Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/12/2006 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 12, 2006                                                                                         
                           3:38 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                                                                                                            
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                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 170                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the Department  of Fish and Game,  the Board                                                               
of Fisheries,  and the Board of  Game; relating to the  taking of                                                               
big game and to the disposition of  a mount, trophy, or part of a                                                               
fish or game  animal; setting fees for  certain trapping licenses                                                               
and  certain hunting  licenses, permits,  and tags;  setting fees                                                               
for the  resident combined hunting,  trapping, and  sport fishing                                                               
license  and  the resident  combined  hunting  and sport  fishing                                                               
license;  relating to  the resident  small game  hunting license;                                                               
setting application fees for certain  hunting permits and stamps;                                                               
establishing a surcharge on hunting,  trapping, and sport fishing                                                               
licenses;  relating  to  certain  hunting,  trapping,  and  sport                                                               
fishing  licenses, tags,  permits,  and stamps;  relating to  the                                                               
fish  and game  fund; relating  to  violations of  fish and  game                                                               
laws;  relating  to state  management  of  wildlife; relating  to                                                               
endangered  fish and  wildlife;  and providing  for an  effective                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 278                                                                                                             
"An Act creating the Alaska Climate Change Task Force; and                                                                      
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
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                                                                           
01/30/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/30/06       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/06/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/06/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/06/06       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/13/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/13/06       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/12/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB 170                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BD/DEPT OF FISH & GAME POWERS & DUTIES                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
04/12/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/12/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/18/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/22/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/22/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/22/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
10/10/05       (S)       RES AT 6:30 PM NOME                                                                                    
10/11/05       (S)       RES AT 6:30 PM Fairbanks                                                                               
10/12/05       (S)       RES AT 6:30 PM Coldfoot                                                                                
10/14/05       (S)       RES AT 2:00 PM Barrow                                                                                  
10/15/05       (S)       RES AT 3:00 PM Chugiak                                                                                 
04/12/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB 278                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA CLIMATE CHANGE TASK FORCE                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) OLSON                                                                                                    
02/13/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/13/06       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/12/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
McKIE CAMPBELL, Commissioner                                                                                                    
Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                       
PO Box 25526                                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99802-5226                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 170                                                                                      
SENATOR DONNY OLSON                                                                                                             
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK 99801-1182                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of SB 278.                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  called   the  Senate  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at 3:38:13  PM. Present at the call to                                                             
order  were Senators  Bert Stedman,  Kim  Elton, Albert  Kookesh,                                                               
Fred Dyson  and Chair  Thomas Wagoner.  Senators Ben  Stevens and                                                               
Ralph Seekins arrived soon thereafter.                                                                                          
               SB 166-WILDLIFE  CONSERVATION TAG                                                                            
CHAIR   THOMAS  WAGONER   announced   SB  166   to   be  up   for                                                               
consideration. He  noted the  proposed committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
and asked for a motion.                                                                                                         
SENATOR FRED  DYSON moved to  adopt the  CSSB 166, Version  I, as                                                               
the  working document.  There  was  no objection  and  it was  so                                                               
3:40:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEN STEVENS arrived.                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER informed members that  the sponsor does not support                                                               
the CS. However, because of  the many questions and problems that                                                               
came up  during the initial  hearing, he  decided to have  the CS                                                               
drafted as  a sort of compromise.  If the Department of  Fish and                                                               
Game (ADF&G)  elected to  do so, it  could have  collectible pins                                                               
designed  for sale  in  gift  shops, on  cruise  ships and  other                                                               
places  in a  program similar  to the  Iditarod or  Anchorage Fur                                                               
Rendezvous pin  programs. He  noted that  the wood  Iditarod pins                                                               
sell for $20 in the retail market.                                                                                              
3:41:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR RALPH SEEKINS arrived.                                                                                                  
3:41:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BERT STEDMAN referenced page 2,  line 21, and asked if it                                                               
would be mandatory  that the department design,  produce and make                                                               
a pin available for sale even though  the sale of the pins may be                                                               
CHAIR  WAGONER agreed  it is  mandated. Although  the word  "may"                                                               
could be inserted, he thought  that doing so "kind of backslides"                                                               
it. He highlighted  the proposed amendment to  increase the price                                                               
of  the pin  from $5  to  not more  than  $20 and  said he  would                                                               
entertain a motion.                                                                                                             
3:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON  said he was  uncomfortable with the CS  because it                                                               
hijacked the original bill. He asked  if the purpose is the same,                                                               
which is to raise money for fish and game.                                                                                      
CHAIR WAGONER  replied yes. He  acknowledged the sponsor  did not                                                               
support the  CS, but the  original bill raised so  many questions                                                               
he thought this might be a compromise.                                                                                          
3:44:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN moved to adopt Amendment 1, by Senator Wagoner.                                                                 
SENATOR KIM ELTON objected for discussion.                                                                                      
SENATOR  ELTON  suggested  that  the  amendment  would  make  the                                                               
language  on page  2, line  25, obsolete  and questioned  whether                                                               
subsection (c) ought to be deleted.                                                                                             
CHAIR WAGONER said  he didn't believe it was  necessary; it gives                                                               
more options.  The emphasis of  the amendment is to  increase the                                                               
price of the pins  from $5 to not more than  $20. The idea behind                                                               
subsection (e)  is to  expand access  to the  pins to  anyone who                                                               
sells small collectibles.                                                                                                       
3:47:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON again expressed concern  with the possible conflict                                                               
between the  language in subsections  (c) and (e).  The amendment                                                               
language makes  it sound  as though  any Alaska  businesses could                                                               
sell the pin,  but the language in subsection (c)  makes it sound                                                               
as  though only  Alaskan businesses  that also  sell hunting  and                                                               
fishing licenses could sell the pin.                                                                                            
3:49:16 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DYSON suggested  he  place  the bill  at  bottom of  the                                                               
CHAIR WAGONER announced he would put SB 166 aside.                                                                              
         SB 170-BD/DEPT OF FISH & GAME POWERS & DUTIES                                                                      
CHAIR   THOMAS  WAGONER   announced   SB  170   to   be  up   for                                                               
consideration. He noted the new draft and asked for a motion.                                                                   
SENATOR FRED DYSON  moved to adopt Version  C, Sponsor Substitute                                                               
to SB  170, as the working  document. There was no  objection and                                                               
it was so ordered.                                                                                                              
3:52:07 PM at ease 3:56:03 PM                                                                                               
SENATOR RALPH  SEEKINS, sponsor, recapped the  legislative intent                                                               
of SSSB 170,  which is to increase revenue for  the management of                                                               
fish  and game.  Fee and  license  increases will  be adopted  in                                                               
three stages  beginning on January  1, 2007. The  second increase                                                               
will occur on  January 1, 2009 and the third  increase will occur                                                               
on January 1, 2011.                                                                                                             
The increases will bring resident  and non-resident alien license                                                               
tags and  fees in  line with  other premium  hunting destinations                                                               
and a  new trophy  fee schedule for  non-resident alien  and non-                                                               
resident hunters  is added, which  is also consistent  with other                                                               
premium hunting destinations.                                                                                                   
SENATOR  SEEKINS said  that AS  16.05.130  provides that  revenue                                                               
from the sale  of hunting and fishing licenses, tags  etc must be                                                               
allocated such that they directly  benefit license purchasers. In                                                               
the past the interpretation of  "directly benefit" was stretched,                                                               
but accountability is better now, he said.                                                                                      
SSSB 170  tightens diversion provisions  to ensure that  the fish                                                               
and game fund monies are only  used for programs that enhance the                                                               
abundance, productivity,  or harvest of fish  or game populations                                                               
that are important  for human consumption. It  also requires that                                                               
the legislature receive a copy  of the annual project report that                                                               
is also posted to the ADF&G website.                                                                                            
SSSB 170  clarifies that the  commissioner shall manage  fish and                                                               
game resources  to achieve abundance  for the use and  benefit of                                                               
the people of  the state consistent with the  public interest and                                                               
to achieve maximum  sustained yield. It further  states that non-                                                               
game animals  shall be managed for  the benefit of the  people of                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
Certain functions of the subsistence  section are clarified. Data                                                               
will be collected  on subsistence use of fish  and game resources                                                               
and compliance with state fishing,  hunting, and trapping license                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS explained that SSSB  170 allows the Board of Game                                                               
to  implement intensive  management decisions  without additional                                                               
survey information. It would allow  the use of community advisory                                                               
boards made  up of local people  familiar with the fish  and game                                                               
populations to provide information  demonstrating or confirming a                                                               
need for enhancement or control action.                                                                                         
SENATOR  SEEKINS outlined  bear  control methods  and means.  The                                                               
intent is  to provide a  licensed hunter a higher  probability to                                                               
harvest  a bear  in  an  area where  a  high  bear population  is                                                               
identified as a reason for depressed ungulate populations.                                                                      
SSSB 170 adds a new subsection  related to the sale of mounts and                                                               
trophies.  Senator Seekins  expressed the  view that  a regulated                                                               
in-state  sale  process  of  tagged   mounts  or  trophies  is  a                                                               
reasonable  program that  would have  no threat  to the  resource                                                               
For  resident  hunters only  -  a  non-resident may  accompany  a                                                               
resident only  in areas of  intensive management. The idea  is to                                                               
put more  hunters in  the field.  The limit  is two  persons each                                                               
year, both must  pass the department's hunter  safety course, and                                                               
the resident  cannot receive any  monetary benefit from  the non-                                                               
resident. This  option is  canceled when  the bear  population is                                                               
back within the population objectives.                                                                                          
The military license  fee is for military members  and their non-                                                               
resident  dependents  only  while stationed  in  Alaska.  Senator                                                               
Seekins said  the military and  others in communities  across the                                                               
state broadly support this provision.                                                                                           
4:03:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ALBERT  KOOKESH asked  how  he  proposed to  get  hunter                                                               
education personnel into rural Alaska to teach the course.                                                                      
SENATOR SEEKINS replied the course  would be available in offices                                                               
or on the Internet.                                                                                                             
SENATOR KOOKESH commented  it seems odd that someone  who grew up                                                               
hunting  and fishing  in rural  Alaska would  now be  required to                                                               
take the hunter safety course before taking anyone in the field.                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  agreed and elaborated  on the purpose,  which is                                                               
to enlist more knowledgeable people to  hunt for bears in an area                                                               
that is under  intensive management. That is the  one interest he                                                               
is  trying  to   protect.  Although  the  intention   is  not  to                                                               
jeopardize  the guide  requirement,  he suggested  that if  there                                                               
were  a  court  challenge  that requirement  would  survive  with                                                               
SENATOR STEDMAN  commented he completed the  hunter safety course                                                               
with his  11-year-old daughter.  There was  considerable hands-on                                                               
weapon handling so he wasn't  sure how effective an on-line class                                                               
would be.                                                                                                                       
SENATOR SEEKINS  acknowledged that is  an obstacle, but  a number                                                               
of   approaches   could   be    employed   to   handle   hands-on                                                               
4:09:58 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON referenced  the  letter to  the  president of  the                                                               
Alaska  Professional  Hunters  Association from  Bill  Horn  with                                                               
Birch, Horton,  Bittner and Cherot,  and asked him to  respond to                                                               
the conclusion. It says:                                                                                                        
     To  preserve the  constitutionality  of Alaska's  guide                                                                    
     requirement   for   non-resident  hunters,   we   would                                                                    
     strongly counsel  against authorizing any  exception to                                                                    
     the  guide requirement  or a  scheme  in which  special                                                                    
     residents act  as de facto  guides in  a non-commercial                                                                    
     or quasi-commercial manner.                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  disagreed that there is  a constitutional issue.                                                               
It is a  statutory issue unless there could be  a challenge based                                                               
on  the commerce  clause. He  reemphasized  he is  not trying  to                                                               
challenge the  guide requirement,  but the  alternative is  to do                                                               
nothing and that isn't acceptable.                                                                                              
4:14:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN said  the assistant  guides that  he knows  have                                                               
become experienced  before taking anyone out  brown bear hunting.                                                               
His perspective  in Southeast is  that he would be  very cautious                                                               
around a weekend hunter who was hunting brown bear.                                                                             
4:16:14 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS  said  first,  he  didn't  think  the  areas  in                                                               
Southeast would  be under intensive  management for  bear control                                                               
and second, anyone  who doesn't know what they're  doing ought to                                                               
have a guide. The point is that  there is a problem that needs to                                                               
be  addressed.   This  is  one   approach  to   controlling  bear                                                               
populations in areas  where they are having an  adverse effect on                                                               
the prey populations.                                                                                                           
4:17:40 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN mentioned  the increased  cost for  licenses and                                                               
commented he  was surprised to see  how few licenses are  sold in                                                               
Western Alaska. He asked if there  would be a mechanism to ensure                                                               
that more people buy proper licenses and tags.                                                                                  
4:18:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS responded he learned  about the disparity between                                                               
the number  of hunters and  number of  licenses sold a  long time                                                               
ago. The fee  schedule is open for discussion but  an increase is                                                               
clearly needed.                                                                                                                 
4:20:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN  asked what a resident  would pay for a  bear tag                                                               
and hunting license.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  SEEKINS replied  in  certain areas  the  tags are  given                                                               
SENATOR STEDMAN  said he gets a  brown bear tag every  year so he                                                               
wouldn't have to give  up the bear in the event  he was forced to                                                               
shoot one.                                                                                                                      
SENATOR SEEKINS  said a tag isn't  required in the area  he hunts                                                               
and he's allowed one bear a year.                                                                                               
4:22:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEDMAN noted  that  the bill  redirects  fish and  game                                                               
expenditures somewhat  and he questioned  whether it  wouldn't be                                                               
better  to  leave  that  up  to a  finance  subcommittee  or  the                                                               
budgeting process.                                                                                                              
4:23:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  replied, historically  the money that  goes into                                                               
the allowable and designated fish and  game fund has been used at                                                               
the department's  discretion. The  sideboards are that  the funds                                                               
are for the  direct benefit of hunters and fishers  and an annual                                                               
report is  prepared to  show how the  funds were  spent. Although                                                               
there  were  difficulties  with  that process  in  the  past,  he                                                               
prefers that approach. If abuse  occurs in the future perhaps the                                                               
subcommittee  process  would be  appropriate;  at  this point  he                                                               
wouldn't suggest it.                                                                                                            
4:27:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN referenced  page 21, line 12 and  asked about the                                                               
fee  or  license   surcharge  that  would  be   used  to  acquire                                                               
easements, rights-of-way,  and land to provide  access to hunters                                                               
and fishers.                                                                                                                    
4:28:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  responded there are  times when it  is important                                                               
for the  state to be  able to acquire  land for public  access to                                                               
navigable streams, waters  and state owned land. To  do that it's                                                               
important that owners are paid  fair market value for the access.                                                               
This  creates  a  fund  to  accommodate  that,  but  it  mandates                                                               
4:28:49 PM at ease 4:29:42 PM                                                                                               
McKIE  CAMPBELL,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Fish  and  Game,                                                               
described  the bill  as large  and complex  and the  department's                                                               
response  is equally  complex.  ADF&G has  no  objection to  some                                                               
parts; it  agrees with the  intent - not  the language -  of some                                                               
parts; it  believes some  parts may have  counter effects  to the                                                               
intended cure; and it strongly disagrees with some parts.                                                                       
4:32:15 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  CAMPBELL  thanked  the   sponsor  for  including  a                                                               
license increase  and for highlighting the  issue. When inflation                                                               
is  taken into  account  an Alaska  hunting  and fishing  license                                                               
costs  less than  half  what  it did  at  Statehood. However,  he                                                               
believes that the fee schedule  contained in the original bill is                                                               
more appropriate than the proposal in the committee substitute.                                                                 
With regard to  accountability he said the department  owes it to                                                               
the  legislature  and  those who  purchase  fishing  and  hunting                                                               
licenses to be totally accountable  and transparent about how the                                                               
monies  are  spent. When  Senator  Seekins  informed him  of  the                                                               
statutory  requirement for  an accounting,  he  quickly posted  a                                                               
report to  the department website.  This year an  updated summary                                                               
was  published and  detailed spreadsheets  were furnished  to the                                                               
Finance Committee and other interested legislators.                                                                             
With regard to the question  about a definition for "project," he                                                               
assured  members that  the response  to  the question  is not  an                                                               
accurate  reflection of  departmental policy.  The definition  in                                                               
the bill  is reasonable  but, he emphasized,  with or  without it                                                               
the  department  will  continue   to  give  a  fully  transparent                                                               
accounting of  the amount and way  that fish and game  fund money                                                               
is spent.                                                                                                                       
4:35:15 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL said  he has a number of  concerns with the                                                               
bill but the main issue is  on page 3, Section 4, subsection (c),                                                               
which says:                                                                                                                     
     Notwithstanding   other   provisions  of   law,   plan,                                                                    
     strategy,  agreement,  guideline, or  similar  document                                                                    
     that   establishes  or   affects  a   policy  for   the                                                                    
     management of  fish, game or aquatic  resources that is                                                                    
     prepared by  the department shall  be submitted  to the                                                                    
     Board  of Fisheries,  the Board  of Game,  or both,  as                                                                    
     appropriate,  for  the   board's  approval  before  the                                                                    
     department implements the policy.                                                                                          
Currently  the   department  makes  policy,   plans,  strategies,                                                               
agreements, and  guidelines every single day  so that requirement                                                               
is  very  problematic for  two  reasons.  First it  would  likely                                                               
require a  fulltime board, but  the fiscal note assumed  that the                                                               
current volunteer  board would suffice.  Second, any  action that                                                               
didn't go  through the board  would open the department  to legal                                                               
challenge.  He  understands  the  motivation, but  he'd  like  to                                                               
continue working with the sponsor.                                                                                              
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL  said he is  also concerned  about limiting                                                               
the  transfer  of money  between  projects,  but there  again  he                                                               
understands the motivation.                                                                                                     
4:39:20 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL  expressed agreement with much  that was in                                                               
the  PowerPoint but  the  devil  is in  the  details  as far  the                                                               
language is  concerned. For example  the department  supports the                                                               
provision  about selling  trophies,  but  would adamantly  oppose                                                               
anything that would encourage poaching  for the sale of game meat                                                               
or parts.                                                                                                                       
4:40:24 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELTON asked  if  the Department  of  Law (DOL)  provided                                                               
guidance so  that ADF&G attorneys could  address the implications                                                               
of the different sections in the bill.                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER  CAMPBELL said  yes and  based on  that advice  they                                                               
prepared a sectional analysis. They  provided that information to                                                               
Senator Seekins  last year and  no one else.  He said he  did not                                                               
have a revised sectional reflecting the new CS.                                                                                 
SENATOR ELTON commented  that the committee would  need to review                                                               
the DOL document before making a decision.                                                                                      
CHAIR  WAGONER   asked  Commissioner  Campbell  to   provide  the                                                               
committee with a revised sectional.                                                                                             
4:43:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DYSON recapped  what the  sponsor was  trying to  do and                                                               
asked if there was a better way.                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL  replied the  bill is  complex and  it does                                                               
many  things so  the department  would like  to continue  to work                                                               
with the  sponsor to offer  opportunities and language  to reduce                                                               
the chance for unintended consequences.                                                                                         
4:45:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN  observed that  the bill is  very complex  and he                                                               
would  hold  his  questions  until   the  updated  sectional  was                                                               
4:45:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS   commented  subsection   (c)  on  page   3  was                                                               
precipitated because there are  agreements that affect management                                                               
policy  in the  state  that neither  the Board  of  Game nor  the                                                               
legislature  knows about  on a  formal basis.  He used  the State                                                               
Wildlife Grant  Project as  an example and  said the  question in                                                               
that  instance  was  whether the  document  committed  particular                                                               
management processes  and actions  without any there  having been                                                               
any external review.  SSSB 170 just asks for the  light of day so                                                               
that the  people who are  charged with that  fiduciary management                                                               
responsibility are actually involved.                                                                                           
4:48:00 PM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL  highlighted his concern using  the halibut                                                               
charter  issue.  At a  recent  North  Pacific Management  Council                                                               
meeting the issue  of whether or not skippers and  crew should be                                                               
able to retain  fish was hotly contested. On behalf  of the State                                                               
of Alaska  he made  the policy decision  to enforce  no retention                                                               
for  skippers and  crew in  Southeast and  to watch  Southcentral                                                               
closely. As such  he was able to realize a  goal that the sponsor                                                               
also supported. Without the ability  to make the policy call, the                                                               
goal would not  have been realized for at least  another 30 days.                                                               
He   reiterated  his   commitment   to   transparency  and   full                                                               
4:50:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON asked  what would have happened if  the language in                                                               
subsection  (c) had  been  law  6 months  ago  when  there was  a                                                               
challenge  to the  predator  control program  that  was based  on                                                               
procedural issues.  He suggested  the language  creates questions                                                               
that could potentially affect the predator control policy.                                                                      
COMMISSIONER CAMPBELL replied it's not  the intent but he is very                                                               
concerned  that  the   section  could  be  used   to  attack  any                                                               
department  action that  didn't have  board blessing.  Whether or                                                               
not  it  would  have  affected the  predator  control  policy  he                                                               
couldn't  say, but  Section 15(e)(1)  on page  9 certainly  could                                                               
have an  affect. It  contains language  about consumptive  use of                                                               
the  big  game  prey  population  as a  preferred  use.  The  new                                                               
language is problematic because  there are dramatically different                                                               
conclusions from  who is a reliable,  reasonable or knowledgeable                                                               
person.  He  suggested that  with  that  language the  department                                                               
would  be in  court all  the  time even  though that  is not  the                                                               
CHAIR WAGONER announced he would hold SB 170.                                                                                   
            SB 278-ALASKA CLIMATE CHANGE TASK FORCE                                                                         
CHAIR WAGONER announced SB 278 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
4:55:52 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  OLSON, sponsor  of SB  278, read  the sponsor  statement                                                               
into the record.                                                                                                                
     I introduced  SB 278 to  address the  real implications                                                                    
     that  climate warming  has  for  Alaska's economic  and                                                                    
     domestic   well  being.   Climate  change   discussions                                                                    
     usually  center   on  the   question  of   whether  the                                                                    
     measurable   gradual    warming   we    are   currently                                                                    
     experiencing is  a natural cyclic  change or  the onset                                                                    
     of some humanity  induced environmental catastrophe. To                                                                    
     many Alaskans, the reality of  the warming situation is                                                                    
     of direct  and immediate  concern that  overshadows the                                                                    
     global  debate  over   causes  and  appropriate  macro-                                                                    
     solutions.  What  matters is  that  our  region of  the                                                                    
     world  is  experiencing   detrimental  effects  of  the                                                                    
     warming  trend today  and prospects  for even  the near                                                                    
     future may be more damaging.                                                                                               
     For  these reasons,  I think  it is  important for  the                                                                    
     state to  take a hard  and honest  look at what  can be                                                                    
     expected  if warming  temperatures  continue. What  are                                                                    
     the implications for the social  and economic health of                                                                    
     our  citizens, communities,  and industries?  Right now                                                                    
     there are  too many  unanswered questions.  What effect                                                                    
     will  this   have  on  our   forests,  fish   and  game                                                                    
     resources, river  and shore line erosion?  What does it                                                                    
     mean for  permafrost stability in  areas of  our homes,                                                                    
     our community  facilities, our roads and  airports, our                                                                    
     pipeline?   How   will   it  affect   new   development                                                                    
     opportunities in Arctic and sub Arctic Alaska?                                                                             
     SB 278 creates  an Alaska Climate Change  Task Force to                                                                    
     review and  analyze warming impacts  on Alaska  and its                                                                    
     citizens. This task  force will be made  up of thirteen                                                                    
     individuals  from diverse  backgrounds. Five  will have                                                                    
     some   expertise   in  Arctic   climatology,   geology,                                                                    
     engineering, ecology  or other  appropriate discipline.                                                                    
     There are  four representatives of state  agencies that                                                                    
     have  key responsibilities  for  the state's  resources                                                                    
     and transportation infrastructure.                                                                                         
     The task force is charged with the following:                                                                              
        · Assess current and potential aspects of climate                                                                       
          warming on the citizens, natural resources, and                                                                       
        · Estimate the costs to the state and its citizens                                                                      
          caused by climate warming, and                                                                                        
        · Make recommendations to address the near and                                                                          
         long-term effects of climate change on Alaska.                                                                         
     Climate change is one of  the most important challenges                                                                    
     to our  way of life.  This legislation is  an important                                                                    
     first step in preparing the state for the impacts.                                                                         
4:57:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN asked why the university wouldn't work in                                                                       
conjunction with the task force and what the task force would do                                                                
with the information.                                                                                                           
SENATOR OLSON replied the task  force is charged with determining                                                               
whether   there  is   a  legitimate   concern  and   then  making                                                               
recommendations.  He  noted  that  he   had  amendments  for  the                                                               
committee to consider.                                                                                                          
CHAIR WAGONER asked him to give the amendments to Ms. Jackson                                                                   
and announced he would hold SB 278 for further consideration.                                                                   
CHAIR WAGONER adjourned the meeting at 4:59:40 PM.                                                                            

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