Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

03/29/2019 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
03:30:32 PM Start
03:30:59 PM SB90
04:59:36 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 90 COOK INLET: NEW ADMIN AREA;PERMIT BUYBACK TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 29, 2019                                                                                         
                           3:30 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Chris Birch, Chair                                                                                                      
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator Lora Reinbold                                                                                                           
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
Senator Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                          
Senator Jesse Kiehl                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 90                                                                                                              
"An  Act  relating  to  the   powers  of  the  Alaska  Commercial                                                               
Fisheries Entry Commission; relating  to administrative areas for                                                               
regulation   of   certain   commercial  setnet   entry   permits;                                                               
establishing a buyback program for  certain setnet entry permits;                                                               
providing for the termination of  state setnet tract leases under                                                               
the  buyback   program;  closing  certain  water   to  commercial                                                               
fishing; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 90                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: COOK INLET: NEW ADMIN AREA; PERMIT BUYBACK                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MICCICHE                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
03/13/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/13/19       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/29/19       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PETER MICCICHE                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 90, provided an overview of                                                                 
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KEN COLEMAN, President                                                                                                          
Eastside Consolidation Association                                                                                              
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of the proposed Cook                                                                 
Inlet permit buyback plan proposed in SB 90.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KONRAD JACKSON, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator Micciche                                                                                                                
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVID MARTIN, representing self                                                                                                 
Clam Gulch, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 90.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PAUL A. SHADURA, President                                                                                                      
Cook Inlet Revitalization Association                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 90.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
LISA GABRIEL, representing self                                                                                                 
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RON CARMON, representing self                                                                                                   
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 90.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ROMAYNE HINDMAN, representing self                                                                                              
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS HINDMAN, representing self                                                                                               
Nikiski, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TRAVIS EVERY, representing self                                                                                                 
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JEFF BEAUDOIN, representing self                                                                                                
Kasilof, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 90.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MARK DUCKER, representing self                                                                                                  
Kasilof, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of SB 90.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DEVIN EVERY, representing self                                                                                                  
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GARY HOLLIER, representing self                                                                                                 
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PAT ZURFLUH, representing self                                                                                                  
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MIKE WOOD, representing self                                                                                                    
Talkeetna, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RUSSELL CLARK, representing self                                                                                                
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
EUDELL BROWN, representing self                                                                                                 
Arkansas                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
VICTORIA COLEMAN, representing self                                                                                             
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS EVERY, representing self                                                                                                  
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JOEANN WICHERS, representing self                                                                                               
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
KEITH PRESSLEY, representing self                                                                                               
Ninilchik, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MARILYN KEENER, representing self                                                                                               
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 90.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:30:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CHRIS BIRCH called the  Senate Resources Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to order  at 3:30 p.m. Present at the  call to order were                                                               
Senators Kawasaki, Giessel, Reinbold,  Kiehl, and Chair Birch. He                                                               
said Representative Knopp was in attendance as well.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
        SB 90-COOK INLET: NEW ADMIN AREA;PERMIT BUYBACK                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:30:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH  announced the  consideration of  Senate Bill  90 (SB                                                               
90).                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:31:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PETER   MICCICHE,  Alaska  State   Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor  of SB  90, explained the  challenge of  the Cook                                                               
Inlet  fisheries is  different user  groups working  together. He                                                               
said the  issue that SB  90 addresses is  an example of  one case                                                               
where Cook Inlet's user groups have come together.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He disclosed  that his office  has been working the  past several                                                               
years  with  Cook  Inlet's  sport  and  commercial  groups  on  a                                                               
solution that  he thinks  is a  good start.  He said  SB 90  is a                                                               
result  of sport  and commercial  fishermen  working together  in                                                               
Cook Inlet  towards a  viable solution. SB  90 supports  all user                                                               
groups: commercial, sport, personal  use, and subsistence stress-                                                               
relief  by reducing  the number  of east  side setnet  fishers in                                                               
Cook Inlet by nearly half.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He opined  that by  reducing the number  of setnet  operations on                                                               
the east  side of  Cook Inlet,  the area will  see a  more viable                                                               
commercial fishery  for those remaining, adequate  production for                                                               
the  processing industry,  and more  fish available  for in-river                                                               
users. SB  90 offers setnet  fishermen, some of whom  have fished                                                               
in the area for generations, a  way to fairly exit the fishery or                                                               
to reinvest in remaining operations  once the 200 permit and site                                                               
reduction plan takes place.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  explained that  in the 1980s  there was  a huge                                                               
migration of  setnet fishermen  to the east  side of  Cook Inlet,                                                               
returns to those river systems  were very large, fishing the area                                                               
was lucrative, and access to  processors easy, therefore the area                                                               
held great  appeal to commercial  fishermen. As pressure  on fish                                                               
stocks increased  and commercial  fishing profitability  began to                                                               
wane,  several  processors  left  the  area.  Over  time,  setnet                                                               
fishermen  saw fewer  and  fewer opportunities  to  fish, and  in                                                               
recent  years  there  have  been very  few  openings  during  the                                                               
fishing season.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He disclosed that  he is a Cook Inlet commercial  fishman that is                                                               
not involved  in the specified  fishery, a fishery that  does not                                                               
impact his  income; however, he said  he has seen the  impacts on                                                               
his setnetting neighbors through the years.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He specified that  SB 90 is a voluntary program,  a point that he                                                               
cannot  stress   enough.  The   legislation  would   only  become                                                               
effective after  an affirmative election held  amongst the permit                                                               
holders; a  covenant that provides  the fishermen with  the "last                                                               
say."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He disclosed that  recent polling data showed over  75 percent of                                                               
setnet respondents  were interested  in SB 90's  program concept.                                                               
Once the program  is established, permit holders  would apply for                                                               
the  program  where 200  permits  would  be  drawn in  a  lottery                                                               
fashion  to determine  the  order of  permit  retirement. When  a                                                               
permit is  retired the waters  where the permit was  fished would                                                               
be closed to future commercial fishing.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He summarized  that increased  returns for  in-river users  and a                                                               
more viable setnet  fishing industry will make SB  90's concept a                                                               
win-win for all user groups.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:35:38 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:36:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH called the committee back to order.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:36:19 PM                                                                                                                    
KEN  COLEMAN,   President,  Eastside   Consolidation  Association                                                               
(ECA), Kenai, Alaska,  explained that ECA was formed  a few years                                                               
ago, but  the buyback process  has been addressed for  some time.                                                               
He  explained  that  the  association's goal  is  to  reduce  the                                                               
numbers of gear  on the east side  of Cook Inlet for  the area to                                                               
remain or  become more economically  viable which is  the central                                                               
premise of limited  entry. The buyback plan also  makes sure that                                                               
the  river escapements  are sustainable  for optimal  use of  all                                                               
user groups.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN  said the setnetting  fishery in Cook Inlet  has been                                                               
around for  a long  time. Eighty-four percent  of the  fishery is                                                               
composed  of  Alaskans  and  over   eighty  percent  are  central                                                               
peninsula residents.  Many commercial fishermen live  right where                                                               
they fish. He proclaimed that  Alaska's commercial fishery "feeds                                                               
the world and the nation."  The Cook Inlet's east side setnetters                                                               
have  been around  about  150 years  and is  part  of a  vibrant,                                                               
diversified economy.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He specified that the entire Cook  Inlet setnet area has over 735                                                               
permits, spanning  from Goose Bay  up towards Anchorage,  all the                                                               
way to  Homer and across  the way  from Homer. Cook  Inlet's east                                                               
side, which  is the  upper subdistrict  of the  central district,                                                               
has approximately 440 registered setnet fishermen.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:39:03 PM                                                                                                                    
He  explained that  "limited entry"  was  promulgated and  passed                                                               
constitutionally  in  the  1970s.  Limited entry  is  the  "crown                                                               
jewel" in terms of salmon fishing  and other fishing. In the mid-                                                               
1980s there  was a  large influx  on Cook  Inlet's east  side for                                                               
several reasons including large  biomasses, record prices, and an                                                               
increased area to put setnets.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He explained that the intent of  the Cook Inlet permit buyback is                                                               
to reduce  the permit  numbers by  approximately 45  percent from                                                               
440 permits to  240 permits. The primary reason  for reducing the                                                               
permits is that  the area's commercial fishermen  know the number                                                               
of permit  holders cannot  be supported, that  the area  is "over                                                               
capitalized." There has  been an exponential growth  over time in                                                               
user  groups. The  Kenai and  Kasilof  rivers no  longer have  an                                                               
enhancement  process.  Escapements  in   the  area  are  at  more                                                               
traditional  levels,  and  user   groups  are  asking  for  their                                                               
appropriate piece of  the Cook Inlet biomass. SB 90  is a plan to                                                               
find  a way  for everyone  to live  together. He  reiterated that                                                               
there have been fruitful discussions  with the area's user groups                                                               
and  there  is  hope  that   the  user  groups  can  find  common                                                               
solutions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:41:18 PM                                                                                                                    
He explained that SB 90 asks  if a person or setnet permit holder                                                               
who offers a  permit for entry in the  proposed voluntary buyback                                                               
program that the water associated with  the permit be closed in a                                                               
fashion  that  no  other  commercial  setnet  fishermen  will  be                                                               
allowed  to put  themselves  in the  place  of another.  Allowing                                                               
setnet  fishermen  to   fish  in  closed  areas   would  cause  a                                                               
"Groundhog Day Effect," an issue  that occurred in the 1980s. The                                                               
intent  is for  the remaining  permit holders  to have  financial                                                               
viability as  well as allowing more  fish to get to  rivers where                                                               
availability will be increased for all user groups.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  COLEMAN  noted  that  ECA surveyed  permit  holders  and  80                                                               
percent responded  positively to making changes,  a response that                                                               
indicates people want and need change.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He detailed  that there is a  number affixed for a  setnet permit                                                               
to be  paid. The methodology to  determine the value is  based on                                                               
10 years of  what a permit makes in Cook  Inlet, which is $20,000                                                               
per year, and an additional $60,000 for tax implications.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:43:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP  asked if  the $20,000  per year  is a  "gross" or                                                               
"net" amount.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN answered that the amount is "gross."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  said ECA  is looking  to  find a  way for  permit holders  to                                                               
financially  stay  in  business,  to  live  with  other  end-user                                                               
neighbors,   and  to   continue  to   have  healthy   limits  and                                                               
sustainable escapements.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
He  disclosed  that ECA  has  been  working collaboratively  with                                                               
other groups  and noted  the increased  cooperation to  face down                                                               
and solve  the fishing issues  in Cook  Inlet. He said  the "fish                                                               
wars" between user groups have torn communities apart.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He referenced a  document in his overview, "A Letter  to Erin," a                                                               
letter  in  prose that  was  very  poignantly  done by  a  multi-                                                               
generation fisherman.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:45:53 PM                                                                                                                    
He summarized that  Senator Micciche has done a lot  of work with                                                               
ECA over  the past five years  on the legislation proposed  in SB                                                               
90. He  opined that SB  90 is a fair  and equitable bill  that is                                                               
voluntary for permit  holders. An affixed number  for the payback                                                               
has been assigned to those who  will be leaving and closing their                                                               
business  forever. There  will be  a  vote by  permit holders  to                                                               
proceed.  He opined  that the  proposed legislation  is the  best                                                               
vehicle for fairness that he has seen for some time.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI  asked how many  people will participate  in the                                                               
proposed program.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN replied  that he anticipates in excess  of 200 people                                                               
will apply for the program.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI inquired if there  are permits currently held by                                                               
fishermen who are not utilizing the fishery.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN replied that he does  not have data to answer Senator                                                               
Kawasaki's   question.  He   said  ascertaining   information  is                                                               
difficult for  setnet fishermen; for  example, he noted  that his                                                               
family owns multiple permits but sells fish on only one permit.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  explained  that  he is  trying  to  understand                                                               
permit  limitations. He  asked Mr.  Coleman to  clarify that  his                                                               
family  owns  multiple  permits  for  different  sites  but  only                                                               
utilize one of the permits.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN answered  that in his situation, all  of his family's                                                               
permits are  being used,  but only  one permit  is being  used to                                                               
sell  product as  a convenience  so  that four  people with  four                                                               
different names  on four permit  cards do not  have to go  to the                                                               
processing plant or a fish buyer.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI asked  if there is a deadline in  which to apply                                                               
for the expected 200 possible permits.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:49:53 PM                                                                                                                    
KONRAD   JACKSON,   Staff,   Senator   Micciche,   Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, explained that  the goal for  SB 90                                                               
is to retire  200 permits; however, there is  no expectation that                                                               
there  will be  200  permits  on day-one.  He  said  there is  no                                                               
deadline to apply,  but permit holders interested  in the program                                                               
will probably apply as soon as possible.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI  said he equated  the permits to  liquor license                                                               
transfers;  for example,  there are  a limited  number of  liquor                                                               
licenses in Fairbanks where a  licensee holds on to their license                                                               
because the value  keeps appreciating due to a  limited number of                                                               
licenses.  He asked  if there  is  concern that  a permit  holder                                                               
might want to wait for other  people to jump in first because the                                                               
permits that are remaining would probably appreciate.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN answered  that he suspected that there  may be people                                                               
that will speculate, but the number will be rather small.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KIEHL  said  he  appreciated the  proposal  to  close  a                                                               
physical site if  a permit for the site is  bought back. He asked                                                               
that if  somebody holds  on to their  permit, could  their permit                                                               
allow the  holder to come into  a closed to area  that was bought                                                               
back.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:52:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. COLEMAN answered  no. He specified that the  bill's intent is                                                               
to close an area after a buyback.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIEHL inquired  if a permit holder could  come within 600                                                               
feet of an area that is closed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN  answered no.  He explained that  there is  a spatial                                                               
requirement  in Cook  Inlet for  nets  being too  close to  other                                                               
nets. There  is a  600-foot buffer  between any  part of  any net                                                               
being close to any other net.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE explained  that the  bill does  not change  the                                                               
fishery for  those remaining in  Cook Inlet other than  the water                                                               
that is closed will be closed  and the water that is open remains                                                               
open. The 600-foot buffer does not change.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  said   regarding  the  speculation  issue,   because  of  the                                                               
participation deadline,  if people  are going to  speculate, they                                                               
are going to speculate. SB 90  sets the baseline for some time at                                                               
$260,000 and the  natural market value of the  permits will occur                                                               
after that.  He said  he expects  that the  buyback will  be more                                                               
attractive to lower  value sites and it's not  enough to purchase                                                               
the higher value  sites, so there will be some  "blending" of the                                                               
permits'  values  for  some time  before  the  remaining  permits                                                               
returns to the natural market tension.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:55:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked what the  "vote threshold" will be for permit                                                               
holders  voting on  the buyback.  He asked  if consideration  was                                                               
given to  set the "vote  threshold" higher  than 50-percent-plus-                                                               
one.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. COLEMAN  answered that  there was  no direct  conversation on                                                               
"vote  threshold" with  respect to  the bill.  He noted  that the                                                               
National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration (NOAA) had a 50-                                                               
percent-plus-one threshold for  their capacity reduction program,                                                               
a model that will probably be used for the buyback program.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  asked when  a  buyback  occurs if  a  specific                                                               
location is closed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE   explained  that   if  the  bill   passes  the                                                               
legislature,  the legislation  goes before  the setnetters  for a                                                               
final vote after  the area is divided. He detailed  that the area                                                               
will be divided between the  east side setnetters and the general                                                               
setnet area  outside of  the setnet  area, so  there will  be two                                                               
different  administrative areas.  There  will be  a  vote by  the                                                               
people inside  of the remaining  east side  setnet administrative                                                               
area. If the legislation does  go forward, the first 200 people's                                                               
permits and the  waters where the permit is  fished is purchased,                                                               
those waters  would then  be closed, the  permit will  be retired                                                               
and  would  be  out of  the  east  side  setnet  area not  to  be                                                               
replaced.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He  noted  that   there  is  no  real  fiscal   note  other  than                                                               
"indeterminant"  because  outside  funding is  being  sought,  no                                                               
money will come from the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:58:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI said  what he is trying to  ascertain is whether                                                               
all the  real estate along the  east side is fully  encumbered by                                                               
setnets  or could  an individual  currently  get a  permit for  a                                                               
physical real estate location that is not being fished.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE answered  that the bill will  reduce the permits                                                               
by 45  percent. New  permits could  not come  into the  area, but                                                               
areas  that  are  not  currently   being  fished,  if  they  were                                                               
available,  the  remaining permits  could  move  around to  those                                                               
other sites  as long  as it was  not a site  that was  bought out                                                               
with a permit  and a location. There is more  area available than                                                               
there are  permits, not a  lot but  there is some.  The remaining                                                               
permits will  continue to be fished  the way that they  have been                                                               
fished. If the water has not  been closed because of a sale, then                                                               
people could  move around  but they could  not come  from outside                                                               
the east side  setnet fishery into the east  side setnet fishery.                                                               
He summarized that if the permits  are reduced by 200, the number                                                               
of permits is reduced by 200.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KAWASAKI  asked to  clarify that there  will be  no other                                                               
permits  or  no other  availability  to  fish  in the  east  side                                                               
fishery portion.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE answered correct.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BIRCH asked that the sectional analysis for SB 90 be                                                                      
reviewed.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:00:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JACKSON referenced the sectional analysis for SB 90 as                                                                      
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1:                                                                                                             
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding  a  new  section  which  establishes  that  this                                                                    
     legislation  may be  known  as the  East  Side of  Cook                                                                    
     Inlet Setnet Fleet Reduction Act.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2:                                                                                                             
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding new Legislative findings  and intent relating to                                                                    
     the bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3:                                                                                                             
     Amends  AS 16.43.200(b),  giving the  Alaska Commercial                                                                    
     Fisheries   Entry   Commission  (commission)   specific                                                                    
     authority  to  divide  an existing  commercial  fishing                                                                    
     administrative area into two or more separate areas.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Section 4:                                                                                                             
     Amends AS  16.43.200 by adding  2 new  subsections: (c)                                                                    
     Establishes  the   Eastern  Setnet  Subdistrict   as  a                                                                    
     distinct  administrative area  separate  from the  Cook                                                                    
     Inlet Central  District on January  1, 2020.  This area                                                                    
     is  made  up of  the  statistical  areas identified  on                                                                    
     January  1, 2019  as  244-21,  244-22, 244-31,  244-32,                                                                    
     244-41 and 244-42. (d) Provides  that an individual who                                                                    
     has  a  setnet  permit   for  the  Cook  Inlet  Central                                                                    
     District  on  December  31, 2019  is  not  entitled  to                                                                    
     setnet  in the  administrative area  created under  the                                                                    
     section as of January 1, 2020.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 5:                                                                                                             
     Amends AS  16.43 by adding  a new section to  Article 4                                                                    
     which  establishes  the  setnet  entry  permit  buyback                                                                    
     program   for    certain   permits   fished    in   the                                                                    
     administrative area  established under  AS 16.43.200(c)                                                                    
     (added by sec.  4 of the bill). This  section will only                                                                    
     take effect if  approved at a vote (see sec.  8) by the                                                                    
     setnet entry permit holders  in the administrative area                                                                    
     established under  AS 16.43.200(c). If it  is approved,                                                                    
     the buyback  program will  become law  on July  1, 2020                                                                    
     (see  secs.   12  and  14).  Sets   qualifications  for                                                                    
     participation  in  the  program, provides  the  buyback                                                                    
     price for permits, requires  that the purchased permits                                                                    
     be cancelled  and not re-issued, provides  that certain                                                                    
     waters that  were fished  with permits  purchased under                                                                    
     the  program  will  be   closed  to  future  commercial                                                                    
     fishing,  and specifies  other details  of the  buyback                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 6:                                                                                                             
     Repeals the program on June 30, 2026.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 7:                                                                                                             
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding a new section  which provides how the commission                                                                    
     will  determine  whether  an  individual  who  holds  a                                                                    
     setnet entry permit in the  Cook Inlet Central District                                                                    
     on January  1, 2020 is  reassigned an entry  permit for                                                                    
     the   administrative   area    established   under   AS                                                                    
     16.43.200(c)  (added by  sec.  4 of  the  bill) or  the                                                                    
     portion  of the  Cook Inlet  Central District  that was                                                                    
     not assigned  into the administrative  area established                                                                    
     under AS 16.43.200(c).                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 8:                                                                                                             
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding a  new section  which requires  a March  1, 2020                                                                    
     election be  held by persons in  the new administrative                                                                    
     area  to  affirm support  or  opposition  to a  buyback                                                                    
     program.  Requires  the  commission to  provide  public                                                                    
     notice  of the  vote, hold  public meetings  concerning                                                                    
     the election,  and clarify the  details of  the buyback                                                                    
     program.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 9:                                                                                                             
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding a  new section which requires  the commission to                                                                    
     provide  a written  report to  the  Legislature on  the                                                                    
     status of the program no later than January 15, 2026.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 10:                                                                                                            
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding a  new section which  requires the chair  of the                                                                    
     commission to  notify the  Lieutenant Governor  and the                                                                    
     Revisor  of Statutes  of the  outcome  of the  election                                                                    
     held under section 8.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 11:                                                                                                            
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding a  new section which provides  an instruction to                                                                    
     the  revisor to  change the  heading  of art.  4 of  AS                                                                    
     16.43 if the buyback program  is approved (see secs. 12                                                                    
     and 14).                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Section 12:                                                                                                            
     Amends the  uncodified law  of the  State of  Alaska by                                                                    
     adding a  new section which  provides that secs.  1, 2,                                                                    
     5, 6, 9 and 11 take  effect only if the buyback program                                                                    
     is approved  at the election  held under sec. 8  of the                                                                    
     bill.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 13:                                                                                                            
     Effective  Date Clause.  Section  4 of  the bill  takes                                                                    
     effect January 1, 2020.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 14:                                                                                                            
     Effective Date Clause. Provides  that if sections 1, 2,                                                                    
     5, 6, 9,  and 11 take effect, they take  effect July 1,                                                                    
     2020.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Section 15:                                                                                                            
     Effective Date  Clause. Except  as provided  in section                                                                    
     13 and 14, the bill takes effect July 1, 2019.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:06:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked Mr. Jackson  to address section 5 regarding                                                               
AS 16.43.200(b)  and explain what  is said in  "actual language."                                                               
She commented  that the section  sounds like  somebody volunteers                                                               
but then might decide not to  if they are chosen. She opined that                                                               
the section sounds convoluted.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON  explained that the idea  in paragraph B is  that 200                                                               
permit  holders  are  going  to  apply for  their  permit  to  be                                                               
purchased.  Should something  change in  their life  following an                                                               
application that has been drawn in  the lottery, the intent is to                                                               
afford the individual the ability to withdraw.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL asked if there  is a lottery provision to replace                                                               
a slot that has been withdrawn.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:08:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. JACKSON answered that lottery  choice "201" would replace the                                                               
withdrawn lottery applicant.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked Mr.  Jackson to  clarify that  the lottery                                                               
process would,  "Go back to the  bowl that held the  other people                                                               
that had applied and pull out another one from a lottery."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JACKSON replied  that he  would expect  that the  commission                                                               
will  draw 210  or 225  permits  to establish  the lottery  order                                                               
should someone step back from the program.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  commented that  some people think  about buying                                                               
or selling a business  that they have had for 10  or 15 years and                                                               
think about the emotion tied to it.  In the case of the east side                                                               
buyback,  there  will  be  families that  have  fished  for  five                                                               
generations and it  is who they are. He said  it might sound like                                                               
a really good  idea at that time to retire  for $200,000 plus tax                                                               
protection for  a total of  $260,000, but  when it comes  down to                                                               
it, some will  say, "Move on down  the list, we think  we are not                                                               
ready."  He  opined  that  the decision  to  participate  in  the                                                               
lottery  is a  very  emotional, significant  opportunity that  is                                                               
tough. There will  not be 100-percent support.  The support level                                                               
for the buyback has been  increasing because of the sheer numbers                                                               
is kind  of a "writing  on the  wall" situation; however,  out of                                                               
the 200 applicants  there are going to be a  percentage yet to be                                                               
seen that  will not  participate due to  their family  history in                                                               
the fishery.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:10:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked  if the bill has sufficient  language for the                                                               
Department  of  Natural  Resources   (DNR)  to  extinguish  their                                                               
shoreside leases.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. JACKSON answered yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KIEHL noted  that the bill does not speak  to the outside                                                               
funding  mechanism  for the  buyback.  He  asked how  the  actual                                                               
process of funding a repayment will work.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE answered  that  there  have been  conversations                                                               
over  the  last several  years  with  federal programs  that  are                                                               
involved  with   conservation  buybacks.  The   discussions  have                                                               
resulted  in a  strong indication  that funding  is possible.  If                                                               
partial  funding is  possible and  the program  is approved,  the                                                               
Commercial Fisheries  Entry Commission  (CFEC) and the  DNR would                                                               
manage the  purchase of the permits  that can be purchased  up to                                                               
the partial amount  and wait for additional  funding. The partial                                                               
funding  scenario has  been discussed  with the  groups as  well.                                                               
There  is a  chance  that the  program does  not  secure the  $52                                                               
million,  initially;  however,  partial funding  will  begin  the                                                               
partial program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:13:53 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KIEHL asked  Senator Micciche if funding  for the program                                                               
is from "grant funds."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE replied that funding will be from grant funds.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KAWASAKI   asked  that  Senator  Micciche   reply  later                                                               
regarding the Cook  Inlet setnet permits declining  over the past                                                               
6 years from  846 to 735, and  if a Cook Inlet  setnet permit can                                                               
currently be purchased.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE  replied that he will  answer Senator Kawasaki's                                                               
question "offline" as requested.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:15:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH opened public testimony for SB 90.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:16:26 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID MARTIN,  representing self,  Clam Gulch,  Alaska, testified                                                               
in opposition of  SB 90. He disclosed that he  has fished in Cook                                                               
Inlet  for 48  years. He  said SB  90 addresses  a very  divisive                                                               
issue  amongst the  fishermen and  industry members  and not  all                                                               
fishermen are  in favor  of SB  90. He  opined that  the proposed                                                               
buyback program came from a  handful of setnetters located at the                                                               
mouth  of  the Kenai  River  that  want  somebody to  fund  their                                                               
retirement. He  pointed out that  the department did not  ask for                                                               
the buyback program for management  purposes, they have "time and                                                               
area" in their  management plans under the  constitution. He said                                                               
the  mouth of  the  Kenai River  is the  largest  closed area  in                                                               
Alaska, almost two  miles of closed area;  in comparison, Bristol                                                               
Bay implements their  whole fishery within three  miles of shore.                                                               
He opined  that there are  no conservation concerns on  the Kenai                                                               
River.  SB 90  is  strictly an  allocation  that the  legislature                                                               
should not get into to start  dictating. The Kenai River area and                                                               
the  amount of  gear  is needed  for large  runs  to harvest  the                                                               
surplus, it's  been used in  the past  for surges of  fish coming                                                               
into  the river  and the  setnet fishing  is the  last effort  to                                                               
prevent over-escapement. He opined that  SB 90 is contrary to the                                                               
Magnuson Stevens Act  for maximum sustained yield,  the bill will                                                               
take away a fishing area  for future generations. The Kenai River                                                               
area is the  last area to harvest the surplus.  He opined that SB                                                               
90 does not  guarantee that a viable setnet fishery  or fish time                                                               
will  be available  and  there  will still  be  groups trying  to                                                               
eliminate the fisheries in Cook Inlet.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:19:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  BIRCH  asked  Mr.  Martin  if he  is  a  setnet  fisherman                                                               
involved with the east side setnet fishery.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARTIN answered  no.  He  said he  is  a  "drifter" that  is                                                               
involved in a lot of  fishing organizations that were implemented                                                               
in the 1970s that represent all gear types.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KAWASAKI  asked Mr.  Martin  if  he  is aware  that  the                                                               
legislation is an  optional and voluntary process  as written and                                                               
does that change his opinion of the legislation.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MARTIN answered  that he  is aware  and remains  opposed. He                                                               
said there are  a lot of other fisheries issues  that needs to be                                                               
dealt  with   besides  the  proposed  legislation   from  SB  90,                                                               
specifically  on invasive  species and  fisheries management.  He                                                               
opined  that  there  are  a  lot of  other  ways  to  manage  the                                                               
fisheries  for maximum  sustained  yield  rather than  allocative                                                               
movements  proposed  in  SB  90  that  will  provide  for  future                                                               
generations.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:20:43 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL   A.   SHADURA,   President,   Cook   Inlet   Revitalization                                                               
Association  (CIRA), Anchorage,  Alaska, testified  in opposition                                                               
of SB  90. He disclosed that  he has been setnetting  in the Cook                                                               
Inlet for  51 years and  represents a  multi-generational salmon-                                                               
fishing family.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He said CIRA is a  qualified salmon fishery association under the                                                               
current  buyback  provision.  CIRA has  submitted  20  "critical"                                                               
points for the committee's review,  a consensus document from the                                                               
association's  board  of  directors  that  is  based  on  several                                                               
outreach meetings  with fishermen.  He specified  CIRA's concerns                                                               
and recommendations as follows:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
   • CIRA has reviewed SB 90 but has not had time to hold public                                                                
     meetings with other Cook Inlet setnet fishermen since the                                                                  
     bill was filed.                                                                                                            
   • CIRA supports the efforts of Senator Micciche; however,                                                                    
     CIRA does not agree with SB 90.                                                                                            
   • CIRA has always addressed the issue with a "keep it simple"                                                                
     principle.                                                                                                                 
   • CIRA contends that current permits should be voluntarily                                                                   
     relinquished without legislation via a third-party entity.                                                                 
   • CIRA contends that SB 90  has Alaska  funding the  program                                                                 
     entirely  with undetermined  cost  associated with  multiple                                                               
     departments.                                                                                                               
   • CIRA does not support "closed waters" which would connotate                                                                
     a state-approved property right.                                                                                           
   • CIRA believes that closed waters for current setnet holders                                                                
     would be a possible violation of the Alaska Constitution.                                                                  
   • CIRA does not support the  exclusion of  all current  Cook                                                                 
     Inlet  permit  holders   from  a  vote  to   give  up  their                                                               
     individual  rights  to harvest  salmon  in  the entire  Cook                                                               
     Inlet region.                                                                                                              
   • CIRA considers excluding a particular area creates a "super                                                                
     exclusive" zone,  something that Commercial  Fisheries Entry                                                               
     Commission (CFEC) has  had to tackle both in  the courts and                                                               
     within regulation.                                                                                                         
   • CIRA is trying to go forward with a simplest  way possible                                                                 
     and the least amount of conflict.                                                                                          
   • CIRA does not know what the individual funding will be for                                                                 
     the program.                                                                                                               
   • CIRA has been working with the federal delegation for many                                                                 
     years,  there seems  to  be very  promising  funds for  this                                                               
     program, but the  programs have not been set  up through the                                                               
     National Marine  Fisheries Service, or  NOAA as we  know it,                                                               
     correctly.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:24:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KAWASAKI noted  that Mr. Shadura mentioned  that CIRA has                                                               
a 20-point statement, but the  committee has not received letters                                                               
of support of  opposition to the bill. He asked  that CIRA submit                                                               
their statement.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. SHADURA  replied that he  submitted CIRA's  statement earlier                                                               
that day.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA  GABRIEL, representing  self,  Kenai,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support of SB 90. She said  her family has owned and operated its                                                               
setnet site  on Kalifornsky Beach  since 1987. SB 90  was brought                                                               
forward  at  the request  of  fishermen  on hopes  to  revitalize                                                               
family  fishing businesses.  SB 90  offers fair  compensation for                                                               
fishermen  who voluntarily  choose  to participate  in the  fleet                                                               
reduction and exit  the fishery, and offers  future viability and                                                               
stability  for  those  fishermen,  like herself,  who  choose  to                                                               
remain. In  the past  20 or so  years, the  fishing opportunities                                                               
for the east  side setnet fishery has  declined dramatically. She                                                               
said SB 90 is the correct  solution to the survival and longevity                                                               
of a financially viable setnet fishery.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:27:37 PM                                                                                                                    
RON  CARMON,  representing  self,  Kenai,  Alaska,  testified  in                                                               
opposition of SB 90. He said  the buyback means more fish for the                                                               
"guides  and  dipnetters." The  dipnet  fishery  takes about  3.5                                                               
million  fish  from  state  general  fund  and  commercial  sport                                                               
fishermen take $35 million from  the general fund, the state will                                                               
receive nothing. All commercial fishermen  will be cheated out of                                                               
revenue as well as the  state. Last year the commercial fishermen                                                               
gave $146 million to the general  fund and there could be another                                                               
$70  million to  the  general fund  if  the commercial  fishermen                                                               
caught the  13 million  fish that  has been  taken from  them. He                                                               
said the legislature is selling  commercial fishermen's fish, not                                                               
its sites. He  opined that the state needs revenue  and should be                                                               
concentrating on revenue, not spending money and giving income.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
ROMAYNE HINDMAN,  representing self, Kenai, Alaska,  testified in                                                               
support of  SB 90. He said  he has fished before  "limited entry"                                                               
in the  northern most  end of Cook  Inlet's central  district. He                                                               
opined that SB  90 would reduce the amount of  nets and bring the                                                               
number  of central  district  setnets  back to  pre-limited-entry                                                               
numbers. The fact that the buyback  is open to all permit holders                                                               
and will benefit all user groups makes the bill a good plan.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:30:58 PM                                                                                                                    
THOMAS HINDMAN, representing self,  Nikiski, Alaska, testified in                                                               
support  of  SB  90.  He  said he  believes  the  bill  will  put                                                               
viability back to the fishery.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:32:12 PM                                                                                                                    
TRAVIS  EVERY, representing  self,  Kenai,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support of  SB 90. He  said he is  a third generation  Cook Inlet                                                               
fisherman. He  opined that the bill  is a huge step  in the right                                                               
direction for  commercial industry  and all  user groups  in Cook                                                               
Inlet.  The   bill  covers  several  issues   regarding  a  fleet                                                               
reduction that  is paramount for  the plan to be  successful. The                                                               
fleet reduction is entirely on  a voluntary basis. No matter what                                                               
the permit's location is on  the east side setnet, everyone would                                                               
be eligible for  the same monetary value. Most  importantly, if a                                                               
permit is  selected for purchase,  the associated waters  will be                                                               
closed from future use; that  will prevent "back filling" of gear                                                               
in  certain  areas which  defeats  the  purpose of  a  commercial                                                               
reduction.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. EVERY summarized  that SB 90 will  create financial viability                                                               
and stability  within the commercial  fishing industry  that will                                                               
hopefully lead  to a more conservative  and sustainable fisheries                                                               
outlook in the Upper Cook Inlet for all user groups.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:33:36 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF BEAUDOIN,  representing self, Kasilof, Alaska,  testified in                                                               
opposition of  SB 90. He disclosed  that he has been  a setnetter                                                               
in  Cook Inlet  for  over  30 years,  his  business  is a  family                                                               
operation, and  he has been  involved in fishery  associations as                                                               
well.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He remarked  that since the  bill's introduction,  fishermen have                                                               
never been given the opportunity to  address the bill in a public                                                               
forum regarding concerns and possible  mitigation. He opined that                                                               
the  legislature is  going to  create an  act before  there is  a                                                               
vote.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He suggested that the setnet  permits should be qualified through                                                               
Alaska  Department  of  Fish  and  Game  (ADF&G)  and  historical                                                               
records. He noted that permits  have been assigned to area waters                                                               
within  the  statistical "stat  areas"  along  Cook Inlet's  east                                                               
side.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
He summarized that his main  concern is unsustainability and that                                                               
ADF&G has not been involved in the plan.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:37:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK  DUCKER, representing  self, Kasilof,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
opposition of SB  90. He said the law change  is an irresponsible                                                               
and  reckless way  to  address the  fishery.  Limited entry  took                                                               
several years and  finally the federal government  had to approve                                                               
it before implementation. The Cook  Inlet resources are not state                                                               
resources, they are federal resources that belong to the nation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
He  opined that  the  bill is  a reallocation  of  a resource  to                                                               
create a  "super exclusive" fishery.  Permits from the  west side                                                               
were able to move back and  forth just like permits from the east                                                               
side.  The drift  fleet will  be allowed  to come  into the  east                                                               
side, a  drift net only must  stay 600 feet away  from a set-gill                                                               
net.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:39:34 PM                                                                                                                    
DEVIN  EVERY,  representing  self, Kenai,  Alaska,  testified  in                                                               
support of SB  90. He disclosed that he is  a high school student                                                               
who represents  the future  generations of  commercial fishermen.                                                               
He said  he believes  that everyone has  a choice  to voluntarily                                                               
get  out of  the  east side  fishery  and try  to  create a  more                                                               
economical, viable fishery for generations to come.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. EVERY  summarized that  there is  a future  generation coming                                                               
that wants to fish.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:40:56 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  HOLLIER, representing  self,  Kenai,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support of SB 90. He disclosed  that he is a 65-year-old lifelong                                                               
resident  of Kenai,  a fourth-generation  family  member who  has                                                               
been an east side setnetter for 48 years.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
He opined  that SB 90  is progressive thinking that  could really                                                               
help all user groups. SB 90  is a voluntary gear reduction, a win                                                               
for all  user groups.  The bill  is good  for the  setnetters who                                                               
want  out as  well as  the setnetters  who want  to stay  fishing                                                               
because  the  bill  will  make   the  fishery  more  viable.  The                                                               
personal-use and sport fishery will  benefit as well. He said the                                                               
bill is  the first time that  he can recall where  there has been                                                               
some common ground  to help alleviate the "fish  wars." He opined                                                               
that  300-plus permit  holders  will apply  for  the buyback.  He                                                               
added that  without closed waters  the bill  is moot. He  said he                                                               
would  like to  see his  kids  and grandkids  participate in  the                                                               
fishery.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:44:12 PM                                                                                                                    
PAT  ZURFLUH,  representing  self, Kenai,  Alaska,  testified  in                                                               
support of  SB 90. He said  the bill will make  everything viable                                                               
and is a good to start in  ending the "fish wars." He stated that                                                               
he would be glad to sell his permit and "win the lottery."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  WOOD, representing  self, Talkeetna,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support  of SB  90. He  said  he and  his wife  own a  commercial                                                               
setnet  operation at  the mouth  of Susitna  River. He  disclosed                                                               
that he is the board president  of the Susitna River Coalition as                                                               
well as the chair of the Mat-Su Wildlife Commission.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He  noted that  he  has spoken  to many  friends  that have  been                                                               
lifelong east  side setnetters  and considers  the bill  as being                                                               
better for the  river and the diverse user  groups to voluntarily                                                               
remove nets  from the  Cook Inlet's east  side waters.  He opined                                                               
that  the  buyback  program  will lead  to  a  more  predictable,                                                               
viable, and  sustainable fishery in  the future that  will return                                                               
the beach to  the more historical pre-1980s  fishery. The results                                                               
of reducing the number of permits  and leases will show some very                                                               
attainable and positive results for all user groups.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOD conceded  that some details still need to  be ironed out                                                               
but having two user groups who  have always been "at each other's                                                               
throats," the sport  and the commercial, agree that SB  90 is the                                                               
right direction, then the plan should be "given a whirl."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:46:52 PM                                                                                                                    
RUSSELL  CLARK, representing  self, Kenai,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support of  SB 90.  He disclosed  that he  has been  fishing Cook                                                               
Inlet in the middle district  for approximately 20 years. He said                                                               
there are  400-plus permits  on the east  side district  from the                                                               
bottom line  at Ninilchik all to  the way to Boulder  Point where                                                               
there  are  nets upon  nets.  Closing  the east  side  district's                                                               
waters because  the next fisherman's  ability to catch  more fish                                                               
will increase.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
He explained that the monetary value  of the buyout is based upon                                                               
$20,000 per  year, an amount  that is poor. Having  a sustainable                                                               
fishery  for  future  generations  must  be  more  than  $20,000.                                                               
Individuals need to  go out and make a living,  right now that is                                                               
not  possible. Making  a sustainable  fishery cannot  be done  by                                                               
closures.  There are  too many  permits on  the east  side to  be                                                               
effective in making living for future generations.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:49:20 PM                                                                                                                    
EUDELL BROWN,  representing self, Arkansas, testified  in support                                                               
of SB 90. He said the bill is a win-win for everyone.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:49:56 PM                                                                                                                    
VICTORIA COLEMAN, representing self,  Kenai, Alaska, testified in                                                               
support  of  SB 90.  She  disclosed  that  she  is an  east  side                                                               
setnetter  that fishes  north of  the Kasilof  River. She  opined                                                               
that  the bill  is  fair  and entering  the  program is  entirely                                                               
voluntary. The monetary price is  the same for all, regardless of                                                               
where a  permit holder fishes  on the east  side. If a  permit is                                                               
offered for sale,  the associated water is closed  to further use                                                               
whether  it is  leased or  not,  which allows  for the  remaining                                                               
setnetters to  have an opportunity  for financial  viability. The                                                               
bill  won't allow  other setnetters  to "back  fill" which  would                                                               
defeat  the whole  purpose. Financial  viability was  one of  the                                                               
basic tenants of "limited entry."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
She said the  setnetters will vote on the  bill's acceptance, all                                                               
setnetters will have  an equal chance to be drawn  from a lottery                                                               
with no preferential  treatment, and the bill may  help to defuse                                                               
the "fish wars."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:51:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS  EVERY,  representing  self, Kenai,  Alaska,  testified  in                                                               
support  of SB  90. He  said  he is  an east  side setnetter.  He                                                               
opined that  the bill  is about  a group  of people  doing what's                                                               
best for the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
He said the permit consolidation effort  is a first step that the                                                               
east  side setnetters  can do  for  the health  of their  fishery                                                               
while benefitting all user groups. He  opined that it is time for                                                               
each group to  come to the table with a  plan for their allocated                                                               
portion of  the fishery. The governor  has said he would  like to                                                               
end  the "fish  wars" in  the  upper Cook  Inlet, something  that                                                               
could  be done  by  the  net setters  and  other  user groups  by                                                               
curtailing their desires  to acquire a larger piece  of the fully                                                               
allocated fishery and to start  concentrating on how to enjoy the                                                               
fish that  are available  at current  levels. He  said SB  90, if                                                               
implemented, could create an unobstructed  corridor for fish from                                                               
Ninilchik to the Kenai River.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:52:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JOEANN WICHERS,  representing self,  Kenai, Alaska,  testified in                                                               
support of SB  90. She said her family started  setnet fishing on                                                               
north  Kalifornsky  Beach  in  1986. She  noted  that  he  family                                                               
currently has five  permits north of Kalifornsky  Beach. She said                                                               
during  her  family's 34  years  of  commercial fishing  in  Cook                                                               
Inlet, they have seen the increase  in fish pressure by many user                                                               
groups  including  commercial  fishing,  subsistence  use,  sport                                                               
guides, and sport fishing.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She  said her  family  supports SB  90 to  reduce  the amount  of                                                               
permits on the east side setnet  fishery and to close the waters.                                                               
The reduction will  relieve pressure on the salmon  stock of Cook                                                               
Inlet  and allow  more fish  to  get to  the river  for all  user                                                               
groups.  SB  90 will  create  a  more  viable fishery  for  those                                                               
setnetters  who  remain, but  the  bill  also  allows them  as  a                                                               
volunteer in  the program to  continue on to other  businesses of                                                               
their choice to help support their families.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She said  her family has found  it very difficult for  to make it                                                               
setnetting anymore. Setnetting  used to be amazing, but  a lot of                                                               
permits have  moved in and there  is a need to  reduce permits to                                                               
get the fishery  back to the way  is used to be so  there will be                                                               
more space for the fish to get through.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
KEITH PRESSLEY,  representing self, Ninilchik,  Alaska, testified                                                               
in support  of SB 90.  He disclosed  that he has  four setnetting                                                               
permits between  himself and his son.  He opined that SB  90 is a                                                               
win-win situation  where removing permits would  greatly increase                                                               
fish  for people  staying in  the fishery  as well  as show  good                                                               
faith to the  sports fishermen that the east  side setnetters are                                                               
helping them. He added that there  seems to be a problem with the                                                               
funds and suggested  that consideration be given to  look at what                                                               
the  crab  industry   did  when  they  reduced   their  fleet  by                                                               
increasing  their fish  tax for  borrowing money  to pay  for the                                                               
reduction.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:57:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MARILYN KEENER,  representing self,  Kenai, Alaska,  testified in                                                               
support  of  SB  90.  She  disclosed that  her  family  has  been                                                               
involved in the setnet fishery since  1978. She opined that SB 90                                                               
is a solution  and a healing element for the  resource as well as                                                               
the people who  have been effected greatly by  the problems which                                                               
have  arisen over  the  years. She  said SB  90  is an  equitable                                                               
solution that will care for the resource and the people.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:58:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH closed public testimony.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:59:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BIRCH held SB 90 in committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:59:36 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Birch adjourned  the Senate  Resources Standing  Committee                                                               
meeting at 4:59 p.m.                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB90 Version G.PDF SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Sponsor Statement Version G.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Sectional Summary Version G.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Fiscal Note-DFG-CFEC-3-22-19.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Fiscal Note-DNR-MLW-3-22-19.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Fiscal Note-DFG-DCF-3-22-19.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Eastside Setnet Area Map.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 Setnet Sites With DNR leases.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90
SB90 ECA Presentation 3.29.19.pdf SRES 3/29/2019 3:30:00 PM
SB 90