Legislature(1999 - 2000)

03/22/1999 03:20 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                    March 22, 1999                                                                                              
                      3:20 P.M.                                                                                                 
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                                 
Senator Rick Halford, Chairman                                                                                                  
Senator Robin Taylor, Vice Chairman                                                                                             
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Jerry Mackie                                                                                                            
Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                              
Senator Sean Parnell                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                  
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                              
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 17                                                                                                  
Requesting that the National Marine Fisheries Service and the                                                                   
United States Congress act immediately to reverse the decline of                                                                
the Cook Inlet beluga whale population and to regulate the harvest                                                              
of the beluga whales in Cook Inlet until the beluga whale                                                                       
population has recovered.                                                                                                       
     -MOVED CSSJR 17(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
SENATE BILL NO. 91                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to enforcement of subsistence hunting and fishing                                                              
laws; and repealing the authority of the commissioner of fish and                                                               
game to assist in the enforcement of federal laws and regulations                                                               
pertaining to fish and game."                                                                                                   
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13                                                                                                  
Relating to the membership of the Pacific Salmon Commission.                                                                    
     -HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                            
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                
SJR 17 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
SB 91 - See Resources minutes dated 3/17/99.                                                                                    
SJR 13 - See Resources Committee minutes dated 3/17/99.                                                                         
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                                
Mr. Ron Somerville, Resource Consultant                                                                                         
House and Senate Majority                                                                                                       
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK 99811-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SJR 17.                                                                                        
Mr. Joel Blatchford                                                                                                             
1983 Waldron Dr.                                                                                                                
Anchorage, AK 99501                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 17.                                                                                           
Mr. Daniel Alex, Project Coordinator                                                                                            
Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council                                                                                                
P.O. Box 101846                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, AK 99507                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 17.                                                                                           
Mr. Carl Jack                                                                                                                   
731 E 8th                                                                                                                       
Anchorage, AK 99520                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 17.                                                                                           
Ms. Delice Calcote, Secretary                                                                                                   
Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council                                                                                                
205 E Dimond                                                                                                                    
Anchorage, AK 99520                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 17.                                                                                           
Mr. Jev Lanman, Member                                                                                                          
Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council                                                                                                
P.O. Box 1105                                                                                                                   
Chickaloon, AK 99674                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SJR 17.                                                                                           
Mr. Lynn Levengood                                                                                                              
1008 16th Ave.                                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, AK 99701                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 91.                                                                                            
Major Joe D'Amico, Deputy Director                                                                                              
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection                                                                                        
5700 Tudor Rd.                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, AK 99507-1225                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 91.                                                                                         
Myles Conway, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                        
Department of Law                                                                                                               
1031 W 4th Ave. Ste 200                                                                                                         
Anchorage, AK 99501-1994                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 91 and SJR 13.                                                                              
Mr. Jev Shelton                                                                                                                 
1670 Evergreen Ave.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK 99801                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SJR 13.                                                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                                
TAPE 99-14, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 001                                                                                                                      
              SJR 17-COOK INLET BELUGA POPULATION                                                                               
CHAIRMAN HALFORD called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to                                                               
order at 3:20 p.m. and announced SJR 17 to be up for consideration.                                                             
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt the Committee Substitute, dated                                                                   
3/19/99, Utermohle.  There were no objections and it was so                                                                     
MR. RON SOMERVILLE, Resources Consultant to the House and Senate                                                                
Majority, says it's pretty obvious that the National Marine                                                                     
Fisheries Service and other groups have felt that the Beluga whale                                                              
in Cook Inlet has been under pressure for some time and what is                                                                 
causing the decline is speculative at this point.  By and large the                                                             
trend has been down and the harvest has gone up.  In 1994, the                                                                  
Beluga population was estimated to be about 650 and it's now about                                                              
less than 350.                                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked what the accuracy was on the harvest data.                                                               
MR. SOMERVILLE answered that the harvest data was provided by the                                                               
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and all of the harvest is                                                              
taken by native Alaskans.  NMFS cannot regulate the taking by                                                                   
natives on any of the species unless there is some wasteful taking                                                              
or if the species is depleted.  Working with local hunters and                                                                  
shops in Anchorage, one in particular that sells beluga meat, they                                                              
have been able to estimate the take.  He also worked with the local                                                             
Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council.                                                                                               
In the last five years they have estimated that somewhere between                                                               
70 - 100 animals have been taken per year.                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked about strikes versus taking.                                                                             
MR. SOMERVILLE replied that "strike" information is not very                                                                    
accurate, but a 1996 Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council estimated                                                                 
hunters landed 49 whales and estimated a total mortality of about                                                               
147 whales from hunters alone.  NMFS and ADF&G didn't think that                                                                
mortality is that great for most years.                                                                                         
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked how the whales are taken.                                                                                
MR. SOMERVILLE replied that they are harpooned and some are shot                                                                
before they are harpooned.  He said that proposed regulations from                                                              
NMFS probably will require that harpooning occur first to improve                                                               
the wounding losses.  The main thing he wanted to stress is that                                                                
there was a petition from a number of organizations to list beluga                                                              
on the Endangered Species Act and if there's anything we want to                                                                
avoid it's that listing.  This resolution asks NMFS to speed up the                                                             
process of the status review to determine exactly what the                                                                      
population of the Cook Inlet beluga whales is and asks congress to                                                              
appropriate money for this project.  It also asks for a                                                                         
congressional "fix" from the Marine Mammal Protection Act allowing                                                              
NMFS to regulate and enforce.                                                                                                   
He said there has been an agreement worked out between the local                                                                
council representing most of the tribes in Cook Inlet and the                                                                   
National Marine Fisheries Service on some sort of plan.  A proposed                                                             
amendment they are working on with Senator Stevens, which has been                                                              
added to the supplemental appropriation, will make it illegal to                                                                
take beluga in Cook Inlet unless it's under a regulated regime.                                                                 
MR. JOEL BLATCHFORD supported SJR 17, but added that he has                                                                     
witnessed commercial fishermen shooting beluga whales and he                                                                    
personally had sunk four of them since 1955.  He explained when a                                                               
beluga gets old, their livers hold a lot of pollutants.  So when                                                                
they go into their winter season and their fat gets thin, the                                                                   
livers put out a lot of toxic waste.  They start breaking out with                                                              
tumors and are just too sick to eat.  Their whole skin changes                                                                  
colors. When they are young, they are very clean.  He noted that                                                                
EPA has allowed discharging in coastal waters.                                                                                  
MR. BLATCHFORD also informed the committee that the grey whales                                                                 
from California get very hungry on their migrations because they                                                                
keep getting pushed away from their source of food by people other                                                              
than hunters.                                                                                                                   
Number 180                                                                                                                      
MR. DANIEL ALEX, Project Coordinator for Cook Inlet Marine Mammal                                                               
Council, along with the Alaska Beluga Whale Committee asked for the                                                             
emergency amendment of MMPA which has been introduced as a rider on                                                             
an appropriation bill by Senator Stevens.  They have also asked for                                                             
funding for co-management.  They are concluding an interim co-                                                                  
management agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service by                                                              
April 1.  They have recently reached a consensus that Cook Inlet                                                                
Marine Mammal Council is the negotiating entity and have worked out                                                             
some of the major points for an interim co-management agreement.                                                                
They have a set of conservation measures proposed by hunters that                                                               
are in the proposed interim draft co-management agreement.                                                                      
MR. CARL JACK said he provides staff support to the Indigenous                                                                  
People's Council for Marine Mammals, a coalition of 14 native                                                                   
marine mammal councils that function in the State of Alaska.  They                                                              
support SJR 17, but request on line 17 insert language supporting                                                               
Senator Stevens amendment #87 which was made on March 18, 1999.  It                                                             
would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to put a moratorium on                                                             
the taking of belugas in Cook Inlet unless it's done through the                                                                
co-management regime that Mr. Alex talked about.                                                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD informed Mr. Jack that the committee substitute                                                                
more directly supports the Stevens language.                                                                                    
Number 139                                                                                                                      
MS. DELICE CALCOTE, Secretary, Cook Inlet Marine Mammal Council,                                                                
supported SJR 17.  However, she didn't think it was fair to blame                                                               
the hunters on the numbers dwindling.  NMFS data shows that they                                                                
have only looked at tracer elements of biopollution in belugas and                                                              
they have only looked at a few samples. Their hunters have been                                                                 
cutting up and sinking all of the belugas that are diseased with                                                                
pus pockets.  All samples that NMFS samples have been taken from                                                                
marketable beluga.  Fishermen have not provided any kind of bad                                                                 
samples to the NMFS.  This is why the Cook Inlet belugas are the                                                                
healthiest in the whole world.  She asked for much more research                                                                
and noted the problems that come from pollution, including metals,                                                              
that come from the 230  plus operating wells in the Inlet.  There                                                               
are tankers that come up and dump their ballast treatment waters in                                                             
the Kenai area.  Plants in the Kenai are producing toxins that                                                                  
could be getting into the water source.  She also said the tourist                                                              
industry will bring further stresses on the area.                                                                               
MS. CALCOTE suggested establishing a five-mile no bothering zone                                                                
around fishing and birthing areas much like the Canadians have just                                                             
adopted on their beluga grounds.  One day when she was fishing, she                                                             
heard on the radio a man announce that he was shooting at belugas                                                               
because they were bothering his nets.  So the commercial fishing                                                                
industry is not necessarily policing themselves as they say they                                                                
She said there is sewage coming from Anchorage, Kenai, Ninilchik,                                                               
Homer, and Elmendorf and Fort Richardson.  According to EPA, there                                                              
are billions of tons of toxins produced by the oil and gas industry                                                             
per year that are being pumped into the Inlet.  All of those                                                                    
pollutants settle into the mud.  The beluga shrug out of their skin                                                             
every year and they use the mud to take off their old skin.  She                                                                
asked if there would be dredging in the area where the beluga are                                                               
known for their feeding and birthing areas.  She repeated that                                                                  
protection for feeding and birthing zones needed to be established.                                                             
There is a potential for gold mines coming in and she wanted the                                                                
gold production runoff to be monitored.  The beluga like to stay at                                                             
the mouths of the streams for their food source.  The Johnson River                                                             
and the Beluga River are known beluga feeding areas, but she                                                                    
concluded saying that the whole area needed to be looked at and not                                                             
just one small piece at a time.                                                                                                 
Number 310                                                                                                                      
MR. JEV LANMAN, Chickaloon Village, said he is a member of the Cook                                                             
Inlet Marine Mammal Council and representative of the Cook Inlet                                                                
Treaty Tribes.  He supported SJR 17 saying that his views have been                                                             
voiced already.  He said that getting accurate information about                                                                
the numbers needed to have attention.  Hunters don't have total                                                                 
control over this limited resource.  The number of whales that are                                                              
struck and destroyed because of pollution hasn't been recorded and                                                              
it's not reflected in the scientific reports people are receiving                                                               
today.  He noted interference from tourist boats, oil wells, and                                                                
many other industries are impacting what's going on.                                                                            
MR. LANKAN said that toxins in belugas have recently been evidenced                                                             
by the yellow tumors and radioactive content.  It has reached a                                                                 
state where you are taking a big risk if you eat the meat without                                                               
having it tested first.                                                                                                         
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the Council has records of how many belugas                                                             
are being taken and being shot.                                                                                                 
MR. LANMAN answered that the numbers vary from hunter to hunter and                                                             
locations.  He said they have totals, but they are not good numbers                                                             
which is why he is testifying on behalf of this bill.                                                                           
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said one question has come up and they know the                                                                
harvest has increased substantially, but they don't know that is                                                                
the only reason or even a major reason for the decline.  The way                                                                
the resolution is drafted it says, "primarily due to overharvest".                                                              
It also says, "appears to have declined".  It might be more neutral                                                             
to say "appears to have declined in recent years while harvest                                                                  
levels have increased significantly".  Both of those things are                                                                 
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt that language.  There were no                                                                     
objections and the amendment was adopted.                                                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR asked what the feds have said is the base line                                                                   
population of belugas in Cook Inlet.  He asked how long they had                                                                
been managing them.                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN HALFORD answered they had been managing them since 1972.                                                               
MR. SOMERVILLE inserted after the Marine Mammal Protection Act was                                                              
last amended it was required that NMFS U.S. Fish and Wildlife                                                                   
Service do population assessment and establish base line population                                                             
levels for all the species they are responsible for. For belugas in                                                             
Cook Inlet, their number was around 750 - 800, but it was                                                                       
established in those days as an off the top guess based upon                                                                    
surveys incidental to other work the State was doing in Cook Inlet                                                              
as well as the University of Alaska.                                                                                            
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if that wasn't the same thing we are working                                                               
with today.                                                                                                                     
MR. SOMERVILLE repeated that the data is skimpy at best, but the                                                                
problem is under the Endangered Species Act the courts look at the                                                              
"best available information."  Many species like the wolf and                                                                   
goshawk can be listed on very skimpy information.                                                                               
SENATOR MACKIE moved to pass CSSJR 17(RES) from committee with                                                                  
individual recommendations.  There were no objections and it was so                                                             
             SB 91-ENFORCEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE LAWS                                                                              
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced SB 91 to be up for consideration.                                                                    
MS. MEL KROGSENG, Aide to Senator Taylor, sponsor, said SB 91                                                                   
basically prohibits any member of our Department of Public Safety                                                               
or other state employee or a member of a police department of a                                                                 
local municipality from enforcing any federal statute or regulation                                                             
that is inconsistent with out State Constitution or the                                                                         
Constitution of the United States.  It also prohibits federal                                                                   
agents from the same thing.  Another section of the bill repeals                                                                
the authority of the Commissioner of ADF&G from engaging in                                                                     
agreements with federal law enforcement officers who are enforcing                                                              
laws pertaining to subsistence eligibility.  Basically, she said,                                                               
we are not going to help them enforce laws that are in violation of                                                             
our constitution.                                                                                                               
MR. LYNN LEVENGOOD, said he is an attorney in Fairbanks and                                                                     
supported SB 91 for a number of reasons.  He said, "There is a                                                                  
train wreck scheduled and it's between the sovereignty of the State                                                             
of Alaska and the intrusions of the federal government into the                                                                 
sovereignty of the State of Alaska."  He said it's happening                                                                    
rapidly.  Last year, the federal Subsistence Board declared sheep                                                               
hunting areas where ADF&G had issued permits were open to federal                                                               
hunting only.  This year, the Glacier Bay issue is coming to the                                                                
forefront.  The federal government has kicked out our long-standing                                                             
fishermen and the sovereignty of the State of Alaska through the                                                                
Submerged Lands Act.                                                                                                            
MR. LEVENGOOD said that AS 16.05.050 (a)1 requires the Commissioner                                                             
of ADF&G to cooperate with the federal government, he didn't think                                                              
there was federal reciprocity to cooperate with the State of                                                                    
Alaska.  This bill is necessary to repeal that requirement and to                                                               
prevent unfunded federal mandates.  The Legislature should do                                                                   
everything they can to prevent Alaskan's sovereignty from being                                                                 
encroached upon and the federal government from violating the                                                                   
constitutional rights of Alaskan citizens.                                                                                      
He thought the idea that federal and state law enforcement agencies                                                             
being so dependent upon each other for each other's safety was a                                                                
ruse.  Clearly, this legislation doesn't prohibit cooperation; just                                                             
cooperating on federal regulations or laws that are in dispute.                                                                 
MR. MYLES CONWAY, Assistant Attorney General, pointed out that                                                                  
Section (c) of SB 91 would be unenforceable.  It makes it illegal                                                               
for federal officials to enforce federal laws or regulations that                                                               
are inconsistent with the State's constitution.  To prosecute                                                                   
federal officials for enforcing their own laws would be dismissed                                                               
from the court with the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.                                                              
In addition, we would be subjecting our state officers to potential                                                             
federal criminal liability.  There is a federal statute making it                                                               
illegal to interfere with federal officials performing their                                                                    
MS. KROGSENG responded that she had discussed this with Mr.                                                                     
Levengood and even if this is unenforceable, it would put the                                                                   
State's position on the table.  We don't want the federal                                                                       
government enforcing laws that are inconsistent with our                                                                        
Constitution or the U.S. Constitution.  Other lower 48 states have                                                              
put laws on the books recently about the federal government                                                                     
purchasing land, because they don't want additional land being                                                                  
bought by the federal government, although they realize they may                                                                
not be able to enforce it.  The intent is to make a policy call.                                                                
MR. LEVENGOOD responded that he didn't disagree, but there are                                                                  
certain requirements in some of the federal agencies that say some                                                              
of their regulations can only be carried out and enforced if there                                                              
is cooperation with the state and local governments.  This would be                                                             
one regulation we are objecting to.                                                                                             
Number 569                                                                                                                      
MAJOR JOE D'AMICO, Department of Public Safety, testified his                                                                   
biggest concern regarding SB 91, also stated in a letter to the                                                                 
committee, is the unintended effect that Alaskan troopers will lose                                                             
some degree of safety, mostly for rural troopers, if it is passed.                                                              
He explained that most of our cross-deputization agreements are                                                                 
reciprocal in nature.  There is no current law now that requires us                                                             
to assist federal officers.  In fact, in Glacier Bay we refused.                                                                
It's a policy that they will not enforce federal fishing laws or                                                                
assist the Park Service in that area.  In rural areas, however, in                                                              
many instances the closest help is a federal officer.                                                                           
SENATOR MACKIE asked if we had ever used any of our vessels to                                                                  
"ferry around" Park Service Rangers or anything in Glacier Bay or                                                               
anywhere else.                                                                                                                  
TAPE 99-14, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 590                                                                                                                      
His understanding was equipment was used in Glacier Bay only for                                                                
our troopers who were enforcing our own fish and wildlife laws.                                                                 
MAJOR D'AMICO replied that he researched that issue using written                                                               
records dating back to 1986 and they had never carted federal                                                                   
agents around in Glacier Bay.  The Department has enforced state                                                                
laws for commercial fisheries in Glacier Bay.  They have ridden in                                                              
Park Service vehicles for the Gustavus area state moose hunt which                                                              
does not occur on Park land.  That's because they don't have state                                                              
vehicle available in Gustavus and it was convenient.  They have                                                                 
also moored state boats free of charge at the Park Service dock in                                                              
Glacier Bay in conjunction with state fisheries efforts.                                                                        
SENATOR PARNELL asked if he currently helped enforce federal                                                                    
statutes and regulations governing hunting and fishing.                                                                         
MAJOR D'AMICO said he has tried to figure out what that really                                                                  
means.  He said the example in his letter with the brown bear and                                                               
swans actually happened to one of his troopers and in that case                                                                 
they did directly assist a federal officer with a violation.  A                                                                 
trooper in Haines recently investigated the shooting of a bald                                                                  
eagle.  There are occasions where state troopers assist federal                                                                 
SENATOR PARNELL asked if the swan example was unintended.                                                                       
MAJOR D'AMICO said that is correct.  The trooper was working on the                                                             
spring brown enforcement season, a state hunt, and they saw a                                                                   
hunter with bear and checked it.  When they unrolled it to seal it,                                                             
they found the swans.                                                                                                           
SENATOR PARNELL said he didn't see how he was tying a prohibition                                                               
against direct enforcement of a federal subsistence hunting or                                                                  
fishing statute with trooper safety being put at risk.                                                                          
MAJOR D'AMICO said he could as in the case of the swans.  In the                                                                
case of the swans, he wondered if the trooper would be in violation                                                             
of Section (a) in the direct assistance to the federal officer by                                                               
providing the transportation.  He said he didn't know exactly what                                                              
"direct assistance" means.  He explained that they have a good                                                                  
relationship with most of the federal agencies to provide                                                                       
reciprocal assistance and in many cases when the request is made,                                                               
the officer doesn't know that there's going to be a problem, but                                                                
they are concerned one will occur.  The state receives the ratio of                                                             
8 or 9 to one assistances from the federal agencies in terms of                                                                 
personnel and equipment.  The state is on the winning end when that                                                             
Number 532                                                                                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there was any assurance that Major D'Amico                                                              
wouldn't provide backup to a federal agent in Glacier Bay.                                                                      
MAJOR D'AMICO replied if they were requested to backup a federal                                                                
officer enforcing a federal law in Glacier Bay, they would probably                                                             
do it to prevent some type of problem.                                                                                          
SENATOR TAYLOR said he wasn't concerned about what happened in the                                                              
past.  He was concerned about the "pickle" they would find                                                                      
themselves in if there is something going on in Glacier Bay and                                                                 
they ask for assistance.  He said they would be enforcing something                                                             
that is very unconstitutional and we are going to file suit over.                                                               
MAJOR D'AMICO said they would want a trooper to prevent violence.                                                               
He was not just concerned about the federal officer, but the                                                                    
Alaskan citizen that they are going to contact.                                                                                 
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if he thought the Alaskan would think he was                                                               
there to protect him and his sovereign rights as a citizen when he                                                              
walks up shoulder to shoulder with a federal officer to place him                                                               
under arrest.                                                                                                                   
MAJOR D'AMICO said he didn't know the answer to that.  Whenever he                                                              
has assisted federal officers, they have been glad to have him.                                                                 
SENATOR TAYLOR said whoever was with the swans inside the bear hide                                                             
had to make a decision about what the limit was for swans taken by                                                              
a qualified federal subsistence user and asked if there was a limit                                                             
at the time if you were a subsistence user.                                                                                     
MAJOR D'AMICO answered that he was not current on all federal law,                                                              
although he knows they allow some take of swans in the spring.                                                                  
SENATOR TAYLOR said it wouldn't have been his problem, because they                                                             
are both violations of federal law.  He asked what the trooper did                                                              
with the guys with the swans.                                                                                                   
MAJOR D'AMICO said that the trooper didn't do anything, that the                                                                
federal officer handled it.                                                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the defendant lived in the right community.                                                             
MAJOR D'AMICO replied that he did.                                                                                              
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if we have a law against shooting swans in                                                                 
MAJOR D'AMICO answered that there are some state sanctioned swan                                                                
hunts in Alaska.  They are in game management units and have                                                                    
seasons and bag limits and firearms restrictions.                                                                               
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the state officer was aware of that.                                                                    
MAJOR D'AMICO answered yes.                                                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR asked why he didn't arrest the man for shooting six                                                              
MAJOR D'AMICO answered it was a federal problem and we generally                                                                
don't do federal enforcement.                                                                                                   
SENATOR TAYLOR noted that we have Alaskan laws about killing swans                                                              
and asked if that wasn't an Alaskan problem if our officer caught                                                               
a man with six dead swans.                                                                                                      
MAJOR D'AMICO said the federal government manages and enforces most                                                             
waterfowl cases.                                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if his officers would not arrest him if he                                                                 
were in violation of a bag limit on swans.                                                                                      
MAJOR D'AMICO said they would if they were shot in the spring.                                                                  
SENATOR TAYLOR said shooting in the spring was even worse since                                                                 
there is no season that time of the year.                                                                                       
MAJOR D'AMICO responded that he wasn't sure he understood the                                                                   
point, but if he were out there during a season and was over limit,                                                             
he would be cited by a trooper.  If he did it in the spring, they                                                               
would most likely turn it over to the federal government.                                                                       
CHAIRMAN HALFORD thanked Major D'Amico for writing his long                                                                     
detailed letter and asked about an item on the second page saying                                                               
a standing order is currently in place prohibiting our employees                                                                
from using equipment for transporting Park Rangers or to assist                                                                 
federal officers in their attempts to enforce federal fishery laws                                                              
in the Glacier Bay area.  He said if Major D'Amico can make a                                                                   
policy like that work, it would seem that he could come up with a                                                               
policy using the same methodology  that would keep the state out of                                                             
enforcing laws that are unconstitutional.  He could see the reality                                                             
with regards to personal safety and federal criminal law.  He                                                                   
thought there was a way to work through that and produce a bill                                                                 
that avoids those problems and actually does something.                                                                         
MAJOR D'AMICO said if this bill passes he was not sure they could                                                               
aid federal officers with a valid federal warrant to make an                                                                    
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked if they had a policy right now of not                                                                    
helping or transporting federal officers to enforce fisheries law                                                               
in the Glacier Bay area.                                                                                                        
MAJOR D'AMICO said that is right.                                                                                               
SENATOR TAYLOR said he was only concerned that we don't have our                                                                
officers violating our constitution as they go to aid a federal                                                                 
agent.  He asked if their policy was in writing.                                                                                
MAJOR D'AMICO answered that Commissioner Otte put out a standing                                                                
order that this would not occur.  Any request for assistance by the                                                             
Park Service has to come through his office and he or Colonel Glass                                                             
have to approve it except for emergencies.                                                                                      
SENATOR TAYLOR said he was trying to get that policy into writing.                                                              
MAJOR D'AMICO responded that's why the Department supports the                                                                  
intent of the bill, but are concerned about the reciprocity on                                                                  
SENATOR MACKIE said the reason he can't support this is because we                                                              
receive nine to one assists from them.  He has participated in                                                                  
enough law enforcement activities to know when you are out there by                                                             
yourself and need a backup, it's nice to have someone to back you                                                               
up.  Many of the federal officers are Alaskans, too, and he didn't                                                              
want to support something that would put their life in danger.                                                                  
Number 343                                                                                                                      
SENATOR PETE KELLY asked if there was a way to separate assaultive                                                              
behavior in the bill.                                                                                                           
SENATOR TAYLOR said that not one of the examples citted are                                                                     
impacted by this legislation.                                                                                                   
SENATOR MACKIE disagreed.                                                                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR said an officer takes an oath saying he'll support                                                               
and defend the Constitution of the United States and the                                                                        
Constitution of the State of Alaska and will fully discharge his                                                                
duties as an Alaskan state trooper to the best of his ability.                                                                  
He's in violation of his oath when he steps up to enforce a law                                                                 
that his Supreme Court has told him is an unconstitutional law.                                                                 
SENATOR MACKIE said he is a lot more comfortable with our Alaska                                                                
state troopers handling a situation that has danger to the                                                                      
perpetrator or to the officers involved.  He thought it was bad                                                                 
public policy to take away our ability to assist.                                                                               
SENATOR TAYLOR said that's a red herring and the only thing they                                                                
are being precluded from doing is assisting federal officers in the                                                             
enforcement of subsistence regulations.                                                                                         
SENATOR KELLY said he also needed a level of comfort that is all                                                                
this is doing.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR MACKIE noted the section that says, "The Department of                                                                  
Public Safety may not enforce or directly assist..." includes a                                                                 
whole wide range of things.  He didn't really didn't see how our                                                                
men would be involved if the feds were citing someone for a                                                                     
subsistence offense.  He explained in a lot of situations the                                                                   
arresting officer finds out a little bit about the person being                                                                 
arrested.  If the officer feels there is a safety concern, although                                                             
it is a subsistence offense, he calls for backup. It happens all                                                                
the time.  He said you can't craft all the circumstances into one                                                               
paragraph and just say subsistence when other factors are involved.                                                             
SENATOR TAYLOR reiterated that our officers cannot assist in                                                                    
enforcement of a regulation governing eligibility to engage in                                                                  
subsistence hunting or fishing.  Period.                                                                                        
Number 165                                                                                                                      
SENATOR GREEN asked what the language on page 1, line 14 "(b) an                                                                
employee or law enforcement agent of a state department other than                                                              
the Department of Public Safety or other state agency or a police                                                               
officer employed by a municipality may not enforce...etc."  meant.                                                              
She noted they are saying "other than" which exempts all the people                                                             
they are trying to include.                                                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to delete Section (c).  There were no                                                                      
objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                               
SENATOR MACKIE asked why they were using a statute to direct a                                                                  
municipal law enforcement agency on whom they can and cannot                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY told Major D'Amico that he didn't think his fears                                                                 
were justified.  He didn't see how he would be prohibited from                                                                  
backing up a federal officer.                                                                                                   
MAJOR D'AMICO answered on page 1, line 8 and 9 it says, "the                                                                    
Department of Public Safety cannot enforce or directly assist the                                                               
enforcement of a federal statute or regulation governing                                                                        
eligibility to engage in hunting or fishing in the state if the                                                                 
statute or regulation cannot be enacted by the state or regulations                                                             
could not be adopted by the state department or agency because the                                                              
statute or regulation violates either the constitution of the State                                                             
of Alaska or the Constitution of the United States."  As an                                                                     
example, if someone came to Hoonah who did not qualify under                                                                    
federal law  to participate in a hunt and illegally took some deer,                                                             
then they went back to their home and the federal officer found out                                                             
who that person was and was prepared to issue a citation.  If                                                                   
during the computer records check, he discovered this person had                                                                
exhibited compulsive behavior in the past toward law enforcement                                                                
officers, he thought the trooper would be precluded under this                                                                  
section from going along and providing that backup service, because                                                             
at this point the only violation was a federal regulation                                                                       
pertaining to subsistence hunting.  He thought the danger here was                                                              
if we don't provide that service, when we need that service, it                                                                 
won't be available for us.                                                                                                      
TAPE 99-15, SIDE A                                                                                                              
Number 001                                                                                                                      
MAJOR D'AMICO said in Glacier Bay that under current law they can                                                               
still provide backup to prevent violence, but they will not help                                                                
enforce federal fishery laws.                                                                                                   
SENATOR TAYLOR said that many are confused that they won't help                                                                 
enforce federal fishery laws in Glacier Bay, but are upset if his                                                               
legislation precludes him from doing exactly the same thing on                                                                  
federal subsistence laws.                                                                                                       
SENATOR PARNELL explained the difference under their current                                                                    
policy, if there was some danger of assault, they would be able to                                                              
assist the officers.                                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN HALFORD noted that this wasn't even the entire subsistence                                                             
law, because there are a lot of areas where the state and federal                                                               
subsistence laws are consistent.  It only refers to the                                                                         
qualification differential based on the location of residence, the                                                              
only provision that has been found unconstitutional by our Supreme                                                              
SENATOR MACKIE asked Senator Taylor if he would consider adding                                                                 
language like "unless it involved the threat of life or safety to                                                               
an officer."                                                                                                                    
MAJOR D'AMICO responded that he thought if it would allow them to                                                               
provide backup service, the Department could support it.                                                                        
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said he wanted the feds to pay the bill for                                                                    
stepping all over our constitution.                                                                                             
SENATOR MACKIE said he didn't disagree with that, but he feels                                                                  
strongly about the backup provision.  He said he has a lot more                                                                 
confidence in our state troopers for handling these kinds of                                                                    
situations than having federal officers or armed park rangers.                                                                  
SENATOR TAYLOR said he would try to find some language to that                                                                  
CHAIRMAN HALFORD suggested adding, "Unless the assistance is only                                                               
provided in an immediate case where no alternative backup is                                                                    
available at any cost."  He thought it would cover the rural                                                                    
SENATOR PARNELL said they could add language on page 1, line 8 that                                                             
says "notwithstanding AS 18.65.090 and except in the case of threat                                                             
of imminent physical injury, the Department of Public Safety..."                                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced they would hold the bill for further                                                                 
         SJR 13-AK NATIVE ON PACIFIC SALMON COMMISSION                                                                          
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced SJR 13 to be up for consideration.                                                                   
SENATOR WARD, sponsor, explained that as an Athabascan Native he                                                                
had never voted to give up rights.  Mr. Mike Williams brought it to                                                             
his attention that he has never known of any Alaska Native who has                                                              
been involved in a treaty.  There has been a lot of talk about                                                                  
"have Alaska natives at the table," but when the time comes to                                                                  
select the voting people who are going to represent the State of                                                                
Alaska, they are certainly not Alaska natives, and appear to be                                                                 
bureaucrats at first glance and are special interests.                                                                          
SENATOR WARD said he has never disputed his rights under the                                                                    
Constitution, but when people aren't even invited to the table to                                                               
sit down in a bargaining agreement, like the Pacific Salmon Treaty                                                              
that is going to affect their life, he didn't think that was right.                                                             
MR. EDDIE BURKE, Aide to Representative Jerry Sanders, said a very                                                              
interesting statement was given to the House Resources Committee.                                                               
Mr. Dick Hoffman, President, Alaska Troller Association, said that                                                              
there wasn't the caliber of Alaska Native to sit on this Board.                                                                 
SENATOR MACKIE asked what that private conversation had with the                                                                
SENATOR WARD said he thought it described a mind-set against having                                                             
the people who actually consume the fish at the bargaining table.                                                               
They have a position on it before the people who catch it and sell                                                              
it and they are not at the table.                                                                                               
SENATOR MACKIE said he didn't necessarily disagree with him,                                                                    
especially regarding the U.S./Canada Treaty.                                                                                    
SENATOR MACKIE said he thought that Commission was representing the                                                             
rights of all Alaskans, commercial, subsistence, white, and native                                                              
and he asked for an example of where the people on the Commission                                                               
are not doing there job.  He also asked for an example where                                                                    
natives are being disadvantaged in the process.                                                                                 
SENATOR WARD answered since they are closed door meetings, he                                                                   
couldn't say.  He wanted an Alaskan Native added to it.                                                                         
SENATOR MACKIE asked how they added another commissioner when the                                                               
make up is set by the U.S. Government.                                                                                          
SENATOR WARD said that according to the rules, Canada would get one                                                             
more seat also.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR MACKIE asked where Alaska Natives have been disadvantaged                                                               
by the Commission that represents Alaska.  He said he fails to see                                                              
where this is needed, because he feels that all Alaskans are being                                                              
SENATOR WARD replied if an Alaska Native had been representing                                                                  
subsistence on this Commission, it would have been resolved a long                                                              
time ago.                                                                                                                       
Number 420                                                                                                                      
SENATOR KELLY said he had a fundamental problem with this                                                                       
legislation, because the people of Alaska are already represented.                                                              
If you add an Alaskan native, you are beginning to divide things                                                                
racially.  Natives own most of the private land in Alaska and their                                                             
corporations have advantages far above anyone else's corporation.                                                               
SENATOR WARD said he thought Alaska Natives should have a part of                                                               
a treaty process that will affect them for the next hundred years.                                                              
SENATOR MACKIE explained that the reason the natives in Washington                                                              
state have a seat at the table is because of the treaties that                                                                  
involve the tribes with allocations.                                                                                            
MR. MYLES CONWAY, Assistant Attorney General, added that the makeup                                                             
of the Commission is set by federal statute.  If the resolution                                                                 
goes forward, it should be directed to the Congress.                                                                            
SENATOR WARD responded that our congressional delegation told him                                                               
that the request needs to come through the administration to them,                                                              
because that's the way the original treaty was set up.                                                                          
MR. DAVID BEDFORD, Executive Director, Southeast Alaska Seiners,                                                                
read Mr. Jim Bacon's testimony.  Mr. Bacon is the co-chair of the                                                               
Northern Panel and is a seiner in Southeast.  The following is part                                                             
of his letter: "I have served on the Northern Panel U.S. Section of                                                             
the Pacific Salmon Commission since 1991.  I currently serve as the                                                             
co-chairman of that body.                                                                                                       
The Pacific Salmon Commission was created by the Pacific Salmon                                                                 
Treaty. The United State and Canada struggled through 15 years of                                                               
difficult negotiations to produce the existing treaty.  To add                                                                  
another commissioner to the Pacific Salmon Commission would require                                                             
renegotiating provisions of the Treaty and opening contentious                                                                  
lengthy discussion with no certainty of success.                                                                                
However, I would council against pursuing SJR 13 not merely because                                                             
its success is uncertain, but because we do not need it. Alaska's                                                               
delegation to the Treaty fights diligently and, for the most part,                                                              
successfully, on behalf of all Alaskans, native and non-native.                                                                 
The original treaty set management regimes for fisheries that                                                                   
impact salmon stocks that spawn in one nation and travel into the                                                               
other nation's waters.                                                                                                          
The Commission is designed to review current arrangements and                                                                   
renegotiate expired annexes or management agreements.  The Alaskan                                                              
North Panel (there is a Canadian Northern Panel, as well) is made                                                               
up of representatives from the Alaska Native Brotherhood, the                                                                   
recreational fishing community, the commercial gear groups, and                                                                 
fisheries managers from Alaska Department of Fish and Game.                                                                     
We discuss the issues relevant to the negotiations and work toward                                                              
a consensus to present to the Alaska Commissioner and alternate                                                                 
commissioner who act as our chief negotiators in the discussions                                                                
with Canada and the Southern United States.  Alaska's greatest                                                                  
strength has been our ability to work together..."                                                                              
SENATOR MACKIE interrupted to ask if Mr. Andy Ebono was on our                                                                  
Northern Panel serving native interests.                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN HALFORD indicated he was and noted that it was just an                                                                 
advisory panel.                                                                                                                 
MR. BEDFORD added that the Panel drives the issues as far as they                                                               
can get them, then the Commission takes them "for the final lap."                                                               
"with all affected interests and the State of Alaska to protect                                                                 
Alaska's interests.  While other delegations insist on circling the                                                             
wagons and shooting inward, Alaskans consistently work together to                                                              
serve all of our interests.                                                                                                     
Alaskan fisheries of relevance to the Treaty are the Southeast                                                                  
Alaska Chinook Fishery, both recreational and personal, the                                                                     
District 104 purse seine fishery (Noise Island Fishery), the                                                                    
District 101 gillnet(Tree Point) Fishery, and the Trans Boundary                                                                
River Fisheries of the Taku and Stikine Rivers.  The Commission                                                                 
also shares information about the Alsek River fishery.  A separate                                                              
body deals with Yukon River issues.                                                                                             
The Pacific Salmon Treaty does not deal with any subsistence                                                                    
fisheries in Alaskan waters.  Our subsistence fisheries are                                                                     
primarily in fresh water and intertidal marine waters near the                                                                  
terminal areas and, therefore, do not fit the criteria for Treaty                                                               
or Commission involvement.  Thus the decisions of the Pacific                                                                   
Salmon Commission do not affect subsistence harvests.  The fishery                                                              
of greatest importance to my fleet (I am a purse seiner) is the                                                                 
Noise Island fishery.  Tlingit and Haida peoples of the west coast                                                              
of Prince of Wales pioneered that fishery and served the first                                                                  
cannery built in Alaska in the late eighteen hundreds.  To this day                                                             
there is no distinction between native and non-native fishermen's                                                               
interests with respect to negotiations with Canada.  Our interest                                                               
is the same, to protect Alaska's right to harvest salmon in the                                                                 
sovereign waters of Alaska.  I am concerned with any approach which                                                             
would either directly or indirectly divide or dilute Alaska's                                                                   
message or provide our adversaries with the ability to exploit                                                                  
potential perceived political differences.  As I stated earlier,                                                                
our unity is our strength.  I believe that the current makeup of                                                                
the Northern Panel, along with the Alaskan Commissioners serve all                                                              
of Alaskan's interests well.  I would urge the committee to not                                                                 
pass SJR 13."                                                                                                                   
MR. JEV SHELTON, Southeast Alaska Gillnetter, said he is also                                                                   
Alaska's alternate commissioner on the Pacific Salmon Commission.                                                               
He has been involved in the Pacific Salmon Treaty since 1974.  He                                                               
endorsed everything in Mr. Bacon's statement.  He said that native                                                              
fishermen are integral to all the fisheries in Southeast Alaska.                                                                
They are leaders in the industry and are well respected.  There is                                                              
nothing that excludes them implicitly or explicitly.  The record                                                                
will show that they have been very much involved in the Treaty                                                                  
Right now would be a bad time to insert this kind of an issue in                                                                
front of the federal government.  Alaska needs support and help on                                                              
treaty related issues; it doesn't need anything that would indicate                                                             
a split that might be exploited.  The suggestion that this could be                                                             
divided along subsistence lines is bad and the suggestion that it                                                               
be divided along racial lines is hugely unfortunate.  Adding                                                                    
members would take a lot of maneuvering to even accomplish.  Each                                                               
country has four commissioners and each country decides its own                                                                 
MR. SHELTON said he had dealt with many native fishermen and no one                                                             
had expressed any dissatisfaction about the way their interests are                                                             
being represented in this.  He reiterated that subsistence is not                                                               
an issue within the Treaty.  How fish are allocated is up to the                                                                
Board of Fisheries.  The Pacific Salmon Treaty is concerned most                                                                
with the Dixon Entrance and the troll fishery along the outer                                                                   
TAPE 15, SIDE B                                                                                                                 
Number 590                                                                                                                      
The streams up by Yakutat are completely out of bounds as far as                                                                
the Canadians are concerned and never enter into discussions within                                                             
the Treaty.  The job of the Alaska delegation is to get the best                                                                
possible allocation for Alaska and then the issue remains to be                                                                 
dealt with internally.                                                                                                          
SENATOR MACKIE asked who our four representatives are.                                                                          
MR. SHELTON said Dave Benton, Jim Pitman (non-voting federal                                                                    
representative), Curt Smitch (Advisor to Governor Lock),                                                                        
representing both Washington and Oregon, and Ron Allen who                                                                      
represents the 24 treaty tribes in Washington and Oregon.                                                                       
SENATOR MACKIE noted that adding another Alaskan would be two from                                                              
Alaska and only one from Washington and Oregon and one from the                                                                 
federal government.                                                                                                             
CHAIRMAN HALFORD adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects