Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/10/1997 01:15 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE April 10, 1997 1:15 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman Representative Fred Dyson Representative Joe Green Representative William K. ("Bill") Williams Representative Reggie Joule MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair Representative Ramona Barnes Representative Irene Nicholia COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE BILL NO. 198 "An Act relating to regional dive fishery development associations and to dive fishery management assessments; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED CSHB 198(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 7(RLS) am "An Act reducing certain resident sport fishing, hunting, and trapping license fees, increasing certain nonresident sport fishing license and tag fees, and relating to nonresident sport fishing and hunting licenses and tags; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED HCS CSSB 7(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE BILL NO. 19 am "An Act relating to enforcement of federal laws relating to fish and game; and repealing the power and duty of the commissioner of Fish and Game to assist in the enforcement of federal laws relating to fish and game." - HEARD AND HELD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 198 SHORT TITLE: DIVE FISHERY MANAGEMENT ASSN. & ASSESSMNT SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) WILLIAMS, Hudson, Kookesh, Grussendorf, Elton JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/14/97 668 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/14/97 668 (H) FSH, RESOURCES 04/09/97 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 04/09/97 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 04/10/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: SB 7 SHORT TITLE: HUNTING SPORT FISH TRAPPING FEES/LICENSES SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) DONLEY, Sharp JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/03/97 15 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 15 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 15 (S) RES, FIN 01/29/97 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 01/29/97 (S) MINUTE(RES) 02/03/97 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 02/03/97 (S) MINUTE(RES) 02/06/97 246 (S) RES RPT CS 3DP 2NR NEW TITLE 02/06/97 246 (S) DP: HALFORD, GREEN, SHARP 02/06/97 246 (S) NR: LEMAN, LINCOLN 02/06/97 246 (S) FISCAL NOTES TO SB & CS (F&G-2) 02/11/97 283 (S) CORRECTED ZERO FN TO SB (DPS) 02/11/97 283 (S) ZERO FN TO CS (DPS) 02/18/97 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 02/25/97 491 (S) FIN RPT CS 2DP 5NR NEW TITLE 02/25/97 492 (S) DP: SHARP, DONLEY; NR: ADAMS, PARNELL 02/25/97 492 (S) NR: PHILLIPS, PEARCE, TORGERSON 02/25/97 492 (S) FNS TO CS (F&G-2) 02/25/97 492 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FNS APPLY TO CS (DPS-2) 02/26/97 (S) RLS AT 12:30 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 02/26/97 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/05/97 567 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR W/CS NEW TITLE 3/5 03/05/97 567 (S) DP:KELLY; CALENDAR: LEMAN, TORGERSON; 03/04/97 567 (S) NR:DUNCAN; DNP: TAYLOR 03/04/97 567 (S) FN TO CS (F&G) 03/04/97 567 (S) PREVIOUS FN ( F&G) 03/04/97 567 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN APPLIES TO CS (DPS) 03/05/97 575 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/05/97 575 (S) RLS CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/05/97 575 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/05/97 575 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 8(RLS) 03/05/97 576 (S) PASSED Y17 N3 03/05/97 576 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 03/05/97 576 (S) MACKIE NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 03/06/97 604 (S) RECON TAKEN UP IN THIRD READING 03/06/97 604 (S) RETURN TO SECOND FOR AM 1 UNAN CONSENT 03/06/97 605 (S) AM NO 1 OFFERED BY MACKIE 03/06/97 605 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/06/97 605 (S) AUTOMATICALLY IN THIRD READING 03/06/97 606 (S) PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y17 N3 03/06/97 606 (S) EFFECTIVE DATE(S) SAME AS PASSAGE 03/06/97 606 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/07/97 576 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/07/97 577 (H) FSH, RESOURCES, FINANCE 03/24/97 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/24/97 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/26/97 848 (H) FSH RPT CS(FSH) 1DP 3NR 03/26/97 848 (H) DP: OGAN 03/26/97 848 (H) NR: AUSTERMAN, IVAN, HODGINS 03/26/97 848 (H) SENATE FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 2/25/97 03/26/97 848 (H) SENATE FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 3/5/97 03/26/97 848 (H) SENATE ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DPS) 2/11/97 04/08/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: SB 19 SHORT TITLE: REPEAL FED ENFORCEMENT DUTIES/F&G COMSNR SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) SHARP, Taylor, Donley JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/03/97 19 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 19 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 19 (S) RES, JUD 02/05/97 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 02/05/97 (S) MINUTE(RES) 02/06/97 247 (S) RES RPT 6DP 1NR 02/06/97 247 (S) DP: HALFORD, TAYLOR, TORGERSON, LEMAN, 02/06/97 247 (S) GREEN, SHARP; NR: LINCOLN 02/06/97 247 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DPS) 02/19/97 (S) JUD AT 1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/19/97 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/20/97 428 (S) JUD RPT 3DP 02/20/97 428 (S) DP: TAYLOR, PARNELL, PEARCE 02/20/97 428 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN (DPS) 02/21/97 (S) RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 02/21/97 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 02/24/97 469 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR & 1NR 2/24/97 02/24/97 473 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 02/24/97 473 (S) AM NO 1 OFFERED BY SHARP 02/24/97 473 (S) AM NO 1 ADOPTED Y14 N5 A1 02/24/97 474 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 02/24/97 474 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME SB 19 AM 02/24/97 474 (S) COSPONSOR(S): DONLEY 02/24/97 475 (S) PASSED Y15 N4 A1 02/24/97 475 (S) ADAMS NOTICE OF RECONSIDERATION 02/25/97 502 (S) RECONSIDERATION NOT TAKEN UP 02/25/97 502 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 02/26/97 478 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/26/97 478 (H) RESOURCES, JUDICIARY 04/10/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER KYLE JOHANSEN, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Bill Williams Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 424 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3424 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HB 198. GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison Office of the Commissioner Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526 Telephone: (907) 465-6143 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 198. EDWARD T. GRAY 147 Price, Number C Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-7888 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. LARRY TRANI, President Alaska Harvest Divers Association 2008 Halibut Point Road Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-8114 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. GEORGE ELIASON 102 Kuhnle Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-6817 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. JAMES R. DENNIS P.O. Box 591 Craig, Alaska 99921 Telephone: (907) 826-3010 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. RICHARD POLLEN, Plant Manager Norquest Seafoods, Incorporated P.O. Box 138 Craig, Alaska 99921 Telephone: (907) 826-3556 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198 on behalf of Norquest and as a city council member. LINDA SLITER 428 Bawden Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-7188 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 198. MELINDA WEST P.O. Box 9493 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 723-5022 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 198; suggested amendments in the event it passes. STERLING SLITER, President Alaska Harvest Divers Association 428 Bawden Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 198. RODNEY LINTON 852 Harding Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-3025 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HB 198. JACK SHAY, Mayor Ketchikan Gateway Borough 344 Front Street Ketchikan, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 225-7429 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. PATRICK LAWS P.O. Box 9270 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-4293 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 198 as written. RAY CAMPBELL P.O. Box 23216 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 247-3626 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition to HB 198. ACTION NARRATIVE HARLEY ETHELBAH P.O. Box 972 Petersburg, Alaska 99833 Telephone: (907) 772-2390 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198, with suggestions. STEPHEN LaCROIX, Dive Program Norquest Seafoods, Incorporated P.O. Box 6092 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 247-5686/225-6664 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. GIG DECKER, President Wrangell Harvest Divers Association P.O. Box 2138 Wrangell, Alaska 99929 Telephone: (907) 874-3110 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. AARON J. CUMMINS P.O. Box 949 Petersburg, Alaska 99833 Telephone: (907) 772-3409 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. CLAY BEZENEK, President Southeast Alaska Harvest Divers Association P.O. Box 6464 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-3738 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 198. KAREN BRAND, Legislative Assistant to Senator Dave Donley Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 508 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3892 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor's position on SB 7. JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection Department of Public Safety 5700 East Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225 Telephone: (907) 269-5509 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding SB 7 and SB 19. JOSEPHINE HARDY, Legislative Secretary to Senator Bert Sharp Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 516 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-3004 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement on SB 19. GEORGE UTERMOHLE, Attorney Legislative Legal and Research Services Legislative Affairs Agency 130 Seward Street, Suite 409 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2450 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding SB 19. DICK BISHOP, Executive Director Alaska Outdoor Council 211 Fourth Street, Number 302A Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 463-3830 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 19. PAULA TERRELL, Researcher for Representative Irene Nicholia Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 409 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-6858 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of Tanana Chiefs Conference in opposition to SB 19. DALE BONDURANT HC1, Box 1197 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-0818 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 19. RICHARD ANDREW P.O. Box 7211 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-2463 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 19. TAPE 97-40, SIDE A Number 0001 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON called the House Resources Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:15 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Hudson, Ogan, Dyson, Green and Williams; there was a quorum. Representative Joule arrived at 1:18 p.m. Representatives Masek, Barnes and Nicholia were absent. [The first minute of tape is blank due to teleconference malfunction. Co-Chairman Hudson called an at-ease at 1:16 p.m. He called the meeting back to order at 1:17 p.m.] HB 198 - DIVE FISHERY MANAGEMENT ASSN. & ASSESSMNT CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the first order of business was House Bill No. 198, "An Act relating to regional dive fishery development associations and to dive fishery management assessments; and providing for an effective date." Before the committee was the original version of the bill. Although a committee substitute had been voted out of the House Special Committee on Fisheries, that version had not been read across the House floor. Number 0115 KYLE JOHANSEN, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Bill Williams, read the sponsor statement into the record: "Southeast Alaska dive fishermen have been attempting for the past decade to establish orderly, consistent and stable fisheries capable of providing dependable economic opportunity for themselves, their families and the communities of Southeast. The urgency to create an economically viable fishery is highlighted by the recent closure of the region's largest employer and the other related negative economic impacts on the economy of Southeast Alaska. "Substantial untapped dive fishery resources have been identified through diver and Fish and Game underwater activities for over a decade. Many of the Southeast communities have placed the development of the dive fishery as a priority item in economic development documents and locally developed legislative budget priorities. The dive fishery resources appear to be abundant and diverse throughout the region. The small sea cucumber and geoduck fisheries in Southeast have a combined annual ex-vessel value of $2 million to $2.5 million. "In California, the urchin fishery has ranged in ex-vessel value from $16 million to $39 million annually from 1990 to 1996. Geoducks range in price from $6/pound live to $3.50/pound processed. Alaskan waters contain abundant amounts of these fishery resources plus many others not currently harvested. This legislation will encourage the identification and development of these resources. The potential for future jobs for harvesters, processors and the support industries is considerable. "The commitment to work together with Fish and Game is evidenced in the red sea urchin fishery. In 1996, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, after a test fishery, was unable to open the red sea urchin fishery because of a lack of funding. Based on positive results in this test fishery and a vision to diversify and develop their local economy, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough provided funding to Fish and Game to conduct bio-assessment surveys needed to open a fishery. "The Borough continued its involvement by facilitating and participating in a local task force comprised of Borough personnel, divers, processors and the department. The resulting plan was for processors to `forward fund' the management costs of the fishery, with agreements to recoup their funding through a 5 cents/pound assessment on the divers. Thus, in January 1997, a red sea urchin fishery opened in districts 1 through 4 in the Ketchikan and Craig areas. "This temporary fishery opening is based on a one-time source of funding that will expire at the end of this fiscal year, June 30, 1997. In order to continue this fishery and to develop the other dive fishery resources, a stable source of funding is necessary. "The August 1996 red urchin management plan states: `Developing a long-term program to fund the costs of stock assessment, research and management remains an outstanding issue. If sufficient funds are not provided to the department each year, the fishery will not open.' This is the dilemma divers face, and House Bill 198 provides a creative and progressive vehicle to move towards that solution. "House Bill 198 does not mandate but allows the creation of regional dive fishery development associations for the purpose of developing dive fisheries and creates a working relationship between the divers and the Department of Fish and Game to develop annual operating plans. This legislation is permissive, and once a regional association is formed, divers can hold a ballot election of all [interim-use] permit holders to answer two questions: First, shall we assess ourselves? And second, at what rate shall we assess ourselves? "If approved by election, divers would be assessed, the state would collect, and the legislature may appropriate the assessment back to ADF&G. The appropriation will be based on the mutually developed annual operating budget and plan. Fish and Game would then fund the specific purposes outlined in the legislation for the regional dive fishery development association and the Fish and Game. "All the appropriate checks and balances are in place, and all the parties are held accountable. In addition, all other fisheries business taxes are collected and deposited into the general fund. "House Bill 198 is a positive step forward by the private sector to support economic development and diversification without seeking a general fund appropriation. Time is of the essence. Representative Williams would appreciate your support of this legislation for passage this session, and keep the economic development for Southeast moving forward." Number 0505 REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS advised that committee packets include letters of support from the City of Craig, City of Wrangell and City and Borough of Sitka, as well as from the Sitka Chamber of Commerce, Wrangell Fisheries Incorporated, Sitka Sound Seafoods, Norquest Seafoods, Incorporated, the Seafood Producers Cooperative and others. Number 0556 GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), came forward to testify, noting he had also testified the previous day before the House Special Committee on Fisheries. He indicated the committee substitute, voted out of that committee but not read across the House floor, had contained changes requested by the ADF&G. Number 0601 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON advised that the committee needed to adopt as a work draft version 0-LS0415\T, Utermohle, 4/9/97. Number 0671 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON made a motion to adopt that as a work draft. There being no objection, 0-LS0415\T, Utermohle, 4/9/97 was before the committee. Number 0695 MR. BRUCE discussed changes made at the ADF&G's request. The sponsor had agree to two changes, incorporated in this version, and a third was still under discussion. MR. BRUCE referred to page 2, lines 4 through 7. He said the first change relates to composition of the board of directors of the dive association. The ADF&G believes its representation should reflect all stakeholders involved in development of the resource, not just harvesters. The sponsor agrees with this change. MR. BRUCE referred to page 8, line 7. He said the second change relates to the annual operating plan. The earlier version had the dive association responsible for writing the fishery's annual operating plan, with the ADF&G assisting. The ADF&G believes actual management and development of the management plan should be by public officials with no vested interest in the fishery; for good reason, it is done that way in all fisheries. Under the new version, the ADF&G will develop the plan with cooperation, assistance and input from the industry. The sponsor agrees to this. Number 0871 MR. BRUCE provided general comments on the bill. The ADF&G is very interested in developing these under-utilized resources. These resources offer an opportunity not only for economic development but also for Alaska to build a new fisheries model that does not suffer from problems associated with more historic fisheries. The latter were developed largely by outside interests, not necessarily with a maximum concern for benefits to Alaskans. This offers an opportunity for Alaska to start over again, at least on these fisheries, and do it right. MR. BRUCE said questions about the big picture relate to sustained yield, preventing overharvest, preventing boom-and-bust cycles and ensuring maximum benefits to Alaskans and communities. There is certainly less benefit if the state goes to great efforts to develop these resources and then most benefits leave the state. MR. BRUCE said unfortunately, the timing of opportunities to develop these resources coincides with reduced general fund appropriations to the ADF&G. To develop a new fishery, the ADF&G must remove money from an existing one. Hence, the introduction of HB 198. The sponsor is looking for some way to provide a source of funding for development of new fisheries that does not subtract resources from management of existing fisheries. Number 1011 MR. BRUCE does not believe, however, that this bill alone will accomplish that. Program receipts, such as these, are generally considered by the legislature as part of the general fund appropriation for the department. If additional program receipt funds flow into the ADF&G's general fund appropriation, funds from elsewhere would be eliminated. Divers could justifiably claim they expect their fishery to go forward with these funds because they are coming forward to tax themselves. MR. BRUCE suggested one way to deal with this issue. The designated program receipt bill, introduced by the Governor in both the House and the Senate, establishes designated program receipts as an "other fund" category, rather than a general fund category. If that passes, Mr. Bruce believes the objectives of HB 198 would be achieved. Number 1122 MR. BRUCE discussed the second concern, which relates to the big picture and the chance to develop Alaska's new fisheries the right way. The bill is a funding mechanism. The ADF&G believes additional issues should be addressed now. Five years down the road, they do not want to end up with the same structure as they have in some older fisheries from which Alaskans are not receiving maximum benefits. A number of species with development potential are not currently being developed. Some are dive resources, some are not. Mr. Bruce cited octopus as an example. The ADF&G is looking for a mechanism to address broader public policy issues underlying and guiding development of these new fisheries, which would apply to a variety of species statewide. MR. BRUCE acknowledged that is not the sponsor's intention. He said the ADF&G applauds what Representative Williams is trying to do. Unfortunately, even in early development of the urchin fishery the ADF&G is seeing all-too-familiar characteristics of the older fisheries' development model. Increasing product is already leaving the state, which concerns them. Number 1247 MR. BRUCE discussed the third change the ADF&G seeks. They suggest launching a public/private task force or working group to examine policy issues and possible or existing models. They expect that to take one or two years. At the end of that time, they want to revisit this whole issue, including how the funding mechanism is working and how it ties in with the bigger policy issues. For that reason, they request a sunset on the bill. MR. BRUCE said this new approach deserves an opportunity. However, the ADF&G has concerns about an individual fishery believing they are funding a particular management program, rather than having funds go into the broad base of government and then being part of the legislature's general appropriation to the department. Although the sense of ownership fishermen may feel over the management and managers may work all right, it may cause problems. The ADF&G, through the sunset provision, would come back and make sure this serves the public interest and is not causing inadvertent, undesired consequences. MR. BRUCE stated that the ADF&G sees this as an interim funding approach that may become permanent. Another reason for revisiting the issue is that it may serve as a precedent for other fisheries Alaskans may want to develop. Furthermore, if it works for new fisheries, people in existing fisheries may also want it. Number 1462 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS agreed this is a new approach and that other fisheries may be interested in such a concept. However, he does not support a sunset clause. If it does not work, the legislature can change it later. He asked for input from the committee. Number 1589 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether there is a sunset on the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA), for example. MR. BRUCE said no. He noted, however, that during the hatchery forums, people had felt maybe there should have been. Number 1608 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON advised there is a sunset on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) 1 percent salmon marketing tax. He stated the belief that a small, emerging fishery such as this would receive "enough daylight and hard looks" because it is new and exotic. He applauded participants in the fishing industry in general for putting their money up. He does not take a firm position that a sunset is necessary. Number 1648 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN concurred. He also agreed that if something is not working or needs modified, that can be done either through regulation or the legislative process. Number 1725 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether Mr. Bruce envisions that some control through bag limits or seasonal limits may be required. MR. BRUCE replied that the fishery is managed on a quota basis, based on inventory and assessment of the resource and what it can maintain as a sustained yield. Number 1743 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether some sea urchins would be brought to the surface to extract roe and whether that falls under the category of "roe stripping." MR. BRUCE said the roe is the edible, marketable part of the product. To his knowledge, it is the only part currently sold. Prices quoted earlier were for roe. Number 1781 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether somehow the ADF&G would be able to determine that by extracting roe, the fishery would not be damaged. MR. BRUCE said yes. Number 1788 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether there are possible alternate methods, such as robot arms or urchin pots, or whether this would always remain a dive fishery. MR. BRUCE said someone testified the previous day about experiments with alternative harvest methods for sea urchins. The dive method, successful in other parts of the country, has been what the industry has focused on; Mr. Bruce assumes that is the best way. Number 1824 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether the ADF&G or the sponsor has checked to see how this would affect other fisheries such as crabbing. MR. BRUCE said as part of the ADF&G's assessment and inventory, to some extent it looks at relationships between different species. They do not believe there are detrimental affects on other resources such as crab as a result of harvesting urchins. Number 1862 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON suggested divers could provide the department more information, from a management perspective, than currently available. Number 1880 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether the ADF&G would encourage, if not require, that kind of feedback from divers. MR. BRUCE replied that he believes that is the principal idea in this cooperative relationship. Number 1960 EDWARD T. GRAY testified via teleconference from Sitka. A diver and member of the Alaska Harvest Divers Association, he deferred to the sponsor statement for the many reasons why he supports the bill. He had ten years of experience meeting with a string of ADF&G officials in unsuccessful bids to secure funds. He said the first allocations in Sitka happened around 1989. Since then, there have been closures and reduced quotas while large quantities of unharvested products have gone unutilized year after year because of inability to secure funds. MR. GRAY said they are committed to the association concept. It contains the "appropriate checks" to provide security to the divers. He has no philosophical preference about who should pay or why. He is happy with the 3 percent salmon tax, both in what it has done for him and the salmon fleet. Mr. Gray concluded by thanking the sponsor and saying he has renewed hope of going forward because of this bill. Number 2043 LARRY TRANI, President, Alaska Harvest Divers Association, testified via teleconference from Sitka. His association, representing about 50 divers in the area, unanimously supports HB 198. He pointed out that for years, divers have requested that ADF&G expand various dive fisheries or open new ones. The answer has always been that there is not enough money in the ADF&G budget to meet those requests. Now, the ADF&G is facing budget cuts. Requests will only be met if the industry comes forward with the money. Although naturally members would prefer that the state pick up the tab to develop fisheries, because that is unlikely to happen in the near future, they urge passage of the committee substitute for HB 198. Number 2105 GEORGE ELIASON testified via teleconference from Sitka. A lifelong fisherman, he has been diving 20 to 30 years. He supports HB 198 on behalf of himself, his two sons and the two divers he works with. It will provide a long-term, economically viable dive fishery for his region. He believes these renewable resources will remain unharvested without such a bill, which would be unfortunate for divers, processors, deck hands, consumers and support services. This sounds like a win-win situation, and Southeast Alaska needs the jobs. Number 2178 JAMES R. DENNIS testified via teleconference from Craig in support of the bill. Although there is no dive organization there, he believes he can speak for a major portion of the area's divers. While nobody wants to think they are paying more than their share, this is realistic in light of budget cuts. Number 2247 RICHARD POLLEN, Plant Manager, Norquest Seafoods, Incorporated, testified via teleconference from Craig, specifying he is also a member of the city council. He said as a processor in Craig, he fully supports the bill. Norquest is currently involved in the sea urchin fishery. Employing 35 people, they contribute $2,500 per day in payroll to the community, providing jobs that would otherwise not be there. At any given time, they have five to twelve divers working for them, each with a deck hand on board. MR. POLLEN, speaking as a city council member, advised that the City of Craig had voted unanimously to contribute start-up money in one way or another. He said this fishery offers the city revenue in the form of a fish tax, which is sorely needed. Number 2316 LINDA SLITER testified via teleconference from Ketchikan in opposition to the bill. The wife of a diver, she is an equal partner in the Linda Lou (ph), a dive vessel. She asked where start-up costs for the association would come from. The association will need an office; equipment; travel money; an executive director, secretary and other employees; and a paid lobbyist to watch-dog the budget yearly to ensure money collected goes to the dive fisheries. She asked: If the proposed association goes to the state loan fund for an operation's loan, who would pay it back? She further asked whether divers would start out "in the red" with a loan to repay before any money can be appropriated for management. MS. SLITER said the association sounds like an expensive layer of bureaucracy between divers and the ADF&G. If the bill passes, an association forms, and an election is held to determine the amount of assessment, she said it would take at least two years before tax proceeds find their way into the ADF&G budget. She asked who will foot the bill until that tax is a reality. MS. SLITER had heard rumors that the proposed association would seek disaster fund money given to Southeast communities by the federal government. Convincing communities to fund an association whose goals are extremely unclear will be a battle all its own. Once salmon, herring, crab and shrimp fisheries find out about this, participants will demand their fair share of the disaster fund money from their communities. She asked whether it is the job of communities to fund fisheries programs managed by the ADF&G. MS. SLITER finds it hard to believe a state with no need for a state income tax, and which distributes millions of dollars to residents yearly through permanent fund dividends, cannot come up with $300,000 to fund a multimillion-dollar fishery. A self- imposed tax for management of a fishery is precedent-setting. She asked when participants in other fisheries would be requested to fund management of their fisheries as well. MS. SLITER noted that she has worked for the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association for 18 years. They are partially funded by a 3 percent tax self-imposed by the fishermen of Southeast Alaska. TAPE 97-40, SIDE B Number 0006 MS. SLITER concluded by saying the sea urchin fishery is able to become one of the highest revenue-generating industries in Alaska. It would be economically unsound for the state not to fund the fishery once it is established and paying the 3 percent raw fish tax. She urged delay of HB 198 until all avenues of state funding have been exhausted and all fisheries are being managed equitably. Number 0064 MELINDA WEST testified via teleconference from Ketchikan in opposition to HB 198. A harvest diver, she spoke on behalf of herself, her husband and 40 other divers who had signed a petition against the bill. They believe it is unconstitutional and discriminatory against one user group. A tax amounting to 14 percent would be required to manage and enforce the fishery and support the dive association attached to the bill. Ms. West said dive fisheries will pay a 3 percent raw fish tax next year. They will therefore pay for management of the fishery twice. If dive fisheries expand and stabilize, the 3 percent tax would generate more than enough revenue to make the fishery self-sustaining. Number 0116 MS. WEST suggested modifications in the event the bill passes. First, the "user pay" tax should be across-the-board for all fisheries. Second, the cooperative management statement, which "fooled all the divers on this bill to start with," should be put back in. Third, the ability to use the tax for dive association management should be eliminated; she believes those should be separate issues. MS. WEST also wants to delete the requirement that divers must have bought and paid for their permits 90 days before being allowed to vote. Many divers cannot afford permits until the day before they fish, and many are fronted money to do so. The present scheme would not provide good representation for the vote on the tax. MS. WEST said furthermore, the tax should be dedicated. She stated, "We would support this tax on those grounds, because we are not opposed to supporting our fishery. We are opposed to this bill as it is written." She specified they do not want to pay a lobbyist $50,000 per year to get their money back through the general fund. "I think this is the biggest flaw of this bill, is that general fund," she added. Number 0161 MS. WEST suggested if they pay for management, they have the right to call the shots. This must be cooperative management, and they would be looking at competitive bids for management, as perhaps someone else could do it for better and cheaper than the ADF&G. MS. WEST concluded by saying no consideration should be given to any unproven method of self-taxation that singles out a certain user group to fund management by the ADF&G. She referred to the previous day's hearing, where someone had "pointed out the $60 million that comes in on the raw fish tax, and only $20 million of it comes back." She feels this is a bit of mismanagement. Number 0222 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON referred to dedicated funds and said in his experience with the legislature, that is impossible without a constitutional amendment. He asked that Ms. West fax her proposed amendments to the committee. Number 0264 STERLING SLITER, President, Alaska Harvest Divers Association, testified via teleconference from Ketchikan. A member of the sea urchin task force, he has worked with the ADF&G since the inception of this concept. He said Geron Bruce echoes their concerns regarding collected taxes going into the general fund. For this reason, as written, they cannot support the bill. Not opposed to taxing themselves if necessary, they believe there must be a mechanism that would allow taxes generated by divers to go back into their industry. Number 0295 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON commented that over the years, the legislature has made diligent efforts to ensure that assessments collected from the NSRAA and others go back to appropriate areas; this applies as well to ASMI and to the raw fish tax that generally supports the industry. He said there is a moral commitment on his part, and he believes also on the part of his colleagues, that if they collect the tax for this particular purpose, they would do their level best to guarantee it goes back to the ADF&G for the management, growth and development of that industry. Number 0333 RODNEY LINTON testified via teleconference from Ketchikan. A harvest diver, he supports HB 198 but is concerned about changes in the committee substitute, including deletion of cooperative management terms. Although supportive of having a way to supplement state funding for the fishery, he does not believe they should have to fund the whole thing. He also likes the idea of this mechanism to develop new dive fisheries such as for clams, scallops or octopus. Mr. Linton wants the tax funds to be designated for the dive fishery, as in the designated program receipts bill he has been hearing about. He asked the number of that bill. Number 0391 MR. BRUCE said HB 78 and SB 55. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON agreed program receipts ought to be designated to the extent possible. He said he wishes to see changes to differentiate between monies collected generally and those collected for specific purposes. Number 0426 JACK SHAY, Mayor, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, testified via teleconference. The previous Monday, the assembly had voted unanimously to authorize him to send a letter in support of HB 198. In talking with dive harvesters and processors, they had been impressed with the excellent economic opportunity, which would help in part to rescue the area's economy. Until the timber industry is healthy again, they look forward to having a healthy dive fishery. MAYOR SHAY advised that the only resistance they had heard was from a few divers who believe they should not be assessed because the ADF&G should do this. In addition, the Kake Tribal Corporation gave a presentation in Juneau the previous week, citing the fact that processing occurs outside Alaska. He said, similar to the timber industry, until an enterprise can be guaranteed or be more certain, people would not make a capital investment towards local processing. He noted that local processors have been processing urchin roe. However, a certain amount of expertise needs to be built in to enhance the product and make it more cost-effective for foreign markets. MAYOR SHAY said that "the proposals that have been made for amending the measure seem to be perfectly reasonable; as a matter of fact, I like very much the inclusion of a local government involvement in the board of directors, and also the other proposal seems to be perfectly acceptable here." He urged passage of the bill, saying the borough is fully committed to assisting in this new enterprise. Number 0550 PATRICK LAWS testified via teleconference from Ketchikan, specifying he dives off the vessel Mach-I. He opposes the bill as currently written. He cannot believe the state cannot come up with a little money to help fund this fishery. Number 0592 RAY CAMPBELL testified via teleconference from Ketchikan, saying he is a harvest diver statewide. He opposes HB 198. The previous year at this time, a moratorium had been placed on dive fisheries. He was cut out under the moratorium but qualified as a dungeness diver, in a fishery with three people in it. Now, there is a bill to tax him to help develop fisheries that do not even include him. He believes that is wrong. He further believes it is wrong to lump all dive fisheries and try to manage four or five fisheries as one. He suggested if there are problems with the urchin fishery, they should come up with a bill taxing that fishery for itself. MR. CAMPBELL said he had called the sponsor's office twice in the past month to ask why the dungeness dive fishery was included in this bill. He noted it was not included in the moratorium bill. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked for Mr. Campbell's phone number and said he would contact him. Number 0704 HARLEY ETHELBAH testified via teleconference from Petersburg. A diver and statewide fisherman, he said this should be looked at as a whole, for other fisheries as well. He has participated in the geoduck fishery for five years and has been working with the ADF&G to try to expand that. After five years, it is obvious to him that the ADF&G does not have the money to do the surveys and expand it. He sees HB 198 as a great opportunity for these fisheries. MR. ETHELBAH believes cooperative management should be included in the bill, as it once was. Divers could work with the ADF&G in the surveys, as they are trained in looking for geoducks, urchins and so forth. Referring to the requirement that permit fees be paid before voting, he said, "I think that's great that that's in the bill, because it means that serious divers will be voting, and those not willing to pay their permit fees won't be voting." Number 0811 STEPHEN LaCROIX, Dive Program, Norquest Seafoods, Incorporated, came forward to testify. He runs the dive program for Norquest, which has processing plants in Craig, Petersburg and Ketchikan. In the recent dive fishery, they took one-half million pounds of urchins, almost 20 percent of the quota. They have employed 70 people full time. It is a good fit for his company, and it transforms part-time seasonal workers into full-time employees. He noted that it requires five people on shore to service one diver in the water. MR. LaCROIX stated that Norquest supports HB 198 because it puts a secure funding structure in place for them to make investments necessary to compete with established players in the business. He said so far, they had collected over $23,000 in voluntary assessments from the divers in this business. "And we only have about $480 that remains to be collected, in other words, money that was not voluntarily donated," he stated. "So that shows the kind of support that we've got from the divers that are working for us." Number 0885 GIG DECKER, President, Wrangell Harvest Divers Association, came forward to testify, noting that his association is part of Southeast Alaska Harvest Divers Association. Wrangell has had a mill closure, and people are interested in going to work, not only as divers but through attracting processing and all the jobs associated with it. He expressed excitement about the bill and said he totally supports it. Number 0943 AARON J. CUMMINS came forward to testify. A lifelong commercial fisherman from Petersburg, he completely supports the bill. He believes it is ironic that for the last few years, he has left town, crossing vast resources of undeveloped fisheries to work in the Bering Sea and California. He would much rather be at home. He believes these fisheries can be expanded. Right now in Petersburg there are 25 divers, who often take an additional diver along. If this fishery could be enhanced to where they earn more per diver, many would gladly buy their own boats. They could quit working as deck hands for others, opening up new jobs for younger people in the communities. In addition, more boats would generate additional shipyard work, and so on. He restated his support. Number 1020 CLAY BEZENEK, President, Southeast Alaska Harvest Divers Association, came forward to testify. A Ketchikan resident, he has fished in Alaska 15 years, and 100 percent of his income derives from harvest of "creatures from the sea." With the exception of one dissenting vote, his association fully supports HB 198. It provides a reliable funding source for all developing dive fisheries, as well as a direct link for a cooperative working relationship with the ADF&G. He noted that dive fisheries are unique in that the gear used is a human being, not gillnets or hooks. He believes special consideration should be given to any fishery that is "so human-interactive," and that HB 198 addresses this important issue. MR. BEZENEK advised that they now voluntarily assess themselves for management costs set forth by the ADF&G for the urchin fisheries. This is not new to them. This bill provides a tried-and-true assessment vehicle that guarantees a funding source for years to come. As a commercial salmon fisherman as well, he is completely satisfied with the job the aquaculture association does with assessment dollars. He expects to be similarly satisfied when this becomes law. It will allows businesses, both small and large, to formulate business plans for processing these products. It will also allow development of new dive fisheries currently identified but not bio-assessed. He believes HB 198 is important to all Southeast Alaska towns. Number 1131 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if anyone else wished to testify, then closed public testimony. Number 1156 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS advised that he had worked with the ADF&G on the cooperative management language removed from the bill. In talking with them, he understands the department will come up with a plan but divers will still have a say. He feels comfortable with it. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked Geron Bruce whether that is his understanding. Number 1212 MR. BRUCE replied yes, they are interested in working with people in the dive industry on shaping and developing the fishery. He added that the ADF&G does this kind of thing routinely. In pretty much all fisheries, there are working groups and an advisory committee system. "We want to work with people affected by fishery management and have the benefit of their knowledge and expertise in shaping management," he concluded. Number 1245 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE commented that he supports this. He cautioned, however, that in efforts to try to curtail spending, the legislature should not limit development of areas that need a jump- start for economic development. Number 1316 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN said this is a statement of the legislature's support of people in Southeast Alaska in recognition of mill closures. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON acknowledged suggested amendments by testifiers and said obviously the committee could not deal with amendments that were not before them. He did not intend to hold the bill. However, he asked that proposals be advanced to Representative Williams; if amendments would enhance the bill and maintain its intentions, he suggested the sponsor would not hesitate to offer those on the House floor. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said either on the floor or the other side. Number 1396 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to move the committee substitute, 0-LS0415\T, Utermohle, 4/9/97, from the committee with accompanying fiscal notes and individual recommendations. There being no objection, CSHB 198(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Ogan for the next item of business. CSSB 7(RLS) am - HUNTING SPORT FISH TRAPPING FEES/LICENSES Number 1436 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next order of business was CS for Senate Bill No. 7(RLS) am, "An Act reducing certain resident sport fishing, hunting, and trapping license fees, increasing certain nonresident sport fishing license and tag fees, and relating to nonresident sport fishing and hunting licenses and tags; and providing for an effective date." Before the committee was HCS CSSB7(FSH). CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN referred to concern expressed at the previous hearing over lack of a general one-year nonresident license. He advised that Representative Masek, not currently present, had provided a proposed amendment at that hearing. Number 1537 KAREN BRAND, Legislative Assistant to Senator Dave Donley, came forward to testify. She said if it was the committee's will to remove restrictions in Section 8, Senator Donley would request that the committee entertain intent language for Section 1; Ms. Brand had a copy of that proposed language. Number 1655 JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, Department of Public Safety, came forward to testify. He referred to the suggestion made previously that the 14-day licenses would assist the department in determining who harvests fish through sports fishing and in keeping some sort of record that those were being sold. "And I don't believe that is the case at all," he stated. "It would not help us in that manner or in that direction at all." Number 1693 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said it had been asserted by the sponsor that it would at least create a paper trail for people who continually buy these licenses, allowing those people to be "flagged" as those willing to continue to stay all summer and potentially keep canning and preserving fish to take outside for commercial sale. COLONEL GLASS said he thinks that would be on a case-by-case basis. Number 1743 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked Colonel Glass to explain how they investigate those cases, what methodology they use, and what kind of success they have had. COLONEL GLASS responded that they were receiving quite a few complaints from the Kenai River in particular. They put people under cover there last year and were able to make four cases. Three people had since pled out and one case is set to go to trial April 28. In that case, an undercover agent had purchased fish from people harvesting on the Kenai, home-canning the fish and selling them there. That case had generated from a retired trooper from Colonel Glass's division who purchased home-canned Alaska salmon at a garage sale in Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona. Number 1813 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked how they become aware of these and whether they note license numbers of people who have been there all year, for example. COLONEL GLASS said those largely came from complaints from Kenai citizens who observed these people camped in campgrounds along there. Division personnel would drive by and take photographs. For example, one photograph shows 14 cases of salmon already processed. Number 1867 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN pointed out that it is not illegal to process 14 cases of salmon. He suggested people would have to be caught selling it. COLONEL GLASS affirmed that. They had put an undercover person into the campground, who was able to purchase the salmon. Number 1887 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether the cases they had made so far had been where people were selling fish in campgrounds in Alaska. He explained that concern was over people financing their trips to Alaska by selling salmon outside Alaska. COLONEL GLASS said home processing develops two real concerns. First, the Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) has a concern because it could possibly be tainted. He suggested such fish sold outside Alaska could also taint the image of Alaska's salmon. He believes it is the intent of both the Administration and the legislature to have a fine product. Only one or two instances could cripple the salmon industry. COLONEL GLASS said the other concern is that it is really not illegal for somebody to sell Alaska's home-canned salmon in Phoenix, for example, because Alaska law does not apply in Arizona. He believes part of this legislation's intent is to address that. Number 1976 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether Colonel Glass believes it would be a disincentive if people had to check in for license renewal. He suggested a periodic review may cause them to feel that someone has an eye on them. He further asked whether Colonel Glass believes purchasers of licenses are adequately informed about restrictions on sale and the reasons why. COLONEL GLASS said he did not know what Co-Chairman Hudson means by "checking in" those people. As far as information given at the time of sale, depending on which vendor it is, there will be a different answer whenever a license is sold. "And it causes us considerable problems when we're doing these types of investigations," he said. COLONEL GLASS advised that most investigations regarding nonresident licenses occur after the fishing and hunting seasons, usually in November or December. Most nonresidents have long since gone south by that time. Number 2107 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked whether there are other alternatives that Colonel Glass had thought of that might get the legislature where they intend to go. COLONEL GLASS replied that the one that he knows has been discussed is setting a quota for number of fish harvested by a nonresident. However, that may bring up constitutional issues and he does not know where that stands. Number 2197 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said from Colonel Glass's testimony, he is hearing that this would not necessarily be an enforcement tool but could possibly be a deterrent. COLONEL GLASS agreed it may dissuade somebody if they must continually buy licenses. However, as a way of keeping track, he does not believe it would help the department in that regard. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN suggested basically it is a judgment call on whether or not this will provide a disincentive for people to stay here and fish all summer, which may have other consequences. Number 2267 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked whether Colonel Glass supports the 14-day maximum currently in the bill. COLONEL GLASS replied that he does not believe the 14-day license would be any additional assistance to the department. Number 2319 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if anyone else wished to testify or if anyone had questions for the Department of Law representative in the audience. He then closed public testimony. Number 2406 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS made a motion to adopt Amendment 1, provided previously by Representative Masek, which read: Page 2, lines 16 - 28: Delete TAPE 97-41, SIDE A Number 0006 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether the amendment would restore the general, annual nonresident fishing license at $150. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN affirmed that. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said it takes away the limited criteria presently in the bill. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said that criteria was in there for commercial fishermen, related to another bill that may or may not make it through the process. Number 0066 MS. BRAND advised that Senator Donley had expressed at the last hearing that if it was the will of the committee to adopt such an amendment, he would not oppose it. However, if adopted, he requested consideration of his proposed intent language. Number 0133 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether there was any objection to Amendment 1. There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called a brief at-ease at 2:52. He called the meeting back to order at 2:55 p.m. Number 0155 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS made a motion to adopt Amendment 2, offered by the sponsor, which read: Page 1 Line 6 Insert: "*Section 1. It is the Intent of the Legislature that the fee increases for non-resident sport fishing licenses in this legislation help discourage current abuses by non- residents harvesting sport-caught fish for the purpose of selling them. The legislature requests the Board of Fish [sic] also address this problem and adopt a quota system to limit non-residents [sic] catch of sport fish." Number 0167 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if there was any objection. There being none, Amendment 2 was adopted. Number 0155 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to move HCS CSSB7(FSH), as amended, from committee with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations. He asked unanimous consent. There being no objection, HCS CSSB7(RES) moved from the House Resources Standing Committee. SB 19 am - REPEAL FED ENFORCEMENT DUTIES/F&G COMSNR Number 0269 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the next item of business was Senate Bill No. 19 am, "An Act relating to enforcement of federal laws relating to fish and game; and repealing the power and duty of the commissioner of Fish and Game to assist in the enforcement of federal laws relating to fish and game." Number 0288 JOSEPHINE HARDY, Legislative Secretary to Senator Bert Sharp, read the sponsor statement into the record: "Senate Bill 19 repeals the present statutory mandate (AS 16.05.050(1)) that the State of Alaska will assist the federal government agencies in the enforcement of federal laws and regulations as they apply to fish and game resources in Alaska. "In light of aggressive federal actions to assume management of fish and game over large areas of our state in violation of our statehood compact, Senator Sharp believes that repealing this statute is prudent and in the best interests of the citizens of Alaska." MS. HARDY added that this bill was a section of the previous year's SB 77, which passed both bodies but was vetoed by the Governor. Number 0420 GEORGE UTERMOHLE, Attorney, Legislative Legal and Research Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, came forward to answer questions. Number 0437 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON referred to a letter dated April 8, 1997, from the Department of Law. He asked whether Mr. Utermohle believes the current version of SB 19 presents any major conflict with Alaska enforcement officers in the conduct of their business. Number 0490 MR. UTERMOHLE said he had read that letter and that the points contained in that letter are valid. To the extent that a state law enforcement officer is put in an awkward position by virtue of any cross-deputization received from a federal agency, this will cause problems for that officer. The burden put on the officer is determining which laws are in conflict and therefore which laws the officer will be unable to assist the federal government in enforcing. He concluded, "He's going to end up requiring to have a lawyer at his side in the field." Number 0551 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said having been an enforcement officer himself for over 20 years with the U.S. Coast Guard, where there was multiple-agency enforcement responsibility, it does put somebody in a delicate situation. He asked whether officers are sworn to uphold the federal and state constitutions, as well as the laws of the state. MR. UTERMOHLE said he could not say what the text of the oath is. Number 0622 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked whether the intent of SB 19 is to cover all land in the state of Alaska. MR. UTERMOHLE replied yes, this is to be a law of general applicability, applicable throughout the state. Number 0651 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN referred to the federal government taking over management of Alaska's fisheries in October. He asked whether SB 19 would preclude Alaska's Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection from enforcing fisheries laws in navigable waters. MR. UTERMOHLE replied, "At this point, I don't think anyone knows what the extent of the federal takeover might be come this fall. What this bill would preclude is preclude a state protection officer from assisting a federal officer in enforcing federal law that is contrary, or conflicts with, a state law, that is ... equally applicable to that situation." Number 0714 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN suggested the federal government managing Alaska's fisheries is a conflict with state law. He asked, assuming that can reasonably be considered a conflict, whether state officers would be precluded from doing fisheries enforcement work in navigable waters. MR. UTERMOHLE replied, "No, they would not be precluded from enforcing state law." He further explained, "They will not be able to assist a federal officer in enforcing a federal law that is contrary to a state law that addresses that exact situation." Number 0804 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said for example, if the federal government precluded fishing but state law did not, and state officers caught someone fishing in violation of the federal law, they could not, under SB 19, do anything about it. But as long as it agreed with state law, they could. MR. UTERMOHLE agreed. As long as the law is not in conflict with a state statute, it would be enforceable by a state officer. Number 0864 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE mentioned there are different priorities in allocations. MR. UTERMOHLE said at some point, different prioritizations or allocations of resources would be reflected in regulations applicable on the grounds. That is where enforcement problems would arise. Number 0948 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS referred to Mr. Utermohle's earlier comment about needing an attorney present. MR. UTERMOHLE said an officer will have to determine what is a conflict between state and federal law in deciding whether to assist a federal officer. Number 1009 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether that is not usually the district attorney's job, with the cop writing a ticket and the district attorney looking at it. They throw a few out and they get precedents, he said. MR. UTERMOHLE replied that this requires the officer in the field to not assist, before any court determination. The officer must make that determination. Number 1041 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE suggested when that is the case, what really suffers is the resources. Number 1073 JOHN GLASS, Colonel, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, Department of Public Safety, came forward again to testify on SB 19. He said they had followed this bill since its inception and had testified before the Senate about concerns. He submitted a letter from Commissioner Otte addressing the Department of Public Safety's concerns; attached was a discussion with Assistant Attorney General Stephen M. White regarding some of the Department of Law's concerns with this bill relating to definition of "in conflict with". Number 1116 COLONEL GLASS said his agency is extremely concerned with the ability to work with federal agents in protecting resources in Alaska. He has 81 commissioned personnel to work 586,000 square miles. Taking away their ability to work with federal counterparts would be counterproductive to their efforts. COLONEL GLASS indicated various attorneys have given different responses as to what conflict will be under the bill. That also concerns them a great deal. He referred to Co-Chairman Hudson's questions about a constitutional oath. As a state trooper, he has a copy of it. He said 24 years ago, he took this oath to defend and support both the federal and state constitutions. He said that oath is administered to every Alaska state trooper, both for fish and wildlife and other protection. He believes SB 19 may in fact jeopardize that oath of office. COLONEL GLASS is extremely concerned about the additional burden placed on officers in the field of trying to determine what "in conflict" means between state and federal laws at any given time. This frequently requires federal and state judges, as well as supreme courts and courts of appeals, months to determine. "They want us to determine it on the spot, in the field, when we're working with a federal agency," he said. "I think that puts an unfair burden on my people." COLONEL GLASS concluded by stating he does not believe SB 19 is in the best interest of the resources of Alaska, which he is here to protect. Number 1233 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said the issue of a federal law that essentially violates the state constitution places it squarely in front of the courts, but it has not been fully resolved. He stated that the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) is in conflict with Alaska's constitution. He asked what kind of guidance Colonel Glass gives field officers in dealing with conflicts involving gray areas. COLONEL GLASS responded, "I don't have an answer for you, because I don't know what to tell them. It is a major problem for this division, absolutely, sir." Number 1325 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN referred to the Babbitt court suit, which he said was dropped with prejudice by this Administration. He asked whether there were other areas this would affect. Specifically, he asked whether it would affect the Lacey Act. COLONEL GLASS at first said that presently, it probably will not. In fact, they were having a difficult time finding state laws in direct conflict with federal laws, rules and regulations relating to fish and game resources. Down the road, however, some could be passed. COLONEL GLASS then acknowledged it may, in fact, affect the Lacey Act. He stated, "My fear and concern is if we quit cooperating with the federal agencies, they may in turn quit cooperating with us, as a retaliation, if you will." He explained that they consistently use the Lacey Act to assist in prosecution of big game guides for same-day-airborne activities, for example; those guides have a far greater capability of "reaching out to the Lower 48," where most guided hunts originate. It could possibly affect Lacey Act use by the federal government, he said. Number 1423 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that the Lacey Act relates to transporting game illegally taken under Alaska law across state lines. COLONEL GLASS clarified it is for game or trophies. "And that's where the Lacey Act really goes into effect, is when they do take a trophy in Alaska and transport it out of the state line," he said. "That's where we use it. All of those are misdemeanors, and at the current Department of Law, they do not, or will not, even, transport witnesses back up from the Lower 48 to prosecute the misdemeanors. Therefore, that's why we use the Lacey Act in that regard, in order to get our prosecution on those cases." Number 1459 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said this bill, as written, would not directly affect that unless it affects the relationship between the federal and state authorities. COLONEL GLASS said that is correct, unless somewhere down the road the Board of Game or legislature passes a law in conflict with the Lacey Act. It is an unknown. "And I believe that's really what our concern is because most of this bill is unknown, to what effect it will have on us," he concluded. Number 1498 DICK BISHOP, Executive Director, Alaska Outdoor Council, came forward to testify in favor of SB 19. He said he found the discussion absolutely fascinating in that it is totally lopsided. There had been no discussion of the compromise of the integrity of state law or state law enforcement agencies as a result of putting them in a position of having to enforce a law that is inconsistent with state law and the state constitution. All testimony thus far had simply said, "Gee, this puts them in a tough spot to make a decision." Acknowledging that Colonel Glass's crew is overworked and has too many rules to enforce, he said they must make decisions at least that difficult many times a day, in order to decide whether to write tickets or not. MR. BISHOP indicated he had experience as a former deputized officer with the ADF&G. He cited a personal example where he fishes for both personal and commercial use near the Tanana River, fishing under state law that protects the resource. He envisions a possible situation where federal rules prohibit him to fish there because it may compromise opportunities for subsistence uses in that drainage, for example. The state law may say that the resource has the capability of sustaining a use that federal government prohibits. He suggested asking a state enforcement officer to enforce a law inconsistent with the state statute and the constitution would place a conscientious officer in an untenable position. Therefore, he believes there is every reason to support this amendment to Title 16. Number 1669 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked whether Mr. Bishop knows why subsistence was put in ANILCA. MR. BISHOP said yes. First, many people felt the subject had not been adequately addressed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). And second, in order for the environmental movement to successfully legislate, or have legislated, immense parks and refuges in the state, they had to make a deal to accommodate subsistence uses in order to get those large parks. Number 1711 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS asked which of those examples Mr. Bishop believes. MR. BISHOP replied, "I was there. They both operated on the negotiations at that time." Number 1719 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said, "What you're saying then is subsistence is into ANILCA because it wasn't clear enough or the state and federal government wasn't living up to their word in making subsistence available to the Native community." MR. BISHOP replied that he had not said that. "What I did say was that some people believed that it needed to be addressed in ANILCA because it had not been adequately addressed in ANCSA," he clarified. "I personally did not say that either the state or the federal government was remiss in providing for it." Number 1745 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said subsistence was mentioned during negotiations over ANCSA. He suggested that was part of a deal made then. He said, "And apparently it was believed by this state to agree to even have that portion, Title VIII, in ANILCA. Otherwise it probably wouldn't be in ANILCA." He asked whether Mr. Bishop agrees with that. MR. BISHOP replied, "Yes, that's right. There was an agreement ... by the state of Alaska at that time to go along with that compromise, even though at that time, the state representatives were advised that there was every probability that the rural priority in ANILCA was going to be unconstitutional under the state constitution. The state nevertheless agreed to it." Number 1816 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said as far as ANILCA and the state's agreement to get Title VIII in ANILCA, subsistence was not lived up to. He said in an ANCSA conference report it says the Secretary of Interior and the state of Alaska will take care of subsistence for Natives. In 1980, the state said that "the only way you're going to get subsistence into ANILCA is if you make it for rural communities and leave Natives out -- leave the word `Natives' out." He asked whether that is correct. MR. BISHOP replied, "Yes, the state at that time did say that if the state was going to be expected to participate in management, that they would be unable to do so under the state's constitution if the priority was limited to Alaska Natives. And so the suggestion was made that - actually, I don't think by the state - but it was made, in fact, it was insisted upon, that the term `rural' be included. It was very interesting because the state, as you probably know, had passed a subsistence priority law in 1978, which did not include the term `rural.' And the rationale of passing that law was that if the state had a subsistence law that related to subsistence uses, it would be unnecessary to include such a provision in ANILCA." MR. BISHOP continued, "However, when the negotiations continued on ANILCA, the argument was made, `Well, the state has a subsistence law; therefore, there should be no objection to putting it in federal law,' and it was included. Then, just to make it a little more complicated, the representative of the Alaska Federation of Natives said the law that is in state statutes is not adequate because it does not specify rural; therefore, if AFN is going to agree to this compromise - the compromise at large of ANILCA in total - there is going to have to be `rural' put into the subsistence priority. And that was the ultimatum. That was made by Don Mitchell (ph). I was sitting at the table when he made it." MR. BISHOP indicated the state's response was negative. He said they were advised it may well be unconstitutional. But everybody wanted to get past ANILCA, and so they agreed to it. He noted that although they were advised it was probably unconstitutional, it had not yet been determined. The state tried to comply with that law and passed a statute in 1986 that conformed to the rural priority of federal law. However, in 1989, it was found unconstitutional under Alaska's constitution. He suggested that while they had been hoping for the best, it turned out it was the wrong thing to have done. Number 1985 REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAMS said he understands that subsistence was part of ANCSA. He suggested there was an agreement with the Native community relating to ANCSA that should be lived up to. MR. BISHOP commented that in ANCSA, there are at least a couple of places where reference to subsistence is made. One is in the conference report mentioned by Representative Williams, which said it was anticipated both the state and federal governments would ensure that subsistence needs of Alaska Natives are addressed. In addition, an earlier report by then-Secretary Morton (ph) pointed out that "it was anticipated, in the Department of Interior's recommendation on lands for selection by Native corporations, that those lands would be used not only for economic development but to support subsistence needs and activities of Alaska Natives." He concluded by suggesting that reading ANCSA or ANILCA is a little like reading the Bible, in that people can often reach their own conclusions. Number 2065 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that the bill would be held over. Number 2080 PAULA TERRELL, Researcher for Representative Irene Nicholia, reported that Representative Nicholia was ill. She said Gabe Sam, "fish and wildlife staff person" for Tanana Chiefs Conference, Incorporated, had asked her to testify on his behalf, as he had been unable to get a teleconference line from Fairbanks. She advised that the Tanana Chiefs Conference, which represents approximately 70 villages in Representative Nicholia's district, is strongly opposed to SB 19. Number 2131 DALE BONDURANT testified via teleconference from Kenai in support of SB 19, saying he opposes any "quasi-support for federal mandated subsistence priority for restricted classes of resource users." He adamantly opposes federal takeover of management of Alaska's fish, wildlife and waters. Even more adamantly, he opposes amending the state constitution "just to assume a lackey type of responsibility with no true authority." MR. BONDURANT, referring to the Alaska Supreme Court McDowell decision, said it addressed the state's defense of "it's third purpose" or unconstitutional compliance with ANILCA. He quoted, "A third purpose to comply with ANILCA in order to retain state fish and game control on federal lands. It is difficult to view this as a sufficiently important purpose. ANILCA does not require state compliance. State control merely for the sake of control is a questionable goal when the terms infringe upon the open access values of Article II." MR. BONDURANT said in the past, he had questioned ADF&G employees as to why they even participate as advisors in the federal subsistence regulation hearings; he said they feel obligated to furnish expert advice to help with resource protection. "But I've told them that they are in fact helping the enemy, the feds, in an infringement of Alaska statehood authority to manage these public trust resource properties," he stated. "Those who claim that Alaska must amend the state constitution `common use' and `no exclusive right or special privileges' clauses, to gain subjugated management, ignore that this makes Alaska responsible but the state will be given no actual authority under federal oversight. And even worse, it will require the abrogation of an equal protection under the law in Article I, Section 1." MR. BONDURANT asked: If the federal government was enforcing the right to barter for cash, would Alaskan enforcement agents be expected to enforce that? He referred to earlier discussion of the oath to uphold state and federal constitutions. "Maybe this is the lever we need to get into the Supreme Court with the problems with ANILCA," he said, suggesting the state try to obtain a ruling on giving priority to a segment of the population for use of this public trust resource. Number 2281 RICHARD ANDREW testified via teleconference from Ketchikan in support of SB 19. An Alaska resident for 43 years, he believes this will provide a wake-up message to the federal government that if they are going to take over Alaska's fish and game, the state is unwilling to help. He thanked the sponsors. Number 2305 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if anyone else wished to testify, then concluded the meeting. (SB 19 am was held over.) ADJOURNMENT CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee meeting at 3:35 p.m.