Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/12/1996 04:24 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                         April 12, 1996                                        
                           4:24 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Senator Loren Leman, Chairman                                                 
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                         
  COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT                                                     
 Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chairman                                            
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Senator Rick Halford                                                          
 Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                    
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 59(RES)                                                 
 "An Act relating to raffles and auctions of certain permits to take           
 big game; and providing for an effective date."                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 329 am                                                         
 "An Act providing for restitution to the state for the unlawful               
 taking of game."                                                              
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 547(RES) am                                             
 "An Act relating to a four-year moratorium on entry into Southeast            
 Alaska dive fisheries; and providing for an effective date."                  
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 265(FSH)                                                
 "An Act relating to the export of live dungeness crab."                       
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 447(RES)                                                
 "An Act relating to traditional means of access for traditional               
 outdoor uses and to the classification and the sale, lease, or                
 other disposal of state land, water, or land and water."                      
 SENATE BILL NO. 285                                                           
 "An Act relating to management of discrete salmon stocks and to a             
 salmon management assessment; and providing for an effective date."           
 SENATE BILL NO. 318                                                           
 "An Act authorizing, approving, and ratifying the amendment of                
 Northstar Unit oil and gas leases between the State of Alaska and             
 BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.; and providing for an effective date."           
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE   ACTION                                           
 HB 59 - See Resources minutes dated 4/10/96.                                  
 HB 329 - See Resources minutes dated 4/3/96, 4/10/96.                         
 HB 547 - No previous action to record.                                        
 HB 265 - No previous action to record.                                        
 HB 447 - No previous action to record.                                        
 SB 285 - See Resources minutes dated 3/13/96.                                 
 SB 318 -  See Resources minutes dated 3/29/96, 3/30/96, 4/3/96,               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                        
 House Resources Committee                                                     
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented overviews on CSHB 547(RES) am                
      and CSHB 265(FSH)                                                        
 Frank Homan, Commissioner                                                     
 Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission                                         
 Department of Fish & Game                                                     
 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109                                               
 Juneau, AK 99801-8079                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 547(RES) am               
 Jim Dennis                                                                    
 P.O. Box 591                                                                  
 Craig, AK 99921                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 547(RES) am                              
 Andy Kittams                                                                  
 P.O. Box 1544                                                                 
 Petersburg, AK 99833                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 547(RES) am               
 Lauren Rogers                                                                 
 P.O. Box 842                                                                  
 Wrangell, AK 99929                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 547(RES) am                              
 Matt Donohoe                                                                  
 P.O. Box 3114                                                                 
 Sitka, AK 99835                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes CSHB 547(RES) am                               
 Larry Trani                                                                   
 2008 HPR                                                                      
 Sitka, AK 99835                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 547(RES) am               
 James LeCrone                                                                 
 P.O. Box 541                                                                  
 Sitka, AK 99835                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 547(RES) am                              
 Januse Kunat                                                                  
 P.O. Box 2785                                                                 
 Sitka, AK 99835                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 547(RES) am                              
 Raymond Campbell                                                              
 11 Creek St., #3                                                              
 Ketchikan, AK 99926                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes CSHB 547(RES) am                               
 Pat Cassin                                                                    
 P.O. Box 109                                                                  
 Ketchikan, AK 99926                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 547(RES) am                              
 Tim Foley                                                                     
 429 Country Hill Drive                                                        
 Roseburg, OR 97470                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Has concerns with CSHB 547(RES) am                     
 Jeff Martin                                                                   
 P.O. Box 268                                                                  
 Metlakatla, AK 99926                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Suggested CSHB 547(RES) am be amended to               
                      include test fishery                                     
 Clay Bezenek                                                                  
 1617 Water St.                                                                
 Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 547(RES) am                              
 Scott Thomas                                                                  
 945 Lincoln                                                                   
 Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 547(RES) am               
 Duane King                                                                    
 P.O. Box 7591                                                                 
 Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Basically supports CSHB 547(RES) am                    
 Eric Hamilton                                                                 
 P.O. Box 5838                                                                 
 Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Has concerns with CSHB 547(RES) am                     
 Eric Woelfel                                                                  
 Metlakatla, AK 99926                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Would like to see test fishery included in             
                      CSHB 547(RES) am                                         
 Ms. Bobbie Ivanoff                                                            
 P.O. Box 2394                                                                 
 Kodiak, AK 99615                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes CSHB 547(RES) am                               
 Norm Degner                                                                   
 P.O. Box 2099                                                                 
 Wrangell, AK 99929                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 547(RES) am                              
 Ed Gray                                                                       
 P.O. Box 6328                                                                 
 Sitka, AK 99835                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 547(RES) am               
 Steve LaCroix, Member of Board of Directors                                   
 Southeast Alaska Dive Harvest Association                                     
 (Home address not available)                                                  
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 547(RES) am               
 Larry Cotter                                                                  
 Ocean Fresh Seafoods                                                          
 1402 Side Court                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99801                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:  CSHB 547(RES) am should include test fishery            
 Steven Daugherty, Assistant Attorney General                                  
 Natural Resources Section                                                     
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, AK 99811-0300                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information on CSHB 265(FSH)                   
 Captain Richard Graham                                                        
 Division of Fish & Wildlife Protection                                        
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 5700 E. Tudor Road                                                            
 Anchorage, AK 99507-1225                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 265(FSH)                  
 David Stancliff, Staff to Representative Beverly Masek                        
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Offered information on CSHB 447(RES)                   
 Roy Burkhart                                                                  
 Box 204                                                                       
 Willow, AK 99688                                                              
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 447(RES)                  
      and SB 285                                                               
 Leonard Haire                                                                 
 Box 879302                                                                    
 Wasilla, AK 99687                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supports CSHB 447(RES) and SB 285                      
 Sam McDowell                                                                  
 326 E. 23rd                                                                   
 Anchorage, AK 99503                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 447(RES)                  
      and SB 285                                                               
 Dale Bondurant                                                                
 HC 1, Box 1197                                                                
 Soldotna, AK 99669                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of CSHB 447(RES)                  
      and SB 285                                                               
 Jeff Parker                                                                   
 500 L St., #502                                                               
 Anchorage, AK 99501                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Suggested amending CSHB 447(RES)                       
 Dan Castle, President                                                         
 Southeast Alaska Seiners Association                                          
 P.O. Box 9172                                                                 
 Ketchikan, AK 99901                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes SB 285                                         
 Dan Winn                                                                      
 P.O. Box 1272                                                                 
 Homer, AK 99603                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition to SB 285                      
 Ms. Liz Cabrera, Director                                                     
 Petersburg Vessel Owners Association                                          
 P.O. Box 232                                                                  
 Petersburg, AK 99833                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition to SB 285                      
 Leonard Efta                                                                  
 P.O. Box 353                                                                  
 Kenai, AK 99611                                                               
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Opposes SB 285                                         
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 96-52, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to             
 order at 4:24 p.m.  Present were the Chairman and Senator Hoffman.            
 He stated the committee still didn't have a quorum because of                 
 conflicts with other committees, and if a quorum was not                      
 established later in the day, the bills would be held over to the             
 next day for final action.                                                    
      CSHB  59(RES) RAFFLE OR AUCTION OF BIG GAME PERMITS                     
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought HB 59 before the committee.  However, there          
 being no witnesses wishing to testify on the bill, he stated it               
 would be set aside until a quorum was established.                            
       HB 329 am RESTITUTION FOR CERTAIN GAME VIOLATIONS                      
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought HB 329 am before the committee.  There being         
 no witnesses present to testify on the bill, it was set aside until           
 a quorum was established.                                                     
 Number 050                                                                    
       CSHB 547(RES) am MORATORIUM ON S.E. DIVE FISHERIES                     
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought CSHB 547(RES) am before the committee as the         
 next order of business.                                                       
  REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS , Co-chair of the House Resources               
 Committee, explained the legislation will place a four-year                   
 moratorium on entrance into the sea cucumber, sea urchin, geoduck             
 and abalone fisheries in Southeast Alaska.  The increased interest            
 and effort in the Southeast Alaska dive fishery has caused the                
 number of divers to be precariously high at the end of 1995.  Also,           
 there has been more than a keen interest in the dive fisheries by             
 residents and nonresidents alike.                                             
 The purpose of the moratorium is to set aside a period of time for            
 examination of each aspect of the Southeast Alaska dive fisheries.            
 The Department of Fish and Game has been gathering assessments and            
 management data on these fisheries.  He said a moratorium on the              
 new entry into Southeast Alaska dive fisheries is necessary to                
 allow a proper review analysis of these data to ensure a continuing           
 viable fishery.                                                               
 Representative Williams said the Southeast Alaska sea urchin                  
 fishery cannot be open due to a lack of research and management.              
 A large number of new divers interested in this fishery would be              
 difficult to management and may threaten the sustained yield of the           
 sea urchin resource.  The moratorium will provide all interested              
 parties the opportunity to develop a long-term management and                 
 research plan for this developing fishery.                                    
 Representative Williams stated these valuable fishery resources               
 need special attention, and HB 547 will provide the mechanism for             
 the development of a sustainable fisheries which will provide                 
 economic opportunities for the participants, the southeast                    
 communities and the state.  He urged the committee's support of the           
 Number 101                                                                    
  FRANK HOMAN , Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, Department of           
 Fish & Game, credited Representative Williams, Senator Taylor and             
 Representative Mackie for getting the divers in Southeast Alaska              
 together on this issue.  He said it was one of the first times in             
 the Commission's history where a majority of the divers were in               
 agreement on a bill and came to the legislature and the commission            
 for some assistance.                                                          
 Mr. Homan said the need for action this year is try to cap the                
 effort in these dive fisheries, and because of the complex system             
 that the Limited Entry Commission has as subject to moratoriums,              
 they couldn't implement a moratorium within the time frame that's             
 needed.  In fact, the commission cannot implement a moratorium on             
 their own initiative; it has to come from the commissioner of fish            
 and game, through the Board of Fisheries, to the commission.                  
 Mr. Homan expressed the commission's pleasure at the cohesion                 
 amongst the divers and their taking the initiative to come to the             
 Legislature for its assistance.                                               
 Number 118                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  stated the committee would take testimony from               
 individuals waiting to testify on HB 547 at various sites on the              
 Legislative Teleconference Network.                                           
  JIM DENNIS , testifying from Craig, stated that he and 15 other              
 people in attendance in Craig support the bill and the amendment              
 that was added to it on the House floor.                                      
  ANDY KITTAMS , testifying from Petersburg and representing the               
 Petersburg Chapter of the Southeast Alaska Harvest Dive                       
 Association, stated their support of CSHB 547(RES) am.  They                  
 believe it is a good thing for the dive fisheries, as well as the             
 fishermen.  There has been a substantial increase in the fisheries            
 in the last few years, and this appears to be the only to way cap             
 the level so that the people currently in the fishery have the                
 chance of making some money.                                                  
  LAUREN ROGERS , a Wrangell diver testifying from Petersburg, voiced          
 his support for CSHB 547(RES) am.  Although he hates to see limited           
 entry in the fishery, he sees no other choice.  He said if                    
 something isn't done, the situation is only going to get worse.  Of           
 the 533 people that are going to be in this moratorium, 501 are sea           
 cucumber divers.  He noted Department of Fish and Game statistics             
 show the average weight of a sea cucumber is decreasing, and the              
 quota for each area that rotates through on a three-year basis is             
 declining.  So even if it stays at this number of people, there               
 will continue to be a decline in the economics of this fishery, the           
 department will probably have to come up with a more conservative             
  MATT DONOHOE , testifying from Sitka, said he has been fishing in            
 that area for the past 20 years, although he does not participate             
 in the dive fishery.  He stated he is opposed to language in the              
 bill which preempts an entry into the sea urchin fishery.  He said            
 it is a fishery that doesn't exist in any numbers, and to put a               
 limited entry program on a fishery that isn't there yet is setting            
 a dangerous precedent in the state.                                           
 Number 269                                                                    
  LARRY TRANI , President of the Sitka Chapter of the Alaska Harvest           
 Divers Association testifying from Sitka, stated CSHB 547(RES) am             
 is a compromise bill.  The original version of the legislation was            
 accepted by all the divers in Southeast Alaska, as was the language           
 in the current version.  He said any further modification to the              
 bill will seriously jeopardize the near unanimous support it now              
 has, and he urged it be passed in its current version.  He has                
 watched the dive industry grow since 1970, and it is now to the               
 point where few people can make any meaningful amount of money and            
 the number of participants has the potential of threatening the               
 stocks.  He added that the dive industry has done everything it can           
 to slow the fisheries down, as is apparent by the self-imposed                
 regulations they are now diving under.                                        
  JAMES LECRONE  of Sitka stated his support for CSHB 547(RES) am and          
 urged its passage.  He also stated this is a moratorium, not a                
 limited entry program.  It will allow the state a period of time to           
 examine the fishery without new entries.                                      
  JANUSE KUNAT  of Sitka voiced his agreement with Mr. Trani's                 
 testimony.  He added that the bill is for Alaskan divers to protect           
 the resources.  He urged of HB 547 in its current form.                       
  RAYMOND CAMPBELL :  My name is Raymond Campbell.  I've been an               
 Alaskan resident for 19 years, and I've been a harvest diver for              
 eight years.  I oppose Bill 547; the way it stands it right now               
 there's a lot of problems with it.  Excuse the pun, but it smells             
 I've been diving urchins for three years.  I've participated in the           
 test fishery down in Metlakatla, and I'm going to be excluded from            
 diving in the moratorium so a group of guys who have never touched            
 an urchin before are going to be allowed to fish in the moratorium.           
 You know, its put me out in the cold, and I see no reason for it.             
 My permit says "statewide" on it.  I've fished all over the state,            
 and the way this thing is written, I'm out in the cold.                       
 I've come down here and I've bought a boat specifically to be a               
 diver in southeast, and there's just some real problems with it.              
 I'm getting cut out so that a bunch of people can get in with this            
 amendment that they put to the bill.  With this participating five            
 consecutive years, there is going to be people participating in the           
 abalone, or there are going to be people allowed to participate in            
 the abalone fishery that have never done so in the past, in the               
 geoduck fishy that have never done so in the past, and in the                 
 urchin fishery that have never done so in the past.  And people               
 like me who have got landings in abalone, cucumbers and the dive              
 urchins and have pioneered the fishery are going to be out.                   
 I thinks it's a pretty all for one group of fishermen kind of bill,           
 and like I said, I oppose it.  With the way it stands now, I oppose           
 it.  Now, I do understand there are problems, but it seems like               
 there's been a lot of people that are managing these fisheries that           
 have been dragging their feet on the way they've been managing it,            
 and I think there's other ways of managing it.                                
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN :  Where have you been diving?                                
  RAYMOND CAMPBELL :  I've dived in Kodiak, and in the late eighties           
 I started diving urchins in Kodiak.  I've dived in Southeast in the           
 early nineties for cucumbers.  I've dived in Southeast in '95 for             
 dungeness.  I've dived in this urchin fishery, in the test fishery            
 down in Metlakatla.  I've even dived in Florida for sponges, but I            
 am an Alaskan resident for the last 20 years.  Like I say, I'm out            
 in the cold, and I feel like I've pioneered this urchin fishery,              
 and to have me out in the cold so a group of guys who have never              
 touched an urchin can have it to themselves for four years is                 
 I also don't like the way this has gone through.  It got proposed             
 on the 25th of March and it went through the House lickety split.             
 Like I said, I can understand the problems with this fishery and I            
 can understand that a lot of people want to do something with it,             
 but the way this bill is now, there's too many problems with it.              
 What they're doing -- by doing it only with Southeast, they're                
 going to take all the problems that they have in Southeast and                
 they're going to move them north and west, and the problems that              
 they have down here are just going to move to Kodiak and Cook Inlet           
 and the small dive fisheries they have up there.  So like I said,             
 I'm against this bill.                                                        
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN :  I think this question is probably better directed          
 to Representative Williams.  Is it true that, as Mr. Campbell is              
 saying, that if you--and it looks like on top of page three--if you           
 have commercially harvested sea cucumber, abalone, geoduck or sea             
 urchin, any of those, then you qualify for the permit in all of               
 them?  Is that correct?                                                       
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS :  That's the way it was read, yeah.  During         
 the five-year calendars of '91...                                             
  REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE :  That particular section means that if you           
 have participated in each of the years, which means in five                   
 consecutive years, and that was the question that I was going to              
 ask the witness.  He stated that he has been fishing the last eight           
 years, and the way this bill is that if you fished either in the              
 sea cucumber, abalone, geoduck or urchin fishery in the last five             
 years, then you would qualify under the bill.                                 
  RAYMOND CAMPBELL :  In Southeast.  Some of my deliveries have been           
 in Kodiak and the Kodiak cucumber fishery.  The years that I fished           
 Southeast were '91 and '92.  Then in '93 I fished crab most of the            
 year, and the only harvest diving I did in '93 was in Florida for             
 sponges for a short trip down there.  So although I did participate           
 in harvest diving in the year '93, I didn't harvest dive in the               
 state of Alaska because I was crab fishing.  I fished king crab and           
 salmon and barradie crab and opies.  I'd also like to say that                
 commercial fishing has been 90 percent of my income.  I've been               
 doing it for 19 years except for about a six-month stint in the mid           
 eighties that I worked on a tug boat, but commercial fishing is my            
 livelihood and I've been getting cut out on these moratoriums and             
 limited entry permits ever since I've been fishing.  I did get a              
 big 150 pound halibut IFQ, although in the 80's sometimes the                 
 halibut fishing was the majority of my income, now I'm allowed  to            
 go catch a 150 pound halibut.  That halibut IFQ program was a shaft           
 for the Alaskans, the same with other things.  I've started out               
 getting cut out of a hand troll permit down here in Southeast; I've           
 gotten cut out of numerous fisheries, and I'm a full-time                     
 The other thing I see is I see people fishing not to catch fish,              
 but to get permits, and I thinks that's one of the reasons you've             
 got so many divers down here.  People are saying, "Well, it's not             
 economically feasible to dive, but if I don't dive, I'll miss a               
 year and I'll get cut out of a permit."  When they changed the laws           
 in southeast, changed the seasons from three days to one day, I               
 decided to fish in Kodiak, and now it turns out I should have come            
 down here and hit a resource that was already hurting, simply not             
 because I needed to make a living, simply because for the permit              
 and for the right to be able to fish on it in this moratorium.                
 Like I said, I understand the problems, but I think this bill                 
 stinks.  It smells like rotten fish.                                          
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN :  How many other divers from other areas of Alaska           
 who have harvested in all five of those years do you think would be           
 similarly situated to you.                                                    
  RAYMOND CAMPBELL :  I don't have those particular numbers with me,           
 but I do know there are people in the room that...                            
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN :  Mr. Homan, do you have any idea?                           
  FRANK HOMAN :  I don't have the answer, but we have the data to get          
 the answer.                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN :  Okay, I'd like to see that, you know, if there are         
 some who maybe went somewhere else in Alaska because of the                   
 resource and would get cut out, but who have a consistent pattern             
 of harvest.  It may be worth looking at.  Is that something you               
 discussed, Representative Williams in the other committee?                    
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS :  Yes, we've been trying to work with the           
 fishermen on this bill.  I do sympathize with the witness right               
 now, and I think we were trying to work something out for people              
 like him on this, and hopefully we'll get it taken care of by the             
 time it gets to the next committee.                                           
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN :  Maybe we can take care of it in this committee.            
 It's probably where we want to do the work on this.                           
  RAYMOND CAMPBELL :  The other point I'd like to make is there are            
 some divers that participated in the past fishery that are going to           
 be cut out, and I feel those guys are the guys that were pioneering           
 this urchin fishery.  I'm participating in the test fishery and we            
 had to sign a release that said participating in the test fishery             
 will exclude us from -- well, not being any criteria for being                
 included in any moratorium or limited entry scheme.  I signed that            
 when it was time to go fishing.  I didn't even have any                       
 understanding that that was part of the deal when I came down, and            
 I really wonder about the wisdom of cutting people out who pioneer            
 a fishery from the fishery, in one that doesn't even exist.                   
 [END OF VERBATIM TESTIMONY]                                                   
 Number 425                                                                    
  PAT CASSIN , a licensed sea urchin diver testifying from Ketchikan,          
 said under the current version of HB 547, he will qualify to dive             
 for sea urchins because of participation in the Sitka fisheries.              
 Also, under HB 547, participants in three other fisheries will                
 qualify to dive for sea urchins.  He questioned if it was the                 
 intent of the Legislature that through this bill the participants             
 who qualify under the three separate fisheries be given a higher              
 priority classification for entry permits than those who have                 
 actually fished for sea urchins.                                              
  TIM FOLEY , testifying from Ketchikan, stated he has a statewide             
 Alaska sea urchin permit.  He is currently in the test fishery, and           
 he pointed out that he and others put all of their time and effort            
 in that test fishery, not participating much in the other dive                
 fisheries in Southeast Alaska, and through this legislation they              
 are not being recognized as doing so.                                         
  JEFF MARTIN , a diver in the test fishery testifying from Ketchikan,         
 stated he dives for sea urchins professionally for a living.  He              
 believes that he has done a lot in this test fishery to make it               
 happen, and he wants the chance to be a part of the moratorium and            
 be licensed for the fishery.  He said CSHB 547(RES) am is leaving             
 him out because he did not fish the other fisheries.  He estimated            
 there are approximately 15 divers in the test fishery who will not            
 qualify under the language in the bill.  He requested that the bill           
 be rewritten so that the people who have made this sea urchin                 
 fishery happen have a chance to stay here and make a living at it.            
  CLAY BEZENEK , testifying from Ketchikan, stated he supports CSHB
 547(RES) am.  He said it is a fairly complex issue, but it                    
 basically all comes down to dollars and cents.  The participation             
 level for all the fisheries has reached a saturation level and the            
 legislation was well written to deal with this situation.  He                 
 supports the bill, as written, and he believes the other problems             
 can be dealt with by the Limited Entry Commission at a later date.            
 Number 483                                                                    
  SCOTT THOMAS , representing the Southeast Alaska Harvest Divers              
 Association and testifying from Ketchikan, stated the organization            
 took a vote and approximately 90 percent of its membership supports           
 CSHB 547(RES) am.  He said commercial fishing is his sole source of           
 income, and for the past 10 years he has been the owner/operator of           
 a southeast seine operation and has fished in numerous fisheries,             
 including the dive harvest of sea cucumbers and geoducks.  In the             
 three years he has been involved in the dive fishery, he has seen             
 the participation increase dramatically, and the past year's                  
 participation has reached a level to where these fisheries are no             
 longer feasible.  Passage of the legislation will enable the                  
 effective management of the fishery, and it will provide the                  
 opportunity to the fishermen who have already made commitments to             
 the industry.                                                                 
  DUANE KING , testifying from Ketchikan, said he basically supports           
 the legislation although he sees a problem with it.  Many of the              
 persons who would qualify for a sea urchin permit under the bill              
 have never participated in a sea urchin fishery in Southeast                  
 Alaska.  If everyone who ends up with one of the other dive permits           
 also receives a sea urchin license, the number of participants will           
 be unmanageable.  He believes many of these persons will only                 
 pursue the sea urchin license just to sell out as soon as they can            
 to the highest bidder.  He suggested a fair and manageable fix                
 would be to give Limited Entry Commission the option of using                 
 participation in the sea urchin fishery during the moratorium.                
  ERIC HAMILTON , testifying from Ketchikan, stated he built his boat          
 specifically for the dive fisheries and focused on sea urchin.  He            
 is presently diving in the sea urchin test fishery, and he believes           
 sea urchin divers should be recognized for the contribution to                
 starting a fishery.  He noted that under the current language of              
 the bill, a minimal landing of cucumbers, geoducks or abalone                 
 entitles the purchase of a sea urchin permit, thus, even a two-               
 pound landing of cucumbers or geoducks, entitles the diver to a sea           
 urchin permit, but it offers no recognition of the thousands of               
 dive hours during the sea urchin test fishery.                                
 Number 553                                                                    
  ERIC WOELFEL , a life-long Alaskan fisherman testifying from                 
 Ketchikan, stated he participates exclusively in dive fisheries,              
 and he has fished in Southeast Alaska, Cook Inlet and Kodiak for              
 cucumbers.  He, too, is currently participating in the sea urchin             
 test fishery.  He has not always worked in southeast; because of              
 the limited number of days he often found it more financially                 
 lucrative to participate in the fisheries up north.  He would like            
 to see those landings count towards qualifying for a southeast                
 permit.  He also supports the participation in the test fishery as            
 qualifying individuals for the urchin moratorium.                             
  MS. BOBBIE IVANOFF , testifying from Kodiak, voiced her objection to         
 the current version of HB 547 because she thinks it is only                   
 beneficial to an exclusive group of divers.  If there is a                    
 moratorium, it should include all of the Alaska divers.  She                  
 questioned how a moratorium can be put on a fishery that really               
 isn't existing yet.                                                           
 Number 576                                                                    
  NORM DEGNER , testifying from Wrangell, said he can see the point of         
 the Ketchikan divers who have been diving for sea urchin, but Ocean           
 Fresh had the right to pick who they wanted.  He noted there are              
 several divers in Wrangell, including himself, that ran up large              
 phone bills calling Ocean Fresh to try to be part of the test                 
 fishery.  If that was counted for qualification into the                      
 moratorium, then there would be a lot of divers who were left out,            
 not because they didn't want to dive, but because there just wasn't           
 a place for them.  He said the members of the divers association in           
 Wrangell would like to see HB 547 passed in its current form.                 
  ED GRAY , testifying from Sitka, voiced his support for CSHB
 547(RES) am.  He has been a diver in that area for six years, and             
 he got into the other fisheries because of the decreasing in dive             
 time.  He recognizes the need for a moratorium for a more                     
 controlled situation.  He also noted that he and several other                
 divers made an effort to be part of the test fishery, but they were           
 excluded from that contract.  He said those people involved in that           
 program were aware that it was a private contract and it would not            
 qualify them in the future for a moratorium.                                  
  TAPE 92-52, SIDE B                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
  STEVE LACROIX , a member of the Board of Directors for the Southeast         
 Alaska Dive Harvest Association testifying in Juneau, stated the              
 organization has over 50 active harvest divers, as well as many               
 associate members from the Ketchikan business community who are               
 helping promote the dive industry for their community.  A poll was            
 taken of the membership on their support for CSHB 547(RES) am and             
 they had almost unanimous support for it.  He said the few divers             
 who have expressed opposition to the bill are primarily not                   
 Alaskans who have come here and participated in a test urchin                 
 fishery and have taken opportunities away from Alaskans.  He said             
 this bill will stop them and will stop hundreds of other people               
 like them from taking these opportunities away from Alaskans.  He             
 noted the new participation in these fisheries comes primarily from           
 non fishermen, out-of-state professionals, permit hunters, and, in            
 this case, sport divers, which is bad for the industry.  He said              
 this bill doesn't just help a few fishermen get permits; it creates           
 a platform for the development of a $25 million a year potential              
 industry in Southeast Alaska that these communities need.                     
 Number 075                                                                    
  LARRY COTTER , testified in Juneau on behalf of Ocean Fresh                  
 Seafoods, which is the company that has been conducting the test              
 fishery for urchins in Southeast Alaska out of Metlakatla.  He said           
 there is no question that a moratorium is appropriate and necessary           
 in the geoduck, sea cumber and abalone fisheries.  One might raise            
 the question of whether or not a moratorium is necessary in                   
 urchins, and, Ocean Fresh Seafoods, at first, questioned whether              
 there might be better ways to address the furor or over                       
 participation in that fishery as it develops during the next few              
 years.  However, Ocean Fresh Seafoods is willing to go forth and              
 support the moratorium in the urchin fisheries and to move forward            
 and start trying to focus on an appropriate way to manage these               
 fisheries so that they be operated on a year-round basis so that              
 the true social and economic benefits can be returned to all                  
 Alaskans.  He said this has been the goal of Ocean Fresh Seafoods             
 from the beginning.                                                           
 Mr. Cotter said that after listening to the testimony, he believes            
 the bill should take into account those participants in the test              
 fishery who otherwise do not qualify.  There are about 15 of those            
 individuals who do not qualify for a moratorium permit, and about             
 half of those individuals are Alaskan residents.  The total number            
 of people that would receive a license under HB 547 is in excess of           
 500, so he fails to see how 15 people, seven or eight of them who             
 are Alaskans, will have any meaningful adverse impact upon this               
 industry or the other Alaskans and non Alaskans who are going to be           
 Mr. Cotter said the test fishery was the result of three years of             
 effort by Ocean Fresh Seafoods to try and convince the state to               
 begin to open a commercial sea urchin fishery in Southeast Alaska.            
 Finally the Alaska Department of Fish & Game went out to public bid           
 to seek a company that was willing to pay the state's cost up front           
 in exchange for the right to harvest urchins so that the state                
 could assess the resource and determine the life history perimeters           
 and other things necessary to allow a commercial fishery to occur.            
 The company has established for the very first time that a sea                
 urchin fishery in Southeast Alaska can be economically viable.                
 Number 125                                                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS  asked if the 15 individuals in the test             
 fishery have participated in any other dive fishery in the state.             
  LARRY COTTER  responded that he knows one of them has, but he is not         
 sure about the rest of them.  He added that the company encouraged            
 those divers not to participate in the other dive fisheries because           
 they felt they shouldn't be doing that as long as they were                   
 participating in the test fishery.   REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS  related         
 that he has information that of those individuals who participated            
 in the test fishery, 16 were non residents and two were residents.            
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  commented that what the bill is trying to do is show         
 a history of participation over several years, and there may be               
 other individuals like Mr. Campbell who have had a long history of            
 Number 200                                                                    
  REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE  said he, too, was concerned about Mr.                 
 Campbell's testimony because he has been an Alaskan and he has                
 participated in some of the fisheries, and he thinks that needs to            
 be looked at.  However, that also opens up the question of what               
 the numbers would be if other people who have participated in other           
 parts of the state are allowed into the fishery.  This dive fishery           
 is continuing to expand and, unless the state stops it at 500 at              
 this point in time, next year there could be 800 people involved.             
 The question is whether or not the resource can withstand that sort           
 of assault by more divers coming, whether they are from out of                
 state or they are residents of the state.                                     
  LARRY COTTER  emphasized that Ocean Fresh Seafoods supports the              
 moratorium, whether or not the divers from the test fishery are               
 There being no further witnesses to testify on CSHB 547(RES) am,              
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  closed the public hearing, and stated the bill would         
 be set aside for further work to see if some of the concerns can be           
 Number 260                                                                    
             CSHB 265(FSH) EXPORT OF DUNGENESS CRAB                           
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought CSHB 265(FSH) before the committee as the            
 next order of business.                                                       
  REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS , prime sponsor of HB 265, said the bill was         
 introduced in response to constituents who are struggling to                  
 develop a live crab market in British Columbia or the Lower 48.               
 Current law provides that if an out-of-state live dungeness market            
 is established, the product must be shipped by air transportation,            
 which is tricky and, in many cases, cost prohibitive.  There are              
 frequent weather delay problems and other forms of delays                     
 associated with flying in Alaska.                                             
 CSHB 265(FSH) will remove the air transportation requirement when             
 shipping live dungeness crab out of state.  The bill goes further             
 by answering concerns about marine toxins, particularly PSP, by not           
 allowing surface transportation to occur in areas where the                   
 Department of Environmental Conservation is requiring the testing             
 of crab for marine toxins.                                                    
 Representative Williams said the legislation will allow fishermen             
 to expand their markets and provide an opportunity for                        
 diversification at this time.                                                 
 Number 310                                                                    
  STEVEN DAUGHERTY , Assistant Attorney General, Natural Resources             
 Section, Department of Law, stated the department's concerns with             
 the original bill have been greatly reduced both because of changes           
 made in the committee substitute and because they have learned that           
 the underlying statute (AS 16.10.240) serves the purpose of making            
 commercial fishing regulations, including size and sex limitations            
 and reporting requirements enforceable.                                       
 Mr. Daugherty said it has been brought to the department's                    
 attention that the underlying statute generally prohibiting                   
 transportation of live king, tanner and dungeness crab, except via            
 air freight after prepackaging, helps prevent vessels fishing in              
 isolated areas from retaining undersize or female crab in violation           
 of state regulations.  It has also been brought to their attention            
 that these enforcement concerns are much less significant in the              
 dungeness fisheries because they do not generally occur in isolated           
 deep water areas, and it much easier for enforcement officers to              
 board and inspect vessels fishing for dungeness than for king and             
 tanner crab; thus, the underlying statute will continue to serve a            
 compelling purpose even if export of dungeness is allowed.  He also           
 noted that by prohibiting export by surface transportation during             
 periods in which PSP testing is required, the bill will continue to           
 allow the statute to serve public health purposes.                            
 In his closing comments, Mr. Daugherty said that after reviewing              
 the committee substitute and discussing the enforcement purposes of           
 the underlying statute with staff from Fish & Game and Fish &                 
 Wildlife, the department does not believe that CSHB 265(FSH) would            
 significantly increase the risk of a successful challenge to the              
 underlying statute.                                                           
 Number 355                                                                    
  CAPTAIN RICHARD GRAHAM , Division of Fish & Wildlife Protection,             
 Department of Public Safety, testifying from Anchorage, added that            
 the legislation will allow a vessel to take live crab directly from           
 the fishing grounds out of state waters, waters for which the state           
 has jurisdiction. This particular statue will require them to                 
 perhaps conduct more inspections at sea than they do at this point,           
 but the dungeness fishery is a small fishery and somewhat isolated            
 to Southeast Alaska, so this additional requirement on their part             
 to conduct inspections on the fishing grounds would not be that               
 much of a burden.                                                             
 Captain Graham noted there is a regulation in the Alaska                      
 Administrative Code that requires all vessels that leave state                
 waters with what is referred to as either raw or unprocessed                  
 product, to check out with the Department of Fish and Game and                
 complete fish tickets.  However, he is confident that some type of            
 arrangement could be made between the department and these                    
 departing vessels to ensure that they are in compliance with that             
 particular regulation.                                                        
 Number 386                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  stated CSHB 265(FSH) would be set aside until a              
 quorum of the committee was established.                                      
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought CSHB 447(RES) before the committee.                  
  DAVID STANCLIFF , staff to Representative Masek, who is the prime            
 sponsor of HB 477, said the legislation is very similar to SB 230             
 (MANAGEMENT OF PARKS & RECREATIONAL AREAS) which was passed out by            
 the committee in March.  In HB 477 a change was made to indicate              
 that this particular legislation does not affect private property.            
 Another change clarifies that where there is a development interest           
 occurring, the people who are developing the leases or the interest           
 have the ability to direct access through those properties should             
 a conflict occur.  He said it would basically be the same bill as             
 SB 230 without those two changes.                                             
  ROY BURKHART , a 36-year resident of Alaska testifying from the Mat-         
 Su LIO, stated he supports the legislation because he thinks it is            
 important that Alaskans be allowed to use the resource that belongs           
 to them.  He said there will probably be testimony that there is a            
 conflict between user groups, and then DNR or the administration              
 will try to get people to compromise so that this conflict is kept            
 to a minimum.  He said he would like to know how many acres in                
 Alaska and how many miles of waterways are restricted to motorized            
 use.  He would also like to know how many miles of waterways and              
 how many acres are restricted where the non-motorized users can't             
 use them.  He thinks that information will show that there isn't              
 any compromise made at all.  When there is a conflict, the                    
 motorized units are restricted; it's never the non-motorized users.           
 He said it is very important that the Legislature, which is the               
 voice of the people, make these decisions because he has witnessed            
 three administrations making the same decisions and the input from            
 the public doesn't seem to make any difference.                               
  LEONARD HAIRE , a 26-year resident of Alaska testifying from the             
 Mat-Su LIO, said he thinks the important point to emphasize is that           
 the control, right now, is not with the people.  The power is in              
 procedures and not in the results.  He urged passage of CSHB
 Number 530                                                                    
  SAM MCDOWELL , testifying from Kenai, said he is delighted the               
 legislation provides that it will take legislative approval if the            
 commissioner of natural resources intends to block access to our              
 common property of natural resources.  He added it must be per the            
 Alaska Constitution.                                                          
  DALE BONDURANT , testifying from Kenai in support of CSHB 447(RES),          
 pointed out that the Alaska Constitution states that no resident of           
 Alaska or citizen of the United States shall be denied access to              
 public and navigable waters.  He said now is the time to make sure            
 that trails and access are provided from the state lands to the               
 federal lands before the state lands become public lands.  He added           
 that he thinks Commissioner Shively of the Department of Natural              
 Resources is not meeting his obligation to make sure that there is            
 the access to these lands.                                                    
 Number 582                                                                    
  JEFF PARKER , testifying from Anchorage, said neither the Alaska             
 Sport Fishing Association or Trout Unlimited have had time to study           
 or take a position on CSHB 447(RES).  However, he suggested that              
 the bill be amended to a related issue, which is when there are               
 illegal trespass roads that are created across state lands.  The              
 amendment should direct the Department of Natural Resources to                
 close illegal roads that are created by bulldozing across state               
 lands, unless a process is determined that they should be opened.             
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  said he would work with the bill's sponsor and staff         
 to look at his suggested amendment.  He then stated CSHB 447(RES)             
 would be set aside and carried over until the next day.                       
       SB 285 DISCRETE SALMON STOCK MANAGMNT & ASSESSMT                      
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought SB 285 before the committee as the next              
 order of business.                                                            
  DAN CASTLE , testified from Ketchikan on his own behalf, as well as          
 president of the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association, which                  
 unanimously opposes SB 285.  They disagree with the first paragraph           
 in the bill which suggests that a discrete salmon stock management            
 policy could possibly be consistent with the sustained yield of               
 wild salmon stock.  He said there are over 2,000 salmon bearing               
 streams in Alaska, and to try to individually manage each of those            
 stocks would be nearly impossible and a very expensive proposition.           
 He noted the bill carries a fiscal note of $1.7 million.                      
  TAPE 96-53, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
 Continuing his testimony, Mr. Castle referred to paragraph (2) on             
 page 2 which discusses non-Alaska stock originating elsewhere in              
 North America, and he said their association does not think that is           
 the type of thing that the Alaska Department of Fish & Game should            
 be looking at.  Although some of that is research through the U.S.-           
 Canada Pacific Salmon Commission process, interpreting and managing           
 Alaska's fishery for those other stocks is something that's taken             
 up in another forum.                                                          
 Mr. Castle stated he would be submitting written testimony for the            
 committee record on SB 285.                                                   
  DAN WINN , testifying from Homer in opposition to SB 285, stated he          
 doesn't think it is a good idea for legislators to try to run fish            
 and game.  He said they are doing that in Washington State and                
 California and they are ruining the fisheries.                                
 Mr. Winn said one of the main points is that this is a tax, and it            
 could cost as much as $50 million to try to implement it.  Also, it           
 is definitely taxes for one segment of the population that would be           
 going into the general fund.  He suggested that if this is going to           
 done, then charter operators should also pay their way, as well as            
 the sport fishermen who aren't Alaskans.                                      
  MS. LIZ CABRERA , Director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners                   
 Association testifying from Petersburg, voiced their opposition to            
 any attempt to significantly alter the way the state manages the              
 salmon fishery, as well as the provisions contained in SB 285.  She           
 urged defeat of the legislation.                                              
  LEONARD EFTA , testifying from Kenai, stated he has one major                
 opposition to SB 285.  He said if it's followed to its logical                
 conclusion, it is going to eliminate the drift fisherman, and he is           
 a drift fisherman.  He added that he is not opposed to the                    
 provision relating to genetic identification because he thinks that           
 as a fisherman it will benefit him.                                           
 Number 090                                                                    
  SAM MCDOWELL , testifying from Kenai, voiced his support for SB 285,         
 which he believes is necessary, basing his decision on the Cook               
 Inlet area.  He pointed out that in 1951 there were 187,511 king              
 salmon harvested in upper Cook Inlet and 20 years later only 8,465            
 kings were harvested.  Also, the sockeye salmon in the northern               
 district are being totally depleted because they are not making it            
 up there.                                                                     
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked him if all of the sockeye that were bound for          
 the northern district had not been harvested and had gone on                  
 through, what that number would have been.   MR. MCDOWELL  responded          
 that when Carl Rosier closed the drift fleet down for two fishing             
 periods, they almost made the complete escapement, so it proves               
 those fish are being intercepted.                                             
  DALE BONDURANT , testifying from Kenai, said he cannot understand            
 the opposition to SB 285 by anyone who truly supports a sustained             
 yield principle.  At the recent hearing, he listened to the                   
 testimony of some commercial fishermen that were adamantly opposed            
 to discrete stock management because it would cost them, which only           
 proves they are too interested in bottom line profits today.  He              
 said if the state waited for commercial fishermen to demand maximum           
 sustained yield for all stocks in waters, it would never happen.              
 Number 170                                                                    
  LEONARD HAIRE , testifying from the Mat-Su LIO, stated his support           
 for SB 285 because he believe the Board of Fish is not doing the              
 proper job to put the fish in the creek.  He cited, as an example,            
 a biologist who earlier this year put in a proposal to close silver           
 fishing in the 20 Mile and Placer River areas, the reasoning being            
 that it could be a problem in the future if more people go down               
 there to enjoy the fishery.  In his options for how to cure this              
 problem, not one was to put more fish in the river.  Mr. Haire said           
 he thinks for them not to even consider this is one of the reasons            
 why SB 285 is needed.                                                         
  ROY BURKHART , testifying from the Mat-Su LIO in support of SB 285,          
 said recently the Board of Fish gave the authority to Fish & Game             
 that they should stop fishing, even bank fish.  The reason for that           
 was to protect the habitat and to let the stock rebuild.  However,            
 this is not going to work unless the fish get into the river.  He             
 said it is time that everybody address this problem and allow the             
 fish to get into the river so that everybody can enjoy them.   He             
 noted that on the Deshka River they haven't been able to fish for             
 kings for a couple of years because the kings are just not                    
 Number 270                                                                    
 There being no additional witnesses to testify on SB 285,  CHAIRMAN           
 LEMAN  stated it would be held until the following day for further            
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  recessed the meeting at 6:15 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.,             
 April 13.                                                                     
  TAPE 96-54                                                                   
 Number 001                                                                    
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  called the April 12 meeting back to order at 10:13           
 a.m. on April 13.  However, due to the lack of a quorum, he stated            
 the committee would stand in recess until 1:00 p.m.                           
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  called the Senate Resources committee back to order          
 at 2:10 p.m.  He noted the presence of Senator Taylor and himself,            
 and said other committee members would be arriving shortly.                   
      CSHB 547(RES) am MORATORIUM ON S.E. DIVE FISHERIES                     
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought CSHB 547(RES) am back before the committee.          
 He noted that Michael Byrer, Caley McCay and Andy Kittams of                  
 Petersburg were standing by on the teleconference network waiting             
 to testify on the bill.  He then asked the three gentlemen if they            
 were in favor of the legislation, because it was his intent to move           
 the bill as soon as a quorum was established.  It was acknowledged            
 that the three men are in support of CSHB 547(RES) am.                        
 CSHB 546(RES) am was set aside until a quorum of the committee                
 could be established.                                                         
          SB 318 NORTH STAR OIL & GAS LEASE AMENDMENT                         
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought SB 318 before the committee as the next              
 order of business.                                                            
 DOCUMENT DATED 4/13/96]                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects