Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/14/2018 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 6:30 pm --
+= HB 272 TANGLE LAKES STATE GAME REFUGE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Public/Invited> --
+ HB 260 FISH & GAME LICENSES;ELECTRONIC FORM TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 330 DNR: DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFO TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 330(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 14, 2018                                                                                         
                            6:37 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Andy Josephson, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative John Lincoln, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Justin Parish                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Chris Tuck (alternate)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 272                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing the Tangle Lakes State Game Refuge; and                                                                    
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
 - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 330                                                                                                              
"An  Act authorizing  the  commissioner  of natural  resources  to                                                              
disclose   confidential  information   in   an  investigation   or                                                              
proceeding, including  a lease  royalty audit, appeal,  or request                                                              
for  reconsideration and  issue  a protective  order limiting  the                                                              
persons who have access to the confidential information."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 - MOVED CSHB 330(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 272                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TANGLE LAKES STATE GAME REFUGE                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
 01/16/18       (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                                                                             
 03/07/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                          
 03/07/18       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                           
 03/12/18       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                             
 03/12/18       (H)       -- Public Testimony --                                                                                
 03/14/18       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 330                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DNR: DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFO                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
 02/05/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                       
 02/05/18       (H)       JUD, RES                                                                                              
 02/16/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
 02/16/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                          
 02/16/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                           
 02/21/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
 02/21/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                          
 02/21/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                           
 02/23/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
 02/23/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                          
 02/23/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                           
 02/26/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
 02/26/18       (H)       Moved CSHB 330(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                  
 02/26/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                           
 02/28/18       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 1DP 5NR 1AM                                                                        
 02/28/18       (H)       DP: CLAMAN                                                                                            
 02/28/18       (H)       NR: EASTMAN, KOPP, STUTES, LEDOUX,                                                                    
                          REINBOLD                                                                                              
 02/28/18       (H)       AM: KREISS-TOMKINS                                                                                    
 03/09/18       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                             
 03/09/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                          
 03/09/18       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                           
 03/12/18       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                             
 03/12/18       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                               
 03/14/18       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ALICIA SIIRA, Deputy Director                                                                                                   
Alaska Miners Association (AMA)                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition during the hearing                                                               
of HB 272.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
RUTH MCHENRY, Volunteer Staff                                                                                                   
Copper Country Alliance                                                                                                         
Kenny Lake, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support during the hearing of                                                               
HB 272.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
LINDA RUTLEDGE                                                                                                                  
Kenny Lake, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MARLEANNA HALL, Executive Director                                                                                              
Resource Development Council (RDC)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 272.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE ROGERS                                                                                                                    
Gakona, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ED KING, Legislative Liaison                                                                                                    
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the discussion of                                                              
HB 272.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JOE DONAHUE, Board member                                                                                                       
Copper Country Alliance (CCA)                                                                                                   
Kenny Lake, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CATHY TEICH                                                                                                                     
Talkeetna, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 272.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
FELICIA RIDEL                                                                                                                   
Kenny Lake, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in  support during the  hearing of                                                            
HB 272.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KATHRYN MARTIN, Senior Vice-President                                                                                           
Ahtna, Incorporated (Ahtna Inc.)                                                                                                
Corporate Headquarters                                                                                                          
Glennallen, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 272.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE ANDERSON, President                                                                                                    
Ahtna, Incorporated (Ahtna, Inc.)                                                                                               
Glennallen, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 272.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ED KING, Legislative Liaison                                                                                                    
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified and answered questions  during the                                                            
discussion of HB 330.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:37:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ANDY  JOSEPHSON  called  the  House  Resources  Standing                                                            
Committee   meeting  to   order  at   6:37  p.m.   Representatives                                                              
Josephson, Lincoln, Parish, and Birch  were present at the call to                                                              
order.   Representatives Drummond,  Johnson,  and Tarr arrived  as                                                              
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
              HB 272-TANGLE LAKES STATE GAME REFUGE                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:38:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that  the first  order of  business                                                              
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  272,  "An Act  establishing the  Tangle                                                              
Lakes State Game Refuge; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:38:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  opened public  testimony to  invited testimony                                                              
on HB 272.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:39:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALICIA SIIRA,  Deputy Director,  Alaska Miners Association  (AMA),                                                              
on behalf  of AMA's executive  director, disagreed  that renewable                                                              
and  nonrenewable resources  cannot  coexist with  public use  and                                                              
habitat, which Alaska's  history has proven completely  false, she                                                              
said.   The  sponsor  statement  read, "Although  most  activities                                                              
within the proposed  refuge pertain to renewable  resources, there                                                              
is   potential   for   non-renewable   activities,   which   could                                                              
irreparably  damage  both  the  ecosystem and  the  wildlife  that                                                              
depend on  it."  She said  the AMA disagreed with  this statement.                                                              
A century of experience shows this  premise   that one must choose                                                              
between  renewable  and  nonrenewable  resources    to  be  false.                                                              
Alaska's economy has been built on  the premise that Alaskans need                                                              
not   choose  between   environmental   protection  and   economic                                                              
development.    The  philosophy that  renewable  and  nonrenewable                                                              
resources  cannot  coexist  in  a  region,  which  this  bill  was                                                              
predicated upon, would  be a "death-knell" to  the state's economy                                                              
and state revenue, she said.  She spoke in opposition to HB 272.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:41:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIIRA paraphrased  from  a  portion of  the  letter from  the                                                              
Alaska  Miners  Association  dated  March  6,  2018,  in  members'                                                              
packets, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
      The Denali  Highway Region  around the proposed  refuge                                                                   
      has been the subject  of mineral exploration  since the                                                                   
      turn of the century. The large  Valdez Creek Mine, just                                                                   
      east of the Susitna River, was  discovered in the early                                                                   
      part of this century and reclaimed  in the early 1990s.                                                                   
      Beginning   in   the   early   1990s,   modern   mining                                                                   
      exploration  increased in  this  region.  The  proposed                                                                   
      refuge area and lands to the  north, where access would                                                                   
      be impeded  by the  refuge,  was explored  for over  20                                                                   
      years by  American Copper  and  Nickel Company  (ACNC),                                                                   
      Anglo American,  Fort Knox  Gold  (a different  company                                                                   
      than  the  one  mining  near  Fairbanks),  Nevada  Star                                                                   
      Resource Corporation,  Pure Nickel,  and a  few others.                                                                   
      Since   2000,  DNR   has   granted   approximately   20                                                                   
      exploration permits and the same number  of permits for                                                                   
      placer mining  in the  region. While  most are  outside                                                                   
      the proposed Refuge  area, a number have  included work                                                                   
      within the Refuge area as well.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  said the region's history  has shown that  nearby large                                                              
mines, such  as Valdez Creek Mine  have not created  the long-term                                                              
impact asserted  by the  sponsor and  years of recent  exploration                                                              
have avoided the predicted impacts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  continued to  paraphrase a portion  of the  letter from                                                              
the Alaska Miners  Association dated March 6, 2018,  which read as                                                              
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      Exploration has  included most  of the techniques  used                                                                   
      to find  hard-rock  minerals including  field  mapping,                                                                   
      aerial  and   ground   geophysical  exploration,   soil                                                                   
      samples, water samples, rock sampling,  and exploration                                                                   
      drilling. Almost  all  of  the recent  exploration  has                                                                   
      been helicopter  supported. It  has left little  ground                                                                   
      disturbance or long-term visual affect.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA said  that as members know, the designation  of a Tangle                                                              
Lakes State Game Refuge was not a  new idea.  When it was proposed                                                              
previously   and   with   exploration   activity   underway,   DNR                                                              
[Department of Natural Resources]  field personnel were questioned                                                              
and very  few people  using Tangle  Lakes, or  the Delta  Wild and                                                              
Scenic  River  even   knew  that  mineral  exploration   had  been                                                              
occurring.   The  area under  discussion already  benefits from  a                                                              
system of protections through DNR's  Special Use Area designation.                                                              
Most of  the proposed  Refuge area  is within  DNR's Tangle  Lakes                                                              
Archaeological District  Special Use  Area, which  was established                                                              
in  2003.   She referenced  regulations in  11 AAC  96.104(b)(24),                                                              
noting that  through the  aforementioned regulation,  DNR assessed                                                              
the  area  and  concluded  that mining  and  mineral  and  mineral                                                              
exploration  impacts  were  easily   controlled  through  mining's                                                              
extensive permitting  and inspection  process, although  leasehold                                                              
location  order 26  put  companies  on notice  that  DNR would  be                                                              
looking closely to protect the cultural resources of this area.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  continued to  paraphrase a portion  of the  letter from                                                              
the Alaska Miners  Association dated March 6, 2018,  which read as                                                              
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      DNR, like  BLM before  it, concluded that  unrestricted                                                                   
      motorized  recreation had  the  greatest  potential  to                                                                   
      cause significant impacts to these  resources. For that                                                                   
      reason, DNR enacted  rules for recreation  and received                                                                   
      additional legislative funding  for field  personnel to                                                                   
      manage recreation  this  area.  This Special  Use  Area                                                                   
      provides already  a vehicle  for  special rules  should                                                                   
      those rules become necessary.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  continued to  paraphrase a portion  of the  letter from                                                              
the Alaska Miners  Association dated March 6, 2018,  which read as                                                              
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      A Refuge  With  Only Average  Habitat?  DNR's land  use                                                                 
      plan,  written  with   DF&G's  help   and  endorsement,                                                                   
      indicates that  the  vast majority  of  the refuge  has                                                                   
      only moderate  habitat.  The proposed  refuge is  split                                                                   
      between two  DNR Area  Plans: Tanana  Basin Area  Plan,                                                                   
      Subunit 5C2; and Copper River Basin  Area Plan, Subunit                                                                   
      28.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
      DF&G has provided  the fish and wildlife  expertise for                                                                   
      these plans.   As  part  of these  plans, the  agencies                                                                   
      rated habitat in  each area into  one of  5 categories.                                                                   
      As part  of  the  plans'  public process,  the  habitat                                                                   
      ratings were  published for  public comment.  The plans                                                                   
      concluded that the  vast majority  of what  is proposed                                                                   
      for  the Refuge  is  in  the  middle  habitat  category                                                                   
      (which the plans termed "Prime" habitat).                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
      In addition, BLM  analyzed a modern mining  scenario in                                                                   
      a 2011 Environmental Assessment for the  Delta Wild and                                                                   
      Scenic River.  It concluded,  "If exploration  leads to                                                                   
      the discovery  of an  economically viable  deposit, the                                                                   
      deposit  will   likely   be  developed   only   through                                                                   
      underground mining (not open-pit) techniques.  If so, a                                                                   
      mine could  be developed  in  a similar  manner as  the                                                                   
      Pogo  Mine   (about   38  miles   northeast  of   Delta                                                                   
      Junction). Surface disturbance  will vary  depending on                                                                   
      mine  design,   construction  of   roads,  power   line                                                                   
      corridors, selection  of tailing  disposal method,  and                                                                   
      other  factors.   The  Pogo   Mine   has  a   permitted                                                                   
      disturbance of  425 acres."  Four  hundred and  twenty-                                                                   
      five acres  is roughly  0.3% of  the proposed  refuge's                                                                   
      area. This  modern  mining  scenario hardly  makes  the                                                                   
      case that Alaska  must choose  between habitat  and our                                                                   
      jobs or income.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA stated that if it was not closed, the proposed refuge                                                                 
and surrounding area is likely to be explored again.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA continued to paraphrase a portion of the letter from                                                                  
the Alaska Miners Association dated March 6, 2018, which read as                                                                
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
      While  the  proposed  refuge  is  not  presently  being                                                                   
      explored,  it is  likely  to  be  explored  again.  The                                                                   
      Tangle  Lakes   region  is   known  to   be  a   highly                                                                   
      mineralized area,  in the  Nikolai Greenstone  geologic                                                                   
      terrane that is  host to the incredibly  rich Kennecott                                                                   
      copper deposits.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
      Most recently  Pure, Nickel  explored the  area    both                                                                   
      within the refuge and  in the area to the  north, in an                                                                   
      area  where  the  refuge  would  discourage  additional                                                                   
      exploration.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  commented it was  her understanding that  the committee                                                              
had a  letter from the company  Pure Nickel stating that  it chose                                                              
to drop  its claims in 2013  due to the global  mineral investment                                                              
climate and not for lack of mineralization.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
      The recent exploration showed  significant potential of                                                                   
      nickel,  platinum  metals   and  elements,   and  other                                                                   
      minerals. These  minerals  are included  in a  recently                                                                   
      published list by  the United States  Geological Survey                                                                   
      (USGS)  of  minerals  that  are  critical  to  national                                                                   
      defense and the economy.   A secure supply  of domestic                                                                   
      sources  of minerals  is  a  priority  for  the  United                                                                   
      States, and it should be for Alaska as well.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:47:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  stated that  while exploring Alaska  and the  area, the                                                              
Pure  Nickel camp  employed up  to 40  people, many  of whom  were                                                              
Alaskans, and spent  more than $25 million in the state.   In just                                                              
one year it  spent $400,000 in claim fees, of  which a significant                                                              
amount has gone  to the Alaska Permanent Fund.   Closing this area                                                              
to mineral  entry would ensure  no further economic  benefits from                                                              
exploration  and   eliminate  the   possibility  of   a  producing                                                              
operation and  jobs and revenue associated  with the mine.   It is                                                              
proven that  Alaska does not have  to make the choice  between the                                                              
environment and  resource development.   Alaska's  miners strongly                                                              
oppose the proposed refuge, she said.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON said his map of  the area [in members' packets]                                                              
showed that the  area north of the proposed border  [of the Tangle                                                              
Lakes State  Game Refuge] was  vastly more replete  with potential                                                              
mineral  resource  occurrences  than within  the  proposed  refuge                                                              
area.   He asked for further  clarification on her  testimony that                                                              
mining to the north would be discouraged if there was a refuge.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  clarified the  AMA thought  that mining  activity would                                                              
generally be  discouraged.   During mining exploration,  companies                                                              
are not  sure where  the deposit  might be  located so  to have  a                                                              
portion  nearby closed  off,  which  might include  a  significant                                                              
portion   of  the   deposit  would   discourage  exploration   and                                                              
development, she said.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON referred  to  letter from  Pure Nickel,  Inc.,                                                              
which he offered to  provide to members.  He read  from the letter                                                              
from  Mr.  David McPherson  dated  March  6,  2018, "We  are  very                                                              
frequently  contacted  by  companies  who  wish  to  purchase  the                                                              
information we developed so that  they can re-stake the claims and                                                              
continue exploration in the area."   He acknowledged that while it                                                              
might  be true  that this  bill could  make it  more difficult  to                                                              
continue exploration  in the  area, HB  199 expressly  would allow                                                              
the re-staking  of the claim.   He asked whether Ms.  Siira agreed                                                              
with Mr. McPherson's statement.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA  responded that she  was unsure  on the specifics.   She                                                              
offered to research  it and respond  to him and noted she  had not                                                              
personally seen the referenced letter.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:50:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON, in terms  of compatibility,  pointed out  the                                                              
state  has   made  policy   decisions  that   not  everything   is                                                              
compatible,  and has  set aside  conservation  units that  reflect                                                              
this policy, such as Denali National Park.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. SIIRA answered yes.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  directed attention to  page 7, line 21,  of HB                                                              
272, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
      (c) Except for  valid rights  and interests  in mineral                                                                   
      claims  existing on  January  1,  2019,  including  the                                                                   
      right of  access to  those claims,  the land and  water                                                                   
      areas of the Tangle Lakes State  Game Refuge are closed                                                                   
      to mineral entry under AS 38.05.185 - 38.05.275.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  said it seemed  as though Pure  Nickel concern                                                              
about re-staking the  claims would be alleviated at  some level by                                                              
that language.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   BIRCH  offered   his   belief   that  there   was                                                              
prejudicial  language in  the  sponsor  statement, which  includes                                                              
language,  "irreparable damage."   He said  that typically  mining                                                              
work requires  bonding, restoration  and mining  reclamation, such                                                              
as reseeding.  He offered his belief  that language was harsh, but                                                              
he liked to  think that the DNR  and the mechanisms the  state has                                                              
in place protect the public, property,  and the state interests in                                                              
these lands.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIIRA responded  that the  state  has a  robust and  thorough                                                              
permitting  system  that  requires bonding,  reclamation,  and  an                                                              
opportunity  for  public  comment  to keep  the  environment  safe                                                              
during resource development.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH agreed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON asked for further  clarification on Ms. Siira's                                                              
comment about "moderate  habitat".  He suggested  that Mr. Meehan,                                                              
with Alaska  Department of Fish  & Game  (ADF&G) might be  able to                                                              
define the  term.  He remarked  that the management plan  maps [in                                                              
members' packets]  were fairly dated,  with one dating  from 1986,                                                              
and the  other one  more recent.   He  suggested that  other terms                                                              
have  been  used  by  DNR,  including   "high  value"  and  "prime                                                              
habitat."   He asked whether she  had seen those terms  being used                                                              
to describe habitat.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SIIRA answered  that  she  had not,  but  she  would ask  the                                                              
executive director about it.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:55:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RUTH   MCHENRY,   Volunteer  Staff,   Copper   Country   Alliance,                                                              
representing Copper  Country Alliance,  related her  first glimpse                                                              
of the  Tangle Lakes area  was in 1960,  when she traveled  on the                                                              
Denali Highway  during a  Girl Scout  trip from Haines  throughout                                                              
the   newly-formed   state.     She   later  returned   with   her                                                              
grandparents, and her  grandfather shot a caribou  to provide meat                                                              
for his family.  In 1988, she  moved to the Copper River Basin and                                                              
joined her  late husband  on caribou  hunts:   some of  which were                                                              
successful, and  some were  not.  She  described the  Tangle Lakes                                                              
area as a "glorious place to be" then and now.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY  said  that she and  her current  husband visited  the                                                              
area several times a year to hike,  pick berries, and to enjoy the                                                              
vast,  open landscape.   The  Nelchina caribou  herd has  provided                                                              
residents  from Copper Basin,  Anchorage, the  Mat-Su Valley,  and                                                              
Fairbanks  with an  important meat  source.   Since groceries  are                                                              
expensive  in Alaska  and  more so  in  rural Alaska,  subsistence                                                              
hunting  provides residents  with  meat for  their  freezers.   In                                                              
fact, hunting represents the most  important draw to the area, and                                                              
she noted that over 17,000 permits  were issued this season and in                                                              
the last one.   During summer, tourism and  recreation are equally                                                              
as  important, providing  small Alaskan-owned  tours, lodges,  gas                                                              
stations, and  tour companies with  income.  Large  daily Princess                                                              
Cruise tours and small locally-owned  tour operators show tourists                                                              
the scenic  alpine region  - one of  the few  drive-through alpine                                                              
zones in  Alaska.  She related  that the committee  previously has                                                              
heard  testimony about  the importance  of  outdoor recreation  to                                                              
local businesses.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCHENRY related  that  many  Ahtna, Inc.,  one  of 13  Alaska                                                              
Native  Regional  Corporations, shareholders  and  their  families                                                              
also depend on the Nelchina herd.   Ten thousand years ago, Native                                                              
Alaskans  hunted this  same  area  and left  behind  such a  dense                                                              
number  of  stone  tools  that   the  Tangle  Lakes  Archeological                                                              
District  was created  to  help  protect artifacts;  however,  the                                                              
district does  not protect the herd  or other wildlife.   A refuge                                                              
would protect hunting  and trapping, she said.   She described the                                                              
Tangle  Lakes  region as  so  important  that  it has  acquired  a                                                              
"refuge"  status even  with the  threat of mining.   She  referred                                                              
members  to retired  ADF&G  biologist  Robert Tobey's  memo  about                                                              
caribou, moose, ptarmigan, furbearers,  and waterfowl [in member's                                                              
packets].                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY  related that the  larger part of the  proposed refuge                                                              
is in Management Unit 5C [North Slope  of the Alaska Range] of the                                                              
Tanana Basin  Area Plan.  She  quoted a portion of  the management                                                              
intent of  Unit 5C:   "Fish and wildlife  habitat is  designated a                                                              
primary use in  this unit. Values include  prime-rated habitat for                                                              
moose,  caribou,  grizzly  bears,  and sheep  [(B-1  habitat;  see                                                              
Appendix  A, Glossary)]."    The  habitat classification  for  the                                                              
Tangle Lakes  area is  prime habitat, which  she quoted  as being:                                                              
"Prime habitat are  those capable of supporting  maximum densities                                                              
of  one or  more  species  groups on  a  long-term  basis and  are                                                              
necessary for perpetuation of those populations."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY  argued that the Tanana  Basin Area Plan does  not use                                                              
the  term "moderate"  habitat [as  stated  by the  AMA in  earlier                                                              
testimony].     She  agreed   that  C-1   lands  were   considered                                                              
"moderate"; however,  the Tangle Lakes  area does not  contain C-1                                                              
lands and consists primarily of B-l  lands, she said.  "Recreation                                                              
is designated a  primary use.  High scenic values  at the southern                                                              
tip  of Unit  5C  should be  protected,"  she  quoted. Those  high                                                              
scenic value  lands are exactly the  ones along the north  side of                                                              
the Denali Highway in the proposed  refuges, she said.  She stated                                                              
that the  two area  plans were  signed off  by the  DNR and  ADF&G                                                              
commissioners.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:00:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY, with respect to the  importance of retaining wildlife                                                              
habitat, stated that biologists report  that caribou use different                                                              
parts of their range  in different years.  They also  use the area                                                              
during  different  times during  the  year, depending  on  factors                                                              
including  snow depth  and how  recently the  animals have  fed on                                                              
plants.   She  expressed  concern  about the  habitat  degradation                                                              
since  caribou  graze  and require  substantial  habitat  area  to                                                              
survive.    Biologists are  unsure  of  the threshold  of  habitat                                                              
degradation before it will affect the caribou herd.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCHENRY offered  her belief  that a  new mine  in the  Tangle                                                              
Lakes area  would significantly  affect habitat.   She  attributed                                                              
habitat  loss to  current mining  and  exploration, including  the                                                              
potential of  future mining.   Other projects and  activities that                                                              
posed potential impacts  on the caribou herd  include the proposed                                                              
Susitna Dam  and military  exercises with  low-flying jets.   Even                                                              
though she has loved traveling to  the Tangle Lakes area, she also                                                              
acknowledged that  highways fragment  the caribou  herd's habitat,                                                              
too.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY said she has followed  mineral exploration activity in                                                              
the  Tangle Lakes  area for  17  years.   Modern hard-rock  mining                                                              
typically  alters land  on a  large  scale, including  underground                                                              
mines, but  especially open pit  mining, she said.   Although Pure                                                              
Nickel, Inc.  advised people  they were uncertain  of the  type of                                                              
mine being  proposed, either  type of  mine would require  massive                                                              
waste  and  tailing  storage, mill  buildings,  power  lines,  and                                                              
roads.  She  expressed concern about the problem  ore trucks would                                                              
have  on the  Denali  Highway roadway  and  tanker  trucks on  the                                                              
Richardson  Highway   to  other  motorists,   including  tourists.                                                              
Although  Rock  Creek Mine,  near  Nome  was permitted  under  the                                                              
state's "rigorous permitting process," it  was shut down after two                                                              
months because of water problems and never reopened.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.   MCHENRY   stated    although   helicopter-assisted   mineral                                                              
exploration  may  not  have  long-term  impacts,  the  purpose  of                                                              
exploration  leads to mining  which does  have long-term  impacts,                                                              
with some  mining operations requiring  perpetual treatment.   The                                                              
DNR  permitted exploration  in the  Tangle Lakes  region, but  she                                                              
questioned why the DNR would permit  exploration if the department                                                              
intended to  refuse future mining.   She suggested  members should                                                              
ask DNR if it has ever refused a hard-rock mine permit mine.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY, in response to  whether viable mineral deposits exist                                                              
in the  Tangle Lakes region,  said that  11 of the  45 exploratory                                                              
holes drilled were in areas north  of the proposed refuge.  Today,                                                              
there are no  hard-rock claims in the proposed refuge  or north of                                                              
its boundaries after  three major foreign mining  interests pulled                                                              
out.    Even  Pure  Nickel, Inc.,  a  foreign  junior  exploration                                                              
company  eventually relinquished  its  claim  within the  proposed                                                              
refuge or the explored area, she said.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:05:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY stated her belief that it  is time to grant ADF&G full                                                              
management of  this important region.   Alaskan  hunters, fishers,                                                              
berry pickers, photographers, and  paddlers care deeply about this                                                              
area.   They want future  generations to enjoy  the area as  it is                                                              
today,  she   said.     These  people   are  not  "rabid   Outside                                                              
environmentalists,"  people who  represent outside  organizations,                                                              
or mining companies  based in Canada, London, or  China.  Instead,                                                              
these are Alaskans who are here for  the long term, she said.  She                                                              
urged members to pass HB 272.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  acknowledged that  Kenny Lake was  about 150                                                              
miles  closer  to  the  proposed   refuge  than  his  district  in                                                              
Anchorage.   He  said he  was not  supportive  of this  bill.   He                                                              
expressed concern  with the lack  of engagement with those  "in it                                                              
for the long  haul."  He pointed out several  letters submitted in                                                              
opposition to the  bill, including Ahtna, Inc. who  opposed HB 272                                                              
because  it  would  prevent   shared  multiple-use  opportunities.                                                              
Further, the Copper Valley Chamber  of Commerce submitted a letter                                                              
in  opposition to  the bill.    He acknowledged  that tourism  has                                                              
merit but asked how jobs in  resource extraction industry compared                                                              
to jobs  in the  housekeeping and  hotel industry.   He  suggested                                                              
there were opportunities in the  natural resources industries that                                                              
would  be curtailed  if those  opportunities were  shut down.   He                                                              
expressed concern that the Matanuska-Susitna  Borough had not been                                                              
consulted,  since it  touches  the western  edge  of the  proposed                                                              
refuge.  He  reiterated his concern over  opposition stemming from                                                              
a regional  corporation and a government  entity.  He said  he was                                                              
very concerned about the proposal.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  responded  that   the  Ahtna,  Inc.  regional                                                              
boundaries were not in the proposed refuge.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked for confirmation on the boundaries.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON said he has  looked very carefully and attested                                                              
that Ahtna Regional Corporation did  not have land in the proposed                                                              
region.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:09:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MCHENRY said  she reviewed  Ahtna, Inc.'s  recent letter  [of                                                              
February 13,  2018] and  she was  perplexed from their  supportive                                                              
stance in  2007 to one  of opposition.   She surmised  that Ahtna,                                                              
Inc.  may  have  misunderstood  the proposed  bill;  for  one,  it                                                              
referred to  the proposed refuge  as a  park.  She  questioned who                                                              
would get [mining] jobs and if they  would pertain to locals.  She                                                              
highlighted  that the  refuge  was currently  being  used by  more                                                              
people, culturally and to support the economy.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON acknowledged that  housekeeping jobs do not pay                                                              
as  well as  mining  jobs.   He  stated  that  when the  bill  was                                                              
introduced it  was paired with  testimony on the value  of outdoor                                                              
recreation.   He asked  whether she  had a  sense of  the economic                                                              
value of  the region to  its present uses  since she has  lived in                                                              
the region for so long.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY responded  that many people transit  the area bringing                                                              
numerous visitors to local businesses.   She said the Hub, a major                                                              
gas  station  in  Glennallen,  is  "pretty  well  jammed"  between                                                              
Memorial Day to Labor Day during the tourism season.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:13:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked for  further clarification  on Copper                                                              
Country Alliance.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY stated  that the seven-member board was  in support of                                                              
HB 272.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked whether  other members have subscribed                                                              
to the Copper Country Alliance's mailing list.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MCHENRY  stated that Copper  Country Alliance consisted  of 50                                                              
members located  in region,  noting this  is a  sparsely-populated                                                              
area.   She  recalled that  in 2010-12  she gathered  a number  of                                                              
signatures for the legislature.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND stated  that she  located a  copy of  the                                                              
letter  she  previously  mentioned  [in members'  packets].    Ms.                                                              
McHenry was  number 687 of  823 signers  of Save Tangle  Lakes and                                                              
many people in the Valdez to Delta corridor signed the letter.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked to correct  an earlier statement by the                                                              
Co-Chair.  He stated that virtually  the entire Denali Highway was                                                              
in the Ahtna, Incorporated region.   He further stated that nearly                                                              
half of the area falls in the Ahtna, Inc. region.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON disagreed,  noting  his  research showed  that                                                              
Ahtna land  was to the south  of the proposed refuge,  towards the                                                              
coast and  Wrangell-St. Elias.   He offered to review  it further,                                                              
but his sense  was that the land  south of the highway  was public                                                              
land.    He  remarked  that there  might  be  an  historic  Native                                                              
Corporation regional boundary since the  entire state was taken up                                                              
by   12   Native   Regional  Corporations.      He   wondered   if                                                              
Representative Birch's  reckoning meant  there was not  any public                                                              
land  in  Alaska  but  rather  that it  was  all  Native  Regional                                                              
Corporation land.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  answered no; however, he meant  there should                                                              
be some engagement with the entities.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON emphasized  the need  to clearly  identify                                                              
land ownership.  She offered her belief  that some of the land was                                                              
Ahtna, Inc. land.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  asked whether  Representative  Johnson  could                                                              
identify that the land was owned by Ahtna, Inc.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   JOHNSON  reiterated   that  the  committee   must                                                              
consider land status.   She did not believe  the corporation owned                                                              
the land;  however, the  committee should  consider what  proposed                                                              
refuge land fell within Ahtna, Inc.  lands and how it might impact                                                              
the corporation.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  remarked that  his  home in  Anchorage  falls                                                              
within the  Cook Inlet region;  but he  owns his home  fee simple.                                                              
He said he was puzzled and did not understand the argument.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated that a  portion of the proposed refuge                                                              
falls in  Matanuska-Susitna Borough  (MSB).  He  acknowledged that                                                              
the MSB  might not own  the land, but  it fell within  the borough                                                              
jurisdiction and political boundary.   He said he thought it would                                                              
be irresponsible not to contact [the entities] in some capacity.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
7:20:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA RUTLEDGE  stated her family  has had a homestead  since 1979                                                              
on  Mile  3  of  the Edgerton  Highway.    Her  family  has  large                                                              
subsistence  vegetable  gardens  and the  Nelchina  caribou  herd,                                                              
which  they value  and respect,  has been the  family's source  of                                                              
meat for  38 years.   Certain areas  along the Denali  Highway are                                                              
important to  the Nelchina caribou  herd, she said.   The proposed                                                              
Tangle Lakes State  Game Refuge provides a prime  feeding area for                                                              
the herd.   Caribou migrate to the  Tangle Lakes area in  the fall                                                              
and often winter there.  The  lake system supports rich vegetation                                                              
from lichens  to an  extraordinary array  of blueberries.   Bears,                                                              
fox, swans,  and ptarmigan  were among the  wildlife that  feed on                                                              
the  rich  blueberry  patches.     Her  family,  like  many  other                                                              
Alaskans, gather  a winter's supply  of blueberries at  the Tangle                                                              
Lakes.  She  recalled a hunting partner called this  area a "bread                                                              
basket" since it provides so much food.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUTLEDGE  asked members to  consider that as  Alaska's climate                                                              
changes  food sources  will become  very important.   She  did not                                                              
understand jeopardizing  the health  of the Nelchina  caribou herd                                                              
for short-term  mining extraction.   She acknowledged  that people                                                              
were  just  part of  the  equation.    The Nelchina  caribou  herd                                                              
deserved to  have the proposed  game refuge as their  homeland and                                                              
their right  to thrive.   She  urged members  to visit  the Tangle                                                              
Lakes, which  is surrounded by lush  tundra with the  Alaska Range                                                              
as a backdrop.  She urged members  to support HB 272.  She further                                                              
urged members  to talk with the  Native population in the  area as                                                              
she felt they, too, would want to protect the Tangle Lakes.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  suggested Ms. Rutledge may wish  to collect                                                              
written testimony and signatures from neighbors.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  asked whether her family hunts  in Tangle                                                              
Lake or elsewhere in the region.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUTLEDGE responded  that they travel to the  Tangle Lakes, but                                                              
they also  follow the caribou to  the Susitna area.   She remarked                                                              
that wintertime  was important to  the Nelchina caribou,  that, at                                                              
times,  overwinter in  the area.   She  expressed concerned  about                                                              
food sources  and prime  habitat.   In response to  Representative                                                              
Drummond, she related  that she lives approximately  80 miles from                                                              
the Tangle Lakes, perhaps more.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said that since  Ms. Rutledge lives in the                                                              
area, she  was likely well aware  of the conflicts with  the Ahtna                                                              
Inc. -Native  Regional Corporation  region's land  use.   She said                                                              
she was  vaguely aware  that the  corporation  does not own  every                                                              
square  inch of  the land.   She  asked whether  the Ahtna  Inc.'s                                                              
lands were posted as closed to hunting.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. RUTLEDGE agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:27:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARLEANNA HALL,  Executive Director, Resource  Development Council                                                              
(RDC),  stated  that the  RDC  is  a statewide  trade  association                                                              
comprised of individuals and companies  from Alaska's oil and gas,                                                              
mining, forest products, tourism  and fisheries industries as well                                                              
as the 12 land-owning Alaska  Native corporations, municipalities,                                                              
individuals, labor unions, and other trade associations.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL  stated RDC's opposition  to HB 272, An  Act Establishing                                                              
the Tangle  Lakes State Game  Refuge.   She stated that  the RDC's                                                              
position  has been to  encourage the  exploration and  responsible                                                              
development of Alaska's natural resources.   Creating a new refuge                                                              
would restrict  or eliminate  the potential  opportunities in  the                                                              
Tangle  Lakes area,  including  mineral  development and  tourism.                                                              
Further, it  would create new restrictions  to land use at  a time                                                              
when our state faces fiscal and other challenges.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL  states that Alaska already  contains over 70  percent of                                                              
the  nation's  national  parkland,  84  percent  of  the  national                                                              
wildlife  refuge  land,  two  of  the  nation's  largest  national                                                              
forests, two of the largest state parks  in the union as well as a                                                              
number  of other  state  conservation  units.   She  said the  RDC                                                              
supports continuing to  manage the Tangle Lakes  area for multiple                                                              
use,  such   as  recreational,  hunting,  subsistence   and  other                                                              
potential uses, including  mining.  She said  these activities can                                                              
coexist.  Instead of creating  another refuge in Alaska, the state                                                              
must focus  on ways to  show that Alaska  is "open  for business;                                                               
that  Alaskans  are  serious  about  growing  the  economy.    The                                                              
proposed  area  consists  of  mining  claims  previously  held  by                                                              
various companies and individuals.   Mining and mining exploration                                                              
have  occurred  in the  area,  which  has  not had  a  significant                                                              
adverse impact on wildlife.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL reminded members that  Alaska already has a comprehensive                                                              
regulatory and  permitting system  in place  to protect  its land,                                                              
environment,  and  fish  and wildlife  resources.    Any  proposed                                                              
project in  the region would  be thoroughly scrutinized  and well-                                                              
vetted through the  extensive permitting process and  the National                                                              
Environmental Policy  Act of  1969 (NEPA) process,  she said.   In                                                              
closing, she urged members to oppose HB 272.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:30:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked how many  members Ms. Hall represented                                                              
and how many  of the RDC's members reside within  the Tangle Lakes                                                              
region.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL answered  that the  RDC  has hundreds  of corporate  and                                                              
individual members  representing tens of thousands of  Alaskans in                                                              
the resource and support industry sectors.   She was unsure of the                                                              
specific  number of  residents in  the  region who  were also  RDC                                                              
members,  but she  offered  to  research and  report  back to  the                                                              
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON asked  why the proposed refuge in  HB 272 would                                                              
be bad for tourism.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL  answered that  the  proposed  refuge would  create  new                                                              
restrictions  to   land  use,   which  would  potentially   impact                                                              
opportunities in the  area, including tourism.   She remarked that                                                              
restricting land use would also  create uncertainty and additional                                                              
regulatory processes  that would impact  a tourism operation  to a                                                              
mining claim.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  noted that the  committee will ask  Mr. Meehan                                                              
from ADF&G to respond at a future hearing.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR asked  for clarification  of the  process RDC  uses                                                              
when it  takes a position.   She recalled  that tourism  was under                                                              
the RDC's umbrella.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL  responded that it would  take time to discuss  the RDC's                                                              
internal  policy  process;  however,  the RDC  does  have  general                                                              
policy  positions that  it has  vetted with  the 78-member  board.                                                              
She  related  that  typically  the   RDC's  policy  positions  are                                                              
developed in November  or December, prior to  the next legislative                                                              
session.    She said  that  the  RDC's  position is  to  encourage                                                              
responsible  development  of  Alaska's   natural  resources.    In                                                              
addition, one  of RDC's  members, Ahtna Inc.  brought the  bill to                                                              
the RDC's attention.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  related  her understanding  that  RDC  prioritizes                                                              
mining  interests  over  tourism   interests  since  there  is  an                                                              
inherent conflict  between these two interests.   Although tourism                                                              
was listed  as one of  RDC's interests,  she was not  hearing that                                                              
reflected in today's testimony.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL responded that the RDC  believes all resource industries,                                                              
including  mining, tourism,  fishing,  oil and  gas, and  forestry                                                              
industries can coexist.  She pointed  out that one interest is not                                                              
placed above  the other  when the  RDC prioritizes  its positions.                                                              
She  offered  her  belief  that   tourism  relies  on  mining  and                                                              
minerals;  for example, without  minerals computers  would not  be                                                              
possible.    She  said  the mineral  potential  in  the  area  was                                                              
unknown.   She  attested  that these  minerals  are  not only  for                                                              
important for jobs  and the economy in Alaska but  are exported to                                                              
other countries and help to ensure safety in the nation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:36:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR remarked  that  she had  not seen  the  RDC take  a                                                              
position that  she has  considered pro-tourism  but has  found the                                                              
RDC's  positions favor  natural  resource development  extraction.                                                              
She offered  to follow  up with  individual members  of the  RDC's                                                              
board  involved with  the tourism  industry.   She has heard  them                                                              
engaged  in legislative  efforts  to  increase tourism  marketing,                                                              
make Alaska  a destination, and  increase the number  of visitors.                                                              
She  characterized the  tourism  industry as  being a  sustainable                                                              
long-term  industry.  She  expressed her  disappointment that  she                                                              
had not heard this represented in any of the RDC's positions.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALL  offered  to  provide policy  position  on  tourism,  an                                                              
industry that she said the RDC has long supported.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  encouraged  the  committee  to  attend  the                                                              
annual RDC  program.  He recalled  that the annual program  has an                                                              
extensive  presentation  on  tourism  forecast,  and  cruise  ship                                                              
passenger forecast.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON agreed  the RDC has a great  program, noting he                                                              
has previously attended it.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  said she  appreciated the RDC  providing a                                                              
balanced view on HB 272.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:39:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE ROGER provided  a brief history of his  family activities in                                                              
the Tangle  Lakes area.   They have lived  in the Gakona  area for                                                              
the past 17 years and enjoy  recreational activities in the Tangle                                                              
Lakes  area, including  hiking, hunting,  and berry  picking.   He                                                              
spoke in support of HB 272.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROGERS viewed the Tangle Lakes  area as unique and accessible,                                                              
that a  person could hike  across relatively easy  terrain without                                                              
chartering  a plane  or  using off-road  vehicles  (ATVs or  four-                                                              
wheelers) for access.   Archeological evidence has  suggested that                                                              
people have used  the area for hunting for at  least 10,000 years,                                                              
supportive evidence  that the  area provides critical  habitat for                                                              
the Nelchina  caribou herd.   He  offered his  belief that  HB 272                                                              
offered a good  strategy to maintain critical  habitat and hunting                                                              
opportunities.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROGERS explained  that he has reviewed the  DNR's Tanana Basin                                                              
Area Plan, noting  the proposed refuge was partially in  Unit 5 of                                                              
the plan.   The  proposed refuge seemed  consistent with  the plan                                                              
since  the  Tanana Basin  Area  Plan  listed fish,  wildlife,  and                                                              
recreation as  priorities for management  of the area.   Under the                                                              
bill,  mineral  exploration and  development  opportunities  would                                                              
still be  available north  of the proposed  refuge.   He suggested                                                              
that mining  development within  the pro  Tangle Lakes  area would                                                              
change  the  character  of  the  area for  a  long  time  and  put                                                              
additional pressure and disturbance  on the Nelchina caribou herd.                                                              
He remarked that the Nelchina  caribou herd has provided residents                                                              
in  the  Copper  Basin and  Palmer-Wasilla  area  with  attractive                                                              
hunting  and  recreational  opportunities.     He  said  that  the                                                              
proposal seemed balanced.  He urged members to support HB 272.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH asked what  proportion of residents use [the                                                              
Tangle Lakes area] for subsistence.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROGERS answered that probably  50-75 percent of the hunters in                                                              
the region use the Tangle Lakes area.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  asked for further clarification  on parameters                                                              
to re-stake a claim in the proposed refuge.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  KING,   Legislative  Liaison,  Office  of   the  Commissioner,                                                              
Department  of  Natural  Resources  (DNR),  explained  that  under                                                              
[Alaska statutes]  AS 38.05.262,  that when  a claim  is abandoned                                                              
all rights are  exhausted and cannot be rekindled  under this bill                                                              
after the effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  read a  portion of  the bill:   Section  1, AS                                                              
16.20.043(c)  on  page  7,  lines 21-24,  which  read  as  follows                                                              
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
      (c) Except for  valid rights  and interests  in mineral                                                                   
      claims  existing on  January  1,  2019,  including  the                                                                   
      right of  access to  those claims,  the land and  water                                                                   
      areas of the Tangle Lakes State  Game Refuge are closed                                                                   
      to mineral entry under 24 AS 38.05.185 - 38.05.275.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON interpreted this  language to mean that parties                                                              
who have valid rights and interests  in mineral claims existing on                                                              
January 1, 2019 could continue to  work the claims and have access                                                              
to them.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING answered he was correct;  if a person has existing rights                                                              
on that date, those rights would  continue, but after that date no                                                              
new rights  or interests in  mineral claims could  be established.                                                              
For  example, Pure  Nickel  could not  re-stake  its claims  after                                                              
January 1, 2019, he said.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH asked whether  the administration supports HB                                                              
272.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING  advised that the  DNR has not  taken a position  on this                                                              
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  reviewed the  Ahtna,  Incorporated  land                                                              
status  on its  website.   She  offered her  belief  that she  has                                                              
identified the proposed refuge boundaries  and it appeared to only                                                              
be  state or  federal  lands.   She  asked  whether  Mr. King  was                                                              
familiar with  the boundaries  of the proposed  refuge and  if the                                                              
proposed refuge would infringe on  any Ahtna Incorporated lands or                                                              
selected lands.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING said that  to the best of his knowledge  all lands within                                                              
the proposed  Tangle Lakes  State Game  Refuge are  state selected                                                              
lands  and  the  proposed  refuge   does  not  contain  any  Ahtna                                                              
Incorporated selected lands.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   LINCOLN,  with   respect  to   the  Ahtna,   Inc.                                                              
boundaries,  reminded  the  committee  that  it  heard  a  lot  of                                                              
testimony  on  the  Pebble  Mine project  and  the  regional  ANCs                                                              
[Alaska  Native Corporations]  provided  valuable perspectives  to                                                              
the committee even  though these entities did not own  land in the                                                              
proposed Pebble Mining area.   He appreciated Representative Birch                                                              
and Johnson  strongly advocating  to consult  with [Ahtna,  Inc.],                                                              
along with  MSB [Mat-Su  Borough].  Although  he did  not advocate                                                              
deferring  to these  entities, he  felt that  the ANCs,  boroughs,                                                              
municipalities, and  tribes brought important perspectives  to the                                                              
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:48:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE DONAHUE, Board Member, Copper  Country Alliance (CCA), offered                                                              
one of  the things  that sets Alaska  apart from  the rest  of the                                                              
United States and the world was  access to truly wild places. That                                                              
access was  important, whether it  was for world class  hunting or                                                              
just paddling  and camping, he  said.  He  spoke in support  of HB                                                              
272.   This bill would  reserve Tangle  Lakes for hunting  and the                                                              
area and range  was very important for the  Nelchina caribou herd.                                                              
The Nelchina caribou  herd has attracted hundreds  of hunters each                                                              
year.   He  related  his understanding  that  there  were not  any                                                              
current hard-rock mining  claims in the area, so it  made sense to                                                              
him to reserve it for hunting and other recreational purposes.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DONAHUE said  the bill  would bolster  tourism by  protecting                                                              
what  tourists travel  to  see:   the  caribou  and the  beautiful                                                              
landscape in  the proposed Tangle  Lakes refuge.   He said  he was                                                              
lucky to have  hunted and picked berries in Tangle  Lakes with his                                                              
family and  he recalled great  memories of  his time in  the area.                                                              
He said  his wife  has traveled there  since she  was a  child and                                                              
also recalled canoeing, berry picking,  and caribou hunting in the                                                              
Tangle Lakes  with her family.  He  would like to share  this area                                                              
with his  infant daughter  when she  is a  little older,  he said.                                                              
His family  hoped to continue to  canoe, pick berries and  hunt in                                                              
the area.  He  reiterated his support for HB 272  because it would                                                              
offer recreational activities in  the Tangle Lakes for generations                                                              
to  come by  protecting  the land  so  important  to the  Nelchina                                                              
caribou  herd.   He  asked  members to  please  do  their part  to                                                              
protect this beautiful  region for the rich  experiences it offers                                                              
to all future Alaskans.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  offered his belief that nothing  will change                                                              
if the  bill failed.   He stated  that HB  272 would  restrict the                                                              
multiple use of this  area.  He said he is familiar  with the area                                                              
and the  recreational opportunities  that people have  enjoyed but                                                              
those  opportunities will  continue  to exist  for generations  to                                                              
come.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:51:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CATHY TEICH  stated that her significant  other has hunted  in the                                                              
Tangle Lakes area since 1971 and  she has picked berries there for                                                              
twenty  years.   She stated  that  many people  depend on  caribou                                                              
resources   for  food,   especially  since   grocery  prices   are                                                              
significantly higher in the Copper  River region.  In fact, people                                                              
rely on caribou and  moose to the extent that if  it was no longer                                                              
available, they  would do without meat.   She said she  engages in                                                              
photography  in  the  Tangle  Lakes area,  taking  photos  of  the                                                              
pristine wilderness.   She agreed with the  previous testifier who                                                              
said,  "Alaska is  special."   Alaskans were  lucky to have  these                                                              
special areas that some states do  not have, and large mines would                                                              
destroy habitat  and change the  area.  She qualified  her remarks                                                              
by stating  she was not  opposed to  all mining; however,  she was                                                              
opposed  to massive  mines  that would  destroy  habitat that  has                                                              
sustained  caribou  for 10,000  years.    Many people  from  urban                                                              
populations,  including  Talkeetna,   Wasilla,  Eagle  River,  and                                                              
Anchorage hunt  there.  She  expressed concern that  urban hunters                                                              
and  the  expansion  of J-BER  [Joint  Base  ElmendorfRichardson]                                                               
would place  additional pressure on  the [Nelchina]  caribou herd.                                                              
She  urged  support for  HB  272  to  create  the refuge  for  the                                                              
animals.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  if the Nelchina  caribou herd  spent                                                              
most of its  time in Amphitheater Mountains or  Eureka Creek areas                                                              
where the proposed Tangle Lakes State Game Refuge would lie.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TEICH responded  that it  depended  upon the  year; that  the                                                              
caribou range was  far and wide, so it was  difficult to determine                                                              
where they would be  at any given time.  She agreed  that the herd                                                              
ranges  in the areas  mentioned and  north of  the Denali  Highway                                                              
near Tangle Lakes and the entire area was important to caribou.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:56:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELICIA RIDEL  stated she  and her  family has  lived in  the Kenny                                                              
Lake area since 1977 and prior to  that in Fairbanks where her mom                                                              
homesteaded in  the 1940s.  She  clarified that her  husband hunts                                                              
and she  does not; however,  her family  has relied on  game meat,                                                              
fish and  their garden to survive.   She expressed that  she loved                                                              
to go  where hunters  go because  they find  the good  places like                                                              
Tangle Lakes.   She loved the  unique geology of Tangle  Lakes and                                                              
gathers berries  and takes photographs in  the area.  Four  of her                                                              
five children hunt, she said.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. RIDEL related  that she previously had a mining  claim and her                                                              
husband  had a  dredge, so  she  spoke from  experience about  her                                                              
belief that harvesting, including  hunting, fishing, berry picking                                                              
will  last  longer.    She  explained   that  once  minerals  were                                                              
extracted the  jobs would  be gone,  leaving behind  a mess.   She                                                              
reiterated   that  with   planning   sustainable  resources   like                                                              
harvesting or tourism  can last forever.  She  remarked that mines                                                              
close; she  has been in  the Wrangell  Mountains and felt  she was                                                              
the first  person there  only to  discover abandoned  mine shafts.                                                              
She recalled seeing abandoned dredges  in Fairbanks.  She referred                                                              
to  publication:   Rocks,  Rivers,  Mountains,  and   Glaciers:  A                                                            
Selective  Introduction   to  Geology  that  has  a   mile-by-mile                                                            
geologic  description of  the  Denali Highway.    She offered  her                                                              
belief that many  people would also enjoy  doing something similar                                                              
while  contributing to  the  local economy  and  meshing with  the                                                              
local lifestyle.   In closing, Ms. Ridel said it  has been getting                                                              
harder to find  game that rural residents rely upon,  so she urged                                                              
members to please support HB 272.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
7:59:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHRYN MARTIN, Senior Vice-President,  Ahtna, Incorporated (Ahtna                                                              
Inc.),  Corporate  Headquarters, said  that  Ahtna Inc.  was  very                                                              
concerned about  Alaska's economy and  feels that yet  another new                                                              
refuge  in  the  state  would   be  detrimental  to  the  economic                                                              
development opportunities in the region and in the state.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARTIN  said that this bill  would restrict land  use, prevent                                                              
mineral  development,  hinder  tourism,  and  interfere  with  the                                                              
customary  and traditional  hunting practices.   She  acknowledged                                                              
that the  bill sponsors and  supporters have good  intentions, but                                                              
the  corporation's   experience  has  shown  that  this   type  of                                                              
legislation only serves to further  restrict land use and resource                                                              
development so essential to a healthy society.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MARTIN said  that Alaska  has  so little  land not  currently                                                              
designated as parks,  preserves, and critical habitat.   The state                                                              
needs  to  maintain small  multiple  use  areas remaining  in  the                                                              
state.  This  type of restriction would hinder the  formation of a                                                              
borough since  it would  remove a significant  land base  from the                                                              
borough land  selection pool.   She echoed earlier  comments, that                                                              
this area is part of  Ahtna, Incorporated's traditional territory.                                                              
In fact,  at one time  Ahtna, Incorporated's territory  covered 23                                                              
million  acres;   however,  when   ANCSA  [Alaska   Native  Claims                                                              
Settlement Act] passed the corporation  was only given 1.7 million                                                              
acres  of   land.     This  area   has  historical   and  cultural                                                              
significance to  the Ahtna people;  that at least four  leaders in                                                              
in her region  depend on this area for subsistence  purposes.  She                                                              
clarified  the  distance of  Kenny  Lakes  from the  Tangle  Lakes                                                              
proposed refuge.   She reported that  Paxton is 72 miles  from the                                                              
Glennallen Junction, that Kenny Lakes  was about 40 miles south of                                                              
Glennallen or 112 miles from the proposed refuge.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  asked for  clarification on why  customary and                                                              
traditional hunting uses would change under a refuge.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MARTIN  responded that she did  not think it would  change but                                                              
it would be more  restricted.  She said that Ahtna,  Inc. has felt                                                              
the impacts  of Wrangell - St.  Elias National Park  and Preserve,                                                              
Denali  National  Park  and  Preserve,  and  the  Tetlin  National                                                              
Wildlife Refuge.  She acknowledged  that these were national parks                                                              
and  a national  refuge but  these  areas that  are designated  as                                                              
refuges, units, parks,  or critical habitat areas  have restricted                                                              
utilization of the areas.  In  response to Co-Chair Josephson, she                                                              
responded that  Ahtna, Inc.  was aware  HB 272  does not  create a                                                              
park.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:02:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE ANDERSON,  President, Ahtna, Incorporated  (Ahtna, Inc.),                                                              
spoke in opposition to HB 272.   She said there has been no public                                                              
process, no community meetings.   She stated [the sponsor] decided                                                              
it  was in  the  state's  best interest  to  make  the area  being                                                              
discussed a state refuge.  She  was unsure of the exact definition                                                              
of a "state refuge"  since it was not easy to  find in [statute or                                                              
regulation].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON said  that  the proposed  [Tangle  Lakes State  Game                                                              
Refuge]  area represented  an important  historical  value to  the                                                              
Ahtna people.   She  related that  scientists have  validated this                                                              
and  it is  what the  Ahtna elders  have  always told  them.   She                                                              
agreed that  while Ahtna  Corporation may not  own the  lands, the                                                              
people have stories about these lands.   She stated that her clan,                                                              
the Udzisyu  or caribou clan  used to own  Paxson Lake.   She said                                                              
that  she could  tell members  hours  of stories  relating to  the                                                              
history and traditional and customary use of the area.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON  said she  appreciated what  Ruth McHenry  and others                                                              
have said  about trying  to protect  subsistence for  future uses;                                                              
however, Ahtna  Inc.'s experience  with parks  or refuges  is that                                                              
the people must endure more rules  and regulations that need to be                                                              
memorized to  use the lands.   She remarked  that she was  not too                                                              
keen on that idea.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON said  all Alaska Native Regional  Corporations have a                                                              
mandate from the  Congress to develop and use their  lands for the                                                              
economic benefit of its shareholders.   She expressed concern with                                                              
the  proposed refuge  since  it was  close to  land  to which  the                                                              
corporation has been  given title.  She said  she would appreciate                                                              
a thorough vetting of this concept  before anything substantive is                                                              
done.  It would  be a travesty to establish a  law without talking                                                              
to the people that it is going to affect, she further said.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   PARISH  asked   how   many  Ahtna,   Incorporated                                                              
shareholders she represented  and how many live in  the region and                                                              
interact with the proposed refuge.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON answered that she  represented 2,025 shareholders not                                                              
including Tribal  members who are  not shareholders.   She offered                                                              
to provide  more precise figures.   She said that  the corporation                                                              
crossed  a  threshold  last  year  when  more  than  half  of  its                                                              
shareholders live outside  the region.  She  explained that Ahtna,                                                              
Inc. has  been experiencing outmigration  just as with  other hubs                                                              
in the state.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:07:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR,  in response to  Ms. Anderson's comments  on public                                                              
process,  explained  that  these legislative  hearings  provide  a                                                              
public  process, including  public  testimony, consideration,  and                                                              
individual legislators having  the ability to do  amendments.  The                                                              
legislature does not  usually have community hearings  since it is                                                              
based in  Juneau.  She  referred to  a letter in  members' packets                                                              
that was  signed by  823 individuals  and businesses  who  were in                                                              
support  of  [creating  a  state  game  refuge]  some  years  ago.                                                              
Further, a letter of 2008 [no  specific date or person referenced]                                                              
from the  Board of  Game highlighted  the board's discussions  and                                                              
interest in  forming a Tangle  Lakes game  refuge.  She  read from                                                              
the letter, as follows:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
      We recognize  the potential  for mineral extraction  in                                                                   
      this area and in  associated mineral leases  but remain                                                                   
      convinced the long-term  value of  maintaining wildlife                                                                   
      habitat  far  outweighs   the  potential   benefits  of                                                                   
      possible development projects known at this time.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  also referred  to  a  2002  memo from  the  Alaska                                                              
Department  of Fish  &  Game  during former  Governor  Murkowski's                                                              
administration, which provided evidence  of 16 years of awareness.                                                              
She was  unsure how the  Ahtna, Incorporated leadership  would not                                                              
be aware of the issue that has spanned 16 years.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. ANDERSON remarked [HB 272] was news to her.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  offered his  belief that  just over  ten years                                                              
ago Ahtna, Inc. supported the concept of a refuge.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON  offered  her  belief  that it  was  a  prior  Ahtna                                                              
administration  and  was  under different  circumstances  and  the                                                              
conversation was different, as well.   She recalled that the prior                                                              
president was  weighing in  on the Tangle  Lakes concept  with the                                                              
Board of Game.   She recalled that the  previous president thought                                                              
the proposal  to create  a refuge  was in  the corporation's  best                                                              
interest at that time.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LINCOLN  asked for clarification on any  efforts or                                                              
land selection in forming a borough.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ANDERSON  answered  that  there  has been  a  great  deal  of                                                              
conversation about creating  a borough.  She  thought it warranted                                                              
concern to restrict land use when it  could be part of the borough                                                              
and used for a different purpose.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:12:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON,  after ascertaining  no  one else  wished  to                                                              
testify, closed public testimony on HB 272.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON announced that HB 272 would be held over.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[HB 272 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:12:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON passed the gavel to Co-Chair Tarr.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
           HB 330-DNR: DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFO                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:13:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR announced that the  final order of business would be                                                              
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  330  "An Act  authorizing  the  commissioner  of                                                              
natural  resources  to  disclose confidential  information  in  an                                                              
investigation  or proceeding,  including  a  lease royalty  audit,                                                              
appeal,  or request  for reconsideration  and  issue a  protective                                                              
order limiting  the persons  who have  access to  the confidential                                                              
information."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[Before the committee was CSHB 330(JUD)]                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH said he did  not intend to offer Amendment 1.                                                              
He  related  his  understanding  that Amendment  2  would  not  be                                                              
offered, as well.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:14:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH made  a motion to adopt  Amendment 3, labeled                                                              
30-GH2820\D.3, Nauman,  3/12/18, which  read as  follows [original                                                              
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
      Page 4, line 2:                                                                                                           
           Delete "limiting"                                                                                                
           Insert "meeting the requirements of (c) or (d) of                                                                
      this section that limits"                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
      Page 4, following line 6:                                                                                                 
      Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                        
         "* Sec.  2. AS 38.05.020  is amended  by adding  new                                                               
      subsections to read:                                                                                                      
           (c)  Unless the protective order meets the                                                                           
      requirement of (d) of this section,  a protective order                                                                   
      issued under (b)(15)(B) of this section must                                                                              
                (1)  limit access to the protected                                                                              
      information to                                                                                                            
                (A)  an officer, employee, or agent that is                                                                     
      directly  involved  in   conducting  or   managing  the                                                                   
      participation of a party  in the royalty or  net profit                                                                   
      audit or appeal;                                                                                                          
                (B)  a person reasonably expected to testify                                                                    
      or provide sworn evidence  on behalf of a  party in the                                                                   
      royalty or net profit audit or appeal;                                                                                    
                (C)  a person that directly reviews and                                                                         
      approves  the  conduct  and  management  of  a  party's                                                                   
      participation in  a  royalty  or  net profit  audit  or                                                                   
      appeal; and                                                                                                               
                (D)  a person whose approval is necessary                                                                       
      for a party  to settle or  otherwise resolve  a portion                                                                   
      or all of the matters or issues  related to the royalty                                                                   
      or net profit audit or appeal; and                                                                                        
                (2)  prohibit use of the information for a                                                                      
      commercial purpose.                                                                                                     
           (d)  Unless the protective order meets the                                                                           
      requirements  of (c)  of  this  section,  a  protective                                                                   
      order  issued under  (b)(15)(B)  of  this  section  may                                                                   
      disclose  only   information   under   the  terms   and                                                                   
      conditions agreed  to by  the  party whose  information                                                                   
      would be disclosed."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
      Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:14:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR objected for purpose of discussion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH explained  that Amendment  3 would  strictly                                                              
limit  the access  of confidential  information  shared under  the                                                              
protective  order  to those  directly  involved in  conducting  or                                                              
managing an audit or appeal, to  those who will testify or provide                                                              
sworn evidence and to those whose  approval is necessary to settle                                                              
or resolve an audit or appeal.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH said  DNR's staff has suggested  that this is                                                              
already accomplished  under the  current language  in the  bill or                                                              
has suggested  a broader scope of  access; however, he  would like                                                              
to  insert  clarifying  language  which  is  essentially  language                                                              
contained within a protective order issued  by the court.  He said                                                              
having this  language in statute  would provide  further assurance                                                              
that confidential information is protected.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR stated  that Amendments  3  and 4  will address  an                                                              
issue brought to  the committee's attention by the  Alaska Oil and                                                              
Gas Association (AOGA).   She related that  each amendment offered                                                              
a different approach.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:15:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED  KING,   Legislative  Liaison,  Office  of   the  Commissioner,                                                              
Department  of Natural Resources  (DNR), said  he appreciated  the                                                              
AOGA  raising  the  concerns  and  the  DNR  does  not  object  to                                                              
restrictions on  protective orders  since they  are limited.   The                                                              
bill as currently written provides  that the protective orders are                                                              
limited,  he   said;  however,   he  understood   industry  sought                                                              
additional clarity.   He said the  DNR would like the  language to                                                              
parallel  existing  statute.    He  related  the  language  in  AS                                                              
43.55.040 accomplishes the same goal  and provides that clarifying                                                              
and  restrictive  language  for   tax  issues  and  disclosure  of                                                              
confidential data, which was what Amendment 4 intended to do.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  identified  Amendment   4  as  the  amendment                                                              
labeled D.5.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR reminded members that  the committee was considering                                                              
Amendment 3, labeled D.3.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   JOSEPHSON  asked   if  the   language  in   forthcoming                                                              
amendment,   Amendment  4   would  mirror  Title   43,  which   is                                                              
essentially a protective order for the Department of Revenue.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING  answered yes; that the  first portion of Amendment  4 is                                                              
exact language and  the remainder is tailored to  royalties in the                                                              
context of DNR.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:18:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON   stated  he  observed  the   House  Judiciary                                                              
Committee's previous hearing on this  issue.  He recalled that Mr.                                                              
Hurley, Conoco Phillips  Alaska, Inc., had expressed  concern that                                                              
if protective  orders were not  designed right the  royalty audits                                                              
might not be  done swiftly and his company or  others could suffer                                                              
because, if they underpaid, the company  would incur an 11 percent                                                              
royalty interest.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING  responded that was  exactly why  the reason for  HB 330;                                                              
that  there  currently  was  no  process  to  protect  information                                                              
disclosed under the current statute,  AS 38.05.036(f), which gives                                                              
the  DNR the  authority  to disclose  confidential  data during  a                                                              
royalty audit.   He clarified that  the bill currently  before the                                                              
committee does  give the department  the ability to  disclose this                                                              
information, but because  the authority is not  expressly stated -                                                              
the process  is not expressed  within in  the language -  when the                                                              
department encounters a situation in  which terms cannot be agreed                                                              
upon  for  the  release  of confidential  data,  it  becomes  very                                                              
difficult for  the department  to complete the  audit.   The seven                                                              
pending  audits awaiting  the  commissioner's  approval cannot  be                                                              
resolved  because  the department  cannot  disclose the  data,  he                                                              
said.   He agreed  with Co-Chair  Josephson that  when audits  are                                                              
pending, they accrue 11 percent interest.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  clarified that  Mr.  Hurley did  not  express                                                              
complete approval for the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING interjected that Mr. Hurley did speak to his concern.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH said he found  the arguments for Amendment 4                                                              
compelling  but  asked  how  Amendment  3  would  be  superior  to                                                              
Amendment 4.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:20:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH said  he preferred the  tighter language  of                                                              
Amendment  3.   He  stated that  the legislature  has  a duty  and                                                              
responsibility  to assure  that  the state  is protecting  private                                                              
information  while it  conducts  its audits.    He felt  confident                                                              
Amendment 3 was a better approach.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   TARR   related   her   understanding   that   in   some                                                              
circumstances the language in Amendment  3 was so restrictive that                                                              
it  would   not  be  possible   to  resolve  the   [disclosure  of                                                              
confidential   information]  issue.     She   asked  for   further                                                              
clarification   on  language   to  resolve   [the  disclosure   of                                                              
confidential information during a royalty audit].                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING responded that circumstances  for each company is unique,                                                              
so the  structure of the companies  was also unique.   The ability                                                              
to  tailor  a  protective  order  to  meet  each  company's  needs                                                              
requires  a certain  flexibility in  protective orders.   The  DNR                                                              
wanted to address the concern  AOGA previously raised, but it also                                                              
wanted   to  avoid   having  language   so   restrictive  that   a                                                              
hypothetical  situation  might identify  a  situation  in which  a                                                              
protective order could not be issued.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KING  explained  his  concern  with Amendment  3.    He  said                                                              
Amendment 3  has four requirements  that must  be met in  order to                                                              
issue  a protective  order without  the approval  of the  company.                                                              
The department wanted to avoid  circumstances that would prevent a                                                              
protective  order from  being issued.   He related  a scenario  in                                                              
which a  company had one  section that  dealt with audits  but had                                                              
approval  authority  for audits  was  in  another section  of  the                                                              
company,  so  an  officer  might   not  be  available  to  provide                                                              
approval.   He offered  his belief  this raised  the concern  that                                                              
other situations might also arise  that could prevent a protective                                                              
order  from  being  issued  under Amendment  3.    Therefore,  the                                                              
department found the language in Amendment 4 to be superior.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH stated his support for Amendment 3.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:22:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR maintained her objection.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken.  Representative Birch  voted in favor                                                              
of Amendment 3.  Representatives  Josephson, Tarr, Lincoln, Parish                                                              
and Drummond voted  against it.  Therefore, Amendment  3 failed by                                                              
a vote of 1-5.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:24:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR moved  to adopt Amendment 4,  labeled 30-GH2820\D.5,                                                              
Nauman,  3/12/18,  which  read as  follows  [original  punctuation                                                              
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
      Page 4, lines 2 - 4:                                                                                                      
           Delete all material and insert:                                                                                      
                "(B)  issue a protective order limiting the                                                                 
                (i)  persons who may access the information                                                                 
      to legal counsel, consultants,  employees, officers, or                                                               
      agents of a party; the protective  order may only allow                                                               
      a person  to  access the  information  under this  sub-                                                               
     subparagraph if it is necessary for the person to know                                                                 
      the information in connection with the royalty or net                                                                 
      profit share audit or appeal; and                                                                                     
                (ii)  use of the information to matters                                                                     
       related to the royalty or net profit share audit or                                                                  
      appeal;"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:24:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  reiterated her  concern this  language might  be so                                                              
restrictive  that a  protective order  could not  be issued.   She                                                              
stated  that  Mr. King  had  a  high  level  of concern  that  the                                                              
language   in  Amendment   3  would   restrict  the   confidential                                                              
information to  only those who had a  right to have access  to the                                                              
information, but it  was not so restrictive that  it would prevent                                                              
the department from resolving pending royalty audits.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING  answered that  he could  [unequivocally] agree  that the                                                              
language in Amendment [4] explicitly  stated that the confidential                                                              
information could  only be  used for the  purposes related  to the                                                              
royalty  or  net profit  share  audit  [or  appeal] and  that  the                                                              
information is limited  to matters related to that  royalty or net                                                              
profit  share audit  [or appeal].   Further,  those express  terms                                                              
provide or should  provide enough clarity to  appease the concerns                                                              
raised by  AOGA.   He remarked the  department believes  that even                                                              
without Amendment [4], the intent of  this bill is not to disclose                                                              
information to  anyone for  any purpose other  than the  reason of                                                              
the bill; [to  resolve the disclosure of  confidential information                                                              
during a royalty audit or appeal].                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. KING  spoke in support of  Amendment 4, noting  the department                                                              
was  happy with  the  amendment even  though it  did  not find  it                                                              
really necessary  in order  to appease the  concerns.   He offered                                                              
his belief that it does appease [AOGA's] concerns.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR stated that she  appreciated the issue being brought                                                              
to  the committee's  attention,  so  it could  be  resolved.   She                                                              
appreciated that AOGA wanted to be  as careful as possible and she                                                              
acknowledged the  reasons for  the caution.   She  offered further                                                              
consideration with  industry and offered her intention  to provide                                                              
swift  action  to resolve  future  issues  that  may arise.    She                                                              
reiterated  her   intention  was   to  avoid  language   being  so                                                              
restrictive that it would not accomplish the goal.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:26:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON withdrew his objection.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being no further objection, Amendment 4 was adopted.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:27:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON moved to report  CSHB 330(JUD), as amended, out                                                              
of committee with individual  recommendations and the accompanying                                                              
fiscal  notes.    There  being no  objection,  CSHB  330(RES)  was                                                              
reported out of the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:28:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at [8:28                                                                     
p.m.].                                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 272 Supporting Document-AK-BHA Position.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Supporting Document-emails.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB 272 Supporting Documents-HFSH Letters.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Additional Document-Maps.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Fiscal Note-DFG.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Fiscal Note-DNR.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Land Management Plans.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Opposing Documents(Combined) Ahtna, AMA, CVCC.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 PPT for HRES March 7.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Sectional Analysis ver U.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Supporting Document Cultural Resource Plan Denali Hwy.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Supporting Document News Article, CBC Mining activities, not hunting, responsible for northern caribou declines.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Supporting Document News Article, Michigan State University, Mining can damage fish habitats far downstream.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Supporting Document_CCA media_release.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Supporting Document-Letter to Legislators.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 Supporting Documents BOG, ADFG, BHA.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB272 ver U.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
Copper Basin Mngmt Plan, Unit 28.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
Tanana Basin Area Plan, Unit 5b.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
Tanana Basin Area Plan, Unit 5c.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
Tanana Basin Area Plan, Abbrevs & Definitions.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272
HB330 Transmittal Letter 2.16.18.pdf HJUD 2/16/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 ver A 2.16.18.pdf HJUD 2/16/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 2/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Fiscal Note DNR-DOG 2.16.18.pdf HJUD 2/16/2018 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Presentation 2.16.18.pdf HJUD 2/16/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Opposing Document-UCM Letter 2.21.18.pdf HJUD 2/21/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Proposed Amendment 2.23.18.pdf HJUD 2/23/2018 1:30:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB330 Amendments #1-2 HJUD Final Vote 2.26.18.pdf HJUD 2/26/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 330 Overview Presentation by DNR 3.8.18.pdf HRES 3/9/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 330 CS(JUD) Version D 2.28.18.PDF HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 330 Amendment One - D.1 - Rep. Birch 3.12.18.pdf HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 330 Amendment Two - D.2 - Rep. Rauscher 3.12.18.pdf HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 330 Amendment Three - D.3 - Rep. Birch 3.12.18.pdf HRES 3/12/2018 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 330 Amendment Four - D.5 - Rep. Tarr 3.13.18.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 330
HB 272 Supporting Document-emails.pdf HRES 3/14/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 272