Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/21/2006 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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03:38:04 PM Start
03:41:16 PM SB170
05:13:15 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Scheduled But Not Heard
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 21, 2006                                                                                         
                           3:38 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Thomas Wagoner, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Ralph Seekins, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Ben Stevens                                                                                                             
Senator Fred Dyson                                                                                                              
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Albert Kookesh                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 170                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to the Department  of Fish and Game,  the Board                                                               
of Fisheries,  and the Board of  Game; relating to the  taking of                                                               
big game and to the disposition of  a mount, trophy, or part of a                                                               
fish or game  animal; setting fees for  certain trapping licenses                                                               
and  certain hunting  licenses, permits,  and tags;  setting fees                                                               
for the  resident combined hunting,  trapping, and  sport fishing                                                               
license  and  the resident  combined  hunting  and sport  fishing                                                               
license;  relating to  the resident  small game  hunting license;                                                               
setting application fees for certain  hunting permits and stamps;                                                               
establishing a surcharge on hunting,  trapping, and sport fishing                                                               
licenses;  relating  to  certain  hunting,  trapping,  and  sport                                                               
fishing  licenses, tags,  permits,  and stamps;  relating to  the                                                               
fish  and game  fund; relating  to  violations of  fish and  game                                                               
laws;  relating  to state  management  of  wildlife; relating  to                                                               
endangered  fish and  wildlife;  and providing  for an  effective                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
SENATE BILL NO. 314                                                                                                             
"An Act  limiting retroactive  adjustments in  the sale  price of                                                               
state royalty oil sold by the state to a refiner."                                                                              
          SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                               
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 170                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BD/DEPT OF FISH & GAME POWERS & DUTIES                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) SEEKINS                                                                                                  
04/12/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/12/05       (S)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
04/18/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/18/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/22/05       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/22/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/22/05       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
10/10/05       (S)       RES AT 6:30 PM NOME                                                                                    
10/11/05       (S)       RES AT 6:30 PM Fairbanks                                                                               
10/12/05       (S)       RES AT 6:30 PM Coldfoot                                                                                
10/14/05       (S)       RES AT 2:00 PM Barrow                                                                                  
10/15/05       (S)       RES AT 3:00 PM Chugiak                                                                                 
04/12/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/12/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/12/06       (S)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
04/21/06       (S)       RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CLARK WHITNEY, Master Guide                                                                                                     
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                        
DALE ADAMS                                                                                                                      
Southeast Alaska Guides Association                                                                                             
Sitka, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                        
WAYNE HEIMER                                                                                                                    
Fairbanks AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered suggestions and perspective on SSSB
170 as a former ADF&G employee.                                                                                                 
DAVE LYON                                                                                                                       
Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (ABHA)                                                                                   
Homer AK                                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                         
ROD ARNO, Director                                                                                                              
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
Fairbanks AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SSSB 170.                                                                                       
STEVE PERRINS, Master Guide                                                                                                     
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                        
MARK WAGONER, Registered Guide                                                                                                  
Kodiak, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                         
PAUL SHADURA, Executive Director                                                                                                
Kenai Peninsula Fishermen's Association                                                                                         
Kenai, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                        
Koreen Lamoureux                                                                                                                
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                         
TRACY VREM, Master Guide                                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SSSB 170                                                                                         
MIKE LITZEN, Licensed Master Guide                                                                                              
Nikiski, AK                                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                         
JOE KLUTSCH, President                                                                                                          
Alaska Professional Hunters Association (APHA)                                                                                  
AK Peninsula, AK                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SSSB 170.                                                                                         
GLORIA STICKWAN                                                                                                                 
Glennallen, AK                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SSSB 170                                                                                         
DR. ROLAND MAW, Executive Director                                                                                              
United Cook Inlet Driftnet Association (UCIDA)                                                                                  
Kenai, AK                                                                                                                       
POSITION STATEMENT:  Outlined concerns with SSSB 170                                                                          
RICKY GEASE, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA)                                                                                     
Soldotna, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SSSB 170                                                                                         
JOEL BENNETT, former Board of Game member,                                                                                      
Juneau, AK                                                                                                                      
POSITION STATEMENT:  Pointed out shortfalls in SSSB 170                                                                       
BOBBY FITHIAN, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Professional Hunters Association (APHA)                                                                                  
Lower Tonsina, AK                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported the  primary objective of SSSB 170                                                             
and opposed other aspects of SSSB 170.                                                                                          
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  THOMAS  WAGONER  called   the  Senate  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at 3:38:04  PM. Present at the call to                                                             
order  were Senators  Ben Stevens,  Bert Stedman,  Ralph Seekins,                                                               
Kim Elton, Albert Kookesh, Fred Dyson, and Chair Thomas Wagoner.                                                                
         SB 170-BD/DEPT OF FISH & GAME POWERS & DUTIES                                                                      
CHAIR THOMAS WAGONER announced SB  170 to be up for consideration                                                               
and  opened public  testimony. [The  committee  was working  from                                                               
SSSB 170,  labeled, 24-LS0494\C.  It was  adopted as  the working                                                               
document on 4/12/06.]                                                                                                           
CLARK WHITNEY,  Master Guide, Soldotna, said  although the issues                                                               
in SB 170 are of concern  statewide, his comments would relate to                                                               
Units  9,  17,  and  19   in  particular.  Clearly  the  ungulate                                                               
population  is  in trouble  and  that  has already  impacted  his                                                               
business.  However, if  Units  9 and  17  are declared  intensive                                                               
management  areas  and  the guide  requirement  is  dropped,  the                                                               
financial impact on  registered and master guides  in those areas                                                               
will be  devastating. He noted  that much  of Unit 19  is already                                                               
under intensive management.                                                                                                     
In  recent years  both the  number of  guides and  the number  of                                                               
bears  that  are  harvested   has  increased  dramatically.  That                                                               
coupled  with  the  predator  control   program  will  result  in                                                               
increased  ungulate survival.  Guides are  closely regulated  and                                                               
they   must    meet   stringent   registration    and   reporting                                                               
requirements.  The   industry  is  working  with   the  Big  Game                                                               
Commercial Services Board to improve the industry standards.                                                                    
MR. WHITNEY  asserted that SB  170 would impose  severe financial                                                               
handicaps  on a  viable  guiding industry.  Furthermore it  would                                                               
create hardship on fish and  game management, and negate the hard                                                               
work that  many people have  done to properly control  and manage                                                               
wildlife resources.                                                                                                             
3:41:16 PM                                                                                                                    
He suggested  that if  Senator Seekins wants  to make  changes in                                                               
fish  and  game  matters  he  ought to  work  with  the  entities                                                               
involved to develop a more realistic approach.                                                                                  
SENATOR SEEKINS asked Mr. Whitney if  he was aware of his efforts                                                               
to work with various groups around the state.                                                                                   
MR.  WHITNEY  replied  he  is a  member  of  Alaska  Professional                                                               
Hunters Association (APHA) and he  got the indication that he had                                                               
not worked closely with that group.                                                                                             
3:42:16 PM                                                                                                                    
DALE ADAMS,  Southeast Alaska Guides Association,  Sitka, said he                                                               
had three points  to make. First the association  believes that a                                                               
license  tag   fee  increase  is  reasonable   but  the  proposed                                                               
increases would drive clients away.  Most of the hunters he works                                                               
with aren't wealthy  and they don't have to come  to Alaska if it                                                               
is too expensive.  The second point relates to  lifting the guide                                                               
requirement  in  intensively  managed units.  He  suggested  that                                                               
opening some  areas to resident  guiding would open a  crack that                                                               
could  snowball and  be  difficult to  stop.  Finally, the  guide                                                               
requirement is  a great  benefit to  Alaskans because  it ensures                                                               
residents  have the  opportunity  to hunt  for  sheep, goats  and                                                               
brown bear every year. Other states have lost this opportunity.                                                                 
3:45:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  Mr. Adams  if he  had a  fee schedule  to                                                               
MR. ADAMS replied the association  was thinking that a 40 percent                                                               
or 50  percent increase would  be understandable,  but increasing                                                               
the fees  by several  hundred percent is  not. When  the license,                                                               
tag, and trophy  fees for a brown bear  hunt potentially approach                                                               
60 percent of the cost of the hunt clients will balk.                                                                           
SENATOR  BERT STEDMAN  asked  if  he's found  that  a novice  has                                                               
difficulty distinguishing between a male and female bear.                                                                       
MR.   ADAMS  replied   it's  extremely   difficult  and   without                                                               
considerable experience the odds of taking a sow are tremendous.                                                                
SENATOR STEDMAN  asked if  he would  expect that  Tongass hunters                                                               
would  run into  more wounded  bears in  the woods  if the  guide                                                               
requirement were dropped.                                                                                                       
MR. ADAMS replied the wounding  loss would increase dramatically.                                                               
He  noted the  new  regulation  that requires  a  hunter to  stop                                                               
hunting  if he  or she  wounds an  animal and  said any  guide in                                                               
Alaska that's worth  his salt has a 100-yard rule.  We want to be                                                               
no more than 100 yards away, have  a good rest, and make sure the                                                               
bear is dead. Non-residents don't look at it that way, he said.                                                                 
3:48:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  if someone  who  has lived  in Alaska  12                                                               
months  would be  a better  shot or  more capable  of judging  an                                                               
animal's size  or sex than  someone who  has not lived  here that                                                               
MR.  ADAMS  replied without  a  lot  of  experience it  would  be                                                               
difficult  for anyone  to differentiate  the size  and sex  of an                                                               
animal regardless of residency.                                                                                                 
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked if there  ought to be a  guide requirement                                                               
for residents.                                                                                                                  
MR.  ADAMS  replied  no,  but  it is  a  tricky  area.  Certainly                                                               
education  could be  part of  a  program, but  nothing takes  the                                                               
place of  an experienced  guide that  has been  in the  field for                                                               
multiple trips and is able to keep a handle on the situation.                                                                   
3:50:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER asked  what a reasonable fee increase  might be for                                                               
a non-resident hunter.                                                                                                          
MR. ADAMS  replied he  hadn't penciled  it out  but a  45 percent                                                               
increase is a starting point.                                                                                                   
3:51:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WAGONER said  Alaska residents are getting a  free skate in                                                               
that  they don't  pay  tag  fees. He  asked  for his  perspective                                                               
because one  of the  ideas behind  the fee increase  is to  get a                                                               
better predator control program going.                                                                                          
MR.  ADAMS  replied  it  wouldn't  be out  of  line  to  increase                                                               
resident fees  and that would  bring more  money in to  deal with                                                               
predator issues.                                                                                                                
3:53:00 PM                                                                                                                    
WAYNE HEIMER,  Fairbanks, said he  was speaking for himself  as a                                                               
retired fish and  game employee. The reason we're  here, he said,                                                               
is because  the decisions the  department has made over  the last                                                               
25  years are  not within  the constitutional  mandate. When  the                                                               
constitution was new there weren't  modern notions about fish and                                                               
game management.                                                                                                                
When  Title  16 was  passed  there  was  no  need to  define  the                                                               
commissioner's  duties because  it was  commonly understood  that                                                               
they were to  manage, protect, improve, and extend  fish and game                                                               
resources.  Now there  is confusion  about the  meaning of  those                                                               
He suggested that  much of the controversy surrounding  SB 170 is                                                               
a  matter  of perception  and  much  of  the confusion  could  be                                                               
mitigated if  the commissioner's functions were  defined upfront.                                                               
He recommended changing  that language to "duties"  because it is                                                               
more directive. Furthermore,  management, protection, improvement                                                               
and extension ought to be defined early in the bill.                                                                            
3:55:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  if his  professional wildlife  experience                                                               
had centered on sheep.                                                                                                          
MR. HEIMER replied his experience  was with Dall sheep originally                                                               
and  at  the  end  of  his career  he  worked  in  state  federal                                                               
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked for  his perspective on  how the  state is                                                               
doing in the management of wildlife.                                                                                            
MR. HEIMER  replied not very  well because the state  is confused                                                               
about  what it  means to  manage. He  further suggested  that the                                                               
state has  lost the will  to manage, which  is the result  of the                                                               
federal take over of management on federal land.                                                                                
3:58:10 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVE LYON, Alaska Backcountry Hunters  and Anglers (ABHA), Homer,                                                               
said  ABHA supports  the hunting  license and  tag fee  increases                                                               
that  ADF&G  requested.  He  remarked   that  is  what  the  bill                                                               
addressed initially.                                                                                                            
Currently SB 170 addresses the issue  of the demand for moose and                                                               
caribou exceeding supply  and attempts to mandate  an increase in                                                               
the  supply and  harvest of  ungulates.  He said  we keep  taking                                                               
authority  for  managing fish  and  game  away from  the  trained                                                               
biologists and managers  at ADF&G and putting it in  the hands of                                                               
politicians.  Let fish  and  game do  its  job, provide  adequate                                                               
funding,   and   stress   adaptive  management   over   intensive                                                               
ABHA supports  the original funding  increase that fish  and game                                                               
requested. It  does not  support changes to  Title 16  beyond the                                                               
required  amendment dealing  with license  and tag  fee increases                                                               
and  transparency via  annual budget  reports made  available on-                                                               
line. ADF&G  should not  be forced  into practicing  or promoting                                                               
biologically unsound or unscientific management practices.                                                                      
4:03:09 PM                                                                                                                    
ROD ARNO,  Director, Alaska  Outdoor Council,  Fairbanks, thanked                                                               
the committee for the work it had  done on the bill and urged its                                                               
passage  so that  the  next committee  could  further refine  the                                                               
language. He  emphasized that the  system is broken, but  that is                                                               
not  a  vote  of  no   confidence  in  the  commissioner  or  the                                                               
department.  He aired  the view  that the  state finally  has the                                                               
right  governor  and  the  right   commissioner  to  make  needed                                                               
positive changes in Title 16.                                                                                                   
4:08:39 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE PERRINS, Master Guide, Anchorage,  said he operates in Unit                                                               
16 and  has been  a guide for  30 years. He  said ADF&G  has made                                                               
great strides  to increase the ungulate  populations and decrease                                                               
the number  of wolves  and bears.  From his  perspective dropping                                                               
the guide  requirement in the  intense management areas  is self-                                                               
serving  and   would  be  devastating  to   the  guide  industry.                                                               
Furthermore,  the tag  increases  that  Senator Seekins  proposed                                                               
would cause  hunters to  simply go  elsewhere. Although  there is                                                               
talk that  a 45 percent  increase in  license and tag  fees would                                                               
cover inflation,  the sponsor is  proposing increases as  high as                                                               
600 percent over the next five-year period.                                                                                     
He outlined the annual cost  for a resident fishing, hunting, and                                                               
trapping  license  and  said  it's time  for  an  increase.  Non-                                                               
resident  fees could  sustain increases  and  he would  recommend                                                               
they be more in line with  a 15 percent increase every other year                                                               
for the next  5 to 6 years.  Let ADF&G do its  job in cooperation                                                               
with the  biologists and  professional organizations  that report                                                               
back to it he said in conclusion.                                                                                               
4:12:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS asked Mr. Perrins  if he knew where the suggested                                                               
license fees came from.                                                                                                         
MR. PERRINS said no.                                                                                                            
SENATOR  SEEKINS   informed  him  that  the   Anchorage  Advisory                                                               
Committee recommended the fee schedule.                                                                                         
4:13:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK WAGONER,  Registered Guide,  Kodiak, said  he is  opposed to                                                               
any aspect  of SB 170  and he's particularly concerned  about the                                                               
non-resident  tag increases.  He related  that it's  difficult to                                                               
sell an Alaska  hunting trip when a Canadian trip  costs the same                                                               
or less and  the license and tags are included.  Mr. Wagoner made                                                               
the point  that if a trip  isn't competitive, the hunter  can and                                                               
will go somewhere else in the world.                                                                                            
A reasonable increase in license  and tag fees is acceptable, but                                                               
the proposed  increases are out  of line. The notion  of charging                                                               
residents for species  tags may be a hot potato,  but it ought to                                                               
be  considered. It's  the right  thing to  do at  this stage,  he                                                               
4:18:57 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL  SHADURA, Executive  Director,  Kenai Peninsula  Fishermen's                                                               
Association,  Kenai,  said  the  association opposes  SB  170  as                                                               
written,  but it  agrees with  the concept  of maximum  sustained                                                               
yield for  major fish stocks.  However, for management  of lesser                                                               
stocks  the  concept  would be  devastating  for  the  commercial                                                               
fishing industry, he said.                                                                                                      
MR. SHADURA made  the observation that the Board  of Fisheries is                                                               
already burdened with more  political assessments than biological                                                               
assessments  and  the  proposed   changes  would  exacerbate  the                                                               
situation  by   creating  more   controversy  and   reducing  the                                                               
decisions that are based on best available science practices.                                                                   
4:20:10 PM                                                                                                                    
KOREEN LAMOUREX, Anchorage, said  she was representing herself as                                                               
a homemaker and a hunter.  She characterized the changes proposed                                                               
in SB 170  as broad based and sweeping the  result of which would                                                               
be  to  divide  Alaskans,  jeopardize the  industry,  lessen  the                                                               
integrity of  fish and  game, and  provide future  challenges for                                                               
problems it purports to fix.                                                                                                    
The  legislature   should  not  set  or   govern  regulations  or                                                               
expenditures that are earned and  set aside for wildlife and game                                                               
management, she  said. SB 170 would  lower professional standards                                                               
and  weaken management  by allowing  legislative control  to open                                                               
the  door  for special  interests  to  govern fish  and  wildlife                                                               
policies in  Alaska. Those  policies should  be based  on biology                                                               
and what has been learned historically.                                                                                         
MS.  LAMOUREX reported  that  non-resident  sportsmen bring  over                                                               
$200 million  to Alaska's coffer  each year  and pay for  over 76                                                               
percent of  the wildlife conservation  costs. SB  170 jeopardizes                                                               
that money  without any apparent  gain to the state,  the people,                                                               
or the  wildlife and  fishery resources.  She expressed  the view                                                               
that  the  proposed  increases  for licenses  and  tag  fees  are                                                               
ridiculous because non-resident sportsmen  already bear the brunt                                                               
of stocking the  state's wildlife and fish  management fund. It's                                                               
reasonable to expect resident fees  to increase somewhat, but for                                                               
non-resident fees to increase over 400 percent is out of line.                                                                  
MS.  LAMOUREX suggested  that resident,  non-resident, and  alien                                                               
hunters should  all be required  to use  a locking metal  tag for                                                               
all big  game species  in all  areas of  the state  regardless of                                                               
whether the  area is intensively  managed or not.  She elaborated                                                               
that  the locking  tag is  a management  tool that  would provide                                                               
income to the state.                                                                                                            
She  noted  that  selling  licenses  and big  game  tags  on  the                                                               
Internet  is  user friendly  yet  SB  170  proposes a  5  percent                                                               
discount with  a $1 to  $5 surcharge, which would  penalize those                                                               
without Internet access.                                                                                                        
Waterfowl  stamps provide  a statewide  management  tool and  the                                                               
federal government  uses the information  as well. No  one should                                                               
be exempt from the need to purchase a stamp, she asserted.                                                                      
If Musk  ox are  permitted and  don't require a  big game  tag it                                                               
ought to  be done the  same way  as all other  permitted animals.                                                               
The system  is already splintered  and a new category  of permits                                                               
isn't necessary, she said.                                                                                                      
MS. LAMOUREX  said SB  170 liberalizes  bear harvests  beyond the                                                               
realm  of  ethical standard  and  would  harm future  hunting  in                                                               
Alaska  more  than  it would  help.  Furthermore,  it  vacillates                                                               
between charging  more or  nothing depending on  who you  are and                                                               
where you come from.                                                                                                            
MS.  LAMOUREX   further  stated  that  SB   170  negates  section                                                               
16.05.255 throughout and  in areas would destroy  the heritage of                                                               
hunting and trapping in Alaska.                                                                                                 
4:26:38 PM                                                                                                                    
TRACY  VREM,  Master Guide,  Anchorage,  said  SB 170  completely                                                               
undercuts guided hunts. The fee  structure isn't well thought out                                                               
and  would cause  sportsmen to  go  hunting in  Russia or  Canada                                                               
instead of Alaska.                                                                                                              
4:27:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE LITZEN, Licensed Master Guide,  Nikiski, described SB 170 as                                                               
a  single  bill that  makes  too  many  sweeping changes  to  the                                                               
industry. He  suggested that the  concerns that brought  the bill                                                               
about  should  be  addressed  in   measured  steps.  Although  he                                                               
supports reasonable  tag fee  increases for  non-resident hunters                                                               
and  believes that  residents  ought to  begin  paying a  nominal                                                               
amount for  big game  tag fees, the  proposed increases  for non-                                                               
residents are  excessive and would  put hunting in Alaska  out of                                                               
reach for some of his clients.                                                                                                  
MR.  LITZEN said  he is  adamantly opposed  to unlicensed  people                                                               
taking bear hunters out in  certain areas. There were reasons for                                                               
establishing  the  guide  requirements and  licensing  standards.                                                               
Currently the  Big Game Commercial  Services Board is  working to                                                               
strengthen  those standards  to protect  the resource  and public                                                               
safety.  The proposed  change would  undermine  the industry  and                                                               
devalue the service.                                                                                                            
MR. LITZEN  suggested that the  current predator  control program                                                               
is  beginning  to  show  positive  results  and  said  he  favors                                                               
implementation in new areas where  relief is needed from predator                                                               
prey  imbalances.  Give the  programs  a  chance to  work  before                                                               
resorting  to   more  radical  measures,  he   said.  Mr.  Litzen                                                               
expressed confidence  in the  existing Board  of Game  process as                                                               
well  as the  conservation  expertise that  ADF&G  brings to  the                                                               
board. It should stay this way, he said.                                                                                        
4:31:53 PM                                                                                                                    
JOE KLUTSCH,  President, Alaska Professional  Hunters Association                                                               
(APHA), Alaska  Peninsula, informed  the committee of  his letter                                                               
sent  on behalf  of the  association expressing  concern with  SB
170.  He  said Ms.  Lamoureux  accurately  outlined the  economic                                                               
contribution of the  guiding industry. The $200  million per year                                                               
includes money going out of  guide's pockets for supplies, boats,                                                               
insurance, air taxi  support, license and permitting  fees and to                                                               
government agencies.                                                                                                            
Up to 70 percent of  the Division of Wildlife Conservation budget                                                               
is funded from the sale of  non-resident license and tag fees and                                                               
the  association  supports  a  reasonable  increase.  His  letter                                                               
supported  a 25  percent  increase, but  those  suggested by  the                                                               
Anchorage Advisory  Committee are totally different.  With regard                                                               
to  the  issue  of  tag   fees  for  residents,  he  said  that's                                                               
reasonable because the department needs the money.                                                                              
MR. KLUTSCH urged the committee  to carefully consider Mr. Horn's                                                               
letter regarding the legal ramifications  of exempting brown bear                                                               
hunters  from  the  guide  requirement   in  areas  of  intensive                                                               
management.   Don't  dismiss   his  analysis   as  just   another                                                               
attorney's  opinion, he  cautioned.  This  provision has  serious                                                               
unintended consequences. It  would carry over to  areas not under                                                               
intensive  management   and  to  other   guide-required  species.                                                               
Furthermore, it  provides potential  for abuse  of the  system in                                                               
the form of barter, trade and cash under the table.                                                                             
He stated  agreement with the  concept of managing  for abundance                                                               
and sustained  yield for human  use and with  including predators                                                               
in  the management  equation. However,  the legal  thresholds for                                                               
that  process are  set  too high.  If you  reach  a threshold  of                                                               
biological emergency  then there's been a  management failure, he                                                               
said. The  bill should not  direct management plans,  methods and                                                               
means. That is a board process and function.                                                                                    
We are  in your camp in  the respect that we're  working for what                                                               
is good for guides, what is  good for residents, and what is good                                                               
for wildlife, he concluded.                                                                                                     
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  what he  thinks of  the second  degree of                                                               
kindred law.                                                                                                                    
MR. KLUTSCH outlined the historical  origin and opined that there                                                               
are probably a  number of residents who are  capable, ethical and                                                               
experienced enough  to accompany  someone in the  field and  do a                                                               
good job.  However, they  are not insured,  they don't  have land                                                               
use authorization,  and they don't  always know  about regulatory                                                               
conditions. He  expressed the  opinion that it  puts too  much in                                                               
jeopardy for the guide-required species.                                                                                        
SENATOR SEEKINS asked  if the Board of Game ought  be required to                                                               
check with  the governor's office  before authorizing  a predator                                                               
control program.                                                                                                                
MR. KLUTSCH said no. Providing  for explicit management direction                                                               
in statute is of major concern  because the board should be given                                                               
latitude.   He  expressed   the  view   that  the   anti-predator                                                               
management  contingent has  forced us  into this  arena, but  the                                                               
sponsor is on the right track.                                                                                                  
4:43:21 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON described Mr. Horn's  letter as compelling and said                                                               
he'd like  him to testify if  the bill had a  subsequent hearing.                                                               
He could also discuss whether the  sale of bear hides or trophies                                                               
could negatively implicate the guiding industry.                                                                                
MR. KLUTSCH  said Mr. Horn  was amenable to testifying.  He noted                                                               
that he  had neglected to  mention that  APHA has always  been on                                                               
record opposing the sale of hides and trophies.                                                                                 
4:44:26 PM                                                                                                                    
GLORIA  STICKWAN, Glennallen,  represented herself  and testified                                                               
that  she was  opposed to  many aspects  of SB  170. [Abbreviated                                                               
testimony due to audio difficulties.]                                                                                           
4:48:43 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  ROLAND  MAW, Executive  Director,  United  Cook Inlet  Drift                                                               
Association,  Kasilof, said  his  comments on  SB  170 relate  to                                                               
separating hunting  issues from  fishing issues. Sections  9, 11,                                                               
and  17   are  particularly   troublesome  and   require  further                                                               
discussion. [Dr. Maw  was speaking to the original  version of SB
170, labeled 24-LS0494\I]                                                                                                       
Section  9 talks  about "expenditure  for projects  that directly                                                               
benefit purchasers of..." but it's  not practical in the instance                                                               
of a  hatchery or enhancement  program that's  designed primarily                                                               
for  sport  fishing  when  the fish  move  through  a  commercial                                                               
fishery.  The  reverse wouldn't  work  either  because a  project                                                               
that's designed  for commercial fishing  always has  an allowance                                                               
for  the sport  harvest.  Section 11  has  similar problems,  but                                                               
Section  19 is  particularly egregious  and would  probably cause                                                               
some commercial  fisheries to close.  If those items are  left in                                                               
he could not support the bill.                                                                                                  
DR.  MAW stated  full support  with Paul  Shadura's comments  and                                                               
expressed  the  personal view  that  the  proposed fees  are  not                                                               
particularly egregious.                                                                                                         
CHAIR WAGONER asked Dr. Maw which version he was speaking to.                                                                   
DR.  MAW  said he  downloaded  it  from the  Internet.  [Original                                                               
version of SB 170, labeled 24-LS0494\I                                                                                          
4:52:31 PM                                                                                                                    
RICKY  GEASE,   Executive  Director,  Kenai   River  Sportfishing                                                               
Association, Soldotna,  echoed Paul  Shadura's comments  and said                                                               
it's not effective to pile  more responsibilities on the Board of                                                               
Fisheries when  its plate is  already full. He  expressed concern                                                               
with Section  2 and said  some sport fisheries are  already doing                                                               
well operating under  optimum sustained yield. Also,  he said, we                                                               
do  manage for  species we  don't harvest.  Northern Pike  on the                                                               
Kenai Peninsula  are an example  and he  would not want  to limit                                                               
the department's ability to manage those fish.                                                                                  
He highlighted Section  74, which allows the purchase  or sale of                                                               
sport or  personal use  fish, and said  this would  create severe                                                               
law enforcement problems  for the Kenai Peninsula  in its Sockeye                                                               
and King fisheries.                                                                                                             
4:54:03 PM                                                                                                                    
JOEL  BENNETT,  Juneau, presented  the  perspective  of a  former                                                               
member of  the Board  of Game  who served from  1977 to  1990. He                                                               
identified Sections  4 and  18 of the  sponsor substitute  as the                                                               
areas that  contain the most  sweeping changes. They  require the                                                               
department  to  receive  the appropriate  board  approval  before                                                               
implementing any plan, strategy  or guideline that establishes or                                                               
affects the  management of fish  and game. Mr.  Bennett described                                                               
the  requirement as  unprecedented  and said  it's unworkable  to                                                               
expect the board to review  and approve what are essentially day-                                                               
to-day department matters.                                                                                                      
Under the  current system these lay-member  boards have revolving                                                               
schedules.  They consider  regulations  every two  years for  the                                                               
different  five  regions  and  every  four  years  for  statewide                                                               
regulations. If  SSSB 170 were  to be implemented, it  would call                                                               
for  a full-time  board. That  means it  would be  a professional                                                               
board rather  than a  lay-member board, which  it has  been since                                                               
Statehood.  Mr. Bennett  noted  that the  bill  does not  address                                                               
revamping the  board system and  reiterated his  perspective that                                                               
the most sweeping provision is the most defective.                                                                              
4:57:31 PM                                                                                                                    
BOBBY  FITHIAN, Executive  Director, Alaska  Professional Hunters                                                               
Association  (APHA),  Lower  Tonsina,   said  APHA  supports  the                                                               
primary  objective  of SSSB  170,  which  is to  facilitate  more                                                               
active  management of  Alaska's  fish and  wildlife resources  to                                                               
provide maximum sustained yield.  In particular APHA supports the                                                               
provisions  for  changing  the   legal  standard  of  review  for                                                               
entering into intensive management.                                                                                             
APHA  does   not  support  deleting  the   guide  requirement  in                                                               
intensive managed  units. Although  it has  existed in  state law                                                               
for 47 years,  it exists through a narrow window  of allowance in                                                               
federal constitutional  law. The  three factors that  are allowed                                                               
in federal law are public  safety, enforcement, and conservation.                                                               
Legal  counsel  has said  that  to  deviate  and drop  the  guide                                                               
requirement in intensive management  areas and allow non-resident                                                               
hunters to be  accompanied by resident hunters puts  the scope of                                                               
that activity  beyond that  narrow window  of allowance.  If this                                                               
bill were to pass as written,  there is the risk of eliminating a                                                               
$200 million per year industry  that has sustained itself for 100                                                               
He  asked the  committee to  envision  what would  happen in  the                                                               
state if  the guide requirement  were dropped and  suggested that                                                               
the  level of  effort would  skyrocket. Other  states have  faced                                                               
this  issue and  they have  gone to  drawing permits  for quality                                                               
hunting.  That, he  asserted, would  pit  every Alaskan  resident                                                               
against  every non-resident  who  wanted to  harvest  a big  game                                                               
animal. He described  that eventuality as a loss for  Alaska as a                                                               
APHA  is on  record  supporting  a 25  percent  increase in  non-                                                               
resident license and  tag fees. Furthermore, APHA  would like the                                                               
committee  to consider  implementing  resident  tag fees  because                                                               
it's time  for Alaska residents  to step up and  provide adequate                                                               
and equitable support for the wildlife conservation effort.                                                                     
5:02:46 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  FITHIAN  read  the following  ADF&G  sectional  analysis  of                                                               
Section  74,  dealing with  the  sale  of  trophies and  said  it                                                               
parallels APHA concerns and historic comments.                                                                                  
     The apparent  intent of  this section  is to  allow the                                                                    
     sale of big game trophies,  but the language allows the                                                                    
     sale of  any legally taken  fish or game.  As mentioned                                                                    
     in comments  on previous  versions, this  would include                                                                    
     meat from  game animals as  well as well as  parts such                                                                    
     as  gall  bladders,  claws, teeth  -  some  which  have                                                                    
     market demand.                                                                                                             
     This  section could  lead to  market  hunting, sale  of                                                                    
     fish  caught for  personal use,  sport, or  subsistence                                                                    
     use. Moreover,  it turns all cases  into commerce thus,                                                                    
     bringing Alaska  within the scope of  case law limiting                                                                    
     state's  abilities  to  regulate  interstate  commerce.                                                                    
     This imperils all of  Alaska's existing preferences and                                                                    
     quotas  for  residents  including but  not  limited  to                                                                    
     limiting  subsistence  uses   to  residents,  reserving                                                                    
     drawing permit  quotas to  residents, and  closing non-                                                                    
     resident uses before closing resident uses.                                                                                
5:04:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. FITHIAN  discussed brown bear  conservation history.  In 1925                                                               
the newly  formed Alaska  Game Commission  banned the  harvest of                                                               
brown bears  for the sale  of the  hides. In 1957  the commission                                                               
made it illegal statewide to harvest  a maternal brown bear and a                                                               
year later it became illegal statewide  to harvest a bear cub. In                                                               
1964 it  became illegal  to harvest  a bear the  same day  that a                                                               
hunter was  airborne and in  1967 the  one bear every  four years                                                               
provision  was implemented  for  both  resident and  non-resident                                                               
hunters.  Those sound  bear conservation  measures were  in place                                                               
through the  late 1980s thus  creating a  widespread distribution                                                               
of enhanced ungulate populations that was unique to Alaska.                                                                     
Various lawsuits and ballot measures  in the 1980s brought on the                                                               
loss  of ability  to  control wolves  that  started the  downward                                                               
spiral of  ungulate populations. "Those initiatives  were brought                                                               
on  by anti-hunters  and animal  rights  organizations" but  they                                                               
aren't here  now because we're  right where  they want us  to be.                                                               
We're  hunters  and  unique  Alaskans  that  are  fighting  among                                                               
ourselves  for what  is left.  The solution  is to  focus on  the                                                               
efforts that brought  us here, he said, and APHA  is available to                                                               
help the sponsor in that effort.                                                                                                
5:07:11 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. FITHIAN stated that APHA  encourages reigning in the Division                                                               
of  Subsistence  and  developing  a  truthful  accountability  to                                                               
accommodate  the needs  and concerns  of true  subsistence users.                                                               
Historically APHA  has worked  with ADF&G and  the Board  of Game                                                               
and we  are gaining ground,  he said.  Also, the creation  of the                                                               
Big  Game  Commercial  Services  Board is  a  positive  step  for                                                               
establishing accountability  and sustainability in the  guide and                                                               
transporter industries.                                                                                                         
5:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked Mr.  Fithian if he  was familiar  with the                                                               
Ballard  study on  the effect  of  bear predation  on moose  calf                                                               
survival rates.                                                                                                                 
MR. FITHIAN said he does not have good knowledge of the study.                                                                  
SENATOR  SEEKINS asked  if he  knew how  moose calf  survival was                                                               
affected as a result of bear relocation in the McGrath area.                                                                    
MR. FITHIAN replied he was very familiar with that.                                                                             
CHAIR WAGONER announced he would hold SB 170 in committee.                                                                      
CHAIR WAGONER apologized that the  committee did not have time to                                                               
hear SB 314.                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Wagoner adjourned the meeting at 5:13:15 PM.                                                                            

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