Legislature(1997 - 1998)
01/30/1997 01:07 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE January 30, 1997 1:07 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman Representative Ramona Barnes Representative Fred Dyson Representative Joe Green Representative William K. ("Bill") Williams Representative Irene Nicholia Representative Reggie Joule MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12 Urging the Secretary of the Interior to conduct competitive oil and gas lease sales within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. - MOVED HJR 12 OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 46 "An Act relating to mining; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED CSHB 46(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 26 "An Act relating to big game tags for wolves; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED HB 26 OUT OF COMMITTEE * 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." - MOVED CSHB 17(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 12 SHORT TITLE: LEASES IN NATL PETROLEUM RESERVE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN, Hodgins, Ryan, Bunde, Ogan JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/15/97 66 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/15/97 66 (H) OIL & GAS, RESOURCES 01/23/97 (H) O&G AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 124 01/23/97 (H) MINUTE(O&G) 01/24/97 135 (H) O&G RPT 7DP 01/24/97 135 (H) DP: BUNDE, OGAN, BRICE, RYAN, KEMPLEN 01/24/97 135 (H) HODGINS, ROKEBERG 01/24/97 135 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LAA) 01/24/97 135 (H) REFERRED TO RESOURCES 01/24/97 139 (H) COSPONSOR(S): RYAN, BUNDE 01/27/97 153 (H) COSPONSOR(S): OGAN 01/30/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 46 SHORT TITLE: MINING CLAIMS ON PUBLIC LANDS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY, THERRIAULT JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 40 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 40 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 40 (H) RESOURCES 01/23/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 01/23/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 01/30/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 26 SHORT TITLE: BIG GAME TAGS FOR WOLVES SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) OGAN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 34 (H) PREFILE RELEASE 1/3/97 01/13/97 34 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 34 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 01/23/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 01/23/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 01/30/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 17 SHORT TITLE: DNR APPROVAL OF PLATS IN UNORG BOROUGH SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/13/97 31 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 31 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 31 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 01/23/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 01/23/97 (H) MINUTE(RES) 01/30/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER JEFFREY A. LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Green Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 118 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4931 POSITION STATEMENT: Assisted with sponsor statement for HJR 12. REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 411 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2327 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HB 46. JULES TILESTON, Director Division of Mining and Water Management Department of Natural Resources 3601 C Street, Suite 800 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-5935 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 46. BAERENT STRANDBERG Strandberg Mineral Services P.O. Box 874296 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Telephone: (907) 373-5016 POSITION STATEMENT: Asked questions about HB 46. MICHELE DRUMMOND, Volunteer Alaska Environmental Lobby P.O. Box 22151 Juneau, Alaska 99802 Telephone: (907) 463-3366 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 26. WAYNE REGELIN, Director Division of Wildlife Conservation Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526 Telephone: (907) 465-4190 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 26. REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HB 17. PAT KALEN, Chairman, Alaska Section American Congress on Surveying and Mapping; and Chairman, Legislative Committee Alaska Society for Professional Land Surveyors 1041 Chena Ridge Road Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-2656 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 17. CAROL CARROLL, Legislative Liaison Department of Natural Resources 400 Willoughby Avenue Juneau, Alaska 99801-1724 Telephone: (907) 465-4730 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 17. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-6, SIDE A Number 001 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:07 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Ogan, Hudson, Barnes, Dyson, Green, Williams and Joule. Representative Nicholia joined the meeting at 1:18 p.m. Co-Chairman Ogan noted that Representative Masek was ill that day. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that he would chair HJR 12 and HB 17, while Co-Chairman Hudson would chair HB 46 and HB 26. HJR 12 - LEASES IN NATL PETROLEUM RESERVE Number 166 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the first order of business was House Joint Resolution No. 12, urging the Secretary of the Interior to conduct competitive oil and gas lease sales within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. He called on Representative Green to present HJR 12. Number 190 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN, sponsor of HJR 12, referred to a map in the committee packet that showed the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska (NPR-A) and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). He said, "For familiarizing anybody who may not be aware, the Kuparuk River, Prudhoe Bay, Milne Point, all those units that have been so productive for so many years, and then on the west side of that blow-up is the Colville River delta, and it is the Colville River delta where the recent Alpine discovery that ARCO has been so instrumental in developing will take place. That main channel is the eastern boundary of the ... Alaska National Petroleum Reserve, and it is that area that we're ... trying to energize the federal government to resume leasing, when it's just a river-width away from known commercial production." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained that area was set aside in 1923 as a petroleum reserve. "By anybody's definition of that, that means something to be developed for petroleum," he said. Representative Green indicated he would outline the area's history and answer geographical or technical questions. A staff member would then present the legislation. Number 312 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN advised that then-President Warren G. Harding, by executive order in 1923, established Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4, which contained approximately 37,000 square miles of land. Approximately the size of Indiana, it comprised about one-third of the North Slope. Representative Green said, "That later was changed, and so that no one gets confused, in 1976 became the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska, and I'll get to that in a minute, but you may have heard either of those definitions, and we're ... talking about the same area." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said as far back as the 1800s, trapping, whaling, hunting and bartering took place throughout coastal Alaska. After the Civil War, when Secretary Seward was instrumental in its purchase, Alaska became a U.S. territory. From roughly 1900 to 1920, several U.S. Geological Survey reports were done. In 1901, Frank C. Schrader and W.J. Peters did a geologic traverse in that area and in the Brooks Range; In 1903, Alfred Brooks, for whom the Brooks Range was named, did similar work. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted that oil seeps at Cape Simpson, not far from what he termed "the sensitive environmental area" of Teshekpuk Lake, were delineated and pictures taken in 1909. In addition, Ernest de K. Leffingwell, considered by some to be the "father of geology in Alaska," made a comprehensive geological report in 1919. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained that from 1923 to 1926, an active U.S. Geological Survey worked the rivers and mountain ranges, trying to delineate what was contained within the petroleum reserve. From 1926 to 1943, there was essentially no activity. It was considered too remote and too expensive to develop. "But the main thing was that during that period of time in the Lower 48, there were many, many, many oil discoveries throughout the Lower 48, and we ... really had more oil than we could use," he stated. Number 518 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN reported that in 1943, activity resumed for the next couple of years because of World War II. He referred to a handout in the committee packet, accompanied by a tabulation of wells by name and number. He noted that between 1945 and 1952, 45 shallow-core tests and 36 test wells were drilled in that area and said, "[D]uring that time, three oil provinces and three gas deposits were discovered, none of which were commercial. So then we were over the war, and it was again thought too far away, so in 1953 to '73, there was another period of inactivity." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN recalled the Arab embargo of 1973 and the long gas lines in the Lower 48. He said, "So between '74 and '82, there was another activity that ended up ultimately with Husky Oil Company's becoming the contractor. We drilled 21 more test wells over the next seven years, and again, ... [were] not able to come up with anything of a commercial nature. 1976, some of you may be aware of the Naval Reserves Production Act, which in effect changed the name of this to its current name. And it provided for oil sales from other naval petroleum reserves - Elk Hills was probably the most notable - that had production and was actually being sold commercially, then, rather than being kept for a naval reserve." Number 637 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN continued: "Unfortunately, in 1982 the program terminated and the operations were taken over by BLM; and that's where we stand right now. But in the GS studies, there were some 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and at least six billion barrels of oil estimated by the way they do their estimating for the federal government. Of that six billion barrels, three-fourths of it lie, by their estimate, within the eastern one-fourth of the NPR-A, which is the area of most interest to the State of Alaska, obviously." Number 687 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN continued: "Then, of course, there was development progressively moving ... from Prudhoe Bay to Kuparuk River to out into the delta, and unfortunately, the early development in the Colville delta was uneconomic as well. And only recently did ARCO find what has now become known as the `Alpine discovery,' and [they] do plan to go ahead and develop that commercially. There are environmental considerations being considered at the time. And the development area, certainly the subsurface is still proprietary, but the development area that they propose abuts the river and consequently abuts the NPR-A. And it's because of that, and the fact that it would certainly seem to me reasonable to develop this entire discovery, whatever it might be, if it does go over or if there are ancillary fields that are on the west side. The best place to find oil is near an oil field, and that seems reasonable." REPRESENTATIVE GREEN continued: "And there is a pre-existing agreement that says that any oil discovered and produced ... from NPR-A would be shared 50-50 with the State of Alaska and the federal government. And my final statement, other than answering questions, would be that I want to make perfectly clear that in no way does this have any effect, or diminish in any way, our emphasis on trying to get ANWR open. They are completely separate entities. It's just an additional thing that I think would be good for the State of Alaska." Representative Green turned the presentation over to Jeff Logan. Number 790 JEFFREY A. LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Green, stated he had little to add. "I would only state what is stated in the resolution, that the resolution simply asks the Secretary of the Interior to re-establish oil and gas lease sales in the NPR-A," he said. "We believe the legislature should urge the Secretary [of the Interior] to do so, because it would be in the best interests of the state for three reasons. The economic activity associated with a leasing program and the potential exploration and development would benefit Alaskans. The potential oil that might be found in NPR-A would flow through the TAPS pipeline, and we all know how important it is to keep the pipeline open. And, as Representative Green stated, the state receives 50 percent of the revenues from all sales, rentals, bonuses and royalties." Number 854 REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES made a motion to move HJR 12 from the committee with individual recommendations. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted that Representative Nicholia had joined the meeting. He asked if there was any discussion or objection to the motion. There being no objection, HJR 12 moved from the House Resources Standing Committee with individual recommendations. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Hudson for the next order of business. HB 46 - MINING CLAIMS ON PUBLIC LANDS Number 915 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 46, "An Act relating to mining; and providing for an effective date." He advised there was a proposed committee substitute and asked for a motion to adopt it as a work draft. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES moved to adopt the substitute. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. There being none, Work Draft 1/29/97, Luckhaupt, 0-LS0265\B was before the committee. Co-Chairman Hudson invited Representative Kelly to present the bill. Number 950 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY, a prime sponsor of HB 46, explained, "HB 46 comes out of the permitting process for some of the larger mines that have recently come up to speed here in Alaska, most notably Fort Knox and Illinois Creek. In getting those mines up and producing, a number of flaws were discovered in Title 38, specifically as it relates to mining on state land. This bill addresses those flaws and brings the statutes into line with the procedures that actually exist within DNR. The bill is supported by industry and the Administration. To my knowledge, there is little or no controversy surrounding this." Representative Kelly offered to go through the bill section by section. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES indicated if there was no objection to the bill, that was unnecessary. Number 1017 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if the committee had questions. He then called on Jules Tileston to testify. Number 1031 JULES TILESTON, Director, Division of Mining and Water Management, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), stated, "The Administration does support the bill and the amendments that you are looking at now. I would be pleased to answer any questions." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there were questions and said he would entertain a motion. Number 1068 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion that CSHB 46 move from committee with individual recommendations. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY pointed out there was an amendment before the committee. Number 1075 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES withdrew her motion. She referred to Amendment 0-LS0265\B.1, Luckhaupt, 1/30/97, which read: TO: Draft CSHB 46( )("B" Version) Page 5, line 29, through page 6, line l: Delete "The rental amount shall be revised by the commissioner if the change between the index for the first six months of the current year and the most recent index used to revise the rental, or the reference base index if the rental amount has never been revised, equals or exceeds $5." Page 6, line 4: Delete "index annually" Insert "rental amount each 10 years" REPRESENTATIVE BARNES moved that the amendment be adopted. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. There being none, the amendment to the committee substitute was adopted. Number 1103 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion to move CSHB 46, as amended, from the committee with individual recommendations and asked unanimous consent. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection and noted there was none. He advised that someone wished to testify and asked Representative Barnes to hold her motion. Number 1174 BAERENT STRANDBERG, Strandberg Mineral Services, testified via teleconference from Mat-Su. He referred to the original bill and indicated the Strandbergs had been involved in one of the largest placer mines in Alaska and had written a lengthy report on the Valdez Creek project. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON inquired whether Mr. Strandberg was working from the 1/29/97 committee substitute adopted as a work draft and described it. Number 1223 MR. STRANDBERG responded, "No, no, apparently not." He indicated a legislative aide was helping him. Mr. Strandberg referred to the "South Denali entrance problem," which he said had some relation to the bill. He asked how he could coordinate with the committee. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES suggested Mr. Strandberg state his concern and then let the bill's sponsor identify whether or not that was addressed in the new committee substitute. MR. STRANDBERG agreed. He referred to AS 38.05.285(a) and stated, "It says that state lands may not be closed to mining or mineral location under AS 38.05.185 - 38.05.275 except as provided in AS 38.05.300 and unless the commissioner makes the finding that mining will be incompatible with significant surface uses on state land." He explained he had a problem with the commissioner making a determination of whether mining was compatible with other uses. MR. STRANDBERG said, "If you're in a mining district, the industry that is moving into the district should be evaluated as to whether it is compatible with mining. And that comes in with the Denali south entrance. We believe that the tourist industry being jammed up against industrial projects will create significant additional costs." MR. STRANDBERG explained, "And what I would like to see in this bill right here, I'd like to see you add an amendment in there where any additional activities will be evaluated as to its potential upset of the financial structure of the project. And for instance, there's a mine that went down just outside of Yellowstone where President Clinton came in to play and killed the mining operation. And we do have a number of projects that are coming in right next door to state and federal parks. And I'd like to see your committee here address ... that issue. And I think that's our major one." Number 1391 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON voiced his understanding that they were looking at page 4, line 12, of the adopted draft. He asked whether Representative Kelly understood what Mr. Strandberg was suggesting. Number 1396 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY responded, "As I understand, this is state law and this bill does not affect what he is referring to here. If he would like, I would gladly let him contact my office to entertain amendments at a later time, in a different committee." CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said it did not, then, apply to what was being addressed by HB 46. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY agreed it did not apply. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether Mr. Strandberg had heard that. Number 1423 MR. STRANDBERG replied he would contact Representative Kelly's legislative assistant. He had tried to contact someone from Representative Kelly's office that morning, he said. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY acknowledged that telephone call and said his staff had tried unsuccessfully to return it. He indicated his staff would contact Mr. Strandberg that afternoon. MR. STRANDBERG said that was his only question. It was a significant problem trying to mix the tourist business with mining. "I don't see how it's compatible," he concluded. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES made a motion that CSHB 46, as amended, move from the committee with individual recommendations and asked unanimous consent. Number 1465 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. There being none, CSHB 46(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Ogan. HJR 12 - LEASES IN NATL PETROLEUM RESERVE Number 1481 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next order of business was House Joint Resolution No. 12, urging the Secretary of the Interior to conduct competitive oil and gas lease sales within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Co-Chairman Ogan had inadvertently omitted taking public testimony on HJR 12 before it moved out of committee. He apologized to those who had signed up to testify and asked if there were suggestions. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON suggested that written testimony be elicited from those who wanted to testify. That testimony could then be transmitted with HJR 12 to the next committee of referral. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN agreed. He again apologized and stated it had not been his intention. Co-Chairman Ogan turned the gavel back to Co- Chairman Hudson for the next order of business. HB 26 - BIG GAME TAGS FOR WOLVES Number 1556 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the next order of business was House Bill No. 26, "An Act relating to big game tags for wolves; and providing for an effective date." He called on Co-Chairman Ogan to present the bill. Number 1583 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN, sponsor of HB 26, noted that it had been previously scheduled but not heard. He explained the bill, saying, "What it does is it lowers the price of a nonresident and nonresident alien wolf tag from $175 for a nonresident to $30, and from $250 for a nonresident alien to $50." He advised that a nonresident alien was someone from out of the country. Number 1610 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated, "I would like to see more people, especially nonresident hunters who traditionally hunt with a guide, in the field with wolf tags. This gives the Board of Game the ability to set the seasons and bag limits, and if there's an area where the Board of Game and the Department of Fish and Game have identified ... that needs to be intensively managed, there'll be more opportunity for these incidental takes of wolves and give a little bit of a tool to be able to manage the resource a little bit more proactively." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said HB 26 would provide more fair-chase hunting opportunities. "I believe it's necessary in light of the recent initiative that was passed on wolves, that the department's hands are further tied to intensively manage," he concluded. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there were questions from the committee. He called on Michele Drummond to come forward and testify. Number 1666 MICHELE DRUMMOND, Volunteer, Alaska Environmental Lobby, testified in opposition to HB 26, indicating she also spoke as a field biologist with six years' experience working in the commercial fishing industry. "The Alaska Environmental Lobby does not support HB 26 because it calls for the reduction of tag fees for nonresidents," she explained. "We believe that out-of-state hunters should continue to pay higher prices for the ability to hunt game, which they can't do in other states. It's something that's only available in Alaska." MS. DRUMMOND indicated there were few sightings of wolves. She believed the incidental take of wolves would not necessarily increase just because more tags were being issued. "It seems that this bill continues to persecute wolves as a `bad species' because they tend to compete with humans for the caribou and moose populations, and the hunting tool as a wildlife management tool is not necessarily a viable way to manage the wildlife stocks," she concluded. Number 1756 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA asked Ms. Drummond, "Have you ever been out to the rural area where the people ... are experiencing problems with a large decline in the moose populations and evidence that there are a lot of moose being taken by wolves?" MS. DRUMMOND replied she had not. Number 1779 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN inquired whether Ms. Drummond was aware that HB 26 referred only to areas designated a critical problem with wolf kill, not statewide. MS. DRUMMOND said yes. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked how Ms. Drummond would manage the overpopulation of wolves in those areas. Number 1802 MS. DRUMMOND replied, "I couldn't give you a proper response on that at the moment. I could research it and get back with you." Number 1817 WAYNE REGELIN, Director, Division of Wildlife Conservation, Department of Fish and Game, testified in support of HB 26. He believed Alaska's wolf population was currently underutilized and could sustain a higher harvest level. He stated, "It's about 15 percent across the state right now, and the population can withstand 30 percent harvest rates without causing any problems. We think a reduction in fees for nonresident hunters may encourage more nonresident hunters to purchase a wolf tag and increase the harvest of wolves." MR. REGELIN said in the areas with too many wolves, designated by the Board of Game for intensive management, the fee would be waived. He explained, "Right now very few nonresidents purchase wolf tags. ... In 1995, only 237 nonresidents and, I think, 35 nonresident aliens purchased wolf tags out of about almost 11,000 nonresident hunters. So I think that a reduction in the fees may very well encourage more people to harvest wolves." Mr. Regelin concluded by restating the department's support of HB 26. Number 1899 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked, "[I]f you didn't have this type of a management tool - and of course the general public passed the initiative to halt the fly-and-shoot type of situation - what's your assessment of your ability to control these predator populations?" Number 1919 MR. REGELIN replied that it would be difficult in areas with severe predator problems. "And this probably won't help," he admitted. "But it won't hurt, and it will help in other places and provide a lot more opportunity ... to harvest a resource that's currently underharvested. But in the areas where we have a very severe predator problem, this isn't going to be a lot of help." He said in those areas, more wolves would need to be harvested than would occur through hunting. Number 1946 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said, "Let's assume that this is effective and that in certain areas that are certainly in need of `de-wolfing,' if you will, do you see the fact that there would be more alien nonresident hunters in any area like that? As you indicated it probably won't be a major help, do you see it as being a hindrance? Is there a safety hazard that this could create, or is there any negative to this?" Number 1973 MR. REGELIN did not see any negatives to it. He mentioned nonresidents who come to Alaska to hunt sheep, bear, moose or caribou. With the tag fee at $175, many people did not buy a tag. "At $30, I think more will," he explained. "I don't think it will increase the number of hunters that we have or cause any kind of problems. I think that it ... might increase the harvest of wolves. It will certainly give them more opportunity, and we're in the opportunity business." Number 1996 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Mr. Regelin to address the board process, including how season bag limits were set and how wolf harvest was controlled. MR. REGELIN explained, "The legislature must set license fees and tag fees. The Board of Game can't do that. But the Board of Game then sets bag limits, seasons, and methods and means. So if there's a problem in a certain area, the board can reduce the bag limit, reduce the season for hunting and trapping. Right now, in many areas, we ... open the wolf season for hunting at the same time other big game species open, so that people have an opportunity to take a wolf if they want to." MR. REGELIN continued: "Most of our wolf harvest occurs during the winter by trappers that are doing it to make money. ... A ten-year average of the wolf harvest in Alaska is 1107, and ... each wolf pelt is worth about $300, so it's a significant amount of money, especially in rural areas where there's very little opportunity to make money. And we manage trapping ... through season dates and lengths, not through bag limits, because a trapper putting out a trap line doesn't know exactly how many he'll catch." Mr. Regelin indicated Alaska's wolf population was abundant and healthy, with 7,000 - 10,000 wolves, up significantly from ten years before. "They're managed well, most places," he concluded. Number 2081 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there were further questions or whether anyone on teleconference wished to testify. He stated his intention of moving the bill. Number 2107 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA made a motion that HB 26 move from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes. Number 2117 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there were objections. Hearing none, Co-Chairman Hudson advised that HB 26 was moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Ogan for the next item of business. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called for a short recess at 1:43 p.m. [RECESS -- END OF TAPE 97-6] [MEETING RESUMED AT 1:58 P.M. WITH CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON PRESIDING] HB 46 - MINING CLAIMS ON PUBLIC LANDS TAPE 97-7, SIDE A Number 006 The next order of business was House Bill No. 46, "An Act relating to mining; and providing for an effective date." REPRESENTATIVE BARNES referred to the fiscal note from the DNR for HB 46. At $1,000, it was a very small fiscal note for changes required in regulations. Representative Barnes believed the DNR could absorb that cost. She saw no reason for HB 46 to go to the House Finance Committee for that amount. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES moved that the House Resources Standing Committee zero out the fiscal note and further moved that a zero fiscal note be moved from the committee along with CSHB 46(RES), as amended. She asked unanimous consent. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there was any objection. Number 081 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN inquired whether they needed to rescind the previous action. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES replied no. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON concurred, saying it was an attachment and the motion was proper. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES advised that the committee needed to prepare a zero fiscal note and specify that it was by the House Resources Standing Committee. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said he would ask the committee to prepare that. Number 131 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA stated, "I'd like to know what the entailed costs are for the $1,000 and why they have a $1,000 fiscal note." She asked if someone from the DNR could explain it. REPRESENTATIVE BARNES responded, "It says on the bottom that it is for revising the regulations that goes with this. And I believe that those revisions, as I stated, can be made as part of their ... in-house budget." REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA still wanted to know how the department came up with the $1,000 fiscal note. Number 202 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES pointed out there was a narrative at the bottom stating how the DNR would use the $1,000. REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA responded, "I'd just like to state that it's kind of dumb that we have a fiscal note here for $1,000 and nobody from the department, the Division of Mining Development, that is here to back it up." Number 249 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON acknowledged the motion and request for unanimous consent to attach and advance CSHB 46, as amended, with the fiscal note zeroed. He indicated staff had been ordered to prepare a zero fiscal note. He asked if there was any objection to the motion. There being no objection, CSHB 46(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee with a zero fiscal note. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Ogan to present the next item of business. HB 17 - DNR APPROVAL OF PLATS IN UNORG BOROUGH Number 270 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN welcomed Representative James and invited her to present 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." Number 309 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, sponsor of HB 17, presented the bill. "Some of you who've been around awhile may have seen this bill before," she said. "It's been around and around and around. And it was last year House Bill 80, and it just died in the rush of adjournment." Representative James said the bill had been around for six years or so before she joined the legislature. She advised that Pat Kalen, who had been instrumental in drafting the legislation throughout the process, was on teleconference to answer questions and comment about the bill. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained, "This is a bill that would require the DNR to be a platting authority in the unorganized borough or anyplace where there is no platting authority operating. Currently the DNR does file the plats, but it has no authority to review the plats to see ... if they are qualifying plats, that the monumentation is in, that there is existing legal access and other requirements that would be needed to have a valid plat ... to eliminate future problems." REPRESENTATIVE JAMES continued: "The general fund start-up cost of $21,300 that's listed in the fiscal note is subject to being amended. However, I think that that would be a proper place to amend that. In other words, it could be reduced. It would be in the Finance Committee. After the initial start-up costs, this should be self-paying because the fees that are charged ... for the review of the plats will be covering the cost of reviewing the plats." Number 408 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained her interest in the bill stemmed from a situation in her district four years earlier, when the University of Alaska, doing a subdivision of one of their sections in an area having no platting authority, had provided no legal access to those lots. "And when I disagreed with that, we were able to finally solve the situation by negotiations," she said. "But they had no requirement to provide legal access to those lots. And there was no platting authority and no one to be able to review the plats." Thus she had seen the necessity for change. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES noted that HB 17 also changed the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities monumentation requirement so that monuments required for straight roads would be half the number required on curves. This would be less costly for the department when putting in rights-of-way. "It also adds three departments to subdivision definition, which ... was in HB 80 and some way or other it was removed," she explained. "What we've tried to do in this piece of legislation is to have the subdivision definition be the same ... in any one of the various departments. And I have a listing here of what those departments are. ... It's Lands and Surveying and DEC. So that now if you look for a subdivision definition in the statutes, they'll all be the same." Number 564 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES emphasized that there were no objections to the bill and offered to answer questions. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there were questions. Number 592 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted there were three amendments in the packet and asked if Representative James wished for those to be numbered Amendments 1 - 3. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES indicated she had provided those and that was her desire. Number 615 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON moved that Amendment 1 be adopted and asked unanimous consent. Amendment 1 to HB 17, 0-LS0138\A.1, Luckhaupt, 1/22/97, read: Page 4, lines 22 - 24: Delete all material. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Representative James to explain Amendment 1. Number 648 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, "... DEC is not going to review subdivisions in the state anymore. And this was a line in ... the bill that said the commissioner shall require that a plat submitted for approval bear the certificate of approval of any other state agency having subdivision plat approval authority. And there is no other agency, and so that takes out the requirement for DEC. That's what it's related to, and DEC has no problem with that." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN noted there was already a motion and asked if there were any objections. There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 682 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON moved to adopt Amendment 2 and asked unanimous consent. Amendment 2 to HB 17, 0-LS0138\A.2, Luckhaupt, 1/22/97, read: Page 1, following line 13: Insert new bill sections to read: "* Sec. 3. AS 34.65.100 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: (6) "subdivision" has the meaning given in AS 40.15.900. * Sec. 4. AS 38.04.910 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: (13) "subdivision" has the meaning given in AS 40.15.900." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. Page 7, following line 23: Insert a new bill section to read: "* Sec. 10. AS 46.03.900 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: (36) "subdivision" has the meaning given in AS 40.15.900." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. Page 7, line 25: Delete "sec. 7" Insert "sec. 9" CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Representative James to explain Amendment 2. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said, "[W]e had reprinted this bill from exactly the way HB 80 was last year when it was in the other body, and ... somehow or other in the process, these three descriptions in the various places for subdivision ... [were] eliminated from the bill. So we didn't see that ... when we got the original bill. So it's putting them back in so that all of those three areas have the same definition of subdivision." Number 754 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was discussion or any objection. Hearing no objection, he noted that Amendment 2 was adopted. Number 764 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON moved to adopt Amendment 3 and asked unanimous consent. Amendment 3 to HB 17, 0LS0138\A.3, Luckhaupt, 1/22/97, read: Page 6, lines 14 - 19: Delete all material. Insert "reinforcement bar with appropriate identification cap set points from which the right-of-way may be defined, not exceeding 1,320 feet or, when line of sight permits, 2,640 feet; all recovered" Number 782 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES explained that Amendment 3 related to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and monumentation along rights-of-way. "And when it's a straight line, ... they only have to do half as much monumentation as they do on a curved line, so it's saving money and not putting unnecessary monumentation along a right-of-way," she added. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted that Amendment 3 eliminated lines 14 to 19. He asked Representative James if it read the way she wanted it to. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES replied she believed it did. "It's reduction in the amount of monumentation," she stated. Representative James reminded the committee Pat Kalen was on teleconference to answer questions. Number 862 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN inquired whether Representative Green wished to get additional input. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN indicated he was okay with the amendment. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was further discussion or any objection. Hearing no objection, Co-Chairman Ogan noted that Amendment 3 was adopted. Number 882 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN opened up the meeting for public testimony. He called upon Pat Kalen to testify. PAT KALEN, Chairman, Alaska Section, American Congress on Surveying and Mapping; and Chairman, Legislative Committee, Alaska Society for Professional Land Surveyors, testified via teleconference from Fairbanks in support of HB 17. He stated, "The surveyors have worked in the subject area quite a bit. We had a bill ... that nearly passed the legislature in 1990 to develop a thing called the Survey and Mapping Advisory Board that was made up of surveyors from all over the state and ... the private sector and the public sector, and had representatives from the Alaska Federation of Natives and all the major state departments that would be affected in this area. And we noticed that a couple of years ago, that ... [Representative James] ... was the first person to notice that you could do anything you wanted to in the unorganized borough. Her problem was concerning legal access. And she was absolutely correct that people could make ... land descriptions in these new subdivisions without providing legal access." MR. KALEN explained the problem was a little deeper than that. People could draw up any kind of deed they wished without being required to go to a lawyer or surveyor. "And some very strange animals have been filed over the years," he stated. "And surveyors and lawyers get to see them after people discover there's something the matter, that ... they should have done." Mr. Kalen indicated no rules applied to subdivisions in the unorganized borough, saying "excepting such as DEC used to be able to say they had authority, but they didn't have any way of enforcing what they said you had to do." MR. KALEN mentioned he had worked with Representative James and her assistant, Walt Wilcox, on HB 17. "The three little changes I was aware of, and I support them wholeheartedly," he stated. He noted it was much more cost-effective to place monuments out where they could be seen than to "hide them off in the woods," which actually raised survey costs. Mr. Kalen commended the sponsor and asked that the committee move the bill. Number 1088 CAROL CARROLL, Legislative Liaison, Department of Natural Resources, testified in support of HB 17. She said she hoped Jane Angvik, Director of Land, would arrive in time to answer questions. She noted that if there were questions she herself could not answer, a Division of Land employee was on teleconference. MS. CARROLL stated, "The Department of Natural Resources does support this bill. We think that it will certainly go a long way to clearing up some title, making it easy for citizens of Alaska to make sure that the plot that they have purchased in the subdivision is indeed theirs and it doesn't infringe on any other ... land." Number 1145 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether HB 17 had been scrutinized carefully to preclude technical problems or future litigation. Number 1157 MS. CARROLL replied, "Yes, the Division of Land has looked at this. They've looked at it for the last couple of years since ... Representative James has been interested in this bill. And we do not see, to my knowledge, any technical problems. I have not seen any come before the department, at least, in the bill analyses that they require." Number 1192 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN referred to the fiscal note and said, "[Y]ou indicate that through regulations, you will increase the fee from $200 to $300, that will cover ... future costs ... that you incur in the department. Is it your understanding, or is it your message to us, that it appears to be that; if it should be more, you will, through regulation, make sure that that fee is covered?" Number 1219 MS. CARROLL responded, "We intend to make this program revenue- neutral." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if anyone else wished to testify, then said he would entertain a motion. Number 1245 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to move HB 17, with the three adopted amendments and attached fiscal note, with individual recommendations. He asked unanimous consent. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was any objection. Hearing none, Co-Chairman Ogan noted that HB 17, as amended and with the attached fiscal note, moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. Number 1263 REPRESENTATIVE BARNES asked to be excused from the briefing scheduled the following day. Having worked for Cominco, Alaska, she believed herself to be very knowledgeable on the Red Dog Mine project and proposals for the future. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON reminded committee members that packets for the following day were already available. The briefing, to be held jointly with the Senate Resources Committee, was to be in the Senate Finance Committee room. He urged attendance. He noted there was no meeting Tuesday, February 4. On Thursday, February 6, there would be an overview. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN thanked everyone for their expeditious handling of the bills heard that day. Number 1334 ADJOURNMENT CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee meeting at 2:15 p.m.