Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/18/2005 03:30 PM RESOURCES


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03:34:55 PM Start
03:40:00 PM Confirmation Hearing: || Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (aogcc) - Cathy Forester
03:43:28 PM SB96
04:34:31 PM SB113
05:09:59 PM HB197
05:24:38 PM SB170
05:58:37 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Confirmation Hearing:
AOCGG Member - Cathy Forester
+= SB 96 UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT/STATE FOREST TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 96(RES) Out of Committee
+= SB 113 GULF OF ALASKA GROUNDFISH FISHERY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 170 BD/DEPT OF FISH & GAME POWERS & DUTIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 197 OIL SPILL EXEMPTIONS FOR GAS WELLS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 197(RLS) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 18, 2005                                                                                         
                           3:34 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Ralph Seekins, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING:                                                                                                         
Alaska  Oil  and  Gas Conservation  Commission  (AOGCC)  -  Cathy                                                               
Forester                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 96                                                                                                              
"An Act granting  certain state land to the  University of Alaska                                                               
and establishing  the university  research forest;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
     MOVED CSSB 96(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 113                                                                                                             
"An Act relating  to entry into and management of  Gulf of Alaska                                                               
groundfish fisheries."                                                                                                          
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 197(RLS)                                                                                                  
"An Act exempting certain natural  gas exploration and production                                                               
facilities from  oil discharge  prevention and  contingency plans                                                               
and proof  of financial responsibility,  and amending  the powers                                                               
and  duties of  the Alaska  Oil and  Gas Conservation  Commission                                                               
with  respect to  those  plans; and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     MOVED CSHB 197(RLS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 170                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the Department  of Fish and Game,  the Board                                                               
of Fisheries,  and the Board of  Game; relating to the  taking of                                                               
big game and to the disposition of  a mount, trophy, or part of a                                                               
fish or game  animal; setting fees for  certain trapping licenses                                                               
and  certain hunting  licenses, permits,  and tags;  setting fees                                                               
for the  resident combined hunting,  trapping, and  sport fishing                                                               
license  and  the resident  combined  hunting  and sport  fishing                                                               
license;  relating to  the resident  small game  hunting license;                                                               
setting application fees for certain  hunting permits and stamps;                                                               
establishing a surcharge on hunting,  trapping, and sport fishing                                                               
licenses;  relating  to  certain  hunting,  trapping,  and  sport                                                               
fishing  licenses, tags,  permits,  and stamps;  relating to  the                                                               
fish  and game  fund; relating  to  violations of  fish and  game                                                               
laws;  relating  to state  management  of  wildlife; relating  to                                                               
endangered  fish and  wildlife;  and providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  96                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT/STATE FOREST                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/07/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/07/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/08/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/08/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/08/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/11/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/11/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/11/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/18/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       Moved CSSB  96(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/18/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 113                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: GULF OF ALASKA GROUNDFISH FISHERY                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEVENS B BY REQUEST                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
02/23/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/09/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/09/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/16/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/16/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/23/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/23/05       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/01/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/01/05       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/18/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 197                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OIL SPILL EXEMPTIONS FOR GAS WELLS                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): OIL & GAS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
03/03/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/03/05       (H)       O&G, RES                                                                                               
03/15/05       (H)       O&G AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/15/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
03/15/05       (H)       MINUTE(O&G)                                                                                            
03/16/05       (H)       O&G RPT 5DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/16/05       (H)       DP:    SAMUELS,   GARDNER,    DAHLSTROM,                                                               
                         ROKEBERG, KOHRING;                                                                                     
03/16/05       (H)       NR: KERTTULA                                                                                           
03/21/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/21/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/23/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
03/23/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 197(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/23/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/29/05       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) 2DP 3NR 2AM                                                                            
03/29/05       (H)       DP: ELKINS, SEATON;                                                                                    
03/29/05       (H)       NR: OLSON, KAPSNER, LEDOUX;                                                                            
03/29/05       (H)       AM: GATTO, SAMUELS                                                                                     
04/06/05       (H)       RLS RPT CS(RLS) 4DP 1NR                                                                                
04/06/05       (H)       DP: KOHRING, HARRIS, COGHILL, ROKEBERG;                                                                
04/06/05       (H)       NR: MCGUIRE                                                                                            
04/06/05       (H)       RETURNED TO RULES COMMITTEE                                                                            
04/06/05       (H)       RLS AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/06/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 197(RLS) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/06/05       (H)       MINUTE(RLS)                                                                                            
04/07/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/07/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 197(RLS)                                                                                 
04/08/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/08/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/18/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       Moved CSHB 197(RLS) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/18/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 170                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BD/DEPT OF FISH & GAME POWERS & DUTIES                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/12/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/12/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/18/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CATHY FORESTER                                                                                                                  
Nominee to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission                                                                       
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM BARRY                                                                                                                       
Staff to Senator Stedman                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 96 for the sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ART NELSON, Chairman                                                                                                            
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 113.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE TWOMLEY, Commissioner                                                                                                     
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC)                                                                                    
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 113.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ED DERSHAM, Vice Chairman                                                                                                       
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 113.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOHRING                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 197.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAN SEAMOUNT                                                                                                                    
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC)                                                                              
333 W. 7th Ave., Ste. 100                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 197.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
LARRY DIETRICH, Director                                                                                                        
Division of Spill Prevention and Response                                                                                       
Department of Environmental Conservation                                                                                        
410 Willoughby                                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK 99801-1795                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 197.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MATT ROBUS, Director                                                                                                            
Division of Wildlife Conservation                                                                                               
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 170.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  called   the  Senate  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 3:34:55 PM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Stedman, Guess, Dyson, Elton and Chair Wagoner.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                     ^CONFIRMATION HEARING:                                                                                 
^Alaska  Oil  and Gas  Conservation  Commission  (AOGCC) -  Cathy                                                               
Forester                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMAS  WAGONER announced  the first  order of  business to                                                               
come before  the committee was  the confirmation hearing  for the                                                               
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. FORESTER,  nominee for  the Alaska  Oil and  Gas Conservation                                                               
Commission (AOGCC), said her family  taught her to give more than                                                               
she took  and she  is excited  to have  this opportunity  to give                                                               
something back  to the state that  has been so wonderful  to her.                                                               
"When  I think  of my  experiences  and training  as a  petroleum                                                               
engineer, I can't think of a  better place that I could serve the                                                               
state  of   Alaska  than   in  the   Oil  and   Gas  Conservation                                                               
Commission."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She  said  that  she  has  had  a  variety  of  assignments  from                                                               
reservoir  development to  facilities design  and has  supervised                                                               
and managed from  small highly technical groups  of engineers and                                                               
scientists to  really large operations.  She highlighted  some of                                                               
her Alaskan experiences contained in her resume'.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:40:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DYSON moved  to pass  Ms.  Forester's name  to the  full                                                               
body. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:40:38 PM Senator Seekins joined the committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:40:48 PM At ease 3:41:59 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
           SB  96-UNIVERSITY LAND GRANT/STATE FOREST                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR THOMAS WAGONER  announced SB 96 to be  up for consideration                                                               
again.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  moved to adopt  CSSB 96(RES), version G,  as the                                                               
working draft. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS moved to adopt the letter of intent.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:43:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS  objected for discussion  purposes. She  asked what                                                               
would  happen  if a  not-for-profit  wants  to  buy the  land  to                                                               
develop it,  because it seems  like the  letter of intent  is for                                                               
them to not receive the land.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS replied  that the intent is that the  land is not                                                               
for conservation purposes; it's for development.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked if that means  if the university can get more                                                               
money for  the land, but it's  for conservation, it still  has to                                                               
sell it for development.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  replied that would  be the practical  result and                                                               
he thought that would be a reasonable handicap.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GUESS asked  what if  the land  in question  couldn't be                                                               
developed for some reason.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS replied  that  he didn't  think  the lands  were                                                               
selected  because they  are useless.  Therefore,  they should  be                                                               
used for development.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:49:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER  added that the real  meat of the letter  of intent                                                               
is in the next to the  last paragraph where the university agrees                                                               
that  the parcel  at Coldfoot  will not  be used  to establish  a                                                               
business in direct competition with the one already there.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON said  that some  people have  testified that  land                                                               
held  for  conservation  purposes  does have  a  strong  economic                                                               
component;  it attracts  people  to  lodges in  the  area. He  is                                                               
worried  that   this  language  would   preclude  that   kind  of                                                               
consideration to be made by the university.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  he understands  that concern,  but if  the                                                               
land is  put into  conservation, that  lodge owner  is precluding                                                               
anyone else  from ever coming  in to compete  in what could  be a                                                               
two-lodge area. He didn't think  that type of situation should be                                                               
precluded.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:52:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN said that remote  cabin sites are the highest and                                                               
best  use for  a majority  of  the Southeast  parcels, not  large                                                               
scale  industrialized logging  that might  be conducive  on other                                                               
parcels.  Most  of  the  land  has been  held  in  private  hands                                                               
previous to statehood. He wanted  it made clear to the University                                                               
that the intent is to have land go to individuals.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:54:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  responded that he appreciates  the discussion, but                                                               
again pointed out  that there could be an economic  benefit to an                                                               
existing landowner  or a  new business  owner for  not developing                                                               
the  land.  Not   allowing  transferred  land  to   be  used  for                                                               
conservation purposes  could preclude  a neighboring  lodge owner                                                               
from purchasing it to keep it  in its natural state to enhance or                                                               
protect his business.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:54:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER replied that's the reason he favors this letter.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     If  we  start  taking  lands   that  are  meant  to  be                                                                    
     transferred to  the University of  Alaska or  any other                                                                    
     area to  be developed and all  of a sudden we  not only                                                                    
     take them out of the  realm of developable land, but if                                                                    
     we put  them into 501(c)(3)s  or some other  tax exempt                                                                    
     organization,  we then  take the  ability -  if there's                                                                    
     boroughs  organized  -  we  take  the  ability  of  the                                                                    
     borough to have that land on  the local tax roles to be                                                                    
     part of their tax base, too.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     That's one of the things  that I'm more concerned about                                                                    
     - especially in some of  the areas in Southeastern than                                                                    
     any other area. Because  that land should always remain                                                                    
     on the  borough tax roles.  I think we've  taken enough                                                                    
     land  out of  the  private  sector and  put  it in  the                                                                    
     public sector.  I happen to have  a lot of land  in the                                                                    
     Kenai Peninsula Borough that that  has happened to just                                                                    
     recently and they wanted to have a lot more....                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:56:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON said he understands  that argument, but an existing                                                               
lodge would pay taxes  on the land even if it is  being held in a                                                               
conservation state.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:56:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS asked  if the university pays taxes on  the land it                                                               
owns.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WAGONER  answered no,  but  he's  concerned about  who  it                                                               
transfers its lands to.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS maintained her objection  to adopting the letter of                                                               
intent.  A roll  call vote  was taken.  Senators Elton  and Guess                                                               
voted  nay; Senators  Seekins, Dyson,  Stedman and  Chair Wagoner                                                               
voted yea; and the letter of intent was adopted.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:58:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN offered Amendment 1.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                          AMENDMENT 1                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
 OFFERED IN THE SENATE                  BY SENATOR STEDMAN                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     TO:  CSSB 96(RES), version "G"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Page 7, line 30:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Delete "JU.LM.1001, Lena Creek", and insert "HA.CH.1001,                                                                   
Haines-Chilkoot"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Page 8, following line 9:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Insert:                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     (p)  Notwithstanding (a) of this section, the state land                                                                   
identified  in  this subsection  and  described  in the  document                                                               
entitled  "University  of Alaska  Land  Grant  List 2005,"  dated                                                               
January  12, 2005,  may  not  be conveyed  to  the University  of                                                               
Alaska under  this section if the  land is included in  a borough                                                               
formed   before  July   1,  2009,   that  includes   Wrangell  or                                                               
Petersburg.   If  such a  borough is  not formed  before July  1,                                                               
2009, the following  land shall be conveyed to  the University of                                                               
Alaska on July  1, 2009; or if land within  the following parcels                                                               
is  not  selected  by  a  borough before  January  1,  2013,  the                                                               
following land shall  be conveyed to the University  of Alaska on                                                               
June 30, 2013:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          (1)   Parcel Number SD.1001, Beecher Pass;                                                                           
          (2)   Parcel Number SD.1001, Favor Peak;                                                                             
          (3)   Parcel Number CS.TL.1001, Three Lake Road;                                                                     
          (4)   Parcel Number SD.1001, Read Island;                                                                            
          (5)   Parcel Number SD.1001, Whitney Island;                                                                         
        (6)   Parcel Number CS.EW.1001, Earl West Cove;                                                                        
          (7)   Parcel Number CS.OV.1001, Olive Cove;                                                                          
          (8)   Parcel Number SD.1001, Thoms Place;                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN  said there  is  very  little private  or  state                                                               
property  in Southeast  Alaska; it's  mostly in  the middle  of a                                                               
federal  forest.   This  amendment   gives  the   communities  an                                                               
opportunity to possibly pick up  the parcels if they organize. It                                                               
is not as far-reaching  as he would like as far  as the amount of                                                               
parcels  are  concerned  and  he is  concerned  over  the  public                                                               
process, which he  thought needed work with  the university. It's                                                               
nice to go  to the communities that are affected  and hold public                                                               
hearings.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:01:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON proposed  Amendment 1  to Amendment  1 on  page 8,                                                               
line 3,  under subsection  (n) to add  "(8) MF1002,  Idaho Inlet;                                                               
(9) MF1001 Mite Cove; and (10) Pelican."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS objected for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN said  he  wanted  to know  if  it was  permanent                                                               
removal  or removal  of  a time  certain to  be  included into  a                                                               
borough. He  would accept it  as a  friendly amendment if  it was                                                               
similar to the purpose of the original amendment.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said his  objection is based  on his  reading of                                                               
the  bill;  that  the  amendment  would  accomplish  a  permanent                                                               
withdrawal of those lands.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  said that Senator  Seekins' statement  is correct.                                                               
It adds it  to the previously excluded list and  does not include                                                               
language under subsection (p), which  is specific to the Wrangell                                                               
Petersburg area.  He said  there has  been discussion  of borough                                                               
formation  in this  area and  those  parcels equal  more than  99                                                               
percent  of  the state  land  that  would  be available  to  that                                                               
borough. He had no idea where borough boundaries would be.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  recalled  that  Mr.  Johnson's  (SRES  4/11/05)                                                               
testimony emphasized that he wanted  a specific date for boroughs                                                               
to  be formed  so that  lands could  be left  for them  to choose                                                               
from.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I  am  very  much  in   favor  of  allowing  that  land                                                                    
     selection process to be there,  but I think there needs                                                                    
     to be some kind of a  date in time where either they're                                                                    
     faced with  those lands being transferred  because they                                                                    
     don't want to  form a borough or they come  back to the                                                                    
     legislature to  extend that period  of time to  be able                                                                    
     to protect those  lands if they do intend  on forming a                                                                    
     borough of some kind.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:06:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON  commented that  lands  can  remain available  for                                                               
borough selection  only if they  remain with DNR.  The difficulty                                                               
in  this instance  is that  you have  several different  entities                                                               
like Elfin Cove, Pelican, Gustavus  and Hoonah. He suggested that                                                               
any deadline would guarantee that they  will come back at a later                                                               
date because, "I  think that between now and then,  it's going to                                                               
be very,  very difficult  to get these  entities together  to try                                                               
and figure out the governance systems that they might want."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  he wouldn't  mind  them coming  back at  a                                                               
later date and if there had  been some movement toward creating a                                                               
borough,  he  would  be  very   sympathetic  to  extending  those                                                               
deadlines.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:08:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GUESS asked  what happens  if  someone wants  to form  a                                                               
borough with this land without Wrangell or Petersburg.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Are we  giving leverage  to Wrangell and  Petersburg in                                                                    
     discussing borough  formation by  saying that  the land                                                                    
     has to be  in a borough form that  includes Wrangell or                                                                    
     Petersburg?                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN  replied that  they are  included in  one borough                                                               
under the  planned boroughs,  but they may  decide to  create two                                                               
separate boroughs.  Earl West  Cove, Olive  Cove and  Thoms Place                                                               
would be  in the Wrangell area  and Favor Peak, Beecher  Pass and                                                               
Three Lake  Road would  be in the  other. The  amendment language                                                               
intends to clarify  that those properties can be  selected if one                                                               
or two  boroughs are created.  If none are created,  that's fine,                                                               
too.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said he  thought  Amendment  1 to  Amendment  1                                                               
permanently removes Mite  Cove, Idaho Inlet and  Pelican from the                                                               
list to transfer to the University of Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:11:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN said  he  opposed Amendment  1  to Amendment  1,                                                               
"Because if  the amendment  to the  amendment goes  forward, I've                                                               
got a whole list I'd like to add  to it." He thought adding a new                                                               
paragraph,  (q), that  would  address those  parcels  would be  a                                                               
better way of dealing with it.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:12:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS called  the question on Amendment  1 to Amendment                                                               
1. A roll call vote  was taken. Senators Stedman, Seekins, Dyson,                                                               
and Chair Wagoner voted nay;  Senators Elton and Guess voted yea;                                                               
and Amendment 1 to Amendment 1 failed.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:13:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  moved conceptual Amendment  2 to Amendment  1 that                                                               
would  provide that  those three  parcels be  protected with  the                                                               
same deadlines and in the same way as the parcels listed in (p).                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:14:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  if the  conceptual  amendment would  give                                                               
Pelican, Idaho Inlet  and Mite Cove the same  opportunity to form                                                               
a borough before January 1, 2013.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:14:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS joined the committee.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:14:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON replied  that  such  a borough  would  have to  be                                                               
formed before July  1, 2009. If not, those parcels  would then be                                                               
transferred to the university prior to June 30, 2013.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:15:19 PM                                                                                                                    
There were no  objections to conceptual Amendment  2 to Amendment                                                               
1 and it was adopted.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS clarified  that in the new section  (q) the borough                                                               
does not have to include Petersburg and Wrangell.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN replied that was correct.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WAGONER  announced  that the  committee  had  Amendment  1                                                               
amended in front of it.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:16:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS asked what parcel was replacing Lena Creek.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER replied Haines-Chilkoot.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked if that had been  on the list before or is it                                                               
a new parcel.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN answered  that it was on the list  before and was                                                               
removed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TIM BARRY,  staff to Senator  Stedman, added  that Representative                                                               
Thomas  requested  that the  parcel  be  put  back. It's  in  his                                                               
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:16:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER  asked what  the difference  in acreage  is between                                                               
the two parcels.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARRY  replied the  Lena Creek  parcel is  610 acres  and the                                                               
Haines-Chilkoot parcel is 60 acres.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS asked what the amendment does.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BARRY  replied that the  Lena Creek parcel had  been excluded                                                               
from the transfer  list, but it will now be  included. The Haines                                                               
parcel will be excluded.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:18:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER announced that there  were no further objections or                                                               
questions on Amendment 1 amended; and it was therefore adopted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:18:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON said  he had another amendment,  but wouldn't offer                                                               
it at this time.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:19:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER asked if the University or DNR had any further                                                                    
discussion. There was none offered.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:19:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS moved CSSB 96(RES), version G, from committee                                                                   
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON objected.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken. Senators Dyson, Guess, Seekins,                                                                     
Stedman and Chair Wagoner voted yea; Senator Elton voted nay;                                                                   
and CSSB 96(RES) moved from committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:20:04 PM Recess 4:24:37 PM                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
            SB 113-GULF OF ALASKA GROUNDFISH FISHERY                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR WAGONER announced SB 113 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEN STEVENS moved to adopt CSSB 113(RES), version S.                                                                    
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER objected for an explanation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS briefed the committee on the changes in the CS                                                                  
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   1. On page 2, lines 24 and 25, "except for mechanical jigging                                                                
     machine fisheries"  is added.  This would  remove mechanical                                                               
     jigging fisheries within state  waters from consideration of                                                               
     a direct access privilege (DAP) program.                                                                                   
   2. On page 6, lines 3 - 7, "(2)"Gulf of Alaska groundfish                                                                    
     fishery" is added and regards  a fishery in which groundfish                                                               
     are  taken in  a  specified  administrative or  registration                                                               
     area using  a specific type  of fishing gear that  is either                                                               
     pelagic  trawl, non-pelagic  trawl, pot,  or longline  gear.                                                               
     "Gulf  of  Alaska  groundfish   fishery"  does  not  include                                                               
     mechanical  jigging machine  fisheries. This  clarified what                                                               
     fisheries  would be  available  for consideration  of a  DAP                                                               
     program.                                                                                                                   
   3. Page 6, lines 17 - 20, adds: "(d) Notwithstanding AS                                                                      
     16.05.815   and  AS   16.43.975,  the   commission  or   the                                                               
     Department of  Fish and Game may  release to the owner  of a                                                               
     vessel information on the vessel's  history of harvests in a                                                               
     fishery that is necessary to apply for a dedicated access                                                                  
     privilege issued under AS 16.43.530."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS explained  that this provision was  added so that                                                               
managers have  access to the history  of a vessel when  a plan is                                                               
being developed. The information  would not be disseminated; it's                                                               
only  in the  event that  a direct  access privileged  program is                                                               
being  considered.   The  Board  of  Fisheries   and  the  Alaska                                                               
Commercial  Fisheries  Entry  Commission  have  a  Memorandum  of                                                               
Understanding  (MOU)   with  respect   to  the  Gulf   of  Alaska                                                               
groundfish fisheries.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ART  NELSON, Chairman,  Board of  Fisheries,  said the  MOU is  a                                                               
strong statement about how the public process is going to work.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE   TWOMLEY,   Commissioner,   Commercial   Fisheries   Entry                                                               
Commission (CFEC), emphasized that  the joint public hearings the                                                               
MOU  calls  for  provide  an  opportunity  to  sort  through  the                                                               
proposal before it  becomes a public proposal. It  ties the board                                                               
together with CFEC  during the process so that  they can consider                                                               
testimony together.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ED DERSHAM,  Vice Chairman,  Board of  Fisheries, added  that the                                                               
MOU is the end result of a year  and a half of work and nine days                                                               
of public meetings at the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  asked if he  could elaborate on paragraph  2 and                                                               
how the process for direct access privilege begins.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:35:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  TWOMLEY   explained  that  limited  entry   has  never  been                                                               
implemented  without being  asked  for by  the  fishermen in  the                                                               
fishery and that language is intended to reassure the public.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:36:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WAGONER  asked  what  percentage  of  fishermen  would  be                                                               
required for them to consider implementing limited entry.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TWOMLEY replied  that a  statutory duty  is set  out in  the                                                               
Administrative Procedures  Act stating  that any time  a petition                                                               
(of one  or more people) is  submitted, the agency has  a duty to                                                               
respond  to  it   within  30  days.  There   is  no  quantitative                                                               
requirement. The  initial step  outlined in the  MOU will  be the                                                               
Board of Fisheries pointing out  fisheries it regards as critical                                                               
to  the CFEC  and that  will trigger  CFEC into  doing the  basic                                                               
research to get  a good sense of what the  fishery looks like and                                                               
whether or  not it would  be a  likely candidate for  a dedicated                                                               
access privilege program.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS asked him to  highlight the public comment period                                                               
and  the   process  for  a  normal   application  under  existing                                                               
regulations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:39:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  TWOMLEY  replied in  the  existing  system, the  CFEC  would                                                               
receive a petition. In most  instances to comply with the statute                                                               
they  say  no, but  continue  to  look  at  the fishery.  If  the                                                               
commission can  satisfy the constitutional requirements  and if a                                                               
proposal would  promote conservation  and economic health  of the                                                               
fishery, it has a duty to go  forward with it at that point. That                                                               
proposal has  to be  reviewed by  the Attorney  General's office.                                                               
Then  it goes  out to  the public  for comment  and that  time is                                                               
often  quite  generous  because  you  must  work  around  fishing                                                               
seasons. At  the end of  the process  there is an  opportunity to                                                               
make a decision  and that, again, has to be  reviewed by the AG's                                                               
office.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:40:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked how long that takes.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. TWOMLEY replied a minimum of 90 days, but longer usually.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:41:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  asked Mr.  Dersham how  long the  public comment                                                               
period on the Chignik fishery took.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERSHAM replied  that  the people  pursuing  the co-op  came                                                               
forward  about eight  months before  the  regulatory meeting  and                                                               
informal discussion took  place over that period.  When the board                                                               
actually took  up the Chignik  Co-op for regulatory  action, that                                                               
happened  within a  nine-day period.  The  proposal had  actually                                                               
                                         th                                                                                     
been on the books from the prior April 10.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS  asked how  the  inclusion  of a  joint  hearing                                                               
process would change their normal hearing process.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:44:32 PM                                                                                                                    
ART NELSON, Chairman, Board of  Fisheries, answered that it could                                                               
lengthen  the  hearing  process.  If  the  CFEC  comes  out  with                                                               
preliminary regulations, the board  could take exception to them,                                                               
for instance. Although, he hoped  there wouldn't be disagreements                                                               
between the two  bodies. They didn't want to give  one agency the                                                               
power to trump the other in terms of statutory authorities.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:45:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON said  that  paragraph  (5) mandates  communication                                                               
between CFEC and the board on  written comments that may be given                                                               
to  CFEC. He  anticipated the  board would  also receive  written                                                               
comments, but nothing mandates that  the board's comments need to                                                               
be shared with CFEC. He asked if that is a structural issue.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:46:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DERSHAM  replied that it  is their intent  to go back  to the                                                               
work group  that had been  working for the  past year and  a half                                                               
and make additions  to that membership for  more inclusive public                                                               
participation in the affected areas.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. TWOMLEY explained  the point is that when the  two groups are                                                               
together, they  will be getting  all the information at  the same                                                               
time, but  because the proposal  and notice will come  from CFEC,                                                               
it will have to share its information with the board.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:47:47 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON  said  that CFEC  commissioners  would  understand                                                               
that, but the public might not.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:48:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS asked  Mr. Dersham  how efforts  on the  federal                                                               
level would impact  existing participants on the  state level and                                                               
which fisheries would apply for a direct access program.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERSHAM  replied that  the board  and the  department haven't                                                               
yet defined what a separate fishery  is, but the cod fisheries on                                                               
the south peninsula in Kodiak,  and more recently Cook Inlet, and                                                               
the pollock fisheries  from Prince William Sound  out through the                                                               
Aleutians came to his mind first as candidates.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:51:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  asked how  a DAP would  the impact  the Shumigan                                                               
Islands  pot  cod  fishery and  parallel  pollock  pelagic  trawl                                                               
fishery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:52:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DERSHAM replied:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Under current regulations in state  waters, if we had a                                                                    
     rationalized federal Gulf  groundfish fishery next door                                                                    
     to those,  it would greatly increase  the potential for                                                                    
     additional  pressure during  the times  when the  state                                                                    
     waters  were opened.  So, people's  past practices  and                                                                    
     their past history would be  very much at risk with the                                                                    
     same set  of regulations,  because the freed  up effort                                                                    
     from  the federal  side could  encroach on  what's been                                                                    
     taking place in the state waters in the past.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:54:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. TWOMLEY  agreed, and said the  function of DAPs should  be to                                                               
help secure the place of Alaskan fishermen in their fishery.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     It should  also aid  enforcement by  putting individual                                                                    
     limits  on their  ability to  take  resources from  the                                                                    
     fishery.   It  should   also  enhance   their  economic                                                                    
     opportunities   by  excusing   them  from   what  would                                                                    
     otherwise be a  race for the fish. There is  more of an                                                                    
     opportunity to be rational and  to plan. In the absence                                                                    
     of that, the fishery would  be just as vulnerable as Ed                                                                    
     has indicated.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:55:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER  asked him  to compare the  DAP process  to halibut                                                               
IFQs in terms of its affect on processors in the marketplace.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  TWOMLEY  replied  that  there  are  sound  opportunities  to                                                               
increase the  value of the product  simply by being able  to fish                                                               
when it's opportune  to do so - when the  markets are right, when                                                               
prices are right  and along with the safety  benefits of avoiding                                                               
bad weather. With more marketable  fish, it is an opportunity for                                                               
processors as well.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:56:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked why the  department and the board  need to                                                               
have an MOU.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DERSHAM replied  that  the public  needs  definitions and  a                                                               
clear understanding of how the process will work.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said   they  are  not  trying  to   set  up  an                                                               
exclusionary process, but to just manage the real resource.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERSHAM replied that is correct.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:59:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  directed members to  page 5,  line 5, of  the CS                                                               
that  lists  the nine  key  elements  that  the developers  of  a                                                               
program  must address.  He asked  anyone to  comment if  they saw                                                               
omissions from  the guidelines for development  of regulations to                                                               
implement a program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:01:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  TWOMLEY  commented  that  these   are  basic  and  essential                                                               
elements of a  DAPS program as advised by  Lance Nelson, Attorney                                                               
General's Office.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:01:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked  if this list is a product  of the hearings                                                               
held over the last several years.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:02:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DERSHAM replied yes, definitely.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS  said that he  was trying to highlight  that this                                                               
list is a product of public  hearings that have been conducted by                                                               
the  Board   of  Fisheries  and   the  North   Pacific  Fisheries                                                               
Management Council as a joint planning team.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DERSHAM  added that it  was part of  the nine days  of public                                                               
hearings  the Board  of Fisheries  conducted over  a period  of a                                                               
year and  a half with a  work group of public  panel advisors and                                                               
input   from   the   general  public   and   participation   from                                                               
representation from the CFEC and the Department of Law.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:02:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS asked if their work was posted and reviewed.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DERSHAM replied yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:04:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  highlighted that  the material  in this  bill is                                                               
the  evolution  of  an extensive  public  process  among  fishing                                                               
participants  and the  fisheries managers.  He thought  there had                                                               
been adequate public review.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:05:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS moved  to  adopt the  MOU to  be  included as  a                                                               
letter of  intent with SB  113. There  were no objections  and it                                                               
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER  noted there were  no further questions  and stated                                                               
that he would have another hearing on this bill on Saturday.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        CSHB 197(RLS)-OIL SPILL EXEMPTIONS FOR GAS WELLS                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR   WAGONER   announced   CSHB   197(RLS)  to   be   up   for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOHRING, sponsor  of HB  197, explained  that its                                                               
sole  purpose  is  to clarify  for  Department  of  Environmental                                                               
Conservation  (DEC) that  discharge  contingency plans  (C-plans)                                                               
and  financial responsibility  are not  required for  natural gas                                                               
wells.  Legislation was  passed last  year, HB  531, which  dealt                                                               
with  coalbed  methane  that  inadvertently  placed  language  in                                                               
statute  that  required  C-plans  for any  kind  of  drilling  or                                                               
exploration activity. That was not  the intent. "There should not                                                               
be an oil spill  plan if there is no oil  involved in drilling or                                                               
exploring for natural gas."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  said   the  AOGCC   is  the  entity   that  would   make  the                                                               
determination  as to  whether  or not  oil  could be  encountered                                                               
before an exemption is given.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:09:59 PM                                                                                                                    
DAN  SEAMOUNT,   Alaska  Oil  and  Gas   Conservation  Commission                                                               
(AOGCC), supported HB 197. "It  allows for better use of geologic                                                               
information and  understanding in determining the  needs for such                                                               
plans...."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  explained  that  the  current   scope  of  C-plan  exemptions                                                               
mismatched with the  facts of Alaska's geology.  Drilling for gas                                                               
in many areas  has no risk of  an oil spill at  all, because they                                                               
have no  oil-bearing zones.  HB 197  provides for  a case-by-case                                                               
geologic evaluation  of wells  drilled to  explore for  gas. This                                                               
would reasonably  include shallow  and deep  non-conventional and                                                               
conventional gas plays and prospects.  It adds no additional cost                                                               
to  the commission's  budget since  it has  basically been  doing                                                               
this for years, and simply  corrects the problem with last year's                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:12:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS  asked what would  happen if someone  were drilling                                                               
for gas and encountered oil.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SEAMOUNT  replied  that  the   AOGCC  would  order  them  to                                                               
immediately stop  drilling and would then  evaluate the potential                                                               
for flow.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:13:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GUESS asked  if natural gas is liquid at  any time and do                                                               
they have  worry about temperatures  when it would  become liquid                                                               
and, therefore, be possible to spill.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SEAMOUNT  replied  that  that  could  happen  in  retrograde                                                               
condensate reservoirs and those would not get the exemption.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:13:54 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY  DIETRICH,  Director,  Division  of  Spill  Prevention  and                                                               
Response,   Department   of  Environmental   Conservation   (DEC)                                                               
supported HB 197.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:15:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS moved  to pass CSHB 197(RLS)  from committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached  fiscal notes. There were                                                               
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:16:18 PM At ease 5:17:36 PM                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
         SB 170-BD/DEPT OF FISH & GAME POWERS & DUTIES                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER announced SB 170 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   SEEKINS,   sponsor,   said  SB   170   addresses   some                                                               
housekeeping issues  and then some substantive  ones. It provides                                                               
for  sale of  legally taken  trophy mounts  and certain  parts of                                                               
legally  taken  game animals  and  solves  the current  situation                                                               
where  a person  cannot buy  a trophy  mount in  Alaska, but  the                                                               
seller can take the mount  to Seattle and conduct the transaction                                                               
with the  buyer there. He  said there is  no real good  reason to                                                               
prohibit their  sale here  and allowing  it would  raise revenues                                                               
for the fish and game fund.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
It   also  provides   for  a   small   game-hunting  license   as                                                               
differentiated  from a  general hunting  license, which  would be                                                               
sold for $25. Some people don't  want to hunt big game, but would                                                               
like  small game  - particularly  non-residents. It  provides for                                                               
some  uniform  application  fees  ($7.50 across  the  board)  for                                                               
certain  hunting permits,  drawings and  stamps. Right  now there                                                               
are different  fees for a musk  ox than there are  for a caribou.                                                               
The  fees  are  meant  to  defer  100  percent  of  the  cost  of                                                               
processing the fees. If the  department needed additional fees to                                                               
do that, he would be willing to look at that number.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said that  SB  170  also establishes  a  higher                                                               
degree of  accountability for the  use of monies within  the fish                                                               
and  game fund.  This fund  is  dedicated to  uses that  directly                                                               
benefit  those who  purchase hunting  and  fishing licenses.  The                                                               
fund currently  has only loose  internal guidelines as to  how it                                                               
is spent. SB  170 provides for new fees for  hunting and trapping                                                               
licenses and tags  and requires that the increases  in those fees                                                               
be used  to maximize management  for an abundance of  animals for                                                               
human consumption. Hunters have said  they are not willing to pay                                                               
more to harvest less.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
It  provides for  certain  predator control  for  bears in  areas                                                               
under  intensive   management  where   the  Board  of   Game  has                                                               
determined first  that bear predation  is a cause of  the problem                                                               
and  a  reduction  in  bears  would  reasonably  help  cure  that                                                               
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:24:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS said  the next provision is a  brand new concept.                                                               
It provides  for a new  deferral fee  that is limited  to certain                                                               
areas  that  are   adjacent  to  or  very   near  state  wildlife                                                               
sanctuaries or national parks. When  the board authorizes permits                                                               
to  hunt bear  or wolf  in  these areas,  a person  could take  a                                                               
permit off  the table by paying  into the fish and  game fund the                                                               
maximum market  value the hunt  would otherwise  have contributed                                                               
to the  state economy. As  an example,  he used the  McNeil River                                                               
Sanctuary that has the McNeil River  preserve next to it. Part of                                                               
the reason  for the  preserve has always  been to  allow hunting.                                                               
Because it is  next to the McNeil River  Sanctuary, people always                                                               
try to make  the preserve part of the sanctuary.  This will allow                                                               
people  who  don't  want  bears  to  be  hunted  to  be  able  to                                                               
contribute to  the management of  the sanctuaries, which  are all                                                               
managed  from the  fish and  game fund,  by buying  a permit  and                                                               
taking it off the table for the year.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:27:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER asked how many areas are similar to McNeil River.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MATT ROBUS,  Director, Division of Wildlife  Conservation, Alaska                                                               
Department  of Fish  and  Game (ADF&G),  answered  Pack Creek  on                                                               
Admiralty Island,  the Katmai National  Park and  Denali National                                                               
Park.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  said this provision  would apply to  areas where                                                               
the bears have been habituated.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:28:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  asked what  the definition of  animal parts  is as                                                               
used in section 52.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS replied  that its not meant for sale  of meat and                                                               
he wanted  to put an  amendment in the  bill saying that.  But he                                                               
has  no objection  to  saying that  a person  could  sell a  gall                                                               
bladder of a legally taken  bear. An affirmative defense would be                                                               
to show  that a  bear had  been consumed by  the same  person who                                                               
took it and sold the gall bladder.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER  said that he read  that the bottom has  fallen out                                                               
of the bear gall bladder market  because of Viagra and drugs like                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS  replied that sale  of bear  gall bladders is  legal in                                                               
some states,  but not most. He  did not think there  was a direct                                                               
link between sale  of Viagra and bear gall  bladders, because the                                                               
bladders have medicinal uses in addition to that.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:31:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON said it is a  common practice to trade King salmon,                                                               
for instance, for a roast of moose. It would be a barter.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:31:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  there is  nothing  that he  knows of  that                                                               
would preclude a barter of that sort.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:31:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ROBUS responded  that he wanted to read  the regulations, but                                                               
he knows that it is a common practice.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  explained that he  understands the title  to the                                                               
fish  or game  animal  transfers  to the  owner  at  the time  of                                                               
harvest and  he would have the  right to share it  with anyone he                                                               
wanted to. The law could preclude its sale.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:32:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN asked him to talk about the proposed fees.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:32:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS responded  that the fees were proposed  to him by                                                               
the department, although he may have increased a couple.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:33:45 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ROBUS replied that is correct.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  asked  him  to explain  why  the  amounts  were                                                               
requested.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS  explained that his  division relies on the  one source                                                               
of non-federal funding that  it gets to do all of  its work - the                                                               
fish and game fund, which is  pretty much composed of hunting and                                                               
trapping  license  fees  and  hunter  tag fees.  It  has  had  no                                                               
increase in the last 13  years. The division's expenses are going                                                               
up and  revenues are static  or slightly declining. He  can still                                                               
get federal  matching funds, but has  run short to be  able to do                                                               
the additional  wildlife management work  to the extent  that the                                                               
division  is  running $2  million  less  this  year. He  has  the                                                               
increased demands  of predator  control and  intensive management                                                               
programs.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     We do have  some serious fiscal issues  in the division                                                                    
     and we  put forward a  straw man proposal  containing a                                                                    
     fee  increase  that  we've  taken  around  to  advisory                                                                    
     committees, the  Board of Game, various  public groups,                                                                    
     individual  legislators  -  tried  to  put  together  a                                                                    
     package  that would  once again  bring  back enough  of                                                                    
     that state license money to  properly fund the wildlife                                                                    
     management  activities we  need to  do. That  straw man                                                                    
     package  was the  beginning of  the  evolution for  the                                                                    
     structure that  you see  in that  portion of  this bill                                                                    
     today.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:35:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN said  sheep are  highly prized  for hunters  and                                                               
Alaska  shouldn't  be  the  low-cost  producer  for  out-of-state                                                               
hunters.  He  wanted  an  explanation  of  why  the  fees  mostly                                                               
doubled.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS explained that the fees  were based on the need to make                                                               
up at least  the $2 million annual shortfall at  present plus the                                                               
desired  capability  to  be  able  to  do  more  active  wildlife                                                               
management  related  to  the intensive  management  law  and  the                                                               
predator management programs he has  going. In terms of the value                                                               
of their dollars, state residents pay  one half of what they paid                                                               
for a hunting license at  statehood. The sustained yield programs                                                               
must  be continued  for multiple  years to  be effective  and the                                                               
department  needs to  be able  to measure  the situation  before,                                                               
during  and after  those predator  programs in  order to  sustain                                                               
them.  The fees  were structured  to bring  in $3.5  million that                                                               
would restore the division's capabilities to manage wildlife.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN said  that some people don't  buy licenses anyhow                                                               
and doubling  the fee  doesn't encourage them.  He asked  how the                                                               
department planned to handle enforcement.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS  agreed with  his comment, but  said adamantly  that he                                                               
needs money for his programs.  He explained that enforcement is a                                                               
split effort  between his division  and the Department  of Public                                                               
Safety with DPS being the primary enforcers.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEDMAN wanted  a breakdown  of  who purchases  licenses                                                               
around the state.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:42:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked if  other areas  have asked  for increased                                                               
predator control.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ROBUS  replied  yes;  the   division  has  implemented  five                                                               
programs  and it's  challenging  to keep  them  going. There  are                                                               
numerous desires for intensive management programs elsewhere.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked if he  agreed that certain  predators have                                                               
been  allowed to  over-harvest in  many  areas of  the state  and                                                               
needs significant attention paid to it  if they want to put moose                                                               
and caribou on the tables of people in the State of Alaska.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ROBUS responded:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I  might state  it slightly  differently. I'm  not sure                                                                    
     that predators over harvest, but  the situation we have                                                                    
     now is that predators in  many places are taking enough                                                                    
     prey  animals to  prevent those  prey populations  from                                                                    
     increasing  to  levels that  can  be  supported by  the                                                                    
     habitat,  which   would  provide  more   animals,  more                                                                    
     hunting opportunity,  more meat  in the  freezer around                                                                    
     the state.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  noted that the section  requiring a conservation                                                               
tag from  people who hunt waterfowl  on page 14 will  be deleted.                                                               
It  will require  anyone who  fishes who  is of  legal age  or of                                                               
capability to  have a fishing  license for the first  time. Right                                                               
now only a hunting license is required.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:45:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN  asked if  this changes  the age  requirement for                                                               
having a license from anyone who is over 16 years of age.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS replied that it doesn't change that.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN asked if that isn't the law of the land today.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SEEKINS  replied,  "Not  for  subsistence  purposes  for                                                               
fishing."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:46:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  asked if the  first section, which  is legislative                                                               
intent, and  the last couple  of sections plus the  sections that                                                               
change 60  substantive operations in  the Department of  Fish and                                                               
Game,  could be  taken out  until they  can get  the department's                                                               
take on what it really needs.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:47:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  ROBUS said  that would  lead into  what he  has to  say. The                                                               
department has identified the fee increase  as a big need. He has                                                               
talked    to   advisory    committees    and    the   Board    of                                                               
Game  about it.  "The  license fee  is  a tremendously  important                                                               
aspect of this  bill from the perspective of my  division and the                                                               
department."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The size and complexity of the  bill means that the department is                                                               
still doing the analysis to figure out what the parts mean.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
It's  clear  that  it had  concerns  over  two-dozen  significant                                                               
changes to fish and game  statutes.  The relationship between the                                                               
Board  of Game,  the Board  of Fisheries  and the  department has                                                               
been changed  markedly in terms  of who  has the authority  to do                                                               
what. There is  a change in the way wild  animals are defined and                                                               
some animals would not even  be under his management jurisdiction                                                               
until or unless  the Board of Game took action  to make them part                                                               
of his business.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The  fiscal responsibility  part of  the bill  would impose  some                                                               
pretty  stringent  constraints  on  both  the  division  and  the                                                               
department  and those  need  to be  worked  through, although  he                                                               
understands that  accountability is something the  public and the                                                               
legislature want and deserve.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN SAXBY, Department of Law  (DOL), echoed Mr. Robus' comments                                                               
saying he hadn't had that much time  to look at the bill, but has                                                               
identified  a number  of  constitutional  and statutory  concerns                                                               
that would have to be thought through.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   SEEKINS  said   he  appreciates   the  fact   that  the                                                               
departments have not  had a lot of  time to look at  this, but he                                                               
wants an accounting  of money the Department has  spent. When the                                                               
ADF&G budget  was looked  at in  Finance Committee,  the question                                                               
was  asked  where  the  money  goes.  A  statute  says  that  the                                                               
legislature is  to receive a  project-by-project analysis  of how                                                               
it was  spent. But  they were  told "project"  is not  defined in                                                               
statute.   Alaska's Comprehensive Wildlife  Conservation Strategy                                                               
was  put together  with $600,000  or $800,000  worth of  matching                                                               
funds from the state to obtain  $3 million worth of federal money                                                               
to put into implementing a conservation plan.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     In this whole  plan, there is not a single  plan on how                                                                    
     to develop a conservation  plan for prey animals. There                                                                    
     are  conservation plans  for voles  and birds  and even                                                                    
     eel grass invertebrates.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
None of  the 74  species were nominated  by a  single consumptive                                                               
user  group; they  were nominated  by the  Audubon Society,  Cook                                                               
Inlet Keeper and  other groups across the state.  His folks would                                                               
go  along  with  some  increase  in  fees,  but  they  want  some                                                               
accountability  there. "We  don't  want somebody  to establish  a                                                               
conservation strategy  for the State  of Alaska that  hasn't gone                                                               
through the public hearing process that the Board of Game does."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WAGONER  said he would hold  the bill for further  work and                                                               
adjourned the meeting at 5:58:37 PM.                                                                                          

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