Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/31/2004 01:05 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 36-MITIGATING GLACIER BAY FISHING CLOSURES                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM announced  that the  first order  of business                                                               
would be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36,  Requesting the National                                                               
Park  Service  to  mitigate  the   adverse  economic  effects  of                                                               
commercial  fishing  closures  and restrictions  in  Glacier  Bay                                                               
National Park and Preserve.                                                                                                     
Number 0106                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   BRUCE  WEYHRAUCH,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
sponsor, presented HJR 36 as follows:                                                                                           
     The  resolution before  you  asks  the [National]  Park                                                                    
     Service (NPS)  to use the services  of those negatively                                                                    
     affected  by the  closures of  Glacier  Bay first,  and                                                                    
     consider using  those services before they  go to other                                                                    
     outside  vendors,   consultants,  vessel   use,  vessel                                                                    
     owners, and that sort of thing.   And the basis for the                                                                    
     request comes as follows:                                                                                                  
     The National  Park Service  closed portions  of Glacier                                                                    
     Bay   National  Park   [and   Preserve]  and   excluded                                                                    
     commercial  fishing from  a large  area and  restricted                                                                    
     certain areas to lifetime permit holders.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH directed attention  to a map and pointed                                                               
out  that Glacier  Bay National  Park and  Preserve extends  from                                                               
Excursion Inlet  to the middle of  Icy Strait and Cross  Sound to                                                               
three  miles into  Lituya Bay.    Glacier Bay  National Park  and                                                               
Preserve is  about 500,000 marine acres.   On the map  he pointed                                                               
out the area  open to commercial fishing and  the area restricted                                                               
to  lifetime permit  holders.   He  said that  when the  lifetime                                                               
permit holders  die, commercial fishing [in  Glacier Bay National                                                               
Park  and   Preserve]  will   end.     Therefore,  there   was  a                                                               
compensation  program in  which $23  million was  appropriated to                                                               
those negatively  affected by the  closures.  However,  there are                                                               
still some  commercial fishermen and  businesses in the  area who                                                               
ask  to do  business with  the NPS.   Therefore,  this resolution                                                               
asks  the  Park  Service  to   consider  using  those  businesses                                                               
negatively affected by the closure  before considering the use of                                                               
other businesses.   Representative Weyhrauch said,  "We certainly                                                               
can't require the federal government  to do something, but it's a                                                               
statement of  intent by  the Alaska  [State] Legislature  that we                                                               
think you ought  to look first for those  negatively affected and                                                               
then look elsewhere."                                                                                                           
Number 0308                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  MASEK   asked  whether   the  federal   government  has                                                               
procurement  guidelines  for goods  and  services.   If  so,  she                                                               
asked, how will that impact HJR 36?                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH  answered  that  it  won't  affect  the                                                               
federal  government's procurement  code.   He related  his belief                                                               
that the federal government has  procurement rules and guidelines                                                               
as  well as  a  special courts  for  settling contract  disputes.                                                               
Furthermore, the  federal government  can enter  into sole-source                                                               
contracts  and put  contracts  out to  bid as  can  the State  of                                                               
Alaska.    [The  federal  government's process]  is  a  lot  more                                                               
complex, cumbersome,  and Byzantine than the  state's process, he                                                               
remarked.   Therefore,  he  opined that  the  answer to  Co-Chair                                                               
Masek's question is yes.                                                                                                        
Number 0380                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH inquired as to  how many boats are still                                                               
in the [Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve].                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  replied that currently there  are three                                                               
fisheries that are conducted inside  "the bay proper".  The three                                                               
fisheries are as  follows:  a Tanner crab pot  fishery, a halibut                                                               
longline fishery,  and a  salmon trawl  fishery.   He highlighted                                                               
that there are  also areas within [the Glacier  Bay National Park                                                               
and Preserve]  that are  wilderness waters  in which  fishing has                                                               
been completely prohibited by the federal government.                                                                           
CO-CHAIR  DAHLSTROM,  upon  determining  no one  else  wished  to                                                               
testify, announced that public testimony would be closed.                                                                       
Number 0465                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  MASEK moved  to report  HJR  36 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the accompanying  fiscal  note.                                                               
There  being no  objection, HJR  36 was  reported from  the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   

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