Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

04/07/2018 10:00 AM House FISHERIES

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10:04:53 AM Start
10:05:54 AM HB199
12:47:15 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
        HB 199-FISH/WILDLIFE HABITAT PROTECTION; PERMITS                                                                    
10:05:54 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  199,  "An Act  establishing  general  fish  and                                                               
wildlife  permits and  major and  minor  anadromous fish  habitat                                                               
permits for  certain activities; establishing  related penalties;                                                               
and relating  to the  protection of  fish and  game and  fish and                                                               
game habitat." [Version M was before the committee.]                                                                            
10:06:20 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony for HB 199.                                                                                
10:06:32 AM                                                                                                                   
CLAUDIA ANDERSON stated  she was testifying on  behalf of herself                                                               
and her  family in  support of  HB 199.   Alaskans are  so lucky,                                                               
with respect  to salmon,  in comparison to  those in  Norway, the                                                               
British Isles,  Oregon, Washington,  and in  part of  Canada, she                                                               
said.   Although it  is not  possible to  control all  the salmon                                                               
watershed, it is  important to control as much as  possible.  She                                                               
emphasized   the   importance   of   setting   a   standard   for                                                               
accountability.  She  said that the committee  knows the economic                                                               
benefits salmon provides to Alaskans.   In fact, most people have                                                               
salmon in  their freezers,  she said.   She acknowledged  that HB
199  might not  be perfect,  but it  was a  starting point.   She                                                               
concluded her testimony by stating that she supports HB 199.                                                                    
10:07:42 AM                                                                                                                   
PAT HOLMES  stated he has  been an  Alaskan since statehood.   He                                                               
recalled when "things were truly  a mess," before laws to protect                                                               
salmon were  enacted.   He offered his  belief that  updating the                                                               
[statutes] was  long overdue.   He recalled when the  Division of                                                               
Habitat was  shifted out  of ADF&G [Alaska  Department of  Fish &                                                               
Game] to the  DNR [Department of Natural Resources]  and about 40                                                               
percent of the  staff left or transferred to other  agencies.  He                                                               
offered his  belief that  it has not  been rebuilt  to adequately                                                               
handle  the  habitat  regulations  [and statutes]  that  were  in                                                               
effect before  HB 199  was proposed.   He emphasized  that budget                                                               
reductions to ADF&G,  especially to the Divisions  of Habitat and                                                               
Commercial   Fisheries   has   resulted  in   operational   staff                                                               
reductions between  30-40 percent.   He thought the user  pay and                                                               
bonding  provisions  were  a  huge  step forward.    He  said  he                                                               
reviewed the summary of changes  and thought that the sponsor was                                                               
on the right track.  He offered his support for HB 199.                                                                         
10:09:23 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRISTINA EDWIN said as a member  of the [Cup'ik] tribe she would                                                               
like to give  voice to tribal consultation  and indigenous people                                                               
of the  state.  She  was not sure  of all  of the changes  in the                                                               
bill.   She stated  that salmon  has sustained  indigenous people                                                               
for thousands  of years.   This  bill would  provide a  means for                                                               
more  citizens  and  agencies  across Alaska  to  engage  in  the                                                               
process of any large-scale mining  or logging projects.  She also                                                               
wished  that testifiers  could have  more than  three minutes  to                                                               
testify since some  have depended on the  renewable resources for                                                               
10:11:22 AM                                                                                                                   
ALYSSA QUINTYNE  spoke in  support of  HB 199.   She  offered her                                                               
belief that this  was a good step to  protect Alaska's waterways,                                                               
salmon and the  communities that depend on salmon.   She directed                                                               
attention to  the importance  of HB 199  in giving  communities a                                                               
voice  in the  projects and  developments taking  place in  their                                                               
communities.    She   said  the  legislators  owe   it  to  their                                                               
constituents to  protect the resources  while engaging  with them                                                               
to allow  them to have  a voice  with anything that  would impact                                                               
their livelihoods or jobs.  She thanked the committee.                                                                          
10:13:03 AM                                                                                                                   
PETE  RODDY testified  in  support of  ballot  initiative and  he                                                               
appreciated the committee's work  to develop legislative language                                                               
which  reflected the  intent  [to protect  salmon  habitat].   He                                                               
expressed  concern  that  there   was  not  any  requirement  for                                                               
[indisc.] waterways be  proven not to be anadromous.   He related                                                               
from  his  experience  forty  years  ago  discovering  anadromous                                                               
streams  while [working  on] logging  roads  in Southeast  Alaska                                                               
when fish  barriers would  not be  required because  streams were                                                               
not on the anadromous streams listing  based on survey notes.  He                                                               
expressed  concern that  the bill  might only  protect anadromous                                                               
streams  listed in  the state's  list of  anadromous waters.   He                                                               
suggested that this would be totally inadequate.                                                                                
10:14:29 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  asked the witness  to confirm  his statement                                                               
that he had  worked in forestry.  She asked  whether he worked as                                                               
an Alaska  Department of Fish  & Game employee  cataloging waters                                                               
for the anadromous catalog.   She asked for clarification whether                                                               
he  had survey  notes that  were passed  along and  that did  not                                                               
require fish barriers.                                                                                                          
MR. RODDY  responded that there  was not any requirement  for the                                                               
US Forest Service  or their contractors to  provide fish passage.                                                               
He offered  his belief that  if someone  was going to  develop or                                                               
build [a  road] it was  incumbent on  the developer to  prove the                                                               
waters that  would be  blocked were not  anadromous streams.   He                                                               
related his  understanding that only  about half the  waters were                                                               
listed in the anadromous waterways catalog.                                                                                     
10:16:17 AM                                                                                                                   
SPENCER SEVERSON stated  that he has been  a commercial fisherman                                                               
in  Southeast   Alaska  for  35   years.    He   appreciated  the                                                               
committee's  efforts on  HB 199,  but he  felt it  fell short  to                                                               
protect fish.   He expressed concern that fish  must be protected                                                               
since  Alaskans  depended on  fisheries.    He acknowledged  that                                                               
mining and  development were  also very  important to  Alaska but                                                               
protecting fish must be a priority.                                                                                             
10:17:27 AM                                                                                                                   
KEITH NYITRAY stated  he has lived in Alaska for  nearly 40 years                                                               
and  worked for  several years  as  a commercial  fisherman.   He                                                               
emphasized  that  the  health  of  Alaska's  fisheries  was  very                                                               
important to him.  He offered  his support for HB 199 although he                                                               
thought the  bill could  be improved.   He thanked  the committee                                                               
for  working to  protect  Alaska's salmon  especially for  future                                                               
10:17:54 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  NYITRAY expressed  concern about  the effects  of mining  on                                                               
fisheries.  He stated that time  and time again throughout the US                                                               
and  other   countries,  the  mining  industry   has  reaped  the                                                               
resources  and devastated  the land  despite assurances  that the                                                               
industry  would  never  do  so.   Some  companies  have  declared                                                               
bankruptcy   only  to   leave  local,   regional,  and   national                                                               
governments to  pay for the  cleanup if  even possible to  do so.                                                               
He  offered his  belief  that  it was  time  to stop  privatizing                                                               
company  profits   and  incurring   and  socializing   the  risks                                                               
associated with mining.   He emphasized the  legislators' job was                                                               
to represent  and do what  is best for  Alaskans and not  what is                                                               
best    for    transnational   corporations    and    non-Alaskan                                                               
MR. NYITRAY stated that Alaska's  fisheries and fish-related jobs                                                               
in  any region  are  sustainable; however,  mining  jobs are  not                                                               
since mining  extracts the resources  forever.  He  asked members                                                               
to   consider  whether   to  support   renewable  resources   for                                                               
generations to  come or something  that is  not.  He  offered his                                                               
support for [HB 199].                                                                                                           
10:19:17 AM                                                                                                                   
PETER  BRADLEY thanked  the  committee for  its  work to  protect                                                               
salmon habitat.   He offered  his belief  that the bill  has been                                                               
watered down  from previous  iterations.   He suggested  that the                                                               
committee reconsider  and revisit  some of the  stronger language                                                               
surrounding permitting, enforcement, and accountability.                                                                        
10:19:54 AM                                                                                                                   
JOHN MURRAY stated he was  a commercial fisherman. He offered his                                                               
belief the  bill represented an  important means  for discussion,                                                               
especially with respect  to the upcoming initiative.   He thanked                                                               
the committee for its work.                                                                                                     
10:20:41 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS thanked  everyone from Sitka taking                                                               
time to testify on a Saturday morning.                                                                                          
10:21:04 AM                                                                                                                   
FREDERICK  OLSEN, JR.,  Tribal  President,  Organized Village  of                                                               
Kasaan;   Chair,   Southeast  Alaska   Indigenous   Transboundary                                                               
Commission,  stated  that  words  really  matter.    He  recalled                                                               
growing  up hearing  Alaska  referred to  as  a natural  resource                                                               
extraction state.   Some wear  it as a  badge of honor,  he said.                                                               
He offered his  belief it was another word for  colony and it was                                                               
time to stop treating Alaska like  a colony.  He further asked to                                                               
stop making  excuses for temporary companies  that make permanent                                                               
damage to Alaskans way  of life.  It was not  okay to take nature                                                               
for granted.  The false  balance of temporary jobs with outsiders                                                               
versus the whole world is not going to work, he said.                                                                           
MR. OLSEN,  JR. stated  that laws matter.   Alaska's  mining laws                                                               
were  way  outdated.    He   stressed  that  Alaska  was  already                                                               
experiencing death by  a thousand cuts, noting  wild animals were                                                               
being pushed away.  Forests were  being cut down.  He offered his                                                               
belief  that  the   salmon  derby  would  also   disappear.    He                                                               
emphasized  the need  for responsible  development.   He recalled                                                               
astronauts looking at  earth [in 1969] that seemed  so small from                                                               
the  moon.   He  emphasized  that  earth  is the  only  habitable                                                               
planet.  He suggested Alaska  could learn from the careful habits                                                               
of astronauts  and be  vigilant on  earth.   He asked  members to                                                               
please support HB 199.                                                                                                          
10:23:29 AM                                                                                                                   
BRYCE NIVER stated  his support for HB 199.   He urged members to                                                               
adopt stronger  language to protect salmon-producing  waters.  He                                                               
has  been a  fisherman his  entire  life and  has benefited  from                                                               
Alaska's  resources.    He  urged  members  to  protect  Alaska's                                                               
waterways because  it was important  to him that his  children be                                                               
able to fish.                                                                                                                   
10:24:18 AM                                                                                                                   
RICKY GEASE stated that Alaska  Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)                                                               
says the decline in king salmon  was due to effects in the marine                                                               
CHAIR STUTES asked him to confine his testimony to HB 199.                                                                      
MR. GEASE  said the issue was  whether to make changes  that were                                                               
being   pulled  in   from  the   sustainable  salmon   policy  in                                                               
regulation.   He did  not think that  this bill  dealt adequately                                                               
with culverts.   He  offered his belief  that the  most important                                                               
thing  for  fish habitat  protection  would  be to  make  culvert                                                               
regulations related to  bank full width and not  just for average                                                               
flow.   This  has been  done on  the Kenai  Peninsula, which  has                                                               
proven really effective, but it has not been done statewide.                                                                    
10:26:22 AM                                                                                                                   
DIANNA  GARFIELD, Co-owner,  Seabright  Seafood,  stated she  was                                                               
testifying on  behalf of  her husband,  herself, and  their small                                                               
business,  Seabright  Seafood.   She  related  that she  and  her                                                               
husband are commercial fishermen,  salmon trollers, in Ketchikan.                                                               
She said  her entire marketing  strategy was direct  marketing of                                                               
top-quality sustainable salmon from Alaska's pristine waters.                                                                   
MS. GARFIELD  stated she grew up  in New England and  watched the                                                               
commercial fishing industry  collapse.  She was happy  to move to                                                               
Alaska where  its industry  had the reputation  of being  so well                                                               
managed.   The  flip side  to well-managed  marine fisheries  was                                                               
well-managed  regulations  that  protect   the  ability  of  fish                                                               
species to  breed.  She  offered her support  for HB 199  and the                                                               
Stand for Salmon  initiative to protect the fish  habitat of this                                                               
renewable resource.   She said  it was important for  their small                                                               
business  and the  livelihood  of many  community  members.   She                                                               
emphasized  the need  for the  strongest  regulations to  protect                                                               
salmon streams and prevent industry from wiping out salmon.                                                                     
10:28:07 AM                                                                                                                   
ALEXUS KWACHKA said he agreed with  nearly all the testimony.  He                                                               
said he  wholeheartedly supports HB 199.   He stated that  he did                                                               
not think it went  far enough but HB 199 was a  step in the right                                                               
direction.   He said  that Alaska needs  to lead  its sustainable                                                               
fisheries into the  future.  He stressed the  past tragedies that                                                               
have  occurred in  Europe or  the  Eastern United  States to  the                                                               
Pacific Northwest.   He emphasized  that Alaska was the  last one                                                               
left.  Please continue to  work and put additional protections in                                                               
the bill, he said.                                                                                                              
10:29:01 AM                                                                                                                   
JILL  SCHAEFER stated  she and  her husband  own a  lodge on  the                                                               
Kenai  River.   She  testified  in opposition  to  HB  199.   She                                                               
characterized the bill as being  highly flawed.  The fish habitat                                                               
was  already  being  protected   and  permitting  processes  were                                                               
already in effect  to do so.    She wondered what  was failing so                                                               
badly that this bill  is needed.  She said she  had not heard one                                                               
example that highlighted the problem.   The burden of HB 199 does                                                               
not just  fall on  big industries and  companies but  on everyday                                                               
Alaskans,  she  said.   She  emphasized  that federal  and  state                                                               
permitting processes  and restrictions already exist  in terms of                                                               
salmon  habitat in  spawning areas.    She objected  to the  bill                                                               
because  it  would  increase  government   at  a  time  when  the                                                               
legislature cannot fund government that currently exists.                                                                       
10:31:01 AM                                                                                                                   
MAUREEN KNUTSEN,  Commercial Fisherman said she  was representing                                                               
herself  and her  husband  and she  has  been commercial  fishing                                                               
since  1975.   She  thanked the  sponsor, Representative  Stutes.                                                               
She  gave a  shout out  to her  Representative Bryce  Edgmon, who                                                               
represents the  area.  She  offered her support  for HB 199.   It                                                               
probably  was not  a  perfect bill,  but it  is  better than  the                                                               
current  law, she  said.   She  offered her  belief that  habitat                                                               
protection  would  keep the  salmon  stocks  healthy and  strong,                                                               
especially when considering  projects like the Pebble  Mine.  She                                                               
recalled testifying  10 years ago  [against the Pebble  Mine] but                                                               
it has  taken this  long to  get some action.   She  recalled the                                                               
University of  Washington had testified  that many  streams exist                                                               
in  the  headwaters  of the  Naknek-Kvichak  river  that  contain                                                               
anadromous fish but have not been documented.                                                                                   
10:33:15 AM                                                                                                                   
KRISTEN COLLINS  spoke in  support of HB  199, relating  that she                                                               
relies on  salmon for  food.  She  respectfully disagreed  with a                                                               
previous  testifier,   who  said  the  existing   management  was                                                               
sufficient.  She offered her  belief that salmon runs having been                                                               
declining throughout Alaska.   She did not want to  look back and                                                               
realize  that the  legislature could  have made  a difference  by                                                               
strengthening habitat laws but did not  do so.  She urged members                                                               
to pass HB 199.                                                                                                                 
10:35:18 AM                                                                                                                   
GAYLA HOSETH  thanked the  bill sponsor for  her work  to protect                                                               
salmon  habitat and  also for  the work  others have  done.   She                                                               
offered her belief that salmon  habitat needed protection and the                                                               
60-year-old law  needed to be  updated.  She emphasized  the need                                                               
for  a strong  public process  that  allows voices  to be  heard.                                                               
Salmon need protection since people  throughout Alaska rely on it                                                               
for food  and share  it with  people throughout  the world.   She                                                               
said  it  was  important  to   provide  protection  for  Alaska's                                                               
resources and for  responsible development.  We  need clean water                                                               
and Alaska must  protect its waters for future  generations.  She                                                               
strongly   supported  the   salmon   habitat  ballot   initiative                                                               
language, too.                                                                                                                  
10:36:29 AM                                                                                                                   
LAURA MASTRELLA, Commercial Fisherman,  stated she was testifying                                                               
on behalf  of herself and  her family.   She thanked  members for                                                               
working on  salmon habitat protection.   She said she has  been a                                                               
commercial salmon  troller in Southeast  Alaska for 27  years she                                                               
and  her  partner  have  raised  five children.    Two  of  their                                                               
children  have made  significant investment  in salmon  trolling,                                                               
she  said.    She  offered  support  for  the  Stand  for  Salmon                                                               
initiative as well as HB  199 since these measures offer stronger                                                               
protection  for  salmon habitat.    She  said habitat  protection                                                               
provides  additional protection  for  her job  and  those of  her                                                               
children.   In the Chilkat  Valley logging and  industrial mining                                                               
activities have  loomed over the  salmon producing  rivers, which                                                               
feels threatening  to her.   She offered  her belief  that salmon                                                               
habitat protection  needs to be  a priority.   Commercial fishing                                                               
has provided  jobs and will do  so over the long  term, while she                                                               
viewed logging and industrial mining  as temporary by nature with                                                               
many people coming in from the Lower 48.                                                                                        
10:38:28 AM                                                                                                                   
MEGHAN   GERVAIS,   Commercial    Fisherman,   stated   she   was                                                               
representing herself,  her husband,  and her three  children, who                                                               
are all salmon  fishermen.  They commercial fish  in Bristol Bay,                                                               
but  also  participate  in personal  use  subsistence  and  sport                                                               
fishing.  She  said that her family relies on  salmon, which also                                                               
is  part of  their culture.   She  characterized salmon  as being                                                               
"our heart  and our soul."   She asked  to testify in  support of                                                               
the strongest protection  possible for salmon habitat.   She said                                                               
her  family was  terrified of  the prospect  of the  Pebble Mine.                                                               
She  supported  anything  the  state  could  do  to  support  the                                                               
commercial fishing jobs.                                                                                                        
10:39:42 AM                                                                                                                   
ROCHELLE HARRISON  stated she represented herself  and her family                                                               
who have operated  a camp for sport fishermen for  35 years.  She                                                               
said that  this bill was very  important to them.   She expressed                                                               
concern that  the law had  been weakened, that what  is important                                                               
is for Alaskans  to have a voice in the  permitting process.  She                                                               
further emphasized  the need for strong  enforcement standards to                                                               
protect salmon habitat.  She  would like to see accountability to                                                               
ensure salmon habitat protection.   She said her family relies on                                                               
the fisheries and  has had a sustainable lifestyle.   She offered                                                               
her support  for HB  199.   She expressed  her gratitude  for the                                                               
work the committee members are doing on this bill.                                                                              
10:41:42 AM                                                                                                                   
CAROL FORD  stated she  was testifying on  behalf of  her family,                                                               
especially for her granddaughter.   She thanked members for their                                                               
work on HB  199 and she hoped the bill  will become even stronger                                                               
and will  pass.  She  was encouraged  by the direction  this bill                                                               
took since  it recognizes that  Alaska has been a  fishing state,                                                               
where wild  salmon live and  renew Alaskans  and the rest  of the                                                               
world.  She  thought perhaps the state lost sight  of that or has                                                               
been  moving  off  balance.     She  hoped  the  committee  would                                                               
strengthen HB 199 and pass it to protect Alaska's salmon.                                                                       
10:44:08 AM                                                                                                                   
GEORGIANA  HEAVERLEY  stated  she  grew   up  in  Nikiski.    She                                                               
graduated from the University of  Alaska Fairbanks and works as a                                                               
commercial  fish  gillnetter in  Cook  Inlet.   She  offered  her                                                               
support for  HB 199.   She  offered her  belief that  the current                                                               
permitting development  project protection  in fish  and wildlife                                                               
habitat  needs  to  be updated  to  ensure  responsible  resource                                                               
development  and protection  for salmon  for future  generations.                                                               
She  said Alaskans  deserve a  stronger voice  in the  permitting                                                               
process.   As  a commercial  fisherman and  poet, she  closed her                                                               
testimony from her poem titled,  "Our Alaskan Responsibility," as                                                               
     We all call  this state home, people  and salmon alike.                                                                    
     I just have  to say that when we do  things just right,                                                                    
     our proud state  thrives and is the joy  of the nation,                                                                    
     because everyone  recognizes the  strongest foundation,                                                                    
     that  Alaskans make  up.    We set  the  blue and  gold                                                                    
     standard,  so let's  not fail  now and  please hear  my                                                                    
     words, because someday I'll  grandkids and they'll have                                                                    
     them, too.   I wish with all of my  heart that they get                                                                    
     to  go through  a  strong fishing  season  on a  clean-                                                                    
     powered  vessel, and  that fuel  and  those salmon  are                                                                    
     just  as special  as they  were when  I lived  in these                                                                    
     critical days,  where we must  do our part and  not get                                                                    
     in the  way of protecting  our salmon and thus  our way                                                                    
     of   life   and   ensure   we   are   responsible   for                                                                    
     sustainability is in sight.                                                                                                
10:46:17 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRISTINE HUTCHESON stated  her opposition to HB  199 because the                                                               
bill was  premature given that  the state  will be voting  on the                                                               
issue [on the  Stand for Salmon initiative].  She  viewed this as                                                               
additional burdensome government regulation  and permitting.  She                                                               
encouraged members not  to pass the bill.  She  was unsure if the                                                               
bill had any  fiscal notes; however, she did not  think the state                                                               
was in  a fiscal position to  finance the proposal.   She offered                                                               
her belief that the initiative should happen first.                                                                             
10:48:28 AM                                                                                                                   
MAKO  HAGGERTY said  the  bill  was important  but  needed to  be                                                               
stronger.   Salmon touches people  directly and indirectly.   The                                                               
best way  to protect salmon  was to  protect salmon habitat.   He                                                               
offered his belief that everyone,  even those opposed to the bill                                                               
understood the importance  of salmon habitat.   He cautioned that                                                               
the failure  to protect salmon  habitat would lead to  salmon run                                                               
failures and  no one  wants that  to happen in  Alaska.   He said                                                               
that HB  199 takes a step  in that direction.   He emphasized the                                                               
importance of  local runs to  residents, which was why  the state                                                               
should  allow residents  a  voice in  the  permitting process  on                                                               
projects.   Although some  people viewed  the bill  as increasing                                                               
government,  it would  also provide  Alaskan  residents a  voice,                                                               
which  gives people  power over  transnational corporations.   He                                                               
expressed concern that  the bill might get weakened.   He thanked                                                               
the committee for hearing the bill.                                                                                             
10:51:03 AM                                                                                                                   
KONRAD SCHAAD, testifying on behalf  of himself and his two sons,                                                               
said  he moved  to  Alaska from  Switzerland 38  years  ago.   He                                                               
remembered   seeing   pictures   of  salmon   being   caught   in                                                               
Switzerland's Rhine River  and its tributaries, but  the last one                                                               
was caught about  100 years ago.  He related  a viable commercial                                                               
fishery from  Holland to the  Alps once existed, but  salmon were                                                               
not  protected, and  these  fisheries no  longer  exist as  their                                                               
waters became  polluted and the  rivers were dammed.   He offered                                                               
his belief  that Alaska sits  at a  turning point since  it still                                                               
has the  most productive  salmon streams.   He  expressed concern                                                               
that projects on  the horizon could adversely affect  salmon.  He                                                               
offered  his support  for HB  199 but  spoke in  favor of  adding                                                               
stronger language.   He  emphasized the need  to give  Alaskans a                                                               
voice, for  enforceable rules for salmon  habitat protection, and                                                               
to  give  the Alaska  Department  of  Fish  & Game  authority  to                                                               
protect  salmon  habitat.    He   further  suggested  a  two-tier                                                               
permitting system to streamline  permits since the current system                                                               
used the same permit application for  a culvert or a Pebble Mine.                                                               
He  stressed  promoting   responsible  development  by  requiring                                                               
projects to minimize the impact  and not issue permits that would                                                               
jeopardize salmon streams.                                                                                                      
10:53:08 AM                                                                                                                   
DYLAN BRAUND testified in support of  HB 199 and stated he was at                                                               
the legislative information office  (LIO) with his two commercial                                                               
fishing  sons to  give  them a  civics lesson.    The impetus  of                                                               
statehood was to protect salmon,  that Article VIII, Section 4 of                                                               
Alaska's   Constitution   stated,   "Fish,   forests,   wildlife,                                                               
grasslands, and  all other  replenishable resources  belonging to                                                               
the State  shall be  utilized, developed,  and maintained  on the                                                               
sustained   yield  principle,   subject   to  preferences   among                                                               
beneficial uses."  He said  that fisheries should be regulated in                                                               
the  ocean habitat  according  to  exacting, stringent,  science-                                                               
based management  codified by the  Board of Fish  and implemented                                                               
by ADF&G by the principle of  sustained yield.  This approach has                                                               
led  to over  50 years  of sustainable  fisheries management  and                                                               
made Alaska a global model.                                                                                                     
MR. BRAUND remarked that legislators  were now being asked by the                                                               
same  Board of  Fisheries to  apply  an approach  which has  been                                                               
implemented in the marine habitat  to riparian habitat.  He asked                                                               
how  the  state could  ensure  sustained  yield without  riparian                                                               
habitat  protection.   The statement  of policy  in Section  1 of                                                               
Alaska's Constitution  requires development  of its  resources by                                                               
making them  available for  the maximum  use consistent  with the                                                               
public interest.   Section  2 states  that the  legislature shall                                                               
provide  for the  utilization, development,  and conservation  of                                                               
all-natural resources belonging to  the state, including land and                                                               
waters, for the maximum benefit of its people.                                                                                  
10:54:27 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. BRAUND  stated that  conservation is  the cornerstone  of the                                                               
state's  maximum  use  policy.     The  constitutional  delegates                                                               
understood this term to include wise  use.  He offered his belief                                                               
that  salmon  is the  key  species  in the  watershed  ecosystem.                                                               
Maximum  use  requires  intact fully-functioning  ecosystems,  he                                                               
said.  In closing, salmon  sustains the state, communities, jobs,                                                               
families, and  subsistence and provides  the binding  thread that                                                               
ties  Alaskans  together.    He   stated  that  riparian  habitat                                                               
sustains salmon  and must be managed  by science-based management                                                               
practices.      He    expressed   concern   about   foreign-based                                                               
corporations applying  for permits that may  adversely affect the                                                               
largest sockeye salmon fishery.                                                                                                 
10:55:47 AM                                                                                                                   
BRIAN LYNCH  said he has  been a  39-year resident of  Alaska and                                                               
36-year resident  of Petersburg,  a community whose  lifeblood is                                                               
absolutely  dependent  upon  healthy  salmon  resources.    As  a                                                               
retired biologist  of ADF&G with  over 30 years of  experience in                                                               
research  and commercial  fisheries  management,  he offered  his                                                               
support for HB 199.   He related that early in  his career he ran                                                               
a project  on the Stikine  River conducting spawning  and rearing                                                               
habitat studies in anticipation  of construction of hydroelectric                                                               
project  proposed by  DC  Hydro.   He  said  that thankfully  the                                                               
project  was never  constructed.   He related  he has  experience                                                               
with salmon  rearing and salmon  spawning requirements.   He also                                                               
served for nine years on  the Pacific Salmon Commission's Chinook                                                               
technical committee,  where he obtained  a full  understanding of                                                               
the economic effects of salmon  habitat degradation.  The battles                                                               
that the  US has with Canada  and the southern US  over dwindling                                                               
stocks  and   quotas  within  the  salmon   treaty  process  have                                                               
everything  to  do  with  habitat   degradation  in  the  Pacific                                                               
Northwest and British Columbia, he said.                                                                                        
10:57:00 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. LYNCH urged  members not to think it cannot  happen here.  He                                                               
grew up  in Oregon and  witnessed it  firsthand.  He  pointed out                                                               
that this year  Southeast Alaska has experienced  the most severe                                                               
commercial  and  sport  fish  harvest  restrictions  for  Chinook                                                               
salmon have  occurred.  He  acknowledged that  these restrictions                                                               
were related  to ocean survival  and not habitat  degradation, it                                                               
was  imperative to  provide salmon  habitat protections  in fresh                                                               
water.     Although  it  was   not  possible  to   control  ocean                                                               
conditions, the  state can and  must protect and  maintain salmon                                                               
spawning  and  rearing habitat  to  the  highest level  possible.                                                               
Unfortunately, he did not believe that was currently happening.                                                                 
MR.  LYNCH  thanked  committee   members  for  their  efforts  to                                                               
increase  habitat  protections  on the  transboundary  rivers  of                                                               
British Columbia in  Washington D.C.  He said it  was now time to                                                               
fully  demonstrate  the committee  has  the  same concerns  about                                                               
salmon habitat in Alaska.  He urged members to support HB 199.                                                                  
10:58:17 AM                                                                                                                   
JIM  SCHRAMEK asked  to  testify  on behalf  of  himself and  his                                                               
family, particularly his  18-month old grandson.  He  said he has                                                               
resided  in   Petersburg  for  over   40  years,  working   as  a                                                               
hydrologist  for  the US  Forest  Service,  and as  a  geographic                                                               
information systems  (GIS) coordinator.  He  agreed with previous                                                               
testifiers, especially to strengthen the  bill and to support the                                                               
Stand for  Salmon ballot  initiative.  One  thing he  has learned                                                               
about  cataloging  streams  was  that  a  significant  number  of                                                               
tributaries exist, he said.   He emphasized that the state cannot                                                               
only rely  on the current  cataloged data  to provide all  of the                                                               
answers with  respect to development  decisions and it  must have                                                               
on-site  investigation.   He  said  it  was more  complicated  to                                                               
account  for   all  the  anadromous   streams.    The   types  of                                                               
development being  proposed would risk downstream  habitat and it                                                               
was really  important that  the state  make the  right decisions,                                                               
but it could  not be done without having all  the information and                                                               
the process to use it effectively.                                                                                              
11:00:40 AM                                                                                                                   
JOAN TRAVOSTINO  spoke in opposition  to HB 199.   She identified                                                               
herself as  someone who has  voted in every election  since 1982.                                                               
She said  that Alaska's economy needed  responsible management of                                                               
a diverse economy,  including mining, forestry, oil  and gas, and                                                               
fisheries.    These  natural  resources   needed  to  be  managed                                                               
together  to create  a  diverse  economy.   She  has heard  prior                                                               
testimony  supporting  healthy  salmon fisheries  and  expressing                                                               
concern  about  the Pebble  Mine;  however,  a robust  permitting                                                               
process currently  exists.  She did  not see the need  for HB 199                                                               
since she does not see the problem the bill was trying to fix.                                                                  
11:02:04 AM                                                                                                                   
GAIL  PHILLIPS offered  her strong  opposition  to HB  199.   She                                                               
related that  she has  lived in  many communities  throughout the                                                               
state.   According to the sponsor  statement HB 199 was  known as                                                               
the  Wild Salmon  Legacy  Act,  but it  should  be  known as  the                                                               
Shutdown Alaska's Development  Act.  She offered  her belief that                                                               
if Title  16 needed to be  updated, it should have  been the goal                                                               
of the  bill.  Unfortunately,  this bill attempted  to circumvent                                                               
common sense  so completely that  it would negatively  affect any                                                               
large or  small development project throughout  Alaska, she said.                                                               
For  decades  Alaska  has  bragged  that  it  has  the  strictest                                                               
fisheries protection  laws in the world.   If this was  true, she                                                               
wondered why  it was necessary to  make changes to the  law.  She                                                               
offered her  belief that  this was just  another attempt  to stop                                                               
the Pebble  Mine project or  any other large mine  or development                                                               
11:03:25 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  PHILLIPS pointed  out that  Alaskans understand  honesty and                                                               
forthrightness;  however, this  bill  was neither.   It  appeared                                                               
that  this bill  was  unilaterally trying  to  change the  entire                                                               
permitting process  into a  denial process.   She  reiterated her                                                               
strong opposition to  HB 199 since Alaska already  has a rigorous                                                               
system in place to protect  its waterways, communities and lands.                                                               
These systems  have worked well  for many years.   The regulatory                                                               
system already  provided protection  of Alaska's  resources while                                                               
at the same  time it allows economic and  resource development to                                                               
occur.  She urged members not to move this bill forward.                                                                        
11:04:31 AM                                                                                                                   
TIM TROLL,  Executive Director, Bristol  Bay Heritage  Land Trust                                                               
stated  that  the  trust  was formed  by  the  Choggiung  Limited                                                               
Village Corporation in 2000.   He related that through easements,                                                               
the BBHLT  has helped  protect some 34  thousand acres  of salmon                                                               
habitat  in Bristol  Bay.   He testified  in support  of HB  199,                                                               
particularly in its original form.                                                                                              
MR.  TROLL stated  that in  2008  the Bristol  Bay Heritage  Land                                                               
Trust  participated in  and helped  fund an  intensive effort  to                                                               
catalog the anadromous  streams project in the  headwaters of the                                                               
Nushagak and Kvichak watershed.   The effort lasted six years and                                                               
resulted in  adding hundreds  of streams  to Alaska's  catalog of                                                               
anadromous  waters.   He recalled  in  the early  days of  stream                                                               
sampling that one  question often arose.  They  wondered why this                                                               
sampling was  even necessary.   Every time a helicopter  flew out                                                               
to sample salmon, the sampling  crew found salmon in every stream                                                               
segment they sampled  and even found salmon above  beaver dams or                                                               
what appeared to be isolated ponds.   He noted that they had been                                                               
sampling to prove  the obvious, that salmon had  been thriving in                                                               
this landscape for  thousands of years.  He  summarized by saying                                                               
that the starting point assumption  in Bristol Bay should be that                                                               
all streams  are anadromous,  and that all  parts of  the streams                                                               
are important.  He reiterated his support for HB 199.                                                                           
11:07:05 AM                                                                                                                   
BILL HAUSER,  Owner, Fish-Talk,  stated he  has a  30-year career                                                               
with ADF&G.  He said fish  need good quality habitat.  He offered                                                               
his support for  HB 199.  Raw materials were  needed for any type                                                               
of production  and for fish the  raw material is habitat.   Using                                                               
it for  manufacturing, the  habitat would be  used once,  but for                                                               
fish it is reusable and renewable.                                                                                              
MR.  HAUSER said  the importance  of  fish and  fish habitat  was                                                               
recognized at statehood and is  built into Alaska's constitution.                                                               
He  related  that  he  has been  working  with  his  professional                                                               
society to  hold a  meeting of  fisheries scientists  from Alaska                                                               
and the  Western United States, including  scientists coming from                                                               
states whose  salmon populations have  been depleted.   He stated                                                               
that fish habitat was necessary if  Alaska wants to have fish for                                                               
future generations.  He urged members to support HB 199.                                                                        
11:09:48 AM                                                                                                                   
ED  GOHR  stated  he  disagreed  with HB  199  because  it  would                                                               
seriously impact  communities and  economic development,  and the                                                               
future gas pipeline.                                                                                                            
11:10:22 AM                                                                                                                   
JOHN STURGEON, offered his opposition  to HB 199, stating that he                                                               
thought the  bill was anti-development, made  false promises, and                                                               
contained  very little  science.   He  has worked  in the  forest                                                               
products industry  in Alaska for  48 years,  industries regulated                                                               
by the Forest  Practices Act (FPA).  He stated  the FPA was based                                                               
on real  science and focuses  on clean water,  reforestation, and                                                               
protection of salmon habitat.                                                                                                   
MR.  STURGEON  disagreed  with   an  earlier  testifier  who  had                                                               
suggested some salmon streams were  not protected and catalogued.                                                               
He  described the  process such  that  ADF&G walks  the area  and                                                               
foresters also track the streams.   He said that to state streams                                                               
are not catalogued is not true  at least in his experience in the                                                               
forest industry.                                                                                                                
MR. STURGEON, in terms of  stream buffers, said that the industry                                                               
has found that 95 percent of  large woody debris came from within                                                               
66 feet of the streams  so a 200-foot buffer [offers protection].                                                               
He concluded by stating he opposed the bill.                                                                                    
11:12:15 AM                                                                                                                   
CHIP TREINEN thanked the committee  for its efforts in addressing                                                               
a very real issue.  He hoped  members would pass HB 199 and allow                                                               
it to  go through the  legislative process.    He  suggested that                                                               
some  people have  proprietary interests  and  are delusional  to                                                               
think a  robust system protects  fish habitat  at this time.   He                                                               
said it  was clear that  protections for salmon habitat  are weak                                                               
and need to be strengthened.   He appreciated the work to achieve                                                               
consensus  and is  a step  forward  even though  he would  prefer                                                               
stronger protections.                                                                                                           
11:13:47 AM                                                                                                                   
JOHN S. SONIN stated he strongly  supported HB 199.  He expressed                                                               
concern about development in the  Taku River drainage area (audio                                                               
11:16:18 AM                                                                                                                   
JOHN LAMBORN, Geologist, stated he  has been working in Alaska in                                                               
the  mining industry  since  1985.   He  has  worked on  multiple                                                               
prospects in several  mines.  He has seen  the permitting process                                                               
to put a mine into production go  from 18 months to 18 years.  He                                                               
expressed concern that  the time could double.  The  time lag was                                                               
not due to mining disasters  since the industry has been diligent                                                               
and working with government agencies  to build mines that are not                                                               
prone  to environmental  disasters.   Based on  its history,  the                                                               
mining industry  has performed well,  and the  current permitting                                                               
process has worked  well.  Alaska's mining  industry has fostered                                                               
hope  and brought  benefits to  all communities  that it  serves.                                                               
Without  exception the  mining  community in  Alaska  has been  a                                                               
locally derived  and supported part  every community it  has been                                                               
involved  in;  for   example,  the  two  mines   in  Juneau  were                                                               
vehemently opposed but are now pillars of the community.                                                                        
MR. LAMBORN stated  that the mining industry  works diligently to                                                               
set standards  for the world  in environmental stewardship.   The                                                               
permitting  system has  been improved  through decades  of study,                                                               
effort, and  experience.  Under  the existing  permitting system,                                                               
it takes  three to  five years  of baseline  studies to  begin to                                                               
file  for permitting.   He  questioned  what was  wrong with  the                                                               
current system.   He urged members to leave it  alone since it is                                                               
a   science-based   permitting   system.      The   bill   (audio                                                               
difficulties) encompasses  the entire  state.  He  predicted that                                                               
under the bill  all industry and communities  would be negatively                                                               
impacted, including oil and  gas industry, municipal communities,                                                               
and individuals.  It encompasses all Alaskans.                                                                                  
MR. LAMBORN  related his understanding (audio  difficulties) that                                                               
it would  affect him  operating his boat.   He  reported Usibelli                                                               
Coal Mine  and Red Dog Mines  have been in production  for 75 and                                                               
33 years, respectively  and Greens Creek Mine  restarted 29 years                                                               
ago and began in the 1930s.                                                                                                     
CHAIR STUTES offered  to distribute his written  testimony to all                                                               
committee members.                                                                                                              
11:19:23 AM                                                                                                                   
JAMES  TANHA spoke  in  support  of HB  199  and  echoed what  95                                                               
percent of  the testifiers said,  which was  that it does  not go                                                               
far enough  but goes in the  right direction.  He  reiterated his                                                               
support for HB 199.                                                                                                             
11:20:16 AM                                                                                                                   
DOUGLAS MCINTOSH said  that HB 199 does not go  far enough but he                                                               
offered his support for the bill.                                                                                               
11:20:59 AM                                                                                                                   
COURTENAY  CARTY, Tribal  Administrator  Curyung Tribal  Council,                                                               
stated  the  council  works  with   state  and  federal  resource                                                               
managers to  protect our (indisc.)  in fish and  wildlife habitat                                                               
protection but in protection of Native children.                                                                                
MS.  CARTY  stated  that  the   Curyung  Tribal  Council  offered                                                               
resolution  2712 on  May 11th.    She said  that maintaining  the                                                               
sustainability  of  Alaska  is   important  for  Alaskans.    She                                                               
advocated for transparency and  open communication with effective                                                               
engagement with  stakeholders and  the public.   She  offered her                                                               
belief  that  enacting  HB  199   would  further  facilitate  the                                                               
intention  of the  writers of  Alaska's Constitution  outlined in                                                               
statement  of policy  of Article  VIII of  the natural  resources                                                               
section, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                 
     Section 1. Statement of Policy  It is the policy of the                                                                    
     State to encourage  the settlement of its  land and the                                                                    
     development of  its resources by making  them available                                                                    
     for maximum use consistent with the public interest.                                                                       
11:22:43 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. CARTY  stated that  implementing HB  199 would  provide ADF&G                                                               
with the  mechanisms to incorporate the  constitutional directive                                                               
making  these resources  available  for use  consistent with  the                                                               
public  interest.   She  suggested the  public  process in  state                                                               
permitting  lacked  opportunities   for  participating  that  the                                                               
federal government offers.                                                                                                      
11:23:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MICHAEL COLE  stated he has  a small sporting goods  business and                                                               
some affiliation to commercial fishing.   He thanked the sponsors                                                               
of HB 199.  He said he  has been involved in the fishing industry                                                               
his entire life.  He offered  his belief that it was important to                                                               
review  the permitting  process  for  nonrenewable resources  and                                                               
hold  industry accountable  for environmental  impacts to  salmon                                                               
habitat.   He emphasized that  salmon affects most Alaskans.   He                                                               
has considered degradation to salmon runs  in the Lower 48 and in                                                               
British  Columbia,  along  with  mining accidents.    He  favored                                                               
adding  additional  protections  to salmon  habitat  and  rearing                                                               
grounds or the future of salmon would be at risk.                                                                               
11:25:13 AM                                                                                                                   
STEPHANIE QUINN-DAVIDSON  thanked the  committee for its  work on                                                               
HB 199.   She offered  her belief  that the current  habitat laws                                                               
were not  working in  Alaska.   She pointed  out projects  in the                                                               
Kenai   and  Matanuska-Susitna   (Mat-SU)   areas  had   properly                                                               
permitted  projects  but  have been  linked  to  locally-impacted                                                               
salmon populations.  She cautioned  that with increased pressures                                                               
on the horizon  it was imperative to act now  to protect Alaska's                                                               
salmon.   She acknowledged  that Alaska  needs a  healthy economy                                                               
and healthy  salmon fisheries are  a critical part of  a thriving                                                               
economy in Alaska.                                                                                                              
MS.  QUINN-DAVIDSON said  this  bill was  an  attempt to  balance                                                               
economic   development   and   protection   of   salmon   through                                                               
responsible  development.   She supported  components of  HB 199,                                                               
but does  not support all  components.  She supported  the public                                                               
process, the  two-tier permitting  system, and  written rationale                                                               
from  the commissioner  of ADF&G  since it  creates transparency.                                                               
She  expressed  concern  that  the   current  bill  has  weakened                                                               
mitigation standards.  It was  unclear whether the developers can                                                               
restore and mitigate systems that  were away from the development                                                               
projects.   She questioned whether  that was an  appropriate form                                                               
of mitigation biologically, ecologically, or economically.                                                                      
11:26:40 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. QUINN-DAVIDSON  said she did  not approve that  hatcheries as                                                               
mitigation tools  were an  option in the  current bill.   Lastly,                                                               
she expressed  her disappointment that the  committee removed the                                                               
presumption of  anadromy from the  bill, although  she recognized                                                               
the reasoning was that above  certain elevations standards do not                                                               
exist.  She  expressed her preference to create  an exception for                                                               
areas  above  a  certain  elevation rather  than  to  remove  the                                                               
presumption as  a whole.   She offered  her belief that  the bill                                                               
needs to be strengthened and our salmon are worth it.                                                                           
11:28:15 AM                                                                                                                   
AMY  NYE stated  she comes  from a  family of  commercial troller                                                               
fishermen.  She  thanked the committee for their  work to protect                                                               
the  salmon  for future  generations.    Alaska has  enabled  its                                                               
people  to enjoy  the rich  and  varied benefits  that come  with                                                               
healthy  salmon  runs.   Her  family,  including  her  children's                                                               
grandparents,  have been  commercial fishing.   She  has observed                                                               
changes in commercial fishing over  time.  She emphasized that it                                                               
was clear  Alaska is  at a  crossroads in  salmon history.   Many                                                               
families,  such as  hers,  rely on  commercial  fishing, but  the                                                               
first serious  declines raise critical questions  about the long-                                                               
term  health of  Alaska's salmon.    She pointed  out many  areas                                                               
around the world, including Europe,  New England, California, and                                                               
the  Pacific Northwest  indicate changes  in the  natural systems                                                               
that salmon depend upon.                                                                                                        
MS.  NYE   said  small  incremental  losses   may  seem  harmless                                                               
individually;  however,  collectively  it is  more  difficult  to                                                               
remedy.  Declining  habitat for spawning and  rearing remains one                                                               
of  the  most  important  factors that  depress  salmon  runs  in                                                               
Alaska.   It  would be  tragic to  lose salmon  runs anywhere  in                                                               
Alaska because  the state  failed to  learn the  history lessons.                                                               
She highlighted  that this was  Alaska's chance to get  it right.                                                               
Given how  fundamental salmon are  to Alaska, state  leaders need                                                               
to  pass   meaningful  habitat  protections  and   define  proper                                                               
protections now,  so that Alaska could  live up to its  legacy as                                                               
the last and greatest home for wild salmon, she said.                                                                           
11:30:51 AM                                                                                                                   
The committee took an at-ease from 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.                                                                     
11:45:07 AM                                                                                                                   
SOMMERS  COLE,  Commercial  Fisherman,   stated  that  he  was  a                                                               
commercial gillnet fisherman, part-time  fly fisherman guide, and                                                               
has worked  this summer with  Stand for Salmon.   He said  he was                                                               
born  and raised  in  Juneau.   He advised  members  that he  had                                                               
delivered a letter earlier this  session signed by 200 commercial                                                               
fishermen in support of HB  199.  The permitting process statutes                                                               
have not  been updated  since statehood,  he said.   He  said the                                                               
letter outlined the need for  clear, science-based definitions of                                                               
important  habitat characteristics  that  must  be maintained  to                                                               
support  salmon  runs.    These  characteristics  included  water                                                               
quality, stream-flow levels,  and fish passage.   The letter also                                                               
highlighted  the  need for  all  salmon-bearing  watershed to  be                                                               
included in this  permitting process, a list far  longer than the                                                               
one  listed in  the  anadromous  waters catalog,  he  said.   The                                                               
letter  explained  the importance  of  public  notice and  public                                                               
comment  periods for  larger projects  because Alaskans  have the                                                               
right  to  know and  should  be  allowed  to comment  on  project                                                               
applications that  have the potential  to impact their  lives and                                                               
11:46:00 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. COLE said his letter  also included the need for common-sense                                                               
standards that developers  must meet to protect  wild salmon runs                                                               
as they  develop the project in  salmon habitat.  He  said it was                                                               
easy to  get mired  down; however,  something that  connected all                                                               
user groups  and Alaskans without  question was that  having more                                                               
salmon  return to  their  natal streams  was  good for  everyone.                                                               
Providing  adequate  protection to  salmon  habitat  was part  of                                                               
sound  management and  the single  most effective  way to  ensure                                                               
that this  crucial piece of  Alaska's sustainable economy  is not                                                               
eroded   as  the   state  grows   (audio  difficulties)   without                                                               
permanently displacing or devaluing our renewable resources.                                                                    
MR.  COLE  emphasized  that  Alaska is  the  world's  last  great                                                               
stronghold of  wild salmon.   Salmon  species once  ranged widely                                                               
throughout   the  northern   hemisphere.     California,  Oregon,                                                               
Washington, and British Columbia  have all experienced the recent                                                               
losses of strong  salmon populations.  He said,  "I often imagine                                                               
the great runs of the Columbia  River and what that fishery would                                                               
be  worth now  had they  acted with  foresight as  they grew  and                                                               
developed."     He  (audio  difficulties)  thanked   members  for                                                               
considering HB  199.  He  urged members  to please move  the bill                                                               
forward and continue to work  to continue to protect fish habitat                                                               
in  such a  way that  it protects  Alaska's salmon  fisheries for                                                               
generations to come.                                                                                                            
11:47:43 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked the witness  to resend letter signed by                                                               
the 200 fishermen to the committee.                                                                                             
MR. COLE agreed to provide it to the committee.                                                                                 
11:48:15 AM                                                                                                                   
BRIANNE  MECUM,  Commercial Fisherman,  stated  she  was born  in                                                               
Alaska  and she  and  her husband  operate  a gillnet  commercial                                                               
fishing  boat  in  Southeast  Alaska.     She  said  salmon  were                                                               
important to  her because she  understands how vital they  are to                                                               
the  state's  economy,  the health  of  Alaska's  ecosystem,  and                                                               
culture  and   the  spirit   of  all   Alaskans.     She  thanked                                                               
Representative  Stutes for  identifying the  shortcomings in  the                                                               
salmon habitat  permitting law  and for sponsoring  HB 199.   She                                                               
emphasized that habitat loss was  the leading cause of population                                                               
declines and extinctions for all species worldwide.                                                                             
MS. MECUM  said that  Alaska was  fortunate to  have some  of the                                                               
last strong wild  salmon runs in the world, primarily  due to the                                                               
intact  habitat.    Currently,   Alaska  has  an  opportunity  to                                                               
demonstrate  it   recognizes  its  good  fortune   and  show  its                                                               
willingness  to redefine  what it  meant to  develop responsibly.                                                               
She stated  that the  current salmon  habitat permitting  law was                                                               
weak.  The state should  not squander Alaska's greatest renewable                                                               
resource.   She  emphasized that  the state  can review  what has                                                               
happened in  Canada and the Lower  48 to see the  effect projects                                                               
have on wild salmon runs.   She asked whether this was the legacy                                                               
the  legislature  wanted  to  leave  for  future  generations  of                                                               
Alaskans.   She wondered  if the  state would  look back  at this                                                               
opportunity in  20, 50, or 100  years and regret not  having done                                                               
more to protect  one of Alaska's greatest assets.   She hoped the                                                               
committee  members  would  choose  to be  leaders  on  behalf  of                                                               
thousands of Alaskans who want  to see strong habitat protections                                                               
written  into  state   law.    So  many   factors  affect  salmon                                                               
populations and many of them  but are outside Alaska's control or                                                               
too complex  to navigate.   She suggested that  changing Alaska's                                                               
permitting law  was one of  the easiest solutions to  ensure that                                                               
Alaska remains  a world-wide leader in  sustainable fisheries and                                                               
that  development  does  not  occur  at the  expense  of  one  of                                                               
Alaska's most  important renewable resources.   She urged members                                                               
to continue this  conversation and pass a version of  HB 199 that                                                               
clearly accomplishes this.                                                                                                      
11:50:37 AM                                                                                                                   
MELANIE BROWN, Commercial Fisherman,  stated she was representing                                                               
herself,  but she  is  also  a tribal  citizen  in Naknek  Native                                                               
Village.   She said her  relationship with salmon extends  to how                                                               
she  tastes the  land and  water.   She offered  her belief  that                                                               
salmon wed  those two elements  together.  She resides  in Juneau                                                               
in   the  winter   months   (audio   difficulties)  extends   her                                                               
relationship to  Juneau.  She  said her relationship to  the land                                                               
represents a richness that defines her  as an Alaskan and she has                                                               
worked to protect and share this with other people.                                                                             
11:52:03 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. BROWN  said that what  remains in  the current version  of HB
199  was  a   vast  improvement  to  the   current  fish  habitat                                                               
protection  law;  however,  she   was  disappointed  to  see  the                                                               
presumption  of  anadromy removed.    She  understood since  some                                                               
people felt  there were  unintended consequences  associated with                                                               
it, but something needs to be done about it.                                                                                    
11:53:14 AM                                                                                                                   
JOE   EMERSON,  Commercial   Fisherman,  said   his  family   has                                                               
commercial fished  for three generations in  Southeast Alaska and                                                               
in  Kodiak.   He  has commercially  fished his  whole  life.   He                                                               
stated that  he and two other  Alaskans have a small  business in                                                               
Michigan and sell  wild Alaska salmon.  His  customers always ask                                                               
about the source  of the fish, whether the fish  has been managed                                                               
in  a sustainable  manner  and  they ask  about  the Pebble  Mine                                                               
project or the  Fukushima nuclear disaster.   When customers find                                                               
out  his wild  salmon  comes from  a  pristine environment,  they                                                               
enthusiastically  purchase his  wild-caught salmon  at a  premium                                                               
price.   He identified sustainability  as being important  to the                                                               
consumer, but  to be a  sustainable fishery, the fishery  must be                                                               
managed conservatively and protect salmon  habitat.  He said that                                                               
HB 199 was a reasonable  action considering the number of Alaskan                                                               
residents who  were dependent on  Alaska's salmon resources.   He                                                               
urged members to pass HB 199.  He  said it was the right thing to                                                               
do and also made economic sense.                                                                                                
11:55:04 AM                                                                                                                   
JACINDA MACK, Member,  Skway First Nation, told  members that she                                                               
was an indigenous woman from  British Columbia Skway First Nation                                                               
representing  herself.     She  stated   that  she  has   done  a                                                               
significant  amount of  work around  salmon protection  and clean                                                               
water protection in British Columbia.   She said the Mount Polley                                                               
mine  disaster  [of   August  4,  2014]  happened   in  her  home                                                               
territory.    She  informed  members that  there  had  been  much                                                               
environmental  rollback   of  fisheries  protection   in  British                                                               
Columbia and Canada.  She said  she has observed the Fraser River                                                               
salmon  runs decline  and the  salmon health  deteriorate.   Last                                                               
year most  communities in  the watershed  did not  harvest salmon                                                               
and she  feared that the  community would lose its  connection to                                                               
salmon.   When  she  comes  to Alaska  and  observed the  herring                                                               
fishery,  she  has been  reminded  of  what happened  in  British                                                               
Columbia 20 years ago.  She  wanted to share her experiences from                                                               
British  Columbia with  members.   She  suggested Alaskans  think                                                               
about what it would  be like to not be able  to eat anything from                                                               
the waterways, noting this is  not something from the future, but                                                               
it is currently happening.                                                                                                      
11:57:10 AM                                                                                                                   
HEATHER  HARDCASTLE stated  she was  born and  raised in  Juneau.                                                               
She thanked  the committee for hearing  HB 199.  She  offered her                                                               
support  for   HB  199  although   she  would  like  to   see  it                                                               
strengthened.   She  urged members  to  please keep  going.   She                                                               
offered her belief  that Alaska was at a  crossroads and Alaskans                                                               
are "a  salmon people"  as are  those in  British Columbia.   She                                                               
stressed that  Alaska was  the only state  that remains  a salmon                                                               
MS. HARDCASTLE  offered her  belief that  Alaska's salmon  was in                                                               
trouble.    She  acknowledged  that everyone  played  a  role  in                                                               
getting to this  juncture, but it was possible  Alaska could move                                                               
forward and find solutions.                                                                                                     
MS. HARDCASTLE said  that her mother worked for  the late Senator                                                               
Dick Eliason from Sitka in the  1980s.  She recalled when she was                                                               
in middle-school her mother  discussing Senator Eliason's finfish                                                               
bill that  banned fish farming  in Alaska.  She  further recalled                                                               
indigenous   leaders   and   fishermen  from   British   Columbia                                                               
testifying before  committees cautioning them about  going in the                                                               
wrong direction and support fish farms.   She urged members to do                                                               
everything they could do.                                                                                                       
11:59:20 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   commented  on   the   witness's                                                               
testimony.   He said  that he found  her testimony  apropos given                                                               
that  the   State  of  Washington   reversed  its   decision  and                                                               
instituted  a  ban  on  finfish   farming  with  Atlantic  salmon                                                               
11:59:55 AM                                                                                                                   
HEATHER BAUSCHER thanked  members for their work.   She said that                                                               
everyone  was here  today because  they love  the Alaskan  way of                                                               
life.   She  said  that  people throughout  the  state have  been                                                               
concerned about  the state's vulnerability  to disaster  with its                                                               
current [salmon  fish habitat protection] laws.   She appreciated                                                               
the efforts  made to  include public process  and the  ability to                                                               
challenge  determinations.    This represented  a  good  starting                                                               
point,  she said.   She  acknowledged that  state was  working to                                                               
find  development  solutions  for  its current  recession.    She                                                               
agreed there  were responsible  ways to do  so; however,  she did                                                               
not want this to be at the risk of Alaska's salmon.                                                                             
12:00:42 PM                                                                                                                   
MS.  BAUSCHER said  she  did  not want  to  imagine life  without                                                               
salmon, this community without salmon,  or Alaska without salmon.                                                               
She  expressed  concern  about commercial  fishing  closures  and                                                               
salmon derby  cancellations.  She acknowledged  that some things,                                                               
such  as  marine  issues,  were   not  within  Alaska's  control;                                                               
however, she  emphasized that Alaska  can do something  about its                                                               
streams.     She  stressed  that   the  more   Alaskans  struggle                                                               
economically, the more they rely  on filling their freezers.  She                                                               
equated  losing  that  ability   to  losing  independence.    She                                                               
lamented   that  the   most   vulnerable   population  would   be                                                               
disproportionately affected  by this.  She  appreciated that this                                                               
version  of  HB  19  gave  people  had more  of  a  voice.    She                                                               
emphasized  that  the state  needed  more  enforceable levels  of                                                               
protection for  salmon streams.  The  technology currently exists                                                               
to provide habitat  protection safely and responsibly,  so it did                                                               
not seem  necessary to  reduce protection to  make the  bill more                                                               
palatable, she  said.  She  did not  think it was  problematic to                                                               
hold  projects  to  a  higher standard  and  she  encouraged  the                                                               
committee to continue this difficult  work to solve this problem.                                                               
She thanked the committee for the opportunity to testify.                                                                       
12:02:22 PM                                                                                                                   
MARK NIVER,  Commercial Fisherman, stated  he and his  three sons                                                               
commercially fish  in Bristol Bay.   He also worked for  41 years                                                               
on the  North Slope for British  Petroleum.  He spoke  in support                                                               
of HB 199  although he wished it hadn't been  weakened.  He found                                                               
the  testimony  interesting.   He  noted  significant  number  of                                                               
interested  projects for  resource development;  however, it  was                                                               
important to always  put salmon first.  He cautioned  that if not                                                               
Alaska  would  look  like  California,  Washington,  Oregon,  and                                                               
British Columbia.   He  reiterated his  support for  HB 199.   He                                                               
thanked the committee for its efforts.                                                                                          
12:03:30 PM                                                                                                                   
RAYMOND O'NEIL,  Environmental Engineer, thanked the  sponsor for                                                               
introducing HB 199.  He spoke  in support of the original HB 199.                                                               
He was  encouraged to see  so many  people calling in  support of                                                               
updating salmon habitat protection.   He related that he has been                                                               
in  Alaska for  15 years  working as  an environmental  engineer,                                                               
including work cleaning  up environmental sites.   His family was                                                               
originally  from Butte,  Montana  where the  effects of  resource                                                               
extraction   has   had    historically   devastating   unintended                                                               
consequences  resulting from  a lack  of regulation.   He  stated                                                               
that his career  has included wetland and  stream delineation and                                                               
restoration in  the US, Midwest, and  on the East Coast.   He has                                                               
observed  firsthand the  negative  impacts on  fish habitat  that                                                               
under regulated land development has had in recent decades.                                                                     
12:04:31 PM                                                                                                                   
MR. O'NEIL  stated that Alaska's  ecosystems were sensitive.   He                                                               
offered his belief that Alaska has  an opportunity with HB 199 to                                                               
strengthen   protections   and    ensure   responsible   resource                                                               
development  by  bringing  transparency   and  stability  to  the                                                               
permitting process.   Salmon habitat  protection has  long needed                                                               
updating,  he  said.    He  acknowledged  that  he  spoke  to  an                                                               
organization opposed  to HB 199  because it  may add cost  to the                                                               
development budget.   He stressed that Alaska must  be clear that                                                               
the risk  associated with not  protecting Alaska's  salmon cannot                                                               
be   left   to   outdated  regulations   or   to   multi-national                                                               
corporations.   In closing, he  thanked the committee  and stated                                                               
his support for HB 199.                                                                                                         
12:06:03 PM                                                                                                                   
LAURA WRIGHT stated  it seemed to her that Alaska  has a resource                                                               
that  returns  year after  year  that  feeds Alaskans  and  other                                                               
animals.  She said the state only  needed to do one thing to keep                                                               
salmon continuing, that protecting  habitat would ensure that the                                                               
fish  resource  would be  available  each  year.   She  spoke  in                                                               
support of HB  199.  She stated that fish  is the economic driver                                                               
in  the  Upper Susitna  Valley  in  the  form of  tourism,  sport                                                               
fishing, nature walks and tour operators.   She said that was how                                                               
many  people  made   a  living  in  the  Talkeetna   area.    She                                                               
acknowledged that  Alaska has  historically had  a boom  and bust                                                               
economy.   Many  people have  made lots  of money  in mining  and                                                               
other  resource  extraction,  she  said.   She  suggested  Alaska                                                               
should reevaluate.   She  offered her belief  that this  bill was                                                               
based on sound  science.  In closing, she  reiterated her support                                                               
for HB 199.                                                                                                                     
12:07:50 PM                                                                                                                   
THOMAS TILDEN  stated his  support for  HB 199.   He said  he has                                                               
been a fisherman  all his life.  He anticipated  that there would                                                               
be many  more proposed mine projects  in Alaska.  He  offered his                                                               
belief that many  mines pollute, but the committee  would need to                                                               
confirm this with the Department  of Natural Resources (DNR).  He                                                               
emphasized   that  pollution   occurs   because   the  laws   and                                                               
regulations  are   inadequate  to  sufficiently   protect  salmon                                                               
12:09:22 PM                                                                                                                   
MR. TILDEN said clean water,  tourism, and salmon are the reasons                                                               
people come to  Alaska and that represents the  future of Alaska.                                                               
He cautioned  that people will  not come  to Alaska to  see dirty                                                               
mines or pollution.  In closing, he strongly supported HB 199.                                                                  
12:10:15 PM                                                                                                                   
LINDSEY  BLOOM, Commercial  Fisherman,  stated she  comes from  a                                                               
commercial fishing  family and her  father, brother,  husband and                                                               
two children  all fish.   She  had salmon  for breakfast  and her                                                               
family eats  salmon most days.   She referred to some  photos she                                                               
had distributed to  members.  She said she  cherishes her "salmon                                                               
life" which  consisted of paychecks, livelihood,  sustenance, and                                                               
MS. BLOOM  said that she was  one of the original  authors of the                                                               
proposal  to the  Board  of Fish  requesting  the board  consider                                                               
changes to  Title 16  and whether the  statutes were  adequate to                                                               
protect salmon habitat.  She  indicated that this came about when                                                               
the commercial fisheries  began to have more closures.   She said                                                               
her family members are gillnet  commercial fishermen in Southeast                                                               
Alaska.  She  noted the fisheries have  had significant reduction                                                               
in fishing  time and  closures for all  fish species  the fishery                                                               
12:12:46 PM                                                                                                                   
WHITNEY  WOLFF thanked  the committee  for hearing  HB 199.   She                                                               
offered her  belief that it  was a  step in the  right direction.                                                               
She  has been  following the  bill.   She expressed  concern that                                                               
this version has  been weakened.  She has worked  for 30 years in                                                               
volunteer community  government.   She suggested that  the system                                                               
really  begs for  a common-sense  approach, which  will eliminate                                                               
the reactionary approach  that Alaskans take.   The standards and                                                               
already  in place  need to  be  applied and  also be  enforceable                                                               
standards,  she said.   She  suggested  this could  be viewed  as                                                               
providing  ADF&G  with  the  necessary  tools  to  make  educated                                                               
decisions for  salmon habitat.   She especially liked  the public                                                               
process and  due diligence  permitting.   She suggested  that the                                                               
committee restore  the presumption  of anadromy since  only about                                                               
50 percent of  the anadromous fish was cataloged.   She hoped the                                                               
bill  would  be  strengthened   and  provide  a  balance  between                                                               
resource development and fish habitat.                                                                                          
12:14:50 PM                                                                                                                   
LOUIE FLORA,  Member, The Alaska  Center, thanked  the committee.                                                               
He said  the bill  was a  complex proposal.   He  appreciated the                                                               
work that staff  has put into the  bill.  He spoke  in support of                                                               
the original  version of  HB 199.   It contained  strong language                                                               
and  gave   guidance  to  the   commissioner  of  ADF&G.     More                                                               
specifically,   the  previous   version  of   HB  199   gave  the                                                               
commissioner guidance  when a project  being sought  for approval                                                               
required water treatment in perpetuity.   In those instances, the                                                               
project  would  need to  be  re-engineered  and not  allow  water                                                               
treatment  in  perpetuity, he  said.    He  said that  piece  was                                                               
important for the long-term  economic sustainability of projects,                                                               
but it was removed from Version  M.  However, he thought it would                                                               
allow developers to  protect salmon habitat and not  put the cost                                                               
on the public, he said.   He highlighted that Version M contained                                                               
other important  items, including  the public  comment provision.                                                               
In closing, he thanked the committee.                                                                                           
12:16:59 PM                                                                                                                   
MIKE  FRICCERO,  Commercial   Fisherman;  Co-founder,  Stand  for                                                               
Salmon,  stated he  has been  fishing halibut  and salmon  for 39                                                               
years  in  Western  and  Southcentral Alaska.    He  thanked  the                                                               
committee  and staff  for  their  work on  HB  199 to  strengthen                                                               
salmon habitat  protections.  He  has been involved  in community                                                               
service and gives  service to his salmon community  by serving as                                                               
a board member for an  important non-profit harvest organization.                                                               
He said  he was one  of the primary  founders, and donors  of the                                                               
organization "Stand  for Salmon."   He said that he  has observed                                                               
first hand,  the incredible and  imperiled salmon in Alaska.   He                                                               
said Alaska's  diverse ecosystems provide the  foundation for the                                                               
opportunities for Alaskans.                                                                                                     
12:18:29 PM                                                                                                                   
MR.  FRICERRO said  the existing  permitting  system in  Alaska's                                                               
constitutional  framework does  not provide  adequate protections                                                               
to salmon habitat.  The  constitutional language was too vague to                                                               
ensure long-term  protection in  the face  of constant  and ever-                                                               
increasing  pressures  of resource  development,  he  said.   The                                                               
status quo  permitting structure,  if left unchanged,  would tend                                                               
to lead Alaska down the same path  as the rest of the world whose                                                               
salmon resources  have disappeared or  are endangered.   He asked                                                               
members  to  pursue  the importance  of  habitat  protection  and                                                               
increasing public participation, which  cannot be overstated.  He                                                               
thanked the  committee.   In closing, he  stated his  support for                                                               
the original  version but understands  the need to modify  a bill                                                               
in order to pass it.                                                                                                            
12:19:36 PM                                                                                                                   
B.J. ROBINSON  stated she has  lived in Juneau,  Gustavus, Sitka,                                                               
Fairbanks, and Anchorage.   She related that many  of her friends                                                               
have been deeply interwoven with  salmon and salmon habitat.  She                                                               
said her  freezer was often  full of  salmon and her  friends are                                                               
exhausted  from a  commercial fishing  season.   She offered  her                                                               
belief that Alaskans  relationship with salmon was  not as simple                                                               
as fish  in the  freezer.   She thanked  the committee  for their                                                               
work on HB 199.                                                                                                                 
MS. ROBINSON  said much of  Juneau's community works  in tourism.                                                               
She  previously worked  for 10  summers  in Gustavus  as a  kayak                                                               
guide,  mostly  to take  people  out  to  be  near whales.    She                                                               
reminded  members  that the  ocean  system  was complex  and  has                                                               
already  been disrupted.    She  said her  dad  has  worked as  a                                                               
geologist in  Alaska for 40  years and  he agreed that  the state                                                               
needed  legislation to  protect  salmon waters  and the  statutes                                                               
needed to  be updated and  to become more transparent.   Although                                                               
she was  not against mining, it  was important to learn  from our                                                               
past.   She said  she currently  works as a  nurse at  the Alaska                                                               
Native Medical  Center in Anchorage  and all of her  patients eat                                                               
salmon.   She  expressed  gratitude to  the  many generations  of                                                               
Alaska Natives who live in villages  in Bristol Bay and along the                                                               
river  systems  across Alaska  for  sustainable  fisheries.   She                                                               
thanked the committee.                                                                                                          
12:21:52 PM                                                                                                                   
ERIN  KANDOLL  stated  her  father-in-law  and  husband  work  as                                                               
commercial fishermen in  Petersburg.  Their family  has relied on                                                               
salmon for their  livelihood.  She hoped  that commercial fishing                                                               
would be protected for the next  generation and beyond.  She said                                                               
her  family supports  the strongest  possible protection  to keep                                                               
the wild  salmon runs vital.   She urged members to  pass HB 199.                                                               
She thanked the committee for its efforts.                                                                                      
12:22:35 PM                                                                                                                   
ROBERT  BOWHAY,  Commercial  Fisherman,  said  he  was  a  third-                                                               
generation  commercial fisherman.   His  grandfather worked  on a                                                               
fish trap in Southeast Alaska.   He thanked the committee for its                                                               
support for HB  199.  He reminded members  that restoring habitat                                                               
would also enhance habitat with  hatchery fish, which are natural                                                               
fish  that  were  put  back  into streams.    He  emphasized  the                                                               
importance of healthy  lakes, creeks, and rivers  since they feed                                                               
into our  oceans.  If the  state cannot protect ocean  habitat it                                                               
would be a failure.                                                                                                             
MR. BOWHAY  recalled an  effort in Kodiak  three years  to adjust                                                               
the king  salmon cap in  the Gulf  of Alaska to  allow commercial                                                               
troll fishermen  to catch a salmon  quota.  He received  a letter                                                               
from Kodiak again to reduce the  king salmon quota in the Gulf of                                                               
Alaska.   He acknowledged  it must  be tough  to be  a legislator                                                               
since  it must  mean straddling  fences.   He offered  his belief                                                               
that clean and  healthy ocean waters are as  important as healthy                                                               
streams.   He  reiterated  that hatchery  fish  were natural  and                                                               
restorative  fish   and  these   fish  could  help   recover  and                                                               
strengthen salmon runs.                                                                                                         
12:24:40 PM                                                                                                                   
CLAY FRICK,  Commercial Fisherman, stated he  previously lived in                                                               
Port Alexander.   Both  communities are  very reliant  on healthy                                                               
salmon runs, he  said.  He has commercially fished  and still has                                                               
a power troll  permit.  He thanked the committee  for its work on                                                               
HB 199.  He emphasized  that salmon habitat desperately needed to                                                               
be  protected.   He  acknowledged others  have  testified to  the                                                               
importance of salmon  in Southeast Alaska and the  ties it brings                                                               
to economic and spiritual benefits.   He pointed out animals also                                                               
rely on salmon to survive.                                                                                                      
12:25:36 PM                                                                                                                   
MR. FRICK  recalled previous testimony  that attested  the system                                                               
was  not  broken.    He  responded  by  outlining  projects  that                                                               
adversely impacted  salmon, that  the state has  permitted salmon                                                               
destruction in  the Chuitna River.   He related that 10  miles of                                                               
that stream was  approved by the Department  of Natural Resources                                                               
to be  strip-mined as a  coal mine, in part,  because restoration                                                               
could occur  35 years  from now.   Further, he  referenced Little                                                               
Boulder  Creek  that  flows  into  the  Chilkat  River,  a  small                                                               
tributary  produced a  large  run of  king  salmon; however,  the                                                               
Department  of   Transportation  &  Public   Facilities  (DOT&PF)                                                               
riprapped the  stream, greatly diminishing  the run.   He offered                                                               
his belief that this bill needs to  be stronger.  The idea that a                                                               
mine  can  leave  water  perpetually  clean  seemed  crazy.    He                                                               
anticipated more  work needed to  be done but he  appreciated the                                                               
work the committee was doing on HB 199.                                                                                         
12:27:02 PM                                                                                                                   
BRENDA DOLMA stated she loves  Alaska.  She thanked the committee                                                               
for the  opportunity to  testify.   She expressed  her excitement                                                               
for  a  bill that  would  protect  Alaska's  fish habitat.    She                                                               
emphasized  that fish  habitat  was complex,  and she  encouraged                                                               
maximizing it,  noting that the  original bill might be  the best                                                               
way  to  do  so.    During her  travels  and  people  often  have                                                               
commented  how lucky  Alaskans were  to have  wild salmon.   Wild                                                               
salmon  cannot be  replaced,  she  said.   She  urged members  to                                                               
protect  the riparian  zone  and to  retain  language that  would                                                               
oppose any  project that  would damage fish  habitat on  the land                                                               
and water.  She thanked the  committee for its time.  In closing,                                                               
she characterized salmon as a precious resource.                                                                                
12:28:45 PM                                                                                                                   
JILL  WEITZ  stated she  knew  many  committee members  from  her                                                               
previous  work in  salmon conservation.   Her  background was  in                                                               
water  policy and  law  and  she began  working  in  Alaska as  a                                                               
compliance  enforcement  officer  for   the  Division  of  Water,                                                               
Department   of  Environmental   Conservation.     She   traveled                                                               
throughout Alaska inspecting large-scale  projects from mines and                                                               
processing plants to small-scale  construction projects.  She has                                                               
seen   first-hand  the   habitat  permitting   process  and   the                                                               
monitoring, compliance,  and enforcement  of these  issues across                                                               
the  state.   She  offered  her  full  support for  the  original                                                               
version of HB 199.  She  thanked the committee for its efforts to                                                               
protect  Alaska's waters  and  sustainable  resources for  future                                                               
12:30:12 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES  stated that former  Senate President,  Senator Rick                                                               
Halford  was  invited to  speak  to  the  committee to  give  his                                                               
perspective on the bill.                                                                                                        
12:30:52 PM                                                                                                                   
RICK  HALFORD, Former  Senator,  Alaska  State Legislature,  said                                                               
that his three sons commercially  fished in Bristol Bay this year                                                               
and his  family also has  participated in a  subsistence fishery.                                                               
He  echoed the  thanks many  have given  to the  sponsor and  her                                                               
staff  for the  energy  and  effort on  HB  199.   The  sponsor's                                                               
efforts began with developing a  sustainable fish policy, sending                                                               
a letter  to the Board of  Fisheries, and making over  two years'                                                               
effort,  which  was  necessary  to get  a  bill  introduced  that                                                               
addresses important elements.   He said, "We have  a product." He                                                               
emphasized that nobody  on the outside can  adequately assess the                                                               
what is possible.   He said if the bill was  in its best possible                                                               
form,  he offered  his congratulations  on the  bill.   This bill                                                               
represents  a huge  improvement  over the  existing  system.   He                                                               
noted that  while he enthusiastically supported  the prohibitions                                                               
of perpetual remediation  and other things that  had been removed                                                               
from this version of the  bill, it still contained public notice,                                                               
public process and  provisions that provide tools  for the ADF&G.                                                               
He  reiterated that  HB 199  was a  big improvement  over current                                                               
12:32:26 PM                                                                                                                   
MR. HALFORD  stated he  agreed with most  of the  testimony given                                                               
today; however,  he strongly disagreed  with two statements.   He                                                               
said  he  disagreed  with  the  statement  that  Alaska  has  the                                                               
strongest protections for salmon habitat  in the world.  "That is                                                               
not true,"  he said.   He also disagreed  that this bill  was not                                                               
necessary.  "That is also not true," he said.                                                                                   
MR. HALFORD  characterized HB  199 as being  very necessary.   He                                                               
emphasized  that this  bill represented  a great  service to  the                                                               
state.   He recommended  the sponsor and  the committee  move the                                                               
bill out of  committee in its best form, to  try to get something                                                               
passed in this legislature.                                                                                                     
12:33:16 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TARR asked for  further clarification on fisheries                                                               
management  as it  pertained to  the budget.   She  recalled that                                                               
some  funding had  previously been  appropriated for  research on                                                               
salmon runs but it has largely been scaled back in recent years.                                                                
MR.  HALFORD  said  he  also shared  concerns  over  the  budget;                                                               
however, he has  been delighted with the  technology occurring in                                                               
the past  few yeas that has  helped. He pointed out  35 years ago                                                               
the legislature argued about different  segments of mixed stocks.                                                               
At  the  time researchers  used  coded  wire tags  and  expensive                                                               
processes  to determine  what occurred  when weaker  stocks mixed                                                               
with stronger stocks.  Now  fish genetics has provided management                                                               
tools, which  costs money and  while he still has  concerns about                                                               
the  financial  aspects,  the   fisheries  science  has  provided                                                               
significant  information for  management.   He explained  that it                                                               
was important not  to hurt the weaker elements of  the stock when                                                               
the state  manages mixed stocks  for maximum economic value.   He                                                               
stated  that it  could be  a big  help for  salmon management  if                                                               
genetics can provide answers without expensive processes.                                                                       
12:35:02 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  recalled earlier testimony about  the late                                                               
Senator Eliason.  He  said he was a staffer when  the bill to ban                                                               
finfish  farming was  being supported  through the  process.   He                                                               
asked  whether he  could  comment on  the  statewide movement  to                                                               
protect salmon habitat.                                                                                                         
12:36:22 PM                                                                                                                   
MR.  HALFORD  offered  his  belief that  the  defense  of  salmon                                                               
habitat  would be  a big  issue in  the next  election no  matter                                                               
what.   He  offered  his belief  that this  bill  could create  a                                                               
minimum  standard that  could do  a lot  of good.   Although  the                                                               
[salmon  initiative]  was  related  to   the  bill,  HB  199  was                                                               
independent from it.                                                                                                            
MR. HALFORD  related that he  started in  this process as  an air                                                               
taxi  operator and  most of  his early  customers were  miners or                                                               
prospectors.  He became interested  in the Pebble Mine, primarily                                                               
to figure out  how to make it  work.  He concluded  that it would                                                               
not work.                                                                                                                       
MR. HALFORD shared that his  perspective as a legislator, that it                                                               
was always possible to maximize  the use of resources in conflict                                                               
with  hard active  management, to  spend  the money,  and do  the                                                               
projects.   However, he concluded  that perspective did  not work                                                               
with the  proposed Pebble Mine.   In the process of  listening to                                                               
the scientists he learned a lot.                                                                                                
MR.  HALFORD  remarked  that  salmon  are  one  of  the  greatest                                                               
miracles on  earth.   All over  the earth  nutrients of  the land                                                               
wash  into the  water, over-energizing  the water  and destroying                                                               
land.   Only  salmon  are different  because  they defy  gravity.                                                               
Salmon about  the size  of a  little finger  start the  journey -                                                               
sometimes  1,000  miles upstream  and  return  bringing along  30                                                               
pounds of protein to feed  life from tiny microorganisms to large                                                               
brown  bears.   He  characterized  salmon as  "the  very soul  of                                                               
Alaska."  He said, "All of the science  that can put a man on the                                                               
moon is not smart enough  to replace 1,000 generations of natural                                                               
selection ...."   Even listening  to the best of  the scientists,                                                               
even when  we think  we know the  variables, scientists  will add                                                               
another variable, acknowledging they do  not know everything.  He                                                               
said, "So salmon are  magic.  That's the only way  I can think of                                                               
describing  it.   It  is  absolutely one  of  the most  important                                                               
things we  can fight  for and  the definition of  who we  are and                                                               
where we are."                                                                                                                  
12:39:00 PM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   asked  what   the   legislature                                                               
contemplated on Title 16 salmon habitat [provisions].                                                                           
MR.  HALFORD responded  by stating  the  late Mr.  Eliason was  a                                                               
great  friend and  he  taught  him some  good  lessons.   He  was                                                               
fortunate to  serve with  some phenomenal people.   He  served as                                                               
the  majority  leader  when  the  late  Mr.  Eliason  was  Senate                                                               
President,  he  said.   He  described  some lessons  he  learned,                                                               
recalled  his first  lesson  in  the House  was  over a  herring-                                                               
stripping ban argument.  At the  time he was a Republican from an                                                               
urban area  and the late Mr.  Eliason was from rural  Sitka.  Mr.                                                               
Eliason  was trying  to get  votes  and the  industry was  urging                                                               
members not to  do it for economic reasons.   He opposed the bill                                                               
which extended the bill for one or two years.                                                                                   
MR. HALFORD reminisced, recalling that  the late Mr. Eliason told                                                               
him the  industry would be  back in a year  or two with  the same                                                               
arguments;  that  they would  never  act  unless the  legislature                                                               
forced them to do so.  "He was  right," he said.  Two years later                                                               
the  legislature managed  to break  up  the group.   He  recalled                                                               
another  case related  to the  presumption of  anadromous waters.                                                               
While  scientists can  describe water  chemistry, nothing  was as                                                               
direct as "a picture  of an empty lake with a  bunch of dead fish                                                               
on the bottom.  You have  to have quantity before it matters what                                                               
the  quality is."   He  wished  he had  sided with  the late  Mr.                                                               
Eliason in 1990  on legislation affecting anadromous  waters.  He                                                               
commended the late Mr. Eliason.                                                                                                 
12:41:28 PM                                                                                                                   
MR.  HALFORD   further  reminisced,  stating  that   he  had  the                                                               
opportunity to  learn from numerous  people during his time  as a                                                               
legislator.     He   remarked   that   state  legislatures   were                                                               
incubators,  offering legislators  opportunities  to think  about                                                               
things,  where  individual legislators  could  pick  a topic  and                                                               
concentrate on it.  The  executive branch must work on everything                                                               
every  day, which  was much  harder, he  said.   He concluded  by                                                               
stating that HB 199 was a good bill.                                                                                            
12:42:23 PM                                                                                                                   
TIMOTHY WONHOLA  SR. said he  was born  in Dillingham and  he has                                                               
always depended  on fish.  He  would like to pass  salmon down to                                                               
younger  generations, noting  that destroying  salmon would  also                                                               
destroy his  culture.  He stated  the animals and fish  depend on                                                               
clean water.   He offered his  belief that the Pebble  Mine would                                                               
destroy everything in its path  and the proposed location for the                                                               
Pebble Mine was the  wrong place to put a mine.   He said he does                                                               
not  want the  mine.    The clean  water  makes  it possible  for                                                               
salmon, he said.  He offered  his support for HB 199 stating that                                                               
the bill will help the three  cultures in the region who would be                                                               
affected:   the Athabascan, Inupiat,  and Aleut cultures.   These                                                               
cultures depend on clean water and  fish to put up to survive the                                                               
winters.  In closing, he reiterated his support for HB 199.                                                                     
12:46:21 PM                                                                                                                   
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
12:46:51 PM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR STUTES announced that HB 199 would be held over.                                                                          
12:47:15 PM#                                                                                                                  
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special  Committee on  Fisheries meeting  was adjourned  at 12:47                                                               

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