Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

01/25/2006 03:30 PM RESOURCES

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved SCS CSHJR 17(RES) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 25, 2006                                                                                        
                           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 Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 251(RES)                                                                                                  
"An Act authorizing the Board of Fisheries to adopt regulations                                                                 
regarding fishing by a person who holds two entry permits for a                                                                 
salmon fishery."                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 17(RES)                                                                                       
Opposing the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.                                                                          
     MOVED SCS CSHJR 17(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 251                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COMMERCIAL FISHING MULTIPLE PERMIT HOLDER                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) SAMUELS                                                                                           
04/05/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/05       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
04/11/05       (H)       FSH RPT 3DP 1NR                                                                                        
04/11/05       (H)       DP: WILSON, HARRIS, ELKINS;                                                                            
04/11/05       (H)       NR: THOMAS                                                                                             
04/11/05       (H)       FSH AT 8:30 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
04/11/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
04/11/05       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
04/11/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
04/11/05       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/20/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
04/20/05       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/22/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
04/22/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 251(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/22/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/25/05       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) 4DP 2NR                                                                                
04/25/05       (H)       DP: ELKINS, LEDOUX, RAMRAS, SAMUELS;                                                                   
04/25/05       (H)       NR: OLSON, CRAWFORD                                                                                    
04/29/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/29/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 251(RES)                                                                                 
05/01/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/01/05       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
01/25/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HJR 17                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FEDERAL LANDS RECREATION ENHANCEMENT ACT                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ELKINS                                                                                            
04/05/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/05       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
05/02/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
05/02/05       (H)       Moved CSHJR 17(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
05/02/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
05/03/05       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) 2DP 1DNP 5NR                                                                           
05/03/05       (H)       DP: ELKINS, CRAWFORD;                                                                                  
05/03/05       (H)       DNP: SEATON;                                                                                           
05/03/05       (H)       NR: OLSON, GATTO, LEDOUX, SAMUELS,                                                                     
05/07/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
05/07/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHJR 17(RES)                                                                                 
05/08/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/08/05       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
01/25/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE RALPH SAMUELS                                                                                                    
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 251.                                                                                        
PETER THOMPSON                                                                                                                  
Kodiak AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 251.                                                                                         
ROBIN SAMUELSON                                                                                                                 
Dillingham AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 251.                                                                                           
ANDY GOLIA                                                                                                                      
Dillingham AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 251.                                                                                           
PETER ANDREW                                                                                                                    
Dillingham AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 251.                                                                                           
MARK EDENS                                                                                                                      
Homer AK                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on the market for fish issue.                                                                   
STEVE TUTT                                                                                                                      
Homer AK                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 251.                                                                                           
KONRAD SCHAAD                                                                                                                   
Homer AK                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 251.                                                                                         
KURT KVERNVIK                                                                                                                   
Petersburg AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 251.                                                                                         
RICK WILLIAMS                                                                                                                   
Petersburg AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 251.                                                                                         
FRANK HOHMAN, Commissioner                                                                                                      
Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission                                                                                           
Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                                                                              
8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109                                                                                                 
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 251.                                                                                         
STOSH ANDERSON                                                                                                                  
Kodiak AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 251.                                                                                         
JENNIFER BAXTER                                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Elkins                                                                                                  
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HJR 17 for the sponsor.                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  called   the  Senate  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 3:34:22 PM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Kim Elton, Al Kookesh, Bert  Stedman, Fred Dyson and Chair Thomas                                                               
    CSHB 251(RES)-COMMERCIAL FISHING MULTIPLE PERMIT HOLDER                                                                 
CHAIR   WAGONER   announced   CSHB   251(RES)  to   be   up   for                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RALPH  SAMUELS, sponsor of  HB 251, said  it would                                                               
allow the Board to assign  additional fishing privileges to those                                                               
who hold  two permits in  a commercial salmon fishery.  The point                                                               
is to let  the debate take place at the  Board of Fisheries where                                                               
all the interested groups can have their input.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS gave  an  example of  how owning  another                                                               
permit would work  in a fishery where someone  is already allowed                                                               
to fish  two shackles of  gear. The Board  might say that  he can                                                               
fish three  permits since he  already is  taking gear out  of the                                                               
water and  increasing the  efficiency of  the entire  fleet. "The                                                               
goal is to try to make more  efficient use of some of the permits                                                               
that are not being used right  now." This measure is supported by                                                               
the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) and others.                                                                    
3:36:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS arrived.                                                                                                  
SENATOR BERT  STEDMAN asked if  this concept would  allow someone                                                               
to own multiple seine permits in multiple areas.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS replied that  the Board of Fisheries could                                                               
debate that issue if it chose to.                                                                                               
3:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WAGONER  explained  that they  are  basically  considering                                                               
stacking permits in one fishery, not all of them.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS also  pointed out  that line  5 says  the                                                               
Board may  allow a  person who  holds two  entry permits  for "a"                                                               
salmon fishery to engage in the fishery.                                                                                        
SENATOR  FRED  DYSON  asked  if  it  would  allow  two  different                                                               
individuals who  held a  gear license  to fish  on a  single boat                                                               
with three shackles of gear.                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER answered  no, they are restricted to  the number of                                                               
set shackles per  single boat. You can't fish two  permits on one                                                               
3:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DYSON said  it seemed  to him  that allowing  two permit                                                               
holders to  fish on one  boat would attain  the same goal  if one                                                               
bought or  transferred the permit  to the  other, as long  as the                                                               
boat is  limited to  some additional increment  of gear,  but not                                                               
twice as much.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  agreed that the  end result would  be the                                                               
3:40:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER  asked if the  Board of Fisheries could  grant that                                                               
option if this bill passes.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS replied  that  he didn't  have a  problem                                                               
with inserting that amendment.                                                                                                  
3:41:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS arrived.                                                                                                    
PETER  THOMPSON, Kodiak  fisherman, said  he held  a Bristol  Bay                                                               
salmon permit for 19 years and  supported HB 251. He related that                                                               
the  salmon industry  has been  in an  economic disaster  for the                                                               
last  five or  so  years and  everything that  can  make it  more                                                               
economically  viable  should  be  tried and  consolidation  is  a                                                               
concept whose  time has come.  He explained that Bristol  Bay has                                                               
1,857  drift permits,  which allows  5,571 shackles  of gear.  If                                                               
only  one-third of  the permit  holders stacked  a permit  either                                                               
with another permit holder or  one individual with two permits on                                                               
a single  vessel, it would take  1,240 shackles out of  the water                                                               
reducing  the  net  by  22   percent.  That  would  be  equal  to                                                               
eliminating about 70.5 miles of drift gillnet in Bristol Bay.                                                                   
MR. THOMPSON said he had a  petition signed by 31 Alaskan Limited                                                               
Entry permit holders in support of this tool.                                                                                   
3:44:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS asked if the  signatures had residences in Kodiak                                                               
or just a mailbox.                                                                                                              
MR. THOMPSON replied Kodiak residences.                                                                                         
3:45:49 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBIN SAMUELSON,  Dillingham, opposed HB  251 and said  its scope                                                               
needed  to  be narrowed.  Bristol  Bay  has  lost 50  percent  of                                                               
resident permits since  1973. He thought that  the current system                                                               
of allowing  permits to be owned  by one person was  good enough.                                                               
"What you're hearing  here, Mr. Chairman, is those  with the most                                                               
money are  going to survive in  this fishery. It's a  way of life                                                               
out here  - our fishery."  He said  the buy-back program  is dead                                                               
because of the permit stacking is allowed.                                                                                      
CHAIR  WAGONER asked  if  he thought  the  diminishing number  of                                                               
permits owned  by residents was  due to  taxes or sales  to other                                                               
MR.  SAMUELSON replied  that  it was  probably  a combination  of                                                               
both. The  cost of participating  in the fishery is  also rising.                                                               
It all has a cumulative effect.                                                                                                 
3:51:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DYSON asked  if there  are times  during early  and fall                                                               
fishing when  two guys  could fish  more gear  off one  boat that                                                               
would be helpful to local folks.                                                                                                
MR.  SAMUELSON replied  no, because  most of  the processors  are                                                               
full enough  running for  hatchery King  Salmon either  in Prince                                                               
William  Sound or  Southeast and  the  fall fishery  has all  but                                                               
dried up.  However, they are  trying to institute  village co-ops                                                               
with small processing plants to help keep the economy going.                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON  asked if  the processors were  there in  the fall,                                                               
would that  make it  more economical for  the local  fishermen to                                                               
fish two permits with two people in one boat.                                                                                   
MR.  SAMUELSON  replied  possibly,  but processors  are  gone  by                                                               
around  July 25.  Last  year,  one buyer  stayed  after that  and                                                               
bought coho  from all the  river systems. They were  processed in                                                               
3:53:55 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDY GOLIA,  Dillingham, opposed HB  251 saying that  permits are                                                               
already leaving the region and  this measure would result in more                                                               
non-residents using more gear.                                                                                                  
3:57:34 PM                                                                                                                    
PETER ANDREW,  Dillingham, said  he had  been fishing  in Bristol                                                               
Bay for over 25 years and  opposed HB 251.  Fishermen are already                                                               
faced with  lack of processing  capacity. Most limits  were 8,000                                                               
lbs., but the  guys who were stacking got 10,000  lbs. "I've been                                                               
in the  village and I don't  think this is working  for our local                                                               
CHAIR WAGONER asked if permits were being stacked last year.                                                                    
MR. ANDREW  answered that this  was the second year  stacking was                                                               
used, but it's not working favorably for the local people.                                                                      
4:00:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK EDENS, Homer,  said he had fished commercially  there for 30                                                               
years, but  both he  and his  son would love  to fish  in Bristol                                                               
Bay. He already has a boat and  would buy a permit, but he cannot                                                               
secure a market and he viewed  that as the main problem with that                                                               
STEVE TUTT,  Homer, said he  is a  Bristol Bay fisherman  and has                                                               
seen  the dramatic  positive  effects  of this  "fishermen-funded                                                               
buyback"  in  Bristol  Bay.  Although  he  understood  the  local                                                               
fishermen's  point  of view  in  that  they  don't want  to  lose                                                               
anymore  permit holders,  he supported  existing permit  statutes                                                               
and regulations governing  this issue and didn't  think adding to                                                               
them  was  in the  best  interests  of  the local  fishermen.  He                                                               
opposed HB 251.                                                                                                                 
4:04:10 PM                                                                                                                    
KONRAD SCHAAD,  Homer, said  he has been  fishing in  Bristol Bay                                                               
since  the mid-80s.  He supported  HB 251  because it  eliminates                                                               
permits and makes the fishery  more profitable for the people who                                                               
remain in it.                                                                                                                   
4:07:30 PM                                                                                                                    
KURT  KVERNVIK, Petersburg,  said he  has fished  in Bristol  Bay                                                               
since  1985 and  supported HB  251, because  he thought  it would                                                               
benefit the  fleet up there. Over  the last five years,  he could                                                               
have bought a permit for $20,000  and now they are up to $80,000.                                                               
The price  isn't being  driven by  people stacking  their permits                                                               
over the last couple of years.  It is happening because of larger                                                               
runs and higher  prices. He sympathized with  the Dillingham area                                                               
residents losing  permits, but didn't  think that the  measure in                                                               
HB 251 would affect that.                                                                                                       
RICK WILLIAMS,  Petersburg, said  he is  a Bristol  Bay fisherman                                                               
and supported  HB 251. He thought  having less gear in  the water                                                               
is important  and it's better to  have four shackles on  one boat                                                               
than two boats with three shackles each.                                                                                        
4:12:24 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANK  HOHMAN,   Commercial  Fishery  Entry   Commission  (CFEC),                                                               
clarified  how  the two  permits  concept  evolved. He  said  the                                                               
Commission supported  HB 251 because  it gives the  Board another                                                               
tool to assist in fleet  consolidation. He related how four years                                                               
ago, in the  discussion about fleet consolidation  in Bristol Bay                                                               
because too many  boats and people weren't able to  make a living                                                               
and the price of salmon was down  for a lot of other reasons, the                                                               
board looked  for a way  to make operations more  economical. The                                                               
Legislature granted the  board the authority to  allow one permit                                                               
holder  to hold  two  permits,  but the  second  one couldn't  be                                                               
fished. The  object of  that was  to remove  one permit  from the                                                               
fishery using the funds of  its participants. Additional state or                                                               
federal funds would not be used.  This way worked for a couple of                                                               
years although only a few people took advantage of it.                                                                          
Two  or  three  years  ago,  the Board  of  Fisheries  adopted  a                                                               
regulation  that further  allowed two  permits on  one vessel  to                                                               
fish an  extra increment  of gear, but  this required  two people                                                               
each with a  permit to be on board. The  incentive for doing that                                                               
was to  be able  to fish  a little extra  gear. This  was another                                                               
attempt to consolidate the fleet  and reduce fishing power. Taken                                                               
to its extreme,  it would reduce it by  about two-thirds, because                                                               
the second permit could only fish one-third of the gear.                                                                        
HB 251  is a further  refinement of  this concept and  allows one                                                               
person  on  a  vessel  to  fish  an  extra  amount  of  gear.  It                                                               
accomplishes  the  same  thing  as  Senator  Dyson  mentioned  of                                                               
removing a permit from the fishery.                                                                                             
He emphasized that  the Board of Fisheries would  have to receive                                                               
a proposal from the affected  fishermen and have extensive public                                                               
hearings  before adopting  it. This  bill doesn't  cause that  to                                                               
happen in itself.                                                                                                               
4:17:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ALBERT  KOOKESH  said that  Bristol  Bay  fishermen  use                                                               
shackles, but Southeast  Alaska seiners use one net  and he asked                                                               
how that two-permit holder concept would work on a seine boat.                                                                  
MR. HOHMAN  answered if the  same fishery in Southeast  felt this                                                               
tool would be beneficial to  them, those fishermen could take the                                                               
proposal  to the  Board of  Fisheries  for a  hearing and  that's                                                               
where the gear issues would be discussed.                                                                                       
4:19:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KOOKESH asked  how many people are on  the commission and                                                               
if they formally vote on bills.                                                                                                 
MR. HOHMAN  replied that  CFEC has  three commissioners  and they                                                               
didn't  vote  on  bills.  They had  just  finished  the  two-year                                                               
Bristol Bay Optimum Study that  helped them realize this would be                                                               
a  useful tool.  The study  indicated that  the range  of permits                                                               
should be at 900 - 1,500 from approximately 1,850 permits.                                                                      
4:23:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER asked if this bill would apply to all fisheries.                                                                  
MR. HOHMAN replied that it could apply to any salmon fishery.                                                                   
4:23:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS  asked if the board  adopted regulations that                                                               
allowed  two  individuals  on  one  vessel  to  have  extra  gear                                                               
allocation or was that authority given by the legislature.                                                                      
MR.  HOHMAN  replied  that  the  board was  able  to  adopt  that                                                               
regulation, because  it had to  do with  the amount of  gear that                                                               
could be used.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR BEN STEVENS asked if  the board already had the authority                                                               
to adopt this regulation now since  it had already given a vessel                                                               
the authority to increase its gear amount.                                                                                      
MR.  HOHMAN replied  that while  the board  has the  authority to                                                               
allow two  persons on one vessel  to fish extra gear,  it doesn't                                                               
have the  authority to pass  a regulation allowing one  person to                                                               
have  two permits  and  HB  251 allows  one  person  to have  two                                                               
SENATOR  BEN  STEVENS  asked  if  the  legislature  approved  the                                                               
authority  for   an  individual  to  hold   two  permits  without                                                               
increased gear allocations.                                                                                                     
MR. HOHMAN answered yes.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  BEN STEVENS  asked  further if  the  Board of  Fisheries                                                               
wrote regulations  saying if two  permit-holders are on  a single                                                               
vessel, that vessel has increased gear allocation.                                                                              
MR. HOHMAN indicated that was correct.                                                                                          
SENATOR BEN STEVENS  summed up question asking,  "The question is                                                               
does the board have the authority to  do it for one person or one                                                               
vessel or is it two persons and one vessel?"                                                                                    
MR. HOHMAN  replied, "The board  does not have the  authority for                                                               
one  person  and two  permits....  That's  what this  legislation                                                               
would do."                                                                                                                      
SENATOR BEN STEVENS  countered, "But it was  interpreted that the                                                               
board did have the authority to  give one vessel two permits with                                                               
increased gear?"                                                                                                                
MR. HOHMAN responded,  "Because it was a gear allocation  - is my                                                               
SENATOR BEN STEVENS said he  thought the board might already have                                                               
authority  to  do  this  since   it  has  already  authorized  an                                                               
increased gear allocation to a single vessel.                                                                                   
4:27:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WAGONER said  that  inquiry  would be  made  and asked  if                                                               
stacking  permits  was  an  action  taken by  the  board  or  the                                                               
MR. HOHMAN replied that it was an action by the board.                                                                          
4:28:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEN STEVENS  asked  how many  vessels  have two  permit-                                                               
holders on board.                                                                                                               
MR. HOHMAN replied that CFEC  didn't have good information on who                                                               
participated in  that way in the  last year. He explained  that a                                                               
fisherman  can hold  two permits,  but  the second  one can't  be                                                               
4:31:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN  STEVENS commented that realistically  the only group                                                               
that would  be affected would be  the 26 individuals who  own two                                                               
permits in  Bristol Bay. So, that  would be the group  that would                                                               
petition the board for additional  time or areas, which it hadn't                                                               
done. He  wondered why the  following items in  HB 251 on  page 1                                                               
were inserted:                                                                                                                  
     (2)at additional times or in additional areas; or                                                                          
        (3)under other conditions as the board considers                                                                        
       appropriate for the conservation, development, and                                                                       
     utilization of salmon fishery resources."                                                                                  
CHAIR WAGONER responded that that inquiry would be made.                                                                        
4:31:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEN STEVENS  cautioned the  committee that  this measure                                                               
would  create separate  times for  individuals  who have  stacked                                                               
gear  versus  regular gear  versus  set  net  gear and  might  be                                                               
presenting  the opportunity  for  "a real  snake  fight to  start                                                               
CHAIR WAGONER assured  the committee that the  bill wouldn't move                                                               
4:32:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS said  it appears to him  that AS 16.43.140(c)(5),                                                               
which is referenced on line  5, would override the proposed bill.                                                               
It says: "A  person may hold not more than  two entry permits for                                                               
a salmon fishery  under this paragraph. The person  who holds two                                                               
entry  permits for  a salmon  fishery may  not engage  in fishing                                                               
under the second entry permit."                                                                                                 
MR.  HOHMAN agreed  and added  that's  why the  "notwithstanding"                                                               
phrase was in there - because there is a prohibition.                                                                           
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  he couldn't  see any  prohibition for  two                                                               
permits to  fish off  the same  boat. He asked  Mr. Hohman  if he                                                               
knew of one.                                                                                                                    
MR.  HOHMAN replied,  "Not to  my knowledge  except for  what you                                                               
just mentioned."                                                                                                                
4:34:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  said he sees this  as adding a tool  for the Board                                                               
of Fisheries  to use, but  the legislature always  hears concerns                                                               
from  coastal economies  about migration  of permits  out of  the                                                               
region. He asked  Mr. Hohman in his judgment, what  would the net                                                               
effect of the concept in HB 251 be on the migration of permits.                                                                 
MR. HOHMAN replied  that it's a hard call. He  presented a little                                                               
more  background  on  limited  entry   permits  saying  that  the                                                               
legislature created  them to be freely  transferred. To encourage                                                               
Alaskans  to  retain  their  permits and  to  provide  them  with                                                               
incentive  to  purchase permits,  the  state,  because a  limited                                                               
entry  permit  cannot be  used  as  collateral with  any  lending                                                               
institution,  created  a  loan  program  that  allows  individual                                                               
Alaskan  residents  to borrow  money  at  a favorable  rate.  The                                                               
Division of  Investments has loan programs  and arrangements with                                                               
regional groups  to try to  help keep  permits in the  regions by                                                               
providing assurances  and loan guarantees.  This tool  will allow                                                               
the board to have the ability  to put conditions on a permit that                                                               
would allow  consolidation of  the fleet  and, in  theory, should                                                               
increase the average earnings for the individuals still fishing.                                                                
The safeguard  is that any proposal  to do this must  come before                                                               
the board  that would  have to analyze  the fishery  to determine                                                               
whether  it  would  allow  the consolidation  and  have  to  take                                                               
extensive public testimony. Coupled  with the state's programs to                                                               
assist residents, he thought this  would be a positive measure in                                                               
fleet consolidation.                                                                                                            
4:41:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  asked what  kind of deference  the board  gives to                                                               
the  socio-economic consequences  of  the changes  they allow  to                                                               
MR. HOHMAN  replied that conservation  is a key element,  but the                                                               
socio-economic aspect is important also.                                                                                        
4:43:07 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEN STEVENS  asked how  many  entry permits  are in  the                                                               
salmon industry in the state.                                                                                                   
MR. HOHMAN replied 10,000.                                                                                                      
SENATOR BEN  STEVENS pointed out  that there is  participation in                                                               
this particular instance by only 44 individuals.                                                                                
4:45:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. HOHMAN  explained that  CFEC does an  annual study  of permit                                                               
movement  by  fishery  he  offered  to get  that  study  for  the                                                               
4:46:03 PM                                                                                                                    
STOSH ANDERSON, Kodiak, supported HB  251. He pointed out that it                                                               
wouldn't change  the allocation between  the drift fleet  and the                                                               
set net fleet.  Adding this authority to the  Board of Fisheries'                                                               
tools would  help it  achieve the optimum  number of  permits for                                                               
the benefit of  people who participate in  the fishery. Economics                                                               
would help  determine the level  of participation rather  than an                                                               
arbitrary decision.                                                                                                             
CHAIR WAGONER announced that he  would hold this bill for further                                                               
     CSHJR 17(RES)-FEDERAL LANDS RECREATION ENHANCEMENT ACT                                                                 
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  announced  CSHJR 17(RES)  to  be  up  for                                                               
JENNIFER BAXTER,  staff to Representative Jim  Elkins, sponsor of                                                               
HJR 17, presented the sponsor  statement. She explained that this                                                               
resolution opposed the Federal  Lands Recreation Enhancement Act,                                                               
which allows the  Forest Service, the Bureau  of Land Management,                                                               
Fish and  Wildlife Service, National  Park Service and  Bureau of                                                               
Reclamation  to charge  fees for  recreational  use of  federally                                                               
managed  land by  the general  public. Once  enacted, these  fees                                                               
will be  required in order  to enter onto certain  lands. Failure                                                               
to pay the fees can result in fines and criminal penalties.                                                                     
She said  the federal government  owns two-thirds of  the state's                                                               
total  acreage  and  80 million  acres  include  national  parks,                                                               
wildlife refuges  and national forests  that have been  set aside                                                               
for public use. The proposed fees  would place an undue burden on                                                               
the  people living  in rural  areas surrounded  by these  federal                                                               
lands. The  Montana, Oregon and Colorado  state legislatures have                                                               
already  passed  resolutions  demanding that  the  U.S.  Congress                                                               
repeal this act.                                                                                                                
4:49:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRED   DYSON  remarked  that  Chugach   National  Forest                                                               
controls his beach and he may have a conflict of interest.                                                                      
SENATOR RALPH  SEEKINS asked if the  charge for access is  just a                                                               
small portion of the act.                                                                                                       
MS. BAXTER replied  that this is a small portion  of the act that                                                               
was slipped in.                                                                                                                 
4:51:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BERT  STEDMAN said that  tour businesses are  required to                                                               
have permits  to go on Forest  Service lands and he  thought this                                                               
tax was  applicable to non-commercial  uses of federal  lands. At                                                               
one time,  he said, the  federal government encouraged  cabins to                                                               
be built  in the Tongass  National Forest,  but now the  trend is                                                               
have them removed  and to encourage private  access. He supported                                                               
this resolution because Alaskan residents  should be free to come                                                               
and go and recreate on their public lands.                                                                                      
4:54:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER commented that the  state already charges fees in a                                                               
lot of its park areas.                                                                                                          
SENATOR KIM  ELTON agreed with  Senator Stedman saying  he didn't                                                               
mind paying for  using a shelter at a picnic  area, but this goes                                                               
far beyond  that and  leads to  a situation  where people  may be                                                               
taxed for  nebulous purposes just  because they are  using public                                                               
land. He also recommended that  the committee consider on page 1,                                                               
line 15,  to delete "of the  state", because the land  belongs to                                                               
the  people of  the  state  and is  land  where  every person  is                                                               
granted access.                                                                                                                 
He suggested another change on page  2, line 31, to say "majority                                                               
leader" and not "Tom DeLay" since no one knows whom it will be.                                                                 
4:56:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BAXTER  replied that  the sponsor had  no problem  with those                                                               
4:56:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  said he  understood the  concept of  federal and                                                               
state  lands being  held in  trust for  all the  citizens of  the                                                               
United States, but  he abhorred permits and taxes  for public use                                                               
areas because the intent is to  hold them in trust for the public                                                               
in the first place.                                                                                                             
4:59:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  moved Amendment 1  on page  1, line 15,  to delete                                                               
"of the  state" and  asked for unanimous  consent. There  were no                                                               
objections and Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                         
SENATOR ELTON  moved Amendment 2  on page  2, line 31,  to delete                                                               
"the honorable  Tom Delay,"  so the resolution  would be  sent to                                                               
whomever the  majority leader will  be. There were  no objections                                                               
and Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                                    
5:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS moved to pass  SCS CSHJR 17(RES) and the attached                                                               
fiscal note  from committee and with  individual recommendations.                                                               
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
CHAIR WAGONER adjourned the meeting at 5:01:43 PM.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects