Legislature(2007 - 2008)BUTROVICH 205

03/17/2008 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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03:37:37 PM Start
03:38:16 PM SB214
04:02:26 PM Board of Game Confirmation Hearings
05:17:45 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 214(RES) Out of Committee
Confirmation Hearings:
Board of Fisheries
Board of Game
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
-- Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 17, 2008                                                                                         
                           3:37 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Charlie Huggins, Chair                                                                                                  
Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                              
Senator Lesil McGuire                                                                                                           
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Thomas Wagoner                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman, Vice Chair                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 214                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to big game hunting by nonresident members of                                                                  
the military service and their dependents; and providing for an                                                                 
effective date."                                                                                                                
     MOVED CSSB 214(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
Confirmation Hearings                                                                                                           
Board of Game                                                                                                                 
 Ted. H. Spraker - Soldotna                                                                                                     
 Lewis E. Bradley                                                                                                               
 Craig L. Fleener                                                                                                               
     CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                     
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                            
 William S. Brown                                                                                                               
 John E. Jensen                                                                                                                 
 Melvin E. Morris                                                                                                               
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 214                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HUNTING BY MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HUGGINS                                                                                                  
01/16/08       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/4/08                                                                                
01/16/08       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/08       (S)       RES                                                                                                    
02/27/08       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/27/08       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/27/08       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/10/08       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/10/08       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/10/08       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/17/08       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JODY SIMPSON                                                                                                                    
Staff to Senator Huggins                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Explained CSSB 214 (RES) version E for the                                                                
KRISTIN WRIGHT, Supervisor                                                                                                      
Finance Licensing                                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)                                                                                      
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding CSSB 214 (RES).                                                              
KEVIN SAXBY                                                                                                                     
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on CSSB 214(RES).                                                                      
FRANK BISHOP, representing himself                                                                                              
Kodiak, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 214.                                                                                           
BOBBY FITHIAN                                                                                                                   
Professional Hunters Association                                                                                                
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSSB 214(RES), version E.                                                                       
BRUCE KNOWLES, representing himself                                                                                             
Wasilla, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSSB 214(RES).                                                                                  
TOM LOGAN, representing himself                                                                                                 
Big Lake, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSSB 214(RES).                                                                                  
TED H. SPRAKER                                                                                                                  
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Reappointee to the Board of Game.                                                                         
LEWIS E. BRADLEY                                                                                                                
Palmer, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Nominee for the Board of Game                                                                             
CRAIG L. FLEENER                                                                                                                
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Nominee for the Board of Game.                                                                            
WADE WILLIS, representing himself                                                                                               
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported Mr. Fleener and opposed Mr.                                                                     
BRUCE KNOWLES, Chair                                                                                                            
Susitna River Fish and Game Advisory Committee                                                                                  
Willow, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Had not been notified of meeting.                                                                         
PAUL SHADURA                                                                                                                    
Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee                                                                                 
Kenai, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported Mr. Spraker.                                                                                    
STEVE RUNYAN, representing self                                                                                                 
Wasilla, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported Mr. Bradley, Mr. Fleener and Mr.                                                                
RICKY GEASE, representing himself                                                                                               
Kenai, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported Mr. Spraker, Mr. Fleener and Mr.                                                                
GARY HOLLIER, representing himself                                                                                              
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported Mr. Spraker for reconfirmation.                                                                 
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  CHARLIE  HUGGINS  called   the  Senate  Resources  Standing                                                            
Committee meeting to  order at 3:37:37 PM. Present  at the call to                                                            
order  were Senators  Green,  Stevens, Wielechowski,  Wagoner  and                                                              
           SB 214-HUNTING BY MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY'                                                                       
3:38:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGGINS announced SB 214 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
JODY SIMPSON,  staff to Senator  Huggins, sponsor of SB  214, said                                                              
there was  a new  CS, version  E that  she hoped accomplished  the                                                              
goals of  the sponsor.  It provides for  military and  Coast Guard                                                              
members  and their  dependents,  it  waives the  12-month  waiting                                                              
period that is required  currently in statute for them  to be able                                                              
to pay resident  rates, it accords resident rate  fees for permits                                                              
and tags and  it addresses Senator McGuire's  concerns about going                                                              
back to  the original  language of  the bill.   This CS  does that                                                              
and  does it  without qualifying  them  under other  areas of  the                                                              
statute as residents. They are still defined as non-residents.                                                                  
It also  addresses Senator Wagoner's  concerns in that  it doesn't                                                              
open  up the  dip-netting  and personal  use  fisheries for  these                                                              
folks until  they have been here  for a year. An email  from Kevin                                                              
Saxby, Department  of Law (DOL),  confirms that. She said  it also                                                              
addresses  the  concerns  of  the   Alaska  Professional  Hunters'                                                              
Association and  others by retaining  the guide component  for the                                                              
three most dangerous species.                                                                                                   
3:40:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  said he appreciated  all the work that  went into                                                              
this  issue  and  he  asked if  this  would  include  the  uniform                                                              
military and the Corps of Engineers.                                                                                            
CHAIR  HUGGINS answered  yes  as they  are  a branch  of the  U.S.                                                              
SENATOR  STEVENS  said he  was  thinking  of the  uniform  medical                                                              
corps in the BIA.                                                                                                               
CHAIR HUGGINS said they are not covered by this bill.                                                                           
3:41:28 PM                                                                                                                    
KRISTIN WRIGHT,  Supervisor, Finance Licensing,  Alaska Department                                                              
of Fish and  Game (ADF&G), relative to Senator  Stevens' question,                                                              
explained  that  the  BIA  and  other  groups,  if  they  are  not                                                              
considered  as  part   of  the  military  on  a   certain  federal                                                              
register, they are not considered military.                                                                                     
SENATOR  STEVENS said  his  concern  is that  the  Coast Guard  is                                                              
under  the  Department   of  Homeland  Security   and  it's  their                                                              
intention to cover them.                                                                                                        
CHAIR HUGGINS said  they are covered specifically in  the bill. He                                                              
asked  if Ms.  Wright  saw any  challenges  in administering  this                                                              
MS. WRIGHT answered no.                                                                                                         
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked  if someone from  ADF&G could  comment                                                              
on whether this  legislation would impact the numbers  of fish and                                                              
wildlife available to residents.                                                                                                
MS. WRIGHT  answered they  already pay the  resident rate  for the                                                              
fishing license  now, but  at issue is  the hunting  license. Very                                                              
few  have participated  in hunting,  but it's  possible that  more                                                              
military might  hunt under  this bill  because the licenses  would                                                              
cost less than what  they would have been paying.  The fiscal note                                                              
would always be a guess.                                                                                                        
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said he supports  the bill, but they  have a                                                              
constitutional  obligation  to mandate  for  sustainable  resource                                                              
and  that's what  he's getting  at.  He asked  if she  anticipated                                                              
that  these provisions  would have  a significant  impact on  that                                                              
MS. WRIGHT  replied that  these people  would still be  considered                                                              
non-residents  and   wouldn't  be  able  to  participate   in  the                                                              
personal  use   fisheries  until   they  have  met   the  one-year                                                              
residency requirement. They are already doing that.                                                                             
3:44:42 PM                                                                                                                    
KEVIN SAXBY,  Department of  Law (DOL), said  he was  available to                                                              
answer questions.                                                                                                               
SENATOR MCGUIRE joined the committee.                                                                                           
3:45:24 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANK  BISHOP,  combat  veteran,   Kodiak,  said  he  had  been  a                                                              
resident of  Alaska for the  past 37 years  and he  disagreed with                                                              
SB 214. He  thought they were trying  to make a special  status of                                                              
citizen. At  the present time all  the military are  voluntary and                                                              
this  would have  a drastic  impact on  the economy  of the  local                                                              
population that makes their living from non-residents.                                                                          
CHAIR HUGGINS  said requiring a guide  for the big species  in the                                                              
first year  would continue,  so you still  need a guide  for brown                                                              
bear and  goat hunting. The other  part is that the  difference in                                                              
some  of the  professions and  vocations is  that military  people                                                              
are sent  here on  orders; it  may be  they want  to come  or they                                                              
don't want to come,  but they don't have a choice.  A lot of young                                                              
men and  women are  coming to Alaska  for a  matter of  months and                                                              
then shipping out  to Iraq or Afghanistan, and some  of them don't                                                              
come  back. He  characterized it  as  being good  hosts for  young                                                              
people  who  are  really  making   a  sacrifice  for  the  country                                                              
potentially.  He  concluded  by  thanking  him for  his  years  of                                                              
service in being a combat veteran.                                                                                              
3:49:01 PM                                                                                                                    
BOBBY  FITHIAN,  Professional Hunters  Association,  supported  SB                                                              
214,  version E.  He  said they  appreciated  the sponsor  working                                                              
with them to  delete sections 2  and 3 that dealt with  the guide-                                                              
required species.                                                                                                               
3:49:54 PM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE  KNOWLES,  representing  himself,   Mat-Su,  said  he  is  a                                                              
disable veteran  and he loved this  bill. He said that  people who                                                              
don't understand  the military and  those who have been  away from                                                              
it  for   years  cannot  understand   today's  military   and  the                                                              
sacrifices these people  are making. He has a son  in the military                                                              
and he said,  "These people deserve everything we  can give them."                                                              
The fact  that they won't be  able to participate in  the personal                                                              
use fisheries is short sighted, but that's how it worked out.                                                                   
3:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM LOGAN,  representing himself, Big  Lake, supported SB  214. He                                                              
related that  he had personal experience  with this issue.  He was                                                              
transferred by the  military to Alaska quite a few  years ago, and                                                              
the  second day  he  was here  he  bought a  non-resident  hunting                                                              
license  and didn't  sign in  to his base  for 10  days. The  next                                                              
year he  used his  non-resident  hunting license  to show  that he                                                              
had been  in Alaska over  a year, although  it was a year  and two                                                              
days, and  bought a  regular hunting license.  ADF&G tried  to say                                                              
"no" because  the military said he  didn't get here until  10 days                                                              
later. The  department didn't  want to accept  his old  license as                                                              
proof that he had been in Alaska 10 days before.                                                                                
MR. LOGAN said a  lot of other young men did  the same thing; they                                                              
came  up early  and  hunted on  a  non-resident  license and  then                                                              
wound up  paying a  fine because they  couldn't document  they had                                                              
been here ahead of time.                                                                                                        
3:53:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS moved  to  adopt CSSB  214(RES),  version E,  for                                                              
discussion  purposes.  There were  no  objections  and  it was  so                                                              
3:54:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  moved to  report CSSB  214(RES), version  E, from                                                              
committee with  individual recommendations and zero  fiscal notes.                                                              
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                 
3:54:45 PM at ease 4:02:17 PM                                                                                               
^Board of Game Confirmation Hearings                                                                                          
CHAIR  HUGGINS  said  the  committee  next  would  hear  from  the                                                              
Governor's nominees to the Board of Game.                                                                                       
4:02:26 PM                                                                                                                    
TED  H. SPRAKER,  nominee for  the  Board of  Game, said  he is  a                                                              
current member  of the Board  of Game and  also serves on  the Big                                                              
Game  Commercial Services  Board. He  lives in  Soldotna with  his                                                              
wife and  family. He was  raised in Wyoming  where he went  to the                                                              
University  of Wyoming.  He  completed  his bachelor's  degree  in                                                              
wildlife management  in 1971  and completed  a master's  degree in                                                              
range management in  1973. He moved to Alaska in  July 1973 and is                                                              
a 35-year  resident and  he is  59 years  of age.  He worked  as a                                                              
wildlife  biologist  for ADF&G  for  28  years  and 4  months;  he                                                              
retired in  June 2002.  In January  2003 he  was appointed  to the                                                              
Board  of Game  and was  just recently  reappointed  to his  third                                                              
term. He has  also served as the  vice chair of the  Board of Game                                                              
for the last  couple of years and  holds the Board of  Game's seat                                                              
on the Big Game  Commercial Services Board on which  he has served                                                              
since it was established  three years ago. The reason  he wants to                                                              
remain on the  board is that wildlife management  and working with                                                              
the public has been his life long career and he likes it.                                                                       
CHAIR HUGGINS  asked him  to highlight  a couple of  contributions                                                              
he has made while on the board.                                                                                                 
MR. SPRAKER  answered said that  one of his contributions  that he                                                              
used his  long career working for  ADF&G to listen  very carefully                                                              
to the scientific  data that was presented. He was  told long ago,                                                              
"As long as  you look after the  resource and do the  best you can                                                              
as  far as  maintaining healthy  populations  and healthy  habitat                                                              
that you  are always going to  make the right decisions."  He also                                                              
tries  to mix  his  scientific background  with  where the  public                                                              
comes into the equation.   The board works as a  team and he tries                                                              
his best to represent all users across the state.                                                                               
CHAIR  HUGGINS  asked  what  challenges  he saw  in  the  next  24                                                              
4:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. SPRAKER  answered that every  year they are challenged  by the                                                              
subsistence  mandate. The  board has struggled  with the  Nelchina                                                              
caribou  hunt issues  in Unit 13.  The Ahtna  Corporation  has not                                                              
been pleased with  some of the board's subsistence  outcomes, even                                                              
thought they  have a good record  on this issue across  the state.                                                              
Another big issue  is their desire to manage  predators across the                                                              
state.  He  said  they  have a  very  clear  mandate  to  increase                                                              
populations  in  certain  areas especially  populations  that  are                                                              
depleted where subsistence needs have not been met.                                                                             
MR. SPRAKER  said the  residents  of this state  really deserve  a                                                              
well-thought  out  and  long  term  program  as  far  as  managing                                                              
predators goes  and he  thought they had  that. Recently  the prey                                                              
population has  responded well in  McGrath due to  reducing wolves                                                              
and bears in that area.                                                                                                         
4:11:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGGINS  said at a  recent statewide organizational  meeting                                                              
the department  had presentations  on intensive management  and he                                                              
asked if intensive  management had been a discussion  point on the                                                              
board  - although  he  thought probably  not.  He  then jumped  to                                                              
habitat  and   asked  if   there  are   any  success   stories  or                                                              
conversations  or debates he  had been  involved in that  revolved                                                              
around the adequacy  or the need to improve  habitat, particularly                                                              
as it might apply to moose.                                                                                                     
MR.  SPRAKER  answered  there  have   been  a  lot  of  successful                                                              
programs  across the state  with habitat,  but unfortunately  they                                                              
are  always associated  with  wild  fires, because  moose  habitat                                                              
requires  a   large  amount   of  land.   For  that  reason   it's                                                              
financially  difficult  to  enhance   habitat  over  large  areas.                                                              
However, a  good example  of increased moose  numbers would  be in                                                              
the  Interior around  and east  of Fairbanks.  The department  has                                                              
responded to  this increase by  allowing harvesting  of antlerless                                                              
moose in some areas.                                                                                                            
4:14:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  things other  than predators  are                                                              
impacting big game ungulates like big game hunters.                                                                             
MR. SPRAKER answered  it's rare that only one  thing impacts prey.                                                              
Basically three  things kill moose  - weather, predators  and high                                                              
velocity lead, and  the board can help balance  things through its                                                              
allocation  efforts.  There  is  an  issue  with  sheep  declining                                                              
across the  state, but they  are pretty  sure it's not  because of                                                              
CHAIR HUGGINS asked  if there were any conflicts he  might have in                                                              
his position on the board that they should know about.                                                                          
MR.  SPRAKER replied  the  only  opposition to  his  reappointment                                                              
came from  the Ahtna Corporation.  He also had opposition  because                                                              
of his  stand on statewide  users and  that he was  in favor  of a                                                              
salary cap  on subsistence  hunters in Unit  13; he also  voted in                                                              
opposition  to  a proposal  that  would  have eliminated  all  the                                                              
Fairbanks tier  2 hunters in  Unit 13 when  the number  of permits                                                              
was 2,000. He felt  that was unfair to users across  the state and                                                              
that the  salary income  was something that  was needed  to better                                                              
characterize  a subsistence user  and meet  the criteria  they are                                                              
mandated  to  look at.  Those  two  issues  were  in a  letter  in                                                              
opposition to his reappointment.                                                                                                
MR. SPRAKER  said he  had also  been criticized  from a  couple of                                                              
groups  who  are   strongly  opposed  to  management   of  wolves,                                                              
although he didn't know if they had written any letters.                                                                        
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said he  received a  couple of letters  from                                                              
constituents  about  wolverine   trapping  east  of  Anchorage  in                                                              
Chugach State  Park. He asked him  if he was going to  relook into                                                              
the situation  that had  trapped about 12  wolverines and  6 dogs.                                                              
Some of the traps were right off of trails.                                                                                     
MR. SPRAKER  replied that at  the last  board meeting they  took a                                                              
very  careful  look at  that  and  he offered  an  amendment  that                                                              
addressed a 50-yard  setback where traps and snares  cannot be set                                                              
on either side of  the trail. It provided also  for a quarter-mile                                                              
setback  from  all  the  trailheads,  campgrounds  and  along  the                                                              
Seward  Highway.  Another  part  of that  amendment  required  all                                                              
trappers  to  identify   their  traps  with  trap   tags  to  show                                                              
ownership.  He related  that of  the six dogs  that were  trapped,                                                              
actually  two  were  caught  in  the park  and  four  were  caught                                                              
outside of  it. He said the board  also reduced the length  of the                                                              
trapping  season  by two  weeks.  He  said  they worked  with  the                                                              
trappers  to eliminate  some conflicts  and he  was sure it  would                                                              
come back before them several times until something changed.                                                                    
4:22:01 PM                                                                                                                    
LEWIS E.  BRADLEY, nominee to the  Board of Game, Mat-Su,  said he                                                              
has been  an Alaskan  resident for  35 years  and enjoys  the last                                                              
frontier lifestyle  of hunting  and fishing  and working  hard. He                                                              
wants  the  same  opportunities  for  his  grandchildren  and  all                                                              
Alaskans.  Our  state  needs prudent  management  of  our  natural                                                              
resources that  provides fair and  equitable use on  a sustainable                                                              
level. He  said that  no one person  knows it all  and we  are all                                                              
Alaskan and need  to work together using knowledge  and experience                                                              
to  make wise  decisions  to restore  the  abundance  of fish  and                                                              
wildlife where populations are declining.                                                                                       
He said  he was born  in Hot Springs,  Arkansas, 62 years  ago and                                                              
graduated from  high school in Oregon  in 1964. He got  married in                                                              
1965 and  came to  Alaska with  the military  in 1967.  He quipped                                                              
that he  has some  negotiating experience  -  since he raised  two                                                              
children.  He  was  discharged  in  1970 and  got  a  Bachelor  of                                                              
Science degree  in Physical Education  in 1972. He wanted  to come                                                              
back to Alaska,  but there were no jobs in physical  education, so                                                              
he went  an extra year  and got a  degree in elementary  education                                                              
K-8.  He taught  in  Wasilla  for  the last  27  years.  He got  a                                                              
private pilot's  license in 1985.  He coached after-school  sports                                                              
for  26  years   and  co-founded  the  Wasilla   Little  Dribblers                                                              
Basketball Program with Reed Smith.                                                                                             
4:26:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGGINS  asked if he had  any success in picking  up antlers                                                              
this winter.                                                                                                                    
MR.  BRADLEY replied  that he  had been  too busy  and he  usually                                                              
spends two weeks to a month in the spring doing that.                                                                           
CHAIR  HUGGINS  said  several  constituents   have  contacted  his                                                              
office concerned that  there may be a restriction  on people being                                                              
able to  pick up  antlers in  some state  controlled areas,  and a                                                              
lot of people don't necessarily support that.                                                                                   
MR. BRADLEY replied there are.                                                                                                  
CHAIR HUGGINS asked him to keep that on his radar screen.                                                                       
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked him  describe his academic  background                                                              
in the areas of biology and wildlife management.                                                                                
MR. BRADLEY  answered that he has  a minor degree in  biology from                                                              
the  University of  Oregon, and  while  he doesn't  have a  formal                                                              
science  background, he  has learned  a lot  just through  hunting                                                              
and  being  around  the  state.  He said  all  hunters  should  be                                                              
concerned  about  conservation  of habitat,  bull/cow  ratios  and                                                              
birth and survival of yearlings.                                                                                                
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  what  types of  evidence  should  be                                                              
presented to  the board to demonstrate  a need for  intensive game                                                              
4:29:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. BRADLEY answered  they have to show that how  many animals are                                                              
in  the area;  for  instance, bull/cow  ratios  should be  40/100.                                                              
They  like to  have high  calving numbers  and yearling  survival.                                                              
When these  ratios  go down and  there aren't  enough animals  for                                                              
subsistence,  then  you  have  to  look at  what  is  causing  the                                                              
decline. If  the predator ratio  with bears  or wolves is  up, you                                                              
might try to change that.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  scientific  principles should  be                                                              
used in determining intensive management.                                                                                       
MR. BRADLEY  answered yes,  but ADF&G needs  the budget to  do the                                                              
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if he  has any reservations  regarding                                                              
current predator control.                                                                                                       
MR. BRADLEY  answered no, but predators  are an important  part of                                                              
the equation  and you  have to  make sure  it's done properly  and                                                              
you don't overdo it.                                                                                                            
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if he  has an opinion on  rural versus                                                              
urban preference.                                                                                                               
MR. BRADLEY  answered  that people  who live  adjacent to  the big                                                              
game should have some priority if game numbers are down.                                                                        
4:34:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGGINS  asked if  he  wanted  to highlight  anything  that                                                              
surprised him or that he learned at the board meeting.                                                                          
MR.  BRADLEY replied  that  he was  surprised  at  the amount  and                                                              
thoroughness  of  the  information  that  was  given  out  at  the                                                              
4:36:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGGINS asked  if  the committee  should  be  aware of  any                                                              
special conflicts.                                                                                                              
MR.  BRADLEY  replied  that  he  hadn't been  on  the  board  long                                                              
enough.  The  Defenders  of  Wildlife  asked  him if  he  was  for                                                              
predator  control  and  he  answered   yes  when  populations  are                                                              
depressed. He stated his position is that:                                                                                      
     We're all  defenders of wildlife; we're  just defending,                                                                   
     maybe, different  groups. We're  not just defending  the                                                                   
     ungulates  for prey  populations to  eat. If you  manage                                                                   
     for  high  populations,  then they  can  withstand  more                                                                   
     predators. If  you let it go  a natural cycle  like they                                                                   
     are  indicating,   then  you   end  up  with   predators                                                                   
     eventually  will knock their  populations down  and then                                                                   
     a lot of  the predators may die off from  starvation. So                                                                   
     you've got a  natural cycle; they go up and  down and no                                                                   
     one wins  except for - well,  actually no one  does. But                                                                   
     if  you  keep  it  at  a  balanced  level,  then  to  me                                                                   
     everybody wins.                                                                                                            
The person  he was talking  to about this  issue said  he couldn't                                                              
support  him for the  board because  of his  position on  predator                                                              
4:38:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if he  sees anything the  board should                                                              
do differently.                                                                                                                 
MR. BRADLEY  replied  that since  80 percent  of the funding  came                                                              
from  out of  state  hunting licenses,  he  didn't  know what  the                                                              
solution would be.  Maybe some people could pay  more for licenses                                                              
especially compared  to other states and they could  also put more                                                              
people in the field to help manage the animals.                                                                                 
MR.  BRADLEY  also  suggested  that bears  and  wolves  should  be                                                              
managed the same  as the ungulates, because sometimes  people want                                                              
to take  a bear or a  wolf once in  their lifetime. There  used to                                                              
be an unlimited  supply of animals,  but now there isn't.  Unit 14                                                              
C became a  park and eventually went  to a permit and  now Unit 14                                                              
A has  38 guides  and it  just can't stand  the pressure.  Hunters                                                              
get  forced into  smaller and  smaller areas  and Talkeetna  sheep                                                              
are  already  depressed.  Maybe  the state  is  headed  towards  a                                                              
permit system  statewide. If that's  the case, a lot  of decisions                                                              
will have to be  made. "But the number-one priority  has to be the                                                              
animals and whatever it takes to keep them around forever."                                                                     
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  what the  primary  limiting  factors                                                              
affecting wildlife population in areas 13 B are (Glennallen).                                                                   
MR.  BRADLEY replied  in Alaska  it's usually  mostly weather  and                                                              
then predators, both  men and wild predators; to  a smaller degree                                                              
it's the habitat and the available browse.                                                                                      
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  too many  big  game hunters  from                                                              
outside are allowed in.                                                                                                         
MR.  BRADLEY  answered  yes;  he thought  that  guides  should  be                                                              
residents  because  they  feel  more  responsibility  towards  the                                                              
state. Outside  guides come  up here for  a couple months,  take a                                                              
lot of  game even bringing  up outside  assistant guides  and then                                                              
they  leave the  state and  take the  money with  them. They  also                                                              
don't  feel  the  same  kind  of  stewardship  of  the  land  that                                                              
resident  guides do.  He  definitely wanted  to  see some  changes                                                              
4:44:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GREEN  thanked him  and hoped  he felt  the same  one year                                                              
from now. She asked who he replaced.                                                                                            
MR. BRADLEY answered Mr. Somerville's seat.                                                                                     
4:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG  L. FLEENER,  nominee  for the  Board  of Game,  said he  is                                                              
originally from  Fort Yukon and  is currently living  in Anchorage                                                              
to finish  up his masters degree  in Anchorage that he  started in                                                              
MR. FLEENER said  he served from 1986-1990 in  the Marines, joined                                                              
the National  Guard in 1991  and is still  serving. He  has worked                                                              
mostly  in   natural  resources   type  jobs.   He  has   been  an                                                              
environmental  coordinator  and a  natural  resources manager;  he                                                              
has  done subsistence  surveys  and fisheries  work  in the  Yukon                                                              
Flats. He was  the regional wildlife biologist for  the Counsel of                                                              
Athabascan Tribal  Governments with the  10 villages of  the Yukon                                                              
Flats. He  has served on  a number of  boards and committees  over                                                              
issues like salmon  population problems; he currently  serves on a                                                              
committee on  bison. He served for  about 10 years on  the Eastern                                                              
Interior  Federal  Regional Subsistence  Advisory  Committee  with                                                              
several  years as chairman,  but  he had just  resigned from  that                                                              
SENATOR GREEN asked the chair if he had ever met Mr. Fleener.                                                                   
CHAIR HUGGINS replied  that he had met him in  this very building.                                                              
He has an astonishing list of accomplishments.                                                                                  
4:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGGINS asked how he became a nominee.                                                                                    
MR. FLEENER replied  that some people out there kind  of like him.                                                              
One of  his major  goals and  partial accomplishment  in life  has                                                              
been bridging the  gap between the indigenous community  in Alaska                                                              
and the  non-native community so  they can work together  to solve                                                              
problems  that are  common to  everyone.  Because of  that he  has                                                              
been seen  as a person  people can work  with. He has  friends who                                                              
serve  in   a  number  of   different  capacities   including  the                                                              
environmental  community,  the Native  community  and the  Outdoor                                                              
Council.  Several  folks  put  his   name  forward  and  then  the                                                              
Governor called him.                                                                                                            
CHAIR HUGGINS  went specifically  to a 2001  study that  looked at                                                              
beaver  dam influence  on  fish distribution  in  the Black  River                                                              
drainage and asked him what he found.                                                                                           
MR. FLEENER  answered that  it was  not what  he thought  it would                                                              
be. He  thought it  would be an  overwhelming display  that beaver                                                              
dams  are bad  for whitefish,  because  they block  access to  and                                                              
from  lakes, and  he  wanted  to have  them  removed.  One of  the                                                              
things they are  trying to determine is where  whitefish spawn and                                                              
while  it's still  a big  question,  one of  the possibilities  is                                                              
that  they  spawn   in  some  lakes.  However,   they  found  that                                                              
typically there are  enough high water events throughout  the year                                                              
to allow  fish to  go over  the dams.  A fish  and game  biologist                                                              
said these over  flow events provided plenty of time  for the fish                                                              
to actually get in and out.                                                                                                     
On the  other hand,  he tries  to incorporate  knowledge of  local                                                              
people  and his primary  interest  in doing the  work was  because                                                              
whitefish is an  extremely important subsistent food  for folks in                                                              
the  Yukon  Flats and  they  were  having  a  lot of  problems  in                                                              
getting them.  They attribute it to  the dams. One of  the reasons                                                              
it was so important  as a research topic is  because traditionally                                                              
local  populations actually  broke  down the  beaver  dams to  get                                                              
access to whitefish and that practice has fallen to the wayside.                                                                
4:53:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS  said  his research  papers  are  impressive  and                                                              
asked what his plans are after finishing his degree.                                                                            
MR. FLEENER responded  that he is unemployed and has  been doing a                                                              
little contract work  to pay rent and tuition. He  would prefer to                                                              
live in  Fort Yukon,  but he needs  to look for  work as  well. He                                                              
explained, "Kind of  the crazy thing about my degree  is that it's                                                              
a degree  in wildlife biology  and for  the last four  or 'fivish'                                                              
years, I've  done more  executive management  stuff." So  he might                                                              
need to get another degree in management.                                                                                       
CHAIR HUGGINS said he was excited about him being on the board.                                                                 
4:55:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GREEN asked the secret behind his "fountain of youth."                                                                  
MR. FLEENER replied moose meat and King salmon.                                                                                 
CHAIR HUGGINS  asked him what  was the  largest moose he  had seen                                                              
on the hoof.                                                                                                                    
MR. FLEENER answered  when he was doing moose surveys  he once saw                                                              
one with  a 45-inch  rack, but next  to the  three other  moose he                                                              
was standing next to his body was 300-400 pounds bigger.                                                                        
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI said  he met  with Mr.  Fleener a couple  of                                                              
weeks ago and  thought he was an extremely impressive  person with                                                              
and impressive resume.                                                                                                          
4:57:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGGINS  announced that the  committee did not have  time to                                                              
get to  the Board of Fisheries  nominations today, but  they would                                                              
be taken up next week.                                                                                                          
4:58:09 PM                                                                                                                    
WADE WILLIS,  20-year resident of  Alaska, said he makes  a living                                                              
in the  tourism business and  supported Mr. Fleener's  nomination.                                                              
He  provides diversity  to  the  board, scientific  knowledge  and                                                              
understanding of the complex issues before the board.                                                                           
He also  reminded the committee  that the  Board of Game  has been                                                              
mandated to represent  all Alaskans and presently  it doesn't have                                                              
diverse  representation.  Only   14  percent  of  the  state  buys                                                              
hunting  licenses.   Not  one  person  on  the  board   is  a  non                                                              
consumptive  user in  the arena  of tourism;  however the  tourism                                                              
industry  is  the  largest  employer  in this  state  -  and  they                                                              
certainly  have a  vested interest  in  their wildlife  resources.                                                              
They  bring more  money into  the  state than  any other  industry                                                              
besides oil.  He said, "I'm very  disappointed that it  seems that                                                              
this  administration is  going to  continue  to try  to stack  the                                                              
Board of  Game with a  single user group  - basically  hunters and                                                              
MR. WILLIS  remarked that Senator  Green was working  to diversify                                                              
the  Board  of  Fish,  so  he was  asking  them  now  to  work  to                                                              
diversify the Board  of Game, BUT and he didn't  think Mr. Bradley                                                              
offered  that  diversity.  Further,  he  said  Mr.  Bradley's  few                                                              
classes  in biology  over 25  years ago  and the  fact that  he is                                                              
writing a book and  picks up horn doesn't give him  the ability to                                                              
understand and  effectively deal  with multiple user  group issues                                                              
on the Board of Game.                                                                                                           
He  was  also  concerned  that   this  committee  didn't  ask  any                                                              
questions  about   working  with  the  public  intent   on  aerial                                                              
predatory  control. In  2000 aerial  predator  control was  passed                                                              
with the understanding  that it would be done  by ADF&G biologists                                                              
and using scientific  information. In 2004, the  record shows that                                                              
ADF&G advised the  Board of Game not to initiate  predator control                                                              
programs,  but they  did  it anyhow  - because  the  board has  no                                                              
diversity.  He  emphasized again  that  the  public has  a  vested                                                              
interest in non-consumptive uses.                                                                                               
SENATOR GREEN  asked if  he or anyone  he knows  applied to  be on                                                              
the Board of Game.                                                                                                              
MR.  WILLIS  answered  that  he  didn't know  of  anyone  who  had                                                              
applied,  but  he also  knew  that  many  of the  nominees  hadn't                                                              
applied either,  but it's not  a case that  no one wants to  be on                                                              
the  board.  A  lot  of folks  don't  understand  the  process  of                                                              
getting there.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR GREEN said  generally there are more applicants  for board                                                              
positions  and generally  people apply  for more  than one  board,                                                              
and she asked him to share that information with his cohorts.                                                                   
5:04:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  said Mr.  Willis implied  that tourism  outstrips                                                              
commercial  fisheries for  jobs and  impacts on  the state  and he                                                              
asked  him to  send him  information  that would  show that's  the                                                              
MR. WILLIS said he would be happy to show him.                                                                                  
5:05:09 PM                                                                                                                    
BRUCE  KNOWLES,  Chair,  Susitna  River  Fish  and  Game  Advisory                                                              
Committee,  said  he  lived  in   Willow.  He  said  the  advisory                                                              
committees didn't get  word that this hearing would  be held today                                                              
and they  weren't able to  get a consensus  on how to vote  on the                                                              
new appointments. He  asked them to work hard to  get out the word                                                              
about these meetings.                                                                                                           
5:06:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGGINS said  the  meeting was  noticed  last Thursday  and                                                              
advertised  in  addition  to  that.   "There  is  a  process,  but                                                              
sometimes it falls  short and we'll make a very  deliberate effort                                                              
to make sure you're aware of it."                                                                                               
5:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  SHADURA, Kenai/Soldotna  Fish and  Game Advisory  Committee,                                                              
Kenai,  supported Mr.  Spraker's  nomination saying  he has  shown                                                              
the  public that  he is  steadfast  in the  support of  management                                                              
practices  that have benefited  all consumptive  users within  the                                                              
state; he is a true guardian of the resource.                                                                                   
5:07:41 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  RUNYAN, representing  himself,  Wasilla,  said Mr.  Bradley                                                              
has  great   personal  integrity   regardless   of  his   lack  of                                                              
experience with  any one user  group. He spends  a lot of  time in                                                              
the field  and can  make good  decisions. He  has good  history in                                                              
this state with following game populations.                                                                                     
Regarding  the tourism  interests, Mr.  Runyan said,  he did  snow                                                              
machining  and   four-wheeling  expeditions  and   the  number-one                                                              
wildlife  they  viewed  on  these   trips  was  moose.  Therefore,                                                              
efforts  by  the  Board  of  Game  to  increase  levels  of  moose                                                              
population anywhere  in the state  benefits not only  the hunters,                                                              
but  those  tourists  who  would   like  to  view  wildlife.  Wolf                                                              
sightings  are  extremely  rare  even  by  experienced  people  in                                                              
tourism.  The animal  the average  tourist  wants most  to see  is                                                              
moose. There are  more people to see moose than  there are hunters                                                              
to  take them.  However,  he thought  Mr.  Willis's interests  are                                                              
very well  served by the current  Board of Game. He  was impressed                                                              
with Mr.  Fleener's  testimony and  he would  be a good  addition.                                                              
Mr. Spraker has been doing a great job so he should be kept on.                                                                 
5:11:02 PM                                                                                                                    
RICKY  GEASE, representing  himself,  supported  Mr. Spraker.  Mr.                                                              
Gease said  he is also the  executive director of the  Kenai River                                                              
Sport  Fishing Association.  He  had  many interactions  with  Mr.                                                              
Spraker as  the museum manager and  the executive director  of the                                                              
Kenai  Visitors and  Cultural  Center  in Kenai  and  found him  a                                                              
strong  advocate of  professional wildlife  management in  Alaska.                                                              
He thought his years  of service in the department  brought a good                                                              
expertise to the board and provided and excellent perspective.                                                                  
In  regards  to the  two  new  appointments,  he said  that  after                                                              
listening  to their  testimony  today, he  would  support both  of                                                              
them.  Mr.  Fleener   has  experience  on  the   eastern  Interior                                                              
subsistence  board,  which brings  good  experience  to the  board                                                              
MR. GEASE  said on the  tourism issue,  that he was  the executive                                                              
director of the  Kenai Convention and Visitor Bureau  for a couple                                                              
of years  and worked with  it for six  years. He pointed  out that                                                              
both consumptive  and non-consumptive  users are important.  A lot                                                              
of  state revenues  come  through the  wildlife  tours and  marine                                                              
tours out  of the Kenai Fjords,  specifically. Whale  watching and                                                              
birding opportunities  are  great for the  non consumptive  users.                                                              
But  the  number-one  manner  in   which  revenues  are  generated                                                              
outside of  organized tours is  through consumptive  use. However,                                                              
game  tours  with guides  generate  large  incomes and  those  get                                                              
distributed  throughout  all  portions  of the  state  along  with                                                              
sport fishing.                                                                                                                  
5:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  HOLLIER,  representing  himself,   Soldotna,  supported  Mr.                                                              
Spraker for  reconfirmation. He said in  the late 70s it  was hard                                                              
to get  a moose  and someone  with vision  put in  a spike  for 50                                                              
inch  regulation  in  the  mid-80s  and now  they  have  a  30-day                                                              
season.  Mr.  Spraker  was  instrumental  with that  and  had  the                                                              
foresight  to  do something  positive  for  the resource  and  the                                                              
people.  If it  wasn't for  him, they  would probably  be down  to                                                              
four or five-day seasons.                                                                                                       
CHAIR  HUGGINS,  finding  no  further   testimony,  closed  public                                                              
testimony.  He  read  the  Senate  Confirmation  Committee  report                                                              
saying   the    Senate   Resources   Committee    recommends   the                                                              
appointments be  forwarded to a  joint session for  consideration.                                                              
This didn't reflect  any intent by any of the members  to vote for                                                              
or  against  the  confirmation   of  the  individuals  during  any                                                              
further  sessions.   Committee   members  signed  the   forwarding                                                              
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
Chair Huggins adjourned the meeting at 5:17:45 PM.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects