Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/24/2002 03:38 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                         April 24, 2002                                                                                         
                            3:38 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Torgerson, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Gary Wilken, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Robin Taylor                                                                                                            
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 45                                                                                                   
Relating to the labeling of salmon food products.                                                                               
     MOVED HJR 45 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 208(RES)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to aquatic  farming of shellfish;  and providing                                                              
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     MOVED CSHB 208(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 286(RES) am                                                                                               
"An Act  allowing a  person to hold  two commercial fishing  entry                                                              
permits for a salmon fishery for  the purpose of consolidating the                                                              
fishing fleet  for a  salmon fishery;  relating to salmon  fishery                                                              
associations and to salmon fishery  assessments; and providing for                                                              
an effective date."                                                                                                             
     MOVED SCSHB 286(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 462(RES)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to the  release of certain confidential  records                                                              
and reports concerning  fishing, fish buying, or  fish processing;                                                              
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
     MOVED CSHB 462(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 455(CRA)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the assessment of certain agricultural land                                                                 
for purposes of municipal taxation; and providing for an                                                                        
effective date."                                                                                                                
     MOVED CSHB 455(CRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 46(RES)                                                                                       
Relating to the moratorium on fish farming in British Columbia.                                                                 
     MOVED CSHJR 46(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                              
HJR 45 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
HB 208 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
HB 286 - See Resources minutes dated 4/8/02.                                                                                    
HB 462 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
HB 455 - See CRA minutes dated 4/17/02.                                                                                         
HJR 46 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Ms. Sue Aspelund                                                                                                                
Cordova Fishermen United                                                                                                        
POB 1715                                                                                                                        
Cordova AK 99574                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HJR 45, HB 286 and HJR 46.                                                                      
Ms. Doris Cabana                                                                                                                
POB 607                                                                                                                         
Homer AK 99603                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HJR 45 and opposed HB 208 and HB
Representative Drew Scalzi                                                                                                      
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 208 and HB 286.                                                                             
Mr. Bob Loeffler, Director                                                                                                      
Division of Mining, Land and Water                                                                                              
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
550 W 7th Ave., Ste 1070                                                                                                        
Anchorage AK 99501                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 208.                                                                                         
Mr. Geron Bruce, Deputy Director                                                                                                
Division of Commercial Fisheries                                                                                                
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 208.                                                                                         
Ms. Vi Jerell, Ph.D                                                                                                             
POB 938                                                                                                                         
Homer AK 99603                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 208.                                                                                           
Mr. Paul Seaton                                                                                                                 
58395 Bruce St.                                                                                                                 
Homer AK 99603                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 208 and HB 286.                                                                                
Ms. Julie Decker, Executive Director                                                                                            
Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries                                                                                        
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 208.                                                                                         
Mr. Pat Veesart, Executive Director                                                                                             
Sitka Conservation Society                                                                                                      
POB 6533                                                                                                                        
Sitka AK 99835                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 208.                                                                                           
Mr. Ron Long, Director                                                                                                          
Qutekcak Shellfish Hatchery                                                                                                     
POB 369                                                                                                                         
Seward AK 99664                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 208.                                                                                        
Mr. John Agosti                                                                                                                 
Alaska Shellfish Growers Association                                                                                            
POB 20704                                                                                                                       
Juneau AK 99802                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 208.                                                                                         
Representative Gary Stevens                                                                                                     
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 462.                                                                                        
Mr. John Manley                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Richard Harris                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 455 for sponsor.                                                                          
Mr. Robert Wells, Director                                                                                                      
Division of Agriculture                                                                                                         
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
1800 Glenn Hwy Ste 12                                                                                                           
Palmer AK 99645-6736                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 455.                                                                                        
Ms. Jean Ellis                                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                            
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HJR 46 for the sponsor.                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 02-22, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
                     HJR 45-SALMON LABELING                                                                                 
CHAIRMAN  JOHN TORGERSON  called  the Senate  Resources  Committee                                                            
meeting to  order at 3:38 p.m. and  announced HJR 45 to  be up for                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  BETH KERTTULA,  sponsor of  HJR 45,  said she  was                                                              
going to let  her intern, Terra Briner, comment  on the resolution                                                              
as she had another commitment.                                                                                                  
MS. TERRA  BRINER, intern  for Representative Kerttula,  explained                                                              
that HJR 45 supports  the actions of Congress  to require labeling                                                              
for farmed  and wild salmon.  A few months  ago our  U.S. senators                                                              
highlighted the need for labeling  as a tool to both give American                                                              
consumers  the right to  know what's  in their  food and  where it                                                              
came from and to  give the Alaska salmon industry  the leg up that                                                              
it needs.  Congress introduced  an amendment to  the farm  bill to                                                              
require such labeling and HJR 45 supports that action.                                                                          
SENATOR  TAYLOR   asked  why  Representative  Kerttula   chose  to                                                              
introduce a  resolution instead  of a  bill applicable  to various                                                              
retail trades and other operators in Alaska.                                                                                    
MS. BRINER  replied  that she would  have done  that, but  Senator                                                              
Ward beat  her to the  idea and his  bill has already  been signed                                                              
into law.                                                                                                                       
MS. SUE ASPELUND, Cordova Fishermen United, supported HJR 45.                                                                   
SENATOR  TAYLOR  moved   to  pass  HJR  45  from   committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations and the  accompanying zero fiscal note.                                                              
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
            CSHB 208(RES)-AQUATIC FARMS FOR SHELLFISH                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON announced HB 208 to be up for consideration.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE DREW  SCALZI, sponsor of  HB 208, said  the Aquatic                                                              
Farm  Act was  established  in 1988  and  it was  a  comprehensive                                                              
approach to  licensing of farm sites.  While it has  worked, there                                                              
are some  conflicts when people  pick a site  but then have  to go                                                              
back  to  the  Department  of  Natural   Resources  (DNR)  to  get                                                              
approval.  A lot of  the sites  conflict with  personal use.  This                                                              
bill makes the  Alaska Department of Fish and  Game (ADF&G) select                                                              
90  sites  ahead of  time,  60  of  which will  be  for  suspended                                                              
culture, such as  scallops and oysters, 20 for  on-bottom clamming                                                              
of little necks and 10 sites specifically  for geoducks. This will                                                              
hopefully preclude the NIMBY syndrome.  CSHB 208(RES) has a fiscal                                                              
note of $260,000.                                                                                                               
He noted the New Sagaya Market in  Anchorage has said it has a one                                                              
million pound  clam market  that it  can't seem  to satisfy  on an                                                              
annual basis.  It has to import  shellfish from out of  state. The                                                              
State of Connecticut  has about 500,000 acres under  lease and the                                                              
State of  Alaska has  about 500  acres under  lease. This  bill is                                                              
modeled after Senator Torgerson's  SB 141, which has moved through                                                              
the House quicker.                                                                                                              
SENATOR TAYLOR  said Representative Peggy Wilson  had received one                                                              
letter of  concern from  Ben Mitchell  of Sitka  who felt  that in                                                              
reality this bill  would tie up every protected  cove in Anchorage                                                              
and Southeast.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI  responded that's  why they want  this bill.                                                              
ADF&G would  be the  agency to go  out ahead of  time to  find out                                                              
where those conflicts may arise and  hold public hearings ahead of                                                              
time. The 90 sites are going to be  located statewide, not just in                                                              
SENATOR ELTON  said he assumed  the private sector  would identify                                                              
its needs  and potential  sites and then  come tell ADF&G  what it                                                              
want to do  rather than the  state spending the money  to identify                                                              
sites and  telling the private  sector where  it can go.  He asked                                                              
him to comment on the philosophical difference.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI  replied that the  state has been  trying to                                                              
use that philosophical approach since  the Aquatic Farm Act passed                                                              
in 1988. An example  is in Kachemak Bay, a critical  habitat area,                                                              
where a person  now wants to put  in a little neck clam  site just                                                              
below his property. He has met with  resistance from his neighbors                                                              
who say it is a subsistence area  or that they don't want the nets                                                              
on  the beach.  To him,  it  makes sense,  because  he would  have                                                              
direct access to  this site from his property. The  part about the                                                              
private sector  identifying sites  is still  going to go  forward,                                                              
but ADF&G will say yes or no to those sites ahead of time.                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  said  he  thought  all  the  sites  would  be                                                              
nominated in the first go-round by private enterprise.                                                                          
SENATOR TAYLOR asked how they will  resolve the problem of DNR and                                                              
ADF&G having resident clams within an area.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SCALZI said  that  is the  common property  issue,                                                              
which has been  a roadblock. ADF&G is using the  criteria now that                                                              
sites with  no standing stocks would  be applicable. If  there are                                                              
standing  stocks,  the intent  is  through  regulation  to have  a                                                              
common property fishery - commercial,  subsistence or personal use                                                              
or a  combination.  The intent  of this  bill is  not to go  after                                                              
sites  that have  standing  stocks on  them.  He noted,  "Standing                                                              
stocks would have to be addressed separately."                                                                                  
SENATOR TAYLOR  said his only concern  is that ADF&G will  have to                                                              
find areas where there are no clams  so someone can raise clams on                                                              
that site. However maybe the clams  are not there because the area                                                              
is  not  conducive   to  them.  He  stated,  "It's   totally  self                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI said that is  a concern and HB 513 addresses                                                              
a request  to do  just that.  There is  no problem with  suspended                                                              
culture;  so they  are basically  talking about  clams. ADF&G  has                                                              
explained  that if  an area  had 100 acres,  it would  allow  a 2%                                                              
harvest out  of that area.  ADF&G would  take all of  the standing                                                              
stocks  out, then  that site  would  be available  for clams.  The                                                              
Constitution also  says that they  could allow for  aquaculture to                                                              
take place provided  that a certain amount of  the available clams                                                              
are used to propagate the species.                                                                                              
MR. BOB LOEFFLER,  Director, Division of Mining,  Lands and Water,                                                              
DNR,  said  DNR  has  been  working   closely  with  industry  and                                                              
Representative Scalzi and is pleased  with the bill and the fiscal                                                              
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  asked how he dealt with conflicts  in critical                                                              
habitat areas and parks.                                                                                                        
MR. LOEFFLER said the habitat question  of how the standing stocks                                                              
are allocated is an ADF&G question  that he can't answer. DNR will                                                              
deal with  the conflicts  of land  use as  it has  in the  past by                                                              
first seeing  what uses  are compatible  and,  if they aren't,  to                                                              
decide between them.                                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON said  he heard that there is  a regulation that                                                              
says you can't have a site in front of a park.                                                                                  
MR.  LOEFFLER  replied that  he  didn't  know if  that  regulation                                                              
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  asked how  DNR would handle  this if it  was a                                                              
law, not a regulation.                                                                                                          
MR.  LOEFFLER replied  that the  law suggests  regulation, but  he                                                              
didn't think it would conflict with that regulation.                                                                            
SENATOR ELTON  said it  seems to him  that if  he is in  charge of                                                              
identifying numerous  sites, he  might be causing  a lot  of angst                                                              
and  public outcry  even  thought  there be  no  interest in  some                                                              
instances  by industry to  do anything  in the  area. He  asked if                                                              
that is a correct supposition.                                                                                                  
MR. LOEFFLER replied that it is but  in the final planning process                                                              
DNR  could deal  with  that by  working  with  the applicants  and                                                              
communities to  figure out  where they are  looking. Right  now an                                                              
applicant goes  out and finds a site  and brings that back  to the                                                              
department who might  reject it and have them try  it again and so                                                              
on. This would happen at the beginning  of the process and be more                                                              
of a cooperative approach.                                                                                                      
MR.  GERON   BRUCE,  Deputy   Director,  Division  of   Commercial                                                              
Fisheries,  ADF&G, said  he worked  closely with  the sponsor  and                                                              
interested  parties and  is appreciative  of  the flexibility  and                                                              
effort put into the legislation,  which he supports. He explained:                                                              
     It  will  clear the  brush  away  so  to speak  so  that                                                                   
     people, when  they get ready to  go out and find  a site                                                                   
     and start a  farm, they have a good chance  of picking a                                                                   
     spot that they will encounter  no problems with, because                                                                   
     it  will have  been looked  at [carefully]  and will  be                                                                   
      identified as a place where there aren't problems and                                                                     
     it will be suitable from that standpoint.                                                                                  
He said they  intend to work  very closely with industry  folks to                                                              
identify areas where  they think suitable sites would  lie. A fair                                                              
amount  of  groundwork has  already  occurred  over the  years  in                                                              
Southeast and Kachemak Bay.                                                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON asked  if the  bill addresses  the common  use                                                              
MR. BRUCE replied  that it is a separate issue  and Representative                                                              
Scalzi  described the  approach they  are  taking. He  said it  is                                                              
possible  to  find  areas  that   could  be  productive  with  the                                                              
application  of  existing  technology that  currently  don't  have                                                              
standing stocks.                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON asked  why the fiscal  note from  March was  higher                                                              
than the one from April.                                                                                                        
MR. BRUCE explained  that as they worked through  the process with                                                              
the bill,  they had a  better understanding  of the scope  of work                                                              
involved. Initially  they were thinking of taking  it farther than                                                              
is really necessary to accomplish the scope of the goals.                                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR asked how many of these farms exist now.                                                                         
MR.  BRUCE replied  that ADF&G  has  issued about  250 permits  or                                                              
leases since 1988, but not all of them are still operating.                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if they are  all hanging mariculture permits.                                                              
MR. BRUCE answered that they are primarily.                                                                                     
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the only  clam leases are in Kachemak Bay.                                                              
MR. BRUCE replied that clams are  a recent development and most of                                                              
the sites have been focused on Prince of Wales Island.                                                                          
SENATOR  TAYLOR  asked if  ADF&G  has  actually licensed  some  of                                                              
MR. BRUCE replied it has.                                                                                                       
MS.  DORIS  CABANA, Homer  resident,  said  she  had quite  a  few                                                              
reservations  about   this  bill   because  in  Homer   there  are                                                              
commercial fishermen. When they go  over to the bays, all they see                                                              
are buoys.  She understands  that the same  people are  asking for                                                              
additional  sites and  wanted  to  know where  it  would end.  She                                                              
thought  that sites  that  failed  for some  reason  needed to  be                                                              
restored. She  said she  is totally against  this bill  because it                                                              
takes beach away  from the public and fishermen who  might want to                                                              
fish the area.                                                                                                                  
MS. VI HERRELL, Ph.D, said she is  from the Homer and Anchor Point                                                              
area and opposed  HB 208. She thought it would deny  use of public                                                              
beaches and water by everyone.                                                                                                  
MR. PAUL  SEATON, Homer  resident, said  this bill would  override                                                              
traditional  habitat and  state park regulations.  He pointed  out                                                              
that the  fiscal note only  covered funding for  identifying sites                                                              
and they would  be back in the  same box of people  leasing sites,                                                              
but  not being  able  to  get them  permitted  due  to  a lack  of                                                              
MS. JULIE  DECKER, Executive  Director, Southeast Alaska  Regional                                                              
Dive Fisheries,  expressed  support for  CSHB 208(RES) because  it                                                              
would resolve conflicts beforehand.                                                                                             
MR. PAT VEESART,  Executive Director, Sitka  Conservation Society,                                                              
asked why this  bill is even being considered. There  is already a                                                              
process by which the aquatic farming  industry can apply for lease                                                              
sites suitable  for shellfish  farming. The state  is also  in the                                                              
process  of  creating  management  plan  for  state  tidelands  in                                                              
Southeast  Alaska. He  thought it  was premature  to vote on  this                                                              
bill  before the  legislature  has an  opportunity  to review  the                                                              
planning process.  He asked, "Is  it appropriate and wise  for the                                                              
state to be promoting  an industry that leads  to privatization of                                                              
public lands that are already being utilized by Alaskans?"                                                                      
He questioned what will happen, under  section 2(g), if the lessee                                                              
doesn't  restore the  site and wild  stocks or  shellfish back  to                                                              
their original  condition.  He asked whether  penalties and  funds                                                              
for enforcement are attached.                                                                                                   
He also  asked how,  under section 3(b),  the state would  solicit                                                              
nominations  for sites  from the  public, whether  DNR would  have                                                              
adequate  funds  to  do  a thorough  job  communicating  with  the                                                              
public,  and  how DNR  will  know  if  a site  is  an  established                                                              
subsistence or personal use fishery.                                                                                            
MR. VEESART said that CSHB 208(RES)  promotes the privatization of                                                              
public resources at the expense of  local economies. In Sitka, the                                                              
tidelands are already being utilized  by Sitkans. He has faxed the                                                              
committee materials that demonstrate  the concerns that both Sitka                                                              
and Tenakee have over shellfish mariculture.                                                                                    
MR. RON LONG, Director, Qutekcak  Shellfish Hatchery, supported HB
208. He  said that no public  process would be  eliminated through                                                              
this  bill. All  nominations will  still go  through coastal  zone                                                              
planning  review  processes.  The   object  is  to  eliminate  the                                                              
conflicts and not  trump one conflict over another.  He commented,                                                              
"Within that  vast amount of coastline,  there is room  enough for                                                              
us  all to  live and  work  together. We're  not  taking food  off                                                              
anyone's table. We're attempting  to add to the table and grow the                                                              
economic pie."                                                                                                                  
MR. LONG said there  will be no exotic species brought  in and the                                                              
cost  of the  permits  will  be borne  by  the  farmer,  as it  is                                                              
currently. He  said that  219 acres are  under cultivation  now in                                                              
Alaska with 50 active farms.                                                                                                    
MR.  JOHN  AGOSTI,   Alaska  Shellfish  Growers,   supported  CSHB
208(RES) for all  the aforementioned reasons. He  thought this was                                                              
a safe  investment that  would more than  repay in years  to come.                                                              
Added advantages  are increased  employment and economic  activity                                                              
in coastal Alaska.                                                                                                              
SENATOR WILKEN asked  Mr. Loeffler if he had seen  the letter from                                                              
Ben Mitchell of Sitka that Senator Taylor was referring to.                                                                     
MR. LOEFFLER said he hadn't.                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILKEN  said he would send it  to him so they  could get a                                                              
response from DNR when it comes up in the next committee.                                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR  moved to  pass CSHB  208(RES) from committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations.  There were  no objections and  it was                                                              
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
    CSHB 286(RES)am-FISHING PERMITS/ASSOCIATIONS/ASSESSMENTS                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  announced  CSHB  286(RES)  am to  be  up  for                                                              
consideration. He  reminded members about their concern  that if a                                                              
tax is levied to  buy out the permits, it might  never go away. He                                                              
explained that Amendment 1 requires  organizations to tell members                                                              
when voting on whether or not to  tax or assess, when the tax will                                                              
stop and then have another vote.                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR moved Amendment 1 as follows:                                                                                    
                      A M E N D M E N T  1                                                                                  
TO:  CSHB 286(   ), Draft Version "T"                                                                                           
Page 8, following line 2:                                                                                                       
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
          "(e)  The provisions of AS 43.05 and AS 43.10 apply for                                                               
     the enforcement and collection of a salmon fishery                                                                         
     assessment levied under AS 43.76.220 - 43.76.280."                                                                         
SENATOR ELTON said this would also  require that the re-vote reach                                                              
the supermajority that originally voted.                                                                                        
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  said it  would reach the  people who  hold the                                                              
permits. He explained, "It does away  the cloud of one group could                                                              
buy out a bunch  of others and leave that tax on  there and have a                                                              
broader scope than what we wanted originally."                                                                                  
SENTOR ELTON asked Representative Scalzi what he thought.                                                                       
TAPE 02-22, SIDE B                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI said he concurred with the amendment.                                                                     
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  asked  Mary  McDowell,  Commercial  Fisheries                                                              
Entry Commission (CFEC),  if she supported this  amendment and she                                                              
indicated she did.  He announced that there were  no objections to                                                              
Amendment 1 and it was adopted.                                                                                                 
MS.  DORIS  CABANA, Homer  resident,  said  she opposed  SCS  CSHB
286(RES). She thought it would cause a lot of problems.                                                                         
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON said  this is what the members  want and all it                                                              
does is create an ability to vote.                                                                                              
MR. PAUL  SEATON said  he thought  this bill  may have  unintended                                                              
consequences because  in some areas  a majority of  permits aren't                                                              
being fished.  This will create a  situation where people  who are                                                              
not fishing could  vote this in. Meanwhile, those  who are fishing                                                              
will be taxed  and the money will be distributed  among the people                                                              
who aren't fishing so that they will continue to not fish.                                                                      
MS.  SUE  ASPELUND,  Cordova  Fishermen  United  (CFU),  said  CFU                                                              
supports SCS CSHB 286(RES).                                                                                                     
SENATOR  WILKEN moved  to pass  SCS CSHB  286(RES) from  committee                                                              
with individual  recommendations and  its zero fiscal  note. There                                                              
were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                       
        CSHB 462(RES)-CONFIDENTIALITY OF FISHING RECORDS                                                                    
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON   announced  CSHB   462(RES)  to  be   up  for                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  GARY  STEVENS, sponsor,  said  that  this bill  is                                                              
about  the release  of  certain  providential records  in  reports                                                              
concerning  fish, fish buying  and fish  processing. It  cleans up                                                              
several  small problems  that  have been  uncovered  over time  by                                                              
releasing a controlled amount of  confidential information, giving                                                              
the state  and federal government  very limited access  to fishing                                                              
reports. It also  lets fishermen, buyers and processors  get their                                                              
information back  or sent to a  designated third party.  Right now                                                              
fishermen  cannot get  copies of  their own fish  reports even  if                                                              
they need  them for  loan applications.  This  bill would allow  a                                                              
fisherman to have his reports sent  directly to a third party like                                                              
a bank.                                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  STEVENS noted  another problem  occurred when  the                                                              
National Park  Service planned to  close parts of Glacier  Bay and                                                              
wanted to  compensate those affected  by the closure. He  said the                                                              
bill would  also allow  the Department  of Public  Safety to  have                                                              
access  to   salt  water  charter   log  books  and   annual  fish                                                              
statistical reports  for management  purposes only. It  would also                                                              
give  the  National  Marine  Fisheries   Service  (NMFS)  and  the                                                              
National Oceanic  and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  access to                                                              
annual statistical reports for management purposes.                                                                             
SENATOR TAYLOR  moved to  pass CSHB  462(RES) from committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations.  There were  no objections and  it was                                                              
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
      CSHB 455(CRA)-MUNICIPAL TAXATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND                                                                 
MR. JOHN  MANLEY, staff  to Representative  Harris, sponsor  of HB
455,  told members  that land  classified as  agricultural in  the                                                              
state is  being assessed  at more  than free  market value  rather                                                              
than at the value commensurate with  the restrictions that are put                                                              
on  the  land.  This  bill  would   correct  that  discrepancy  by                                                              
directing that the  land be assessed based on what  it can produce                                                              
under its restrictions.                                                                                                         
SENATOR ELTON  said he was assuming  that the state  assessor when                                                              
valuing land in  municipalities would value it  at the agriculture                                                              
rate also.                                                                                                                      
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON said  this bill only applies to  state land but                                                              
his  question is  on  other than  state  land. Municipalities  get                                                              
partial  exemptions depending  on how  much of  the land is  being                                                              
farmed. He asked if Mr. Rob Wells knew the technical answer.                                                                    
MR. ROB WELLS,  Director, Division of Agriculture,  DNR, explained                                                              
that this  bill only deals with  land that the state  conveys with                                                              
agricultural  restrictions.  The division  has  worked with  Steve                                                              
Vansant  in the Assessors  Office  who has testified  that  he can                                                              
work  with this  legislation.  It does  not  preclude a  municipal                                                              
assessor  from determining  the value  of  the land,  but it  does                                                              
require, when the  state conveys agriculture lands  with covenants                                                              
or other  restrictions, that the  assessor recognize that  when he                                                              
does his assessment every January 1.                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON asked  if the  bill  doesn't affect  municipal                                                              
property right now for the most part.                                                                                           
MR. WELLS  said that is correct.  He added, "It does  affect state                                                              
agriculture lands  that are  in municipalities…It relieves  people                                                              
with [agricultural]  restricted lands  from filling out  an annual                                                              
application  to  a municipality  for  the exemption,  because,  in                                                              
fact,  they  are restricted  to  [agriculture]  uses by  the  very                                                              
SENATOR TAYLOR moved CSHB 455(CRA)  from committee with individual                                                              
recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                
           CSHJR 46(RES)-BC MORATORIUM ON FISH FARMING                                                                      
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON   announced  CSHJR   46(RES)  to  be   up  for                                                              
MS. JEAN ELLIS, Fisheries Committee  aide for Representative Peggy                                                              
Wilson, told members:                                                                                                           
     In  January  of  this year  the  government  of  British                                                                   
     Columbia  announced that  the  provincial moratorium  on                                                                   
     fish farming  would be lifted  effective April  30. This                                                                   
     decision could have a substantial  effect on the Alaskan                                                                   
     economy   and  the   environment,   both  directly   and                                                                   
     indirectly.   So,  HJR   46   strongly  encourages   the                                                                   
     government   of  British  Columbia   to  reinstate   the                                                                   
     moratorium on fish farming.                                                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR moved CSHJR 46(RES)  from committee with individual                                                              
SENATOR ELTON objected  for the purpose of thanking  the House for                                                              
addressing this issue as it is important.                                                                                       
MS.  SUE  ASPELUND,  Cordova  Fishermen  United,  supported  CSHJR
46(RES)  because it  addresses many  concerns  that Alaskans  have                                                              
about fish farming impacting our state waters.                                                                                  
SENATOR  TAYLOR renewed  his  motion to  move  CSHJR 46(RES)  from                                                              
committee with  individual recommendations  and zero  fiscal note.                                                              
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON adjourned the meeting at 5:00 pm.                                                                            

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