Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/10/1995 03:38 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                       February 10, 1995                                       
                           3:38 P.M.                                           
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Senator Loren Leman, Chairman                                                 
 Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chairman                                            
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT                                                     
                                                                               
 Senator Rick Halford                                                          
 Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                    
 Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                         
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                
 Relating to the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest               
 Service; relating to the United States Department of Agriculture,             
 Forest Service, strategic plan known as "Reinvention of the Forest            
 Service"; and advocating that implementation of the plan be                   
 suspended pending Congressional review and consultation with local            
 governments.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Presentation by the Arctic Research Commission:  Donald O'Dowd,               
 Cliff Groh, Gary Brass, and Lyle Perrigo                                      
                                                                               
 Confirmation Hearing:                                                         
                                                                               
 Robert A. Hinman to the Big Game Commercial Services Board                    
 Virgil Umphenour to the Board of Fisheries                                    
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
                                                                               
 SJR 12 - No previous action to record.                                        
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Chuck Achberger, Director                                                     
 Juneau Chamber of Commerce                                                    
 124 W. 5th                                                                    
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SJR 12.                                      
                                                                               
 Vern Miller, Executive Director                                               
 Southeast Conference                                                          
 124 W. 5th                                                                    
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SJR 12 and the proposed CS to SJR
 12.                                                                           
                                                                               
 David Katz                                                                    
 Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC)                                 
 419 6th Street                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SJR 12.                                   
                                                                               
 Sara Hannan                                                                   
 Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                    
 P.O. Box 22151                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SJR 12.                                   
                                                                               
 Dick Bishop, Executive Director                                               
 Alaska Outdoor Council                                                        
 P.O. Box 73902                                                                
 Fairbanks, AK 99707                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported confirmation of Virgil Umphenour to          
 the Board of Fisheries and Robert Hinman to the Board of Big Game             
 Commercial Services Board.                                                    
                                                                               
 David Osterback                                                               
 Sand Point, AK 99661                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed Virgil Umphenour's confirmation to the         
 Board of Fisheries.                                                           
                                                                               
 Paul Grunholdt                                                                
 Sand Point, AK 99661                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed Virgil Umphenour's confirmation to the         
 Board of Fisheries.                                                           
                                                                               
 Art Nelson                                                                    
 Kawerak, Inc.                                                                 
 P.O. Box 948                                                                  
 Nome, AK 99762                                                                
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's confirmation to           
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Al Osterback                                                                  
 Sand Point, AK 99661                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed Virgil Umphenour's confirmation to the         
 Board of Fisheries.                                                           
                                                                               
 Bruce Schactler                                                               
 P.O. Box 2254                                                                 
 Kodiak, AK 99615                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed Virgil Umphenour's confirmation to the         
 Board of Fisheries.                                                           
                                                                               
 Byron Haley                                                                   
 1002 Pioneer Rd.                                                              
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's confirmation to           
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Gary Moore, Director                                                          
 Planning and Development                                                      
 Tanana Chiefs' Conference                                                     
 122 1st Ave., Suite 600                                                       
 Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's confirmation to           
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Bill Henry                                                                    
 1081 Duck Pond Rd.                                                            
 North Pole, AK 99705                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's appointment to            
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Jamie Ross                                                                    
 Area M Fishermen                                                              
 P.O. Box 3476                                                                 
 Homer, AK 99603                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposed Virgil Umphenour's appointment to the          
 Board of Fisheries.                                                           
                                                                               
 Roger Huntington                                                              
 Galena, AK 99741                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's appointment to            
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Gilbert Huntington                                                            
 Galena, AK 99741                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's appointment to            
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Sidney Huntington                                                             
 Galena, AK 99741                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's appointment to            
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Art Ivanoff                                                                   
 Kotzebue, AK                                                                  
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported Virgil Umphenour's appointment to            
 the Board of Fisheries.                                                       
                                                                               
 Dean Paddock                                                                  
 P.O. Box 20312                                                                
 Juneau, AK 99802                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testifying for himself supported Virgil                
 Umphenour's appointment to the Board of Fisheries and Robert                  
 Hinman's appointment to the Board of Big Game and Commercial                  
 Services Board.                                                               
 Bob King, Press Secretary                                                     
 Office of the Governor                                                        
 P.O. Box 110001                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0001                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on Board appointments.                       
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 95-7, SIDE A                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 001                                                                    
 SRES - 2/10/95                                                                
                SJR 12 U.S. FOREST SERVICE PLAN                               
                                                                              
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to             
 order at 3:38 p.m. He said they didn't have a quorum yet, but would           
 begin to take testimony on SJR 12.                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR, sponsor, said early in December the Forest Service            
 announced its "reinvention plan" which would centralize the                   
 decision making in Washington, D.C.  This policy flies in the face            
 of President Clinton's Executive Order 12875 calling for "enhancing           
 intergovernmental partnerships."  It also goes against Vice                   
 President Gore's report on empowering state and local governments             
 and decentralizing the decision making power.                                 
                                                                               
 Under "reinvention" regional forest supervisors and other front               
 line leaders who now have decision making authority would be                  
 replaced with four people in "leadership teams" answerable only to            
 the Chief of the Forest Service and the Secretary of Agriculture.             
 Gone is any pretense of involving local and state governments in              
 U.S. Forest Service decisions.                                                
                                                                               
 The plan consolidates the regional offices now located in Alaska              
 and Montana to a central office in Oregon.  SJR 12 calls for                  
 suspension of this plan and true partnership meetings with states,            
 communities and tribal governments.  His suggested Committee                  
 Substitute adds ANCSA Corporations to that list.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR said the "reinvention scheme" goes far beyond the              
 relocation of regional offices.  It will mean Forest Service policy           
 dictated from "on-high" without consulting the people most impacted           
 by those policies.                                                            
                                                                               
 He noted a poll that was taken by the federal government that                 
 included less than 15% of respondents living west of the                      
 Mississippi River.  85% of the people polled about what to do with            
 our Forest Service live in states that don't have a Forest Service            
 office.  The majority of the 15% lived in either Los Angeles or in            
 one of the midwest cities around St. Louis.                                   
                                                                               
 He said he was contacted by five retired members of the U.S. Forest           
 Service who were very upset with the "reinvention" process.  He               
 said all of their comments were completely disregarded in                     
 Washington.  They received a letter from Jack Ward Thomas telling             
 about the reinvention and one of the primary concerns was that the            
 Forest Service Offices reflect "ecosystem management."  He said now           
 they have semi-arid dessert areas of Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and              
 Washington connected up with the rain forest environment of                   
 Southeast Alaska.                                                             
                                                                               
 This resolution, SENATOR TAYLOR said, calls upon the federal                  
 government to listen to the people that are affected.  He noted               
 that this community stands to lose a significant portion of its               
 employment base, but the biggest problem is that they will be                 
 further diluted in their ability to do effective decision making in           
 the area being regulated.                                                     
                                                                               
 Adding the ANCSA Corporation members to the resolution is very                
 important, he said, because they are the largest private land                 
 owners within the Tongass.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 186                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHUCK ACHBERGER, Director, Juneau Chamber of Commerce, said the               
 history of the Tongass is one of compromise on the part of                    
 industry.  Out of 17 million acres we are down to 1.7 million acres           
 of harvestable area for timber.                                               
                                                                               
 The regional mandate of the Forest Service was to create economic             
 growth using federal lands.  This has been sacrificed to the                  
 current politics of special interest groups who would merge the               
 Forest Service into a Park Service.                                           
                                                                               
 In closing, he said, the Forest Service cannot be trusted.                    
 Washington D.C. continually succumbs to the political pressure of             
 the environmental community.  We have one of the largest forests              
 "in the world" and we can't support a mill.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 214                                                                    
                                                                               
 VERN MILLER, Executive Director, Southeast Conference, said that              
 while many aspects of the Forest Service reinvention plan may have            
 merit, the Southeast Conference is strongly opposed to two specific           
 elements:  merging the Alaska region with the Pacific Northwest               
 region and moving the headquarters to Portland.  That would take              
 Forest Service people who make decisions that affect Alaskans and             
 move them out of Alaska.  And second, regardless of where the                 
 headquarters is located, replacing a regional forester with a four-           
 person management team will result in decisions being kicked to               
 higher levels, once again having the net effect of taking the                 
 decision making outside of Alaska.  Both of these run counter to              
 what the President is trying to do which is decentralize decision             
 making, empower state and local governments and enhance                       
 governmental partnerships. The Conference would support a                     
 resolution that makes those two points strongly.                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked him if he had seen the Committee Substitute?              
 MR. MILLER answered yes and he supported it.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 247                                                                    
 DAVID KATZ, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, said he wanted             
 it on the record that of the 17 million acres that nominally                  
 comprise the Tongass National Forest only around 15% of those acres           
 are actually acres anyone would want to harvest.  Those also turn             
 out to be the acres that are most important for wildlife, fish,               
 subsistence, tourism, and all the other uses that we put this                 
 forest to.  The Tongass National Forest is a multiple use and                 
 sustained yield forest. Conflicts over habitat areas are about all            
 wildlife - supporting wildlife for future generations of Alaskans             
 for hunters, fishermen, and guides, etc..                                     
                                                                               
 MR. KATZ said he knew of no one in his organization or anyone else            
 that wants to make this whole area into a park.  They want to                 
 maintain the integrity of the Tongass as a multiple use and                   
 sustained yield forest.                                                       
                                                                               
 Regarding SJR 12, he thought it tried to do too many things and               
 confuses a couple of things.  First he thinks it is reasonable to             
 keep management of the forest close to the people who live in it.             
 He did not think management strategy would change by combining                
 offices.  On line 10, page 2 it's important to realize that                   
 community stability depends on forest ecosystem health.  Looking at           
 the long term health of ecosystems helps improve community                    
 stability.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Secondly, he didn't think reinventing government turns away from              
 providing a continual flow of renewable resources.  It doesn't                
 concentrate on just timber, but all uses.                                     
                                                                               
 He urged the Committee to turn away from this single purpose bill             
 which confuses the idea of reorganizing government with changing              
 the entire mission of the Forest Service - two things which are not           
 connected.  He would support a different resolution keeping the               
 regional office here in Juneau for the purposes of managing the               
 forest for multiple use and sustained yield.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 324                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR said he asked the Forest Service for a number of the           
 total amount of acreage harvested since it became a forest in                 
 around 1908.  They told him that 450,000 acres had been harvested             
 in that period of time.  He asked what number of millions of acres            
 is currently locked up in the single use of Wilderness?  MR. KATZ             
 answered around 5 million acres are in Wilderness.                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if Wilderness was a multiple use concept.  MR.           
 KATZ said his understanding was that you could access Wilderness              
 areas by fixed-wing craft in Alaska.  He said a balance had to be             
 reached in the types of land available in the forest.                         
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR said he was only concerned with what percent of the            
 forest could be utilized for people to earn a living on harvesting            
 trees and opening it up for other recreational uses.                          
                                                                               
 MR. KATZ said the Forest Service now plans to harvest 1.7 million             
 acres of the forest over 100 years.  They believe that will sustain           
 the industry that is here.                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked him if he thought that was appropriate.  MR.             
 KATZ answered he thought that was appropriate if it could be done             
 in a way that balances all the uses in the forest.  He said it is             
 important to realize that all acres are not created equal on this             
 forest.  The vast amount of harvesting has occurred in the highest            
 value fish and wildlife habitat.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 399                                                                    
                                                                               
 SARA HANNAN, Alaska Environmental Lobby, said she applauded a                 
 couple of the Resolves in Senator Taylor's resolution.  She said              
 the communities that depend on our forest resources are complex in            
 their economics and ecosystem.  She applauded Senator Taylor for              
 urging government entities to work with local users in resolving              
 resource disputes.  She was also very concerned with the loss of              
 jobs to Juneau and other Alaska communities.                                  
                                                                               
 The other FURTHER RESOLVED she approved of was including tribal               
 governments that are frequently overlooked when the State talks               
 about partnerships and resource use in the "true partnership                  
 meetings."                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 430                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN officially called the meeting to order saying the               
 Committee had had a quorum for at least the last fifteen minutes.             
                                                                               
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt the CS to SJR 12.  There were no                
 objections and it was so ordered.                                             
                                                                               
 SENATOR FRANK asked what was the history of fish populations in the           
 Southeastern waters for the last 50 years.  Had it been declining?            
 SENATOR TAYLOR answered going back to 1945 fish populations were in           
 the decline.  By the early 50's fish levels had declined                      
 dramatically.  Logging started with some intensity with the                   
 building of the pulp mill in 1954.  Since about 1962 or 1963 fish             
 runs have been on the increase.  Today a normal run in Southeast              
 Alaska has three times the volume of salmon that a run had in the             
 late 50's or early 60's.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass CSSJR 12 (Res) from Committee with               
 individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so           
 ordered.                                                                      
 Number 465                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN announced that they would next have a presentation by           
 Dr. Donald O'Dowd of the Arctic Research Commission.                          
                                                                               
 MR. DONALD O'DOWD, Chairman, introduced Gary Brass, Executive                 
 Director, Cliff Groh, and Lyle Perrigo - all members of the                   
 Commission.  He said they were established by the Arctic Research             
 and Policy Act of 1984, the purpose of which was to shift federal             
 interest in polar research to arctic research where it had not been           
 focused to any great degree at an earlier time.                               
                                                                               
 MR. O'DOWD said the Commission consists of seven members, three               
 from Alaska.  The purpose is to formulate policy and priorities for           
 the arctic research endeavor which consists, this year, of $183               
 million worth of expenditure, much of which is in the State of                
 Alaska.  Part of the charge they have under the law is to relate to           
 the State of Alaska and its government and to convey into the                 
 federal research system the priorities and needs as perceived by              
 Alaskans.  That is why they are here this week.                               
                                                                               
 He said they deal in many areas: health and medical, oil spill                
 related matters, engineering problems, provision of clean water,              
 waste water disposal in Alaska, and development of an arctic                  
 research vessel.                                                              
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if they included the subarctic also.  MR.                 
 O'DOWD said the Act is very specific.  They are concerned with                
 research within the Arctic Circle which in Alaska is defined by a             
 line that comes down the Porcupine River, over the Yukon, down the            
 Kuskowim, and includes the Aleutian Chain.                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked about the Mitchell Act which hadn't been funded           
 in recent years.  MR. O'DOWD said they weren't involved with that.            
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN thanked them for attending the meeting and announced            
 that the Committee would take up the appointment of Robert A.                 
 Hinman to the Big Game Commercial Services Board.                             
                                                                               
 Number 541                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. HINMAN said he is a wildlife biologist by training and gave the           
 Committee a brief overview of his involvement with the State.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked about licensing guides in Southeast Alaska.              
 MR. HINMAN said the Board is currently licensing guides in all of             
 Alaska, because the Legislature charged it with developing a system           
 that would allow ingress into the business of guiding by new                  
 guides.                                                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR said he was pleased to hear they were changing the             
 system.                                                                       
                                                                               
  TAPE 95-7, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 541                                                                    
                                                                               
 DICK BISHOP, Executive Director, Alaska Outdoor Council, said they            
 supported Mr. Hinman's appointment to the Board.  His most                    
 important qualification is a genuine concern for the fish and                 
 wildlife.  His second most important qualification is a genuine               
 concern for fair, ethical, and well regulated use of the resources.           
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN thanked him for his testimony and said they would               
 hear next from Virgil Umphenour, appointee to the Board of                    
 Fisheries.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. UMPHENOUR gave a brief overview of his involvement in Alaska              
 and its resources.                                                            
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked him about concerns he had written in a letter            
 to Governor Hickel that there were people sitting on the Board from           
 coastal communities and no one from the Interior and appointing               
 Board members who cared about the States common fishery resources             
 with a balanced view.                                                         
                                                                               
 MR. UMPHENOUR said he was referring to the fact that the Yukon                
 River fishery for chum salmon had been closed for three consecutive           
 years - even subsistence.  And yet, of the five major spawning                
 rivers in the Yukon River drainage, three of them have repeatedly             
 not met escapement goals and two of those rivers had only met the             
 escapement goal one time in the last 13 years.                                
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if he thought the taking of roe had an impact            
 on the fisheries on that river system and to what extent has the              
 selling of roe by subsistence fishermen prevented that roe from               
 being spawned and bringing back additional fish each year.  MR.               
 UMPHENOUR responded there was one district in the Yukon system that           
 has a roe fishery, District 4A.  He explained there is a guideline            
 harvest that accounts for the fish either in the round or the roe.            
 Selling roe from subsistence fish is illegal.  He didn't feel the             
 selling of roe impacted the runs in those areas, because whether              
 the fish are sold as a fish in the round or whether the fish and              
 roe are sold separately, the fish are dead.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 487                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked him to explain how he deals with issues where             
 there are conflicts between the older established fisheries and the           
 newer emerging fisheries.                                                     
                                                                               
 MR. UMPHENOUR said the Board of Fish has criteria they are supposed           
 to go by.  The policy is to harvest as near the terminal areas as             
 possible and not to allow expanding, mixed stock fisheries to                 
 develop or expand.  When the Board deliberates they rely on public            
 testimony, information from the ADF&G, and Board members'                     
 experience.                                                                   
 SENATOR PEARCE asked what he would do if no Board member has                  
 experience in the fishery they are deliberating on.  MR. UMPHENOUR            
 said bad decisions have been made in the past and that is why he is           
 sitting there right now.                                                      
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE asked him to comment on conflict of interest on the            
 Board.  MR. UMPHENOUR said his opinion is that the Department of              
 Law has poor judgement, because they would like to say that if a              
 person possesses a limited entry permit that that is a significant            
 financial gain regardless of the proposal, if it's a commercial or            
 subsistence proposal.  That is exactly 180 degrees away from the              
 way the conflict of interest law has been interpreted up until 10             
 months ago.  He noted there would not be a quorum at the next                 
 meeting using this criteria.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 433                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked his position on proposals that protect habitat            
 on any river system in Alaska.  MR. UMPHENOUR replied that if we              
 don't have the rearing habitat for the fry to rear in, then we'll             
 lose our resource.  He thought it incumbent on all Board members to           
 do everything in their power to preserve the rearing habitat.                 
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked what should be done about the False Pass                 
 intercept fishery. MR. UMPHENHOUR said they would be there all                
 night if he would try to explain the solution to that fishery.                
 SENATOR LEMAN asked him to explain his reported statement that he             
 "has support from the sport fishing industry."  MR. UMPHENHOUR said           
 he lives in the Interior, he has a lot of knowledge with inriver              
 fisheries, and he has friends who participate in all the different            
 type of fisheries.  He said they all have the same problem, if                
 there are no fish, no one gets to fish.                                       
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if while he's been on the Board, he had taken             
 up the restrictions on fishermen in Southeast Alaska caused by                
 international and interstate contention.  MR. UMPHENOUR answered he           
 had not.  He said the problem in Southeast Alaska is hydroelectric            
 power, loss of habitat, and too much harvest.  He also thought                
 hatchery manipulation displaced a lot of fish.                                
                                                                               
 Number 365                                                                    
                                                                               
 DAVID OSTERBACK, Sand Point fisherman, opposed MR. UMPHENOUR'S                
 appointment. He said he was part of the fisheries transition team             
 that met in Kodiak.  Some of the recommendations they came up with            
 regarding the Board of Fisheries are:  retain the basic structure             
 of the existing Board comprised of lay citizens, ensure Board                 
 geographic interest and expertise by members, and Board members               
 should not be designated from specific interest groups.                       
                                                                               
 MR. OSTERBACK said that Mr. Umphenour has made very serious                   
 allegations concerning Area M fishermen's lack of commitment during           
 the Vietnam war and that they were 100% responsible for the decline           
 in salmon stocks.  He asked how such a person could be fair minded?           
 He said this is all a matter of record.  MR. UMPHENOUR responded              
 that his statements had been highly distorted.  SENATOR LEMAN said            
 he had read the transcript and it agreed with what Mr. Osterback              
 said.  MR. UMPHENOUR replied the reason he said what he said was              
 because four years ago an old man from Bethel told him how proud he           
 was of his son who was a private in Kuwait, but he was worried                
 about his son coming home alive.  He said to the Bethel man, "If we           
 were to have an all out war, the people that would fight it and               
 carry rifles would be the people whose parents could not afford to            
 send them to college.  But the people that parents could afford to            
 send them to college would.  The same has happened in Vietnam.  I             
 did not call anyone in False Pass or the Area M a draft                       
 dodger....If that were to happen today, and history proves that               
 what I said is correct, some wealthy people do go carry a rifle,              
 but they are volunteers.  The majority of people that carry a rifle           
 and die are people that come from low income families and have no             
 choice..."                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 289                                                                    
                                                                               
 PAUL GRUNHOLDT, Alaskan fisherman, said Mr. Umphenour's comments              
 made to the Board of Fisheries were inappropriate and irrational              
 and are an insult to the veterans of the entire state.  Appointing            
 Mr. Umphenour to the Board will put the Board in further jeopardy,            
 because he has a prearranged agenda.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 275                                                                    
                                                                               
 AL OSTERBACK, former legislator from Sand Point, opposed Mr.                  
 Umphenour's confirmation, because Mr. Umphenour said some men from            
 Sand Point were draft dodgers.  He would like to see someone who is           
 more qualified and who knows about the fishing in Sand Point.                 
                                                                               
 ART NELSON, fisheries specialist, supported Mr. Umphenour's                   
 appointment to the Board of Fisheries, because he would represent             
 all user groups.  He is very familiar with small scale commercial             
 fisheries in western Alaska and the subsistence life style.  He               
 thought he could be objective in weighing evidence.                           
                                                                               
 BRUCE SCHACTLER, Kodiak commercial fisherman, said he had been                
 involved with the Board process for the last 15 years.  He has                
 heard comments from Mr. Umphenour on the mixed stock fishery and it           
 sounds like he has a fixed agenda.  Appointing Mr. Umphenour to the           
 Board would further the conflict of interest problems the Board               
 already has and seating him would stop the Board process which                
 would be the worst possible thing for Alaska.  Mr. Umphenour is not           
 qualified, because he has no idea of what is going on in the Gulf             
 of Alaska or the Bering Sea.  He is there for the people inriver.             
 He stated there is no one on the Board who represents the Gulf of             
 Alaska and there just isn't time at the Board meetings to try and             
 educate ignorant Board members.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 200                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE asked him to explain what he meant that Mr.                    
 Umphenour is not qualified and how he thought the members of the              
 Board could all be lay people and not professionals.  MR. SCHACTLER           
 explained that the State is full of people who have been involved             
 in every fishery from Norton Sound to Ketchikan.  He admitted it              
 was a big problem and said also that there simply was not enough              
 time to educate all the Board members about all the different                 
 fisheries in Alaska.                                                          
                                                                               
 MYRON NECK, President, Association of Village Council Presidents,             
 representing 56 villages on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, supported              
 the appointment of Virgil Umphenour to the Board of Fisheries.                
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked him if his organization supported the federal            
 management of fisheries in Alaska.  MR. NECK replied that the way             
 the system has treated them in western Alaska, that is the only               
 fair solution.                                                                
                                                                               
 BYRON HALEY, Fairbanks, strongly supported Mr. Umphenour's                    
 appointment to the Board of Fisheries, because he has a good                  
 knowledge of the fisheries and the resources of the Interior -                
 commercial, sports and subsistence.  He is a strong protector of              
 the resources.                                                                
                                                                               
 MR. HALEY also supported the confirmation of Robert Hinman to the             
 Big Game and Commercial Services Board.                                       
                                                                               
  TAPE 92-8, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
 GARY MOORE, Director, Planning and Development, Tanana Chiefs'                
 Conference, said the Interior of Alaska has not been adequately               
 represented on the Board of Fisheries for some time before Mr.                
 Umphenour's appointment.  He has a good understanding of personal             
 use, subsistence, commercial use, and processing.                             
                                                                               
 BILL HENRY said he was an Interior fisherman and fish are groceries           
 to the Interior fisherman.  He thought Mr. Umphenour was well                 
 qualified to serve on a balanced Board.  MR. TAYLOR responded that            
 fish were groceries on the coast, the same as in the Interior and             
 that he thought Mr. Umphenour was a fine individual, also.                    
                                                                               
 JAMIE ROSS, Homer fisherman representing Area M Fishermen,                    
 commented he thought it was really outrageous that there was a                
 vacuum of representation from Sand Point east to Ketchikan.  This             
 is probably 80% of the socioeconomic and population of the State's            
 entire commercial fisheries.  He said he was present at several               
 Board meetings where Mr. Umphenour made highly inflammatory,                  
 extremely emotional, and quite rude statements toward the Area M              
 Fishermen.  He encouraged them to read the public record where he             
 does state Area M Fishermen bought off the government so their boys           
 didn't have to go to Vietnam.  He felt it was impossible for a                
 person like this to make unbiased, scientifically based, decisions.           
 He thought Mr. Umphenour's appointment was in a direction away from           
 marine commercial fisheries which have been the backbone of the               
 State of Alaska since commercial fisheries have been founded.                 
                                                                               
 ROGER HUNTINGTON, Galena, supported Virgil Umphenour.  He has known           
 him a long time and he is fair and open minded.  He said the                  
 coastal fishermen have been favored since statehood and now it's              
 time to recognize the importance of Interior fishermen.                       
                                                                               
 GILBERT HUNTINGTON, Galena commercial fishermen, said he had worked           
 with Virgil on many issues and his number one priority was the                
 consideration of the resource.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 195                                                                    
                                                                               
 SIDNEY HUNTINGTON said he had served on the Board of Fisheries for            
 20 years and he supported Mr. Umphenour's appointment, because he             
 was a fair and open minded person who believes in preserving the              
 resource.  He said the Interior rivers needed representation, but             
 he thought Mr. Umphenour would represent everyone in Alaska.                  
                                                                               
 DICK BISHOP, Alaska Outdoor Council, supported Virgil Umphenour's             
 appointment to the Board of Fisheries.  His most important                    
 qualification is his genuine concern for the fish and wildlife of             
 Alaska.  His second most important qualification is his respect for           
 the values of other resource users.  He is a hard worker who likes            
 to get things done.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 279                                                                    
                                                                               
 ART IVANOFF, Kotzebue, said the main purpose of the Board of                  
 Fisheries is to ensure and maintain a sustainable population of all           
 fisheries is the State.  He supported Mr. Umphenour's appointment             
 to the Board of Fisheries.                                                    
                                                                               
 DEAN PADDOCK, testifying for himself, said that he had observed the           
 Board of Fisheries process since 1956.  He said it isn't a perfect            
 process, and it is only as good as the people you put on it.  He              
 has known Mr. Umphenour through his participation in the Board                
 process and is aware of his work in the U.S./Canada Treaty process            
 on the Yukon River where he made a very significant contribution.             
 He fits in very well with the Board process. MR. PADDOCK said that            
 Mr. Umphenour is well informed and intelligent and predicted he               
 would serve with distinction and be a credit to the Board process             
 and the State of Alaska.                                                      
                                                                               
 MR. PADDOCK also supported Bob Hinman for the Big Game and                    
 Commercial Services Board saying he was a true professional.                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked him to comment on the statement that the                  
 coastal people had been in power since before statehood.  MR.                 
 PADDOCK responded that in the early years of statehood the people             
 of Western Alaska, both subsistence and commercial, were not well             
 represented on the Board.  Unfortunately during the many years                
 subsequent to that time, the folks in the Interior and the West               
 Coast have not been as well represented as they would like to be.             
 That seems to be inherent in a Board with seven people who attempt            
 to represent all the interests in the state.                                  
                                                                               
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked why he was speaking as an individual rather              
 than as a representative of the associations he normally                      
 represents.  MR. PADDOCK replied that it didn't have to do with the           
 position of the association he represented, but it was because he             
 is a 39-year resident of the state working and participating in               
 many fish and wildlife jobs and recreations and he has always                 
 thought of himself as his own man.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 378                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN asked Mr. Bob King to comment on a statement printed            
 in the newspaper, attributed to King, about a "deal" being made               
 over the Umphenour appointment.                                               
                                                                               
 BOB KING, the Governor's Press Secretary, explained that using the            
 word "deal" is unfortunate.  He said he was not prepared to make a            
 statement for the Administration on this issue.  He said the                  
 appointment of this particular seat has been the subject of much              
 intense pressure from many sides.                                             
                                                                               
 Number 408                                                                    
                                                                               
 MR. UMPHENOUR, in closing, said it is obvious why some people do              
 not want him on the Board.  The salmon fisheries have to be managed           
 throughout the entire migration route of the salmon.  Some people             
 do not want this, like the Area M people who caught an excess of 20           
 million fish last year while the entire Yukon River and Norton                
 Sound was totally closed.  He explained that in Nome they haven't             
 even fished subsistence for five years.  There are many places that           
 haven't been able to even fish subsistence for many years.                    
                                                                               
 Number 431                                                                    
                                                                               
 SENATOR PEARCE commented that whether people agree or disagree with           
 him, he certainly doesn't sound ignorant.  Mr. Umphenour thanked              
 her.                                                                          
                                                                               
 SENATOR LEMAN thanked everyone for joining the Committee and                  
 adjourned the meeting at 5:45 p.m.                                            
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects