Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/07/1994 08:15 AM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE March 7, 1994 8:15 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Williams, Chairman Representative Bill Hudson, Vice Chairman Representative Con Bunde Representative Pat Carney Representative John Davies Representative David Finkelstein Representative Jeannette James Representative Eldon Mulder MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Joe Green OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT Representative Mike Navarre Senator Bert Sharp COMMITTEE CALENDAR HJR 17: Relating to reauthorization of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act. ADOPTED AND MOVED CS HJR 17(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS HB 404: "An Act relating to the authority of the commissioner of natural resources to reconvey, or relinquish an interest in, land to the United States if that land or interest being reconveyed or relinquished is identified in an amended application for a land allotment under federal law and the original claim for an allotment described land that is now within, or managed as a unit of, the state park system." HEARD AND HELD IN COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION HB 448: "An Act relating to waste and use of salmon and parts of salmon; relating to permits for and operation of a salmon hatchery; and providing for an effective date." ADOPTED AND MOVED CSHB 448(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS SB 77: "An Act relating to the powers of the Board of Game and to intensive management of big game to achieve higher sustained yield for human harvest." MOVED HCS CSSB 77(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS (*First public hearing) WITNESS REGISTER REPRESENTATIVE MIKE NAVARRE Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 521 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-3779 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime sponsor HJR 17 GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison Alaska Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99802 Phone: 465-6143 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HJR 17 ROGER MCKOWAN, Aide Representative Lyman Hoffman State Capitol, Room 503 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-4453 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement on HB 404 PETE PANARESE, Chief Field Operations Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation Department of Natural Resources P.O. Box 107001 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 Phone: 762-2603 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 404 DAN HOURIHAN, Area Ranger Wood-Tikchik State Park P.O. BOX 107001 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 Phone: 762-2603 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 404 PERRY AHSOGEAK, Realty Director Tanana Chiefs Conference 122 1st Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Phone: 452-8251 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 404 DUGAN NIELSEN, Realty Officer Bristol Bay Native Association P.O. Box 103 Dillingham, Alaska 99576 Phone: 842-2743 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 404 DONALD TAYLOR P.O. Box 3118 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Phone: 835-4358 POSITION STATEMENT: Raised questions regarding HB 404 Supported HB 448 LAWRENCE MCCUBBINS P.O. Box 1656 Homer, Alaska 99603 POSITION STATEMENT: Raised questions regarding HB 404 Supported HB 448 RAY GILLESPIE, Representative Association of Aquaculture Associations 9478 Riverbend Court Juneau, Alaska 99801 Phone: 789-3946 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 448 DON AMEND, Representative Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association 2721 Tongass Avenue Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Phone: 225-9605 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 448 TOM MEARS, Executive Director Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association HC 2, Box 849 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Phone: 283-5761 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 448 PETE ESQUIRO, Representative Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association 1308 Sawmill Creek Road Sitka, Alaska 99835 Phone: 747-6850 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 448 SENATOR BERT SHARP State Capitol, Room 514 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Phone: 465-3004 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime sponsor SB 77 DAVE KELLEYHOUSE, Director Division of Wildlife Conservation Alaska Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526 Phone: 465-4191 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 77, version W LEE PUTNAM, Representative Ketchikan Sports and Wildlife Club 6005 Roosevelt Drive Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Phone: 225-7694 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 77 DICK BISHOP, Representative Alaska Outdoor Council 1555 Gus's Grind Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Phone: 455-6151 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 77 GEORGE YASKA, Director of Wildlife Tanana Chiefs Conference 122 1st Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Phone: 479-2362 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 77, present version ROD ARNO P.O. Box 2790 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Phone: 376-2913 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 77 RANDY FRANKLIN P.O. Box 1924 Homer, Alaska 99603 Phone: 235-7104 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 77 concept SANDRA ARNOLD, Representative Alaska Wildlife Alliance P.O. Box 200606 Anchorage, Alaska 99520 Phone: 276-3670 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 77 CHRIS MAACH, President Anchorage Audubon Society P.O. Box 101161 Anchorage, Alaska 99510 Phone: 278-4265 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 77 TRACY ABELL, Representative Alaska Chapter Sierra Club 13030 Bates Circle Anchorage, Alaska 99515 Phone: 345-0132 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 77 GEORGE MATZ 14345 Cody Anchorage, Alaska 99516 Phone: 345-3135 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed SB 77 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 17 SHORT TITLE: MAGNUSON FISHERY CONSRV & MGT ACT SPONSOR(S):REPRESENTATIVE(S) NAVARRE,Ulmer,Grussendorf, Davidson JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/20/93 113 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/20/93 113 (H) FISHERIES, RESOURCES 02/09/94 2311 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) 4DP 02/09/94 2311 (H) DP: NICHOLIA, DAVIDSON, OLBERG, MOSES 02/09/94 2311 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (H.FSH)2/9/94 02/09/94 2327 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DAVIDSON 02/09/94 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 02/09/94 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/07/94 (H) RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 404 SHORT TITLE: NATIVE ALLOTMENTS IN STATE PARKS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) HOFFMAN,Foster,Williams JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/26/94 2155 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/26/94 2155 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, RESOURCES 03/01/94 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/01/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/01/94 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/02/94 2574 (H) STA RPT 3DP 1NR 03/02/94 2574 (H) DP: KOTT, VEZEY, G.DAVIS 03/02/94 2574 (H) NR: OLBERG 03/02/94 2574 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DNR) 3/2/94 03/02/94 2574 (H) REFERRED TO RESOURCES 03/07/94 (H) RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 448 SHORT TITLE: WASTE & USE OF SALMON; HATCHERIES SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/04/94 2268 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 02/04/94 2269 (H) FSH, RESOURCES, JUDICIARY 02/04/94 2269 (H) -ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 2/4/94 02/04/94 2269 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 02/18/94 (H) FSH AT 08:30 AM CAPITOL 17 02/18/94 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 02/22/94 2475 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) 2DP 1NR 02/22/94 2475 (H) DP: MOSES, OLBERG 02/22/94 2475 (H) NR: NICHOLIA 02/22/94 2476 (H) -PREVIOUS ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 2/4/94 03/07/94 (H) RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124 BILL: SB 77 SHORT TITLE: INTENSIVE MANAGEMENT OF GAME RESOURCES SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) SHARP,Frank,Taylor,Miller; REPRESENTATIVE(S) Therriault,James JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/29/93 188 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 01/29/93 188 (S) RESOURCES 02/03/93 227 (S) COSPONSOR: MILLER 02/10/93 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH RM 205 02/10/93 (S) MINUTE(RES) 02/19/93 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH RM 205 02/24/93 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH RM 205 02/24/93 (S) MINUTE(RES) 02/26/93 500 (S) RES RPT CS 2DP 3DNP 1NR NEW TITLE 02/26/93 500 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS (F&G) 02/26/93 (S) RLS AT 01:15 PM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 03/09/93 (S) RLS AT 12:15 PM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 03/09/93 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/10/93 710 (S) RULES RPT 3 CAL 1NR 3/10/93 03/10/93 719 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/10/93 719 (S) RES CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/10/93 719 (S) AM NO 1 FAILED Y9 N10 E1 03/10/93 721 (S) ADVANCE TO 3RD RDG FAILED Y11 N8 E1 03/10/93 721 (S) THIRD READING 3/11 CALENDAR 03/11/93 756 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 77(RES) 03/11/93 756 (S) PASSED Y11 N8 E1 03/11/93 756 (S) DONLEY NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 03/12/93 783 (S) RECON TAKEN UP-IN THIRD READING 03/12/93 784 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y11 N8 E1 03/12/93 786 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/15/93 643 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S) 03/15/93 643 (H) RESOURCES 03/15/93 658 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): THERRIAULT 04/17/93 (H) MINUTE(STA) 04/19/93 (H) MINUTE(RES) 04/21/93 (H) RES AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 124 01/13/94 2056 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): JAMES 02/16/94 (H) RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124 02/16/94 (H) MINUTE(RES) 03/07/94 (H) RES AT 08:15 AM CAPITOL 124 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-26, SIDE A Number 000 The House Resources Committee was called to order by Chairman Bill Williams at 8:23 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Williams, Hudson, Bunde, Carney, Davies, and Finkelstein. Members absent were Representatives Green, James, and Mulder. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced there is a quorum present. He said the meeting is on teleconference with Anchorage, Barrow, Cordova, Delta Junction, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Glennallen, Homer, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Ketchikan, Mat-Su, Seward, Sitka, Kenai/Soldotna, Tok, Valdez and McGrath. HJR 17 - Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act MIKE NAVARRE, PRIME SPONSOR, stated HJR 17 is a general statement in support of the Magnuson Fishery Act, which is up for reauthorization in the U.S. Congress and it is a specific statement in support of keeping the current geographic composition of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Alaska currently has the majority of seats on the council. He said there are other issues which the Magnuson Fishery Act will address and the Act has been a benefit to the state since its inception in 1976. He urged committee members to pass the resolution out of committee. He noted there has been a suggestion to add Senator Hollings to the resolution because of his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. REPRESENTATIVE BILL HUDSON MOVED to AMEND HJR 17 to add the name Senator Ernest Hollings. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, the AMENDMENT was ADOPTED. GERON BRUCE, LEGISLATIVE LIAISON, ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME (ADF&G), expressed support of HJR 17. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON made a MOTION to MOVE CSHJR 17(RES) with a zero fiscal note out of committee with INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED. Number 058 HB 404 - Native Allotments In State Parks ROGER MCKOWAN, AIDE, REPRESENTATIVE LYMAN HOFFMAN, stated HB 404 is a technical correction to a statute under Title 38. He said there is a substantial number of people in Representative Hoffman's district who have Native allotments within what is now a state park, which the state holds title. There are alternative lands outside the state park which the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) agrees the landowners should have. However, the state is not in a position statutorily to relinquish the alternative land to relocate the landholder out of the state park. HB 404 allows the commissioner of DNR to reconvey the land back to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which is the entity able to make the exchange. PETE PANARESE, CHIEF, FIELD OPERATIONS, DIVISION OF PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION, DNR, testified via teleconference and expressed support for HB 404. He said the bill will allow the state to reconvey land to the federal government if that land was identified in an amended application for Native allotment under federal law and the original land claimed is within the state park. Allowing the applicants to relocate to state land outside state parks will reduce public impact and speed up finalization of the applications, some of which have been pending for over thirty years. Number 095 REPRESENTATIVE JOHN DAVIES requested a brief overview of what the problem is and how HB 404 solves the problem. MR. PANARESE replied Alaska received title to the land in Wood-Tikchik State Park in 1970. It became a state park in 1978. After the land had received title, allotment applications were filed on the premise that the land was used before it became a state park. The dilemma is the state owns the land and the allottees are claiming that prior use and occupancy. He stressed it will take the federal government many decades to adjudicate all of these lands. The state is attempting to create options for the allottees to relocate outside of the state park and HB 404 provides one of those options. It will provide the DNR commissioner a tool to provide other state land for the allottees. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what process is involved for the allottees to get the other land. MR. PANARESE responded the allottees need to amend their application from one location to the other. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if it was then up to the commissioner to make the decision through normal Title 38 processes. MR. PANARESE said that was correct. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked how much land is involved. MR. PANARESE replied there are 159 total allotments throughout the state park system and this is just an option for the allottees. Allottees may wish to stay within the park. He added the acreage involved is approximately 10,000 acres. Number 124 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE asked what limitations are currently in place for owners of the land claimed within the state park other than not being able to sell the land. MR. PANARESE stated for those who own the allotment and received a patent, there are no restrictions on how they use the land. He said the department has numerous applications which HB 404 will provide a tool to finalize. Those applications are affected in that they have to use the land in a very simple manner such as putting up a cabin. Number 140 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked where the additional lands are located which the allottees will receive in exchange for the park land. MR. PANARESE responded the commissioner is going to allow the exchange to take place on all unappropriated lands which the state owns that have no third party interest on them. REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER asked if land received in the exchange will be of similar size and value. MR. PANARESE replied the land will be of like size and value. Number 155 DAN HOURIHAN, AREA RANGER, WOOD-TIKCHIK STATE PARK, testified via teleconference and reiterated Mr. Panarese's remarks. He said the state selected land within Wood- Tikchik State Park in 1961 as part of its statehood entitlement, which at that time was unappropriated federal land. The state then began receiving tentative approval (TA) of patent to that land in 1963. The process was completed by 1964. He stated in 1971, the 1906 Native Allotment Act, which entitled an individual Native allotment to select up to 160 acres of unappropriated federal land based upon certain use and occupancy criteria, was sunsetted with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Therefore, a number of people with applications who thought they had a valid claim were tendered in 1971 as a part of the sunset. MR. HOURIHAN said in Wood-Tikchik State Park, the applications amounted to 121 parcels of land with an average size of 88 acres. At this date, the vast majority of those applications have not been adjudicated by BLM, which is the agency responsible for adjudicating the validity of those applications based upon use and occupancy criteria. He said the department would like to help expedite the process of transferring lands to Native allotment applicants. That process is complicated for BLM because the land is now owned by the state, and in an attempt to resolve those applications, DNR has worked closely with Native organizations, individual allottees, and state government to identify certain negotiable options which can be made available to allotment applicants. MR. HOURIHAN remarked the idea of relocation is one of the options. In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed a bill, sponsored by Representative Young, which allows an individual allottee to amend his/her original application by identifying different lands in instances where an agreement with the state has been reached on substitute lands. He stressed that bill is in effect and that mechanism is available to allotment applicants. This change in Title 38 will allow those changes to take place and allow the commissioner of DNR to reconvey substitute lands to the federal government. The department feels HB 404 is a valuable option and may be a lucrative option to (indiscernible) allotment applicants. Number 208 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked how many acres there are in the entire Wood-Tikchik State Park and how many acres the 104 applications represent. MR. HOURIHAN replied there are approximately 1.5 million acres in the state park and there are 104 applications for allotment parcels within the park with an average size of 80 acres. He said what is unique about the acreage applied for is that in many cases, the acreage is in areas with a large amount of public use. In many instances, allotment applicants may elect to remain (indiscernible) they have applied to that land and DNR will work closely with those individuals to ensure that in those instances where applications are valid, the allottees receive title to that land as quickly as possible. DNR will work closely with the allottees in order to reach agreement on certain types of land uses which will protect their interests on a long-term basis in terms of subsistence uses and current traditional uses, as well as protect public interest in the park. He added that relocation provides an alternative for those who are interested. Number 232 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked when the original applications were made, were applicants able to apply for more than their allotted share. MR. HOURIHAN responded they were not. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked in the land which the allottees will receive in the exchange, will the state's interest in mineral rights apply. MR. HOURIHAN replied yes. There is no change in the substitute land. (CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS noted for the record that REPRESENTATIVE JAMES joined the committee at 8:30 a.m.) REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE stated it appears that many of the allotments are in access points and asked if applicants could control access points, charge trespass fees, develop the land privately, etc. MR. HOURIHAN stated in the instance of an individual receiving a (indiscernible) allotment to a piece of land, they still maintain a trust relationship with the federal government but on a long-term basis, it is private property and any uses of the land are unrestricted. He cannot speculate on what an individual might do with their private property in the park. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE clarified there is nothing preventing the proliferation of commercial enterprises in the park if people receiving the property wish to do so. In addition, he said the land was claimed by the state in 1961 and asked if the applications were existing at that time or were they filed after the park was established. MR. HOURIHAN said the state selected the land in 1961 and the majority of the applications for the land were received in 1971. REPRESENTATIVE PAT CARNEY asked when the land is reconveyed to the federal government, is the state compensated in the state's land selection. MR. HOURIHAN replied yes. REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES wondered if there are additional unknown situations of people anxious to take more state land. Number 300 MR. HOURIHAN said there is a mechanism existing in Title 38 which allows the DNR commissioner to reconvey lands to the federal government. (Indiscernible) instances where there may have been an existing valid use at the time of state selection and received a title. He stated that continues to be true in HB 404. Any (indiscernible) of state lands would be predicated upon the state agreeing that an individual had a valid Native allotment application and that although an application had not been filed, the use and occupancy required in the 1906 Native Allotment Act was ongoing. MR. HOURIHAN stressed HB 404 simply follows up on valid applications for allotments. He said HB 404 is not an attempt by individuals to secure state land outside of a program. He felt HB 404 addresses the state's need to recognize that Native allotments did exist at the time the state selected the land and in those instances where people had a valid use, to follow through and ensure those individuals receive the land they are entitled to, while doing their best to protect existing public interests. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES asked if 500,000 acres are going to be taken off the table, will there be enough land in the areas sought by the people affected. MR. HOURIHAN responded he did not believe the people will be deprived. Although the commissioner of DNR has identified all appropriated general state lands for relocation, Mr. Hourihan expects the majority of the allottees interested in relocating, particularly in the Wood-Tikchik area, will relocate to general state lands. Number 369 REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked what happens if HB 404 does not pass. How long will it take to get the applications settled. MR. HOURIHAN stated it is difficult to put a time period on the BLM adjudicative process. He said a big delay in the process will be the survey of the lands, which needs to be completed by the federal government. He noted it has been 23 years since the last application came in. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked if surveying will be required for the state land being exchanged. MR. HOURIHAN replied surveying will be required, but because the individual is simply relocating their allotment lands, BLM will follow through with the same process just as they would have in the original application. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked if it is settled and the system is in place, what is the possible outcome. MR. HOURIHAN stated the department has identified other options available to individuals to resolve applications which as of yet have not been adjudicated by the federal government. Not exploring other options will (indiscernible) win/win situations and expedite the adjudication by BLM. He expected individual applications will be handled on a case-by-case basis, as determined by the use and occupancy time period, and the process will probably take about 10-15 years. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked if it is almost certain that the people will eventually get title to the land they have overfiled on. MR. HOURIHAN replied possibly not. It depends on the merits of the particular application and because the BLM adjudicative process is in an early stage, he cannot speculate. Number 418 PERRY AHSOGEAK, REALTY DIRECTOR, TANANA CHIEFS CONFERENCE (TCC), testified via teleconference and stated TCC provides land measurement services under contract to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for Native allotments located within the TCC region. In working on Native allotment applications, he has had the experience of working on land conflicts with the state. Resolving land conflicts requires an extensive amount of time due to the conflicts nature of the lands involved. MR. AHSOGEAK stressed HB 404 will easily resolve the problem by allowing allottees in the state to negotiate on the location of their allotments. With the opportunity to negotiate, the state receives the benefit of spending less staff time in resolving the conflict, and there will be fewer litigation issues. In addition, the allottee receives the benefit of obtaining title within their lapse time to the lands they are entitled to under the Native law. He stated TCC urges the committee to pass HB 404. Number 453 DUGAN NIELSEN, REALTY OFFICER, BRISTOL BAY NATIVE ASSOCIATION, testified via teleconference and stated he has been involved in the Native allotment program for a long time. He said the remaining pending Native allotment applications are in situations where there are conflicts with state land selections. Often times the ability to resolve the problems is limited to going before the Interior Board of Land Appeals. In those cases, there is a winner and a loser but regardless, there is great expense to both parties. Number 475 MR. NIELSEN stated HB 404 provides an opportunity for a win/win solution to land conveyances for both Native allottees and the state of Alaska. He said HB 404 will help avoid years of litigation and tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. He remarked HB 404 is a good bill in that it provides a mechanism for a resolution in those uncertain land ownership situations. Number 486 DONALD TAYLOR, VALDEZ, testified via teleconference and raised questions regarding the reasoning behind HB 404. He wondered whether HB 404 ensures allottees get the same value of land. He felt there will be problems in regard to financial interests, access, etc., if federal, state, and private lands are mixed. He thought it might be better if those three entities are separated, so each agency and private party will benefit in regard to the development of the land. If the land is left to the parks to develop, there may be access problems, water problems, sewer problems, etc. He said the right-of-way access to the private lands may become a real issue and if it gets to the point where the problem cannot be resolved, perhaps the boundaries of the state park can be changed to exclude the allotted lands. Number 540 LAWRENCE MCCUBBINS, HOMER, testified via teleconference and referred the committee to page 2, line 28 of HB 404 which states "management as a unit of the state park system:". He said there is land which the state has not received patent to but has TA. He stated there is an individual he knows who went to a homestead instead of an allotment, got shafted, and the land is now managed by the state park. He asked if a person who has gone through the system of homestead is included in HB 404. MR. PANARESE felt the comparison being made is different than what is being addressed in Wood-Tikchik State Park. The allotment applications are made under federal law and he did not believe homesteading is the same type of issue. MR. MCCUBBINS asked why the language in HB 404 says "managed as a unit" which is land that can be referred to as land which has not been patented. MR. PANARESE explained a TA status of state land gives DNR the management authority over the allotments within the state park unit. He stated he did not understand the question. MR. MCCUBBINS said BLM gave the state the right to manage land which has been selected, whether it be under a TA or not a TA status. When a TA is issued, it cannot be reversed. MR. PANARESE replied the department considers TA to be a working patent; the state is managing the land as if it owns it. HB 404 will provide a tool to change state land locations for the allottees. MR. MCCUBBINS asked once a TA is issued, can it be reversed, eliminated, reassumed by the federal government or issued under any other application. MR. PANARESE said no. MR. MCCUBBINS asked how that can be proved since it has happened. MR. PANARESE replied he did not know. Number 654 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN commented it is possible to reconvey land back to the federal government regardless of what stage it is in. He said he would not be surprised if it had been done in the past, since the state has not filled its allocation. He stated he was not certain how that might relate to HB 404. He thought perhaps Mr. McCubbin's point was if Native allotments are going to be included in HB 404, why not cover homestead act applications as well. MR. MCCUBBINS said that was correct. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN felt it is a good question. MR. PANARESE said the question is beyond him. Homesteading has not been considered. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked for an overview of the timetable of the land being discussed. TAPE 94-26, SIDE B Number 000 MR. PANARESE replied the land was selected in 1961. In 1963, TA was received for a working patent to the land and in 1971, most of the applications were filed for land. In 1978, the state land was designated as Wood-Tikchik State Park. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked what the date was for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) which triggered the allotment applications. MR. PANARESE replied it was in 1972. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS said it was December 18, 1971. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked in the normal process used for the applications, is there a portion of the process which determines whether or not the application is valid. MR. PANARESE said there is a process contained in the 1906 Native Allotment Act which outlines how the project will flow. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked in that process, is there a portion which addresses whether or not an application is valid. MR. PANARESE said yes. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES wondered if HB 404 is passed, does the state take over that process. MR. PANARESE responded no. The state continues to work with BLM and added this is just an option to try and move the applications in a much more realistic time frame. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if the state proceeds only after BLM has determined the application is valid. Number 050 MR. PANARESE said the state is negotiating with the allottees while the process is taking place. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked if it is conceivable if HB 404 passes that an applicant with an invalid claim could be granted state land. MR. PANARESE stated it is highly unlikely. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES expressed concern that if the process is ongoing on in parallel and BLM has not yet determined whether or not an application is valid, the state would not know. MR. PANARESE said the state will make the best interest determination under the guidelines established in Title 38 and move forward on that basis. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE commented that in the mid-1970s he flew for BLM when they were surveying for Native allotments and stated it was a long, daunting challenge. He added even if HB 404 is passed, the state lands being exchanged will still have to be surveyed by BLM. Therefore, there really is no time advantage. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked if there is any reason not to include individuals who filed under the Federal Homestead Act and were not granted their homestead. MR. PANARESE stated the department's actions are in direct response to amendments to federal legislation under ANCSA. He said he is not prepared to address the homesteading issue. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES thought it would be difficult to put homesteads in the same category with allotments because homesteads by their nature require improvements, while allotments do not. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY recalled there are situations where people filed for homesteads and lost their filing because of the various acts passed. Number 092 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said he heard someone say that federal law allows movement of a claim. Normally, a claim cannot be moved, either for an allotment or a homestead, because the validity of the claim is based on the particular use and activity in that location. Allotments are required to show history of use at a specific location. He noted the reason HB 404 can apply to allotments is there is a new treatment of allotments in federal law which allows movement. He felt the committee should get a copy of that federal law. MR. PANARESE agreed with Representative Finkelstein. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY stated he is not satisfied with the answers provided. He felt a determination should be made if there are homestead applicants existing who could be covered by HB 404. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked Mr. Panarese how long it will take him to make that determination. MR. PANARESE said he can look into it. He stated he is not certain there are any homesteads affected, but he will do land status research and get back to the committee within 2- 3 days. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY noted he is not particularly concerned whether homesteaders are directly affected by HB 404, but rather he is concerned whether or not people who have homestead land from the federal government have in some way lost that homestead right in a federal process. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS requested Representative Hoffman's office to work with Representative Carney and DNR on the issue. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON felt it is important that the sponsor of the bill be present at future meetings on HB 404 to answer questions. HB 448 - Waste & Use Of Salmon; Hatcheries CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS advised there is a draft committee substitute in committee members folders which adds two words that were unintentionally omitted from the Fisheries Committee CS when it was amended in that committee. GERON BRUCE, LEGISLATIVE LIAISON, ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME (ADF&G), said on page 3, line 12, the words "from wild stock" were left out of the Fisheries Committee version. This language is to carry forward the original intent of this section of the statute, which was to ensure that when hatcheries are being established and eggs are being taken from wild stock, there is some balance between the sustained yield needs of the wild stock, the hatchery egg takes, and the opportunities of the common property users to continue to harvest those resources. Once the eggs are in the hatcheries, the hatchery has established its own brood stock and is operating off of its own brood stock, it is a different situation. This language was to clarify the original intent. MR. BRUCE stated HB 448 provides for an exemption to the statutory requirement that the carcass of a salmon be utilized when it is harvested. He explained the hatchery program begins with the most important decision made in hatchery development, which is the siting of the hatchery. When a hatchery is given a permit by ADF&G, two things are looked at when siting the facility. First, the hatchery is sited in a location where it will contribute significantly to the common property fisheries. These are fisheries which are mixed in nature and are composed of a number of wild stocks. Once the hatchery is on-line, the hatchery stocks will also be present in that fishery. The second consideration is that the hatchery has a terminal harvest area relatively free of wild stock so the hatchery operator or fishermen operating in the area can go in and harvest the hatchery's run completely without jeopardizing the sustained yield of any wild stock. Number 240 MR. BRUCE said in managing the harvests of hatchery stocks as they pass through the mixed wild stock/common property fisheries, the hatchery harvests have to be restricted to the level at which the wild stocks will support. A certain percentage of the hatchery run has to get back to the hatchery to provide brood stock for subsequent returns and also to provide cost recovery to the hatchery operator. He stressed in the private nonprofit hatchery programs, the major premise of the program is that a significant portion of the costs of the program will be covered by the harvest of returning fish produced by the hatchery. MR. BRUCE pointed out that in most situations, approximately 60 percent of the hatchery returns statewide are harvested in common property fisheries by commercial, sport, and personal use fishermen. In many cases, a high percentage of the fish returning to the terminal harvest area are suitable for utilization in some manner. However, at a certain point in the run, the salmon deteriorate to the point they are not suitable for value-added products. He said it is important to consider the biology of salmon. MR. BRUCE stated as salmon return to fresh water and get ready to spawn, they stop feeding and begin consuming their stored body fats and proteins for their own survival and for conversion into roe. The animal is headed for death, it is consuming its own energy sources for other purposes and consequently reduces the value of the flesh. He stressed at some point the fish becomes unsuitable. It is not unwholesome. A person could eat it, but very few people do because it is very mushy, has no color, etc. MR. BRUCE explained in order to more fully utilize the returns coming back to the hatcheries, both for the seafood industry and the hatchery operators, and in trying to recover all of the revenue which can be received from the returns, HB 448 will provide an exemption for the tail end of the run when the fish are not suitable for any other purpose, but still contain a valuable product. He noted that salmon roe is an extremely valuable product. In 1993, the value of frozen red salmon exported from Alaska was $627.5 million and the value of salmon roe was $177 million. He added that roe has steadily been increasing in value over the last five years. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if that was value of the salmon roe exported or just the value of salmon roe to the hatcheries. MR. BRUCE replied the figure is for the salmon roe exported as a finished product. Number 311 MR. BRUCE continued that the exemption in HB 448 is permissive and has to be applied for, it is not automatically granted. In order to receive the permit, three criteria will need to be met: 1) the fish will have to be demonstrated to be from a hatchery program; 2) the fish will have to have returned to a terminal area; and 3) they will have to be determined by the commissioner of ADF&G to be unsuitable for human consumption. Once the three criteria are satisfied, the commissioner can issue a permit allowing the taking of salmon in a specific area for the harvest of roe and the carcasses will be discarded in accordance with the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) requirements. MR. BRUCE said many people ask the question, how does this fit with other state policies regarding the harvest of roe and the discard of carcasses. He stated most people are aware of the controversy on pollack roe stripping which occurred in the North Pacific by factory trawlers. He said there are several differences which are a basis for distinguishing between the two issues. Salmon returning to hatcheries are not part of the biological basis for sustained yield. They are not needed for spawning, they are supplemental production, and they are intended by the producers and the state to be totally utilized for either common property harvest, brood stock, or cost recovery. MR. BRUCE explained salmon are within a week or two of dying. If HB 448 is not in place to allow salmon to be harvested for their roe, they will die with the roe still in them, they will not spawn successfully, they will not contribute at all to a sustained yield and a very valuable byproduct will go unutilized. He said another difference is that pollack are not going to die upon spawning, pollack are not nearing death, and pollack flesh does not deteriorate to the point that the quality is such that people would not want to eat it. In the case of pollack, it is an economic decision. The market value of the flesh is low enough that factory trawlers chose not to process it because the cost of producing the product exceeded the price they could get in the market for it. That is not the case with salmon. He stressed the salmon being discussed have zero value in the marketplace and are not desirable. MR. BRUCE stated the public and private players in the private nonprofit salmon program have significant investments in salmon. In many cases, the hatcheries are operating under loans from the state, the fishermen are paying a salmon enhancement tax in many areas of the state to support the hatcheries, there are significant private and public investments which have been made to produce these fish and its wise management to try to recover all possible revenue from returning fish, especially if there is no reason not to. MR. BRUCE gave an example of a situation which could have been bettered if HB 448 had been in place. Runs come in, a significant percentage is harvested in the common property fishery and the remainder in the terminal area are cleaned up without getting below the threshold. He noted there are circumstances in which either the runs behave unusually or in the case of a very large run, the process or capacity gets plugged and the process is not able to get to the fish, so the fish sit in the water in the terminal area and deteriorate. He stressed in that case, a matter of a few days makes a significant difference. Number 385 MR. BRUCE described the situation which occurred in Prince William Sound in 1991. The Prince William Sound Aquaculture Association had to get a permit from ADF&G to dump three million pounds of pink salmon out in the open Sound because those fish came into the terminal harvest area, deteriorated in quality, there was no market for them, the processors were unable to get to them, and therefore the fish were dumped. He stressed no value was recovered from the fish whatsoever, and pointed out that if HB 448 had been in place, the Aquaculture Association would have been able to recover the value of the roe which would have paid the costs for dumping them with money probably left over. As it was, the state paid the costs of dumping the fish. The circumstances which led to the dumping of the fish were that in 1991, for some reason the pink salmon held off very late in entering the Sound and when they did enter, it was a very large run, there were low wild stocks, there was limited opportunity to fish in the mixed common property areas, and a very large number of fish returned to the terminal area and swamped everything. Number 415 REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked why was it more of a crime to take the roe before the fish were dumped than it was just to dump the fish. MR. BRUCE replied it would have been the most desirable circumstance to have harvested the fish and utilized the carcass and the roe. In this instance, that was not possible because of the circumstances surrounding that year's return. It would have been less of a crime in the sense, that at least some value could have been extracted from the fish. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY said Mr. Bruce was still not answering his question. He asked if it was legal to dump fish. MR. BRUCE replied a permit is required. He said the fish were taken out to the Sound to dump because in a shallow bay, if all of those fish would have been allowed to die, they would have caused significant environmental problems. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY asked why were the roe not taken before the fish were dumped. MR. BRUCE replied it would have been illegal. There is no provision in statute to allow for the removal of the roe if the carcass was not utilized. In current law, the carcass has to be utilized in some way. REPRESENTATIVE CARNEY said a permit was issued from the commissioner to dump the fish and asked if the commissioner could have also given permission to take the roe. MR. BRUCE said not without the law being proposed. Number 471 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER stated it would seem like the commissioner would have the authority under emergency regulation to be able to issue that kind of permit. MR. BRUCE replied the commissioner might have been able to stretch his discretionary authority in the law, but it would have been an unusual call and one which would have not been subject to policy approval through the legislative body. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER asked if ADF&G has explored options to try and limit bycatch or incidental catch. MR. BRUCE responded yes in specific fisheries, the department has made efforts to do that. He noted the fisheries having the most excessive discard are not managed by the department. Therefore, the role of the department is to try and influence the federal managers to take action. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked what is the value to be derived from extracting roe from salmon. MR. BRUCE stated he did not know because there is nothing to base the figure on, except what egg sales have taken place in hatcheries as a result of and ancillary to the utilization of a portion of the brood stock they do not need. In 1993, the sales were less than $500,000 statewide. He said the roe market is very large and healthy and he guessed the figure would probably be in the tens of millions of dollars. He added that a hatchery might have a one million dollar budget and if it can recover an extra $200,000, it is a very significant percentage of its total costs. Number 547 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN felt HB 448 is a good bill. He said there has been use of carcasses and mentioned a nonprofit agency which has received funding to distribute excess carcasses to get them into the hands of poor people. He asked if there is any way to require hatcheries, without cost to them, to make the carcasses available. MR. BRUCE stated there is a market incentive to do that already, because there is a cost associated with disposing of the carcasses. Hatcheries have to conform with DEC requirements which require carcasses to be either ground and disposed of or transported out to deep water. He pointed out that if someone is willing to come to the hatchery door and take the carcasses, the hatchery avoids a cost. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN commented there is also some disincentive because the hatcheries might not want to put inferior salmon out into the market for fear of hurting their reputation. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES asked what the original purpose in the law was in preventing the taking of eggs. He wondered if it was to eliminate the situation where people destroy fish just for the roe. MR. BRUCE said he cannot answer the question. He stated the roe market is a recent development and he did not know what date the statute originates. He said he would research the answer and get back to the committee. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said hatcheries in Unalakeet just break even on processing the flesh and make their money on the eggs. He noted there are unsubstantiated rumors that people along the Yukon catch fish, throw the fish away, keep the eggs and make $125 a pound. He asked if there is any danger that the rumored egg take could be legitimized through HB 448. MR. BRUCE replied there is an existing roe fishery on the Yukon River which is in a specific drainage. Under current law, people are required to utilize the carcass in some way and it is usually dried. He said ADF&G's best information is that compliance with the law is good there and no significant abuse is occurring. He explained there is an authorized roe fishery and it is operated under a guideline harvest by the department. There are so many pounds of roe which are allowed to be harvested under that fishery and it is managed on a sustained yield basis. He stressed that is a different situation than what HB 448 will authorize because HB 448 involves hatchery fish and the utilization of the carcass is not required. MR. BRUCE said there have also been reports of salmon being harvested by subsistence users and the roe being sold. He stated there have been arrests and convictions. TAPE 94-27, SIDE A Number 000 RAY GILLESPIE, REPRESENTATIVE, ASSOCIATION OF AQUACULTURE ASSOCIATIONS, expressed all four organizations he represents support HB 448 and the proposed amendment. DON AMEND, REPRESENTATIVE, SOUTHERN SOUTHEAST REGIONAL AQUACULTURE ASSOCIATION (SSRAA), testified via teleconference and stated SSRAA supports HB 448. He noted there have been instances where fish have had to be dumped without being able to recover some of the value in the form of eggs. Number 039 TOM MEARS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COOK INLET AQUACULTURE ASSOCIATION (CIAA), testified via teleconference and stated CIAA supports HB 448. Extracting some value from otherwise low grade fish is a good idea. In answer to a question asked earlier regarding CIAA's current position of refusing to provide fish for the free salmon giveaways, CIAA chooses not to participate based on the advice of legal counsel. He stated CIAA has letters in their files from state and federal regulatory agencies telling them that brood stock taken in remote hatcheries are unfit for human consumption. He explained CIAA's lawyers worry about the legal liability of giving away something which is unfit for human consumption even though there is a law in place which might protect or exempt them when giving fish to a food bank. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if there is a law in place which addresses a hatchery's liability in giving away fish. MR. MEARS responded there is a current law which allows for a general exemption from liability for people who give food to a food bank. However, he is not sure how the Association would defend themselves when they knowingly gave away fish which were deemed to be unfit for human consumption. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said he would do some research to determine if there is any way to resolve that issue. If the legislature is going to allow the taking of the valuable part of the fish, he felt the carcasses should also be made available to serve a public interest. MR. MEARS said CIAA would be happy to make fish available if they could be assured there will be no legal repercussions to them. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES said earlier testimony indicated there is a difference in the quality of fish as the run progresses. He asked Mr. Mears to comment on that statement. MR. MEARS replied that at most facilities, fish early in the run are in excellent condition and can be marketed on the value of their flesh quality. As time passes, particularly in the last ten percent of fish coming in, the flesh has little or no value, but eggs may provide an opportunity to still get value. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES clarified the only concern of CIAA for giving fish away is the legal circumstance that somehow fish are defined as unfit, whereas it may be that some of the fish are fit for human consumption. MR. MEARS stated fish harvested in the round and taken off to a processor are always deemed fit for human consumption. He said the specific incidence he is referring to is fish which are in a normal course of events at a hatchery, collected for brood stock, and eggs are collected for the spawning process. Those fish, because they are cut open in conditions not approved by DEC nor can be approved, are by definition adulterated and by definition are unfit for human consumption. Number 116 PETE ESQUIRO, REPRESENTATIVE, NORTHERN SOUTHEAST REGIONAL AQUACULTURE ASSOCIATION (NSRAA), testified via teleconference and expressed support of HB 448. He stated NSRAA still sees its mission as trying to harvest the highest quality fish possible and the committee should note that fish being discussed in HB 448 are fish NSRAA cannot make fit into the high quality category. He felt as HB 448 is approved and implemented, it is important for the commissioner to meet with representatives of the industry who can help in defining unsuitable for human consumption. He thought that definition is a critical element. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked Mr. Esquiro what the approximate value of what is being wasted in his region by not being able to harvest the eggs. MR. ESQUIRO replied last year, NSRAA marketed $160,000 worth of surplus eggs. He said the eggs resulted primarily from overestimates made in the available brood stock. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if there is an assumption being made that there is an unlimited market for eggs, because eggs taken at the hatchery level compete with eggs available from privately caught fish. MR. ESQUIRO stated over the next few years, a better estimate of the egg market will be determined. He said many of the eggs NSRAA sold this past year were used to produce trout bait. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE noted there are different qualities of eggs taken at different times and stated his concern is the possibility of over supplying the market and destroying the already low price of salmon. REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON felt the market has not been saturated and the market capacity is there. DONALD TAYLOR, VALDEZ, testified via teleconference and stated he is working with hatcheries in his area to develop byproducts utilizing carcasses. He stressed timing and correct handling in the taking of eggs is very critical. He expressed support of HB 448. LAWRENCE MCCUBBINS, HOMER, testified via teleconference and expressed support for HB 448. He referred to lines 16 and 17 on page 4, "rearing and sale of ornamental finfish for aquariums or ornamental ponds provided that the fish are not reared in or released..." and asked if fish are not to be reared in state waters, what kind of waters will the fish be reared in. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that is a section of existing law and is not affected by HB 448. MR. MCCUBBINS asked if fish can be reared or cannot be reared. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN responded it is not a part of HB 448 and the reason it is stated because the part which is amended is in the same section. He said ornamental fish can be reared in ponds or aquariums. MR. MCCUBBINS stated it reads "not reared in". He commented on the issue of permit and asked if that permit is issued by the area biologist or does it go to the commissioner. If it goes to the commissioner, he wondered what the timetable is. MR. BRUCE responded the power can be delegated by the commissioner. ADF&G anticipates that if HB 448 passes, a group representing hatchery operators, processors, fishermen, etc., will be formed for the purpose of developing procedures for the implementation of HB 448. He stressed ADF&G does recognize there is a time factor and there will be a need for a balance between controlling the situation and being able to react quickly to circumstances as they develop. MR. MCCUBBINS noted the word "identify" was mentioned and asked how fish will be identified. MR. BRUCE replied fish in a terminal harvest area will be identified by their location and the trigger at which point the fish are deemed unsuitable. He said the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has developed a color chart showing the stages which salmon go through as they go from ocean to a fully water marked fish and at some location in that chain, a certain point can be selected to be the trigger. MR. MCCUBBINS said his specific question is will the deviation between wild stock and hatchery stock be identified. MR. BRUCE stated HB 448 only applies to hatchery stock and those fish are identified by the fact they have returned to a terminal hatchery area. HB 448 will not necessarily require all hatchery fish be marked although it is the department's preference that there is some method of identifying hatchery fish. Number 320 REPRESENTATIVE MULDER made a MOTION to ADOPT CSHB 448(RES). CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER made a MOTION to MOVE CSHB 448(RES) with zero fiscal notes out of committee with INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED. Number 334 SB 77 - Intensive Management Of Game Resource CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS stated Senator Sharp provided two new draft versions of the bill. The first of those, draft version B was sent out to teleconference sites and to others who requested it. Since then, Senator Sharp provided a newer version, draft version W, which will be considered presently. SENATOR BERT SHARP, PRIME SPONSOR, stated the new draft version W is a result of ongoing discussions with ADF&G. Version W addresses additional concerns the department had, it organizes the bill, and it does not amend the A section of AS 16.05.255. He said the intensive game management concept was addressed by adding new sections (e), (f), and (g), the legislative intent section has been added, and noted that subsection (e) is the former item 11. He explained subsection (f) is the former (e) and the subsection says the Board of Game shall not significantly reduce the taking of identified big game populations by doing standard passive things unless they also adopt intensive management which manages 100 percent of the resource. Subsection (f) does not apply in areas where the department has concerns on ineffective management based on scientific information or if intensive management will be inappropriate due to land ownership patterns. Subsection (f), (2) recognizes emergency closures and the department's ability to make that determination at any time based on their information and recommendation. Subsection (g) is the definitions subsection of intensive management and identified big game prey population. Number 417 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked Senator Sharp to point out the change in version W which addresses the issue concerning subsistence. SENATOR SHARP said the legislative findings section is a very strong legislative statement supporting human harvest for consumptive purposes and states it is the highest and best use in most areas of the state. DAVE KELLEYHOUSE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION, ADF&G, stated ADF&G supports the House CS for CSSB 77 version W. He said all previous concerns have been addressed. The House CS preserves the discretion of the Board of Game to adopt regulations necessary for the management of game and it maintains the distinction between the powers of the Board and the powers of the commissioner. He stressed the CS recognizes the importance of certain big game prey populations in meeting the needs of many Alaskans and the need to manage such identified populations appropriately. The proposed legislation now provides clear direction to the Board of Game and ADF&G by explicitly stating legislative intent which contains sufficient safeguards, ensuring that intensive management will not be applied under circumstances which are not feasible and prudent, where it will not be effective or which such management will be inappropriate due to land ownership patterns and land management philosophies. He urged the committee to adopt HCS CSSB 77. Number 488 LEE PUTNAM, KETCHIKAN SPORTS AND WILDLIFE CLUB, testified via teleconference and stated the club supports SB 77. He said with more and more of Alaska's land being closed by the federal government to consumptive users, the remaining land needs to be intensively managed to allow the maximum harvest for consumptive users. With intensive management, food resources in Alaska can be increased to the point (indiscernible) subsistence, personal use, and sport hunters will be drastically reduced or completely eliminated. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a MOTION to ADOPT HCS CSSB 77(RES). CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections. Hearing none, the MOTION PASSED. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated he is very interested in the bill, but he along with Representatives Carney and Davies are supposed to be in caucus. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE pointed out for Representative Finkelstein's benefit that ADF&G now supports HCS CSSB 77(RES). Number 551 DICK BISHOP, REPRESENTATIVE, ALASKA OUTDOOR COUNCIL, testified via teleconference and stated the council has supported the concepts of SB 77 since its original introduction. The council also supports version W. He said although the legislative findings necessary to the importance of harvest of big game prey for human consumptive uses in most areas of the state is self-evident to those familiar with Alaska's history and lifestyles, it has not been adequately emphasized in statute. He noted the council agrees with providing for regulations enabling intensive management in the new subsection (e) and added that the new subsection reduces the confusion over the federal responsibilities and authorities of the Board of Game. MR. BISHOP stated subsection (e) emphasizes intensive management will be used where the Board of Game has established goals for human consumptive use as a preferred use and low big game prey populations interfere with these goals and population enhancement is feasible. He stressed the provisions make several points clear that opportunities for human consumptive use are very valuable to Alaskans; enhancement will occur where the Board has established harvest goals; low big game prey populations disadvantage Alaskans; enhancement is feasible; and the Board is not required to implement intensive management everywhere, all the time or in areas where other uses have been given a higher priority. MR. BISHOP continued that subsection (f) emphasizes the importance of addressing intensive management to meet harvest goals and it makes it clear that the Board is not obligated to undertake a futile exercise or allow a population to be further depressed by harvest by people. Subsection (g) makes it clear that the intensive management provisions only apply to populations which the Board has determined are important for harvest by people. Subsection (g)(2) makes it clear that the purpose of the provision is to provide for harvest by people which is consistent with constitutional language and history and that there are various recognized wildlife management techniques which can be used depending on the circumstances. MR. BISHOP stated the Alaska Outdoor Council believes the bill addresses the longstanding statutory need to emphasize the importance of managing wildlife for food for Alaskans, which is environmentally correct and ecologically sound, using recognized management tools to do so. Draft W resolves several difficulties relating to earlier language, while retaining the direction and emphasis of the original bill. He urged passage of HCS CSSB 77. Number 640 GEORGE YASKA, DIRECTOR OF WILDLIFE, TANANA CHIEFS CONFERENCE, testified via teleconference and stated although the conference supports consumptive use of wildlife, particularly big game, the Tanana Chiefs cannot support SB 77 in its present version. The primary concern is the amount of research needed to begin to artificially manipulate big game species and their populations. He said TCC does not believe current information is adequate and the data base is not available to begin to artificially modulate the species and their populations. The secondary concern is the cost of intensive game management and its use by the Board of Game for maximum sustained yield. He stressed maximum sustained yield or predator control is costly and there is a concern with prescribed or controlled use burns. He pointed out that providing for maximum sustained yield for big game will favor sportsmen over trappers. Number 697 ROD ARNO, PALMER, testified via teleconference and expressed support of SB 77. He said there is a well-documented demand for the harvest of big game prey populations for human consumption in Alaska. According to ADF&G's survey on wildlife and hunting attitudes, over 85 percent of Alaskans surveyed have hunted big game in Alaska at least once and the majority surveyed approved a (indiscernible) big game for personal consumption. Fifteen percent of resident Alaskans purchased hunting licenses in 1992 and in the last census in 1990, there were 110,000 subsistence users of big game in rural Alaska. By passage of SB 77, the legislature will empower the Board of Game to adopt regulations advantageous to all Alaskans who choose to be active participants in Alaska's ecosystem. MR. ARNO stated there are two options which will increase the availability of big game prey populations for human consumption. One is an enhancement of the prey populations in areas readily accessible and the other option is be to increase access into areas where the prey populations are in large numbers. TAPE 94-27, SIDE B Number 000 MR. ARNO (cont.) to take the areas which have already been accessed and have a history of human use, and manage the resources there intensively for human consumption. Number 015 RANDY FRANKLIN, HOMER, testified via teleconference and stated he agrees 100 percent with the concept of SB 77. He felt subsection (f) ties the hands of the Board of Game. He also expressed concern about the costs of research and implementation of an intensive management program such as burns, collaring, etc. MR. KELLEYHOUSE stated the Board of Game will first have to identify populations, because SB 77 only applies to identified populations where the need is high. He said there is language in subsection (f) which allows the Board to use a dimmer switch--they can make changes in regulations as long as the change does not significantly reduce the taking. In regard to the budget concern, he explained the Division of Wildlife Conservation already has the responsibility of managing wildlife and the cost of intensive management is quite low, adding that less than $200,000 will be spent this year to restore the Delta caribou herd out of a total agency budget of $15 million. Number 042 SANDRA ARNOLD, REPRESENTATIVE, ALASKA WILDLIFE ALLIANCE, testified via teleconference and recalled that Mr. Kelleyhouse said the department supports the bill now because it retains the powers of the Board and the department, but he failed to state it retains the powers of the public, which she feels should be the priority in any bill. She asked in regard to Senator Sharp's legislative findings, how (indiscernible) it seems to be accepted as fact that intensive game management is the highest and best use when it seems to her it is someone's opinion. She stressed intensive game management is not the highest and best use of the state's wildlife, but rather only one of several options which should be considered on a case-by-case basis. MS. ARNOLD stated SB 77 mandates that one interest group will always win when it comes to game management and that is unfair. She said surveys have shown that 65-70 percent of Alaskans oppose predator control which she feels SB 77 mandates. Economically, SB 77 does commit most of the state's scarce state wildlife personnel and money to manage a few favored species and serve small interest groups. She pointed out that intensive management and predator control is expensive and the state cannot afford it. She felt that is why no fiscal note is attached to the proposed legislation. She urged committee members to reject SB 77 Number 070 CHRIS MAACH, PRESIDENT, ANCHORAGE AUDUBON SOCIETY, testified via teleconference and expressed opposition to SB 77. She said this bill will produce the opposite of what it seems to be promoting, a continuous high human harvest of game resources. If state game managers are tendered in their ability to alter bag limits and hunting seasons in order to protect some game resources, predator control will be too little and too late. She stressed SB 77 benefits a limited number of game resource users, mainly hunters and trappers and will ultimately deprive tourists, photographers and others who are attracted to the state by its wildlife and wilderness. The society feels that nonconsumptive uses of wildlife are just as beneficial to the people of Alaska in the long run, both economically and aesthetically, and (indiscernible) management practices do not deprive hunters and trappers of their way of appreciating wildlife. MS. MAACH said the recent heated controversy over wolf control is no doubt a factor in the drafting of SB 77. This legislation, if passed, will not resolve that controversy and will probably exaggerate it. She does not remember ever seeing a policy based on fear and spite that did not produce more of the same. She urged the committee to not pass SB 77. Number 098 TRACY ABELL, REPRESENTATIVE, ALASKA CHAPTER OF THE SIERRA CLUB, testified via teleconference and stated the club is opposed to SB 77. The club is against a policy which will artificially boost so-called game species population at the expense of other animals. She said it is particularly disturbing that no attempt is being made to reduce hunting pressure or study other alternatives before predators will be systematically killed. She felt it is bad public policy to mandate the killing of a species as the first and only wildlife management tool. Alaska's wildlife should not be managed for the sole benefit of hunters and trappers. Predator control programs are shortsighted and can only result in a damaged ecosystem. She urged committee members to oppose SB 77. Number 110 GEORGE MATZ, ANCHORAGE, testified via teleconference and stated SB 77 limits the ability of Board of Game to manage for biological reasons. He felt despite all the conditions listed in the bill, it is well known that the Board of Game (indiscernible) are very prone to lawsuits and it is inconceivable to him that the Board can do anything without a whole series of lawsuits. Meanwhile, if there are severe weather conditions, etc., impacting the game populations, the Board is not going to be able to use (indiscernible) because of a number of things. He stated the emphasis should be on managing people. In terms of increasing the abundance of moose, it is much better to look at where the real mortality is. He said the number of moose being killed on the highway is increasing. Number 161 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said if the Board wants to reduce the harvest level on a prey population and is not an emergency but is clearly a situation where the take needs to be lowered, subsection (f) says they cannot do that unless at the same time or previously, a regulation has been adopted providing for intensive management applicable to the area. He added that seems to say that what could be a relatively simple action to lower a take all of a sudden cannot be done without the complexities of dealing with intensive management. He asked if that will slow down the ability of the Board to be able to respond to nonemergency situations requiring an adjustment in harvest levels. MR. KELLEYHOUSE replied he did not believe so, because of the amendment which adds in the words "significantly reduced". He said the department discussed situations where there may be a bad winter or an extraordinary situation during the hunting season and their feeling is that subsection (f) will provide the Board of Game sufficient latitude to use a dimmer switch without having to consider a full blown intensive management effort prior to taking that step. He referred Representative Finkelstein to page 1, subsection (e)(2) which says the depletion of the big game prey population or the reduction of the productivity of the big game prey population has occurred and may result in a significant reduction in the allowable human harvest of the population. He thought (f) would be predicated upon the Board's determinations under (e). Number 196 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said there could be disagreements on what "significantly" means. He stated if there is an area where 20 moose are allowed to be taken and there is a desire to reduce that to 15, one could say that is a reduction of five moose and is not significant, but someone else could argue that is a reduction of 25 percent which is significant. He stated the (f) subsection assumes there is already regulations applicable to that situation under subsection (e). If there is not, the Board is going to be hamstrung in their ability to significantly reduce the taking of prey. He felt the Board will not be able to make the normal decisions they have been making over the years, unless the Board has adopted regulations prior to intensive management to increase the take, etc. He thought there will be situations where the Board is not going to be able to do what they believe is the biologically correct thing to do for lack of a procedural step. If the Board has to wait, it may be damaging to the resource to have a higher level in place, while the intensive management regulations have not been adopted. Number 220 MR. KELLEYHOUSE responded that the Board of Game and ADF&G are mandated to manage on a sustained yield basis. A delay of one year would not be possible if it would be unacceptable biologically and would jeopardize the sustained yield management. He pointed out that under subsection (e), human consumptive use goals identified by the Board is discussed and he envisioned that those consumptive use goals to be expressed as a range, rather than an absolute, so the Board can build in the flexibility they need. He said the purpose of this type of legislation is to address the situation ADF&G has had in the Delta caribou herd where the harvest has gone from several hundred caribou out of a population of almost 11,000 to having no open season for a prolonged period with the population still declining. He hoped that the Board will promulgate regulations addressing those types of situations where action is clearly needed. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN made a MOTION to AMEND HCS CSSB 77 on page 2, line 21 adding a new section: (g) The Board of Game may not adopt regulations requiring the department to conduct intensive management programs, notwithstanding (a)(11) of this section, unless the board has taken all reasonable measures under (a)(1)-(10) of this section to reduce the take of the identified big game population. Subsection (g) will then become subsection (h). REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said one of the keys of this proposed legislation is the link to current law. He noted that subsection (a)(1) - (10) is not contained in the present version but was in previous version V. It is basically all of the tools which the department has. He stated other steps being taken are all important to the process, but the Board should not resort to intensive management unless they have used the normal measures to try and avoid the problem situations. He pointed out the amendment does not add anything new, it only says the intensive management steps shall wait until the normal wildlife management steps have occurred. Number 265 SENATOR SHARP stated that is the problem with the entire situation presently; five percent of the harvest is being managed and 80 percent of the harvest is not being managed. This amendment will still allow management of the human element which is five percent of the take and not the other 80 percent which destroys the intent of intensive game management. MR. KELLEYHOUSE agreed and stated that in most cases in the state, human harvest is limited to less than five percent. Consequently, normal changes in seasons and bag limits will preclude human use opportunities but may not have a population level impact. He pointed out the proposed legislation allows manipulation of the other 85 percent of natural mortality so the human harvest opportunity for long periods is not lost. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated his amendment addresses when the Board can get into intensive management and whether or not they are required to use the normal tools laid out in (a)(1) - (10) first to solve the problems. He felt the amendment reflects the intention that ADF&G has stated and that is, the Board will try and use the normal tools first to solve problems and only when the normal tools fail will the Board go into higher levels. MR. KELLEYHOUSE felt Representative Finkelstein had misinterpreted what he had said. While ADF&G wants to maintain the Board's flexibility, the department supports the intent and the house committee substitute which says that in certain situations and certain big game populations, more intensive management tools will be applied in order to preserve hunting opportunities. He said the amendment would basically close those off before any action will be taken and that turns the intent of the bill around. He stressed ADF&G is not opposed to using intensive management in certain circumstances to maintain human harvest opportunities. Number 318 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON stated if the entire subsection (f) is reviewed, it refers back up to (e)(1) - (3). He said (e)(3) says enhancement or productivity is feasibly achievable utilizing recognized and prudent active management techniques. He felt that says the Board cannot reduce hunting unless it has adopted regulations in accordance with having a methodology of feasibly achieving. He said the bill has been modified enough where there is a policy on the first page. He stated he did not support the amendment because he did not feel it fits and the issue is already covered. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections to the motion. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES objected. Number 330 CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked for a roll call vote. Voting in favor of the amendment was Representative Finkelstein. Voting against the amendment were Representatives James, Mulder, Bunde, Hudson, and Williams. The MOTION was DEFEATED 5-1. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN made a MOTION to AMEND HCS CSSB 77 on page 1, line 9, deleting the word "shall" and inserting the word "may". CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES objected. Number 355 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated currently the department has the power to perform some of the steps outlined including goals and means to achieve the goals, but he felt it did not make sense the way the law is structured forcing the department in all situations to do this. He said the proposed legislation is an interpretation of what is best at this point and it may not work forever. He felt the best way to write ADF&G laws is to give the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game the power to intensively manage, but give them the discretion to apply the law where they believe it is appropriate. He thought the word may represents that approach much better. SENATOR SHARP replied the reason the proposed legislation was restructured in the committee substitute was to leave flexibility in items 1-10 in section A and the word "shall" applies to intensive management under conditions which have many open windows. He felt using the word "may" will convolute the process even more and not provide any corrective action. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER opposed the amendment. He felt the amendment is perhaps the whole thrust of the bill in that it is a policy call - does the committee agree with intensive game management under the limited format proposed or not. He stated the amendment will diminish the provisions being adopted. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said the amendment will only diminish the bill if the Board of Game disagrees with the approach of the bill. If the Board of Game agrees, which they probably will, the amendment will have no effect. He felt the Board of Game should be given that discretion. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked for a roll call vote. Voting in favor of the amendment were Representatives Bunde and Finkelstein. Voting against the amendment were Representatives Mulder, James, Williams, and Hudson. The MOTION was DEFEATED 4-2. REPRESENTATIVE MULDER made a MOTION to pass HCS CSSB 77(RES) with a zero fiscal note out of committee with INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked if there were any objections. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN OBJECTED. CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS asked for a roll call vote. Voting in favor of the motion were Representatives Williams, Hudson, Bunde, James, and Mulder. Voting against the motion was Representative Finkelstein. The MOTION PASSED 5-1. ANNOUNCEMENTS CHAIRMAN WILLIAMS announced the committee will meet on Wednesday, March 9 at 8:15 a.m. to hear SB 46 and HB 238. He said also on Wednesday, March 9 at 8:30 a.m. the House Committee on Fisheries has a presentation by community development groups and Representative Moses has extended an invitation to the House Resources Committee. Chairman Williams asked committee members to send staff members to the meeting. ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to come before the House Resources Committee, Chairman Williams adjourned the meeting at 11:10 a.m.