Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/23/1993 03:40 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                 SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE                               
                        February 23, 1993                                      
                            3:40 p.m.                                          
                                                                               
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
                                                                               
  Senator Bert Sharp, Chairman                                                 
  Senator Randy Phillips, Vice Chairman                                        
  Senator Tim Kelly                                                            
  Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                   
                                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
                                                                               
  Senator Jay Kerttula                                                         
                                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 82                                                           
  "An Act relating to the Dalton Highway."                                     
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
  SB 82 - See Transportation minutes dated 2/16/93 and                         
          2/18/93.                                                             
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
  Steve Soenksen, Legislative Staff                                            
    to Senator Bert Sharp                                                      
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on SB 82.                            
                                                                               
  Richard Wright                                                               
  3910 Tilleson Way                                                            
  North Pole, Alaska 99705                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  Jeslie Kaleak, Sr., Mayor                                                    
  North Slope Borough                                                          
  Box 69                                                                       
  Barrow, Alaska 99723                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Dean McKenzie                                                                
  Frontier Transportation                                                      
  10460 Old Seward Highway                                                     
  Anchorage, Alaska 99515                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Leonard Lampe                                                                
  P.O. Box 269                                                                 
  Nuiqsut, Alaska 99789                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Lance Hathaway                                                               
  387 Pausanna Street                                                          
  Nuiqsut, Alaska 99789                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 82.                                     
                                                                               
  Troy Thacker                                                                 
  Cold Foot, Alaska                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 82.                                     
                                                                               
  Ron Bergman                                                                  
  Allakaket, Alaska 99720                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Tony Susook                                                                  
  Box 1145                                                                     
  Barrow, Alaska 99723                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Valerie Mundt                                                                
  Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce                                        
  709 2nd Avenue                                                               
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  Harry McDonald                                                               
  Carlile Trucking                                                             
  1524 Ship                                                                    
  Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 82.                                     
                                                                               
  Mark Morry                                                                   
  Box 21092                                                                    
  Anaktuvuk, Pass 99721                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Mike Walleri, General Counsel                                                
  Tanana Chiefs Conference                                                     
  122 First Avenue                                                             
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Dave Lacey, Manager                                                          
  Yukon River Tours                                                            
  214 Second Avenue                                                            
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Lou Brown                                                                    
  Northern Alaska Environmental Center                                         
  218 Driveway                                                                 
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Lana Wegner                                                                  
  Petitioners for Safety on the Haul Road                                      
  1031 Northwood                                                               
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99712                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  Martin King, Owner                                                           
  Irish Trucking and President                                                 
    of the Alaska Trucking Association                                         
  1003 Aspen Street                                                            
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99709                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  Eddie Bergman, Mayor                                                         
  City of Allakaket                                                            
  P.O. Box 30                                                                  
  Allakaket, Alaska 99720                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Frank Dillon, Executive Director                                             
  Alaska Trucking Association                                                  
  3443 Minnesota Drive                                                         
  Anchorage, Alaska 99503                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  Annette Koch                                                                 
  P.O. Box 30                                                                  
  Ester, Alaska 99725                                                          
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  Harold Gilliam                                                               
  104 Second Avenue                                                            
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  George Lounsbury                                                             
  P.O. Box 70983                                                               
  Fairbanks, Alaska 99707                                                      
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 82.                          
                                                                               
  Chip Toma                                                                    
  2 Marine Way, #204                                                           
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  Wayne Regelin, Deputy Director                                               
  Division of Wildlife Conservation                                            
  Department of Fish and Game                                                  
  P.O. Box 25526                                                               
  Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526                                                    
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on SB 82.                            
                                                                               
  Mary Forbes, Volunteer                                                       
  Alaska Environmental Lobby                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  1116 Sebiel Lane #2                                                          
  Kodiak, Alaska 99615                                                         
  POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified against SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-8, SIDE A                                                            
  Number 001                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN SHARP called the Senate Transportation Committee to                 
  order at 3:40 p.m.                                                           
  The only order of business to  come before the committee was                 
  SB  82  (OPENING  THE  DALTON   HIGHWAY).    Chairman  Sharp                 
  indicated  that  he has  scheduled  a teleconference  on the                 
  measure.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 037                                                                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR LINCOLN  asked Chairman  Sharp if  his intent  is to                 
  hold  the  bill  for  further  testimony.    Chairman  Sharp                 
  indicated that the bill would be held for further testimony.                 
  Senator Lincoln referred to  the last hearing where she  had                 
  asked several questions and requested written responses, she                 
  indicated she hasn't  received anything and asked  what that                 
  status is.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Sharp said  he believes that  one of the  questions                 
  was to request a copy of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)                 
  Dalton Highway Recreational Management Plan and indicated it                 
  is in the  committee member's folders.   He also noted  that                 
  there was a  question from Senator Kelly if there would be a                 
  guaranteed year around  intention to maintain the  road.  He                 
  said  he  is  currently  awaiting  a written  response  from                 
  Senator Frank, sponsor of the bill.                                          
                                                                               
  Senator Lincoln said  she asked several questions:  1. Could                 
  the committee get and update from Commissioner Blatchford on                 
  the ongoing discussions between the  State of Alaska, Tanana                 
  Chiefs Conference  (TCC), and  the North  Slope Borough;  2.                 
  Would the committee  request a  report from the  Subsistence                 
  Division of the Department of Fish and Game on the impact of                 
  subsistence   use  along   the  Dalton   Highway   and  what                 
  protections there would be for subsistence users; 3. What us                 
  the status on  the ongoing  litigation involving the  Dalton                 
  Highway;  4.   Is  there any  positions  by the  industry on                 
  opening the  Dalton Highway  to public  access; and  5.   If                 
  there  is any gas  line construction,  would it  be required                 
  that the  road be  restricted to  industrial and  commercial                 
  uses.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Senator Lincoln thanked Chairman Sharp  for holding the bill                 
  and possibly having the answers to her questions at the next                 
  meeting.  Chairman  Sharp indicated  that Steve Soenksen  of                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  his staff had some answers to her questions.                                 
                                                                               
  Number 104                                                                   
                                                                               
  STEVE SOENKSEN, legislative staff to  Senator Sharp, said in                 
  the committee member's packets is a copy of the BLM Resource                 
  Report  and  facilities that  they  envision for  the Dalton                 
  Highway.  He referred to the status of the law suit and said                 
  he believes  that there  is someone in  attendance from  the                 
  Department of Law  that could speak to the law suit and some                 
  other issues.   He said he  understands that there are  some                 
  people  on  teleconference  who  will  be  speaking  to  the                 
  industry concerns of  opening the road.   Mr. Soenksen  said                 
  Commissioner  Blatchford  is currently  attending a  village                 
  conference meeting and will  be presenting some  information                 
  there.  He noted that he had  received a phone call from the                 
  Department of  Fish and  Game and  the Subsistence  Division                 
  will be forwarding some information to the committee.                        
                                                                               
  RICHARD  WRIGHT, testifying from Fairbanks, indicated he has                 
  some concerns.  The  first is in relation to  current budget                 
  reductions that have been imposed on the Dalton Highway.  He                 
  referred  to  a  previous budget  and  said  $6  million was                 
  requested and it was reduced to $4.2 million.  Hopefully, if                 
  the road is opened, the budget will be increased so that the                 
  road can be  kept safe.   CHAIRMAN SHARP indicated there  is                 
  currently a request for an amendment in the Governor's FY 94                 
  operating budget of $1.9 million.   He said he believes that                 
  it appears in the proposed  1994 budget at approximately the                 
  $6.3  million  level.   Mr. Wright  said  he hopes  that the                 
  legislation becomes law.                                                     
                                                                               
  JESLIE KALEAK,  SR., Mayor,  North Slope  Borough, testified                 
  against  opening the  Dalton Highway to  unrestricted public                 
  use.   The major concern is  for the safety of the traveling                 
  public.    The road  is  not  adequately  maintained by  the                 
  Department of Transportation and  Public Facilities (DOT/PF)                 
  and is unsafe at  this point, for commercial truckers.   The                 
  road is  unstable, dangerous and  extreme weather conditions                 
  present an  additional risk  to  the public.   He  discussed                 
  increases in  accidents, property  damage, personal  injury,                 
  fatalities,  trash,  because of  increased  traffic.   There                 
  aren't  any  systems for  communication  in place  along the                 
  highway to call for  assistance.  Mayor Kaleak said  the oil                 
  industry  has  expressed  concern  for  the  safety  of  the                 
  industrial  truckers  and  the  security  of  the  pipeline.                 
  Emergency medical services  are limited  at Prudhoe Bay  and                 
  cannot withstand  the  extra  burden  of  increased  traffic                 
  accidents.   He informed the committee that  the North Slope                 
  Borough search and rescue operation  is currently being used                 
  to  its  full capacity  providing  the borough  and outlying                 
  villages with rescue  services.   The increased hunting  and                 
  human  presence  will change  the  behavior and  location of                 
  caribou herds  adversely affecting  the availability  of the                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  source of  food for  residents of  the area.   Mayor  Kaleak                 
  continued to discuss maintenance concerns regarding  opening                 
  the Dalton  Highway.   He  indicated  he would  forward  his                 
  written comments to the committee.                                           
                                                                               
  Number 249                                                                   
                                                                               
  DEAN   MCKENZIE,   representing   Frontier   Transportation,                 
  testified from  Anchorage.   He  explained his  organization                 
  operates  a number of trucks  out of Anchorage and Fairbanks                 
  and many travel the Dalton Highway.  He concurred with Mayor                 
  Kaleak's comments on public safety.  The  lack of facilities                 
  and  road  maintenance  is  a  valid  issue  and  should  be                 
  addressed before the road is opened to the public.                           
                                                                               
  LEONARD LAMPE, testifying from Nuiqsut,  said he agrees with                 
  Mayor  Kaleak's  points.    He  said  he  is   afraid  their                 
  subsistence food will be  impacted if the road is  opened to                 
  the public.   Mr.  Lampe said  he also  has safety  concerns                 
  regarding highway as the road needs upgrading.                               
                                                                               
  Number 271                                                                   
                                                                               
  LANCE HATHAWAY,  also testifying from Nuiqsut,  indicated he                 
  is a permit  holder for the road and  is an occasional user.                 
  He  indicated he is neutral regarding  opening the road, but                 
  stressed  that there  is a  need  for major  maintenance and                 
  improvements on the highway.                                                 
                                                                               
  TROY THACKER, testifying from Cold Foot, said he has visited                 
                                                                               
  with many  truckers regarding opening the haul road and they                 
  have indicted  that increased facilities and  maintenance of                 
  the haul road would be needed if it were to be opened to the                 
  public.  He  discussed safety issues, including  avalanches,                 
  etc.   Some articles  in the newspapers  have indicated that                 
  the truckers don't support  public use of the road  and said                 
  he feels that is an error.  That may have been the case four                 
  or five years ago.  He said they have indicated to  him that                 
  they do support public use of the road.                                      
                                                                               
  Number 308                                                                   
                                                                               
  RON BERGMAN,  testifying  from Allakaket,  said he  supports                 
  Mayor Kaleak's comments  regarding the Dalton Highway.   The                 
  road  from the highway to Bettles  is going to go across the                 
  South Fork River which is one of the major hunting areas  of                 
  the  residents of  Allakaket.  He  referred to a  fax he had                 
  received from DOT/PF which said there would be $600 thousand                 
  earmarked for location studies and asked if it is federal or                 
  state money.   CHAIRMAN SHARP  said he wasn't  familiar with                 
  the  fax  and said  he would  question DOT/PF  regarding the                 
  matter.                                                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  TONY SUSOOK, testifying from Barrow, indicated he is against                 
  opening the Dalton  Highway for many  reasons.  He said  his                 
  main concern is for  the health, safety, and welfare  of the                 
  North Slope  Borough residents.    He said  a question  that                 
  comes  to  mind is  does the  North  Slope Borough  have the                 
  personnel to  handle and cover  the added search  and rescue                 
  efforts that exist today when two  or more search and rescue                 
  operations are occurring at the same  time.  Mr. Susook said                 
  as  far as  priorities are  concerned,  who will  be rescued                 
  first?  Someone that may be  hurt on the highway or  someone                 
  in a village within the North  Slope Borough.  He questioned                 
  whether the extra funds will be available for the Search and                 
  Rescue Department to operate  in a manner to fit  all needs.                 
  Mr. Susook discussed  concern regarding the lack  of caribou                 
  over the  last three years  that the residents  of Anaktuvuk                 
  Pass harvest  for subsistence.   He  informed the  committee                 
  that in  1991, the North  Slope Elders Conference  adopted a                 
  resolution, 91-021, which  opposed the  opening of the  haul                 
  road.  He continued to read  the resolution to the committee                 
  members and testified in opposition to SB 82.                                
                                                                               
  VALERIE MUNDT, Greater Fairbanks  Chamber of Commerce,  said                 
  she  was  testifying  on  behalf  of  the  Chairman  of  the                 
  Chamber's Transportation  Committee.   She said  the Chamber                 
  shares the concern  of the public's  safety and that is  why                 
  they are supporting the opening of the Dalton Highway to the                 
  public.  She said in order to have federal funds used on the                 
  highway, it must be opened to the  public.  The highway is a                 
  major  lifeline in  Alaska,  especially  for  Fairbanks  and                 
  Anchorage, and it needs to be maintained in a condition that                 
  is safe for the truck drivers  who drive it most frequently.                 
  She urged that the SB 82 be passed into law.                                 
                                                                               
  Number 419                                                                   
                                                                               
  HARRY MCDONALD, Carlile  Trucking, testified from Anchorage.                 
  He said his  company has trucks traveling the Dalton Highway                 
  on  a   daily  basis.     They   don't  have   any  problems                 
  operationally and their drivers aren't  opposed to the bill.                 
  In  reality  half of  the road  is  currently opened  to the                 
  public already.  Mr. McDonald did indicate that the concerns                 
  of  the  North Slope  Borough  and  the villages  should  be                 
  addressed and  also the  issue of  safety.   By opening  the                 
  road,  his  company   hopes  that   there  will  be   better                 
  maintenance and federal funds available for upgrading.                       
                                                                               
  MIKE MORRY, from Anaktuvuk Pass,  testified against SB 92 as                 
  he  said he believes  it will  affect the  Caribou migration                 
  that goes by his village.   He discussed the migration trail                 
  of the caribou and urged that SB 82 not be passed.                           
                                                                               
  MIKE  WALLERI,  General Counsel,  Tanana  Chiefs Conference,                 
  indicated he has sent his written testimony to the committee                 
  in opposition to SB 82.  He said his organization is opposed                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  to  opening the  haul road  to unrestricted  use  because of                 
  concerns relating to subsistence and safety.  SB 82 fails to                 
  address any  of  those concerns  and doesn't  provide for  a                 
  commitment by  the state to maintain the road.  In 1991, the                 
  Tanana Chiefs Conference  and the North Slope  Borough filed                 
  suit against the State of Alaska  in response to attempts to                 
  amend regulations to  open the road administratively.   They                 
  received an injunction  which is currently on  appeal before                 
  the Alaska Supreme Court.  Mr. Walleri said since that time,                 
  his organization has  been engaged  in discussions with  the                 
  state,  BLM, and  certain  environmental groups  through the                 
  offices of Commissioner  Blatchford with the idea  of trying                 
  to reach  some kind  of  a comprehensive  settlement to  the                 
  issues related to  the management of  the haul road and  the                 
  BLM utility corridor.  Included in the written comments is a                 
  copy of the most  recent draft agreement which  provides for                 
  the opening of the road to  the general public except during                 
  the  hunting  season  and/or  for   hunting  purposes.    He                 
  continued  to  discuss  the  aspects  of the  agreement  and                 
  suggested that the negotiations be  allowed to continue.  If                 
  anything, the bill should be  amended to allow the  governor                 
  to enter  into the agreements and/or to  incorporate many of                 
  the provisions.  Mr. Walleri continued to testify against SB
  82.                                                                          
                                                                               
  DAVE  LACEY,  Manager,  Yukon  River  Tours,  explained  his                 
  company has a 49 passenger tour  boat operating on the Yukon                 
  River.   He  explained his  business is  a  wilderness based                 
  tourism business and  they service tour busses  that come up                 
  the road.  One of the main things that the customers want to                 
  see are animals.   He  indicated that he  is concerned  that                 
  hunting and fishing  has never  been managed properly  along                 
  the road.   The road can,  if managed properly, become  like                 
  Denali where  people have  a wonderful  opportunity to  view                 
  wildlife.  Mr. Lacey referred to a 1991 BLM  survey and said                 
  there  were  1,500 hunters  at the  Yukon  crossing.   It is                 
  completely  overcrowded and his  business couldn't  even get                 
  their boats in  and out of the  water as there were  so many                 
  boats.  He  discussed the  litter problem.   Mr. Lacey  said                 
  they  have concerns  about opening the  road until  there is                 
  some planning and commitment to funding.                                     
                                                                               
  LOU BROWN,  representing the  Northern Alaska  Environmental                 
  Center, said it isn't clear whether the legislature  has the                 
  right  to  open  a  highway.     The  Trans-Alaska  Pipeline                 
  Authorization Act  authorized the granting  of the right-of-                 
  way   necessary  for   and  related   to  construction   and                 
  maintenance of the  Trans-Alaska Pipeline.  A  conflict with                 
  the intentions of Congress was  not necessarily to encourage                 
  use by the  public while the  pipeline was in operation  and                 
  the right-of-way being  utilized for the purposes  for which                 
  it  was  granted.   Ms.  Brown said  the  legislature should                 
  realize that it  will be  impossible to close  the road  and                 
  complete the restoration of the road per the requirements of                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  the  Mineral  Leasing  Act.    The legislature  should  also                 
  consider how much  the efficiently of the  right-of-way will                 
  be impacted  by the  introduction of  recreational vehicles,                 
  busses and privately  owned cars, should  a gas pipeline  be                 
  constructed.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Ms. Brown said although BLM gave  portions of land along the                 
  Dalton Highway to  the state, her organization  questions if                 
  the state has the authority to initiate an action that would                 
  directly  impact  the  condition of  federally  owned  lands                 
  immediately adjacent to  the corridor.   She indicated  that                 
  they  are  also   concerned  about   the  potential  for   a                 
  significant impact to  subsistence resources.   She referred                 
  to the maintenance  issue and asked  if DOT/PF will get  the                 
  funding  to provide  the level  of service  necessary for  a                 
  public road both summer and winter.  She also questioned how                 
  much it  will cost to  employ appropriate  number of  public                 
  health and safety  officers and who will be  responsible for                 
  fire protection and ambulance services.  Ms. Brown continued                 
  to  discuss  concerns  relating the  degradation  do  to all                 
  terrain  vehicles,  etc.    She  thanked the  committee  for                 
  listening to her testimony.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 552                                                                   
                                                                               
  LANA WEGNER, representing Petitioners for Safety on the Haul                 
  Road, said her  organization is  comprised of truck  drivers                 
  and  their families.   She  indicated she  is  testifying in                 
  support of opening the  Dalton Highway to the public  as the                 
  state would have access to federal funds which would be used                 
  to  improve the conditions of the road.  Ms. Wegner said the                 
  public is already  using the road and it should be in proper                 
  condition.  She said they  would like assurance that federal                 
  money would be  appropriated for  improvements on the  road.                 
  She said during the winter, DOT/PF has reserved the right to                 
  close the road to the public in the event of cold weather or                 
  poor road conditions.   Ms. Wegner urged support for opening                 
  the road.                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN SHARP noted that all the  highways in the state are                 
  subject to  closure by DOT/PF  under extreme road  or safety                 
  conditions.                                                                  
                                                                               
  MARTIN  KING, Owner, Irish Trucking, said  he is the current                 
  president  of the Alaska Trucking Association.  He said with                 
  proper  funding   and  maintenance,   the  Alaska   Trucking                 
  Association is in  support of opening the  Dalton Highway to                 
  the public.   The  Alaska Trucking  Association expects  the                 
  following from the State of Alaska - DOT/PF:  A safe highway                 
  to travel on; A  well maintained highway; and A  year around                 
  ability to support our northern oil fields on a daily basis.                 
  Mr. King said his  position, as the owner of  Irish Trucking                 
  is the same as the Alaska Trucking Association's position.                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-8, SIDE B                                                            
  Number 001                                                                   
                                                                               
  EDDIE BERGMAN,  Mayor, City of  Allakaket, testified against                 
  opening the Dalton Highway.  The reason is mostly because of                 
  the  subsistence  of  the  local people.    He  thanked  the                 
  committee for letting him testify.                                           
                                                                               
  FRANK   DILLON,   Executive   Director,    Alaska   Trucking                 
  Association, explained that in the past, the association has                 
  been neutral on the issue of opening the Dalton Highway.  As                 
  a result of arguments  made by DOT/PF and others  that there                 
  would  be  better maintenance  and  safer conditions  on the                 
  road, the Alaska  Trucking Association's Board of  Directors                 
  has change its position to support SB 82.                                    
                                                                               
  ANNETTE KOCH,  testifying from  Fairbanks, was  in favor  of                 
  opening the  Dalton Highway  to the public.   She  indicated                 
  that  federal funds  that may  be received  would  assist in                 
  maintaining the highway.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 027                                                                   
                                                                               
  HAROLD GILLIAM, testifying  from Fairbanks, was in  favor of                 
  SB 82.   He said some concerns that  have been expressed are                 
  valid concerns and most of them have a  reasonable solution.                 
  Mr.  Gilliam said as  far as safety  and medical evacuation,                 
  the  National  Guard  is planning  to  have  a  new unit  of                 
  helicopters to be stationed  at Eielson Air Force Base.   He                 
  asked why the state couldn't ask the Air Force to fly  a jet                 
  a supersonic speed during the times that there are avalanche                 
  warnings.   He discussed  his experience  driving the  Alcan                 
  Highway.   Mr.  Gilliam  said he  would  suggest that  there                 
  shouldn't be any  hunting from the  road at  all.  He  noted                 
  that BLM is currently spending a  lot of money on developing                 
  rest areas.                                                                  
                                                                               
  GEORGE  LOUNSBURY  testified  in  support  of  SB  82.    He                 
  indicated he owns property south of Dietrich and said he has                 
  seen a lot of  people that are disappointed when  they can't                 
  go further up  the road.  The fact that the state is missing                 
  out on federal highway funds is a shame.  He referred to the                 
  people on the North Slope and said he doesn't think that the                 
  question is so  much of subsistence but is a  question as to                 
  what is  right and  wrong for  all the  citizens of  Alaska.                 
  Hunting  pressure  can   be  handled  through   regulations.                 
  Everybody  should  have the  right to  drive  the road.   He                 
  thanked the committee for listening to him.                                  
                                                                               
  Number 076                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHIP TOMA, testifying in  Juneau, explained that he  has had                 
  to opportunity to work  on the Dalton Highway during  the in                 
  the winters from  1974-1977 as a teamster.  He said he drove                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  several different kinds  of vehicles on  the highway and  it                 
  was the  most hazardous job  he has ever  had.  The  road is                 
  extremely  hazardous  and  the main  problem  with  the road                 
  during the  winter is the white out conditions.  He noted he                 
  saw many accidents along the road.  It will be a hay day for                 
  private  tow  truck and  medi-vac  operators.   He  said  he                 
  doesn't think that the  average American driver has  an idea                 
  how to drive  under the conditions on the road.  If the road                 
  hasn't  been maintained, it  would be  incredibly dangerous.                 
  Mr. Toma said  he never saw much game and doesn't believe it                 
  is a viewing highway by any means.                                           
                                                                               
  WAYNE  REGELIN,  Deputy   Director,  Division  of   Wildlife                 
  Conservation, Department  of Fish and Game, said there was a                 
  question  at the  previous  meeting as  to  how wildlife  is                 
  managed along the  Dempster Highway in  Canada and said  the                 
  road runs from  Dawson up to the McKenzie Delta  and is open                 
  year  around.    Hunting  is  allowed  but there  is  a  one                 
  kilometer, a little over a half  a mile, `no hunting' buffer                 
  along  each side of the road.  Beyond that buffer, there are                 
  no  restrictions.    The  hunters are  allowed  to  use snow                 
  machines, etc.   He noted  there is a  manned check  station                 
  from October  1 through  December and  it  is mandatory  for                 
  hunters  to stop.  Most of  the hunting is for the Porcupine                 
  Caribou herd and the  season is open  from August 1 to  July                 
  30.   There is a  bag limit  of two.   On the average  about                 
  2,000 animals are taken.  Mr. Regelin said a little over 100                 
  caribou are  killed  by  bow hunters  each  year  along  the                 
  highway corridor of the Dalton Highway.  He noted that there                 
  is a five mile closed corridor.                                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR PHILLIPS referred  to the police services  along the                 
  Dempster and said he has received a letter stating that they                 
  are basically congregated around the villages and towns.                     
                                                                               
  Number 163                                                                   
                                                                               
  MARY   FORBES,   Volunteer,   Alaska  Environmental   Lobby,                 
  testified against  SB 82.   She  indicated her  organization                 
  agrees with  many of  the  concerns raised  at the  hearing.                 
  Opening the highway  will substantially impact  the wildlife                 
  of the  area.   Hunting pressures,  legal and  illegal, will                 
  increase.  On  the North Slope,  increased off road  vehicle                 
  use will threaten the fragile layer  of vegetation on top to                 
  the permafrost causing serous erosion  problems.  Ms. Forbes                 
  noted that BLM has a very  ambitious recreation plan for the                 
  area which  will magnify  the impacts  in the  coming years.                 
  She  said  she would  like to  point  out that  the original                 
  intent of the  legislation is  specifically stated in  state                 
  statute, Chapter  40, Section  19.40.010 (5)(b)  "It is  the                 
  sense  of  the  legislature  that  the construction  of  the                 
  highway will not  impair the natural wilderness  adjacent to                 
  the  highway  and  will  not  unreasonably  interfere   with                 
  subsistence hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering."  She                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  said  the Environmental  Lobby  believes  that  opening  the                 
  Dalton Highway to public use would violate the intent of the                 
  statute.    Ms.   Forbes  thanked  the  committee   for  the                 
  opportunity to testify.                                                      
                                                                               
  There  being no  further testimony CHAIRMAN  SHARP indicated                 
  that the bill would be heard again at the next hearing.                      
  Number 210                                                                   
                                                                               
  Chairman Sharp adjourned the meeting at 4:47.                                
                                                                               

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