Legislature(1997 - 1998)
03/19/1997 09:07 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 64 SHUYAK ISLAND STATE PARK SENATOR MACKIE testified on behalf of the bill. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED Amendment #1. Without objection, Amendment #1 was ADOPTED. Amendments #2 and #3 were not offered. SENATOR PARNELL MOVED CSSB 64(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. Without objection, CSSB 64(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with a previous fiscal note (15.0) from Department of Natural Resources and a previous zero fiscal note from Department of Public Safety. SENATOR JERRY MACKIE, Sponsor, read his sponsor statement to the committee (Copy on file). He advised the committee of changes made in the Resources Committee regarding public access, continued ability for hunting, fishing, trapping and other recreational uses that the lands have traditionally offered for years. He referred to a proposed amendment to Section 2, page 4, lines 2-7, relating to closures for a biological emergency and read additional language for consideration. "This subsection does not restrict the authority of the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game to engage in the normal process of regulating hunting, fishing and trapping within the park." He acknowledged Amendment #1 offers language to replace that section. COCHAIR SHARP stated Amendment #1 did not have the language Senator Mackie just read. SENATOR MACKIE indicated he had no objection to Amendment #1. COCHAIR PEARCE MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #1. COCHAIR SHARP explained that it adds more definition to how long a biological emergency closure could exist without reevaluation and reestablishment as the basis for a closure. There being no objection, Amendment #1 was ADOPTED. COCHAIR SHARP brought Amendment #2 before the committee. It would repeal the McNeil River State Game Refuge passed in 1992 on the precept of the Paint River project which was going to install a fish ladder to establish a sockeye salmon fishery in the upper lakes. The justification was that when the facility became operational it would attract some of the bears from McNeil River and they would not be protected. The fact is that the Paint River was already in the sanctuary that protected the McNeil River bear population. The refuge expanded by 141,000 acres in spite of the fact that the state didn't have ownership of it. There was strict legislative direction in statute that, except for biological emergency, they could not restrict bear hunting but the Game Board prohibited bear hunting a couple years ago. Several environmental groups sued the state to disallow the Paint River project to open after it was built. There has been a judgement forbidding the opening. The result being that the whole justification for the addition of the refuge has been blown apart. The Paint River is still in sanctuary, there has not been any new salmon fishery to lure the bears outside the refuge and there are still 141,000 acres locked up and not in multiple-use. He felt that some had bitter feelings over how it all materialized. COCHAIR SHARP did not offer Amendment #2 but would hold it for a floor vote. SENATOR MACKIE expressed appreciation for the cochair's concerns and the fact that he did not offer the amendment. He added that the language in SB 64 was carefully crafted so that the only closure for hunting, fishing or trapping would have to be a biological emergency. SENATOR TORGERSON asked for clarification of language inserted by the Resources Committee on page 1, lines 7-8, relating to covenants and deed restrictions set by the Kodiak Island Borough. SENATOR MACKIE responded that it was part of the purchase agreement negotiated between the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council and the Kodiak Island Borough. SENATOR TORGERSON asked if the covenants could be changed at the whim of the Kodiak Island Borough. SENATOR MACKIE said they could not, that they were signed off as part of the purchase agreement and it became property of the state. COCHAIR SHARP brought attention to a court decree which he read from, pointing out that the decree already restricts the use of the state public lands. COCHAIR SHARP did not offer Amendment #3. He asked the committee's pleasure regarding SB 64. SENATOR PARNELL MOVED CSSB 64(FIN) from committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. There were no objections, and so CSSB 64(FIN) was REPORTED OUT with a previous fiscal note (15.0) from Department of Natural Resources and a previous zero fiscal note from Department of Public Safety. SENATE BILL NO. 107 "An Act making and amending capital and other appropriations and to capitalize funds; and providing for an effective date."