Legislature(1997 - 1998)
01/23/1997 01:04 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE January 23, 1997 1:04 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair Representative Ramona Barnes Representative Fred Dyson Representative Joe Green Representative William K. ("Bill") Williams Representative Irene Nicholia Representative Reggie Joule MEMBERS ABSENT All members present COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HOUSE BILL NO. 23 "An Act relating to traditional means of access for traditional outdoor uses and to the classification and the sale, lease, or other disposal of state land, water, or land and water." - HEARD AND HELD * HOUSE BILL NO. 26 "An Act relating to big game tags for wolves; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD * HOUSE BILL NO. 46 "An Act relating to mining; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD * HOUSE BILL NO. 17 "An Act establishing the Department of Natural Resources as the platting authority in certain areas of the state; relating to subdivisions and dedications; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 23 SHORT TITLE: PROTECT ACCESS FOR TRADIT'NL OUTDOOR USES SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MASEK JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 33 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 33 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 33 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 01/23/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER EDWARD GRASSER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Beverly Masek Capitol Building, Room 432 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2679 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 23 on behalf of sponsor. JANE ANGVIK, Director Division of Land Department of Natural Resources 3601 C Street, Suite 1122 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5947 Telephone: (907) 269-8503 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 23. MARY KAY HESSION, Program Support Division of Land Department of Natural Resources 3601 C Street, Suite 1122 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5947 Telephone: (907) 269-8511 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 23. JULES TILESTON, Director Division of Mining and Water Management Department of Natural Resources 3601 C Street, Suite 800 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5935 Telephone: (907) 269-8600 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 23. LOWELL NORTH 1241 Silverberry Drive Fairbanks, Alaska 99712 Telephone: (907) 457-3706 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23; provided suggestions. TED LEONARD, Representative Interior Alaska Airboaters; and Interior Branch, Alaska Boating Association 1606 Marika Road Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 452-5484 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. DONALD SHERWOOD, President Alaska Boating Association 1640 Brink Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99504 Telephone: (907) 333-6268 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. ELIZABETH HATTON HC 52, Box 8900 Indian, Alaska 99540 Telephone: (907) 653-7649 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 23. DANIEL ELLIOTT II P.O. Box 647 Talkeetna, Alaska 99676 Telephone: (907) 376-5196 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 23; had concerns. WILLIAM FOLSOM P.O. Box 2408 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Telephone: (907) 745-4339 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 23. ELAINA SPRAKER, Chairman Kenai Peninsula Outdoor Coalition P.O. Box 3336 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-9592 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 23. BILL HAGAR 431 Gaffney Road Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-6295 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. GABE SAM, Director Wildlife and Parks Tanana Chiefs Conference 122 First Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 452-8251 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 23. JUNE BURKHART, Member Board of Directors Alaska Building Association P.O. Box 204 Willow, Alaska 99688 Telephone: (907) 495-6337 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. ROY BURKHART, Member Board of Directors Alaska Building Association P.O. Box 204 Willow, Alaska 99688 Telephone: (907) 495-6337 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 23. LEONARD HAIRE, President Mat-Su Chapter Alaska Boating Association P.O. Box 879030 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Telephone: (907) 376-6183 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. THOMAS STARR, Representative Mat-Su Motor Mushers P.O. Box 870053 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 (No phone number available) POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. TOM SCARBOROUGH Tanana Valley Sportsmen Association 1676 Taroka Drive Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-3412 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. CRAIG COMPEAU, Manager Compeau's 375 Parkland Drive Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-2271 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. DICK HENSEL 11405 Hawkins Lane Anchorage, Alaska 99516 Telephone: (907) 344-1752 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 23. CLIFF EAMES Alaska Center for the Environment 519 West 8th, Number 201 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 274-3621 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 23. ROBERT HAKENSON P.O. Box 1438 Palmer, Alaska 99645 Telephone: (907) 745-1469 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. RALPH SEEKINS, President Alaska Wildlife Conservation Association 1625 Old Steese Highway Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 459-4025 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 23. JACK McCOMBS P.O. Box 71128 Fairbanks, Alaska 99707 Telephone: (907) 451-7926 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23; provided suggestions. STEVE MORGHEIM, Executive Director Alaska Marine Dealers Association 12440 East Tudor Road, Number 792 Anchorage, Alaska 99507 Telephone: (907) 561-4554 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. TOM MEACHAM 9500 Prospect Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99516 Telephone: (907) 346-1077 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 23. MICK MANNS Paradise Valley Bettles, Alaska 99726 Telephone: (907) 479-5704 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 23. CARL PORTMAN, Communications Director Resource Development Council 121 West Fireweed, Suite 250 Anchorage, Alaska 99516 Telephone: (907) 276-0700 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. STEVE WELLS Alaska Wildlife Alliance P.O. Box 202022 Anchorage, Alaska 99520 Telephone: (907) 277-0897 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 23. STEVE DARBY 1857 Standard Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 Telephone: (907) 451-0272 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. MIKE TINKER P.O. Box 25197 Ester, Alaska 99725 Telephone: (907) 451-5120 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 23. SUSAN OLSEN 1119 G Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 277-9968 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 23. SUSAN SCHRADER, Executive Director Alaska Environmental Lobby P.O. Box 22151 Juneau, Alaska 99802 Telephone: (907) 463-3366 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 23. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-2, SIDE A Number 001 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN called the House Resources Committee meeting to order at 1:04 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Ogan, Hudson, Masek, Dyson, Green and Joule. Representatives Williams, Nicholia and Barnes joined the meeting at 1:05 p.m., 1:10 p.m. and 1:17 p.m., respectively. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced that bills not heard that day would be scheduled for January 30, as the January 28 meeting would be held jointly with the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas in the House Finance Committee room. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that fiscal notes for HB 23, HB 26, HB 46 and HB 17, provided late by the Administration, were on the committee table for members. HB 23 - PROTECT ACCESS FOR TRADIT'NL OUTDOOR USES Number 182 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN introduced the first order of business, HB 23, "An Act relating to traditional means of access for traditional outdoor uses and to the classification and the sale, lease, or other disposal of state land, water, or land and water." In 1996, the House Resources Committee had heard a similar bill, which passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Knowles. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted that Representative Williams had joined the meeting. He invited Representative Masek to present HB 23. Number 230 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK, sponsor of HB 23, noted its similarity to the previous year's HB 447. She said it was supported statewide by a wide range of user groups, including boaters, snowmobilers, hunters, fishermen, trappers and conservationists. Representative Masek indicated HB 447 had bipartisan support the previous year. Number 365 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS asked if HB 23 and HB 447 from the previous year were identical. REPRESENTATIVE MASEK replied, "It's pretty much the same as [HB] 447." REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS inquired about changes he recalled during the previous session. REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said one technical amendment was added, but there were very few changes. She invited Edward Grasser to respond to technical questions and asked Representative Williams if he recalled the relevant section. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said he did not remember. Number 442 EDWARD GRASSER, Legislative Assistant to Representative Beverly Masek, explained there were changes from the original form of HB 447, one involving subsistence. "We wanted to make sure subsistence was protected," he said. "So it was changed so that subsistence uses were not equated with the recreational uses but would, rather, remain subsistence uses. And that's in the current form of the bill as it passed the House last year." MR. GRASSER continued, "Also, there was a change in Section 4 that was requested by the miners to make sure that people that had mining claims could operate and protect the public safety by creating either alternate routes around the claim, for the public access, public lands, or by controlling access through their claim, with certain restrictions of time and place or whatever. And after those changes were made, the bill garnered support from most members in the legislature." REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked if it was now basically the same bill. Number 517 MR. GRASSER replied, "This is the exact same bill that passed." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted that Representative Nicholia had joined the meeting. Number 537 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN referred to the fiscal note dated 1/23/97 from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and said, "It shows an annual operating increase of nearly $71,000, and then there's a change in revenue, with a negative number." He asked for clarification. MR. GRASSER replied, "These are the new fiscal notes." The 1996 fiscal note had also been distributed to the committee. Mr. Grasser had contacted DNR to find out why they changed the fiscal note for HB 23, which was identical to the bill of the previous year. He said, "Their new interpretation of the bill, and the reason they have these fees on the new fiscal note, revolves around one section of the bill, and I need to speak with Legislative Legal [Services] and find out for sure that their interpretation is the correct one and ours is not. But they're concerned that the value of a sale is going to be depressed because the bill protects recreational access onto parcels that might be sold to the private sector, and the value of those parcels would be depressed because of the recreational access values protected in this bill." MR. GRASSER continued: "Their assessment of the language in the bill says that a pattern of use established on a particular section of land in this state, that's currently being used by the public, means that they have to grant a blanket easement to that parcel if it's sold, which means, ... say, [if] people were snow machining across it, they'd be able to snow machine across the person's private property after it was sold to them, anyplace they wanted to." Number 648 MR. GRASSER believed Section 4 took care of that question by allowing DNR to set up easements in the case of sales or disposals of lands. He said, "I guess that's a question of legalities as to whose interpretation is correct. We may have to make a technical amendment ... to take care of that." MR. GRASSER had been in contact with the Alaska Miners Association. "[W]e discovered a little glitch in Section 4, which was basically at their request last year to protect the interests of miners that were operating, for reasons of public safety, to redirect access through their mining area," he explained. "And the way the language now reads, it deals with mining leases; and the mining association is concerned that ... there's other forms of mining operations that are taking place, unlike mining claims. And we need to make sure that we're covering those also. So we may have to have a technical amendment there also." Mr. Grasser asked if that answered Representative Green's question. Number 737 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN expressed concern that there were "some wording changes that we don't see today" and "a fiscal note that we don't quite know whether is fair or not." MR. GRASSER agreed that was correct. He said, "Most of this fiscal note, as I understand it, talking with a representative from the department, would go away if we could resolve the conflict in thinking between whether the bill does or does not provide the department the tools to dispose of lands in a sale to a private party and only grant easements through that, say, public lands beyond it, rather than a blanket easement that would allow people to drive or snow machine over the property at will. So, basically, the $1.1 million in lost revenues is derived from their assessment of the depressed value of the property because of the blanket easement." Number 778 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked, "Will this bill be accompanied somewhere by where these traditional rights-of-way are, so that there would be some concept, before the legislation is enacted, where these trails may ultimately go?" He referred to RS 2477, of the Revised Statutes from the Mining Act of 1866, and asked, "[A]re they more extensive than that?" Number 804 MR. GRASSER replied, "No, this bill basically would protect ... traditional public access onto parcels of land ... and, originally, to make sure that the Administration didn't withdraw lands for exclusive use by one segment of the public over another segment, so that traditional access would continue on those parcels." MR. GRASSER said it would be a Herculean effort to determine where people were snowmobiling, using all-terrain vehicles, cross-country skiing or putting in trapping lines on state land throughout Alaska. There was no data base for that. With HB 23, if the state wanted to dispose of land or restrict a land base under Title 38, the public would have to come forward and object, saying, "We've been using this for these types of access." MR. GRASSER said if a claim could be substantiated, and if the restriction involved an area larger than 640 acres or a time period longer than eight months cumulative in a three-year period, then legislative approval was needed to restrict access. The burden fell to the public when a restriction was proposed. Number 892 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked what decision would be made if a member of the public claimed traditional use of a parcel but DNR disagreed. MR. GRASSER again said in order to place restrictions, if the parcel was greater than 640 acres in size or the time period was more than a cumulative of eight months in a three-year period, DNR would have to go through a legislative approval process. At that time, the public could make their case to the legislature as to whether access routes or activities were taking place on that parcel. Number 949 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated his understanding that if DNR was going to make a parcel available and there was no objection from the public, that transaction could go forward. But if a person claimed a traditional use, it would have to come back to the legislature. MR. GRASSER concurred. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said it seemed to open the door to any obstructionist, completely defeating the purpose of putting land into private hands. Number 993 MR. GRASSER responded that HB 23 was primarily designed to keep DNR from restricting access to public lands. In the case of a sale of land, HB 23 allowed alternatives to be established for access. "So, that part doesn't necessarily have to come back to the legislature," he said. "But if they withdraw a bunch of land and say, `You can no longer snow machine here,' because they want to create a park or something, then they have to come to you for approval of that." Number 1034 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON asked if HB 23 provided a public notification process. He understood in case of a complaint or protest, there would be no restrictions without coming back to the legislature first. Number 1071 MR. GRASSER agreed that was basically correct. However, DNR used public noticing procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act during their assessments when a section of land was to be reclassified. At that time, individuals from the public could present their case. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether notification to the public would, then, be through the Administrative Procedures Act. MR. GRASSER said that was correct. Number 1115 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE raised the issue of liability. If a land sale transferred public land to private ownership and there was a subsequent snowmobiling accident, would the private owner be liable for something on his property over which he had no control? MR. GRASSER stated his interpretation of HB 23: If and when a parcel of land came up for sale or disposal by DNR, the department was to provide an alternative access route or create an access route through the parcel that would not necessarily belong to the buyer. Number 1198 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE suggested when land transferred, the new private owners would not have as much say over their property as they otherwise would have had. Some people saw this as devaluing the property. MR. GRASSER replied that was one of the technical questions that needed to be addressed. However, the intent of HB 23 was not to devalue property at a sale. The main intent was to provide access to public lands being restricted by administrative action in other areas besides sales or disposals. MR. GRASSER indicated large portions of public land were being restricted because of conflicts between user groups that involved aesthetic values. "In the case of a land sale, this bill would still apply," he said. "But the department, in Section 4, has the opportunity to establish an alternate route, a reasonable alternative, so that they could still do the land sale." For example, DNR could reroute an existing trail around a parcel. Number 1305 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked who "they" were and who was responsible for that. MR. GRASSER said it was the Department of Natural Resources. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE suggested the cost of maintaining public access would be on the state. MR. GRASSER responded, "This really wouldn't be that much cost. They'd just have to establish that there's a corridor somewhere. They don't have to build anything." Number 1337 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted that Representative Barnes had joined the meeting. REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES recalled there was a law relating to tort liability, which dealt specifically with injury on another person's private property while trespassing thereon. She asked if a representative from DNR would address that issue. Number 1403 JANE ANGVIK, Director, Division of Land, Department of Natural Resources, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. In answer to Representative Barnes's question, she indicated staff was looking up the relevant statute. Ms. Angvik said the legislature had provided individual property owners a waiver from liability on unimproved property. MS. ANGVIK stated, "It's our interpretation of the proposed legislation that if land was actually transferred to an individual from the State of Alaska ... and someone asserted that they had been using that area for snow machining, that we would have to, on the title, actually indicate that that ... public access exists on the private land and that it would physically cloud the title that is going to the private individual and would also mean that ... any sale, either to an individual or a transfer of land to a municipality, would be subject to assertion by anyone that they have a right to be there because they had traditionally used it. So we have some concerns about that." Number 1477 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked for confirmation that for any unimproved private land, the legislature had provided an exemption for tort claims under that section. MS. ANGVIK replied, "My understanding ... is that ... you passed a waiver that says that persons are not liable for torts on unimproved property." Number 1515 MARY KAY HESSION, Program Support, Division of Land, Department of Natural Resources, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, indicating AS 09.65.200, adopted in 1988, says owners of unimproved land are not liable for torts in personal injuries on their land. Number 1554 MS. ANGVIK testified that DNR opposed HB 23. "Our understanding's that the bill intends to ensure public access to state lands, so that people can use it for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, snow machining and hiking," she said. "Uses are currently allowed and have rarely been restricted on general state lands. The situation is we start with lands being open, if it is public land, and all those activities are allowed on public lands unless it is restricted. The state rarely restricts the use of public lands. We oppose it because it's not necessary to protect public access, and it has some broad negative implications." MS. ANGVIK said HB 23 placed a burden on the DNR land management and disposal process that would invite delays and possible litigation. It would significantly devalue land sold or conveyed by the state, which was reflected in DNR's fiscal note. She reiterated that DNR seldom restricted access on general state lands; when it did so, state law required DNR to provide alternative access. "This legislation provides a requirement that says that whenever DNR sells, leases or transfers state land, that we have to provide for this kind of a floating access," she added. Number 1630 MS. ANGVIK noted HB 23 had two major parts. The first prohibited DNR from classifying state lands for access. She asked where people had been denied access to public land and said, "Because it wouldn't have happened by us. The only examples that we have are that, in past projects, DNR required ... restricted access on the North Slope in order to provide for protection of the tundra from all-terrain vehicles, in order to provide for continuing oil development." MS. ANGVIK mentioned a second example, involving Marmot Island off the coast of Kodiak, where DNR restricted access to a Steller sea lion rookery to minimize the threat that the federal government would place the animals on the endangered species list, which would have negatively affected commercial fisheries. "So, the only examples that we can cite where DNR has restricted access were usually in order to support development or to prevent something bad ...," she said. Number 1697 MS. ANGVIK referred to the second part of HB 23, which said any future disposals of state land must provide for traditional means of access. The definition of traditional means of access was broad and somewhat unclear, she said. If DNR transferred land, a parcel would be subject to an easement that would provide for individual, family or community life patterns that any person could assert. Ms. Angvik suggested such a "reserved blanket or a floating public access easement" would significantly devalue state lands transferred to both individuals and municipalities. MS. ANGVIK explained, "Occasionally, on Native allotments that erroneously transfer to the State of Alaska, we then give it back to the federal government so they can turn around and give it to the allottee. And we do this regularly. What that means is that even allotments could end up with this kind of a (indisc.) that says that any member of the public can assert a traditional activity on their privately-held land." Number 1758 MS. ANGVIK concluded by saying HB 23 provided little benefit and represented a significant inhibitor to future land disposals and developments. She expressed concern about what problem was being addressed in HB 23 and asked for an example. She said general public land was very seldom restricted. Number 1787 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Ms. Angvik how guaranteeing access devalued land. MS. ANGVIK specified she was talking about devaluing land that would transfer out of state ownership, thereby making it either municipal or private land. The land would be devalued because a new requirement would be placed on it. MS. ANGVIK explained when DNR disposed of state land today, they were required by existing statutes to ensure access to that land and to any public lands beyond it. When state land went into private ownership, it would be devalued because of the threat of somebody saying, for example, "I have the right to have my snow machine here and you can't do anything about it." Ms. Angvik said that would actually be on the title, which DNR regarded as a cloud on the title. Number 1845 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA asked Ms. Angvik, "Suppose you lease some land to a mining company and they have deep pits all over -- it's part of their job and their gold mining activities. And a snow machiner comes across and falls into this pit and gets hurt. Who is liable? Is it the legislature because we passed a bill like this, or is it the state department or ... the person who owns the ... land lease?" MS. ANGVIK said she was not sure. She acknowledged the state was a "deep pocket." However, she believed a leasing company would also be liable if a person had a blanket public right to be there. "I'm not familiar with the provision that was worked out with the mining association that the staff member addressed," she advised. "So he may know specifically about if it was a mining operation that I'm not familiar with. ... But the issue for this bill is: Would they have a right to be there?" Number 1942 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA said, "This bill intends to keep lands as they were traditionally used. So, if there were snow machiners that were using this land before the mining lease was approved and then if the miners didn't want to have the liability, since it's not clear who would be liable for the person that got hurt ... on their claims, could they put up `keep out - no trespassing' signs? Is that possible with this bill?" MS. ANGVIK deferred to Jules Tileston, who she indicated could elaborate on the authority of mining companies with respect to controlling access to their mining leases. Number 1999 JULES TILESTON, Director, Division of Mining and Water Management, Department of Natural Resources, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. He stated, "The best example that I can give you is Fort Knox. In that case, and the question was, can a mining company (indisc. -- papers shuffling) something that makes a liability either to the company or to the state, as a result of their mining operation? In the case of Fort Knox, they had an active mining operation that was identified early in the process that there would be risks to the public indeed across that ... set of mining claims. There were snow machine trails, there were dog sled trails, there were cross-country trails. And what was worked out in that case, on a site-specific basis, is that DNR, through the public process, said, `We are going to close the public access and that the mining company has full right and responsibility to exercise that right to restrict public access, and the mining company will develop alternative routes for the dog sleds, for the cross-country skiers and the snow machiners around the property.' And I think that's really what would happen. If we had a risk, we'd know it during the planning process; then our collective responsibility is to protect the public." Number 2070 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON viewed HB 23 as trying to ensure a higher standard for the maintenance of access for traditional outdoor activities. He asked why, given the provisions of being able to come back to the legislature for larger parcels or those restricted for longer periods of time, land would be devalued. He suggested HB 23 provided oversight or an opportunity for the legislature to operate on behalf of those who felt DNR's classification denied them access for traditional outdoor activities. He asked Ms. Angvik to explain the basis for the $1.1 million fiscal note. Number 2145 MS. ANGVIK explained, "[I]f you buy a homesite or you prove up on a homesite ... and we're in the process of transferring that land to you, the reason that the land is less valuable than it would have been without this legislation [is] that there is a shadow on the title of that land which says anybody who wants to and can assert that they have traditionally used that land can continue to do so, even though you are the owner. If I was selling you a piece of real estate and I said, `This is your piece of real estate and you've got it and you can do anything you want with it because you bought it,' then it has `x' value. If I sell you a piece of real estate and say, `This is your piece of land, but anybody who wants to can come and use it,' then it has less value." Number 2220 MS. ANGVIK emphasized that the value question had nothing to do with the millions of acres of state land not being conveyed to individuals or municipalities. Currently, state lands started as "open" to these traditional activities. Only in the most unusual circumstances did DNR in any way limit people's access in the use of state lands. Ms. Angvik again asked for an example of where lands had been closed and asserted that HB 23 did not accomplish the intended goal. Number 2249 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said there was concern about restricting access through unilateral activities of not necessarily the current commissioner but of any commissioner. Being able to come back to the legislature for approval would provide a relief valve. Number 2297 MS. ANGVIK responded that DNR had no difficulty with legislative oversight and welcomed it. However, they knew of no example of where the access issue had been a problem. She said, "I don't know what it affects, other than our ability to cordon off the Steller sea lions so that they don't become endangered or something like that." She again requested an example. Number 2331 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK mentioned Blair Lake, a popular lake in the Mat-Su Valley where the commissioner of DNR had been going to shut down access for float planes. She said DNR had not provided an avenue for public input there, resulting in an outcry. Through HB 23, the legislature would have more authority, including ability to get involved if land was to be closed to access for a period of more than eight months. Number 2408 MR. GRASSER discussed the Recreational Rivers Bill, passed in the 1980s, which designated certain lands to be managed specifically by the Division of Lands, not the Division of Parks. In ensuing years, certain uses had been restricted on stretches of those rivers. "And although those restrictions may have been valid in the planning process, this bill precludes DNR from doing similar restrictions on other public lands and waters without legislative approval," Mr. Grasser said. He believed the intent of the Recreational Rivers Bill had been circumvented by DNR's transferring of management of certain portions to the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Number 2468 MS. ANGVIK said the Blair Lake example helped her understand the sponsor's concerns. However, Blair Lake was inside a state park and therefore controlled by Title 41. TAPE 97-2, SIDE B Number 001 MS. ANGVIK indicated if the issue was the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation's capacity to control access, Title 41 addressed that. Moreover, the Blair Lake area was less than 640 acres in size. "So, if ... that's the problem you wanted this bill to address, it doesn't get at it," she said. MS. ANGVIK explained the "Recreational Rivers management structure," saying the Division of Lands managed lands adjacent to those rivers, as provided for in statute. She stated, "Secondly, the law specifically says, adopted under the state legislature, in order to come back to the legislature with the plan, the legislature itself had to adopt a plan, which you did. In the plan, which was known, it says the commissioner can adopt regulations to implement the plan and to establish criteria for the management of the plan." Number 064 MS. ANGVIK voiced understanding of concerns about closing sections of the Recreational Rivers areas to motorboat use. "But the state statute specifically gives the commissioner the authority to regulate boating if necessary under the management plan adopted by the Rec Rivers Plan," she said. That legislation still stood and would not be affected by HB 23. "However, the lands that we may, in fact, dispose of are very negatively affected," she added. Number 121 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN concurred with Ms. Angvik's concern over what exactly was broken and needing fixed. He said, "What I'm really concerned about is something happening, if the current legislature is of the mind-set to try to get more land into private hands, that this would become an issue that -- it sounds like almost anyone can come in and say that there was a traditional use. `I have been berry picking there', `I have been snow machining there for years and year or last week or whatever.' There's no time limit. What establishes tradition? And that, then, was going to be coming back to the legislature." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN indicated he and other legislators wanted to reduce the amount of time they were in session. "And this sounds like it's going to expand that, or could, certainly, expand it," he stated. "So I'm concerned that we're opening Pandora's Box, potentially, to try to solve a few incidences. And it seems to me maybe we should be looking at those incidences, rather than statewide. Unless I hear something to the contrary." Number 176 MR. GRASSER responded, "It's our interpretation that Ms. Angvik's interpretation of the bill is erroneous. Section 4 of the bill ... doesn't say just leases, it says sale and disposal of land. It also provides in that section that they can provide alternate routes or other means for access. Their interpretation of the bill says that they have to give a blanket access to those parcels that they sell because of a pattern of use. ... I noted that we may have to make a technical amendment to ensure that the intent of Section 4 is coupled to the pattern-of-use language in the definition of traditional access in Section 3. But that would take care of Ms. Angvik's concerns about devaluing the land and causing problems in the disposal of problem." Number 235 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he was not opposed to making a traditional use in a noncontroversial area easier. If it was a problem statewide, he was in favor of HB 23. However, if it would happen just incidentally, he questioned the bill's merits. Representative Green expressed concern that too broad a brush was being used to correct a small problem. "And so far, I haven't heard that there is a real major problem in this regard," he added. Number 275 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK said, "Another fine example is the area on Curry Ridge, which is located out in the Southcentral. They've had a lot of problems up there dealing with this similar situation." She asked Mr. Grasser to comment. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted there was a long list of people waiting to testify. Number 298 MR. GRASSER said, "First of all, I don't believe that the true nature of the Rec Rivers bill was related to you by Ms. Angvik. That bill specifically allowed for traditional means of access on those river corridors. And during the planning process, there was a tremendous amount of public testimony to maintain that traditional access, and the department unilaterally restricted it. And getting at the rest of your question, ... there's continually coming before the Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies requests to restrict access." MR. GRASSER referred to a recent study by the Department of Fish and Game that would affect public lands under Title 38 in the Nelchina Basin. That study suggested access into that area may be causing habitat problems. "I'm not sure that it is," Mr. Grasser said. "And maybe it is, and in that case, the legislature would have the option of allowing some restrictions to take place there." MR. GRASSER said the impetus for HB 23 was that the public was continually being bombarded with problems of having to go to hearings to maintain their right to access land because of DNR, not just because of the Division of Lands but in other areas, as well. Number 378 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that following two questions by committee members, public testimony would be heard. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES withdrew her question in order to listen to public comment. Number 398 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA said she shared Representative Green's concerns. She asked Ms. Angvik if HB 23 would have any impacts on Tier 1 or Tier 2 provisions or controlled use areas. MS. ANGVIK replied, "This bill has nothing to do with that, because this bill regulates land under Title 38. The Tier 1 and Tier 2 are manned by the Department of Fish and Game, and anyplace where anybody currently can have access to public lands to do subsistence, they would still be able to do that, would be my guess." Number 444 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA asked if the state could still use the controlled use areas if HB 23 passed. MS. ANGVIK asked the definition of "controlled use area." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said it was a Title 16 controlled use for, e.g., restricting motorized vehicles for hunting. Number 476 MS. ANGVIK said HB 23 would not affect controlled use, which was determined under Title 16 aspects of management of fish and game." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN opened the meeting for public comment. He advised that it was not his intention to move HB 23 that day. He asked testifiers to limit comments to two minutes in order to accommodate everyone. Number 547 LOWELL NORTH testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 23, suggesting other traditional means of access should be included in Section 3. Number 598 TED LEONARD, Representative, Interior Alaska Airboaters; and Interior Branch, Alaska Boating Association, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 23. His organizations did not view the problem as minor, as many instances of restrictions and prohibitions on traditional access were being placed by DNR and other departments. Number 655 DONALD SHERWOOD, President, Alaska Boating Association, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in support of HB 23. He protested DNR's restrictions on motorized access, suggesting special interests were at work and public hearings were a mockery. A veteran, he said handicapped and elderly Alaskans who had used traditional access were not being considered when areas were closed. Number 751 ELIZABETH HATTON testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 23, saying she belonged to the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition but was speaking for herself. She believed the intrinsic value of the land and waters, as stated in the bill, were exactly what most Alaskans value. The bill threw away DNR's ability to protect Alaskans and what is most dear to them, including wildlife, fishing and hunting, and peace and quiet. The owner of a remote cabin, she originally accessed it on skis but now used snow machines, planes and boats. The trails in the area were created by people going to their cabins. Now, however, hundreds of snow machine users were coming across her land. She was concerned about the implications of making such use legal. Number 871 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that the committee would only hear testimony on HB 23. He apologized to anyone waiting to testify on other bills, which would be rescheduled to Thursday, January 30. He noted that the next meeting would be Tuesday, January 28, at 10 a.m., to hear HCR 1. Number 919 DANIEL ELLIOTT II testified via teleconference from Mat-Su. He expressed surprise that HB 23 did not include state parks. Sympathetic with its intent, he nonetheless believed HB 23 was too broad. He envisioned people making bogus claims or destroying, for example, a blueberry patch, resulting in that traditional use no longer existing. Sometimes things had to be regulated. While a sleepy little town might not need a stoplight, when it became the size of Anchorage, restrictions were needed. Number 1012 WILLIAM FOLSOM testified via teleconference from Mat-Su, saying he was on the board of directors for Mat-Su Valley Sportsmen. He indicated everyone he had talked with favored HB 23. He referred to the Recreational Rivers Bill and said all recreational uses would be compatible unless determined by the "director of DNR" to be incompatible. "You've got to take some of that power away from DNR," he stated. He hoped loopholes could be tightened up and HB 23 passed. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN suggested that persons with written testimony fax it to the committee from their local Legislative Information Office (LIO). Number 1131 ELAINA SPRAKER, Chairman, Kenai Peninsula Outdoor Coalition, testified via teleconference, saying although the group had formed to fight the subsistence issue, the board of directors included trappers, snowmobilers, hunters and both sport and commercial fishermen. She referred to Caribou Hills, which had multiple uses including moose hunting, snowmobiling, dog sledding, trapping and other activities. She asked Ms. Angvik whether DNR had the power to sell off that land and displace recreational activities and, if so, was there any protection. Number 1202 MS. ANGVIK replied that the Caribou Hills area was "sale land." Should a sale be planned, the area was not protected. However, none was currently planned. MS. SPRAKER said she would support some type of protection for traditional uses there. Number 1290 BILL HAGAR testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 23. He referred to Article VIII, Section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Alaska, which he suggested prohibited the state from granting to anyone "monopolistic access" to a natural resource. He said, "We find that the agencies have a tendency to segregate users, and they grant themselves conflict resolution authority." His position paralleled that of "the man in Mat-Su," and he believed it was impossible to keep up with public meetings. Therefore, he was looking to the legislature. Number 1380 GABE SAM, Director, Wildlife and Parks, Tanana Chiefs Conference, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 23. He said the state already had a vehicle to address these issues in the form of the Board of Game and DNR. He believed the legislature should not be directly involved with either entity's policies. Number 1444 JUNE BURKHART, Member, Board of Directors, Alaska Building Association, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in support of HB 23, saying it was important to all Alaskans who used the outdoors as frequent recreation users and consumptive users of fish and game. She suggested free, open access was sometimes critical to assure some people's livelihood. "This would put the control of the access to public lands where it should be, under the control of the legislature," she stated. If and when restrictions needed to be imposed, she believed they should apply equally to all citizens. Number 1579 ROY BURKHART, Member, Board of Directors, Alaska Building Association, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, addressing the easement issue. He said a section line was already an easement. Therefore, ideally, if the state sold 640 acres, there was a section line there. "If the section line's there, you don't even need the easement," he asserted. "If there's a navigable stream, you don't need the easement. If there's neither one, it's real simple. You make a 30-foot easement through the land to get to the other land. And that solves the problem." MR. BURKHART wanted the committee to ask Ms. Angvik how many times there had been a user conflict where DNR had restricted nonmotorized users versus motorized users. "And this is why we need the bill," he added. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Jane Angvik to respond to Mr. Burkhart's question at a future hearing. Number 1745 LEONARD HAIRE, President, Mat-Su Chapter, Alaska Boating Association, testified via teleconference in support of HB 23, saying he was an avid sportsman. He said public meetings made no difference, no matter how overwhelming the numbers were, and cited the case of the Recreational Rivers Bill. He had attended probably 100 meetings in the last three years, and at every one DNR "and the parks" were dominating, with the issue repeatedly being restricted access. He could think of no bill more important than HB 23. Number 1893 THOMAS STARR, Representative, Mat-Su Motor Mushers, testified via teleconference in support of HB 23, saying his snow machine club had 500 members in the Mat-Su Borough. "Recreational access is primary to the development and the future of our winter development here in the valley, of course, but [also] throughout the state," he said. Number 1980 TOM SCARBOROUGH testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, saying he represented himself and the Tanana Valley Sportsmen Association. He supported HB 23 and said access questions should not be left to the whim of DNR employees. He commented that section line access was only for public transportation such as road building. "That is not legal access for any other purpose, by law," he added. Number 2089 CRAIG COMPEAU, Manager, Compeau's, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 23, indicating Compeau's was one of the largest snow machine companies in the country. He referred to recent legislation attempting to restrict or select access to Curry Ridge by certain user groups. He said Jim Stratton, Director of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, had mentioned in a response in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that public testimony was 40-1 against restricting access. Mr. Compeau said he had heard a similar response ratio in his store. Number 2192 DICK HENSEL testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 23. Although a member of the Mat-Su Parks Advisory Board, he was representing himself. He believed HB 23 implied the commissioner of DNR was insensitive to the needs of public user groups and was incapable of making management decisions. "I can't really accept that," he said. He believed HB 23 placed undue emphasis on guaranteeing public use at the expense of resource protection and that it conflicted with objectives set forth in state plan documents. For these reasons, HB 23 was unacceptable. Number 2296 CLIFF EAMES, Alaska Center for the Environment, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 23. Noting there was an additional office in the Mat-Su Valley, he said his organization's membership included approximately 4,000 households. Their goal for state land management as it related to motorized recreational vehicle use was two-pronged. First, all users including Alaskans and tourists, not just motorized users, should be accommodated. Impacts on residents and cabin owners from motorized vehicle use should be minimized or eliminated. MR. EAMES stated, "We have a lot of land in Alaska. People agree on that. We believe that we can share it, but it requires some allocations." He cited recent serious conflicts involving Eagle River residents, including a new snow machine trail and a proposed corridor from Anchorage to Eagle River. His organization believed a balance should be initiated between areas available for nonmotorized users and those available for motorized users. MR. EAMES referred to snow machining and said the state had looked a year ago at an area of approximately 35 million acres of public lands in Southcentral Alaska. Only 4.5 percent of those lands had been set aside as quiet areas. "We don't believe that this is a fair balance and allocation of our public lands," he said. "We can, in fact, allocate lands successfully. It's been done in Chugach State Park. It's been done at Turnagain Pass. And it's been done on the Resurrection Pass Trail." MR. EAMES acknowledged the issues were complicated. He believed the best vehicle for addressing them was the administrative planning and regulatory process. Administrators at the Division of Land and the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, as well as at the Department of Fish and Game, had the expertise and time to deal with these complicated issues. TAPE 97-3, SIDE A Number 042 ROBERT HAKENSON testified via teleconference from Mat-Su in support of HB 23. A lifelong Alaska resident and "active outdoor person," he had lived in the Mat-Su Valley since 1975. He stated, "I can't imagine being in Alaska without our freedom and having the land available to us." Number 120 RALPH SEEKINS, President, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Association, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks. He said, "We think it's wonderful when access is made available to everyone. ... [W]e should not steal any experience from common Alaskans for the benefit of the elitists who have the time, money and health to hike or float, or for the narrow benefit of those who got there first and don't want anyone else near their cabin." MR. SEEKINS said the Board of Game had recently closed a million acres to airboats because of a potential conflict. "And the way it was solved was that an entire group of users was eliminated from access," he stated. "That's simply wrong and it should be protected from ever happening again." Number 230 JACK McCOMBS testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 23. He felt strongly about getting the "philosophical management of lands" back in the hands of legislators and out of the hands of "some micromanaging special interest bureaucrat." Mr. McCombs suggested HB 23 be broadened to include parks and other special use state lands, thereby guaranteeing access. He commented that liability was always an issue and should not dissuade supporters of the bill. Number 364 STEVE MORGHEIM, Executive Director, Alaska Marine Dealers Association, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in support of HB 23. He said, "Repeatedly our membership, which consists of about 50 businesses, are inundated by comments from their customers about the confusion and the continued frustration they face in having restrictions placed on their traditional access to waterways and what they enjoy in the way of outdoor recreation." He thought HB 23 leveled the playing field. "It would appear to me that, in reading this legislation, there's nothing in here that any of the departments are restricted from doing. They just have to do a better job of selling it to the people," he concluded. Number 523 TOM MEACHAM testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 23. He thought it would unwisely limit DNR's management ability to protect state lands from erosion, habitat damage, and displacement of wildlife and certain recreational uses. He cited the area off the Denali Highway as somewhere DNR perhaps should consider placing restrictions to prevent terrain damage by the summer use of overland vehicles. MR. MEACHAM stated, "I think the apparent assumption of this bill is that all means of access are equal, and that if they're not, motorized access always should prevail. I think, in contrast of what some other people have said, ... this is an elitist view because it presumes that the prevailing access user has the money and the ability to buy the kind of vehicle which will predominate in these access questions." He pointed out there was always a displacement of nonmotorized users where motorized users predominated. MR. MEACHAM believed there was public support for the ability of DNR to manage state lands to protect the intrinsic values of lands, which were specified in HB 23. He noted that even Caterpillar D-8 tractors were traditional means of access to some Alaskans, despite damage to terrain. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN referred to page 2, lines 21 - 25, of the bill and said it was not exclusive to motorized transportation. Number 726 MICK MANNS testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, saying everybody he had talked to in the Bettles area supported HB 23. The previous year, however, one company had run 400 dog mushers over a trail, beating it down to where it could hardly be used by snowmobilers. "So we might need to put something in there that commercial users that take out more than 12 or 15 clients ought to pull drags, so that the trail will stay good enough for the rest of us to be able to use it," he suggested. MICK MANNS said, "Go back to Section 8 of the Natural Resources. It says in there that reservation of access is to be preserved but that purchasers of land and lessees of land do have the right to prevent trespass on their active use areas. The UCC Code and law says that when a landlord takes away that reservation of trespass, that the landlord becomes liable, which would put the liability back on the state. And as long as there's a reservation of access that would preserve to the actual use area for the leaser or the purchaser, it reverts back to the purchaser provided that the state does ... go by Section 8 of the state law." Mr. Manns again stated his support for HB 23. Number 876 CARL PORTMAN, Communications Director, Resource Development Council, testified via teleconference from Anchorage in support of HB 23. Access to Alaska's vast public lands was a major priority of his organization. "It is imperative Alaska retain the widest possible range of multiple uses on its lands and preserve as many options as possible for access, especially traditional access for recreation and other uses," he said. Mr. Portman believed Alaskans should have proper representation by their elected officials in cases involving restrictions on traditional recreational access. "Access including aircraft, snowmobiles and boats are an essential element to Alaska's unique access equation," he stated. Number 956 STEVE WELLS, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, saying HB 23 was not about tradition or access. It was about motorized use. The state did not close access to state lands for the public at large. "People have rights to access," he explained. "Motors don't. There's a reason for that, and that is that the impacts to the land, the wildlife and other users aren't equal. Motorized use can damage habitat, displace wildlife and does certainly displace other ... nonmotorized users due to the noise and safety concerns that are intrinsic in motorized use." MR. WELLS questioned where the problem was. He said there was no record of significant closures to access on state lands for motorized use. Mr. Wells asked, "Do we really believe that there's no room for areas that are closed to motorized use, to provide for quiet recreation or protection of the intrinsic values of this great state?'" MR. WELLS believed it ironic that motorized use advocates complained the public process did not work. It had worked well for motorized use at Curry Ridge and Denali Park, where a compromise in the master plan, adopted after a lengthy public process, was overturned due to the heavy turnout of snowmobilers. Mr. Wells advised that he would provide further testimony in writing. Number 1091 STEVE DARBY testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 23, saying he had a "recreational use shop." He did not believe most motorized users were irresponsible. A lifelong Alaskan, he felt fortunate to live in Alaska instead of where there were numerous restrictions. He wanted his customers, his children and their children to be able to use the land as well. Number 1155 MIKE TINKER testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 23. He believed then-President Jimmy Carter had created enough nonmotorized country in Alaska for "all of you to use for the next five lifetimes." He wanted some left for motorized uses. "We certainly don't exclude you from that," he said. He wanted to see similar bills include parks and other agencies such as the Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Transportation. He asked: Is there a motorized area of the state that nonmotorized users cannot go also? Number 1234 SUSAN OLSEN testified via teleconference from Anchorage in opposition to HB 23. She questioned the drafting of the bill and said there were problems with the definition of traditional use. "I wonder who is to judge what is traditional use, how that is to be established," she said. She believed HB 23 was a "totally wrong-headed attempt" in that it attempted to freeze in place various so-called rights to access. The effects of one person's access changed dramatically when that was multiplied by 40. Regardless of the numbers, all uses similar to a traditional use could occur. MS. OLSEN thought HB 23 left DNR without the right to protect the land and carry out its job. She referred to Article VIII, Section 2, of the Constitution of the State of Alaska. She suggested HB 23 was unconstitutional because it would not result in the maximum benefit for all the people. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN apologized to Susan Schrader for the long wait and thanked everyone for their expeditious testimony. Number 1366 SUSAN SCHRADER, Executive Director, Alaska Environmental Lobby, testified in opposition to HB 23. She noted that the Alaska Environmental Lobby, a coalition of 22 environmental groups, represented more than 10,000 Alaskans. She concurred with many comments already made concerning people's opposition to HB 23. MS. SCHRADER said, "We have over a 100 million acres in this state of state land. I see absolutely no reason why, with some effort and some careful negotiation between the user groups, we cannot resolve a lot of these issues. Unfortunately, this bill does absolutely nothing to help the resolution of the conflict between motorized and nonmotorized users. In fact, this bill will make it even more difficult and really put a damper on the dialogue that many groups, particularly in the Anchorage area, are trying to start between the varying interest groups." MS. SCHRADER expressed concern about taking away responsibility for land management from DNR. "Whether we want to call them bureaucrats or not, they are professionals," she stated. "They are trained in habitat and conservation issues. They have a mandate to protect our natural resources." MS. SCHRADER said unfortunately, motorized access modes had a much lengthier history of negative impact on natural resources than did nonmotorized uses. "And to take that ability to monitor and to enforce ... and give it to the legislature, and take it out of the hands of the professionals at DNR, I think is a very large mistake," she concluded. Number 1488 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that the committee would meet next on Tuesday, January 28, to hear HCR 1, the natural gas pipeline resolution. He thanked committee members and the public for their participation. ADJOURNMENT CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN adjourned the House Resources Committee meeting at 3:01 p.m.