Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

02/19/2011 10:00 AM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Note Day and Time --
+= SB 24 SPORT FISHING GUIDES: BOARD; LICENSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Public Comment
+= SB 44 SOUTHEAST STATE FOREST TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Public Comment
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                    
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 19, 2011                                                                                        
                           10:09 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Joe Paskvan, Co-Chair - via teleconference                                                                              
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Co-Chair                                                                                                
Senator Lesil McGuire - via teleconference                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bill Wielechowski, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 24                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing  the Sport Fishing Guide  Services Board and                                                               
licensing requirements for  sport fishing guide-outfitters, sport                                                               
fishing  outfitters, sport  fishing assistant  guides, and  sport                                                               
fishing transporters; making  conforming amendments; allowing the                                                               
Department of  Fish and  Game to  collect information  on guiding                                                               
services; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 44                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the Southeast State Forest; and providing                                                                   
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  24                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SPORT FISHING GUIDING SERVICES                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MCGUIRE                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/07/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/07/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/07/11       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/19/11       (S)       RES AT 10:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  44                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SOUTHEAST STATE FOREST                                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/11       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
02/07/11       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/07/11       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/07/11       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
02/19/11       (S)       RES AT 10:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SONNY PETERSEN, Member                                                                                                          
Katmai Service Providers                                                                                                        
Kodiak, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 24 in its                                                                   
current form.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW COUCH, representing himself                                                                                              
Matanuska Susitna Valley, AK                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed the establishment of a Sport Fishing                                                              
Guide Services Board addressed in SB 24.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MELVIN GROVE, President                                                                                                         
Prince William Sound Charter Boat Association                                                                                   
Prince William Sound, AK                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 24.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
STEVE RUNYAN, representing himself                                                                                              
Wasilla, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed strong concern about SB 24.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MELISSA BORTON, Travel Administrator                                                                                            
Native Village of Afognak                                                                                                       
Kodiak, AK,                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 24.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REUBEN HANKE, sport fishing and big game hunting guide                                                                          
Kenai, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified that it is important to take a                                                                  
step back and look into the issues addressed in SB 24 some more.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW CESSNE, upper Kenai River guide                                                                                          
Kenai, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RICKY GEASE, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Kenai River Sports Fishing Association (KRSA)                                                                                   
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN DELANEY, Fisheries Consultant                                                                                             
Kenai River Sports Fishing Association (KRSA)                                                                                   
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 24 and noted that further                                                                 
assessments of the sports fishing industry are needed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DENISE MAY, owner and operator                                                                                                  
Whale Pass Lodge                                                                                                                
Port Lions, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concerns about SB 24.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JACK CADIGAN, Owner and Captain                                                                                                 
Adventures in Alaska                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed strong concerns about SB 24 in its                                                              
current form.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BOB MAY, Owner and Operator                                                                                                     
Whale Pass Lodge                                                                                                                
Port Lions, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concern about SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
NANCI MORRIS-LYON, Managing Partner                                                                                             
Alaska Sportsmen Bear Trail Lodge                                                                                               
King Salmon, AK                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALAN LEMASTER, representing himself                                                                                             
Gakona, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concerns about SB 24.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SCOTT, representing himself                                                                                                
Cordova, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 24.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT EGGEMEYER, Owner,                                                                                                         
Alaska Bear Paw Drifters                                                                                                        
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS RANDA, Owner                                                                                                             
Randa's Guide Service                                                                                                           
Kasilof, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concern about SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVID GOGGIA, President                                                                                                         
Kenai River Guide Association                                                                                                   
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JERRY STRIEBY, Vice President                                                                                                   
Kenai River Professional Guide Association                                                                                      
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHACO PEARMAN, Owner                                                                                                            
Pristine Charters                                                                                                               
Kodiak, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of the concept of the                                                                
Sport Fishing Guide Services Board in SB 24.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REED MORISKY, representing himself                                                                                              
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DENNIS PETRE, charter operator                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 24.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MIKE MCCRURY, representing himself                                                                                              
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 24.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
WADE WILLIS, former owner of a fish guiding business                                                                            
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Stated concern on the Sport Fishing Guide                                                                 
Services board addressed in SB 24.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS BRANHAM, representing himself                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 24.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS ZWOLINSKI, hunting guide                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STAN MALCOM, President                                                                                                          
Petersburg Charter Boat Association                                                                                             
Petersburg, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 24.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOEL HANSON, Captain                                                                                                            
The Boat Company                                                                                                                
Sitka, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concern that some types of                                                                      
businesses are not being fairly represented within SB 24.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
WADE ZAMMIT, President and CEO                                                                                                  
Sealaska Timber Corporation                                                                                                     
Ketchikan, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 44 on behalf of                                                                
Ron Wolfe.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JEREMY MAXAND, representing himself                                                                                             
Wrangell, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 44.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CARL PORTMAN, Deputy Director                                                                                                   
Resource Development Council (RDC)                                                                                              
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 44.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
OWEN GRAHAM, Secretary                                                                                                          
Alaska Forest Association                                                                                                       
Ketchikan, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 44.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ELAINE PRICE, Project Manager                                                                                                   
City Council                                                                                                                    
Coffman Cove, AK                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 44.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SALLEE, owner and operator of a small saw mill                                                                             
Ketchikan, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 44.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PAUL MCINTOSH, representing himself                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 44.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ERIC LEE, representing himself                                                                                                  
Petersburg, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed strong concern about SB 44.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH SEBASTIAN, commercial fisherman                                                                                          
Petersburg, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed strong concern about SB 44.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SHELLY WRIGHT, Executive Director                                                                                               
Southeast Conference                                                                                                            
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 44.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
LINDSAY KETCHAL, Executive Director                                                                                             
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC)                                                                                   
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concern about SB 44.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
FRED MORINO, representing himself                                                                                               
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 44.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:09:20 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR THOMAS WAGONER called the Senate Resources Standing                                                                  
Committee meeting to order at 10:09 a.m. Present at the call to                                                                 
order was Co-Chair Wagoner.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:10:13 AM                                                                                                                   
At ease from 10:10 a.m. to 10:23 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:23:29 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR WAGONER called the meeting back to order.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:24:16 AM                                                                                                                   
At ease from 10:24 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:30:48 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR WAGONER called the meeting back to order.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
             SB  24-SPORT FISHING GUIDING SERVICES                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER announced the consideration of SB 24.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:32:10 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR MCGUIRE, sponsor of SB  24, said this bill was introduced                                                               
with an eye towards the resources  of the state. Fisheries is one                                                               
of the most important resources  in Alaska and is divided between                                                               
commercial and  sport fisheries. She noted  that sports fisheries                                                               
are complex because they are  accessed by Alaskans independently,                                                               
through guides,  and through  tourism. As  tourism in  Alaska has                                                               
grown there  has been  a groundswell of  fishing guide  use. This                                                               
has led to  increased river pressure, particularly  in the Kenai-                                                               
Soldotna area  and in Southeast.  SB 24 has been  brought forward                                                               
as  a way  of extending  the guide  license program  currently in                                                               
place. She explained that the bill  was originally meant to be an                                                               
extension of  the bill  passed last year  [SB 294,  passed during                                                               
the  26th  Alaska  State  Legislature]. SB  294  had  a  one-year                                                               
sunset, which means that without a  bill, there will no longer be                                                               
a sport  fish guide  licensing program  in Alaska.  She explained                                                               
that this would have a negative  effect on the state for two main                                                               
reasons.  First, is  the management  of the  resources. She  said                                                               
that the logbook  program that has been put into  place gives the                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish and  Game (ADF&G) the necessary data to                                                               
track and manage the fisheries stocks.  Second, it is a matter of                                                               
safety.  She  explained that  it  is  important that  guides  are                                                               
trained to safely care for their guests.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB   24   originally   incorporated   a   lot   of   task   force                                                               
recommendations, primarily  from 2006, which  was met with  a lot                                                               
of negativity from  Alaskans. She noted that a  majority of those                                                               
recommendations  were withdrawn  and a  stripped-down version  of                                                               
the  bill was  reintroduced  on the  Senate  floor that  strictly                                                               
addresses the  sunset. She requested  that SB  24 go into  a task                                                               
force  over the  interim in  order to  work with  the public  and                                                               
figure out what to do with these controversial recommendations.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She  asked testifiers  to take  her statement  into consideration                                                               
when making their testimony.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:40:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR WAGONER opened public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:40:58 AM                                                                                                                   
SONNY PETERSEN,  Member, Katmai  Service Providers,  testified in                                                               
opposition of SB  24 in its current form. He  asked the committee                                                               
when he could  expect to see a  new bill and when  the task force                                                               
would meet.  He explained  that SB  24, in  its current  form, is                                                               
entirely unworkable  for sport fishing  operations and  would not                                                               
allow  any of  the  outfits  to operate.  The  lodges in  western                                                               
Alaska have a good reputation and  there is no need to have these                                                               
types  of  licensing requirements.  He  suggested  that if  these                                                               
requirements  are  necessary  in  other parts  of  the  state  as                                                               
Senator McGuire indicated, then  these individuals should come up                                                               
with something for their specific area.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER  noted that  he  is  looking  at the  month  of                                                               
October,  when  guides  are  not  as busy,  for  the  task  force                                                               
meetings and hearings.  He said that the composition  of the task                                                               
force has not been formulated yet.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:45:53 AM                                                                                                                   
ANDREW COUCH, representing himself,  opposed the establishment of                                                               
a  Sport Fishing  Guide  Services Board.  He  explained that  the                                                               
current  guide  licensing  program  makes it  difficult  to  hire                                                               
guides who  meet the requirements  and limit the number  of local                                                               
Alaskans that he  can hire. He explained that the  changes in the                                                               
program have only  produced more required paperwork  and cost him                                                               
more money. In regards to  safety, these requirements are already                                                               
required for Coast Guard licensing.  He stressed that SB 24 would                                                               
add  cost  to   the  industry  and  the  state.   He  noted  that                                                               
individuals who  can't afford  the higher  charter costs  may not                                                               
participate  and  will  reduce  the charter  business.  He  asked                                                               
whether  there  has been  any  support  from individuals  in  the                                                               
industry.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:50:14 AM                                                                                                                   
MELVIN  GROVE,  President,  Prince  William  Sound  Charter  Boat                                                               
Association,   strongly  opposed   SB  24.   He  said   that  the                                                               
association's  primary concern  is that  a real  problem has  not                                                               
been identified. For  example, it has been claimed  that there is                                                               
a  "groundswell  of  guides"  in  the  sports  fishing  industry.                                                               
However, the  current data  from ADF&G shows  that the  number of                                                               
guides has  been steadily  dropping over the  last few  years. He                                                               
stressed that some  benefits need to be included  within the bill                                                               
for  the  industry, such  as  increased  fishing allocations  and                                                               
state sponsored marketing incentives.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
10:54:52 AM                                                                                                                   
STEVE  RUNYAN,  representing  himself, expressed  strong  concern                                                               
about SB 24. He said  state governments everywhere are scrambling                                                               
for ways to  trim costs and keep within the  budget and this bill                                                               
creates  another level  of bureaucracy.  The costs  of SB  24 are                                                               
numerous  and the  benefits, financially,  are  low. He  stressed                                                               
that  the problem  statement and  the benefit  statement to  this                                                               
bill are  highly overblown. He  explained that  having government                                                               
oversight beyond  what is already  contained in the  sports guide                                                               
licensing book is  not necessary or cost  effective. He suggested                                                               
that the  issue of  the sunset for  sport fishing  licenses could                                                               
easily be addressed  by holding an up-down vote in  the Senate on                                                               
the  current  guidebook  system.  The Senate's  energy  would  be                                                               
better used by looking at  the statewide Chinook salmon shortage,                                                               
particularly in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:58:40 AM                                                                                                                   
MELISSA BORTON, Travel Administrator,  Native Village of Afognak,                                                               
testified  in opposition  of SB  24. She  said that  she had  the                                                               
opportunity to sit in on the  task force meetings that took place                                                               
in  preparation  for  this  bill.  She  said  that  during  these                                                               
meetings  she felt  that  the rural  communities  were not  being                                                               
represented.  Further,  the  discussions  were  centered  on  the                                                               
conflicts occurring  in the Kenai  area and were  not necessarily                                                               
applicable  to  Kodiak. She  recognized  how  quickly the  sports                                                               
fishing industry  has grown  and that there  is abuse  that takes                                                               
place  throughout  the  industry. However,  enacting  legislation                                                               
such  as SB  24, which  affects the  regions differently,  should                                                               
require a more  extensive public process. She said  that this was                                                               
missing in  the process leading up  to this bill. She  noted that                                                               
the  one  community  meeting  held  in  Kodiak  had  overwhelming                                                               
opposition to SB 24.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:00:31 AM                                                                                                                   
REUBEN HANKE,  sport fishing and  big game hunting  guide, agreed                                                               
with Senator McGuire that  it is a good idea to  take a step back                                                               
and look into  the issues addressed in SB 24  some more. He noted                                                               
that he  was a member  of the original  task force. He  said that                                                               
this  bill  identifies  the  people  who  provide  sport  fishing                                                               
activities,  which  the current  licensing  system  does not  do.                                                               
There are many individuals in  the state that provide services to                                                               
the  sport  fishing   industry  and  this  bill   would  help  in                                                               
understanding the size and scope of the sport fishing industry.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:02:42 AM                                                                                                                   
ANDREW CESSNE, upper  Kenai River guide, testified  in support of                                                               
SB  24. He  explained  that, for  him, making  a  living on  this                                                               
resource is a privilege, not a right.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:03:34 AM                                                                                                                   
RICKY  GEASE,  Executive  Director, Kenai  River  Sports  Fishing                                                               
Association (KRSA), testified  in support of SB 24.  He said that                                                               
KRSA  agrees  with the  problem  statement  regarding the  sports                                                               
fishing industry. He explained that  there is no common voice for                                                               
the industry in  the Alaskan governmental process,  nor are there                                                               
ethical standards  for conduct of  business, safety,  or service.                                                               
He  noted that  many people  do  meet the  requirements, but  not                                                               
everybody  does  and this  tarnishes  the  state's sport  fishing                                                               
reputation. He added  that KRSA also supports SB 24  going into a                                                               
subcommittee  process and  extending  the  logbook sunset  during                                                               
this time.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:05:38 AM                                                                                                                   
KEVIN DELANEY,  Fisheries Consultant, Kenai River  Sports Fishing                                                               
Association (KRSA),  commented on  SB 24  and noted  that further                                                               
assessment  of the  sports fishing  industry is  needed. He  said                                                               
that the guide  registry program was implemented  during the time                                                               
that  he  was  the  director  of  Sports  Fishing  at  ADF&G.  He                                                               
explained  that  it  was  never ADF&G's  intent  that  the  guide                                                               
registry program  would be  the end-all  in this  process. During                                                               
this time  the division recognized the  tremendous economic value                                                               
of the  industry and wanted to  assure that it would  continue to                                                               
compete   on  a   world-wide  basis.   He   explained  that   the                                                               
registration process has evolved  into the licensing program that                                                               
is in place now and he  has been supportive of this. However, the                                                               
framework in place today doesn't  adequately allow for assessment                                                               
of who is  involved in the field today, he  said. He stressed the                                                               
importance of continuing to pursue these principals.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:09:19 AM                                                                                                                   
DENISE  MAY,  owner and  operator,  Whale  Pass Lodge,  expressed                                                               
concerns  about SB  24. She  said  her greatest  concern is  that                                                               
rural  communities  and villages  around  the  state need  to  be                                                               
included by  giving adequate notice  on the issue and  having the                                                               
opportunity  for input  and comment.  She noted  her appreciation                                                               
for Senator  McGuire in taking a  step back on the  bill to allow                                                               
individuals time  to gather information  and understand  what the                                                               
legislature is trying to accomplish.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:12:20 AM                                                                                                                   
JACK CADIGAN, Owner and Captain,  Adventures in Alaska, expressed                                                               
strong concerns about SB 24 in  its current form. He said he does                                                               
not  want  a  duplicate  a set  of  regulations  where  licensing                                                               
requirements already exist, along  with the associated costs. Mr.                                                               
Cadigan listed a number of  the requirements already in place for                                                               
sports fishing guides.  He said that most  charter operations far                                                               
exceed  the  basic  level  of competency  needed.  He  urged  the                                                               
committee to  amend SB 24 so  that it solely addresses  the areas                                                               
in the state where problems might exist.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:17:19 AM                                                                                                                   
BOB MAY, Owner and Operator,  Whale Pass Lodge, expressed concern                                                               
about  SB 24.  He  said  that at  the  public  meeting in  Kodiak                                                               
regarding this bill,  not one was in favor it.  He noted that the                                                               
bill states that  an individual must be 18 years  old before they                                                               
"can take  a fish off the  hook." However, his kids  learned long                                                               
before this  age to do  more than that. He  said that there  is a                                                               
lot that has  been excluded from this bill.  He acknowledged that                                                               
there  have  been  issues  on  the  Kenai  Peninsula;  but  these                                                               
problems   don't   exist   in   Kodiak.  He   added   that   more                                                               
representation is  needed in Alaska's  villages. He asked  when a                                                               
new bill will be brought forward in  replace of SB 24 and how the                                                               
public notice will be administered to businesses.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER  said that  when hearings on  SB 24  begin again                                                               
during the interim, he will be informed.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:21:14 AM                                                                                                                   
NANCI MORRIS-LYON, Managing Partner,  Alaska Sportsmen Bear Trail                                                               
Lodge, testified in  support of SB 24. She said  she was a member                                                               
of the original  task force involved in this  bill. She explained                                                               
that  the sport  fishing  industry has  grown  beyond belief  and                                                               
future  growth needs  to be  controlled in  order to  protect and                                                               
preserve the  state' fisheries and  maintain an industry  that is                                                               
competitive and  healthy. She acknowledged the  unique challenges                                                               
found in  various areas of the  state and it is  important not to                                                               
impose  unnecessary  restrictions in  areas  where  they are  not                                                               
needed. A bill in this form  would give credibility to the sports                                                               
fishing  industry  and  would  stabilize  the  industry  for  the                                                               
future. She  said that  this bill will  assist ADF&G  through the                                                               
documentation of the  commercial aspects of the  industry and its                                                               
effects on fisheries throughout the state.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:25:13 AM                                                                                                                   
ALAN LEMASTER, representing himself,  expressed concerns about SB                                                               
24. He  noted that he  was not aware of  the task force  while it                                                               
was  going  forward.  He  explained  that  he  can  see  a  great                                                               
advantage  in  having  a [Sport  Fishing  Guide  Services]  board                                                               
because it  will give  them solidarity  between the  industry and                                                               
the  Board of  Fisheries meetings.  He noted  that in  the Copper                                                               
River Valley the growth patterns  in the industry have decreased,                                                               
not increased.  He said that  his concerns with the  current bill                                                               
include  the following:  the  assistant guide  age  limit of  18;                                                               
confusion between what a guide,  guide outfitter, and transporter                                                               
is; and  the organization of ADF&G  in regards to the  log books.                                                               
He said  "I don't think the  guide system is broken  in the state                                                               
and I don't think we [should] fix it until it is."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:29:24 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE SCOTT,  representing himself, testified in  opposition of SB                                                               
24. He said that the entire state  does not have to be wrapped up                                                               
in this licensing  issue and there are already  numerous hoops to                                                               
jump through. He  said that if this bill goes  through the sports                                                               
fishing industry  will have  a limited  entry similar  to halibut                                                               
and commercial fishing.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:30:57 AM                                                                                                                   
SCOTT EGGEMEYER,  Owner, Alaska  Bear Paw Drifters,  testified in                                                               
support of SB 24. He said  he guides in Prince William Sound, the                                                               
Kenai and Kasilof Rivers, Steep Creek, and Anchor Point.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:31:27 AM                                                                                                                   
DENNIS  RANDA, Owner,  Randa's Guide  Service, expressed  concern                                                               
about SB  24. He said  that orderly development is  important and                                                               
legislation that  disrupts this  is unwise. He  added that  he is                                                               
also concerned with  the age restriction on  assistant guides. He                                                               
noted that legislation is needed due  to the growth of the sports                                                               
fishing industry.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
11:33:43 AM                                                                                                                   
DAVID   GOGGIA,  President,   Kenai   River  Guide   Association,                                                               
testified in support of SB 24.  He noted that the association was                                                               
present  throughout the  task force's  and  ADF&G's meetings.  He                                                               
acknowledged that  there are some  things that need to  be worked                                                               
out  in regards  to the  bill and  a special  task force  will be                                                               
positive. He said that the  bill will increase the accountability                                                               
for all people in the sports fishing industry.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:35:16 AM                                                                                                                   
JERRY  STRIEBY, Vice  President, Kenai  River Professional  Guide                                                               
Association,  testified in  support  of SB  24.  He stressed  the                                                               
importance of  having representation and  a voice for  the sports                                                               
fishing industry, such as a  guide board. Currently, the voice of                                                               
the industry  is through  individuals and this  does not  go very                                                               
far.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:37:06 AM                                                                                                                   
CHACO PEARMAN, Owner, Pristine Charters,  testified in support of                                                               
the concept of  the Sport Fishing Guide Services Board  in SB 24.                                                               
He  noted that  with  the federal  program  restrictions and  the                                                               
halibut  charter  people  are  going  to  change  their  business                                                               
models. For  instance, clients  that stay  at bed  and breakfasts                                                               
are going to be able go out  fishing and the fish caught will not                                                               
be reported.  He said that  there have  been issues in  Kodiak in                                                               
the  past with  businesses that  are  not accounted  for and  are                                                               
unenforceable. His concern is for  the resource. He noted that it                                                               
is  important that  this bill  capture everyone  involved in  the                                                               
industry so that the resource can be managed properly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:40:19 AM                                                                                                                   
REED MORISKY,  representing himself,  testified in support  of SB                                                               
24. He  said he was  a member of  the original task  force, which                                                               
codified a  sport fishing board.  The board would  categorize and                                                               
professionalize   sport    fishing   guides,    outfitters,   and                                                               
transporters.  He  agreed  that  there were  several  groups  who                                                               
should have been  included earlier; however, this  could be taken                                                               
up with the resource committee  task force during the interim. He                                                               
acknowledged  that   the  bill  is   long  and  there   are  some                                                               
misunderstandings that can be overcome  with more information. SB                                                               
24  will ensure  the  continued viability  of  the sport  fishing                                                               
industry and provide a mechanism for sustainable growth.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:42:54 AM                                                                                                                   
DENNIS  PETRE, charter  operator, testified  in opposition  of SB                                                               
24.  He  suggested  going  to  the  NOAA  [National  Oceanic  and                                                               
Atmospheric  Administration] website  that  lists operators  that                                                               
received limited  entry permits and contact  these individuals to                                                               
get more input.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:43:54 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE MCCRURY, representing  himself, commented on SB  24. He said                                                               
the  source of  debate comes  from ADF&G's  policy in  selling an                                                               
unlimited amount  of fishing licenses to  non-residents. He noted                                                               
that  the value  of  non-commercial users  goes  well beyond  the                                                               
economic interests of  guides. Preserving Alaskan's opportunities                                                               
will only  be achieved  when ADF&G  limits, where  necessary, the                                                               
sale of fishing licenses to non-residents.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:45:47 AM                                                                                                                   
WADE  WILLIS, former  owner of  a fish  guiding business,  stated                                                               
concern for the  Sport Fishing Guide Services  Board addressed in                                                               
SB 24. He said that that the  board is nothing more than a carbon                                                               
copy  of the  mistakes  that have  been made  with  the Big  Game                                                               
Commercial Services Board. Self-serving  boards do not accomplish                                                               
anything, but rather  decrease the stability of  the industry, he                                                               
said.   Important   industries    throughout   Alaska   rely   on                                                               
occupational   licensing   to   provide  stability   and   career                                                               
opportunities and it  does not have to be a  burden. Alaska has a                                                               
responsibility  to  ensure  that  tourism, as  the  state's  most                                                               
important renewable resource, is the  best it can be. He stressed                                                               
the  importance of  looking beyond  two years,  in order  to make                                                               
sure that  for the next  50 years  Alaska has a  guiding industry                                                               
that   respects  the   resource,  the   industry,  and   provides                                                               
stability.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER said that he respects Mr. Willis' perspective.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:49:08 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS BRANHAM,  representing himself, testified in  opposition of                                                               
SB 24. He  said he has been addressing these  issues for the past                                                               
30 years and  this bill is meritless and  doesn't benefit anyone.                                                               
He  explained  that   the  issue  can  be   resolved  by  putting                                                               
restrictions and limitations on the  people who use the resource.                                                               
The  sports  fishing industry  has  never  been given  legitimate                                                               
responsibility  by  the  state  of Alaska  and  he  stressed  the                                                               
importance of  the industry. However,  the state does  nothing to                                                               
support it.  He said  that this is  the responsibility  of ADF&G.                                                               
The  constitution gives  first priority  to subsistence  use, the                                                               
second use is  commercial, and the third use  is recreational. He                                                               
stressed the need to enhance the sports fishing industry.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:52:29 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS ZWOLINSKI,  hunting guide, testified  in support of  SB 24.                                                               
He said  that it  is important  to regulate  the resource  now in                                                               
order to  prevent damage  in the future.  He suggested  that more                                                               
public forums are needed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:54:20 AM                                                                                                                   
STAN MALCOM,  Petersburg Charter  Boat Association,  testified in                                                               
support of SB 24.  He noted that he was a  member of the original                                                               
task force which  generated the information leading up  to SB 24.                                                               
He explained that the association  has always supported the guide                                                               
license  requirements and  the log  book program.  A professional                                                               
service board is in the best  long term interest of the industry,                                                               
the  state,  and  all  fisheries resource  users.  The  bill,  in                                                               
encompassing the  non-guided sector, which is  continuing to grow                                                               
in Southeast Alaska and is a  huge resource user, would be a huge                                                               
step  forward.  The  Sport Fishing  Guide  Services  Board  would                                                               
promote some self-regulation from within the industry.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:57:08 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR  WAGONER  announced  the  conclusion  of  teleconference                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:57:26 AM                                                                                                                   
JOEL HANSON,  Captain, The Boat  Company, expressed  concern that                                                               
some types of businesses are  not being fairly represented within                                                               
SB  24. He  said  the  company has  been  operating in  Southeast                                                               
Alaska  for 30  years. While  they do  not focus  specifically on                                                               
sport fishing  it is a  critical component of their  business. He                                                               
said  that the  sport  fishing  industry has  a  wide variety  of                                                               
models both  on salt  and fresh  water and the  bill needs  to be                                                               
expanded to include a larger group of concerned individuals.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:01:00 PM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR WAGONER closed public testimony  on SB 24. [The bill was                                                               
held in committee.]                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
12:01:14 PM                                                                                                                   
At ease from 12:01 p.m. to 12:06 p.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
12:06:55 PM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR WAGONER called the meeting back to order at 12:06 p.m.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                 SB  44-SOUTHEAST STATE FOREST                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER announced the consideration of SB 44.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:07:14 PM                                                                                                                   
WADE  ZAMMIT, President  and  CEO,  Sealaska Timber  Corporation,                                                               
testified in  support of SB  44 on behalf  of Ron Wolfe.  He said                                                               
that there is an expected  decline in the population of Southeast                                                               
Alaska  and  this  is  mirrored  in  the  health  of  the  timber                                                               
industry.  He explained  that Sealaska  believes that  the timber                                                               
industry  is  essential  to  the  economy  of  Southeast  Alaska.                                                               
Currently, a  vast majority of  the Southeast region is  owned by                                                               
the federal government; with 87 percent  of the area set aside as                                                               
parks,    wildernesses,    national     monuments    and    other                                                               
classifications  that  preclude   development.  Development  that                                                               
occurs  on the  remaining land  must achieve  resource protection                                                               
through various  federal regulatory compliances. SB  44 will help                                                               
stabilize the timber from state  lands and allow state forests to                                                               
be managed in a sustainable  fashion. These lands will be managed                                                               
in  accordance with  the Alaska  Forest  Resources and  Practices                                                               
Act, which has  demonstrated to be working well  to protect water                                                               
quality, anadromous  fish habitats,  and wildlife. He  noted that                                                               
his testimony has  also been submitted to the  committee for full                                                               
disclosure.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
12:10:03 PM                                                                                                                   
JEREMY  MAXAND,  representing himself,  commented  on  SB 44.  He                                                               
expressed  concern that  the vast  majority  of timber  harvested                                                               
from  the Wrangell  Island would  be  round log  exported to  the                                                               
lower 48 or  another country for value-added  processing. He said                                                               
that  he wants  to see  the trees  in the  state forest  directly                                                               
benefit the communities  they were taken from  and are impacting.                                                               
Currently, by  using the forest  within a multi-use  category the                                                               
community benefits  from forest recreation and  habitat. However,                                                               
if these  forests transfer to  state forests and  are immediately                                                               
shipped out of the state there  will be no incentive for Wrangell                                                               
to revitalize their  timber economy for long term  usage. He said                                                               
that he hopes SB 44, as  it moves forward, will contain some very                                                               
strong language  which would create  incentives to keep  the logs                                                               
in Alaska to be processed and used locally.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WAGONER  asked if there  is any effort in  the community                                                               
to  start  a business  which  could  use  the timber  instead  of                                                               
exporting it.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MAXAND replied  that there  is a  ten-year proposed  Tongass                                                               
sale  that the  community of  Wrangell is  looking into.  He said                                                               
that they  are concerned these trees  will be cut down  too fast.                                                               
Wrangell has a  unique opportunity because there is  mill site in                                                               
existence and,  with the logs  on the island, could  be sustained                                                               
for a  long time. However,  if the incentive  is to have  a large                                                               
company come in, cut the trees  down, and ship the logs out, then                                                               
that is  what will happen.  He asked what  the state is  doing to                                                               
help communities  have a sustainable  timber operation.  He noted                                                               
that the  community would  love to  help and  support legislation                                                               
focused on that issue.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:14:46 PM                                                                                                                   
CARL  PORTMAN,  Deputy  Director,  Resource  Development  Council                                                               
(RDC),  testified  in  support  of   SB  44.  He  explained  that                                                               
expanding  the  forest would  help  sustain  the forest  products                                                               
industry,  save  jobs,  and  help the  economy.  The  state  land                                                               
identified  for inclusion  into  the new  state  forest has  been                                                               
consistently managed for timber  harvesting. Designation of these                                                               
forests would  ensure that they  would remain in  state ownership                                                               
and support  the forest products industry  long-term in Southeast                                                               
Alaska. He  noted that a  majority of timber in  Southeast Alaska                                                               
is on  federal land;  however federal  timber sales  have sharply                                                               
declined. Much  of the  new state  forest contains  young second-                                                               
growth  stands and  there is  broad support  for shifting  timber                                                               
harvesting in Southeast Alaska from  old growth to second growth.                                                               
The new state  forest and proposed additional  partials will help                                                               
provide  a   sustainable  timber   supply  to  local   mills  and                                                               
accelerate the transition to second-growth  timber. He noted that                                                               
95 percent of  the Tongass National Forest is  closed to logging.                                                               
The Tongass  itself comprises about  94 percent of the  land base                                                               
in  Southeast  Alaska.  He  explained   that  as  a  result  land                                                               
management in  Southeast Alaska is weighted  towards conservation                                                               
and  non-development   uses.  Under  the  current   Tongass  Land                                                               
Management plan the annual harvest  ceiling has been reduced from                                                               
527 million  board feet  to 267  million. He  noted that  only 30                                                               
million  board feet  of  timber has  been  harvested annually  in                                                               
recent  years, which  is less  than 15  percent of  the allowable                                                               
cut.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He  explained that  in regards  to state  land the  Department of                                                               
Natural Resources (DNR) manages over  159,000 acres of uplands in                                                               
southern Southeast Alaska. Of  this land, approximately one-third                                                               
would be in the  state forest if SB 44 is  enacted. He noted that                                                               
the  remaining  land   is  designated  to  other   uses  such  as                                                               
recreation, water sources, and land sales.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:19:06 PM                                                                                                                   
OWEN GRAHAM,  Secretary, Alaska Forest Association,  testified in                                                               
support of  SB 44. He  said that thus  far Ketchikan has  lost 85                                                               
percent  of their  employment in  the timber  industry, due  to a                                                               
lack of timber  supply. This piece of legislation  will help with                                                               
this  and  they  encourage  any additions  to  the  timber  sales                                                               
program in the  future. He noted that  the association encourages                                                               
local manufacture and  the best way to do so  is by having enough                                                               
timber supply  to sustain the  mills. Most  of the wood  that the                                                               
state  has sold  in the  last  five years  has been  domestically                                                               
processed. However, he explained that  the state needs to hang on                                                               
to log  exports as a tool  to manage their programs  if the local                                                               
or domestic market is not doing well.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
12:21:49 PM                                                                                                                   
ELAINE  PRICE,  Project  Manager,   City  Council,  testified  in                                                               
support  of  SB 44.  She  said  that  part  of the  state  forest                                                               
expansion  would   be  in  Coffman   Cove  and  will   provide  a                                                               
sustainable  base  for timber  management.  She  agreed with  Mr.                                                               
Maxand that these  forests should be locally  beneficial by being                                                               
manufactured  locally. Because  of the  way the  Tongass National                                                               
Forest is currently being managed  it is not dependable and every                                                               
timber sale has  a law suit filed against it.  She noted that the                                                               
Viking Mill currently  employs 45 people directly  in Klawock and                                                               
is a huge economic benefit to Prince of Wales Island as a whole.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
12:23:43 PM                                                                                                                   
MIKE SALLEE,  Owner and operator  of a small saw  mill, testified                                                               
in opposition  of SB 44. He  said one of the  parcels proposed in                                                               
this bill  is North Gravina  which lies adjacent to  his family's                                                               
homestead. He explained  that the logging of  Mental Health Trust                                                               
Land on  other parts  of Gravina has  trashed numerous  areas and                                                               
severely  limits passage  through them.  He said  that converting                                                               
parcels to state forest in order  to realize the return on future                                                               
investments  in   thinning  is  not  justified.   The  amount  of                                                               
previously logged lands  in the North Gravina  parcel consists of                                                               
a  very few  steeply  sloped areas  in one  small  corner of  the                                                               
parcel. He noted that another distressing  aspect of SB 44 is the                                                               
contingent practice of  round-log export. He explained  that as a                                                               
mill operator he  gets numerous requests for yellow  cedar and he                                                               
finds  it egregious  that Alaska  "allows the  continued bleeding                                                               
away of  wood-processing jobs  with round  log exports."  He said                                                               
that SB 44,  in its current form, primarily benefits  a few large                                                               
scale timber operators.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
12:27:01 PM                                                                                                                   
PAUL MCINTOSH,  representing himself, testified in  support of SB                                                               
44. He explained  that he lived in Southeast Alaska  from 1978 to                                                               
2001 and  witnessed the closure  of the  pulp mills in  Sitka and                                                               
Ketchikan.  The  majority of  the  land  in Southeast  Alaska  is                                                               
federal  land and  one-third of  the Tongass  National Forest  is                                                               
congressionally  designated wilderness.  He  stressed that  there                                                               
are no  federal acres  in Southeast  Alaska that  are permanently                                                               
designated for  sustainable, science-based, and  long-term timber                                                               
management.  He questioned  how a  forest product  business could                                                               
even  consider  this timber  supply  reliable  or economical  for                                                               
purposes of  business planning. He urged  the committee's support                                                               
of SB 44.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:30:01 PM                                                                                                                   
ERIC LEE,  representing himself,  expressed strong  concern about                                                               
SB 44.  He said that  the timber  industry claims that  round log                                                               
export can create jobs and there  is very little money to be made                                                               
in  the  domestic  market.  However, round  log  export  is  only                                                               
valuable in the  short-term, it is not  sustainable. He explained                                                               
that when  the trees  are gone, the  logging companies  leave and                                                               
the jobs  are gone. He said  that on the other  hand local value-                                                               
added processing creates  jobs that are sustainable,  stay in the                                                               
community, add to  the local economy, and concern  the forest for                                                               
subsistence uses.  The notion that  round log export is  good for                                                               
the local economies  is a myth. SB 44 is  about gaining access to                                                               
timber that  can be  exported in  the round  because the  laws on                                                               
such exporting on  federal lands are much more  stringent than on                                                               
state land.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
12:33:40 PM                                                                                                                   
JOSEPH SEBASTIAN, commercial  fisherman, expressed strong concern                                                               
on SB  44. He  said that  the real  problem is  that there  is no                                                               
future  in  logging  and  exporting  cathedral  cedar  trees.  He                                                               
explained that the majority of  sales will be exported. These are                                                               
trees that  are 400 to  600 years  old and are  irreplaceable. He                                                               
noted that the  wide distance between the  proposed partials will                                                               
make  it expensive  and  difficult to  administer.  He said  that                                                               
"what were  once federal deficit  timber sales will now  be state                                                               
deficit timber sales."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:37:43 PM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR WAGONER closed on-line testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:37:50 PM                                                                                                                   
SHELLY   WRIGHT,   Executive  Director,   Southeast   Conference,                                                               
testified in support  of SB 44. She said that  the communities in                                                               
Southeast  Alaska  are struggling  to  survive  and part  of  the                                                               
struggle is a  lack of jobs. She explained that  there used to be                                                               
a  timber industry  in Southeast  that supported  communities and                                                               
gave financial  support for schools and  infrastructure. She said                                                               
that she  has been told that  the timber industry is  "a thing of                                                               
the  past."  However,  an  article  in  the  Juneau  Empire  just                                                               
recently stated  that the Alaska State  Retirement Fund officials                                                               
are looking to invest in the timber industry in the lower 48.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She  explained that  the  state forest  will be  a  small way  to                                                               
stabilize  investments   in  the  future  for   communities.  The                                                               
existence of  a timber  industry in  Southeast Alaska  depends on                                                               
immediate action  in order  to provide  a supply  of economically                                                               
viable sales.  She stressed  that there are  17 million  acres in                                                               
the Tongass  National Forest and  SB 44 will secure  48,472 acres                                                               
for timber harvest  management by the Division  of Forestry. This                                                               
is a small amount  of land in the big picture, but  it could go a                                                               
long  way  in maintaining  the  stability  of Southeast  Alaska's                                                               
people. She urged  the committee to support the  expansion of the                                                               
Alaska State Forest through SB  44 and stressed the importance of                                                               
opening the  Tongass National Forest  up to  responsible resource                                                               
development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:41:55 PM                                                                                                                   
LINDSAY   KETCHAL,    Executive   Director,    Southeast   Alaska                                                               
Conservation Council (SEACC), expressed  concern about SB 44. She                                                               
said she serves on the  Tongass Futures Round Table and described                                                               
discussions  they  had about  how  to  maintain a  viable  timber                                                               
industry. She  recognized that  part of  SB 44  is an  attempt to                                                               
help sustain some  of this existing industry, such as  "ma and pa                                                               
businesses,"  Icy   Straits,  and   Viking  Mill.   However,  the                                                               
locations of  some of the proposed  parcels do not make  sense in                                                               
regards to the  location of these mills. The  question that needs                                                               
to be  addressed is: "how are  we going to develop  and sustain a                                                               
sustainable wood  product industry in Southeast?"  She said that,                                                               
ultimately,  in order  to tackle  this  issue it  should be  done                                                               
comprehensively  and not  in  small pieces.  The  way that  these                                                               
parcels are aligned  the timber will most likely  be exported and                                                               
will not go  to small mills. She explained that  there's a lot of                                                               
opportunity to create  work in Southeast forests.  She noted that                                                               
the Forest Service  did announce that they  are transitioning out                                                               
of old growth forests. She  explained that the reason behind this                                                               
is that old growth forests  hold important ecological values. She                                                               
said that  she believes that a  small old growth industry  can be                                                               
maintained  as  well  as  the   existing  mills.  This  piece  of                                                               
legislation  will not  solve this  issue.  She said  "many of  us                                                               
would prefer to work comprehensively at this."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   WAGONER   asked   why  the   transition   to   working                                                               
comprehensively  has not  occurred yet.  He said  that this  is a                                                               
very small  amount of timber  and is a  method to save  jobs that                                                               
currently exist in Alaska.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CATCHALL  replied that the  distance of the  parcel locations                                                               
needs to be analyzed. She  explained that SEACC was involved with                                                               
the Kake  community forest planning  process in order to  aid the                                                               
community in deciding what it wanted  its landscape to be and how                                                               
to create jobs.  She stressed that it is important  to focus on a                                                               
community-by-community level, empower  their voices, and continue                                                               
with the  Round Table  and other  gatherings. She  explained that                                                               
the reduction in the timber industry  has been so severe that the                                                               
industry is  in shock. It  is difficult  to then turn  around and                                                               
accept a  smaller and more  agile business method. She  said that                                                               
when she  speaks with  new entrepreneurs  in the  timber industry                                                               
such as Larry  Jackson in Ketchikan, she sees them  wanting to be                                                               
creative. She stressed  that jobs in the woods  are important for                                                               
everyone.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
12:47:46 PM                                                                                                                   
FRED  MORINO, representing  himself, testified  in support  of SB                                                               
44.  He said  he has  been involved  in financing  in the  timber                                                               
industry since 1970.  He explained that the  United States Forest                                                               
Service  has 27  billion  board feet  of  harvestable old  growth                                                               
timber. He noted  that Alaska has not even  harvested 100 million                                                               
board feet  of timber yet. He  said that "the state  of Alaska is                                                               
the timber  industry in Southeast  Alaska now" and the  state has                                                               
the  responsibility  to develop  this  timber  for employment  in                                                               
Southeast.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:50:44 PM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR WAGONER closed public testimony. [The bill was held in                                                                 
committee.]                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Co-Chair Wagoner adjourned the meeting at 12:50 p.m.                                                                            

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