years  and a big question was, Why  is North Face going                                                               
to  Alaska?   But, he  continued, the  more appropriate  question                                                               
was, Why did it take North Face so long to get to Alaska?                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. REISER said  other stores are now opening in  Anchorage.  The                                                               
outdoor recreation retail specialty  alone, excluding hunting and                                                               
fishing, represents  about $50  million a  year and  employs over                                                               
200  people.   Adding hunting  and fishing,  he continued,  would                                                               
easily double both these numbers.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  REISER said  [his industry]  makes it  easier for  people to                                                               
participate in outdoor recreation.   There is the duality of what                                                               
outdoor  recreation can  do for  the state  and that  it improves                                                               
quality  of life  and  health, making  Alaska  a more  marketable                                                               
place for people to live and  raise family.  By living in Alaska,                                                               
he continued,  Alaskans become engrained with  outdoor recreation                                                               
or outdoor activities.  These  are common every day activities to                                                               
Alaskans  and are  what visitors  are doing  and his  business is                                                               
fully promoting exactly this.   Anything that increases activity,                                                               
participation, or visitation  is going to expand  and benefit his                                                               
business,  he said,  and allow  an increase  in hiring  staff and                                                               
driving the economy.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. REISER said  the people in outdoor  recreation are energetic,                                                               
passionate,  and driven.   It  is a  very communal  feeling.   He                                                               
stressed it  is a family  of outdoor recreationists,  and whether                                                               
winter or  summer recreationists,  everyone is beneficial  to the                                                               
others.    [People  in  the   outdoor  recreation  industry]  are                                                               
striving to  make Alaska marketable, accessible,  and finding how                                                               
to extend trips one more day.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:58:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH requested  Mr.  Reiser's  perspective on  a                                                               
brick-and-mortar  retailer versus  a retailer  that  uses a  post                                                               
office box to deliver goods.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. REISER  replied that  e-commerce is  an undeniable  force and                                                               
some people say brick-and-mortar is a  dying art.  The nuances of                                                               
e-commerce are  clear, and  it is a  competitor, he  allowed, but                                                               
the ability  of his shop or  any shop is the  uniqueness of being                                                               
local and  of being the tour  guide and the concierge  to Alaska.                                                               
Anecdotes and  personalities still  win, and  brick-and-mortar is                                                               
still a large market that can exist.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:00:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  asked whether  Mr.  Reiser  is working  with  any                                                               
Alaska manufacturers  and whether  Mr. Reiser  sees opportunities                                                               
for local folks for new product development.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  REISER   responded,  "Absolutely."     As  far   as  product                                                               
manufacturing,  he said  his  company is  90  percent North  Face                                                               
only, but  that it  is always  open to outside  vendors.   From a                                                               
corporate perspective, he said it's  easy to look at the powerful                                                               
big red  logo, but  that as  the operator  he runs  an Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, North Face.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  quipped that  as  a  wearer of  outdoor                                                               
apparel he  knows all larges  are not  large and all  mediums are                                                               
not medium,  and unless a  person goes in to  try them on,  it is                                                               
unknown what will be received in the mail.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:01:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  introduced the next  invited witness,  Chris Beck,                                                               
principal and  founding partner of  Agnew::Beck Consulting.   She                                                               
said  Mr. Beck  has  over  30 years  of  planning experience  and                                                               
specializes  in   the  areas  of  community   planning,  economic                                                               
development, and  tourism and recreation.   He came to  Alaska in                                                               
1979 to work  for the Department of Natural  Resources setting up                                                               
DNR's regional  land planning process.   In 1993,  she continued,                                                               
Mr. Beck started his own  consulting business focusing on tourism                                                               
and small  Alaska towns.   Mr. Beck's 20 employees  are currently                                                               
working  on  projects that  include  helping  the City  of  Aspen                                                               
expand  winter  recreation  and  tourism  activities,  developing                                                               
master   plans   for   recreation   combined   with   residential                                                               
development in  Anchorage and  the Matanuska-Susitna  Valley, and                                                               
land  use economic  development plans  for the  Denali and  Kenai                                                               
Peninsula boroughs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:02:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  BECK,  AICP,  Principal/Founder,  Agnew::Beck  Consulting,                                                               
drew  attention  to the  two-page  document  he provided  in  the                                                               
committee packet  and said the heart  of it is that  Alaska has a                                                               
long  way to  go.   The opportunities  for outdoor  recreation in                                                               
Alaska  have  barely  been  tapped,   he  advised,  and  Alaska's                                                               
competition  - other  states -  are making  the investment  while                                                               
Alaska is not.  Other  places have partnerships embracing outdoor                                                               
recreation by business  and agencies in a way  that Alaska hasn't                                                               
fully gotten  traction on.  Much  of what [his company]  is about                                                               
is how  to create those partnerships,  how to start to  invest in                                                               
Alaska in a  way that makes it competitive and  provides the many                                                               
benefits listed at the top of his document.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BECK said one of the  methods to reach those goals is trails.                                                               
There are three  subsets of kinds of trails.   One is world-class                                                               
destination  adventure -  things  that cause  people  to say,  "I                                                               
won't stay in  California, Sierra's, or in the  Cascades, I'll go                                                               
to  Alaska because  that thing  is  so unique."   It  is a  small                                                               
market  and not  many people  go off  to those  adventures.   The                                                               
second kind,  he said, is  much more  likely to get  people using                                                               
them are  destination towns    places that  are a great  place to                                                               
stay and  a great  place to get  out of town  easily.   The third                                                               
kind,  he continued,  is the  missing middle.   The  big category                                                               
lacking in  Alaska is not extreme  adventure of which there  is a                                                               
vast  quantity.   Alaska does  a really  good job  at the  larger                                                               
volume  tourism, with  Juneau being  an  example of  a town  that                                                               
handles over  1 million people a  year.  What people  are looking                                                               
for, he advised, is the kind  of adventure that gives a great day                                                               
and at the  end of the day  there are the comforts  of bed, beer,                                                               
shower, and  good internet.   That is  where the market  is these                                                               
days    less people are going  out less often on  nine-day trips.                                                               
This middle market is where Alaska could really invest.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BECK reviewed  examples on  how  to reach  those goals,  one                                                               
being  the  beautiful  walk  between  Girdwood  and  Eagle  River                                                               
through the  heart of  the Chugach.   The trail  is very  hard to                                                               
follow, people  must pick  their way through  the rocks,  and the                                                               
culmination is wading through a  deep icy river, making the trail                                                               
sketchy.    Lots  of  people  would love  to  do  that  trip,  he                                                               
continued, and maybe  there could be a bridge, which  is a costly                                                               
thing.   Perhaps  local  engineers from  the  two military  bases                                                               
could partner  with Chugach State Park  to find a way  to build a                                                               
bridge so people could enjoy  this spectacular hike that is close                                                               
to the road  system and to Anchorage.  Another  example, he said,                                                               
is the  Alaska Mountain and  Wilderness Huts  Association (Alaska                                                               
Huts), which  has proposed a  Whistle Stop System up  the Spencer                                                               
Glacier and is  a project that has been making  slow progress for                                                               
20 years.   For many  people, he advised, the  difference between                                                               
having a great  time in Alaska or  not is a cabin.   When looking                                                               
to attract  more people,  say kayaking  through Kodiak  or Prince                                                               
William Sound, the ability to go  cabin to cabin means the market                                                               
goes from a handful of folks to  a whole lot.  Many places around                                                               
the world  have [hut  systems] and  people [people  wanting huts]                                                               
will choose to go to those other places instead of Alaska.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:07:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BECK said  Alaska Long  Trails is  another concept  that has                                                               
caught fire.  Examples include  the proposed 800-mile-long Trans-                                                               
Alaska  Pipeline Long  Trail,  Iditarod  Long Trail,  Cross-Kenai                                                               
Long Trail, and Copper River Long  Trail along the former path of                                                               
the copper  railroad.  Regional  snow machine trails  are another                                                               
idea  being  discussed  where   many  communities  would  receive                                                               
spending by the travelers.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BECK  stated  Bend,  Oregon,  is  a  successful  example  of                                                               
destination town.   The formula, he explained,  is a concentrated                                                               
downtown where  brew pubs, lodging, restaurants,  and rentals are                                                               
located.  There must  be trails  that seamlessly  link to  places                                                               
nearby,  and  there  needs  to  be  a  state  that  markets  that                                                               
destination and businesses.  Southeast  Alaska does a pretty good                                                               
job of  that with concentrated  and walkable towns, but  the rest                                                               
of Alaska  is less so.   Mr. Beck pointed  out that, in  the end,                                                               
convenience  is what  drives much  of the  decisions people  make                                                               
about where  to spend their  time and  money.  A  wonderful place                                                               
where a person  can have a job  and get out of town  easily, or a                                                               
place that can  be visited without having to  haggle with friends                                                               
over whose car to use.  In Bend  a visitor can get out of bed and                                                               
walk a few  feet to eat breakfast or  go to a brew pub  or walk a                                                               
little further to a trail leading  out of town.  Another concept,                                                               
he  added, is  more activities  on the  edge of  a park  and less                                                               
inside, Denali National Park and Preserve being an example.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BECK noted that a huge  number of folks are investing lots of                                                               
time and energy  in doing all of  this.  He said  the document he                                                               
provided  to  the committee  addresses  how  to create  a  better                                                               
outdoor infrastructure  and experiences, how to  build a stronger                                                               
outdoor  recreation  industry.   Alaska  has  competition and  is                                                               
under-investing  in  the  outdoor  recreation  industry.    Other                                                               
places are  investing a lot  of time and effort  developing towns                                                               
that are good  places to live, great places to  start a business,                                                               
and great places to visit while  Alaska has lagged.  Spending 2-3                                                               
percent of what Alaska spent  on other major economic development                                                               
processes,  such as  grain, bridges,  and fish  processing, would                                                               
have had  much impact.   But the state has  chosen not to  do so,                                                               
and the hope is to begin changing that tide.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BECK said three things  could specifically be done to harness                                                               
Alaska's undeveloped  outdoor recreation  opportunities, generate                                                               
new jobs, and encourage new business  to stay and move to Alaska.                                                               
The first  is strategic state  investments in trails  and related                                                               
outdoor  recreation   resources.     The  second   is  thoughtful                                                               
evaluation of comparative  benefits of the different  things.  It                                                               
cannot  be said  that if  something is  built they  are going  to                                                               
come, it must  be strategic and smart.  The  third, he continued,                                                               
is  stronger state  leadership     the notion  of  a state  level                                                               
designated outdoor  recreation advocate  to help get  things from                                                               
stuck to unstuck and moving forward.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:12:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  noted he has  backpacked the Crow  Pass trail                                                               
discussed by  Mr. Beck and  said the river crossing  is something                                                               
that  some people  look forward  to because  it is  an adventure.                                                               
The Seven Falls  area in Eagle River, he continued,  is a classic                                                               
place  where  more infrastructure  is  needed.   Regarding  Bend,                                                               
Oregon,  he recalled  seeing signs  in  Walla Walla,  Washington,                                                               
stating,  "Don't  Bend Walla  Walla,"  meaning  don't make  Walla                                                               
Walla too trendy.  He suggested  that some people want the rugged                                                               
experience without a bridge and  asked how to go about addressing                                                               
those disparate interests.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BECK replied Alaska has a  long way before it encounters that                                                               
as a  problem and  he is  willing to  risk that  downside because                                                               
Alaska is  in first grade  and Bend is  in graduate school.   For                                                               
Alaskans, he  said, being outside is  not a special thing,  it is                                                               
what  Alaskans   do  and  with   that  comes  a  little   bit  of                                                               
"snobbishness," such as saying there is  no need for signs on the                                                               
trails.   While he personally  is comfortable with the  Crow Pass                                                               
trail and river  as they are, improvement of some  areas would be                                                               
a  good decision  to harness  the potential  of Alaska's  natural                                                               
resources environment for the large  percentage of people who are                                                               
uncomfortable  due to  fears of  bears  or getting  lost.   Where                                                               
those should  be is a good  question, he continued, but  with 365                                                               
million acres  of land  he is  not worried.   California  has 100                                                               
million acres.   He said  [his company] has done  marketing plans                                                               
for  Cordova, Sitka,  and Homer  and only  some of  the bays  are                                                               
marketed while the  others aren't mentioned, which  keeps it nice                                                               
for Alaskans and attractive for visitors.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:15:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  remarked that the Treadwell  Ditch Trail of                                                               
Juneau  is phenomenal.    He said  the  presentation's ideas  are                                                               
wonderful  and he  has  discussed with  others  how a  hut-to-hut                                                               
system  in  the  Chugach  would  be  a  great  opportunity.    He                                                               
complimented the  effort to increase  the opportunity  in Alaska.                                                               
He  presumed  the  "old  school"   marketing  method  of  sending                                                               
packages of  brochures to prospective visitors  has been replaced                                                               
by the internet and inquired how Mr. Beck would do marketing.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BECK  answered that Oregon's  website has something  like the                                                               
"seven  wonders of  Oregon" that  direct people  to a  handful of                                                               
places.   The  key thing  done  well by  Oregon but  not done  by                                                               
Alaska, is  to market destinations  and experiences more  so than                                                               
businesses.   There  is an  evolution towards  businesses through                                                               
mechanisms like  TripAdvisor and  Facebook.  Alaska  doesn't make                                                               
it easy and inviting to know  why it is exceptional to spend time                                                               
in  different destinations,  such as  Healy or  King Salmon.   In                                                               
that model the  marketing logic is that people go  to an area and                                                               
spend money, and individual businesses  don't have to be marketed                                                               
as much as is currently done.   The ATIA and Visit Anchorage tend                                                               
to market their  businesses and for-pay activities  and tend less                                                               
to  market going  to Anchorage.   Few  visitors know  the Chugach                                                               
Mountains are  there with hikes to  be had.  There  are different                                                               
flavors of  marketing, Mr. Beck  added.   There are ways  to take                                                               
advantage of the new technologies and  not send out a fat package                                                               
of brochures that  never get read.  Someone going  to Facebook or                                                               
other media  also sets up  word of mouth.   Alaska has  gone from                                                               
49   in the U.S. to 47   in its state marketing  budget, and this                                                               
invites the state to be left behind.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:18:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND stated she  is fascinated by the proposed                                                               
Trans-Alaska  Pipeline  Long  Trail that  Representative  Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins is  working on,  but the no  trespassing signs  along the                                                               
pipeline are off-putting.  She  asked how the trail promoters are                                                               
getting around that.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. BECK replied  it is seen as an opportunity  with questions to                                                               
be answered.  He noted  that [former legislator] Pat Pourchot and                                                               
[former governor] Tony Knowles are  actively promoting the Alaska                                                               
Long Trails  Initiative and the Trans-Alaska  Pipeline Long Trail                                                               
is one  of the  three trails  being championed.   He  offered his                                                               
understanding that they have discussed  the proposal with Alyeska                                                               
Pipeline Service  Company and there  are questions  and concerns.                                                               
In the  rest of  the U.S.  there are  trails along  railroads and                                                               
railroads don't often  like that, citing liability  issues.  But,                                                               
he continued,  it has worked out  fine in many places.   It seems                                                               
that the  potential benefits  are great enough  to make  it worth                                                               
investing the time to see if solutions are there.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:20:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  introduced the next  invited witness,  Captain Dan                                                               
Blanchard of Juneau.   She related that Mr.  Blanchard earned his                                                               
shipmaster's  license at  age  18  and worked  in  many roles  as                                                               
captain of sightseeing vessels in Alaska.   Today he is the owner                                                               
of  UnCruise  Adventures, a  company  that  operates eight  small                                                               
adventure ships in Alaska and along the U.S. West Coast.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:21:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN  BLANCHARD,  Owner,  UnCruise Adventures,  first  shared  how                                                               
UnCruise  Adventures has  grown over  its 22  years because  this                                                               
fits into  the discussion.  The  concept of the "un"  is right-on                                                               
with who  the customer is  today, he  said.  The  company started                                                               
out tiny  with a leased boat  and he gave up  everything he could                                                               
to get  this boat from  Seattle to Alaska.   In 2005  the company                                                               
had  four  boats  for  small-ship  cruising  and  it  wasn't  yet                                                               
adventure  cruising.   In 2007  the company  dramatically changed                                                               
its model to  where today it isn't in the  cruise industry, it is                                                               
in the  adventure industry.   He explained his company  is called                                                               
"UnCruise" because it is the antithesis  of what happens on a big                                                               
ship in  the cruise industry.   UnCruise uses state  and national                                                               
public  lands and  trails, as  well as  Native and  other private                                                               
lands.   He  pointed out  that  UnCruise is  the largest  day-use                                                               
permit holder  in the  Tongass National Forest  and wants  to add                                                               
more of those permits.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLANCHARD said  he thinks what has happened is  that once the                                                               
World War II generation stopped  traveling, [the next generation]                                                               
came into play  and wasn't happy with standing on  the bow of one                                                               
of his boats  and looking at a  glacier.  Now people  must get on                                                               
the glacier,  feel the cold of  it, and that is  the adventure or                                                               
outdoor travel industry today.   It is the largest growing sector                                                               
in travel.   A massively growing  piece of the industry,  it grew                                                               
16 percent over  a period of three years and  that likely will be                                                               
topped out in the next three-year survey.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BLANCHARD  described the  person  visiting  Alaska today  as                                                               
being  aged somewhere  between his/her  mid-30's and  kicking the                                                               
bucket and  coming to Alaska  because he/she wants to  be active.                                                               
This person  has downsized from a  big home to a  condominium and                                                               
is spending a  lot of money traveling.  This  person is coming to                                                               
Alaska  because  of  [legislatively  designated]  Wilderness  and                                                               
[undesignated]  wilderness  -  those  are the  things  that  make                                                               
Alaska world  class and  important to  the U.S.   It is  the last                                                               
frontier in many ways.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLANCHARD reported that his  small company had $72 million in                                                               
sales last  year, of which  $45 million were earned  in Southeast                                                               
Alaska.   Of that $45  million, about $14-15 million  was dropped                                                               
in  Southeast Alaska  communities.   The  difference between  his                                                               
small boats,  or the adventure  travel business in  the outdoors,                                                               
is that the money stays Alaska.   From his experience speaking at                                                               
the Innovation  Summit, he  related, he can  say there  are young                                                               
Alaskans  hot to  get  going on  this.   But,  he continued,  his                                                               
question  to legislators  is whether  Alaska is  going to  stay a                                                               
sleeping giant or going to be  hardly sleeping and that is why he                                                               
is before the committee.  Alaska  has a massive business that can                                                               
be taken advantage of.   He said if Alaska were  to lead the path                                                               
through  some official  position, which  he thinks  is warranted,                                                               
the sleeping giant could be made not sleeping.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:25:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BLANCHARD said  he thinks  there is  a great  opportunity in                                                               
Alaska for winter business.   In Southeast Alaska UnCruise is out                                                               
hiking,  snorkeling,  standup   paddle  boarding,  kayaking,  and                                                               
bushwhacking.  His company is  expanding its season, he said, and                                                               
many businesses are starting to  operate from April 14-October 1.                                                               
Alaska is  seeing an  expanding summertime  business and  is also                                                               
seeing  an  opportunity,  particularly in  northern  Alaska,  for                                                               
wintertime businesses to take place as well.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BLANCHARD noted  that hut-to-hut  is  what the  rest of  the                                                               
world knows  as trekking and tea  huts and is what  he does every                                                               
October and  November.  Alaska  is way  behind on this,  he said.                                                               
He offered his belief that this  is where the growth will be, and                                                               
that Alaska needs to have something great.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BLANCHARD  discussed  why  he  thinks  [an  official  state]                                                               
position is needed.   He said the ATIA has  two goals   marketing                                                               
and getting  a Tourism  Improvement District  (TID) through.   He                                                               
explained ATIA  isn't specific enough  to take on a  project like                                                               
this,  rather ATIA  is marketing  the  whole state.   The  Juneau                                                               
Economic  Development Council  (JEDC) is  working to  find a  way                                                               
through the  path of  regulation.  The  outdoor industry  and the                                                               
adventure travel industry need to partake  in that, he said.  The                                                               
JEDC is  looking at how  to get things  through, such as  a trail                                                               
and more access to state or  federal lands.  If the state decided                                                               
to support  this upcoming  industry and  get it  fired up,  a lot                                                               
more  dollars would  be seen  in the  state and  the state  would                                                               
diversify.   Currently  the state  is quite  heavy on  commercial                                                               
tourism, which is wonderful, and  he lives off the marketing that                                                               
they  provide  as  well  as  the state's  marketing.    But,  Mr.                                                               
Blanchard continued,  if Alaska  had an outdoor  active adventure                                                               
industry like  is being seen in  other states, it would  bring to                                                               
the state a  variety of people - from  the 20-year-old backpacker                                                               
to the  person his  company is  bringing today.   He  pointed out                                                               
that most  of the  people he  is bringing  to Alaska  traveled as                                                               
kids to  Europe on $5-$25 a  day, but now they  want to adventure                                                               
and play hard all day with  a Tempur-Pedic mattress at night.  He                                                               
reiterated  his question  of Alaska  choosing whether  to stay  a                                                               
sleeping giant or to hardly sleep.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:29:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  quipped he would prefer  to characterize it                                                               
as a hibernating  giant.  The potential is there,  he agreed, and                                                               
Anchorage and  Southcentral Alaska have seen  explosive growth in                                                               
hotel  rooms.   He  recalled snorkeling  during  the winter  many                                                               
years ago and how clear the  water was in January with no glacial                                                               
[river's] running.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLANCHARD  pointed out most  of that business  is surrounding                                                               
major  hubs that  do well  on  cruise passenger  traffic.   Being                                                               
missed is the  smaller businesses in places  that aren't traveled                                                               
now but that could be if  the outdoor adventure traveler could be                                                               
drawn in.   He shared  that he goes to  India and does  the trail                                                               
between  India and  Nepal and  he  does the  Machu Picchu  trail.                                                               
Those are  the world-class  things that Alaska  has the  mojo for                                                               
but doesn't yet have.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:30:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A video was shown from 2:30 p.m. to 2:33 p.m.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:33:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  introduced  the  final  invited  witness,  Cailin                                                               
O'Brien-Feeney, state  and local  policy manager for  the Outdoor                                                               
Industry  Association  (OIA) based  in  Boulder,  Colorado.   She                                                               
explained that  OIA unites and  serves over  1,200 manufacturers,                                                               
suppliers,  sales representatives,  and retailer  members through                                                               
its focus  on trade  and recreation  policy and  industry trends.                                                               
She noted  Mr. O'Brien-Feeney  has over  15 years'  experience in                                                               
the  outdoor industry  serving in  leadership  positions for  the                                                               
Winter Wildlands  Alliance, the  Outdoor Alliance, and  the Idaho                                                               
Outdoor Business Council,  and has worked as  an outdoor educator                                                               
and guide  across the West.   She also noted he  holds a Master's                                                               
in natural resource management from the University of Idaho.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:34:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAILIN O'BRIEN-FEENEY,  State and  Local Policy  Manager, Outdoor                                                               
Industry Association  (OIA), said  he will  provide a  recipe for                                                               
what he  has seen work  in other  states that have  endeavored to                                                               
support their  outdoor recreation  economy to  grow opportunities                                                               
for residents, for visitors, for  businesses.  Five years ago, he                                                               
noted,  there wasn't  anyone in  any state  whose job  it was  to                                                               
think  about how  to improve  opportunities or  jobs for  outdoor                                                               
recreation.  While  there are land managers who do  that in part,                                                               
economic development  folks who do  that in part,  people engaged                                                               
in  public  health  and  wellness,  and  conservation  advocates,                                                               
states  weren't yet  thinking  about  turning outdoor  recreation                                                               
from a nice-to-have  [to need-to-have].  Alaska wins  in terms of                                                               
outdoor  recreation participation,  he  continued.   It has  more                                                               
residents by percent  who participate in outdoor  recreation - 81                                                               
percent  of Alaskans  as  compared to  49  percent of  Americans.                                                               
But,  there is  more to  be done  in intentionally  nurturing and                                                               
growing this sector of the economy.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN-FEENEY discussed  the recipe.  He said  10 states now                                                               
have a construct  where the governor has set up  a commission and                                                               
established a formal stakeholder group  to think about this topic                                                               
or has  hired someone to  think about  how to grow  this industry                                                               
and  bring  folks  together.     The  first  piece  is  simply  a                                                               
recognition  that outdoor  recreation is  a need-to-have  that is                                                               
part of the  core economic future of  the state.  That  can be as                                                               
simple as  putting it  into the state's  economic plan  to ensure                                                               
the  state invests  appropriately  and  engages in  conversations                                                               
alongside those other  industries that make up a state.   What is                                                               
being talked about here is additive,  he noted, and not trying to                                                               
take  the place  of anything  else.   There are  many ways  to do                                                               
that, whether it  is official or not.   The hope for  today is to                                                               
share information  in that spirit  to help build  awareness about                                                               
the economic impact  and other benefits of  outdoor recreation so                                                               
that when legislators are working  there is a shared agreement or                                                               
official declaration  that outdoor recreation is  as important as                                                               
anything else and really matters.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:39:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN-FEENEY  said the second  piece is convening  the many                                                               
stakeholders in  Alaska - figuring  out where that  shared common                                                               
ground is.   All  of Alaska's communities  are different  and all                                                               
the  different  stakeholders  are  different,  whether  they  own                                                               
outfitting companies  or are retailers  or land managers.   These                                                               
stakeholders don't talk to each other enough.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN-FEENEY said  the third piece has to  do with removing                                                               
barriers.  While  good work is happening  with existing programs,                                                               
small business innovation  funds, workforce development training,                                                               
and  existing marketing  materials,  much of  that  needs to  get                                                               
together and have  an outdoor recreation focus.   For example, he                                                               
continued,  in  the  10 states  the  outfitter  communities  have                                                               
worked together  to make some  real changes with the  U.S. Forest                                                               
Service  (USFS) about  how the  agency approaches  and implements                                                               
outfitter  and guide  permitting.   Outfitters and  guides are  a                                                               
huge  part of  this  economy and  it doesn't  make  sense for  an                                                               
outfitter  not to  have the  opportunity  to provide  facilitated                                                               
access  simply because  the expertise  or the  person to  process                                                               
that permit  application doesn't  exist within the  relevant land                                                               
management  agency.   They  have  collaborated  to figure  out  a                                                               
better process for  doing that work in a way  that still protects                                                               
the  environment but  is  cheaper  and easier  with  the goal  of                                                               
getting more people outside.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN-FEENEY  stated the  last piece  is that  the outdoors                                                               
themselves, the  landscapes, are the infrastructure  itself.  The                                                               
baseline underwriting  all of  this is  a need  to invest  in the                                                               
toilets, roads, and  campgrounds so that people  continue to have                                                               
high  quality  visitor  experiences.     Budgets  are  tough,  he                                                               
allowed, but clever  ideas are out there and there  are people in                                                               
Alaska with  great ideas, as  well as people trying  ideas across                                                               
the country.  He  said he is willing to share  many of the things                                                               
he has seen that are clever.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:42:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER thanked  all the  witnesses and  offered                                                               
his  appreciation for  the ideas,  vision,  and information  that                                                               
they shared.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  extended her  thanks and asked  what Mr.                                                               
O'Brien-Feeney's  experience  has  been in  other  states.    She                                                               
further  asked what  his  suggestion would  be  to the  committee                                                               
regarding how it could help  implement, hold hands with, and move                                                               
forward in  opening Alaska's outdoor  resources to the  world and                                                               
to Alaskans.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN-FEENEY replied  there  is  some pending  legislation                                                               
that is probably relevant to  today's conversation.  He suggested                                                               
that  a  good first  step  would  be  for  the committee  to  ask                                                               
[today's group  of witnesses]  for help,  ideas, and  support for                                                               
the good ideas that the committee  works on.  There is no perfect                                                               
"silver bullet"  policy prescription,  he continued, so  he won't                                                               
pretend to know what that answer  is for the committee.  He urged                                                               
the committee to think of  today's witnesses as allies in getting                                                               
towards this vision.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND pointed  out the  challenge of  Alaska's                                                               
great geographic scale  even for people living in  the state, and                                                               
that the state's  small population makes it  difficult to provide                                                               
the infrastructure.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN-FEENEY  responded that  the  way  this industry  has                                                               
coalesced  most  successfully  is   by  holding  two  significant                                                               
meetings a year,  one in the capital and the  other roving around                                                               
to  rural  communities  that  have   direct  connections  to  the                                                               
outdoors.   In some ways, he  continued, this is how  Lee has set                                                               
up  the Confluence  effort from  which there  has been  a lot  of                                                               
benefit.   Modern  technology  makes  it easy  to  stay in  close                                                               
relevant communication  and enables people to  work from wherever                                                               
they  are.   Overall  spending  in  terms of  outdoor  recreation                                                               
across the country  mostly happens close to home,  he advised, it                                                               
happens in  a person's backyard.   About two-thirds of  the total                                                               
spending  in the  entire  country happens  within  30 minutes  of                                                               
someone's home.  Thinking about  those opportunities in one's own                                                               
backyard is a great  place to start and it is  easy to get people                                                               
excited about projects that they can see from their porch.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:47:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR thanked the witnesses  for their time and effort in                                                               
providing the  presentations.  She  suggested that one  area [the                                                               
committee]  might like  to  spend time  talking  is public  lands                                                               
access, which might  be the next follow-up for  this because that                                                               
is a big part of the limitation  in terms of what we can do right                                                               
now -  thinking about  how we  might open  some of  Alaska's vast                                                               
areas to more people.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:48:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR passed the gavel to Co-Chair Josephson.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
             HB 272-TANGLE LAKES STATE GAME REFUGE                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:48:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that the  final order  of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  272, "An  Act establishing  the Tangle                                                               
Lakes State Game Refuge; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA DELANEY, Staff, Representative  Andy Josephson, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, presented  HB 272 on  behalf of  Representative Andy                                                               
Josephson,  sponsor.    Turning to  her  PowerPoint  presentation                                                               
entitled,  "HB 272,  Tangle  Lakes Game  Refuge,"  she noted  the                                                               
importance of  outdoor recreation, marketing, and  protecting the                                                               
state's renewable  resources, and  said she hopes  to demonstrate                                                               
the value in  establishing protected areas like game  refuges.  A                                                               
perk  of refuge  designation,  she explained,  means that  effort                                                               
goes  into accommodating  the users  of the  area, which  is done                                                               
through trail  maintenance, outhouses, and  so forth.   She moved                                                               
to  slide 2  and said  the motivation  for refuge  designation is                                                               
that  the Tangle  Lakes area  is very  important to  Alaskans for                                                               
recreation, hunting, and fishing.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY addressed slides 3-4.   She said Alaska has four main                                                               
categories  of places  of note:   state  range areas;  anadromous                                                               
waters; controlled use areas, one  of which already exists within                                                               
the proposed  refuge boundaries; and state  refuges, sanctuaries,                                                               
and critical habitat  areas.  The sponsor chose  a refuge because                                                               
this category  doesn't restrict  recreation, hunting,  or access,                                                               
whereas some  of the other categories  have certain restrictions.                                                               
The Board  of Game  and the Board  of Fisheries  regulate hunting                                                               
and fishing,  she explained, so there  would be no impact  by the                                                               
establishment of  a refuge.   Refuge management plans  go through                                                               
public comment, which  provides the public with say  in what goes                                                               
on within a refuge area.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:53:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY  displayed slide  5 depicting a  map of  the proposed                                                               
refuge area, which encompasses about  156,000 acres.  She said no                                                               
mining  claims currently  exist in  the  area, but  that the  map                                                               
shows  where mines  have  been in  the past  and  where areas  of                                                               
interest  have  been but  added  that  there hasn't  been  enough                                                               
interest  to warrant  pursuing  these.   She  noted the  deposits                                                               
include nickel, copper,  cobalt, and platinum, but as  far as she                                                               
knows they  are low grade and  generate a lot of  waste, which is                                                               
probably why the metals haven't been pursued.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  stated he  has a better  map provided  by the                                                               
Department of Natural  Resources (DNR).  He pointed  out that the                                                               
Alpha Claims  Block, depicted in  purple, has a lot  of interest,                                                               
but the proposed refuge is south of this block.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY confirmed the majority  of [mining] interest is north                                                               
of the proposed refuge boundary.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY turned  to slide 7 and reviewed the  four special and                                                               
managed  areas existing  within the  proposed refuge  boundaries.                                                               
She  said  Game  Management  Unit  (GMU)  [13B]  is  popular  for                                                               
subsistence  hunting.   Clearwater Creek  Controlled Use  Area is                                                               
currently  closed to  motorized vehicles,  although the  Board of                                                               
Game is revisiting that.  Moose  and caribou are abundant in this                                                               
area, she continued,  and it is popular for  the walk-in hunters.                                                               
The Delta National  Wild and Scenic River corridor  is managed by                                                               
the U.S. Bureau  of Land Management (BLM) and is  focused on bird                                                               
species.   The Tangle Lakes  Archaeological District  Special Use                                                               
Area takes  up a  sizeable portion of  the proposed  refuge area,                                                               
with many  valuable cultural resources  having been  found there.                                                               
These four  areas will keep  doing what  they do with  or without                                                               
the  refuge designation,  she explained,  and refuge  designation                                                               
will help  to regulate more destructive  development on otherwise                                                               
renewable hunting and fishing grounds.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:56:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY moved  to the map on slide 8  depicting the locations                                                               
of Alaska's caribou  herds.  She said [the  proposed Tangle Lakes                                                               
Refuge] is home  to the Nelchina Caribou Herd,  the sixth largest                                                               
herd in Alaska.  She noted  5,000 caribou tags were issued in the                                                               
GMU 13 Nelchina herd subsistence hunt.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY  displayed slide 9  and reported the  proposed refuge                                                               
designation has overwhelming support,  including support from 713                                                               
individuals and  108 organizations that  have signed a  letter to                                                               
the legislature.  She pointed out  that this proposal has been an                                                               
ongoing process for over a decade.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  offered his understanding that  Robert Tobey,                                                               
a supporter  listed on the slide,  worked for who was  then newly                                                               
elected  Governor Murkowski,  whose administration  supported the                                                               
creation  of a  refuge.   He  further noted  that Cliff  Judkins,                                                               
another supporter  listed on slide  9, was chairman of  the Board                                                               
of  Game  in the  Palin  Administration  and  the Board  of  Game                                                               
recommended the same thing.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY confirmed the aforementioned is correct.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:57:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  stated he  struggles  with  this as  being                                                               
another land  grab.   As a  mining person he  is looking  at this                                                               
with concerns  about the initiative  behind the proposal  and the                                                               
timing.  He urged there  be opportunity for public engagement and                                                               
recognition that  there can be  shared use  within the area.   He                                                               
ascertained that committee members  were familiar with the Denali                                                               
Highway and this area.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:58:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY  provided a brief section-by-section  analysis of the                                                               
bill.   She said Section  1(a) [slide 11] describes  the proposed                                                               
refuge  boundaries which  mostly follow  the geography,  but that                                                               
parcel boundaries are used in  the legal description for purposes                                                               
of easy  mapping.   She noted Section  1(b) [slide  12] describes                                                               
the purpose of the refuge,  which is to protect subsistence uses,                                                               
hunting,  fishing, and  recreational, scientific,  aesthetic, and                                                               
educational purposes,  all of which utilize  the area's renewable                                                               
resources, ecology,  and land upon which  these resources depend.                                                               
The designation would benefit all  Alaskans, she added.  She said                                                               
Section 1  (c-f) [slide 13]:   provides land use  restrictions on                                                               
mining  and  potentially  oil and  gas  development,  unless  the                                                               
commissioner  deems  it  compatible with  the  refuge;  addresses                                                               
access corridors  to this land;  gives DNR and  Alaska Department                                                               
of Fish &  Game (ADF&G) authority to enter  into leases, provided                                                               
the  leases/uses are  compatible with  the refuge;  and prohibits                                                               
the sale of  [state] land within the refuge boundary.   Section 3                                                               
[slide 14], she stated, provides an effective date of 1/1/19.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:00:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON asked whether Ms.  Delaney has spoken with the                                                               
Division  of  Mining,  Land  and  Water  about  currently  active                                                               
interests in mining.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY  confirmed she  spoke with  the division  and learned                                                               
there are  no mining claims  within the proposed  refuge boundary                                                               
at this time.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  further  asked   whether  claims  are  being                                                               
actively explored  and pursued,  or whether they  are technically                                                               
claims but dormant.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY  offered her understanding  that there are  no claims                                                               
and currently nothing is being actively pursued in the area.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:01:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON expressed  her concern  about [the  large                                                               
amount  of] public  land in  Alaska and  prohibiting the  sale of                                                               
these lands.  She  asked how much state land is  in this area and                                                               
how much would potentially not be sold into private ownership.                                                                  
She noted private  landowners pay property taxes  to boroughs and                                                               
said that as  state revenues decline, private  land ownership and                                                               
property  taxes are  important.   She  asked  what the  potential                                                               
revenue decrease would be if a  refuge was designated.  She noted                                                               
that at statehood  the state land was intended  to be transferred                                                               
into private ownership                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. DELANEY replied  she is unsure and will  get that information                                                               
to the representative.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:03:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER pointed  out that  the Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
Borough encompasses  only a small  part [of the  proposed refuge]                                                               
and the rest is unorganized borough.   He offered his belief that                                                               
there are  nonoperational mining  claims [in the  proposed refuge                                                               
area] that have been returned to  the state.  But, he added, this                                                               
doesn't mean  they cannot be sold  again; it just means  they are                                                               
presently not being mined and controlled by a lease agreement.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON stated  that most  of the  claims are  in the                                                               
southeast corner of the [proposed]  area and are located close to                                                               
the Denali  Highway.  He  requested Mr.  Brent Goodrum of  DNR to                                                               
address the status of these claims.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:05:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENT  GOODRUM, Director,  Central  Office,  Division of  Mining,                                                               
Land and  Water, Department of  Natural Resources  (DNR), offered                                                               
his understanding that  the last time the  division checked there                                                               
weren't  any  active  state mining  claims  within  the  proposed                                                               
refuge boundary.  Previously there  may have been claims that may                                                               
have  been  active that  miners  had  let expire  or  essentially                                                               
abandoned  the claims.   However,  he continued,  the staking  of                                                               
mining claims is such that a  miner, upon discovery, can stake it                                                               
and  record it  and  it  is a  self-actuating  right.   Thus,  an                                                               
individual can  stake claims and  then the division may  find out                                                               
after the fact that this has happened.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:06:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  whether the  state  could  lease                                                               
previously active mining claims to someone else in the future.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. GOODRUM  answered that an  individual, party, or  group could                                                               
come into  acquiring rights  to minerals  in those  areas through                                                               
staking  or through  some type  of lease  with the  state.   That                                                               
could happen  in the future and  is not prohibited at  this time.                                                               
All Alaska state lands are open  to mineral entry unless they are                                                               
otherwise closed,  he continued.   There has been  exploration in                                                               
this area previously  and so that could happen yet  in the future                                                               
unless there were something else that prohibited it.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked whether HB 272 would stop that.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  responded that  HB 272 would  prohibit future                                                               
mining claims.   He asked  Mr. Goodrum whether, under  this bill,                                                               
someone could re-invigorate what had been a claim.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. GOODRUM answered that a miner  could stake a mining claim and                                                               
then record  that mining claim and  at that time the  miner would                                                               
secure  rights to  those  minerals.   Section  1(c)  of the  bill                                                               
states, "Except for valid rights  and interests in mineral claims                                                               
existing on  January 1, 2019,"  he noted.  So,  theoretically, if                                                               
the bill  was signed  into law  and someone  had staked  a mining                                                               
claim prior  to that date, they  would acquire that right  and be                                                               
able to utilize that right going into the future.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:09:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON held over HB 272.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:10:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AMA letter HB272 Tangle Lakes HRES.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Sponsor Statement 1.22.18.pdf HFSH 2/27/2018 10:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 ver U 1.22.18.pdf HFSH 2/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Sectional Analysis ver U 1.22.18.pdf HFSH 2/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Supporting Documents (Combined 49).pdf HFSH 2/27/2018 10:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Fiscal Note - DFG-CO 2.9.18.PDF HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Fiscal Note - DNR-MLW 2.9.18.PDF HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Letters of Support (combined).pdf HFSH 2/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Supporting Emails.pdf HFSH 2/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Supporting Document Media Release CCA.pdf HFSH 2/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Supporting Document AK BHA Proposal.pdf HFSH 2/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Supporting Document-Bente BOG comment.pdf HFSH 2/13/2018 11:00:00 AM
HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Additional Document-Map.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Opposing Documents(Combined) Ahtna, AMA, CVCC.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Supporting Document - Letters in Support 3.5.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 PPT for HRES March 7.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HRES Outdoor Recreation Hearing - Biographies of Presenters 3.7.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
Outdoor Recreation
HRES Outdoor Recreation Hearing - Supporting Document - 18.Confluence.LeaveBehind.AK 3.6.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
Outdoor Recreation
HRES Outdoor Recreation Hearing - Supporting Document - 18.Confluence.leavebehind.natlstats 3.6.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
Outdoor Recreation
HRES Outdoor Recreation Hearing - Supporting Document - 18.confluence.signonlet4print 3.5.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
Outdoor Recreation
HRES Outdoor Recreation Hearing - Supporting Document - Alaska Professional Hunters Association 3.6.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
Outdoor Recreation
HRES Outdoor recreation presentation - Supporting Document - illustrative projects - short version 3.6.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
outdoor recreation
HB 272 Supporting doc. CBC Radio Article.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HRES Outdoor Recreation Hearing - Outdoor Industry Association Recreation Economics AK 3.7.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
Outdoor Recreation
HB 272 Supporting Document - Mining can damage fish habitats far downstream study shows _ Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability _ Michigan State University 3.7.18.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
TangleLksLetterToLegis.pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
Signatories to Support Ltr..pdf HRES 3/7/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272