Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/08/2002 03:50 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                                                                 
                           May 8, 2002                                                                                          
                            3:50 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator John Torgerson, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Gary Wilken, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Rick Halford                                                                                                            
Senator Robin Taylor                                                                                                            
Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 366                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the fee for the Chitina dipnet fishing                                                                      
permit; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
     MOVED CSSB 366(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 287(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the exemption of commercial fishing entry                                                                   
permits from claims of creditors and execution on an interest in                                                                
a limited entry permit; and providing for an effective date."                                                                   
     MOVED CSHB 287(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 447                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the interest rates that may be charged on                                                                   
loans by the Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank."                                                                          
     MOVED HB 447 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                              
SB 366 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
HB 287 - No previous action to consider.                                                                                        
HB 447 - See Resources minutes dated 4/19/02.                                                                                   
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Mr. Gordy Williams, Legislative Liaison                                                                                         
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 366.                                                                                      
Mr. Kelly Hepler, Director                                                                                                      
Division of Sport Fish                                                                                                          
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 366.                                                                                      
Mr. Ralph D. Swarthout, Regional Director                                                                                       
Northern Region                                                                                                                 
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                              
2301 Peger Rd                                                                                                                   
Fairbanks AK 99519-6900                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 366.                                                                                      
Mr. John Bennett                                                                                                                
Right-of-way Chief                                                                                                              
Northern Region                                                                                                                 
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                              
2301 Peger Rd.                                                                                                                  
Fairbanks AK 99709                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 366.                                                                                      
Ms. Sue Aspelund, Executive Director                                                                                            
Cordova District Fishermen United                                                                                               
POB 1715                                                                                                                        
Cordova AK 99574                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 366 and HB 287.                                                                           
Mr. Bruce Cain, Executive Director                                                                                              
Native Village of Eyak                                                                                                          
POB 1225                                                                                                                        
Cordova AK 99574                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 366.                                                                                      
Mr. Joseph Heart                                                                                                                
Resource Manager, Ahtna Corporation,                                                                                            
Chairman, Land Committee, Chitina Corporation                                                                                   
Vice President, Chitina Corporation                                                                                             
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 366.                                                                                           
Mr. Tom Talby                                                                                                                   
Glennallen Office                                                                                                               
Department of Fish and Game                                                                                                     
POB 47                                                                                                                          
Glennallen AK 99588-0047                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on SB 366.                                                                             
Mr. Mike Tinker                                                                                                                 
Fish and Game Advisory Committee                                                                                                
POB 289                                                                                                                         
Ester AK 99775                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 366.                                                                                      
Mr. Stan Bloom, President                                                                                                       
Chitina Dipnetters Association                                                                                                  
303 Bentley Dr.                                                                                                                 
Fairbanks AK 99701                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 366.                                                                                           
Ms. Lisa Harbo                                                                                                                  
820 Capricorn St.                                                                                                               
Fairbanks AK 99709                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 366.                                                                                           
Mr. Herb Simone                                                                                                                 
Nelchina AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 366.                                                                                           
Mr. Dick Bishop, President                                                                                                      
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
POB 73902                                                                                                                       
Fairbanks AK 99707                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 366.                                                                                         
Ms. Mary McDowell, Commissioner                                                                                                 
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission                                                                                           
Department of Fish and Game                                                                                                     
8800 Glacier Hwy, Ste 109                                                                                                       
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 287.                                                                                         
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 02-28, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 001                                                                                                                      
            SB 366-CHITINA DIP NET FISHERY PERMIT FEE                                                                       
CHAIRMAN JOHN TORGERSON called the Senate Resources Committee                                                                 
meeting to order at 3:50 p.m. and announced SB 366 to be up for                                                                 
SENATOR  WILKEN explained  that three years  ago, the  legislature                                                              
enacted legislation  that requires  a $25 fee  per family  to fish                                                              
the Chitina  dipnet fishery  of which  $18 went  to the  Ahtna and                                                              
Chitina Corporations and $7 went  to the Alaska Department of Fish                                                              
and  Game  (ADF&G)  for  maintenance.  There has  also  been  some                                                              
discussion,  after  a  survey  was   completed,  that  perhaps  no                                                              
trespass fees are  required anymore. This bill  addresses changing                                                              
the fee to a certain amount that doesn't pay the trespass fees.                                                                 
MR. GORDY WILLIAMS,  legislative liaison, ADF&G,  said the Chitina                                                              
dipnet  fishery is the  largest fishery  in the  state and  varies                                                              
from year  to year.  Last year over  8,000 household  permits were                                                              
issued. A fee has  been in place since 1992; it  was initially $10                                                              
but  was increased  to  $25 in  2000  by SB  301.  That bill  also                                                              
changed  language  to reflect  that  the  Board of  Fisheries  had                                                              
changed  the  fishery from  personal  use  to subsistence  and  it                                                              
contained  intent  language  directing the  Administration  to  do                                                              
several things. The Administration  was to enter into an agreement                                                              
by February 1, 2001  that would last for at least  three years and                                                              
ADF&G was to  work with other state and federal  agencies on long-                                                              
term solutions.  It also required  the state to work  with private                                                              
owners to identify and survey the right-of-way.                                                                                 
ADF&G was  unable to  enter into  a three-year  contract with  the                                                              
Chitina  and  Ahtna Corporations,  but  it  has entered  into  two                                                              
successive  one-year  contracts,  the  last of  which  expired  in                                                              
December. Those  contracts continue  to provide guaranteed  access                                                              
for dipnetters  across  the Chitina-Ahtna  lands that lie  between                                                              
the  boundary of  the public  right-of-way and  the ordinary  high                                                              
water  line of  the  Copper River.  The fee  has  provided $10  to                                                              
Chitina Native Corporation, $8 to  Ahtna for guaranteed access, $5                                                              
to ADF&G  for maintenance contracts  for solid waste  and garbage,                                                              
and a $2 administrative fee for the department. He explained:                                                                   
     A survey was undertaken using  funds appropriated by the                                                                   
     legislature  last year  and that survey  is not  totally                                                                   
     final yet. There  are still drafts going  back and forth                                                                   
     between  DOT and  the  contractor. But  the  preliminary                                                                   
     estimates are that about 60%  of the dip net use area is                                                                   
     accessible  from   the  right-of-way.  Money   for  that                                                                   
     appropriation  is also,  as is spelled  out in  language                                                                   
     last year, to  publish a brochure and for DOT  to go out                                                                   
     and put  some on-ground  marking in  to try to  indicate                                                                   
     where the public right-of-way  does access the river and                                                                   
     where the private lands are.                                                                                               
MR.  WILLIAMS   said  the  survey   has  provided   important  new                                                              
information on  the land status and  confirms a real  patchwork of                                                              
public  and private  land ownership  along the  river. People  use                                                              
several  very  key  areas  for  fishing,   camping,  parking,  and                                                              
ancillary  activities, such  as the  mouths of  O'Brien Creek  and                                                              
Haley Creek, that are private lands or they ask ADF&G questions                                                                 
about the ordinary watermark. He added:                                                                                         
     So,  while we  recognize that  there  are policy  issues                                                                   
     which [indisc.] in light of  this new survey, we believe                                                                   
     the best  option for  2002 is to  retain the fee  at $25                                                                   
     and  to enter into  one-year agreements  again with  the                                                                   
     Chitina   and   Ahtna   Corporations   and   we've   had                                                                   
     discussions  with  them along  those  lines. We  believe                                                                   
     that will result  in a more orderly fishery  and provide                                                                   
     both  the atmosphere  for further  discussions on  long-                                                                   
     term solutions  as directed  by SB  301 - possible  land                                                                   
     trades.  Those discussions can  use the new  information                                                                   
     from  the survey  and be  able to  sit down,  hopefully,                                                                   
     with  private  landowners  and talk  about  the  various                                                                   
     Also,  the fishery  has been  impacted  by a  landslide,                                                                   
     which is south of O'Brien Creek,  which currently blocks                                                                   
     the road.  DOT is looking  at options for  removing that                                                                   
     landslide  but  it's  a  difficult  area.  The  original                                                                   
     landslide was in  the last year and then  there's been a                                                                   
     couple  of  smaller ones  since.  It's a  very  unstable                                                                   
     area. They need  to get in and do some  assessment work.                                                                   
     Part  of that  would be  on  Ahtna lands  and they  look                                                                   
     forward to working cooperatively  with the landowners on                                                                   
     those kinds of issues.                                                                                                     
     In  summary, we  recognize  that there's  important  new                                                                   
     information on  land status in  the area that  came with                                                                   
     the  survey. It is,  however, very  new information  and                                                                   
     with the  final survey  not in yet.  The 2002 season  is                                                                   
     likely to start  in mid-June and people will  be looking                                                                   
     to  buy  the  permits  here   in  the  next  few  weeks.                                                                   
     Certainly, by  the first of  June, people will  start to                                                                   
     look to buy  their permits. We think keeping  the fee at                                                                   
     $25, having  access contracts  in place will  provide an                                                                   
     orderly  fishery and will  allow us to  go forward  in a                                                                   
     hopefully  productive manner  this year working  towards                                                                   
     long-term  solutions that would  benefit both the  state                                                                   
     and the local landowners.                                                                                                  
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if the state is paying the Ahtna                                                                       
Corporation for access to state land.                                                                                           
MR. WILLIAMS  replied, "It  was always  recognized that  there was                                                              
some private land. It just wasn't  known how much of it is and now                                                              
the  estimate  is about  60%,  but  some  of  that 40%  is  pretty                                                              
important key land."                                                                                                            
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked why ADF&G  couldn't configure this to pay                                                              
the 40% and not 60%.                                                                                                            
MR. WILLIAMS replied  that the discussion has  centered around the                                                              
policy issue of  going to the area and access to  the fishery, but                                                              
because of the patchwork ownership  pattern, it would be difficult                                                              
for people to stay off of the private  land. With 30,000 to 40,000                                                              
people using  the fishery,  private landowners  think people  will                                                              
trespass either  knowingly or unknowingly.  It's more of  a policy                                                              
call about  should there be  a fee, not  about how much.  ADF&G is                                                              
saying  that given  the status  this year  - the  need to work  on                                                              
long-term  solutions  and  DOTPF  needing  time  to  work  on  the                                                              
landslide  problem, ADF&G  believes the  fee should be  maintained                                                              
this year.  That would  allow everyone  to have guaranteed  access                                                              
all along the river.                                                                                                            
SENATOR ELTON  asked whether  ADF&G or  the Department  of Natural                                                              
Resources  (DNR) has been  negotiating the  access agreement  with                                                              
the corporations.                                                                                                               
MR.  WILLIAMS   replied  that  ADF&G  has  been   negotiating  the                                                              
SENATOR  ELTON asked  what his  sense is  of what  will happen  to                                                              
those negotiations if the fee is lowered from $25 to $10.                                                                       
MR. WILLIAMS  said the  negotiations have  been very difficult  at                                                              
the $25 level, which is why ADF&G  has not been able to enter into                                                              
a  three-year  contract. ADF&G  doesn't  believe  that  a $10  fee                                                              
access  agreement would  be part  of  the equation;  $10 would  be                                                              
within the maintenance arena.                                                                                                   
SENATOR ELTON  asked what the  consequence of having  no agreement                                                              
would be to the people trying to access the fishing spots.                                                                      
MR. WILLIAMS replied  that a brochure would be  produced and roads                                                              
would be marked.  People would be told they are not  allowed to go                                                              
on  to  private land,  but  that  they could  access  the  fishery                                                              
through  public  land. The  fishing  takes  place below  the  mean                                                              
ordinary  high water  mark, but  access to  the other  activities,                                                              
such as camping, is through private  land. The private lands would                                                              
be off  limits unless  the Native corporations  came up  with some                                                              
permitting system of their own.                                                                                                 
SENATOR ELTON  asked if  the chances that  such a change  would be                                                              
chaotic are very high.                                                                                                          
MR.  WILLIAMS  replied  that  he   couldn't  predict,  but  it  is                                                              
SENATOR ELTON  said he was trying  to figure out a way  this could                                                              
work  for everybody  and  asked the  department's  reaction to  an                                                              
effective date of January 1, 2003.                                                                                              
MR. KELLY  HEPLER, Director, Division  of Sport Fish,  ADF&G, said                                                              
that is an interesting question because  ADF&G and DOTPF certainly                                                              
want to work with the two corporations  on long-term solutions. It                                                              
then  becomes a  question of  whether  they realize  the state  is                                                              
serious about this and would come  to the table with greater faith                                                              
than they  plan to now.  He didn't know,  but he thought  it would                                                              
ease some  of the concerns  Mr. Williams  voiced earlier.  A final                                                              
date by the legislature  to resolve the issue would  send a strong                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON asked  why  the Native  corporations  wouldn't                                                              
charge  their own  fees and  manage  it themselves.  He noted  the                                                              
problem of  access across private  land is not unique  to Chitina.                                                              
He said he  didn't understand why  there is a big problem  and why                                                              
the state is collecting fees.                                                                                                   
MR. HEPLER said that access to the  fishery is through a patchwork                                                              
of public  and private land ownership.  He said the area  they are                                                              
talking about is a fairly small area  but a large number of people                                                              
want to use it at one time.                                                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN  said it's a  mish-mash of ownership.  He explained                                                              
the topography  is such that one  might have to go  across private                                                              
land in order to get down to the  cliffs or the bluffs in order to                                                              
access some  of the state land. He  asked Mr. Hepler to  point out                                                              
the landslide area.                                                                                                             
MR. HEPLER replied that it is about a mile below O'Brien Creek.                                                                 
SENATOR WILKEN asked if Rand Creek  and Haley Creek are private or                                                              
MR. HEPLER  replied  that a  lot of it  is private  and that  it's                                                              
harder to determine  the high water mark on a river  delta than in                                                              
other places.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  WILKEN  asked  if  boat  access to  the  river  would  be                                                              
available if the O'Brien Creek and  Haley Creek boat launches were                                                              
MR. HEPLER replied if they shut down  the Haley Creek boat launch,                                                              
people would probably  have to go to where the  bridge crosses. It                                                              
would be a longer run.                                                                                                          
SENATOR WILKEN asked if options are  available for both parties to                                                              
look  at  during  the  negotiations  to  start  to  come  to  some                                                              
conclusion  or whether  they are  so far apart  that there  hasn't                                                              
been a real discussion.                                                                                                         
MR.  HEPLER  replied  that discussions  have  been  two-fold.  One                                                              
discussion has  been about  what an agreement  would look  like if                                                              
they come  to an  agreement this  year. The  corporations want  to                                                              
have the same  agreements they had in previous years.  At the same                                                              
time they have been talking about  long-term solutions. The energy                                                              
is there to come up with something.                                                                                             
SENATOR  WILKEN asked when  the preliminary  survey was  completed                                                              
and when the final would be available.                                                                                          
MR.  WILLIAMS replied  that Mr.  Swarthout and  Mr. Bennett,  with                                                              
ADF&G in Fairbanks, could answer that.                                                                                          
SENATOR  WILKEN said  his intent  in this  fishery is  to have  an                                                              
accessible,  productive,  safe  fishery  and he  could  support  a                                                              
continuation of the $25 fee knowing  that this is the end and that                                                              
next year there  will be some agreement between the  state and the                                                              
corporations. He would also consider  an effective date. He didn't                                                              
want to be  talking about $18  or $25 and having  an inaccessible,                                                              
unproductive, unsafe fishery for Fairbanks people.                                                                              
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  said he didn't see why they  couldn't continue                                                              
to pay  $25 for  access across  private land  and leave  the state                                                              
lands at $10, "and  you do that basically by grouping  the two and                                                              
dividing it by the total."                                                                                                      
MR. WILLIAMS said, "It's one fee  that's $25. Out of that, $5 goes                                                              
to maintenance, $2 to us, $18 to the corporations."                                                                             
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked, "Are we maintaining their land, too?"                                                                 
MR. WILLIAMS replied that they pick up trash.                                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON said  he didn't mind paying for  access to that                                                              
land, but he  didn't see why the  state was paying for  the use of                                                              
its own  land. He stated,  "According to  this, you're  paying $18                                                              
for use  on 60%  of the state's  land and  we're paying  an entity                                                              
that has no control  over that. It's our land -  if your survey is                                                              
MR. WILLIAMS replied they could assume  $15. The $5 service fee is                                                              
for trash pick up and porta-potties, leaving $10.                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  said, according to their figures,  3,800 users                                                              
don't use the private  land, but the state is paying  $18 per head                                                              
for them as if they were.                                                                                                       
SENATOR ELTON  said his understanding  is that the $25 fee  is per                                                              
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  said that  40% is Native  land. He  thought it                                                              
was fair to reimburse them for what the public is using.                                                                        
MR. WILLIAMS said that the 40% and  60% figures don't apply to the                                                              
number of permits; they apply to the land status.                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  asked if  the $100,000  survey only  shows who                                                              
owns the land.                                                                                                                  
MR. WILLIAMS replied yes.                                                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if they  know how many people go over the                                                              
private land.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  WILKEN  asked  Mr.  Ralph  Swarthout,  Northern  Regional                                                              
Director,  DOTPF, to  go over  the survey  process. Mr.  Swarthout                                                              
indicated that Mr. John Bennett would go over it.                                                                               
MR.  JOHN BENNETT,  Right-of-way  Chief, DOTPF,  said  he was  the                                                              
contract  manager  and  took  the   task  from  ADF&G.  He  did  a                                                              
professional  services  agreement with  a  survey  company out  of                                                              
Anchorage  called Crazy  Mountain Joint  Venture. The company  was                                                              
tasked  with mapping  the  location of  the  Copper River  Highway                                                              
right-of-way  because  DOTPF  had   no  information  on  that.  He                                                              
     They  prepared  an  as-built survey  of  the  centerline                                                                   
     geometry from  the Copper River Bridge on  McCarthy Road                                                                   
     through Chitina  down to Haley Creek. The  next task was                                                                   
     to determine as best they could  the ordinary high water                                                                   
     line on the Copper River along  that stretch - basically                                                                   
     so we could determine the relationship  between the edge                                                                   
     of the right-of-way,  which is 150 feet on  each side of                                                                   
     the  center line  of the  Copper River  Highway and  the                                                                   
     ordinary  high  water  line, therefore,  being  able  to                                                                   
     determine in  what areas you could actually  go from the                                                                   
     road  right-of-way to  the state owned  lands below  the                                                                   
     high  water  lines  without   getting  into  a  trespass                                                                   
     The survey  was commenced sometime  in the fall  of last                                                                   
     year. I  don't have the dates  with me. The  mapping was                                                                   
     done over  the course  of the winter.  We have one  task                                                                   
     left  to  perform, but  we  had  deferred it  after  the                                                                   
     annual  Chitina Dipnetters  meeting  when  we found  out                                                                   
     that it's our understanding  that we're going ahead with                                                                   
     the status quo on the permit fee….                                                                                         
     With  the milepost  markers  and the  map  we intend  to                                                                   
     publish  in   a  brochure  and   give  to  each   dipnet                                                                   
     permittee, they  will be able to walk or  drive down the                                                                   
     road,  look at  the milepost  markers  and determine  if                                                                   
     they're at a location where  they can go directly to the                                                                   
     water without being in a trespass situation.                                                                               
SENATOR WILKEN asked him when the survey was completed.                                                                         
MR. BENNETT  said the fieldwork was  completed late last  fall. He                                                              
     The milepost markers will either be completed this fall                                                                    
         or, if this bill passes, we're going to have to                                                                        
     scramble out there and do it this week.                                                                                    
SENATOR WILKEN  asked if he had  a preliminary report on  what the                                                              
survey shows as far as what is public and what is private.                                                                      
MR. BENNETT replied  that he had a map that was  just delivered by                                                              
the  survey  contractor  yesterday  and  he  didn't  know  if  Mr.                                                              
Williams had received copies of what he plotted out.                                                                            
MS. SUE ASPELUND,  Executive Director, Cordova  District Fishermen                                                              
United (CDFU), opposed the reduction  of the fee this year because                                                              
the timing  is inappropriate given  the lateness, relative  to how                                                              
soon  the  fishery  should  commence for  the  prosecution  of  an                                                              
orderly fishery.  In addition, because resource  management can be                                                              
costly, CDFU encourages  future discussion of using  a fee similar                                                              
to  this  one  to  reimplement  much  needed  in-season  reporting                                                              
requirements in the future for the Chitina dip net fishery.                                                                     
MR. BRUCE CAIN,  Executive Director, Native village  of Eyak, said                                                              
the original Copper  River railroad right-of-way was  100 ft., not                                                              
300 ft. as  is proposed, and it  was only valid as long  as it was                                                              
used as a railroad.                                                                                                             
MR. JOSEPH  HEART, resource manager,  Ahtna Incorporated,  said he                                                              
is also  the Chairman  of the  Land Committee  for Chitina  Native                                                              
Corporation as well  as the Vice President of  the Corporation. He                                                              
is  one  of   the  main  negotiators  on  behalf   of  the  Native                                                              
corporations with  ADF&G. He stated, "Ahtna and  Chitina, both, do                                                              
not support the passing of SB 366."                                                                                             
He said  that both  corporations have  been cooperative.  However,                                                              
they feel strongly  that when the state invites people  to use the                                                              
resource and invites  them to come near or across  their property,                                                              
the land rights  need to be protected or an agreement  needs to be                                                              
worked out to  compensate for the impacts, like  trash collection,                                                              
tree cutting,  fire  rings, etc.  He said hardly  anyone lives  in                                                              
Chitina and  the only  time large negative  impacts occur  is when                                                              
the fishery  is operating. He  has been working  with Commissioner                                                              
Rue and others and  believes the fee should be left  in place this                                                              
year so they can  address a lot of the issues,  like the right-of-                                                              
way the state has on 60 % of the  land for access to the river and                                                              
the intent of that.                                                                                                             
SENATOR  ELTON  said the  previous  testifier suggested  that  the                                                              
right-of-way  ought  to be  50 ft.  from  the  centerline and  the                                                              
department  has  testified  that  it  is using  150  ft.  in  each                                                              
direction  from the  centerline.  He asked  Mr.  Heart what  their                                                              
stance is on that.                                                                                                              
MR. HEART replied that the original  right-of-way was in place for                                                              
the  railroad  and it  was  100 ft.  In  the 1980s,  when  Chitina                                                              
Corporation  started  charging people  to  cross  its land,  DOTPF                                                              
realigned the  highway access and  that's how this  agreement came                                                              
into being. At  that time, everyone knew the right-of-way  was 100                                                              
ft. The  state courts decided the  right-of-way was 150  ft. Their                                                              
paperwork  still  shows  it  as a  100  ft.  right-of-way.  Native                                                              
allotments on that same road show  a 100 ft. right-of-way on their                                                              
titles. They feel it should still be a 100 ft. right-of-way.                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON  asked  his  opinion of  an  amendment  that  would                                                              
provide an effective  date some time after this  summer instead of                                                              
MR. HEART said for this year a later  effective date would be okay                                                              
if the state is willing to work out some of the issues.                                                                         
MR. TOM TALBY, ADF&G, Glennallen,  said he was available to answer                                                              
MR. MIKE TINKER, Fish and Game Advisory Committee, said:                                                                        
     There  are  about  5,000  netters  in  the  Dip  Netters                                                                   
     Association that  live in the Fairbanks-Delta  Junction-                                                                   
     Nenana area. There are 5,001  in the Mat-Su area. So, to                                                                   
     talk about  this as  a Fairbanks  issue is not  correct.                                                                   
     About  a year and  a half  ago, the  Board of  Fisheries                                                                   
     found that the Chitina dipnet  fishery was a subsistence                                                                   
     fishery. This fee makes it the  only subsistence fishery                                                                   
     in the State  of Alaska that we charge for.  Fifty miles                                                                   
     up  the  road  from  Chitina,   Ahtna  maintains  a  fee                                                                   
     schedule for access to the Gulkana  and other waters and                                                                   
     both collect the fee themselves  for trespass over their                                                                   
     property  and   maintains  a  protection  force   or  an                                                                   
     advisory force for people who  want to find out where to                                                                   
     get  a permit  or that  might be  trespassing. The  fact                                                                   
     that the  state should continue  to do this for  them at                                                                   
     Chitina  is  just ludicrous.  Discussions  that  they're                                                                   
     talking about  now and they're worried about  having for                                                                   
     the next year, and the next  year, have been had for the                                                                   
     last five or six years with  the fee going up. It's time                                                                   
     to end  it. Our constituents  on the Advisory  Committee                                                                   
     and  our constituents  here  in Fairbanks  really  don't                                                                   
     feel  there should  be any  fee  at all  unless you  are                                                                   
     going   to  start  to   require  subsistence   fishermen                                                                   
     statewide  to buy  a simple  general  fishing permit  as                                                                   
     they would a hunting permit  to go hunting. Going to $10                                                                   
     is certainly  a jump in  the right direction  and allows                                                                   
     the  services that  could be  there. You  might ask  Mr.                                                                   
     Hepler how we  got to this point. My letters  to some of                                                                   
     you and  to him  started in late  February and that  was                                                                   
     after a month  of discussions here in  Fairbanks. Before                                                                   
     that he  was all  for doing away  with the fee  schedule                                                                   
     until the commissioner  got a letter from  Ahtna in mid-                                                                   
     March, which  he and the  other fishery guys  didn't get                                                                   
     until April and now all of a sudden it's a crisis.                                                                         
MR. TINKER said the issue is whether or not we're going to                                                                      
charge a fee for the subsistence fisheries.                                                                                     
TAPE 02-28, SIDE B                                                                                                            
MR. STAN BLOOM,  President, Chitina Dip Netters  Association, said                                                              
last year  they supported  raising the fee  to $25 but  the survey                                                              
now shows that 60%  of the land is on one side  of the river. This                                                              
fee does  not cover  anybody  who goes  on the other  side of  the                                                              
river or in a boat. He pointed out:                                                                                             
     So,  you should  do  away with  the  fee  that pays  the                                                                   
     Native corporations  for trespass.  If they want  to put                                                                   
     up posted signs and they want  to charge a fee, let them                                                                   
     do it. It's  hard enough paying for our  services. We're                                                                   
     the only  group that  pays for our  own services  in the                                                                   
     state. When  you go  to the Kenai  you don't pay  $10 so                                                                   
     you can use a toilet or have  someone pick up the trash.                                                                   
     The state  does that. The state  should do that  in this                                                                   
He said that all subsistence users are required to have a state                                                                 
hunting license.                                                                                                                
     No subsistence user is required  to have a state fishing                                                                   
     license.  It's ludicrous to  let all  of us people  fish                                                                   
     free when  you must manage the  fishery. I say  drop the                                                                   
     word 'sport'  out of paragraph  1, charge everybody  $15                                                                   
     for a  fishing license,  use that  money to provide  the                                                                   
     services and  put it in DNR.  Let me tell you,  Fish and                                                                   
     Game doesn't  have to  make a  contract for toilets  and                                                                   
     for trash pick  up. I took pictures of the  toilets last                                                                   
     year that would gag a maggot.  The trash was piled up so                                                                   
     high  that when  I pulled  up  with my  truck that  says                                                                   
     "Chitina  Dipnetters" on  it,  three guys  went out  and                                                                   
     started piling  trash bags into a pick up  truck to haul                                                                   
     them away before  I took a picture of it.  Fish and Game                                                                   
     is not the  person to handle services. Put it  in DNR or                                                                   
     DOT or  somebody that's  got some  kind of expertise  in                                                                   
     that kind  of stuff and let  Fish and Game go  out there                                                                   
     and count  little fishies and  do what biologists  do. I                                                                   
     say do away  with the permit fee period,  make everybody                                                                   
     have a  fishing license and  the state provide  services                                                                   
     just like they  do on the Kenai or any  other place they                                                                   
     hold a fishery…                                                                                                            
MS. LISA  HARBO said  she fished the  Chitina Dipnet  fishery with                                                              
her family  since she was  a kid and  opposes the permit  fee that                                                              
they pay  for several  reasons. One is  that no other  subsistence                                                              
fishery in  the state requires a  fee. In the federal  fishery for                                                              
the Chitina  sub district in the  same area, people are  paying no                                                              
fee and  have higher  limits. She  also didn't  think they  should                                                              
have to pay a  trespass fee when they can cross  a public easement                                                              
path and didn't think their legal  rights to dipnet should be tied                                                              
to the trespass fee payments.                                                                                                   
MR. HERB SIMON said he is testifying  as a private individual from                                                              
Nelchina whose family has been there  since after World War II. He                                                              
agreed with the  gentleman from Fairbanks who  suggested requiring                                                              
a state license instead of fooling with the dipnet fee.                                                                         
He would like  to believe that the negotiations have  been in good                                                              
faith, but apparently that isn't  the case. He thought they should                                                              
get a kick-back  because they have been paying this  fee for years                                                              
and  there is  public  access  and the  same  fees  are not  being                                                              
charged for access in other places.                                                                                             
MR.  DICK BISHOP,  Alaska Outdoor  Council, supported  SB 366  and                                                              
suggested attaching a sunset provision  to the $10 fee so it could                                                              
eventually be removed.  People have noted that it  is the only fee                                                              
on a subsistence  fishery in the  state and they feel that  is not                                                              
appropriate. He added:                                                                                                          
     We  agree with  the  rationale that  the  fee should  be                                                                   
     reduced at  this time. The  whole point of  the several-                                                                   
     year dialogue here has been  to identify and provide the                                                                   
     public  access, relieve  the  public of  the problem  of                                                                   
     trespassing and relieve the  state of the obligations of                                                                   
     negotiating  contracts to cover  potential trespass  and                                                                   
     make it  possible for people  to access that  fishery on                                                                   
     the  public lands  that are  available  to access  it…We                                                                   
     would like  to see if there  needs to be a fee  to cover                                                                   
     the  cost of  services  there such  as  trash and  waste                                                                   
     disposal. Then it should be  under a different guise and                                                                   
     not  as a  subsistence  fishing  permit fee.  It  should                                                                   
     perhaps be a  service fee and normally those  things are                                                                   
     handled through a general fund  appropriation to another                                                                   
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  said the committee  was working  on amendments                                                              
as they talked,  but a quorum of the committee  wasn't present, so                                                              
he would hold the bill.                                                                                                         
     CSHB 287(FIN)-EXEMPT ENTRY PERMITS  FROM CREDITOR CLAIMS                                                               
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON   announced  CSHB   287(FIN)  to  be   up  for                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  DREW SCALZI,  sponsor  of HB  287, explained  this                                                              
very  simple bill  exempts limited  entry permits  from claims  of                                                              
creditors, except  the Commercial  Fisheries and Agriculture  Bank                                                              
(CFAB) and  the Child  Support Enforcement  Division (CSED).  This                                                              
bill will  give added protection  to the state's position  that it                                                              
is in the best interest of the state  that permits be non-lienable                                                              
to other  entities so  the state  can retain  its fishing  harvest                                                              
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON asked  if it  will  stop the  IRS from  taking                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE SCALZI replied yes.                                                                                              
MS.  MARY  MCDOWELL,  Commissioner,   Commercial  Fisheries  Entry                                                              
Commission (CFEC), indicated support of the bill.                                                                               
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  announced  an  at-ease  until  members  could                                                              
TAPE 02-29, SIDE A                                                                                                            
            SB 366-CHITINA DIP NET FISHERY PERMIT FEE                                                                       
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  announced that the committee would  take up SB
366 again, as a quorum was now present.                                                                                         
SENATOR WILKEN moved to adopt Amendment 1 to replace $25 with $0                                                                
in Section 1, to change the effective  date to 1/1/2003 in Section                                                              
2,  and to  add  a new  Section  3  that says,  conceptually,  the                                                              
Department of  Fish and  Game will report  to the legislature  the                                                              
final  results  of  the Chitina  fishery  access  negotiations  by                                                              
February 1, 2003.                                                                                                               
There were no objections and Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                           
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON asked if there  was any objection to moving the                                                              
SENATOR WILKEN  reiterated that  it is important  to have  a safe,                                                              
productive and accessible  fishery at Chitina this  year and that,                                                              
"By this time next year, we'll have this problem fixed."                                                                        
There were no objections and CSSB 366(RES) moved from committee.                                                                
     CSHB 287(FIN)-EXEMPT ENTRY PERMITS FROM CREDITOR CLAIMS                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  announced CSHB 287(FIN) to be  back before the                                                              
MS. SUE ASPELUND  said that the Cordova District  Fishermen United                                                              
does not support the House Finance  CS to HB 287 and urged members                                                              
to  consider  reinstating  the  CS  that came  out  of  the  House                                                              
Fisheries  committee.   She  surmised,  "If  the   intent  of  the                                                              
legislation  really is  to protect  fishermen from  the claims  of                                                              
creditors, it seems  foolhardy to support the  gutted version that                                                              
came out of House Finance."                                                                                                     
SENATOR WILKEN  moved to  pass CSHB  287(FIN) from committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations  and attached fiscal notes.  There were                                                              
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            
        HB 447-COM FISH & AGRICULTURE BANK INTEREST RATE                                                                    
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  announced HB 447  to be up  for consideration.                                                              
He reminded  members they  had already taken  testimony on  HB 447                                                              
and had received conflicting legal  opinions from different folks.                                                              
He suggested the  bill should probably go to the  Senate Judiciary                                                              
Committee for review, but it did not have a referral.                                                                           
SENATOR  WILKEN  moved   to  pass  HB  447  from   committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations  and attached  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 5:03 p.m.                                                                           

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