Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 124

05/02/2005 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HCR 13 NATURAL GAS SPUR LINE CONSTRUCTION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHCR 13(RES) Out of Committee
*+ HJR 17 FEDERAL LANDS RECREATION ENHANCEMENT ACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 17(RES) Out of Committee
*+ HB 280 MINERALS TAX/PAYMENTS TO MUNIS IN LIEU TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 280(RES) Out of Committee
+ SJR 16 STATES' RIGHT TO REGULATE HUNTING/FISHING TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 254 NAT. GAS SPUR LINE AND DISTRIBUTION GRID TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HJR 17-FEDERAL LANDS RECREATION ENHANCEMENT ACT                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR RAMRAS announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO.  17   Opposing the  Federal Lands                                                               
Recreation Enhancement Act.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  BAXTER,  Staff  to Representative  Jim  Elkins,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  said  HJR   17  opposes  the  Federal  Lands                                                               
Recreational Enhancement  Act, which  allows the  forest service,                                                               
park  service,  bureau  of land  management,  fish  and  wildlife                                                               
service,   and  bureau   of  reclamation   to  charge   fees  for                                                               
recreational use of  federally managed land by the  public.  Once                                                               
enacted,  fees will  be  required to  access  certain lands,  she                                                               
said.  She  noted that the federal government  manages two thirds                                                               
of Alaska  lands, and  a fee  would be  regressive and  impose an                                                               
undue burden  on rural people  who use  these lands.   She listed                                                               
other states that have suggested similar resolutions.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:32:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SAMUELS  said he  buys a  sticker to  go to  the Chugach                                                               
State Park, so  he asked why the federal  government shouldn't do                                                               
the same thing.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER said it would be an  additional fee on top of what our                                                               
state already charges.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SAMUELS asked if there is a charge now.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER said she doesn't believe so.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SAMUELS moved  to adopt  the committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
for HJR 17, labeled 24-LS0847\Y, as a work draft.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:33:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SAMUELS  asked if a person  has to pay to  use a federal                                                               
park, like to raft in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER  said, "The National  Park Service, right  now--one of                                                               
our  national forests  is the  Tongass National  Forest, and  our                                                               
state  isn't  charging access  fees,  currently,  to use  certain                                                               
lands,  and  I  don't  believe that  the  federal  government  is                                                               
charging fees  to use, like  the national forest service,  as far                                                               
as in Southeast that I know of."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked  if   the  policy  in   Alaska  is                                                               
different, because she recalls user fees for Yellowstone.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER said she doesn't know.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO mentioned  the federal  government's Golden                                                               
Eagle Pass for national parks.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER said the federal resolution proposes an annual pass.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO said  HJR 17  tells the  government not  to                                                               
charge  for the  use of  federal  lands, but  it already  charges                                                               
through the Golden Eagle Pass, and  he asked if the resolution is                                                               
asking for an exemption.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BAXTER said,  "I believe  that  this is  an additional  fee.                                                               
What this  resolution would enact,  an additional fee to  what we                                                               
already pay the federal government for the use of public lands."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  said this  is  about  all federal  lands.                                                               
"They  don't  charge you  today  to  go  hunting in  the  Tongass                                                               
National Forest, but they could."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked if the resolution exempts parks.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER said it includes the National Park Service.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said, "We have  been trying to  get people                                                               
that utilize  the woods for  -- the  greenies -- the  people that                                                               
are using  them for other  than hunting,  and that we've  had the                                                               
complaints that  only hunters pay  for the maintenance  of trails                                                               
and all these other  things.  Is the intent of  this to mean that                                                               
only hunters  will pay ...  through the hunting license  fees for                                                               
any of the  maintenance and everything on all  the federal lands,                                                               
recreational lands in Alaska?                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER asked  if Representative Seaton is asking if  it is in                                                               
addition to fees for a hunting license.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON clarified  that  if recreationists  aren't                                                               
charged, only hunters will pay for federal lands.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BAXTER  said,   "What these fees  would impose--they  say the                                                               
federal government  would--the tax  would go toward  that certain                                                               
site for maintenance, but our city  and borough taxes pay for the                                                               
facilities and  upkeep, as is.   So this would be  in addition to                                                               
what  we   are  already  paying   for  the  maintenance   of  the                                                               
facilities.  And it wouldn't just be restricted to hunters."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ELKINS  said  his   hunting  fee  never  went  to                                                               
maintain any federal lands.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:40:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he misspoke,  he didn't  mean hunting                                                               
licenses, but duck stamps and federal permits.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OLSON moved to report HJR 17, labeled 24-                                                                        
LS0847\Y, out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, CSHJR 17(RES) passed out of committee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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