Legislature(1997 - 1998)
04/15/1997 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 April 15, 1997 1:07 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Bill Hudson, Co-Chairman Representative Scott Ogan, Co-Chairman Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair Representative Fred Dyson Representative Joe Green Representative William K. ("Bill") Williams Representative Irene Nicholia Representative Reggie Joule MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Ramona Barnes COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24(RES) Relating to the Tongass Land Management Plan and to continued Congressional oversight of that plan. - MOVED CSSJR 24(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 35 Encouraging federal legislation to improve federal fiscal terms for a trans-Alaska gas pipeline. - MOVED HJR 35 OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 35(FIN) "An Act relating to management of state land, water, and land and water as part of a state park, recreational or special management area, or preserve; relating to reports to the legislature concerning prohibitions or restrictions of traditional means of access for traditional recreational uses within a park, recreational or special management area, or preserve; requiring legislative approval before certain land managed under AS 41.21 may be closed or have access restricted; relating to Chilkat State Park." - MOVED CSSB 35(FIN) OUT OF COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL NO. 204 "An Act revising the procedures and authority of the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, the Board of Fisheries, and the Department of Fish and Game to establish a moratorium on participants or vessels, or both, participating in certain fisheries; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED CSHB 204(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: SJR 24 SHORT TITLE: TONGASS LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) MACKIE, Leman JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/18/97 767 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/18/97 767 (S) RESOURCES 03/26/97 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 03/26/97 (S) MINUTE(RES) 03/27/97 891 (S) RES RPT CS 5DP 1AM 03/27/97 891 (S) DP: HALFORD, TAYLOR, TORGERSON, GREEN 03/27/97 891 (S) DP: LEMAN, AM: LINCOLN 03/27/97 891 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO CS (S.RES) 04/03/97 (S) RLS AT 10:45 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 04/03/97 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 04/03/97 957 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/3/97 04/03/97 961 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/03/97 961 (S) RES CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 04/03/97 961 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 04/03/97 961 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSJR 24(RES) 04/03/97 961 (S) COSPONSOR(S): LEMAN 04/03/97 962 (S) PASSED Y19 N1 04/03/97 966 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/04/97 983 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/04/97 983 (H) RESOURCES 04/15/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HJR 35 SHORT TITLE: ENCOURAGE FED TAX CHANGE FOR GAS PIPELINE SPONSOR(S): SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON OIL & GAS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/10/97 1059 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/10/97 1060 (H) RESOURCES 04/15/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: SB 35 SHORT TITLE: MANAGEMENT OF PARKS & RECREATIONAL AREAS SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) GREEN, Pearce, Taylor JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/03/97 23 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/97 01/13/97 23 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/13/97 23 (S) STA, RES, FIN 01/23/97 (S) STA AT 3:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 01/23/97 (S) MINUTE(STA) 01/24/97 124 (S) STA RPT CS 4DP 1NR NEW TITLE 01/24/97 125 (S) DP:GREEN, MILLER, WARD,MACKIE/ NR:DUNCAN 01/24/97 125 (S) FISCAL NOTE TO SB (DNR) 01/28/97 146 (S) ZERO FISCAL NOTE TO CS (F&G) 01/31/97 190 (S) FISCAL NOTE TO CS (DNR) 02/05/97 (S) RES AT 3:30 PM BUTROVICH ROOM 205 02/05/97 (S) MINUTE(RES) 02/12/97 (S) FIN AT 8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 02/19/97 410 (S) RES RPT CS 6DP 1NR NEW TITLE 02/19/97 410 (S) DP: HALFORD, TAYLOR, TORGERSON, LEMAN 02/19/97 410 (S) GREEN, SHARP; NR: LINCOLN 02/19/97 410 (S) ZERO FNS TO CS (F&G-2) 02/19/97 411 (S) FORTHCOMING FISCAL NOTES 02/19/97 410 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FN APPLIES TO CS (F&G) 02/21/97 447 (S) FNS TO CS (DNR-2) 02/21/97 447 (S) ZERO FN TO CS (DNR) 03/12/97 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/14/97 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/19/97 (S) FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/19/97 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 03/19/97 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 03/21/97 800 (S) FIN RPT CS 2DP 4NR NEW TITLE 03/21/97 801 (S) DP: PEARCE, SHARP 03/21/97 801 (S) NR: PHILLIPS, PARNELL, DONLEY, TORGERSON 03/21/97 801 (S) ZERO FN TO CS (S.FIN/DNR) 03/21/97 801 (S) PREVIOUS FN APPLIES (DNR) 03/21/97 801 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FNS APPLY (DNR, F&G-2) 03/24/97 (S) RLS AT 11:31 AM FAHRENKAMP RM 203 03/24/97 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 04/01/97 916 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 4/1/97 04/01/97 920 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 04/01/97 920 (S) HELD IN SECOND READING TO 4/2/97 CAL 04/02/97 938 (S) BEFORE THE (S) IN SECOND READING 04/02/97 939 (S) FIN CS ADOPTED Y17 N2 A1 04/02/97 939 (S) AM NO 1 OFFERED BY DUNCAN 04/02/97 939 (S) AM NO 1 FAILED Y7 N12 A1 04/02/97 940 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 04/02/97 940 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 35(FIN) 04/02/97 941 (S) PASSED Y14 N5 A1 04/02/97 943 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 04/03/97 919 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/03/97 919 (H) RESOURCES, FINANCE 04/15/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 204 SHORT TITLE: MORATORIA ON COMMERCIAL FISHERIES ENTRY SPONSOR(S): SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/19/97 756 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/19/97 756 (H) FSH, RESOURCES 03/24/97 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 03/24/97 (H) MINUTE(FSH) 03/25/97 825 (H) FSH RPT 3DP 1AM 03/25/97 825 (H) DP: IVAN, HODGINS, AUSTERMAN 03/25/97 825 (H) AM: OGAN 03/25/97 825 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (F&G) 04/15/97 (H) RES AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER SENATOR JERRY MACKIE Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 427 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4925 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented Sponsor Statement on CSSJR 24(RES). REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 110 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-2283 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented Sponsor Statement on HJR 35. PAUL FUHS, Lobbyist for Yukon Pacific Corporation 10652 Porter Lane Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907)790-3030 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HJR 35. SENATOR LYDA GREEN Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 125 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-6600 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented Sponsor Statement on CSSB 35(FIN). JIM STRATTON, Director Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation Department of Natural Resource 3601 C Street, Suite 1200 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 Telephone: (907) 269-8700 POSITION STATEMENT: Presented department's concerns with CSSB 35(FIN). JERRY LUCKHAUPT, Attorney Legislative Legal and Research Services Legislative Affairs Agency 130 Seward Street, Suite 409 Juneau, Alaska 999801 Telephone: (907) 465-2450 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSB 35(FIN). TUCKERMAN BABCOCK, Legislative Assistant to Senator Lyda Green Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 125 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-6600 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of sponsor on CSSB 35(FIN). SUSAN SCHRADER, Executive Director Alaskan Environmental Lobby P.O. Box 22151 Juneau, Alaska 99802 Telephone: (907) 463-3366 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against CSSB 35(FIN). SUSAN OLSEN Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition 1119 G Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 277-9968 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against CSSB 35(FIN). RANDY CROSBY 3300 Wesleyan Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99508 Telephone: (907) 333-3665 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of CSSB 35(FIN). TOM MEACHAM 9500 Prospect Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99516 Telephone: (907) 346-1077 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSB 35(FIN). CLIFF EAMES Alaska Center for the Environment 519 West 8th Street, Suite 201 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 278-5657 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSB 35(FIN). KEN ROBERTSON, Member Chugach State Park Advisory Board 733 West 4th Avenue, Suite 200 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 278-5657 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSB 35(FIN). PAM BARNES Llama Buddies Expeditions (ph) P.O. Box 874995 Wasilla, Alaska 99687 Telephone: (907) 376-8472 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against CSSB 35(FIN). RALPH FELTS 4053 Fahrenkamp Street Fairbanks, Alaska 99709 Telephone: (907) 479-0252 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on CSSB 35(FIN). JUNE BURKHART, Legislative Affairs Officer Alaska Boating Association P.O. Box 204 Willow, Alaska 99688 Telephone: (907) 495-6337 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of CSSB 35(FIN). DAN ELLIOTT, Chair Mat-Su State Park Citizen Advisory Board HC 31, Box 5196 Wasilla, Alaska 99654 Telephone: (907) 376-5196 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against CSSB 35(FIN). AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Alan Austerman Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 434 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4230 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor testimony on HB 204. DALE ANDERSON, Chairman Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 789-6160 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 204. BRAD JOHNSON P.O. Box 7743 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901 Telephone: (907) 225-1424 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 204. KRAIG NORHEIM P.O. Box 878 Petersburg, Alaska 99833 Telephone: (907) 772-3995 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 204. BRUCE SIEMINSKI P.O. Box 1302 Seward, Alaska 99664 Telephone: (907) 224-3636 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 204. BRENNON EAGLE P.O. Box 576 Wrangell, Alaska 99929 Telephone: (907) 874-2162 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 204. BILL KNECHT P.O. Box 259 Wrangell, Alaska 99929 Telephone: (907) 874-3795 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 204. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-42, SIDE A Number 0001 CO-CHAIRMAN BILL HUDSON called the House Resources Standing Committee to order at 1:07 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Dyson, Green, Ogan, Masek, Williams and Hudson; there was a quorum. Representative Barnes was absent. Representative Nicholia arrived at 1:08 p.m. and Representative Joule arrived at 1:15 p.m. CSSJR 24(RES) - TONGASS LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that the committee would hear CS for Senate Joint Resolution 24(RES), "Relating to the Tongass Land Management Plan and to continued Congressional oversight of that plan. He said this resolution is identical to one introduced by this committee and passed from committee on a 4-to-2 vote the previous week. He called upon Senator Mackie to present the resolution. Number 0096 SENATOR JERRY MACKIE read the sponsor statement into the record: "The purpose of SJR 24 is two-fold. First, it encourages the U.S. Forest Service to bring the decade-long development of the Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) to a conclusion so that the people and communities of Southeast Alaska can move forward with their economic and personal lives with some degree of certainty. The resolution supports a level of harvest from the Tongass National Forest sufficient to sustain a forest product industry and prevent further job loss and economic disruption in Southeast Alaska. "Secondly, the resolution endorses continued oversight by Congress and the Alaska congressional delegation of Forest Service management activities relating to the Tongass. This endorsement urges review of the analyses and procedures employed by the Forest Service to ensure that decisions affecting the social and economic well-being of Southeast communities are appropriate and scientifically credible. "After a decade of false starts, intervening federal legislation, court decisions and several public review drafts, the Forest Service appears poised to adopt a final version of the land use management plan for the Tongass. During this time period, the Southeast economy has lost $60 million in forest products payroll and half of its timber jobs. The continuing decline in available timber supply had closed two pulp mills and one saw mill. Without a plan that ensures some level of harvesting, the existence of any forest product industry in Southeast is improbable. "On December 20, 1996, the Southeast Regional Timber Task Force passed a resolution urging the federal government to finalize a plan for timber harvest in the Tongass. The task force determined that a minimum annual harvest level of 300 million board feet (MMBF) was necessary to re-establish a viable, integrated timber industry. This volume has been selected by several Forest Supervisors of the Tongass as the preferred alternative in previous drafts of the TLMP. "Any delay in the finalization of the TLMP plan is detrimental to the social and economic stability of Southeast Alaska. A plan that adopts a minimum 300 million board feet timber supply will stem the current decline and the associated economic depression of Southeast communities dependent on the forest industry. SJR 24 requests the completion of the long-delayed plan and that it include a 300 million board foot harvest level." ¶ SENATOR MACKIE emphasized that this resolution mirrors HJR 32, moved by this committee. Although the 300 MMBF figure has been criticized, it is not arbitrary. It was recommended by the Governor's task force, which was made up of people that represented communities, different organizations, and environmental and resource developmental agencies around Southeast. This resolution adopts and recommends their findings. He believes the task force's results should not be ignored, and he urged support. Number 0356 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced it was not his intention to have additional testimony, as the committee had heard it before. Number 0380 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN made a motion to move CSSJR 24(RES), 0- LS0805\B, with individual recommendations. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether there was an objection. There being none, CSSJR 24(RES) was moved out of the House Resources Standing Committee. Co-Chairman Hudson turned the gavel over to Co-Chairman Ogan. HJR 35 - ENCOURAGE FED TAX CHANGE FOR GAS PIPELINE Number 0410 CO-CHAIRMAN SCOTT OGAN announced the committee would take up House Joint Resolution 35, "Encouraging federal legislation to improve federal fiscal terms for a trans-Alaska gas pipeline." Number 0430 REPRESENTATIVE MARK HODGINS, sponsor, stated that the resolution encourages federal legislation to improve federal fiscal terms for the trans-Alaska gas line. He explained that the report by Pedro van Meurs was commissioned by the state on the economic viability of a trans-Alaska gas line. Pedro van Meurs found that the project would need state and federal fiscal adjustments in order to stimulate the project's investment structure. It would be a $12 billion to $15 billion project to put the capitalization in place. Right now, at $15 billion, the project would not be economically viable. He stated that producers, as well as the state and federal governments, should be encouraged to look at the project with the idea that if it is not economically feasible, it will not go. REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS said there needs to be a fiscal regime that will allow this project to be produced. There is about $150 billion worth of gas going through the pipeline, according to figures of Pedro van Meurs. Out of that $150 billion, the federal government would get $26 to $27 billion in taxation. This pipeline is site-specific to Alaska. The resolution urges the federal delegation to come forward with tax incentives, as state and municipal governments will also have to do in order to see this pipeline built. Number 0601 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK asked how the congressional delegation feels about the resolution. Number 0617 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS replied that he has not talked with them. However, it is apparent that without some sort of tax incentive, there probably will not be a gas line. He believes they would encourage this because it would create about 10,000 jobs in the state, plus revenue that will enhance the state for many years and provide an energy base to allow industry to grow for the next 50 to 70 years. Number 0662 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK asked how this would be accepted at the congressional level. Number 0681 REPRESENTATIVE HODGINS replied that basically if this project does not go, the federal government will receive zero in taxation on it. They have $26 billion that will be generated. If they can come up with a 10 percent or a 15 percent reduction, that would certainly help, over the course of the life of the pipeline, to initiate building of the pipeline. He indicated both the state and federal government need to give a little, and the producers must come up with a more efficient way of building the pipeline. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN reported that he had recently spoken with Congressman Young's office to let them know about the resolution; while they had not read it, they were aware of the problem. They had discussed getting some breaks on the front end of the project, and Co-Chairman Ogan believes they are receptive to looking at the project. Number 0789 PAUL FUHS, Lobbyist for Yukon Pacific Corporation (YPC), came forward to testify. He stated that YPC supports the resolution. They feel Pedro van Meurs' study is more pessimistic than their own economic projections, primarily due to the difference in how soon the project will come to full production. The YPC believes the economics of the project could be improved by these federal taxes. MR. FUHS referred to a one-page handout, page 115, which shows that the federal government would get 28 percent in taxes from this project, more than twice what the state would receive. The Pedro van Meurs report also points out that if there are reductions in federal taxes, there will be increases in Alaska state taxes on the project. He stated that there is the issue of balancing the trade deficit with Japan and other Asian countries, as well as the issue of United States jobs. MR. FUHS advised that YPC has spoken to Senator Murkowski's office, and they welcome this. He suggested the Senate Energy Committee would probably be the place where this bill would originate; one reason they really favor this is it will be easier for them if the initiative comes from the state rather than from private companies going for the tax breaks. Mr. Fuhs said the resolution is generic; it does not state specific tax advantages. He believes that is good because there are things they could do in addition to those pointed out in the Pedro van Meurs report. Number 0940 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK suggested including at the bottom of this resolution, where it says "Copies of this resolution shall be sent to", the energy council or whatever congressional committee would be dealing with the issue. She said if the sponsor does not object, she would offer that as an amendment. Number 0990 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated that he did not object. However, whatever comes from the energy council must be unanimously approved by all states that are members. He said there may be, by implication, some members of the federal legislature that look at this as a tie between the state of Alaska and the energy council. He expressed concern over unilaterally tying that body with this resolution until they had a chance to look at it. Number 1051 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK replied that maybe it can be rephrased and sent to a committee that deals with the energy council on the congressional level. Number 1072 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether Representative Green is on the energy council and when they meet. Number 1079 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied he is on the council, and they meet four times a year. They will be meeting in June. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether this resolution could be brought before them and whether the council could be asked to put their own resolution together. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied that they could; however, it probably would not be approved before their December meeting. Number 1112 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK withdrew her amendment. Number 1140 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON made a motion to move HJR 35, 0-LSO904\E, with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note. He asked unanimous consent. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether there was an objection. There being none, HJR 35 was moved out of the House Resources Standing Committee. CSSB 35(FIN) - MANAGEMENT OF PARKS & RECREATIONAL AREAS Number 1170 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN announced the committee would take up CSSB 35(FIN), "An Act relating to management of state land, water, and land and water as part of a state park, recreational or special management area, or preserve; relating to reports to the legislature concerning prohibitions or restrictions of traditional means of access for traditional recreational uses within a park, recreational or special management area, or preserve; requiring legislative approval before certain land managed under AS 41.21 may be closed or have access restricted; relating to Chilkat State Park." Number 1180 SENATOR LYDA GREEN, sponsor, explained that two years ago, there was an attempt to close Blair Lake. This involved the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation including Blair Lake to be managed as a state park. This caused concern; SB 230 followed, which was vetoed. Following this, there was an announced closure by the division involving South Denali; the Curry-Kesugi Ridge; an area in Fairbanks; and potential partial closure of a marine park in Southeast Alaska. She believed the closures were not occurring for the right reasons. Therefore, she again introduced a version of last year's bill. SENATOR GREEN said CSSB 35(FIN) is essentially the same as the previous year's bill, except for page 3, line 5. However, the current bill requires that each legislative session, the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation would come to the legislature with a report on parks managed by the division but not part of the major state park system. They would explain reasons for closures. And if a closure is for over 90 days, the legislature would assess whether the closure was legitimate or request that the division find another way to achieve the same purpose. SENATOR GREEN said there is an inclusion relating the authority to designate Chilkat State park. This language was included because that park is being treated as a state park. Without final "adoption" by the state, the state will end up paying a fee for that transfer. She maintains that the legislature has the mandate to conserve, develop and watch over the resources, including land and water. Although most of the larger parks have, in statute, been turned over to the division for management and closure where necessary, she believes these smaller parcels, being managed as state parks, need to be carefully kept open. She said park land is for the use of the people, and that policy should be maintained. Number 1413 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether anyone from the Department of Law would be testifying. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN replied no one was scheduled. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained he was asking because of a letter claiming problems. He wanted someone to address that. Number 1448 SENATOR GREEN referred to that memo of April 15, 1997, from John T. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, to Jim Stratton, Director of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. She indicated the contents should be taken as suggestions and not legal mandates. SENATOR GREEN referred to the second paragraph of the memo, which says, "may not manage as part of a park, area or preserve established under AS 41.21.110" and "This language would likely be interpreted to prohibit the Division of Parks from continuing to manage more than 90 administratively acquired parcels of land as part of the state park system." She said that is not the case. This bill amends AS 41.21.020 only to prohibit land not legislatively designated as "parks" from being managed as part of a legislatively designated park. Therefore, anything already legislatively designated, such as Denali and Chugach, is not impacted by this bill. SENATOR GREEN said this bill basically impacts the Interagency Land Management Agreement (ILMA) parcels that abut state parks or are being managed as state parks. She stated that there needs to be good reasons for closures. It is not to say there will never be a good reason for a closure; the bill is stating that the legislature would like to look at the reasons. Number 1539 SENATOR GREEN noted that this letter is dated April 15, 1997, while this bill was introduced in February. She suggested it should have been sent earlier. Number 1573 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN agreed with Senator Green about Section 2. However, his concern was with the last paragraph of the letter. He asked whether the legislature is subjecting itself to possible litigation because the parks are open but no one is there to regulate activities. Number 1608 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN suggested if it were big concern, the staff of the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Law would have picked this issue up before today. Number 1630 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said his concern is that legislators look to the Department of Law on law issues. That department has raised a flag; he believes it would be a mistake for the committee to ignore it. If it is exposing them to litigation, they ought to know that going in. Number 1678 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that the committee aide was calling the legislative drafter to testify. Number 1687 SENATOR GREEN said this bill does not prohibit a warning sign at a park advising not to go on a trail. In national parks, there is the inherent risk of bears but the entire park is not closed. With regard to campgrounds, she does not expect a summer site to be maintained through the winter if it is a financial burden. She said it is the intent to send the message to the division to very carefully make closures on parks, report and get approval for legitimate reasons. She stated that any 90-day closure is acceptable, but anything over 90 days would come to the legislature to be discussed. Number 1844 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked: If there was an extreme situation and a park needed to be closed for six months, could it be closed for 90 days, opened for a day, and then closed for another 90 days? Number 1860 SENATOR GREEN replied that under the bill, a park can still be closed for more than 90 days. All that is required is that it come back the next legislative session and be reported on. Once approved, the closure could be continued. If denied, it could not be closed for the same reason the following year. Number 1924 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called a brief at-ease at 1:40 p.m. He called the meeting back to order at 1:41 p.m. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN noted that the committee had just passed Representative Masek's bill allowing traditional access over private land. He said it seems only reasonable to allow public access over park land as well. Number 1951 JIM STRATTON, Director, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, Department of Natural Resources, pointed out that the "discretionary function" immunity question had been raised in a letter dated March 24, 1997, sent to Chairman Sharp of the Senate Finance Committee. He offered to make copies of that letter for the committee. He emphasized this is not a new issue; they had raised it earlier, and their legal council believes it is an issue of concern that should be looked at. Number 2002 MR. STRATTON said there are two kinds of parks, those legislatively designated by vote of the legislature and those that are less than 640 acres, which are administratively created and called ILMAs. The latter are primarily campgrounds, boat launch ramps and trail heads. Although Blair Lake was a proposed closure, that was not enacted because the public did not want it. MR. STRATTON referred to Section 1. He said he understands the legislature's desire to get an annual report of the proposed closures; therefore, the department has no problem with Section 1. By providing the legislature with the yearly list, the legislature would get what they are looking for, an opportunity to look at actions taken by the division, review proposed closures and be able to take further action if the legislature disagrees. Number 2108 MR. STRATTON referred to Section 2, subsection (d). He said the division agrees with the intent of this section, as described by Senator Green; they understand the intent to be that the division will not be able to expand legislatively designated parks through administrative action. That was what occurred at Blair Lake, and they understand the concern people had about that action. MR. STRATTON said they are a little concerned, however, with the way subsection (d) is written. He proposed rewriting it to be less ambiguous. He noted that the ambiguity issue was raised by the division's legal counsel the previous session when SB 230 was vetoed, and they brought it up again in Senate hearings. MR. STRATTON referred to the top of page 4, subsection (e). A new section not in SB 230 the previous year, it was added on the Senate side. This is the section the division has the most concern with. It puts the legislature first in line to work with the public on all closures, of all types, in all park units, for public safety reasons, for resource protection reasons and aesthetic reasons. MR. STRATTON said his understanding is that the intent is to have this section only focus on ILMA parks, which are 640 acres or smaller. However, the first line of this section states, "Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter". There is nothing in the enabling language of the legislatively designated parks that makes a specific reference to traditional access. Legal counsel has told the division that without that specific reference to traditional access in the enabling language of the legislatively designated parks, this clause does not exempt any of these legislatively designated parks. Therefore, this section applies to all of the park units, regardless of size. Number 2284 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether the legislature would have to issue legislation and approve every action. Number 2301 MR. STRATTON replied that is his understanding. One approach would be listing all actions; another would be clustering parks by types of closures. The division has been implementing closures on state park land for 25 years, taking direction from the legislature and creating the closures. CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked for an example. Number 2328 MR. STRATTON cited examples of the kinds of things the division has been doing that would, under this bill, have to be brought before the legislature for closure. First are wildlife-human conflicts. These are generally for less than 90 days and therefore would be exempt. However, there is a clause added by the Senate that states a closure made in a subsequent year of less than 90 days will also have to be brought to the legislature for approval. MR. STRATTON said occasionally, a campground must be closed for an entire season, as was the case in the Captain Cook Recreation Area, when a bear was in the area for the entire summer. In addition, there are construction closures for refurbishment of a facility, for example. Those restrict traditional access, typically for longer than 90 days, and are for safety reasons. Furthermore, facilities damaged by natural disasters, such as the Perseverance Trail, have been closed for longer than 90 days and would have to be brought back to the legislature for approval. Also, in areas with teenage party sites, where vandalism has become a problem, the hours are modified or sites are permanently closed, which would require legislative approval. Mr. Stratton noted that all the parks in Sitka are closed at 10:00 p.m. for public safety reasons. MR. STRATTON said it is these kinds of closures, which they have traditionally done for public safety, that the division will no longer have discretion to make, or to make permanent, because everything would need to be brought to the legislature for approval. This is where discretionary immunity enters into it. If the division does not have discretion to close facilities or if closures were lifted, the division is concerned about being open to tort litigation. Number 2449 REPRESENTATIVE REGGIE JOULE asked whether these smaller parks are generally located around communities. MR. STRATTON said most state park units are on the road system. TAPE 97-42, SIDE B Number 0006 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked: In regard to the length of the closure, when it is somehow tied to budgetary constraints, what is the legislature's obligation? He further asked what that would mean for the general public in terms of the legislature perhaps not meeting its obligation to keep parks open. Number 0040 MR. STRATTON replied that when the division needs to close a facility due to budget constraints, it restricts traditional recreational access; they would need to bring that back to the legislature for approval. Those closures would be dealt with twice, first at the budget level and then when the division made a decision based on the budget it received, if that resulted in closures. Number 0061 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated that as he interprets it, when the legislature gets the list of closures and a good case is made, the legislature approves it. If there is a problem, the legislature will not include that in the bill listing approved closures. He stated that he did not see the problem. Number 0089 MR. STRATTON replied that the concern is if for some reason the bill does not pass or gets caught up in politics, for example, the division would be hampered from protecting the public in the park system. The division is asking, under the reporting requirements of Section 1, that the legislature pick from that report the actions it does not like, and then pass a bill addressing those. Otherwise, everything will need to pass the legislature or "go away." The way subsection (e) is written, there is an uncertainty factor. Number 0139 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN suggested if the governor does not like something, he can veto it. Number 0142 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON expressed concern over the timeliness of the passage of bills in the legislature. He further asked why the Administration had not stepped forward earlier to discuss this issue. MR. STRATTON replied that subsection (e) was not in the original bill. The division had no problem with the original bill. Subsection (e) is the problem. Number 0222 MR. STRATTON stated that Section 3 was put into the bill at the division's request for the "land and water conservation fund problem." CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN advised that Mr. Luckhaupt was present from the Department of Law to answer Representative Green's earlier questions. Number 0261 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN explained that his question was on the third paragraph of the memo from John Baker to Jim Stratton, dated April 15, 1997, relating to "discretionary function" immunity. He was unsure how a statement like this from the Department of Law may cast a shadow over legislators who would approve the language in the bill, after having been notified by the Department of Law of a potential problem. He asked whether this increases the legislature's potential liability or whether the legislature is ignoring a warning from counsel. Number 0306 JERRY LUCKHAUPT, Attorney, Legislative Legal and Research Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, explained that the letter says there is the possibility that it could increase the state's liability. However, it is not clear whether it will do so. The discretionary function immunity exists as part of the state's sovereign immunity, which the state has waived except in cases where state officials are exercising their discretion. MR. LUCKHAUPT said the courts have made a distinction between whether that discretion is being utilized in the policy making area or as a matter of operations. Decisions by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT/PF), for example, to close or not close roads due to conditions have been held to be discretionary; therefore, the state is not liable if someone has an accident on a road when the state has refused to close it. He said the Alaska Supreme Court has also rejected the argument of liability if the reason the road was unsafe and kept open was due to inadequate budgetary resources. The decision whether to provide budgetary resources is something the court said was part of that policy making discretion area for which the state is not liable. MR. LUCKHAUPT said it could be argued that a decision by the legislature that the Department of Natural Resources cannot close various trails or campgrounds in the state park system removes discretion to do that; therefore, the state may be liable for that. One could also say that knowing they cannot close a trail or campground, their decisions to post notice of dangerous conditions, for example, is where discretion will be utilized. Therefore, how well they inform the public of existing dangers in an area they cannot close would still be a discretionary function, and there would be no greater liability to the state. MR. LUCKHAUPT said there is no easy answer as to automatic liability. The decision to close a park for 90 days and then get legislative approval would be discretionary, as part of the division's policy making powers; therefore, there would be no liability. That seems to fit in with decisions of the DOT/PF to close or not close roads. If, in response to a closure, the legislature refuses to accept that closure, it could be argued that the legislature is exercising their policy making power and there would be no increase in liability. There are many possibilities and no easy answers. He does not know whether this would increase the state's liability, and it is unclear what would happen. "We won't necessarily know these answers until someone presents them to a court and the court decides," he said. Number 0558 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked for verification that there was a small possibility that the state could incur some liability by not keeping a park closed. He understood that Mr. Luckhaupt felt that through discretionary authority, the state was not taking a big chance in leaving the parks open. MR. LUCKHAUPT responded that he was trying to give an opinion that went both ways. He expounded on this. Number 0745 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked whether Mr. Luckhaupt knew of anyplace in statute where the legislature forces a road open at the expense of safety. MR. LUCKHAUPT replied that Title 19 states that the DOT/PF can restrict traffic and close roads. It operates from the assumption that the roads are open to begin with. Number 0773 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON said if a trail was directed open by a law passed by the legislature, he believes the state is assuming some greater liability by this legislation. Number 0845 MR. LUCKHAUPT responded that is a conclusion one could draw. He cited examples and said it is not clear what removes state liability. For instance, it is not clear that the state has no liability on the Perseverance Trail just because it is posted as "closed," as people continue to use the trail. Number 0981 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE asked what level of effort is needed to warn people of trail closures. For example, there is a question of where signs should be posted, as there can be access at places other than the head of the trail. Number 1042 MR. LUCKHAUPT replied that all factors enter into the liability issue. If it is a discretionary policy making area, the state is not liable, no matter how reasonable or unreasonable they were. If it is in the operational area, it is a jury question of whether the state was reasonable. In operational areas, the state's actions must be unreasonable before there is liability. Number 1206 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked whether there is a difference in liability if the park is open, versus closed, and someone is attacked by a bear. MR. LUCKHAUPT replied he did not know. He cited the example of the federal government being held responsible in Yellowstone National Park even though they hand out warnings to park guests. He expounded on it, then emphasized that there are no clear answers in this area. Number 1488 TUCKERMAN BABCOCK, Legislative Assistant to Senator Lyda Green, said the bill states that the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation does not have the ability to restrict access unless the legislature gives them authority to do so. The legislature has specifically given the division authority to restrict incompatible uses and to decide what are incompatible on every established park area or preserve. However, there is a loophole for land managed as a park or tiny parks that the legislature has not given the bureaucracy authority to close. MR. BABCOCK said one approach is to leave it to the bureaucracy to restrict public access, and the legislature will not do anything about it unless it passes a bill. This bill says the bureaucracy cannot make permanent closures to public access unless there is specific legislative authority to do so. Mr. Babcock said he anticipates that during the interim, the division will give a great deal of thought to what kind of authority they wish to seek from the legislature to close parks due to threats to public safety, for example. He specified that SB 35 does not require an annual review of every park and little closure. MR. BABCOCK referred to discussion of Section 2 in the memo of April 15, 1997, and said he does not read the statute as they do. He said, "The specific exemptions for the land already designated as parks, they do maintain their ability to close. The McHugh Creek, the Cook Inlet, Captain Cook examples are all already in state parks that are established by the legislature, for which specific authority to close has been given. And this would only apply to the smaller parks for which there's no legislative authority." Number 1699 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked whether Mr. Babcock thinks legislative approval authority should be delegated to an interim approval agency such as the Office of Budget and Management under certain circumstances. He expressed concern about public safety issues. Number 1770 MR. BABCOCK replied that he thinks the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, working with the legislature, would come up with a bill that comprehensively addresses what restrictions would be par for the course on small parks. He said nothing prevents the division, on every small park, from posting warning signs for bears, washed-out trails, and so forth, without actually posting "closed" signs. Number 1855 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK asked how this bill would help out areas such as Blair Lake. Number 1880 MR. BABCOCK replied it would address Blair Lake because that is land managed as land designated as part of the park; it would prohibit the division from closures there. But for land already within the park, they would have authority to restrict access. Number 1908 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE said there is a difference between the previous year's bill and this one. The current bill deletes the Denali Park section and there are parts of last year's bill not included in this legislation. Number 1956 MR. BABCOCK concurred. Number 1991 SUSAN SCHRADER, Executive Director, Alaskan Environmental Lobby (AEL), said the bill has taken on many permutations since first introduced. The AEL feels that in its current form, it severely cripples the ability of the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to protect the safety of citizens and to provide recreational opportunity for all users in a balanced manner. MS. SCHRADER said there are a number of issues of ambiguity in the bill. The fact that it can be read that areas cannot be closed longer than 90 days for public safety is a great concern, not only for public safety but for habitat protection. The AEL is also concerned about the increased litigation possibility. MS. SCHRADER said the AEL's greatest concern is it will prohibit the division from protecting the serenity and quite enjoyment of the land it manages from intrusion by motorized activities. She acknowledged this is a contentious and difficult issue. She said unfortunately, she does not believe this type of legislation will be of any help in dealing with user conflict problems. The AEL encouraged the legislature to work a little more constructively with the various interests involved, to try to get a little better balance between motorized and nonmotorized users. She stated that the AEL is opposed to the bill. The gavel was turned over to Co-Chairman Bill Hudson. Number 2221 SUSAN OLSEN, Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition, testified via teleconference from Anchorage. She said if the interpretation is correct that Section 2 does not affect Denali State Park, then she does not have many concerns. However, she noted that Chapter 21 includes all these parks; therefore, she does not understand the assertion that the language only affects the little parks. MS. OLSEN said on the assumption this does affect big parks, the coalition believes the legislation prevents the division from doing its job of managing the park for present users, as well as preserving them for future generations. The constitution requires that all resources, which she believes includes state parks, are to be available for all users. However, the purpose behind the legislation is to give special privileges to those who enjoy motorized recreation. This legislation would prevent parks from dealing with the growing conflict between persons wanting quite recreation and those wanting motorized activities. She stated that public policy should be for fair allocation of the state's resources. This precludes that. Number 2411 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that he would find out whether this applies to Denali State Park. Number 2460 RANDY CROSBY testified via teleconference, saying he is a commercial use permit holder in Denali State Park and Chugach State Park. He conducts snow cat tours and recreates in both a motorized and nonmotorized manner in the state park system. He fully supports the bill. TAPE 97-43, SIDE A Number 0006 MR. CROSBY said one stipulation in his Denali State Park permit requires him to block access of other recreational users from using his trail on state park land. He said park staff say this is necessary for public safety reasons. MR. CROSBY advised that, on the other hand, his Chugach State Park permit requires that he groom and share the trail with other recreational users. He believes Denali State Park staff do not want certain citizens of Alaska to have an easy, high-quality, accessible route to the area of Curry Ridge. He believes this bill will address restrictions and closures of state parks to motorized users. The gavel was turned over to Co-Chairman Ogan. Number 0152 TOM MEACHAM testified via teleconference from Anchorage, saying he lives adjacent to Chugach State Park and is concerned about the effect this bill would have on that park. He stated that he was surprised to hear the sponsor say the bill covers only small parks, because the bill talks about park areas or preserves established under Chapter 21, under which both legislatively designated parks and other parks were established. He believes that must be clarified if the intent of the legislation is to be much narrower than it appears. MR. MEACHAM believes Chugach State Park should be managed for all users. He said many conflicting potential incompatible users and user groups have been accommodated. Any necessary zonings or closures have only been adopted after extensive public hearings, with broad public support. Not everyone is happy, but he believes everyone is happy there are areas where they can pursue their own recreational interests without hazard and conflict from other groups. He believes this bill would lead to anarchy in the state parks, where the loudest, fastest, most expensive means of access would dominate over all other uses. All user groups need to be considered by wise management techniques. He does not believe the legislature has either the time or the inclination to deal with specific situations that develop in state parks that cry out for management solutions, either for public safety or for equitable use by the general public. Number 0331 CLIFF EAMES, Alaska Center for the Environment, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, saying his organization has approximately 4,000 members. They do not object to the reporting requirement imposed by the bill. However, they object to stripping the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation of its authority to manage motorized recreation. He believes this authority is needed for the small parks, which frequently are campgrounds, and he believes many people in these campgrounds would like motorized use to be managed so they can enjoy their stay there. He asked: By stripping the division of authority, would parks be available for the enjoyment of all Alaskans or just the motorized recreation users? The center advocates a balance between areas available for motorized recreation users and those available for other Alaskans and their visitors. Number 0492 KEN ROBERTSON, Member, Chugach State Park Advisory Board, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, indicating Chugach State Park has been sensitive to the public's needs. Whenever there is a contentious issue, public hearings are held and everyone's views are considered. He said he is concerned for reasons raised by Mr. Stratton, Mr. Eames and Mr. Meacham, and he believes this is a cumbersome way to target a small problem. MR. ROBERTSON endorsed Mr. Stratton's suggestion of dealing with only those closures with which the legislature disagrees. He believes the bill should be tailored to achieve its objective, at a minimum. He also believes it fixes a problem that does not exist. Things are run well now, and he believes the legislature should deal with issues as they arise, rather than implement a cumbersome procedure to essentially strip people who have knowledge and expertise from doing their job. Number 0629 PAM BARNES, Llama Buddies Expeditions (ph), testified via teleconference from Anchorage. Both a commercial and personal user of state parks, she opposes the bill. She said the division works for public safety reasons or for resource protection; she is satisfied with the balance of management. This bill would take away the ability to respond to changing conditions in a timely manner. She would like the division to remain responsible for management and decision making of closures, without requiring legislature approval for those types of decisions. Number 0696 RALPH FELTS testified via teleconference from Fairbanks, concurring with Mr. Stratton that this is a bit of overkill to address a couple of issues. He stated that overall, the division is doing a good job. A park user, he is sympathetic when a park closure arises. Although he has no problem with the legislature getting involved when there is a problem such as Curry Ridge or Blair lake, he believes the legislature should not try to micromanage just to solve those situations. "Let Parks do their job; they're doing a pretty good job of it," he concluded. Number 0768 JUNE BURKHART, Legislative Affairs Officer, Alaska Boating Association, testified via teleconference, saying she was presenting her own views as well as those of the association, which has several hundred members across the state operating "every kind of motorized vehicle you imagine." She said public waterways are owned collectively by all residents, and restrictions should be implemented only when necessary to ensure safety and environmental protection. She stated that when these are the reasons for a closure, the association has asked for objective data supporting the risks; in most cases, they had not received it. MS. BURKHART said the previous week there was a public hearing in Anchorage on the draft management plan for Kenai Lake and Kenai River, which specifically recommended prohibition of jet skis, hydro-planes, hovercraft and similar motorized craft on Kenai Lake. Several members of the association asked for data supporting the prohibition. She said they were told, "There is no real problem, there are very few users, we are just trying to drop a problem before it starts." They do not feel that is a just reason, and they support this legislation. Number 0920 DAN ELLIOTT, Chair, Mat-Su State Park Citizen Advisory Board, testified via teleconference, saying the system works. This bill does not allow for changing circumstances; public safety is only one issue. He is afraid of having to rely on the legislature to manage due to the constraints of time, budget and politics that affect it. He stated that the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation was intended to manage the parks, and they should. He said helicopters are a traditional means of access to Denali State Park, and hunting is a traditional recreational activity; he wondered whether hunting by helicopter would now become legal. He stated that in general, the division should be allowed to use its own discretion, and the legislature should only be involved in cases where they disagree. Number 1045 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked if anyone else wished to testify and then closed public testimony. Number 1068 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE offered an amendment, which read: Page 4, lines 1 - 10 Delete all of (e) Number 1079 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN objected and stated that there is a 24-hour rule on substantive amendments. He then indicated he would allow it. Number 1108 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called an at-ease at 2:58 p.m. and called the committee back to order at 2:59 p.m. He asked whether the sponsor objected to the amendment. SENATOR GREEN said yes. Number 1150 REPRESENTATIVE JOULE explained that subsection (e) is the contentious area. The amendment removes the section of the bill that is bringing all the concern. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN stated his objection to the amendment, saying the legislature would like to take back this portion of authority that it has delegated. REPRESENTATIVE JOULE noted that the committee had heard a lot about this issue regarding public safety as well. Number 1218 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA asked whether there was a response from the department. Number 1227 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN said there would be no response. Number 1238 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN called for a brief at-ease at 3:02 p.m. and called the meeting back to order at 3:03 p.m. CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN requested a roll call vote. Representatives Masek, Dyson, Green, Williams, Hudson and Ogan voted against the amendment. Representatives Nicholia and Joule voted in favor of the amendment. Representative Barnes was absent. So the amendment failed. Number 1280 REPRESENTATIVE FRED DYSON made a motion to move CSSB 35(FIN), 0- LSO274\L, with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note. Number 1298 CO-CHAIRMAN OGAN asked whether there was an objection. There being none, CSSB 35(FIN) was moved out of the House Resources Standing Committee. The gavel was turned over to Co-Chairman Hudson. HB 204 - MORATORIA ON COMMERCIAL FISHERIES ENTRY Number 1312 CO-CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that the next order of business was House Bill No. 204, "An Act revising the procedures and authority of the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, the Board of Fisheries, and the Department of Fish and Game to establish a moratorium on participants or vessels, or both, participating in certain fisheries; and providing for an effective date." Number 1330 AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Alan Austerman, read the following sponsor statement into the record: "House Bill 204 amends the existing moratorium law to provide for workable and effective moratorium law as part of Alaska's existing fisheries management process. The current moratorium statute has proved unworkable and confusing. The current process involves multi-steps where a fisher seeking a moratorium must first go to the Commissioner of Fish and Game, who in turn must seek authorization from the Board of Fisheries. Once authorization is granted from the Board of Fisheries, the commissioner may then petition the CFEC to provide a moratorium. "The commission is then authorized to go forward if it can make findings required by the current statute, which are difficult to understand and mutually inconsistent. "This cumbersome and confusing process prevents a quick response in fisheries that are growing too rapidly to ensure effective management. As a result, the resource and the economic livelihood of fishers could be jeopardized. In some situations, ADF&G's only recourse is to close the fishery or refuse to open a new fishery if effort cannot be controlled. "HB 204 would allow fishers seeking a moratorium to petition the commission directly. This legislation also gives the commission the authority to place a moratorium on vessels and gear as well as individuals. This is important in a fishery like the Bering Sea [Korean] hair crab fishery and scallops, where large vessels may use a number of different skippers in a season. "Under the current statute, eligibility to participate during the moratorium is based on past participation. This requirement precludes the use of a moratorium in new fisheries or in fisheries that have remained closed for years. In these two situations, participation levels in an open access fishery may be initially too great to promote resource conservation and sustainable fisheries. HB 204 would allow the commission to implement a moratorium in such fisheries and base eligibility on other reasonable standards such as participation in similar fisheries. "Additionally, HB 204 would allow the state to extend its moratorium authority to offshore fisheries adjacent to state waters when consistent with federal law. "Improving the moratorium law is consistent with our concern for developing and protecting jobs, as well as streamlining government and resource protection." MS. DAUGHERTY advised that there was one amendment. Number 1464 DALE ANDERSON, Chairman, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC), stated support for the bill. He said there is a dysfunctional statute that creates an undue burden on fishermen. The CFEC would like to streamline access to be able to request a moratorium, rather than going through the convoluted process in place right now. Number 1505 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked whether anyone has petitioned the CFEC against this change in the statutes. Number 1513 MR. ANDERSON replied that the CFEC received a letter from the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association asking for some clarifications. The CFEC met with the director, who expressed concern with the elimination of the board's participation in the moratorium process. Number 1550 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked whether Mr. Anderson had seen the proposed amendment and whether he supports it. MR. ANDERSON said he had seen it and supports it. There is no real substantive change; it makes the bill easier to read. Number 1577 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked whether the amendment is being offered by the prime sponsor. MS. DAUGHERTY said yes. Number 1645 REPRESENTATIVE MASEK made a motion to adopt the amendment, 0- LSO802\A.1, Utermohle, 4/14/97, which read: Page 3, lines 25 - 26: Delete all material. Insert "vessel permit to another vessel if the original permitted vessel is sunk, destroyed, or damaged to the extent that the vessel is inoperable for the fishery for which the permit is issued." REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked if there was any objection. There being none, the amendment was adopted. Number 1683 BRAD JOHNSON testified via teleconference from Ketchikan, saying he is strongly in favor of the bill. He said it is important to understand that in the time it takes to declare a moratorium on a fishery, the number of participants in the fishery can snowball overnight. For example, in one fishery, the hint of impending limited entry caused the number of permits to go from 186 to 332 in one month. With this bill in place, that would not happen. Number 1741 KRAIG NORHEIM testified via teleconference from Petersburg in support of the bill. He participates in the shrimp fishery, which is going into a limited entry process; 150 additional boats have been let into the fishery. Although the fishermen can take it, the resource cannot handle this increased pressure. He believes the date of the limited entry should have been moved back to January 1st of the year when they decided to adopt limited entry. He believes this bill will eliminate rushes into soon-to-be-limited fisheries. Number 1817 BRUCE SIEMINSKI testified via teleconference from Seward. He suggested when an impacted species gets "back on line," there should be provisions increasing the number of permits. He stated that he favors the bill. Number 1904 BRENNON EAGLE testified via teleconference from Wrangell in favor of the bill. The CFEC would have much more flexibility when deciding to limit a fishery. He gave the example of the pot shrimp fishery, which had a cut-off date to apply for a permit seven weeks following announcement of limited entry. With a moratorium, an extra 150 people could have been kept out of the fishery. Number 1848 BILL KNECHT testified via teleconference from Wrangell in favor of the bill. He stated that this legislation is a necessary tool to help regulate fisheries "so they don't explode out of the viable realm." He said he represents an association of about 25 members. They are 95 percent in support of this; the other 5 percent are undecided. He also sits on the Wrangell Fish and Game Advisory Board. With this tool in place, they will not have to spend numerous hours trying to figure out how to slow down the Southeast pot shrimp fishery. Number 2029 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA made a motion to move HB 204, as amended, with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note. Number 2040 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON asked if there were any objections. There being none, CSHB 204(RES) was moved out of the House Resources Standing Committee. ADJOURNMENT Number 2072 REPRESENTATIVE HUDSON adjourned the House Resources Standing Committee at 3:21 p.m.