Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

01/30/2006 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SCS CSHB 107(RES) Out of Committee
Moved HB 269 Out of Committee
Moved SCS CSHB 251(RES) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 30, 2006                                                                                        
                           3:36 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. 107(FIN)                                                                                                  
"An  Act  relating  to  unlawful   obstruction  or  hindrance  of                                                               
hunting,  fishing, trapping,  or  viewing of  fish  or game;  and                                                               
amending Rule 82, Alaska Rules  of Civil Procedure, and Rule 508,                                                               
Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure."                                                                                           
     MOVED SCS CSHB 107(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
HOUSE BILL NO. 269                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to contribution  actions relating to the release                                                               
of a hazardous substance; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
     MOVED HB 269 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                              
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."                                                                                                                
     MOVED SCS CSHB 251(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
SENATE BILL NO. 166                                                                                                             
"An  Act  relating  to  an   annual  wildlife  conservation  tag;                                                               
relating  to  bond requirements  for  vendors  of fish  and  game                                                               
licenses,  permits,  and tags;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 107                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HUNTING/FISHING INTERFERENCE                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAMRAS                                                                                            
01/24/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/24/05       (H)       RES, JUD                                                                                               
02/02/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/02/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/02/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/09/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/09/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/09/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/16/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
02/16/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 107(RES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/16/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/18/05       (H)       RES RPT CS(RES) NT 3DP 1DNP 4NR                                                                        
02/18/05       (H)       DP: OLSON, ELKINS, RAMRAS;                                                                             
02/18/05       (H)       DNP: SEATON;                                                                                           
02/18/05       (H)       NR: GATTO, LEDOUX, CRAWFORD, KAPSNER                                                                   
02/18/05       (H)       FIN REFERRAL ADDED AFTER JUD                                                                           
03/02/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/02/05       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/02/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/04/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/04/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 107(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/04/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/07/05       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 3DP 3NR                                                                             
03/07/05       (H)       DP: GRUENBERG, ANDERSON, MCGUIRE;                                                                      
03/07/05       (H)       NR: DAHLSTROM, COGHILL, GARA                                                                           
03/15/05       (H)       FIN AT 1:30 PM HOUSE FINANCE 519                                                                       
03/15/05       (H)       Moved CSHB 107(FIN) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/15/05       (H)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/16/05       (H)       FIN RPT CS(FIN) NT 2DP 6NR                                                                             
03/16/05       (H)       DP: HAWKER, STOLTZE;                                                                                   
03/16/05       (H)       NR: WEYHRAUCH, CROFT, MOSES, KELLY,                                                                    
                        MEYER, CHENAULT                                                                                         
05/08/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
05/08/05       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 107(FIN)                                                                                 
05/09/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/09/05       (S)       RES, JUD                                                                                               
01/23/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/23/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/23/06       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
01/30/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: HB 269                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE RELEASE LIABILITY                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) RAMRAS                                                                                            
04/14/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/14/05       (H)       RES, JUD                                                                                               
04/22/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
04/22/05       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/25/05       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
04/25/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
04/25/05       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/26/05       (H)       RES RPT 4DP 2NR                                                                                        
04/26/05       (H)       DP: OLSON, LEDOUX, ELKINS, RAMRAS;                                                                     
04/26/05       (H)       NR: GATTO, CRAWFORD                                                                                    
04/27/05       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/27/05       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
04/27/05       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/28/05       (H)       JUD RPT 6DP                                                                                            
04/28/05       (H)       DP: KOTT, ANDERSON, DAHLSTROM, COGHILL,                                                                
                         GARA, MCGUIRE                                                                                          
04/30/05       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/30/05       (H)       VERSION: HB 269                                                                                        
05/01/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/01/05       (S)       RES, JUD                                                                                               
01/23/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/23/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/23/06       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
01/30/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
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                                                                           
01/25/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/25/06       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
01/30/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB 166                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION TAG                                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) BUNDE                                                                                                    
04/08/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/08/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
01/30/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JIM POUND                                                                                                                       
Staff to Representative Jay Ramras                                                                                              
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on HB 107 for the sponsor.                                                                      
TIM BENINTENDI                                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Ralph Samuels                                                                                           
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SCS CSHB 251(RES), Version I.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE JAY RAMRAS                                                                                                       
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 269.                                                                                        
JANE PIERSON                                                                                                                    
Staff to Representative Jay Ramras                                                                                              
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 269 for the                                                                      
SENATOR CON BUNDE                                                                                                               
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 166.                                                                                        
LAUREN RICE                                                                                                                     
Staff to Senator Bunde                                                                                                          
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK  99801-1182                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on SB 166 for the                                                                      
JOHN PAGE                                                                                                                       
Seward AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 166.                                                                                           
DAN MCDONALD                                                                                                                    
Seward AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 166.                                                                                           
KIM KIRBY                                                                                                                       
Southeast Sea Kayaks                                                                                                            
Ketchikan AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 166.                                                                                           
CHUCK SLAGLE                                                                                                                    
Baranof Skiff Excursions                                                                                                        
Ketchikan AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 166.                                                                                           
STAN STEPHENS                                                                                                                   
Stan Stephens Charters                                                                                                          
Valdez AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 166.                                                                                           
SCOTT REISLAND                                                                                                                  
Denali Grizzly Bear Resort                                                                                                      
Alaska Campground Owners Association                                                                                            
Fairbanks AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 166.                                                                                           
RON PECK, President                                                                                                             
Alaska Travel Industry                                                                                                          
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 166.                                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  called   the  Senate  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 3:36:51 PM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Kim  Elton, Albert  Kookesh, Bert  Stedman,  Ralph Seekins,  Fred                                                               
Dyson and Chair Thomas Wagoner.                                                                                                 
           CSHB 107(FIN)-HUNTING/FISHING INTERFERENCE                                                                       
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  announced  CSHB 107(FIN)  to  be  up  for                                                               
JIM  POUND, staff  to Representative  Jay Ramras,  sponsor of  HB                                                               
107, recapped that a proposed  amendment from Senator Ben Stevens                                                               
took care  of last week's  concerns about commercial  fishing and                                                               
cruise ships.                                                                                                                   
3:39:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER asked  if there were any objections  to Amendment 1                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                      A M E N D M E N T 1                                                                                   
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                    BY SENATOR BEN STEVENS                                                                 
     TO:  CSHB 107(RES)                                                                                                         
Page 2, lines 20 - 21:                                                                                                          
     Delete ", other than an action relating to commercial                                                                  
Without objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                     
3:40:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS  asked what happens if  he is photographing                                                               
a trophy  bull moose and  someone comes  along and shoots  it. He                                                               
asked,  "Wouldn't  the  hunter be  interfering  with  my  viewing                                                               
purpose at that point?"                                                                                                         
MR. POUND replied  that the question of intent would  be asked at                                                               
that  time, but  he  also  thought that  taking  pictures in  the                                                               
middle of hunting season would be a good way to get shot.                                                                       
3:41:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS arrived.                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked if  this measure  would create  a conflict                                                               
between  the dueling  purposes of  hunting and  fishing. He  also                                                               
asked  which purpose  would prevail  if two  people were  equally                                                               
disturbing to each other.                                                                                                       
MR. POUND  replied that  he thought it  possible that  the hunter                                                               
would prevail  in that instance,  since he has a  license stating                                                               
he can hunt at a specific time.                                                                                                 
SENATOR SEEKINS said  he wanted to avoid conflicts  and he wanted                                                               
to know how intent could be established.                                                                                        
MR. POUND replied that that language is currently in statute.                                                                   
SENATOR SEEKINS remarked that  "reasonable actual attorneys fees"                                                               
are talked about in the bill.                                                                                                   
MR. POUND  clarified that  language in the  bill breaks  down the                                                               
award according to  what the agreement is. It could  be as low as                                                               
10 percent.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WAGONER  pointed  out  that  two people  could  get  in  a                                                               
conflict over shooting the same animal, also.                                                                                   
3:47:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  moved to pass  SCS CSHB 107(RES)  from committee                                                               
with attached  fiscal note and individual  recommendations. There                                                               
were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                       
3:48:48 PM at ease 3:50:28 PM                                                                                               
          HB 269-HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE RELEASE LIABILITY                                                                      
CHAIR   THOMAS  WAGONER   announced   HB  269   to   be  up   for                                                               
SENATOR BERT STEDMAN said he  wanted his question answered if all                                                               
the owners of the property had joint and several liability.                                                                     
JANE PIERSON,  staff to Representative Jay  Ramras, answered that                                                               
HB 269 contains joint and several liability language.                                                                           
SENATOR  SEEKINS  moved  to  pass  HB  269  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the attached  zero fiscal  note.                                                               
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
3:52:27 PM at ease 3:54:41 PM                                                                                               
    CSHB 251(RES)-COMMERCIAL FISHING MULTIPLE PERMIT HOLDER                                                                 
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  announced  CSHB 251(RES)  to  be  up  for                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS moved  to adopt SCS CSHB 251(RES),  Version I, as                                                               
the  working document.  There were  no objections  and it  was so                                                               
SENATOR ELTON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
TIM BENINTENDI,  staff to  Representative Ralph  Samuels, sponsor                                                               
of HB 251, said the sponsor  supported the CS. It streamlines and                                                               
clarifies  the language  and,  as  a result,  the  bill has  more                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS  remarked that the  CS would allow  an additional                                                               
fishing  opportunity, but  not for  using additional  or modified                                                               
gear or being at additional times or areas.                                                                                     
MR. BENINTENDI  replied that on  the contrary, it allows  for any                                                               
or all of those additional privileges.                                                                                          
CHAIR  WAGONER  reiterated  that  it just  gives  the  board  the                                                               
3:58:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEN  STEVENS thanked  the  sponsor  for considering  his                                                               
requests from the  last meeting. Together they found  that all of                                                               
the  items listed  in the  original  bill are  already under  the                                                               
authority of the Board of Fisheries  in AS 16.05.251. The CS just                                                               
gives  the  board the  authority  to  allow  for boats  with  two                                                               
3:59:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Elton  removed  his objection  and  SCS  CSHB  251(RES),                                                               
version I, was adopted.                                                                                                         
3:59:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS  moved SCS  CSHB  251(RES)  from committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations  and attached fiscal note.  There were                                                               
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            
4:01:01 PM at ease 4:03:24 PM                                                                                               
               SB 166-WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION TAG                                                                            
CHAIR   THOMAS  WAGONER   announced   SB  166   to   be  up   for                                                               
SENATOR CON BUNDE,  sponsor of SB 166, said it  is a simple bill.                                                               
He related  that hunters and  fishers are becoming a  minority in                                                               
the enjoyment  of Alaska's wildlife,  but they have  borne nearly                                                               
the entire cost  of Alaska Department of Fish  and Game's (ADF&G)                                                               
management  of wildlife  and sport  fisheries. SB  166 creates  a                                                               
system  for those  who commercially  view wildlife  on a  tour to                                                               
step  up to  the plate  and make  a contribution  by buying  a $5                                                               
annual wildlife conservation tag.                                                                                               
He  said  that  some  people   don't  want  wildlife  viewers  to                                                               
contribute because then they could have  a seat at the table, but                                                               
that horse  is out  of the  barn. He  explained that  the tourism                                                               
industry  already has  proposals before  the Boards  of Fisheries                                                               
and Game  and has asked  the Division  of Wildlife to  manage the                                                               
resources for  viewing opportunities. Other people  are concerned                                                               
about  getting taxed  for  just opening  their  eyes and  looking                                                               
around, but  that's not the  case. The bill exempts  people under                                                               
16 and  over 60 who don't  have to pay for  other licenses. Other                                                               
people have told  him they want to be  responsible and contribute                                                               
to the management of wildlife.                                                                                                  
The funds received  from the sale of the tags  are intended to be                                                               
used  for  management  programs that  directly  benefit  the  tag                                                               
purchasers and thereby  alleviating the pressure on  the ADF&G to                                                               
use hunter  and angler dollars  for non-consumptive  programs. It                                                               
would  support  constructing   wildlife  viewing  infrastructure,                                                               
boardwalks,  improving access,  developing roadside  interpretive                                                               
signs and other educational  programs generally fostering viewer-                                                               
related  economic development.  The  intent of  this  bill is  to                                                               
provide  services to  travelers and  tourists that  enhance their                                                               
opportunity  to   view  wildlife   thus  enhancing   the  tourist                                                               
industry.  Alaska  had 1.5  million  tourists  last year  and  53                                                               
percent of  Alaskans go out  of their  way to watch  wildlife; 74                                                               
percent want to know more about where and how to see it.                                                                        
4:10:17 PM                                                                                                                    
A  federal  program,  called  Teaming  With  Wildlife,  has  been                                                               
endorsed by over  400 Alaskan business and  organizations. It has                                                               
produced about $3 million in  federal funding for non-traditional                                                               
non-hunting programs.                                                                                                           
4:11:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BERT  STEDMAN asked what  the difference is  between this                                                               
bill and a cruise ship head tax bill.                                                                                           
SENATOR  BUNDE replied  that SB  166 would  include everyone  who                                                               
uses some commercial enterprise to view Alaska wildlife.                                                                        
4:12:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH  SEEKINS asked if  the funds generated by  this tax                                                               
would help garner federal matching funds.                                                                                       
SENATOR BUNDE replied yes.                                                                                                      
SENATOR SEEKINS said that the Fish  and Game Fund in AS 16.05.130                                                               
says that money  coming in from hunting licenses,  tags and fees,                                                               
plus  the  Pitman  Roberts  and  Dingle  Hatch  funds,  shall  be                                                               
allocated  by the  department to  programs  intended to  directly                                                               
benefit  license  purchasers  of general  hunting,  trapping  and                                                               
fishing  licenses  and  asked  if  this  measure  was  a  counter                                                               
balance.  Would the  money collected  from this  tag be  used for                                                               
programs  that are  not for  the direct  benefit of  the hunters,                                                               
fishers and trappers.                                                                                                           
SENATOR BUNDE replied that would  be a fair characterization, but                                                               
added that most hunters are also wildlife viewers.                                                                              
4:15:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  said the  conflict is  there; hunters  object to                                                               
spending  funds   only  on  programs  that   don't  benefit  them                                                               
4:16:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE added that his intent  is to allow those who do not                                                               
purchase  hunting licenses  to contribute  to  the management  of                                                               
fish  and  wildlife resources  and  that  would  appear to  be  a                                                               
counter balance.                                                                                                                
4:16:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIM  ELTON asked how  transportation language on  page 2,                                                               
line  2, would  affect the  ski lifts  at Girdwood  or Eaglecrest                                                               
where transportation  is provided to  the top  of the slope  in a                                                               
setting where one may have an opportunity to view wildlife.                                                                     
SENATOR BUNDE  replied that it  is not  his intent to  impact ski                                                               
lift operations where seeing wildlife  is incidental. However, he                                                               
would  target  a  flight  seeing  tour or  any  other  number  of                                                               
commercial ventures that have wildlife viewing as a goal.                                                                       
4:18:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON asked  how it  would impact  situations in  Juneau                                                               
where people  purchase tickets  on a vessel  to view  whales that                                                               
aren't  managed by  the state.  He asked  if it  is a  stretch to                                                               
collect a fee to view federally managed marine mammals.                                                                         
SENATOR BUNDE replied they could see other state wildlife.                                                                      
SENATOR ELTON said  he is bothered by collecting  fees that don't                                                               
find their way  back to that specific use -  like state park fees                                                               
that  often don't  go  back  to maintenance  of  state parks  and                                                               
business license  fees that may cost  $200, but don't go  back to                                                               
the Department  of Commerce.  He asked how  much would  really go                                                               
SENATOR BUNDE deferred that answer  to the commissioner of Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish and Game  (ADF&G), but his experience has been                                                               
that  duck  stamp   fees  have  found  their  way   back  to  the                                                               
intentioned area.                                                                                                               
4:21:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON asked  if he considered taking  the Alaska Railroad                                                               
from his home in Anchorage to Seward, would he get charged.                                                                     
SENATOR BUNDE replied that he  wouldn't get charged for traveling                                                               
to and from a residence.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  ELTON asked  if  you get  to Seward  and  take a  whale-                                                               
watching vessel  and buy a tag,  would you get a  credit for that                                                               
$5 when you buy your hunting license and duck stamp in the fall.                                                                
SENATOR  BUNDE replied  that you  have to  buy a  hunting license                                                               
first to not have to pay the wildlife conservation fee.                                                                         
4:23:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  asked if a  commercial transporter would  have any                                                               
liability if he doesn't ask for proof of a tag.                                                                                 
LAUREN RICE, staff  to Senator Bunde, replied that  a provider of                                                               
the service is not penalized, but  if a person knowingly fails to                                                               
purchase a wildlife  conservation tag, he is treated  the same as                                                               
a hunter hunting without a license,  a Class A misdemeanor with a                                                               
fine up to $300.                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  said he  wanted a definitive  answer on  whether a                                                               
provider has liability.                                                                                                         
4:25:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS asked  if he has a hunting license,  does he have                                                               
to buy another tag.                                                                                                             
SENATOR BUNDE replied no, if  you have an Alaska hunting license,                                                               
you are exempt.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR WAGONER asked  if someone who is over 60  years old and has                                                               
a permanent license is exempt from purchasing this tag.                                                                         
SENATOR BUNDE replied yes.                                                                                                      
SENATOR STEDMAN  asked why the  Alaska Marine Highway  System was                                                               
excluded since people use it as a cruise ship in the summer.                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE  said he did not  intend to charge people  who just                                                               
drive on  the highway or take  the Alaska Marine Highway,  but he                                                               
offered to  entertain an amendment  if Senator Stedman  wanted to                                                               
include them.                                                                                                                   
4:27:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON said  he thought  the language  meant that  people                                                               
riding the  Alaska Marine  Highway would  be charged  unless they                                                               
were traveling to or from their home.                                                                                           
SENATOR  BUNDE  referenced language  on  page  3, line  12,  that                                                               
focused on people  traveling to and from their  residence, but it                                                               
appears that tourists would not be exempt from purchasing a tag.                                                                
MS. RICE added that a person  who could prove he was traveling to                                                               
or from  his home  would be  exempt on  the Marine  Highway. Non-                                                               
residents  would have  to pay  as  would residents  who would  be                                                               
taking a leisure trip.                                                                                                          
4:29:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN asked if a  spouse who travels with an individual                                                               
with a hunting license has to pay the fee.                                                                                      
MS. RICE replied yes.                                                                                                           
SENATOR BUNDE pointed out that this tag is a yearly purchase.                                                                   
SENATOR  ELTON  said  he  needed   clarification  that  a  person                                                               
traveling  on the  Alaska  Railroad or  the  Marine Highway  from                                                               
Haines to Juneau to shop for food didn't have to pay a fee.                                                                     
CHAIR BUNDE suggested that the $5  fee would not be noticeable on                                                               
top of a $300 or $400 ferry ticket.                                                                                             
MS.  RICE added  if  an individual  was going  from  his home  to                                                               
another destination, he would technically be exempt.                                                                            
4:32:55 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN   PAGE,   Seward,   said   he   thought   this   tax   would                                                               
disproportionately impact  smaller businesses like  his. He  is a                                                               
tour provider and his tours are  priced less than those booked on                                                               
a tour  ship. He  was concerned  about how  the program  would be                                                               
administered  because  many visitors  to  the  state do  multiple                                                               
tours and  they often use online  booking or calling on  a phone,                                                               
which would make  verification difficult. He also  asked how they                                                               
would  guarantee  that  the  money would  be  channeled  back  to                                                               
conservation and if a board  would oversee how those monies would                                                               
be spent. Finally,  he asked for an estimate of  how many dollars                                                               
this program would generate.                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER  answered that it  should generate $4.6  million to                                                               
$5.8 million between FY 2007 and FY 2012.                                                                                       
4:36:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BUNDE explained  that an  individual  must have  a tag  in                                                               
order to not be assessed another fee.                                                                                           
DAN MCDONALD, Seward, opposed SB  166 because it targets tourism.                                                               
It  would put  smaller tour  operators at  a disadvantage  to the                                                               
more  expensive  ones.  He  mentioned  that  all  tour  operators                                                               
currently have  to deal with the  price of fuel going  up and the                                                               
state is benefiting  from the price of fuel going  up. The $5 fee                                                               
seems to be  unreasonable once administration of  it is accounted                                                               
for,  he  didn't  see  much  of  it  going  to  actually  promote                                                               
KIM  KIRBY,  Southeast Sea  Kayaks,  opposed  SB 166  because  it                                                               
targets  visitors and  residents alike.  She thought  that Alaska                                                               
would  do  irreparable  harm  to its  image  by  taxing  wildlife                                                               
viewing. People already pay a premium  to get up here and to live                                                               
here and the state is trying  to encourage visitors. She was also                                                               
concerned that as  a small business owner, the onus  will fall on                                                               
her  to police  the system,  which might  require hiring  another                                                               
LEN  LAURANCE said  he represented  Alaska Rainforest  Sanctuary,                                                               
Inter Island  Ferry Authority  (IFA) and  Taquan Air.  He noticed                                                               
that the  Alaska Marine  Highway, as a  public entity,  is exempt                                                               
from bond  requirements, but SB  166 treats the  IFA differently.                                                               
The $5  fee would have a  negative impact on the  revenues of the                                                               
IFA,  which is  not subsidized  and is  totally dependent  on the                                                               
revenues it generates to cover operating costs.                                                                                 
He said the  Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary is  a privately operated                                                               
30-acre nature  preserve on the  Ketchikan road system.  He asked                                                               
how this bill would apply to this kind of private tour property.                                                                
The third  business he represents  is Taquan Air, a  local flight                                                               
seeing operator  and he asked  if this  fee would apply  to Misty                                                               
Fjords  Flight Seeing  that  focuses on  scenic  wonders and  not                                                               
wildlife  viewing. Taquan  also  has viewing  trips where  people                                                               
actually land and take a  trail into the Tongass National Forest.                                                               
Taquan Air pays a per person  user fee to the U.S. Forest Service                                                               
for that  use. He  asked if  this would add  another fee  to that                                                               
activity. He concluded saying:                                                                                                  
     Instead  of improving  tourism, this  legislation would                                                                    
     tend to  kill the  goose that lays  the golden  egg. It                                                                    
     would also  be an administrative nightmare  from a tour                                                                    
     operator's point of view.                                                                                                  
4:45:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER noted that when  people are viewing wildlife on the                                                               
Rainforest Sanctuary, the wildlife is not privately owned.                                                                      
MR.  LAURANCE  responded  that they  wouldn't  be  classified  as                                                               
wildlife. They  have a  half dozen  reindeer that  were purchased                                                               
and  those require  a permit  to be  kept. The  guests also  view                                                               
Alaskan reindeer, which are not wild.                                                                                           
CHAIR WAGONER asked if they are supplying domesticated animals.                                                                 
MR.  LAURANCE  added that  they  are  not supplying  the  eagles,                                                               
because they just come and go.                                                                                                  
4:47:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  related that some  interpretations of  federal law                                                               
say you  can't apply a sales  tax to flight seeing  operations in                                                               
which a plane takes off and  lands at one location and he thought                                                               
the sponsor might want to consider.                                                                                             
SENATOR BUNDE  responded that if the  Misty Fjords' advertisement                                                               
mentions wildlife,  this fee would  certainly apply. He  has also                                                               
lived in Ketchikan and knows Misty  Fjords and, "You'd have to be                                                               
blind in  one eye  and not  be able to  see out  of the  other to                                                               
travel that  area and not see  Alaska wildlife." He was  not sure                                                               
how a $5 charge that  only applies to non-residents and residents                                                               
not coming to and from their home would put them under water.                                                                   
He  thought  revenue  from  this tag  would  really  enhance  the                                                               
state's support for tourism, because,  in his view, this industry                                                               
returns so  little to the  general fund  now that's it's  hard to                                                               
justify increased state investment in it.                                                                                       
SENATOR  STEDMAN said  he wanted  a definitive  answer on  how it                                                               
would  apply  to  the  Inter  Island  Ferry  and  other  aviation                                                               
4:50:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON informed the committee  that the Inter Island Ferry                                                               
is not a  part of the Alaska Marine Highway  and therefore has no                                                               
exemption from bonding.                                                                                                         
4:50:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHUCK SLAGLE, Baranof Skiff Excursions,  said that $5 does make a                                                               
difference to his  profit margin. "It's nothing more  than a head                                                               
tax with a  different name on it." He said  this state is getting                                                               
a reputation for  greed and asked, "Where does it  stop?" He said                                                               
the one-day fishing  license fee was raised from $10  to $20 this                                                               
year. That is a 100 percent  increase so that a grayling hatchery                                                               
could be built in Fairbanks and  he didn't know how much would be                                                               
eaten up by a new bureaucracy to manage it.                                                                                     
STAN  STEVENS, Stan  Stephens Charters,  opposed SB  166. He  was                                                               
against targeted taxes. He wanted to  see an income or sales tax,                                                               
because they  would show how  valuable tourism is to  this state.                                                               
He also agreed  with others that this would  be an administrative                                                               
nightmare.  He runs  a daily  average of  300 people  through his                                                               
business  and  none  of  them  are  from  tour  ships.  They  are                                                               
independent travelers or mostly Alaskans.                                                                                       
SCOTT  REISLAND, Denali  Grizzly  Bear Resort,  said  he is  also                                                               
representing the Alaska Campground  Owners Association. They were                                                               
both concerned  about this bill's  impact on the RV  industry and                                                               
the fly  and drive rental businesses.   It was unclear  that they                                                               
would be included  or exempted. It would be difficult  for him to                                                               
pull everyone  out of their  RVs to make  sure they have  a stamp                                                               
and would require him to hire one other person.                                                                                 
4:59:22 PM                                                                                                                    
He mentioned that some visitors  to Denali Park don't see animals                                                               
for different reasons and that a  $5 user fee is about 20 percent                                                               
of the  cost of  the fee at  the San Diego  Zoo where  people are                                                               
guaranteed to see animals.                                                                                                      
5:00:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER said  he didn't know of anyone marketing  a trip or                                                               
wildlife viewing  tour that mentions  how much sales tax  or fees                                                               
are included.  He asked Mr.  Reisland if he markets  his packages                                                               
that way.                                                                                                                       
MR.  REISLAND responded  that he  breaks  down his  costs in  his                                                               
5:01:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BUNDE responded  that RV  parks are  not included  in SB                                                               
166. He  pointed out that  hunters and  fishers buy a  license to                                                               
hunt, but  not a  license to  kill or to  catch. Hunters  go away                                                               
disappointed,  as  well. He  emphasized  that  buying a  wildlife                                                               
viewing tag is paying for an  opportunity to attempt to view, not                                                               
a guarantee.  The vendors  get $1  a piece for  every one  of the                                                               
tags they sell to cover their administrative costs.                                                                             
5:01:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  said the argument  could be made that  someone who                                                               
rents an RV is a provider of commercial transportation.                                                                         
SENATOR  BUNDE thanked  him for  pointing that  out and  he added                                                               
that he  thought this tag  would be mainly self-policed  and that                                                               
he has received  emails from tourists saying they  would be happy                                                               
to  pay an  extra  $5  to have  a  bigger  voice in  conservation                                                               
5:03:26 PM                                                                                                                    
RON  PECK,   President,  Alaska  Travel  Industry,   agreed  with                                                               
previous   testimony   in   opposition  to   SB   166   regarding                                                               
application,    reputation,    implementation,   execution    and                                                               
administration.  He   noted  the  exemption  for   RV  users  who                                                               
regularly  see  wildlife  and  questioned   how  trams  that  are                                                               
operated  in the  summer would  be affected.  The one  at Alyeska                                                               
costs $16  right now and  he has  frequently seen black  bears on                                                               
that trip. He questioned how  people riding the Marine Highway or                                                               
the Alaska Railroad would be affected  and how a penalty would be                                                               
assessed to a non-stamp holder.                                                                                                 
5:08:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER announced that SB 166 would be held for further                                                                   
testimony on February 6 and adjourned the meeting at 5:09:19 PM.                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects