Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/24/1993 03:45 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                        February 24, 1993                                      
                            3:45 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Senator Mike Miller, Chairman                                                
  Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman                                           
  Senator Steve Frank                                                          
  Senator Drue Pearce                                                          
  Senator Dave Donley                                                          
  Senator Al Adams                                                             
  Senator Fred Zharoff                                                         
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  All Present                                                                  
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  SENATE BILL NO. 77                                                           
  "An Act relating to the powers  of the Board of Game and  to                 
  intensive game management to  achieve higher sustained yield                 
  for human harvest."                                                          
  SENATE BILL NO. 107                                                          
  "An Act  relating to  the wildlife  conservation tag and  to                 
  entry onto state  game and wildlife sanctuaries,  state game                 
  refuges,  state  range  areas, and  fish  and  game critical                 
  habitat areas; and providing for an effective date."                         
  SENATE BILL NO. 90                                                           
  "An Act clarifying powers  and duties of state  officials in                 
  relation to a  disaster emergency  caused by a  catastrophic                 
  oil discharge or the release of a hazardous substance."                      
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
  SB 77 - See Resources minutes dated 2/10/93.                                 
  SB 107 - No previous action to record.                                       
  SB 90 - See Oil & Gas minutes dated 2/16/93.                                 
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  Russell Heath, Director                                                      
  Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                   
  P.O. Box 22151                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed CSSB 77.                                        
  Mike Dubowski                                                                
  5751 Old Valdez Tr.                                                          
  Salcha, Alaska 99714                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported CSSB 77 and SB 107.                           
  John George                                                                  
  Alaska Outdoor Council                                                       
  9515 Moraine Way                                                             
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported CSSB 77 and SB 107.                           
  Dave Kelleyhouse, Director                                                   
  Division of Wildlife Conservation                                            
  Department of Fish and Game                                                  
  P.O. Box 25526                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on CSSB 77.                                   
  Ron Somerville, Deputy Commissioner                                          
  Department of Fish and Game                                                  
  P.O. Box 25526                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on CSSB 77.                                   
  Teresa Sager-Stancliff, Staff                                                
  Senator Mike Miller                                                          
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-1182                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 107                                     
  Wayne Regelin, Deputy Director                                               
  Division of Wildlife Conservation                                            
  Department of Fish and Game                                                  
  P.O. Box 25526                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 107.                                       
  Mary Forbes                                                                  
  Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                   
  P.O. Box 22151                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:                                                          
  Tom Garret                                                                   
  Alaska Visitors Association                                                  
  234 gold Street                                                              
  Juneau, alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION   STATEMENT:      Supported  SB   107   with   some                 
  Jeff Morrison, Legislative Liaison                                           
  Department of Military and Veterans Affairs                                  
  P.O. Box 110900                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0900                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 107.                                       
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-9 , SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  SENATOR  MILLER  called the  Resources Committee  meeting to                 
  order at 3:45 p.m. and announced SB 77  INTENSIVE MANAGEMENT                 
  OF GAME RESOURCES to be up for consideration.                                
  SENATOR SHARP explained  his proposed CS to SB 77.   He said                 
  it accommodated most of the ADF&G amendments to the title.                   
  Number 111                                                                   
  SENATOR ADAMS moved to  adopt the CS to SB 77  and asked for                 
  unanimous consent.  There  were no objections and it  was so                 
  Number 120                                                                   
  RUSSELL HEATH,  Alaska Environmental Lobby, opposed CSSB 77,                 
  because  they believe  that game  should be managed  for the                 
  health  of  the  ecosystem and  not  specifically  for human                 
  consumption.  A healthy ecosystem will  sustain all types of                 
  users over the long term.                                                    
  Number 134                                                                   
  MIKE DUBOWSKI supported intensive management for  human use,                 
  because  from  a  personal  standpoint  he  depends  on  the                 
  resources, specifically  mouse.   He thought  a  lot of  the                 
  areas he now uses would be closed, which means he would have                 
  to  hunt  in others  areas, which,in  turn, would  make them                 
  Number 185                                                                   
  JOHN  GEORGE, Alaska  Outdoor  Council, supported  intensive                 
  management of the  game resources on  the limited amount  of                 
  land we have  left where  the public can  actually hunt  and                 
  Number 197                                                                   
  DAVE KELLEYHOUSE, Alaska  Department of Fish and  Game, said                 
  most of their  recommendations had been accommodated  in the                 
  CS.  He has some  problems with removal of (a)(11)c  on page                 
  2, because that referred to  conducting intensive management                 
  where  human  consumption  would  be  expected  to  increase                 
  significantly.  MR. KELLEYHOUSE said their official position                 
  remains neutral until he reviews the CS.                                     
  SENATOR SHARP said  the underlying purpose behind  this bill                 
  is  to create  legislative intent  for  intensive management                 
  with the least amount of wiggle room possible.                               
  Number 314                                                                   
  SENATOR PEARCE asked if they say "shall" to the Board rather                 
  than "may," does the  Governor, then, have the  authority to                 
  overturn a decision by the Board of Game?                                    
  MR.  KELLYHOUSE said  they had  looked at  the  word "shall"                 
  versus "may" and  it says  the Board of  Game "shall"  adopt                 
  regulations it considers  advisable.  In all  instances when                 
  there  is  a   disagreement  between   the  Board  and   the                 
  Commissioner, the Governor  is the ultimate arbiter  of that                 
  Number 388                                                                   
  SENATOR  FRANK moved  to pass  CSSB 77  from  Committee with                 
  individual recommendations.    SENATOR  ADAMS  objected  and                 
  there was  a roll  call vote:   SENATOR  ADAMS: no;  SENATOR                 
  PEARCE: yes; SENATOR FRANK: yes; SENATOR LEMAN: yes; SENATOR                 
  MILLER:  yes;  and  SENATOR ZHAROFF:  no;  and  CSSB  77 was                 
  discharged from Committee with a vote of 4 yeas and 2 nays.                  
  Number 418                                                                   
  SENATOR MILLER announced  SB 107  WILDLIFE CONSERVATION  TAG                 
  AND FEE to be up for consideration.                                          
  TERESA SAGER-STANCLIFF,  Staff for  Senator Miller,  said SB
  107  would establish  a  wildlife conservation  tag program.                 
  The  tag would  allow the  purchaser to  enter onto  certain                 
  wildlife  or   game  sanctuaries.     It   would  give   the                 
  Commissioner the  authority to set  a fee and  to establish,                 
  through regulation, state refuges, range areas, and critical                 
  habitat areas  where a  wildlife conservation  tag would  be                 
  required for entry.                                                          
  Number 451                                                                   
  SENATOR  ADAMS asked to see a map of the areas concerned and                 
  asked if  his district  was in  it.   He  commented that  in                 
  Anchorage  and Fairbanks people are rich  and can afford the                 
  tag, but if you're in rural Alaska, it is different.                         
  Number 462                                                                   
  WAYNE  REGELIN,  Deputy   Director,  Division  of   Wildlife                 
  Conservation, supported SB 107.  It  is a way to allow users                 
  of wildlife  who don't  hunt or  fish to  contribute to  the                 
  resource.  He said there are 32 of these areas in the state,                 
  none of them  are farther  north than Fairbanks.   The  only                 
  three  the  legislation speaks  to  are McNeil  River, Round                 
  Island, and Pack  Creek.   They intend to  charge about  the                 
  same price as a hunting license.  They don't  want to change                 
  the use of the land, but to gain revenues.                                   
  MR. REGELIN offered one amendment to clarify the intent.  It                 
  says revenues received  would be used for  non-game programs                 
  and watchable wildlife programs.                                             
  Number 528                                                                   
  SENATOR ADAMS asked him to  explain the concerns surrounding                 
  the Stan Price area.  MR.  REGELIN explained that the Forest                 
  Service has requested that they  submit two other amendments                 
  for the Stan Price/Pack Creek area  where the state owns the                 
  tide land area  and the federal government  owns the uplands                 
  area.    They  are trying  to  work  out  some agreement  to                 
  accommodate the situation.                                                   
  SENATOR ADAMS asked him if the people who ride snow machines                 
  have  to buy a permit to cross the lands with exemptions for                 
  private  property  and  public  easements?     MR.  RICKLAND                 
  answered  if they  were snow machining  they would  have to.                 
  The cost of  that tag would be the same as a hunting license                 
  which  is $25.    He said  they  may lower  it after  public                 
  Number 530                                                                   
  SENATOR  ZHAROFF said that  $15 may not  be lot  of money to                 
  him,  but it  means  a  lot  to someone  out  there  who  is                 
  SENATOR ZHAROFF asked how this dealt with subsistence users.                 
  MR. REGELIN said the areas they would plan to do this in are                 
  not where subsistence is an issue.                                           
  SENATOR  ZHAROFF  asked   if  there  was  a   difference  in                 
  residential and nonresidential  rates.  MR. REGELIN  said at                 
  this time, no. SENATOR ZHAROFF commented that now we do have                 
  residential  and   nonresidential  rates  for   hunting  and                 
  fishing.  MR.  REGELIN said  a different statute  authorizes                 
  that.    SENATOR  ZHAROFF  asked   where  the  revenues  are                 
  deposited.   SENATOR MILLER  said he  understands that  they                 
  will go into  the general fund.   MR. REGELIN said  that was                 
  correct and they  hoped to set  up something similar to  the                 
  duck stamp program.                                                          
  SENATOR ZHAROFF asked what were  the penalties if you didn't                 
  have a stamp  or whatever  they decided upon.   MR.  REGELIN                 
  said that penalties had not been addressed.                                  
  TAPE 93-10, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 580                                                                   
  SENATOR ZHAROFF said if you are  going to pattern this after                 
  their other fish  and game violation  laws, there should  be                 
  major penalties.   MR. REGELIN thought there  should be some                 
  sort of penalty if a regulation is broken.                                   
  SENATOR ZHAROFF said he  didn't favor this legislation.   He                 
  said there a  very few places we offer people  the luxury to                 
  see  some of the  wildlife in  Alaska.   He didn't  think we                 
  should be  trying to balance  the budget  of the  department                 
  with the users.  He didn't  think it required any management                 
  other than what is already provided through statute.                         
  MR. REGELIN said that  the department is moving to  put more                 
  effort into a watchable wildlife program.  They are spending                 
  quite a lot of  money on it  and it is  all coming from  the                 
  general fund.   They  are looking  for ways  to reduce  that                 
  general fund expenditure.                                                    
  Number 535                                                                   
  MIKE DUBOWSKI supported SB 107.   He suggested requiring all                 
  visitors to the state pay a fee.                                             
  Number 517                                                                   
  MARY FORBES,  Alaska Environmental Lobby,  supported SB 107.                 
  They believe nonconsumptive users of state land should pay a                 
  share of  management costs.   She  suggested using  language                 
  that specifically says what the funds should be used for and                 
  she wanted the program to be  expanded to include more state                 
  SENATOR ZHAROFF asked her if she didn't think charging a fee                 
  would be  a deterrent to  using them.   MS. FORBES  said she                 
  didn't think so, and  she compared it to back  pack programs                 
  she participated in where you have to pay a fee.                             
  Number 478                                                                   
  TOM GARRET,  Alaska Visitors Association,  supported SB 107.                 
  However,  he  had recommendations  that  would make  it work                 
  better for both  the department and  the industry.  He  said                 
  that tourism does affect management and used the recent wolf                 
  issue as an example.  The  constitution says these resources                 
  are the  common  property  of  all Alaskans  and  should  be                 
  managed to the highest  and best use without regard  for the                 
  amount of  money  collected  by the  department.    They  do                 
  support  raising  money   to  pay  for  non   game  wildlife                 
  activities, as long as they are  voluntary.  A broadly based                 
  market driven program  of wildlife stamps  or tags would  be                 
  the  most effective  way to  generate revenue.   The tagging                 
  program  now seems to  be more of a  program for entry fees.                 
  They  do  not support  across  the board  mandatory wildlife                 
  viewing fees.                                                                
  MR. GARRETT said the Destination  Alaska Study Team reviewed                 
  hundreds of different taxing options and determined the only                 
  options that would tax all visitors  to Alaska equally was a                 
  state wide sales tax.                                                        
  They believe  there should be  two separate bills;  one that                 
  establishes mandatory entrance  fees for specific areas  and                 
  another one that sets up the voluntary wildlife  tag program                 
  that  is marketed  to people  who may never  even go  to the                 
  places.  He  thought the revenue  potential for the  program                 
  had been  greatly underestimated  and offered  to help  them                 
  develop  it.   He  said the  fees  should be  implemented no                 
  sooner than 1994 as the season of 1993 has already been half                 
  He thought the  entrance fee  should be spelled  out in  the                 
  legislation instead of  leaving it  up to the  Commissioner.                 
  He said he was shocked to hear the proposed $25 fee.  A trip                 
  to  Pack Creek costs $245  round trip.  If you  had to pay a                 
  $25 fee on top of that, that's 10% of the purchase price.                    
  He also  said where there is joint  ownership or management,                 
  there should be only one fee.                                                
  Number 391                                                                   
  JOHN GEORGE, Alaska  Outdoor Council, supported  the concept                 
  of user fees for nonconsumptive users of wildlife resources.                 
  They favored a volunteer program and using a patch or decal.                 
  SENATOR MILLER said  he would hold  SB 107 for further  work                 
  and announced SB  90 DECLARATION OF DISASTER  EMERGENCIES to                 
  be up for consideration.                                                     
  JEFF MORRISON,  Legislative Liaison, Department  of Military                 
  and Veterans Affairs, supported SB  107 because it clarifies                 
  some ambiguities in  Titles 26 and 46.  Title 46 says an oil                 
  spill  is  automatically a  disaster  if it's  of sufficient                 
  magnitude  and  Title  26 gives  the  Governor  authority to                 
  declare a disaster when a recommendation is made.                            
  SENATOR PEARCE said  under the  Master Contingency Plan  for                 
  Prince William Sound the departments can come in and force a                 
  closure of the terminal  if they think there is  an imminent                 
  problem, but they don't take over the management.                            
  MR. MORRISON said that the lines  of authority would be much                 
  cleaner if this bill  were passed.  He  said that there  are                 
  oil  spills  all the  time  that  are not  disasters.   When                 
  something   is   major,   it   should   be  the   Governor's                 
  responsibility to declare it.                                                
  Number 220                                                                   
  SENATOR  PEARCE  moved   to  pass  SB  90   with  individual                 
  recommendations  and with  any attendant  fiscal notes  from                 
  Committee.  There were no objections and it was so ordered.                  
  SENATOR MILLER adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.                            

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