Legislature(1995 - 1996)
05/05/1995 03:35 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE May 5, 1995 3:35 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Loren Leman, Chairman Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chairman Senator Steve Frank Senator Rick Halford Senator Robin Taylor Senator Georgianna Lincoln Senator Lyman Hoffman COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT All members present COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 38(FSH) Relating to reauthorization of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act. CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24(FSH) Relating to reduction of wanton waste in North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea fisheries. CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 207(FIN) am "An Act relating to adjustments to royalty reserved to the state to encourage otherwise uneconomic production of oil and gas; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 141(FSH) "An Act relating to the appointment of members of the Board of Fisheries." SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 28 Requesting that the Federal Subsistence Board not adopt the proposed subsistence moose hunting regulations for the Kenai Peninsula and the customary and traditional use determination for certain communities on the Kenai Peninsula. PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HJR 38 - No previous action to record. HJR 24 - No previous action to record. HB 207 - See Resources minutes dated 4/22/95, 4/26/95, 4/28/95, 5/1/95, 5/3/95. HB 141 - See Resources minutes dated 4/22/95, 5/3/95. SJR 28 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Cheryl Sutton, Staff to Representative Carl Moses State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Present to respond to questions on CSHJR 38(FSH) and CSHJR 24(FSH) Representative Alan Austerman State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime Sponsor of HB 141 Senator Judy Salo State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime Sponsor of SJR 28 Robert Bosworth, Director Division of Subsistence Department of Fish & Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, AK 99802-5526 POSITION STATEMENT: Administration supports SJR 28 Gary Oskolkoff Ninilchik, AK POSITION STATEMENT: Offered comments on SJR 28 Les Palmer P.O. Box 631 Sterling, AK 99672 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SJR 28 Dale Bondurant HC 1, Box 1197 Soldotna, AK 999669 POSITION STATEMENT: Offered comments on SJR 28 Theo Matthews United Cook Inlet Drift Association P.O. Box 4649 Kenai, AK 99611 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports SJR 28 as a statement ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-57, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN LEMAN called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:35 p.m. CSHJR 38(FSH) MAGNUSON FISHERY CONSERVATION & MGMT ACT SENATOR LEMAN announced CSHJR 38(FSH) was before the committee for its consideration. There being no questions or testimony on the legislation, he asked for the pleasure of the committee. SENATOR HALFORD moved that CSHJR 38(FSH) be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. CSHJR 24(FSH) WASTE IN PACIFIC AND BERING SEA FISHERY SENATOR LEMAN announced CSHJR 24(FSH) was before the committee for its consideration. There being no questions or testimony on the legislation, he asked for the pleasure of the committee. SENATOR HALFORD moved that CSHJR 24(FSH) be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. CSHB 207(FIN) am ADJUSTMENTS TO OIL AND GAS ROYALTIES Number 040 SENATOR LEMAN brought CSHB 207(FIN) am before the committee as the next order of business. He noted that at the May 3 meeting on the legislation a Resources SCS and amendments to it were adopted, and that Commissioner Shively of the Department of Natural Resources indicated that the bill that resulted is one that he can accept. SENATOR LINCOLN offered the following amendment to SCS CSHB 207(RES): Page 5, line 1: After "application" delete "if the preliminary findings and determination concerns a royalty increase, decrease, or other adjustment under (1)(A) of this subsection, the preliminary findings and determination shall also be presented to the governor for the governor's approval or disapproval; the governor may not delegate a determination to approve or disapprove a preliminary findings and determination under this subparagraph;" Page 7, line 22 after "determination" delete "and present it to the governor for the governor's approval or disapproval; the governor may not delegate a decision to approve or disapprove a final findings and decision presented under this subparagraph; the commissioner's final findings and determination regarding a royalty increase, decrease, or other adjustment prepared under this subparagraph, if approved by the governor, is," Senator Lincoln said her amendment deletes the language that requires the approval or disapproval of the governor on a findings and determination because she doesn't believe that the governor has to micro-manage whether the findings are appropriate or not. It would leave the discretion of approving or disapproving up to the commissioner who is appointed by the governor in the first place. Senator Lincoln moved the adoption of her amendment to SCS CSHB 207(RES). Objections were heard. The roll was taken with the following result: Senators Hoffman and Lincoln voted "Yea" and Senators Pearce, Halford, Frank and Leman voted "Nay." Senator Leman stated the motion failed. SENATOR HALFORD moved that SCS CSHB 207(RES) be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. CSHB 141(FSH) TERM OF FISH BOARD MEMBERS Number 125 SENATOR LEMAN announced CSHB 141(FSH) was before the committee for its consideration. REPRESENTATIVE ALVIN AUSTERMAN, prime sponsor of HB 141, directed attention to two proposed amendments to the legislation. SENATOR TAYLOR moved the adoption of the following Amendment No. 1: Amendment No. 1 Page 1, line 11: Delete "and until a successor is appointed and the successor's term begins" Hearing no objection, SENATOR LEMAN stated the amendment was adopted. SENATOR HOFFMAN moved the adoption of the following Amendment No. 2: Amendment No. 2 Page 1, line 14: Delete "a vacancy" and insert "the vacancy that will arise" Page 2, line 1: Delete "other than by the expiration of a term" Hearing no objection, SENATOR LEMAN stated the amendment was adopted and the amendments would be incorporated into a Resources SCS. He then asked for the pleasure of the committee. SENATOR PEARCE moved that SCS CSHB 141(RES) be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. SJR 28 KENAI PENINSULA SUBSISTENCE PROPOSAL SENATOR LEMAN introduced SJR 28 as the final order of business. SENATOR JUDY SALO, prime sponsor of SJR 28, explained the intent of the resolution is to get information to the Federal Subsistence Board, asking them to not adopt the proposed subsistence moose regulations on the Kenai Peninsula and the customary and traditional use determination for certain communities on the peninsula. Senator Salo cautioned that it is likely there will be problems this fall because of some communities being determined rural and even more rural communities next to them being determined non- rural. Senator Salo said it is her intention to deal with the current situation on the Kenai Peninsula by getting additional information to the board to ask them to stay the decision, and she will also be testifying to the Federal Subsistence Board and has offered written testimony as well. Number 190 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass SJR 28 out of committee with individual recommendations and then withdrew his motion so that witnesses could testify. ROBERT BOSWORTH, Director, Division of Subsistence, Department of Fish & Game, stated he was present to respond to questions. SENATOR LEMAN asked if the department has had any comments from the communities of Cooper Landing, Ninilchik and Hope, and if there is strong community support in opposition to the proposed federal regulations. ROBERT BOSWORTH answered that the department has not had any communication from those areas, and he suggested they may be commenting directly to the Federal Subsistence Board. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the department has had experience working with the Federal Subsistence Board. ROBERT BOSWORTH related the department has two department liaisons to the board, one from the wildlife conservation division and one from the subsistence division. SENATOR TAYLOR commented that he applauds the sponsor for her good faith in attempting to bring a resolution to the attention of a Congress that gave us the Federal Subsistence Board, but he doubts seriously that anyone will pay any attention to us back there. SENATOR SALO noted that her office has a petition with 1,800 signatures that were gathered on the peninsula in just over a week's time after the regulations were promulgated. She pointed out that many of the signatures were from communities that would get the subsistence advantage. Number 275 SENATOR LEMAN asked if under the proposed regulations, the people living in Cooper Landing, Ninilchik and Hope will have the opportunity to hunt anywhere or only in the game management unit they are in. ROBERT BOSWORTH answered that as he understands the Regional Council proposal that led to the customary and traditional findings, the findings were specific to a community, a game management unit and a species. For example, residents of Ninilchik were found to have customary and traditional use of moose within a particular game management unit that was adjacent to Ninilchik. Number 305 SENATOR LEMAN stated the committee would take testimony from witnesses waiting to testify over the teleconference network. GARY OSKOLKOFF, a member of the Ninilchik Traditional Council, as well as a member of the Federal Subsistence Advisory Council for Southcentral Alaska, testified from Ninilchik. Mr. Oskolkoff stated that as the resolution is proposed, he thinks it is going to be very difficult for the Federal Subsistence Board to follow the suggestion of delaying the implementation, simply because they are not allowed to under the law without closing down all of the federal lands on the Kenai Peninsula. If they have to go against the advisory council's opinion or decision that there is customary and traditional use and then there is a season there, they can only deny that for a couple of basic reasons. One is that it is going to be a detriment to the resource, which would lead to a complete lockup and then no one would be participating in that hunt, whether they were subsistence or not. Mr. Oskolkoff said in the long run, there is an imperfect system, that being the federal system. There is not a subsistence system in the state right now and, therefore, we have to go with the imperfect system. Mr. Oskolkoff said the resolution makes references to notification and the citizens not having adequate notice to testify to the advisory council before this proposal was made, but there were several meetings over a two-year period that had more than adequate notice. Mr. Oskolkoff doesn't believe that under current state law there is going to be the ability for the state to resume any form of subsistence management, especially with the deadlock that exists between some rural and urban legislators, as well as some of the constituents groups that were formed on one side or the other of the issue. He suggested there is a need to take a good look at what the real law is, how it really affects people, and how those people on the advisory council came up with their final proposal. Number 376 SENATOR TAYLOR asked Mr. Oskolkoff to explain how a state system could be imposed and how that state system could avoid the implementation of the federal system. GARY OSKOLKOFF said his understanding is that it would take a change in the Alaska Constitution to allow for either a rural preference or some other type of preference that most of the people of the state of Alaska would find a consensus on that would meet some of the criteria in Title 8, ANILCA. SENATOR TAYLOR stated that Attorney General Botelho has testified on three different occasions that it doesn't matter what changes are made to the Constitution, the state does not have the ability to change any federal law with our state laws or our state constitution; Title 8, ANILCA, must be changed. He asked Mr. Oskolkoff what legal authority he was basing his statement on that it would take a change in the Constitution. GARY OSKOLKOFF said he was relying on the word passed down to him from the Assistant Attorney General of the United States through a memorandum. He added he is glad to listen to all opinions on how the law could or could not be changed in order to allow for this to happen. SENATOR TAYLOR said whenever he asks the question of whether the federal law is supreme over state law and over state constitution, the answer is always yes and that it can only be changed by the Federal Congress. He said if, in fact, Mr. Oskolkoff has anybody who is advising him differently, he would like to see a copy of that legal advice because it will be of monumental impact if we can find legal authority that says a state can somehow change federal law. GARY OSKOLKOFF responded that he is asserting that if there can be a consensus reached by a majority of Alaskans and a majority of the interest groups, Alaska's congressional delegation will be able to take that to Congress and ask Congress to change the law to allow for that to happen. That is his preface for saying there could be a change in federal law, although he is not advocating that at this particular time because he does not think the parties are close enough together on their discussions, nor does he think enough discussions are actually taking place between the interest groups to allow for that. Number 525 LES PALMER, a resident of Sterling, stated his support for SJR 28 and urged the committee's support as well. He said it is absurd and outrageous that thousands of Kenai Peninsula residents might not be able to hunt or fish in their own backyard because a few think they deserve a special subsistence preference. Mr. Palmer said the resolution addresses a problem that began in 1990 when the feds designated seven Kenai Peninsula communities rural. He opposed that decision in writing and he predicted that making the modern highway-connected communities of the peninsula eligible for subsistence preference would divide race against race, neighbor against neighbor and it would make a mockery of the whole idea of subsistence. Number 555 DALE BONDURANT of Soldotna stated Alaska's Constitution is probably the best constitution of any in the United States as far as equal rights to use our fish and game and here we are trying to circumvent that constitution and bow over to ANILCA. He said we are going to have this crammed down our throats until the public stands up and decides that they are not going to accept it. He cautioned that if we start messing with the state constitution, there are going to be some lawsuits and they are going to over the equal protection rights of the people of Alaska. Number 585 THEO MATTHEWS, testifying from Soldotna on behalf of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association stated their support for the resolution as a statement that ANILCA must be amended to define the term "rural." He said it is ludicrous for the federal government to demand any kind of preference, rural or otherwise, and not tell us what it means. He reiterated the association views the resolution as an important statement, and he suggested the concept of fish and game should also be addressed in the resolution. TAPE 95-57, SIDE B Number 020 SENATOR LEMAN asked if, in Mr. Matthews' opinion, any of the three communities named in the resolution qualify as rural. THEO MATTHEWS answered that they have testified in the past that no community on the main peninsula qualifies as rural. Number 030 SENATOR LEMAN asked if the administration has a position on SJR 28, and ROBERT BOSWORTH acknowledged that they do support it. Number 050 SENATOR LINCOLN moved and asked unanimous consent that SJR 28 be passed out of committee with individual recommendations. SENATOR LEMAN objected to make the statement that he thinks the resolution ought to be expanded to include some other things, but that could be done in the next committee of referral. He then removed his objection and stated SJR 28 was moved out of committee. There being no further business to come before the committee, SENATOR LEMAN adjourned the meeting at 4:28 p.m.