Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/03/1995 03:45 PM Senate RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 195
HJR 44
SJR 23
HJR 43
HB 207
HB 141
  CSHJR 43(FSH)  was before the committee as the next order of                 
 AMY DAUGHERTY, staff to the House Special Committee on Fisheries,             
 said the resolution was introduced by the committee in response to            
 concerns expressed by commercial fishermen and subsistence users.             
 In 1991 the National Park Service promulgated draft regulations               
 that would phase out commercial fishing in and around Glacier Bay             
 within seven years and completely prohibit subsistence fishing.               
 Last year a federal judge ruled that ANILCA did not prohibit                  
 commercial fishing in Glacier Bay National Park, but that ruling              
 has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.                      
 Ms. Daugherty said elimination of the commercial and subsistence              
 fisheries in a vast area contained in the Glacier Bay National Park           
 would significantly harm the coastal communities of northern                  
 Southeast Alaska.                                                             
 Number 110                                                                    
 RON SOMMERVILLE said there is still a conflict over state                     
 jurisdiction of navigable waters although the state has never filed           
 quiet title to the submerged lands within the boundaries of Glacier           
 Bay National Park.  The state has consistently taken the position             
 in the past that it reserved the rights to file quiet title, and at           
 the same time, exercise some jurisdiction over the resources in the           
 water column.                                                                 
 Mr. Sommerville said the conflict is over transient resources which           
 are not really part of the park.  Both the subsistence and                    
 commercial uses in there provide very little, if any, jeopardy to             
 park resources.  However, the National Park has consistently taken            
 the position that it can regulate or eliminate commercial fishing             
 and subsistence fishing within the park boundaries.  So far, the              
 courts have shown that the Park Service has and can allow                     
 commercial and subsistence within the boundaries of the park.                 
 Mr. Sommerville said it is hoped that as the National Park Service            
 goes forward with its regulations that commercial fishing and                 
 subsistence are allowed uses in the park.                                     
 Number 166                                                                    
 SENATOR LINCOLN asked Mr. Sommerville how he would define                     
 "subsistence use" as used in the resolution.  RON SOMMERVILLE                 
 responded that the definition is exactly the same as the                      
 subsistence priority in Title 8 of federal law.                               
 Number 214                                                                    
 SENATOR HOFFMAN noted that one of the resolve clauses in the                  
 resolution also speaks to sport fishing, and he asked what sport              
 fishing issue there is in Glacier Bay.  RON SOMMERVILLE replied               
 that the National Park Service allows sport fishing within its                
 boundaries, but they have always taken the position that commercial           
 fishing and subsistence use have to be specifically authorized by             
 Congress.  This has consistently created a problem within Glacier             
 Number 230                                                                    
 BRUCE WEYHRAUCH, representing Allied Fishermen of Southeast Alaska,           
 explained he represented that group when they intervened in a case            
 entitled "Alaska Wildlife Alliance versus Jensen." The fishermen              
 wanted to intervene in the case because if they were excluded from            
 those waters it would mean several things:  they would have to move           
 operations to other fisheries and other grounds elsewhere in                  
 Southeast Alaska, which would mean increasing pressure on those               
 other fisheries; it would have a serious social effect on the small           
 communities in the area that have relied on that fishery; and it              
 would have a tremendous economic effect on the region.                        
 Mr. Weyhrauch said when Allied Fishermen of Southeast Alaska                  
 intervened in this case, the only decision that Judge Holland ruled           
 on was whether ANILCA prohibited commercial fishing in the marine             
 waters of Glacier Bay National Park.  The judge ruled that it did             
 not and that is now on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court.  He said            
 the Ninth Circuit Court may rule on the case at the end of the                
 current year or early next year.                                              
 Number 275                                                                    
 SENATOR LINCOLN asked if in Judge Holland's ruling there was any              
 discussion on subsistence use and sport fishing in the area, and              
 BRUCE WEYHRAUCH answered that just commercial fishing was briefed             
 in the ruling.                                                                
 Number 297                                                                    
 There being no further discussion on CSHJR 43(FSH), SENATOR LEMAN             
 asked for the pleasure of the committee.                                      
 SENATOR PEARCE moved that CSHJR 43(FSH) be passed out of committee            
 with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so             

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