Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

03/29/2017 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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01:08:52 PM Start
01:09:30 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):
02:06:34 PM HB155
05:11:44 PM HB129
05:44:59 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Recessed to 5:00 pm --
Confirmation Hearing: AK Board of Fisheries
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSHB 155(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 29, 2017                                                                                         
                           1:08 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Andy Josephson, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Dean Westlake, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Justin Parish                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Birch                                                                                                      
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Chris Tuck (alternate)                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                            
     John Jensen - Petersburg                                                                                                   
     Reed Morisky - Fairbanks                                                                                                   
     Frederick ("Fritz") Johnson - Kenai                                                                                        
     - CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                 
HOUSE BILL NO. 155                                                                                                              
"An  Act authorizing  a  land exchange  in  which certain  Alaska                                                               
mental  health  trust  land is  exchanged  for  certain  national                                                               
forest  land and  relating  to  the costs  of  the exchange;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     - MOVED CSHB 155(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
HOUSE BILL NO. 129                                                                                                              
"An  Act   relating  to  sport  fishing,   hunting,  or  trapping                                                               
licenses,  tags, or  permits; relating  to penalties  for certain                                                               
sport   fishing,  hunting,   and  trapping   license  violations;                                                               
relating  to  restrictions  on the  issuance  of  sport  fishing,                                                               
hunting, and trapping licenses;  creating violations and amending                                                               
fines  and  restitution  for  certain  fish  and  game  offenses;                                                               
creating  an exemption  from payment  of restitution  for certain                                                               
unlawful  takings of  big game  animals;  relating to  commercial                                                               
fishing  violations; allowing  lost federal  matching funds  from                                                               
the  Pittman  -  Robertson,  Dingell -  Johnson/Wallop  -  Breaux                                                               
programs  to be  included in  an order  of restitution;  adding a                                                               
definition of  'electronic form'; and providing  for an effective                                                               
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 155                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK MENTAL HEALTH TRUST LAND EXCHANGE                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ORTIZ                                                                                             
03/06/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/06/17       (H)       RES, FIN                                                                                               
03/27/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/27/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/27/17       (H)       MINUTE(RES)                                                                                            
03/29/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
BILL: HB 129                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FISH & GAME: OFFENSES;LICENSES;PENALTIES                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
02/15/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/15/17       (H)       RES, JUD                                                                                               
03/29/17       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JOHN JENSEN, Appointee                                                                                                          
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  as appointee  to  the Board  of                                                             
REED MORISKY, Appointee                                                                                                         
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  as appointee  to  the Board  of                                                             
FREDERICK ("FRITZ") JOHNSON, Appointee                                                                                          
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Fish & Game                                                                                                
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  as appointee  to  the Board  of                                                             
GARY STEVENS                                                                                                                    
Chugiak, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  in support  of Reed  Morisky, in                                                             
opposition to  John Jensen, and  in neutrality to  Fritz Johnson,                                                               
appointees to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                           
ARNI THOMSON, Spokesperson                                                                                                      
Alaska Salmon Alliance (ASA)                                                                                                    
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of Fritz Johnson, John                                                             
Jensen, and Reed Morisky, appointees to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                 
ROD ARNO, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC)                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition to  John Jensen and                                                             
in  support  of   Reed  Morisky,  appointees  to   the  Board  of                                                               
PAUL SHADURA II, Spokesperson                                                                                                   
South K-Beach Independent Fishermen's Association                                                                               
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in  support of Fritz Johnson, John                                                             
Jensen, and Reed Morisky, appointees to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                 
JERRY MCCUNE, Staff & President                                                                                                 
United Fishermen of Alaska                                                                                                      
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified in  support of  John Jensen  and                                                             
Fritz Johnson, and  in neutrality to Reed  Morisky, appointees to                                                               
the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                         
SAMANTHA WEINSTEIN, Executive Director                                                                                          
Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO)                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support of  Reed Morisky, John                                                             
Jensen, and Fritz Johnson, appointees to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                
MARK RICHARDS                                                                                                                   
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of Reed Morisky,                                                                    
appointee to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE DAN ORTIZ                                                                                                        
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Speaking as the prime sponsor of HB 155,                                                                 
testified there have been no changes to the bill as presented to                                                                
the committee on 3/27/17.                                                                                                       
CAROLINE HAMP, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Dan Ortiz                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Representative Ortiz, sponsor,                                                              
provided a sectional analysis of the proposed committee                                                                         
substitute, Version U, for HB 155.                                                                                              
WYN MENEFEE, Deputy Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office                                                                                          
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions related to HB 155.                                                                    
DAVID LANDIS, Mayor                                                                                                             
Ketchikan Gateway Borough                                                                                                       
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 155.                                                                          
CHERYL FECKO                                                                                                                    
Craig, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 155.                                                                       
DENNIS WATSON, Mayor                                                                                                            
City of Craig                                                                                                                   
Craig, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 155.                                                                          
REBECCA KNIGHT                                                                                                                  
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 155.                                                                       
LARRY EDWARDS                                                                                                                   
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 155.                                                                       
MIKE SALLEE                                                                                                                     
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 155.                                                                       
EMILY FERRY, Deputy Director                                                                                                    
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 155.                                                                       
VICTORIA MCDONALD                                                                                                               
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 155.                                                                       
BOB WEINSTEIN, Spokesperson                                                                                                     
Save Deer Mountain                                                                                                              
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 155.                                                                          
CHARLES WOOD, Spokesperson                                                                                                      
Mitkof Highway Homeowners Association (MHHA)                                                                                    
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 155.                                                                          
CYNTHIA LAGOUDAKIS, Vice-Mayor                                                                                                  
Petersburg Borough                                                                                                              
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 155.                                                                          
MAJOR BERNARD CHASTAIN, Deputy Director                                                                                         
Division of Alaska Wildlife Troopers                                                                                            
Department of Public Safety                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  On behalf of Governor Walker, introduced                                                                 
and provided a sectional analysis of HB 129.                                                                                    
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  GERAN   TARR  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:08 p.m.   Representatives Tarr,                                                               
Josephson, Rauscher, Drummond,  Johnson, Birch, Parish, Talerico,                                                               
and Westlake were present at the call to order.                                                                                 
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                  
                       Board of Fisheries                                                                                   
1:09:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be  confirmation  hearings for  John  Jensen,  Reed Morisky,  and                                                               
Fritz Johnson, appointees to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                            
1:09:45 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN JENSEN,  appointee, Board of  Fisheries, stated he  was born                                                               
and  raised   in  Petersburg,  Alaska,  and   a  third-generation                                                               
commercial  fisherman  who  has   participated  in  most  of  the                                                               
fisheries in the state, including:   halibut; black cod; gillnet,                                                               
seine,  and  troll of  salmon;  seine,  gillnet, and  impound  of                                                               
herring; and king  and tanner crab fishing in the  Bering Sea for                                                               
10 years.  He  said he has fished from Adak to  Nome to the lower                                                               
end  of Southeast.    Presently  he is  semi-retired  with a  few                                                               
individual  fishing quotas  (IFQ's) left  and a  king and  tanner                                                               
crab  permit  that  his  oldest son  uses  in  Southeast  Alaska.                                                               
Currently, he  continued, his main  income is from  renting boats                                                               
to  visitors  to  Southeast  Alaska.    His  two  sons  are  both                                                               
commercial   fishermen.     He  offered   his  support   for  the                                                               
appointments of  Mr. Reed  Morisky and Mr.  Fritz Johnson  to the                                                               
Board of Fisheries.                                                                                                             
1:12:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  inquired about the  son who uses  one of                                                               
Mr. Jensen's permits.                                                                                                           
MR. JENSEN replied  it is his oldest son and  explained that when                                                               
he  is at  Board of  Fisheries  meetings he  gets a  governmental                                                               
transfer for  his permit.  He  would have sold the  permit a long                                                               
time  ago but  it's not  a sellable  permit, it  is a  permanent,                                                               
nontransferable permit.   He  has been waiting  for 35  years for                                                               
the  Commercial  Fisheries  Entry  Commission (CFEC)  to  make  a                                                               
decision as to whether it is going to be permanent.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said  she is asking because  the House of                                                               
Representatives  just  passed  HB  87,  which  would  change  the                                                               
familial  relationships of  members  on the  Board of  Fisheries.                                                               
Assuming  HB 87  became law,  she  explained, a  child sharing  a                                                               
substantial financial interest with Mr.  Jensen as a board member                                                               
might cause  Mr. Jensen to  declare a conflict of  interest under                                                               
certain circumstances.  She asked  whether Mr. Jensen is aware of                                                               
this bill.                                                                                                                      
MR.  JENSEN responded  that board  members have  been doing  that                                                               
ever since  he has been  on the  board.  He  said he likes  HB 87                                                               
because it  would help him  be able  to participate a  little bit                                                               
more,  but   he  realizes  he   cannot  vote  when  there   is  a                                                               
"significant  financial  gain."    Since his  brother  fishes  in                                                               
several  fisheries  and  both  his  sons  are  involved  in  many                                                               
fisheries, as is  he, he consequently "sits on  the bench" during                                                               
a lot of  discussion.  He stated  it is hard for  the other board                                                               
members  when  there  isn't  someone  with  a  certain  level  of                                                               
expertise in  Southeast Alaska because  it is hard  to understand                                                               
the little innuendos and all the  fine parts of every area of the                                                               
state.  A month ago, the board  came from Cook Inlet and while he                                                               
doesn't  have any  conflicts there  it  was nice  having a  board                                                               
member who was familiar with the  area and able to help the board                                                               
through it.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND pointed out that  if HB 87 becomes law it                                                               
would  allow Mr.  Jensen to  participate in  discussions but  not                                                               
vote whenever he has a conflict.                                                                                                
MR. JENSEN answered that the  aforementioned is his understanding                                                               
as well, and reiterated that it would be of help.                                                                               
1:15:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  how   Mr.  Jensen  balances  the                                                               
decisions  he  makes as  far  as  relationships and  fairness  to                                                               
various user groups.                                                                                                            
MR. JENSEN responded  that that is the hard part  of being on the                                                               
board.  He explained that the  board process starts out by people                                                               
putting  in proposals  by April  10th [each  year] for  what will                                                               
come  up the  next year.    Members receive  these proposals  for                                                               
review  in their  board packet  sometime in  August.   The public                                                               
also receives the  proposals and develops their  comments and the                                                               
[Alaska  Department of  Fish &  Game (ADFG)]  advisory committees                                                               
(ACs) review  the proposals  and forward their  comments.   Up to                                                               
two  weeks before  the  meeting, board  members  can get  on-time                                                               
public  comments.   After the  meeting  the members  get what  is                                                               
called  "record copies"  for  all the  way  through the  meeting.                                                               
Once  the meeting  starts the  board takes  public testimony  and                                                               
there is the  committee process in which the user  groups and the                                                               
public have a  second chance to go at it  with some more comments                                                               
and new information.   The board uses all  that information along                                                               
with  the  policies  that  it must  follow,  such  as  allocation                                                               
criteria, sustainable  salmon fisheries management  policy, mixed                                                               
stock  fishing policies,  as well  as federal  standards when  it                                                               
comes to crabs.   The board also  uses a lot of  input from ADFG.                                                               
If there is  a harvestable surplus of fish, the  first user group                                                               
is subsistence  users, and if  there is more  harvestable surplus                                                               
for  public use  it goes  into personal  use, sport  fishing, and                                                               
commercial fishing,  and this is where  the board has the  job of                                                               
making allocations and that is the hardest part of the job.                                                                     
1:17:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER inquired  whether  Mr.  Jensen sees  the                                                               
current Board of Fisheries as being balanced.                                                                                   
MR. JENSEN  replied yes, it  has a  fine balance with  folks from                                                               
coastal  communities such  as  himself and  Ms.  Jeffrey, who  is                                                               
stepping down but whom he hopes  will be replaced by Mr. Johnson,                                                               
and with  Interior folks from Fairbanks  to the Matanuska-Susitna                                                               
Valley to  Anchorage.   Compliments are being  heard on  how well                                                               
the board is working, he added.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  what the  meaning  of  sustained                                                               
yield is to Mr. Jensen personally.                                                                                              
MR. JENSEN  responded it  means fish  for the  future    that his                                                               
children and grandchildren  will be able to do the  same thing he                                                               
is doing.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER posed a scenario  in which Mr. Jensen has                                                               
a conflict  that would  mean a large  monetary loss  and inquired                                                               
whether Mr. Jensen  would still be able to be  balanced if it was                                                               
for the better of the group.                                                                                                    
MR. JENSEN  answered he will  conflict himself out of  the issue.                                                               
For example, at the last  board meeting an emergency petition was                                                               
put forth by ADFG of Southeast  and once the board found out that                                                               
it met the  criteria for emergency he stepped down  from the rest                                                               
of  the discussion  because  it was  for gillnets  and  he has  a                                                               
brother who is a gillnetter.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked whether, in Mr.  Jensen's opinion,                                                               
the current number of board members is the right number.                                                                        
MR. JENSEN replied he is aware  there is talk about a nine-member                                                               
board, but said he doesn't  know whether that would help, whether                                                               
it would  bring in more  coastal people,  or how it  would change                                                               
the  balance.   Right  now, it's  a pretty  fair  balance and  is                                                               
working pretty well.                                                                                                            
1:20:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH noted  he  represents  17,000 residents  in                                                               
southcentral  Anchorage,  which  includes  commercial  and  sport                                                               
fishermen.  He further noted  the state sells about 250,000 sport                                                               
fishing licenses annually  and said he presumes  most people with                                                               
sport  fishing  licenses "target  salmon."    He asked  what  Mr.                                                               
Jensen sees  as the Board  of Fisheries' role  and responsibility                                                               
in  attempting to  maximize the  number of  fish into  Cook Inlet                                                               
where the various user groups can target the fish.                                                                              
MR. JENSEN responded  that in this case the board's  main goal is                                                               
to keep the stocks healthy so  that salmon keep coming back.  The                                                               
[Matanuska-Susitna]  Valley has  some  king salmon  and some  red                                                               
salmon stocks  of concern.   Fish are  still coming up  there and                                                               
the  hope is  to improve  on things.   The  board has  restricted                                                               
commercial  fishing to  a certain  extent by  using the  corridor                                                               
program, he  explained.   The central  corridor is  basically the                                                               
whole Cook Inlet  open and there are two corridors  on the side                                                                 
one  that is  three miles  out and  another going  up about  four                                                               
miles past that  and which is used for managing  fish going north                                                               
to the Matanuska-Susitna Valley area,  and it seems to be working                                                               
really well.  Sometimes, Mr.  Jensen continued, it is really hard                                                               
to get a  fish out of a  stock of concern, the  main reason being                                                               
not knowing  when to back off.   An action plan  is involved, and                                                               
it is  not necessarily getting  a whole  bunch of fish  in there,                                                               
but rather getting a healthy bunch  of fish in there and having a                                                               
healthy outmigration,  and outmigrating seems  to be some  of the                                                               
problem and is something that is hard to foresee and manage.                                                                    
1:23:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  inquired how  the board views  the advisory                                                               
[committees] and  ensuring that  they are viable  and functioning                                                               
properly from the  board's perspective.  He  further inquired how                                                               
Mr. Jensen  sees that  interaction working  and whether  there is                                                               
anything the legislature can do to improve that process.                                                                        
MR.  JENSEN answered  that  the advisory  committees  are a  very                                                               
valuable resource to  the Board of Fisheries;  he participated on                                                               
one for 10  years before joining the board.   Advisory committees                                                               
give  the board  a closer  perspective of  what the  community is                                                               
doing.  Of the 83 advisory  committees across the state, some are                                                               
good, such  as the Anchorage  AC, and some  are not, such  as the                                                               
Petersburg AC.   The AC's cycle  up and down, he  noted, but they                                                               
are very  valuable, and he  appreciates anything  the legislature                                                               
can do to keep them going.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  posited that  to be effective  the advisory                                                               
committees would  need to  be contributing to  a solution  and an                                                               
answer that  is agreed  to by  the board  most of  the time.   He                                                               
asked what percentage of time  the board follows the advice given                                                               
by an advisory committee.                                                                                                       
MR.  JENSEN  replied that  at  the  last  board meeting  held  in                                                               
Anchorage regarding the Cook Inlet,  the board took two proposals                                                               
and modified the  language in a manner that was  supported by the                                                               
AC's.   He said he  tries to listen  to everyone closely  and the                                                               
board takes seriously  any suggestions from the AC  level as well                                                               
as from the public level.                                                                                                       
1:25:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  related that she has  received letters of                                                               
support  from  both commercial  and  sport  users for  the  three                                                               
appointees to  the board.  She  said she is pleased  to have both                                                               
sides of the fishing camp in agreement.                                                                                         
MR. JENSEN responded he is happy to see this as well.                                                                           
1:26:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH questioned what  the Board of Fisheries has                                                               
done, and  will do,  to reduce  bycatch and  the wastage  of fish                                                               
stocks and fish species.                                                                                                        
MR. JENSEN answered that the board  does its best to keep release                                                               
mortality to  a minimum, and the  board hears about this  issue a                                                               
lot.  For the  catch and release of king salmon  and trout, it is                                                               
critical  the  fish be  handled  correctly  to reduce  mortality.                                                               
Regarding halibut,  he said  he wishes the  board could  do more,                                                               
but because  halibut are federally  controlled the  board doesn't                                                               
have much say about the species.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH asked  what  the greatest  threats are  to                                                               
fish for the future.                                                                                                            
MR. JENSEN replied  that currently it is starting to  look like a                                                               
lot of  environmental effects.  Last  year, due to [a  large mass                                                               
of relatively warm water in the  Pacific Ocean known as the blob]                                                               
the  pink salmon  run failed  statewide.   He said  he is  unsure                                                               
exactly what  the blob  is, but  that it  either killed  the fish                                                               
during outmigration  or the  fish wouldn't  come back  through it                                                               
when returning a year later.   The blob has supposedly moved off,                                                               
so the board  is holding its breath for this  year and hoping the                                                               
return is  as predicted.  It  wasn't just pink salmon,  he added,                                                               
all salmon were affected.                                                                                                       
1:29:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REED MORISKY, appointee, Board of  Fisheries, stated he has lived                                                               
in Fairbanks  for over 35  years and for  a good portion  of that                                                               
time he  has followed and  been involved  in fishery issues.   He                                                               
said he  has owned  and operated a  sport fishing  guide business                                                               
specializing in Arctic grayling for 33  years, and as a member of                                                               
the  Sport  Fishing  Guide  Services  Board  Task  Force  he  has                                                               
advocated  for a  responsible sport  fishing industry.   Being  a                                                               
member  of Alaska's  Board of  Fisheries is  a special  honor and                                                               
great responsibility,  he noted, and one  of his responsibilities                                                               
is to  reasonably allocate among  user groups.  According  to the                                                               
natural  resource clause  in Alaska's  constitution, the  state's                                                               
commonly-owned fisheries  resources are a public  trust that must                                                               
be managed  for the benefit of  the people as a  whole.  However,                                                               
he added, applying  that concept is where much  of the contention                                                               
arises.  People rely on the  board to fairly review proposals for                                                               
allocating,  changing,   modifying,  and  updating   the  state's                                                               
fisheries regulations.                                                                                                          
MR.  MORISKY said  he  believes  he has  brought  an attitude  of                                                               
respect and  fairness to  the process  and that  he has  a proven                                                               
track record of taking a  reasonable and rational approach to his                                                               
decision-making  process.   The public  expects to  be heard  and                                                               
have their issues vetted by the  board, and he enjoys meeting all                                                               
the stakeholders and  hearing their concerns.  It  is possible to                                                               
disagree without  being disagreeable, he continued,  and he would                                                               
like to continue to work  toward solutions to the state's present                                                               
and future fisheries issues.                                                                                                    
1:31:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  noted  he  represents  an  area  in  south                                                               
Anchorage and previously lived in  Fairbanks.  Relating that many                                                               
of his constituents  are concerned about the  Cook Inlet fishery,                                                               
he asked  what role  Mr. Morisky  sees the  board engaging  in to                                                               
maximize the  public use  of that fishery,  and to  recognize the                                                               
balance between the commercial and sport fishing communities.                                                                   
MR.  MORISKY responded  that to  maximize everyone  getting their                                                               
fish  the board  reviews the  proposals that  are brought  to it.                                                               
These  proposals run  the full  gamut from  restricting, severely                                                               
restricting  sport and  personal use,  to restricting  commercial                                                               
aspects.   So, he  said, that  is where  board action  comes into                                                               
play to allocate  the existing fisheries resources    [which user                                                               
group] has more  time, less time, larger bag limit,  more time in                                                               
a fishery opening and to reallocate or allocate.                                                                                
1:33:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER inquired  whether  Mr. Morisky  believes                                                               
there should be seven or nine members on the Board of Fisheries.                                                                
MR. MORISKY  answered that  the aforementioned  has been  a topic                                                               
among board members and other  people interested in this process.                                                               
Based on  his four years as  a board member, he  said he believes                                                               
seven are  enough assuming  they are good  members like  now, the                                                               
members are placed  properly, and the selection is  done with due                                                               
diligence.  There is not supposed  to be designated seats by area                                                               
per se,  he continued, but  if two or  more seats were  added the                                                               
question is,  "Where would those seats  go?"  He said  he doesn't                                                               
know whether Barrow  or Tok have ever had a  seat and other areas                                                               
of the  state might  advocate for  that.   There is  no guarantee                                                               
where those  seats would go  or to  whom.  Currently,  four votes                                                               
are needed  to pass something and  if the number of  members went                                                               
to nine  then five votes would  be needed and therefore  it might                                                               
be a little harder to get consensus.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked how  Mr. Morisky balances decisions                                                               
that he  makes on the board  in relation to fairness  amongst all                                                               
the user groups.                                                                                                                
MR.  MORISKY answered  that  he listens  to  all the  information                                                               
regarding the proposal  at hand, talks to  the stakeholders, and,                                                               
if he  can, talks  to the  person who wrote  the proposal  to get                                                               
more clarity and learn  what he or she had in  mind.  The board's                                                               
criteria are  very important    allocation  criteria, sustainable                                                               
salmon fisheries policy, and mixed  stock policy.  The allocation                                                               
criteria have  seven criteria that,  depending on  the particular                                                               
board member  and the lens  that board member looks  through, the                                                               
member  will  make  a  case   for  or  against  those  particular                                                               
allocation criteria.  There are  many stakeholders, he continued.                                                               
The  commercial  fishery has  been  operating  in many  of  these                                                               
fisheries for a  long time, but there are also  the sport, guided                                                               
sport,  personal use,  and subsistence  components.   Sometimes a                                                               
rebalancing will  need to occur  and that  is what the  board has                                                               
done and will  do in the future:  allocate  those resources using                                                               
the allocation  criteria and  see what needs  to be  increased or                                                               
sometimes decreased for different user groups.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  inquired as to Mr.  Morisky's definition                                                               
of sustained yield.                                                                                                             
MR. MORISKY  replied that sustained  yield is having  enough fish                                                               
for escapement  and yet have the  various user groups be  able to                                                               
use the  resource in a  sustained way  and still have  enough for                                                               
spawning on a long-term basis.                                                                                                  
1:37:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  asked  what   Mr.  Morisky  sees  as  the                                                               
greatest threat to fisheries in the future.                                                                                     
MR.  MORISKY  responded  that  it  is  unknown  weather  changes,                                                               
habitat,  and things  happening in  the ocean  and/or where  fish                                                               
spawn.  The warm water blob  was not predicted, and affected fish                                                               
runs.  There is great concern  in Southeast Alaska with the mines                                                               
in Canada that  could cause problems with habitat.   If the board                                                               
and ADFG are doing what  they should, he posited, overfishing per                                                               
se should  not occur -  that is one  of the benefits  of Alaska's                                                               
management system  in the  way the  constitution was  framed, and                                                               
the Board of Fisheries set up by the legislature.                                                                               
1:39:30 PM                                                                                                                    
FREDERICK  ("FRITZ")  JOHNSON,  appointee,  Board  of  Fisheries,                                                               
testified he has been a resident  of the Bristol Bay region since                                                               
1978 and  began commercially fishing in  the region in 1979.   He                                                               
operates a 32-foot  drift boat and earns most of  his income from                                                               
salmon fishing, he  said.  He has also participated  in the near-                                                               
shore halibut  fishery in  the region, he  continued, and  in the                                                               
past, he participated  in the herring fishery at  Togiak.  During                                                               
his one term on the Board  of Fisheries from 2013-2015 he learned                                                               
a lot about  Alaska fisheries beyond his own  experience.  During                                                               
that time,  he spoke to  hundreds of sport,  commercial, personal                                                               
use, and  subsistence harvesters  from around  the state,  and he                                                               
listened to  Alaska's dedicated team of  fisheries biologists and                                                               
managers.    Having  served  that   apprenticeship,  he  said  he                                                               
certainly is more  qualified now than he was at  the start of his                                                               
first term  and would be  honored to  serve again.   He expressed                                                               
his support for  the reappointment of Mr. Jensen  and Mr. Morisky                                                               
because  both are  thoughtful, deliberate,  and highly  qualified                                                               
individuals who  are well versed  in Alaska fish policy  and open                                                               
to the public.                                                                                                                  
1:41:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH inquired as to  what Mr. Johnson thinks can                                                               
be done to minimize bycatch or,  having caught and killed a fish,                                                               
what should be done with that fish.                                                                                             
MR. JOHNSON replied that once a  fish is caught and killed, to do                                                               
anything but  take it  home and  consume it  in some  capacity is                                                               
wanton waste and against the  law.  Regarding bycatch, he advised                                                               
that some  interesting developments  are on  the horizon  for the                                                               
electronic monitoring of some of  the bigger boats to ensure they                                                               
aren't taking untargeted  species.  This would  give managers and                                                               
captains the  information they need  to relocate or  modify their                                                               
fishing methods,  as that seems  to be where the  biggest problem                                                               
with  bycatch exists  today.    The issues  of  personal use  and                                                               
commercial fisheries are different  in different areas, he noted.                                                               
In  Bristol  Bay  fishing  for  salmon  is  done  with  gillnets.                                                               
Several  years ago,  consideration was  given to  the banning  of                                                               
gillnets  in  different  parts  of  the  country,  including  the                                                               
Northwest  Coast,  because  gillnets   were  perceived  as  being                                                               
indiscriminate  in  their  catch.    However,  he  continued,  in                                                               
Bristol Bay  there are  virtually no other  species in  the water                                                               
column, although  sometimes in shallow  water a few  flounder are                                                               
taken, but  the abundance  of flounder is  not threatened.   Each                                                               
individual fishery  is different,  and the biggest  bycatch issue                                                               
has to do with offshore fisheries and larger boats, he said.                                                                    
1:44:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked  whether  Mr.  Johnson thinks  the                                                               
right board size is seven or [should be increased to] nine.                                                                     
MR.  JOHNSON  responded he  shares  Mr.  Morisky's views  on  the                                                               
board's size.  The board is  well balanced and fair, he said, and                                                               
in his opinion  seven is enough and works.   Expanding the number                                                               
to  nine  would  sometimes  make it  more  difficult  to  achieve                                                               
consensus, plus there would be more expense with adding members.                                                                
1:45:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  related that about  20 percent of  the fish                                                               
caught in  Cook Inlet are not  the second run of  red salmon that                                                               
go into the  Kasilof and Kenai rivers.  He  requested Mr. Johnson                                                               
to share  his thoughts  about turning  the Cook  Inlet commercial                                                               
fishery into  a terminal  fishery and how  that might  impact the                                                               
overall fishery.                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSON answered  his personal  belief  is that  there is  a                                                               
value  in terminal  fisheries; it  used to  work well  in Bristol                                                               
Bay.   That said, he continued,  the Board of Fisheries  is still                                                               
guided  by both  the sustainable  salmon policies  and allocation                                                               
policies.   Changing  the  Cook Inlet  fishery to  be  more of  a                                                               
terminal fishery  than it is now  would have to be  considered in                                                               
terms of historic harvest, use  patterns, and methods.  Generally                                                               
speaking, he added, terminal fisheries are a good idea.                                                                         
1:46:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR opened public testimony  on the appointments of Mr.                                                               
Jensen, Mr. Morisky, and Mr. Johnson to the Board of Fisheries.                                                                 
1:46:46 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY STEVENS offered  his strong support for  the confirmation of                                                               
Reed Morisky.   He said Mr. Morisky and the  other two appointees                                                               
are professional  and likeable  men with whom  he gets  along and                                                               
likes.   He  offered his  belief that  Mr. Morisky  has the  best                                                               
interest for conservation and sustainability of the fisheries.                                                                  
MR.  STEVENS said  he  cannot support  the  confirmation of  John                                                               
Jensen primarily  because Mr.  Jensen has been  on the  board for                                                               
over 14 years since  1975.  No one else has served  as much as 10                                                               
years on  the board, so  he would like  to see some  turnover and                                                               
fresh blood.   He related that on March 4  [2017] during the last                                                               
board meeting in Anchorage, the board  did a good job on what was                                                               
right  for the  conservation of  the  early run  of king  salmon.                                                               
However, he  noted, the  board allowed  more opportunity  for the                                                               
drift fleet  and the setnetters  after the  end of the  season at                                                               
the  end  of July,  and  many  people  were concerned  about  the                                                               
fisheries going up to the Northern District, especially cohos.                                                                  
MR.  STEVENS stated  he is  neutral on  the appointment  of Fritz                                                               
1:48:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  asked whether  Mr. Stevens  just doesn't                                                               
like the idea  that someone has served on the  board for 14 years                                                               
or whether there were specific rulings he disagreed with.                                                                       
MR. STEVENS  opined many of  the decisions  led by Mr.  Jensen in                                                               
the last  year or  so tend  to lean toward  the advantage  of the                                                               
commercial fisheries.   He said  his biggest concern  with people                                                               
serving on any public board or  any public position is that it is                                                               
a civic duty, not a career.  When  someone is on a board for that                                                               
type  of duration  it gets  to a  point where  this person  has a                                                               
relationship with the newer board members.                                                                                      
1:50:10 PM                                                                                                                    
ARNI THOMSON,  Spokesperson, Alaska Salmon Alliance  (ASA), noted                                                               
that  his  nonprofit   trade  organization  primarily  represents                                                               
seafood processors, but  also the interests of  fishermen who are                                                               
involved  in harvesting,  processing,  and  marketing of  seafood                                                               
that  is landed  in  Prince William  Sound,  Cook Inlet,  Kodiak,                                                               
Southeast  Alaska, and  Bristol  Bay communities.    He said  ASA                                                               
members have lengthy experience  with Board of Fisheries meetings                                                               
dating back more than 25 years.                                                                                                 
MR. THOMSON related that several  ASA members participated in the                                                               
recent 14-day  Board of Fisheries  meeting in Anchorage  and that                                                               
throughout  the meeting  under the  leadership  of Chairman  John                                                               
Jensen,  a broadly  knowledgeable  fisherman  and seasoned  board                                                               
member, the  participating ASA  members experienced  a refreshing                                                               
spirit  of respect,  collaboration, thoughtful  deliberation, and                                                               
an open  environment.   He said ASA  also respects  the knowledge                                                               
and balance of  interests that Reed Morisky brings  to the board.                                                               
Additionally,  he   continued,  ASA  appreciates   Fritz  Johnson                                                               
agreeing to come back and serve  on the board because Mr. Johnson                                                               
is a  man of  integrity with  extensive fisheries  experience and                                                               
has  already  established  his  collaborative,  cooperative,  and                                                               
respectful nature.  All three  candidates are firmly supported by                                                               
ASA,  he  added,  and  ASA  thanks the  committee  for  its  firm                                                               
commitment to sustaining Alaska fisheries and fish resources.                                                                   
1:52:07 PM                                                                                                                    
ROD  ARNO,  executive  director, Alaska  Outdoor  Council  (AOC),                                                               
stated  that  AOC is  made  up  primarily of  individual  Alaskan                                                               
users.  He said AOC opposes  the reconfirmation of John Jensen to                                                               
the  Board of  Fisheries.   While Mr.  Jensen has  done excellent                                                               
work  during his  14  years  on the  board,  his expertise  leans                                                               
towards the  commercial fisheries  industry and  AOC sees  a need                                                               
and a desire  to have more opportunity  for individual fishermen.                                                               
For example,  he continued, during  the recent board  meeting for                                                               
Cook  Inlet, AOC's  Proposal 203  would  have allowed  additional                                                               
opportunity  for dipnetters  at  the same  time  that there  were                                                               
emergency  openings for  additional opportunity  for sockeye  for                                                               
the commercial industry.  However,  the Alaskan dipnetter did not                                                               
get the same  opportunity as commercial fishermen.   Proposal 213                                                               
for the upper Cook Inlet is  another example, Mr. Arno said.  The                                                               
board voted  down the  idea of  keeping the nets  a mile  off the                                                               
mouth of the Little Susitna River.   When it comes to allocation,                                                               
there is  an orientation  towards commercial  fishing and  AOC is                                                               
opposed to that at this juncture.                                                                                               
MR. ARNO  stated that  when Fritz Johnson  was previously  on the                                                               
board,  he  too was  oriented  towards  the commercial  fisheries                                                               
industry.   Therefore, he  continued, AOC  sees a  need statewide                                                               
for an opportunity for more individual opportunity.                                                                             
MR. ARNO  offered AOC's support for  Reed Morisky's reappointment                                                               
to the board.  He restated  the need for a better balance between                                                               
in-river users and the commercial industry, he said.                                                                            
1:54:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked whether Mr.  Arno thinks seven is a                                                               
good number of board members or whether it should be nine.                                                                      
MR. ARNO  responded that from his  35 years of going  to Board of                                                               
Fisheries meetings,  seven good individuals appointed  by a fair-                                                               
minded governor,  and confirmed by the  legislature, provides the                                                               
opportunity for  the majority of  Alaskans to participate  in the                                                               
1:55:21 PM                                                                                                                    
PAUL   SHADURA  II,   spokesperson,  South   K-Beach  Independent                                                               
Fishermen's  Association, noted  that his  community organization                                                               
is  dedicated  to protecting  and  preserving  the Kasilof  River                                                               
system.   He said  the association participated  in the  Board of                                                               
Fisheries'  recent  Cook Inlet  regulatory  meeting  and did  not                                                               
leave with  all of  its concerns addressed.   However,  he added,                                                               
the association  believes that the  issues deliberated  upon were                                                               
discussed in an open, clear,  and transparent process.  The board                                                               
offered  considerable amount  of  time for  public testimony  and                                                               
additional  comments were  allowed to  clarify issues  within the                                                               
Committee  of  the  Whole.   He  further  related  that  advisory                                                               
committee representatives  were given  an opportunity  to express                                                               
the voice  of their communities,  although, because  of budgeting                                                               
constraints,  the committee  chairs informed  the representatives                                                               
that  they  should limit  their  time.    Board members  spent  a                                                               
considerable amount  of time discussing  and debating  several of                                                               
the  major overriding  management plans.   Mr.  Shadura said  his                                                               
association  believes  the  Board  of  Fisheries'  decisions  are                                                               
crafted to balance  and to adjust critical  management plans with                                                               
a  goal of  high  sustained yields.   The  board  is tasked  with                                                               
conserving  and  developing opportunities,  [maintaining]  strong                                                               
healthy productive  runs, and ensuring reasonable  access for all                                                               
MR.  SHADURA offered  his organization's  strong support  for the                                                               
confirmations  of John  Jensen, Reed  Morisky, and  Fritz Johnson                                                               
and said  the board  needs to  maintain knowledgeable  members in                                                               
order to  properly function  in the  field of  action.   He added                                                               
that  his organization  requests the  legislature to  continue to                                                               
properly  fund   this  viable  open  meeting   process,  and  the                                                               
functions of  the advisory committees.   The public  process must                                                               
be maintained  so that  Board of Fisheries  members and  ADFG can                                                               
properly   address  the   local   needs  and   concerns  of   the                                                               
communities.   The  people  are  the real  experts  and the  real                                                               
stewards of  the resource, he  said in conclusion, and  they need                                                               
to  have  an  open  access  to regulators,  which  is  one  clear                                                               
definition of the public trust.                                                                                                 
1:58:02 PM                                                                                                                    
JERRY  MCCUNE, staff  and president,  United Fishermen  of Alaska                                                               
(UFA), offered UFA's support for  the appointments of John Jensen                                                               
and Fritz  Johnson to  the Board  of Fisheries,  and said  UFA is                                                               
neutral on the  appointment of Reed Morisky.   He noted, however,                                                               
that he  personally knows Mr.  Morisky and  thinks he has  done a                                                               
good job.   He drew  attention to  UFA's letter contained  in the                                                               
committee packet.                                                                                                               
1:59:09 PM                                                                                                                    
SAMANTHA WEINSTEIN,  executive director, Southeast  Alaska Guides                                                               
Organization (SEAGO),  testified that her  nonprofit organization                                                               
advocates   for  reasonable   laws,  regulations,   and  policies                                                               
affecting guided  sport fishing to protect  the sustainability of                                                               
member businesses and fishery resources.   Southeast guided sport                                                               
fishing has  quickly grown  over the  decades to  ensure visitors                                                               
and residents a positive and  safe fishing opportunity, she said.                                                               
As  the industry  has  grown, so  too has  the  number of  sport-                                                               
related issues coming before the Board of Fisheries.                                                                            
MS. WEINSTEIN  expressed SEAGO's appreciation for  Reed Morisky's                                                               
representation of the guided sport  fishing industry on the board                                                               
and  his facilitation  of the  other  members' understandings  of                                                               
this industry.                                                                                                                  
MS.  WEINSTEIN  also  expressed  SEAGO's  appreciation  for  John                                                               
Jensen's  experience,  leadership,  and  extensive  knowledge  of                                                               
various Southeast Alaska fisheries.   She noted it can take years                                                               
to learn and understand the  complicated regulations and policies                                                               
affecting  the fishery  resources, habitat,  subsistence fishing,                                                               
guided and  unguided sport fishing, and  commercial fishing, even                                                               
with a background as an angler.                                                                                                 
MS.  WEINSTEIN recognized  the time,  effort, and  responsibility                                                               
required  to  serve  on  the  Board of  Fisheries  and  said  Mr.                                                               
Morisky,  Mr. Jensen,  and Mr.  Johnson  have stepped  up to  the                                                               
plate  to  understand  the  concerns   of,  and  work  with,  all                                                               
contributors and user  groups.  She added she  is looking forward                                                               
to  continuing  collaboration  in  the  coming  Southeast  Alaska                                                               
finfish meetings,  given that these resources  are being borrowed                                                               
from future generations.  She  offered SEAGO's support for moving                                                               
the three appointees forward for confirmation.                                                                                  
2:01:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK RICHARDS disclosed he is  the executive director of Resident                                                               
Hunters of Alaska, but that today  he is testifying solely on his                                                               
own behalf.  Based on his  participation in meetings, he said the                                                               
Board  of  Fisheries  is  10  times  more  complicated,  and  the                                                               
decisions  much more  controversial, than  what happens  with the                                                               
Board of Game.  He related that  he has come to know Reed Morisky                                                               
mostly from attending the  Fairbanks advisory committee meetings.                                                               
Even  when there  are  no fisheries  issues  before the  advisory                                                               
committee, he  continued, Mr. Morisky still  attends the meetings                                                               
to hear  opinions and stay informed,  which is one reason  why he                                                               
is testifying  in support  of Mr.  Morisky's reappointment.   Mr.                                                               
Morisky is knowledgeable, objective,  puts the resource first, he                                                               
added, and is a great asset to  the Board of Fisheries.  He urged                                                               
that Mr. Morisky's appointment be advanced and confirmed.                                                                       
2:02:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  closed public testimony after  ascertaining no one                                                               
else wished to testify.                                                                                                         
2:02:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON moved  to advance  the confirmations  of John                                                               
Jensen,   Reed   Morisky,   and  Frederick   ("Fritz")   Johnson,                                                               
appointees to  the Board of  Fisheries, to the joint  session for                                                               
consideration.    The  House  Resources  Standing  Committee  has                                                               
reviewed the  qualifications of  these appointees,  he continued,                                                               
and  recommends their  names  be forwarded  to  joint session  as                                                               
noted.   He  noted this  does not  reflect intent  by any  of the                                                               
committee  members  to vote  for  or  against  any of  the  three                                                               
individuals  during  any further  sessions  for  the purposes  of                                                               
their confirmations.   There  being no  objection to  the motion,                                                               
the three confirmations were advanced.                                                                                          
[Co-Chair Tarr passed the gavel to Co-Chair Josephson.]                                                                         
2:03:44 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 2:03 p.m. to 2:06 p.m.                                                                       
          HB 155-AK MENTAL HEALTH TRUST LAND EXCHANGE                                                                       
2:06:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that  the next  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE BILL NO. 155,  "An Act authorizing a land exchange                                                               
in which  certain Alaska  mental health  trust land  is exchanged                                                               
for certain  national forest  land and relating  to the  costs of                                                               
the exchange; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
2:06:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  moved to adopt  the committee substitute  (CS) for                                                               
HB  155, Version  30-LS0335\U, Bullard,  3/8/17, [as  the working                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                            
2:07:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DAN   ORTIZ,  Alaska  State   Legislature,  prime                                                               
sponsor of  HB 155,  noted there  have been  no changes  from the                                                               
original bill that he presented to the committee on 3/27/17.                                                                    
2:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  requested a summary  of the changes  from the                                                               
original bill that are made by Version U.                                                                                       
CAROLINE  HAMP, Staff,  Representative  Dan  Ortiz, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of  Representative Ortiz,  sponsor, first                                                               
provided a sectional analysis of HB  155, and then an overview of                                                               
the  changes in  Version  U.   She explained  that  section 1  in                                                               
Version U discusses  the purposes of the Act.   Section 2 details                                                               
that  the parties  are subject  to  these provisions  and not  AS                                                               
38.05.801.    Section  3  describes the  lands  included  in  the                                                               
proposed  trade,   and  she  said  maps   depicting  those  lands                                                               
accompany  the bill.    Section  4 provides  a  timeline for  the                                                               
proposed exchange and prioritizes  which lands would be exchanged                                                               
at what point in time.   Section 5 provides the process that will                                                               
occur should the final appraisal  find the values of the exchange                                                               
not  to be  equal.   Section 6  provides circumstances  that will                                                               
need to  occur in  order to  make the Act  effective.   Section 7                                                               
provides an effective date.                                                                                                     
MS. HAMP  next discussed the  changes between the  original bill,                                                               
Version 0,  and the CS,  Version U.   She explained  the original                                                               
bill  is dated  2/27/17,  and  Version U  is  dated  3/8/17.   On                                                               
3/3/17,  the  sponsor  received updated  maps  from  the  federal                                                               
legislation.   [To comport with  federal legislation],  Version U                                                               
takes  out  parcel  NB-2,  which   was  a  map  in  the  original                                                               
legislation, and  changes the  acreage.   Pages 3,  4, and  5 [of                                                               
Version U]  detail the  changes that  are made  in regard  to the                                                               
maps and  the acreage.   In response  to Co-Chair  Josephson, she                                                               
noted that  a summary  of changes was  provided in  the committee                                                               
2:10:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  how   much  was  the  change  in                                                               
MS.  HAMP replied  that  the total  acreage  changed from  18,274                                                               
acres  to 18,313  acres exchanged  for  federal lands.   For  the                                                               
Alaska  Mental  Health Trust,  the  acreage  changed from  20,580                                                               
[acres] to 20,645 [acres].                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  inquired whether the changes  are in the                                                               
state's favor.                                                                                                                  
MS.  HAMP responded  the  changes were  made  to accommodate  the                                                               
lands [the state] has so they  were accurate to the maps that are                                                               
now  had.   It  does not  necessarily mean  the  value the  state                                                               
incurred is more or less, it will be an equal value exchange.                                                                   
2:11:42 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  noted that committee members  don't have                                                               
the aforementioned maps before them.                                                                                            
MS. HAMP answered the maps are  on the Bill Action Status Inquiry                                                               
System (BASIS).                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  offered his understanding that  these are the                                                               
adjustments  to  the  maps that  [were  previously]  provided  to                                                               
committee members.                                                                                                              
MS.  HAMP replied  the  new and  most recent  maps  that go  with                                                               
Version U  have written at the  bottom, "Map Revision Date  - 03-                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  ORTIZ asked  Representative Drummond  whether she                                                               
has the [3/3/17] maps.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND responded  that there are no  maps in the                                                               
supporting documentation for this meeting.                                                                                      
MS.  HAMP advised  it should  be titled  "additional documents                                                                  
2:13:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH  noted the  land  exchange  would be  about                                                               
20,000 acres and inquired what an  acre of forested land would be                                                               
worth versus an acre of unforested land.                                                                                        
MS. HAMP deferred to Mr. Wyn Menefee.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  opined it is  a shame  that there is  not a                                                               
successful timber industry on the  [Tongass National Forest].  He                                                               
said he  is curious as  to what the  economic value would  be for                                                               
the timber resource included within the exchange.                                                                               
WYN  MENEFEE, deputy  director, Alaska  Mental Health  Trust Land                                                               
Office,  Office  of  the   Commissioner,  Department  of  Natural                                                               
Resources (DNR),  responded the  value of  the timber  depends on                                                               
whether it  is old growth or  spruce or cedar -  different values                                                               
are associated  with the different  timber types.  He  offered to                                                               
provide  the committee  with a  chart showing  these assessments,                                                               
saying he doesn't  have the chart with him and  so cannot provide                                                               
the exact amount per acre at this moment.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH restated his question.                                                                                     
MR. MENEFEE  answered he doesn't  have this information  with him                                                               
and doesn't want to provide an incorrect answer.                                                                                
2:15:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  offered   his  understanding  that  the                                                               
Alaska  Mental  Health Trust  ("the  Trust")  has many  different                                                               
types of land.   Some has mining on it and  some can be developed                                                               
with subdivisions.  He asked whether  any of the land included in                                                               
the bill is for anything other than timber.                                                                                     
MR. MENEFEE replied that when  the Trust receives lands the lands                                                               
do  not have  any restriction  for the  type of  use.   The Trust                                                               
could use the lands for  subdivisions, mining, or timber harvest.                                                               
Trust [managers] maximize the revenue  and try to use the highest                                                               
and best use to produce the best revenue.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  inquired whether all  the aforementioned                                                               
aspects are  taken into  account or just  the timber  aspect when                                                               
trying  to figure  out the  value of  what is  being traded.   He                                                               
presumed there  are many  ways to measure  the economic  value of                                                               
one  piece of  property versus  another piece  and said  he would                                                               
like to know how this particular one is being done.                                                                             
MR.  MENEFEE  responded that  two  different  values are  in  the                                                               
federal legislation.  The United  States Appraisal Standards must                                                               
be  followed, he  said,  as well  as  another national  appraisal                                                               
standard.   It takes into account  the highest and best  use that                                                               
the appraiser feels  the land can be used for  and then values it                                                               
accordingly.  So,  if the appraiser sees that timber  is going to                                                               
be the  highest and best use,  it will be valued  for the timber.                                                               
If  the  appraiser  sees  that  subdivision  development  is  the                                                               
highest and best  use, it will be valued for  that.  He explained                                                               
that the  reason Ms.  Hamp said  the acreage  is not  critical is                                                               
because that  is not  representing what  actually gets  traded at                                                               
the end.   After  the appraisals  are done it  will be  seen what                                                               
makes the equal  value in land exchange and the  acreages will be                                                               
adjusted accordingly.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER inquired whether  this is done through an                                                               
MR.  MENEFEE  answered the  U.S.  Forest  Service (USFS)  has  to                                                               
contract,  or write  the appraisal  instructions, and  the Alaska                                                               
Mental Health Trust Land Office pays  for it.  [The work] is done                                                               
by people who are approved to do federal appraisals.                                                                            
2:18:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  offered his understanding that  there is                                                               
HB  155   and  a  similar   federal  concurrent   resolution  [in                                                               
Congress], and  that moving HB 155  is going to be  contingent on                                                               
the federal  legislation passing.   He offered  his understanding                                                               
that  Version U  is  just  topographical, and  said  that in  his                                                               
opinion [the change]  in acreage is miniscule.   He asked whether                                                               
he is correct  in understanding that passing HB 155  is part of a                                                               
synergy that is going on.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ affirmed Representative Westlake's summary.                                                                
2:19:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON opened public testimony on HB 155.                                                                           
2:19:53 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID LANDIS,  mayor, Ketchikan  Gateway Borough,  testified that                                                               
the  Ketchikan Gateway  Borough has  repeatedly and  consistently                                                               
supported  the land  exchange legislation  referenced  in HB  155                                                               
because it  is a win-win-win  proposition.  It  is a win  for the                                                               
region's timber  industry, he said,  because it is  important for                                                               
Southeast  Alaska's economy  to  provide a  consistent supply  of                                                               
timber for those jobs that  are directly involved in the industry                                                               
as  well as  the affiliated  businesses that  are vendors  to the                                                               
timber industry.                                                                                                                
MAYOR LANDIS stated  the exchange is also a win  for the citizens                                                               
of Ketchikan  and the  over one million  tourists who  will visit                                                               
Ketchikan  each  year  because  there   are  Trust  lands  to  be                                                               
exchanged directly behind Ketchikan on  Deer Mountain.  There are                                                               
also  Trust  lands  to  be exchanged  on  Gravina  Island  across                                                               
Tongass Narrows, he  pointed out.  These are  major viewsheds for                                                               
the community and the Deer  Mountain parcel also has very popular                                                               
trails  used  by locals  and  visitors.    There is  very  little                                                               
support  in Ketchikan  to log  these areas,  he related,  and the                                                               
swap would protect these lands  and provide other lands much more                                                               
suitable for timber sales.                                                                                                      
MAYOR LANDIS  further said  the exchange  is also  a win  for the                                                               
Alaska  Mental   Health  Trust  because  Ketchikan,   like  other                                                               
communities,  has  citizens  who suffer  from  mental  illnesses,                                                               
substance abuse,  and other disorders.   The Trust  needs revenue                                                               
to fund  those efforts  and this  [proposed] land  exchange would                                                               
provide that revenue.   This exchange, he said  in conclusion, is                                                               
as close as one can get to a win for everyone involved.                                                                         
2:22:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHERYL FECKO  testified in opposition  to HB  155.  She  said she                                                               
has worked, recreated,  and harvested local foods  from Prince of                                                               
Wales Island and feels strongly  about maintaining her quality of                                                               
life.   While she  understands why  Ketchikan and  Petersburg are                                                               
opposed to logging  by the Trust in the areas  that are important                                                               
to them,  she said she  doesn't understand why people  feel there                                                               
would be  no opposition  to exchanging that  land for  parcels on                                                               
Prince of Wales  Island near the communities  of Naukati, Hollis,                                                               
and other  places on  the island.   She  said the  Trust's recent                                                               
[timber]  sale in  the Control  Lake area,  a popular  recreation                                                               
site in central  Prince of Wales Island, is a  perfect example of                                                               
the in-your-face clear-cut logging  that would concern the people                                                               
of Ketchikan and Petersburg if it were done in their backyard.                                                                  
MS.  FECKO noted  that  Prince of  Wales  Island has  experienced                                                               
extensive  logging  over  the  last 50-plus  years  and  now  the                                                               
challenge is  to retain a  quality of  life and a  healthy island                                                               
ecosystem as the public land  on Prince of Wales Island continues                                                               
to be  carved into  private- and  state-owned lots.   She  is not                                                               
opposed to  the timber  industry or  to the  needs of  the Alaska                                                               
Mental Health Trust,  she added, and hopes a way  can be found to                                                               
do things a bit differently.   She said she would like the bill's                                                               
sponsor, the  House Resources Standing Committee,  and the people                                                               
of Ketchikan  and Petersburg to  know that she, too,  cares about                                                               
the place where she lives.                                                                                                      
2:24:08 PM                                                                                                                    
DENNIS WATSON, mayor,  City of Craig, testified in  support of HB
155.   He said it  is important for  Prince of Wales  Island, the                                                               
timber industry,  and the  island's largest  sawmill.   Many jobs                                                               
are tied  up with this and  this [land] exchange has  been on the                                                               
table for  years.  There has  been plenty of time  for working on                                                               
the  parcels that  were  finally selected  for  the exchange,  he                                                               
continued,  and it  is time  to  move forward  with getting  this                                                               
issue settled.                                                                                                                  
MAYOR  WATSON said  Viking Lumber's  sawmill in  Klawock is  huge                                                               
because it  has a year-round  payroll in  an area where  jobs are                                                               
really scarce.   Contracts with  the sawmill provide  millions of                                                               
dollars.  He noted he has lived  in Craig for 42 years and worked                                                               
at the  sawmill during his  first two years.   The sawmill  is an                                                               
important part  of the economy,  he said,  and passing HB  155 is                                                               
very  important to  the mill's  existence.   Actions by  the last                                                               
federal  administration  cut  back  on the  amount  of  available                                                               
federal timber  and right now  the exchange is a  stopgap measure                                                               
to keep the sawmill and the island's economy going.                                                                             
2:26:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  BIRCH stated  he shares  Mayor Watson's  interest                                                               
and conviction  regarding the importance  of the  timber industry                                                               
in Southeast  Alaska and the  Craig community.  He  asked whether                                                               
there are  other avenues or  venues in which the  legislature can                                                               
be supportive of an expanded timber industry in the state.                                                                      
MAYOR WATSON replied  that a state forest is needed  and said the                                                               
infinite litigation and ridiculousness  of trying to get anything                                                               
done has  been an impediment.   He allowed that in  the beginning                                                               
he thought a state forest concept  was foolish, but now he thinks                                                               
it  is the  only  way  and he  hopes  the  state legislature  and                                                               
administration will  follow up on  it because it is  unknown what                                                               
will happen with federal administrations.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH said he supports the [proposed] land trade.                                                                
2:27:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON  offered  his understanding  that  there  are                                                               
multiple state  forests in southern  Southeast Alaska.   He asked                                                               
whether Mayor Watson wants a larger state forest.                                                                               
MAYOR  WATSON responded  yes, it  is  a large  selection that  is                                                               
being talked about  so there would be an ample  supply of timber.                                                               
Most of  the people following  this issue, he  continued, believe                                                               
the transition that the last  federal administration wanted to do                                                               
immediately is  about a 20-year  process.  A miniscule  amount of                                                               
timber is  being taken  today as  compared to  the days  when 600                                                               
million [board feet]  was being cut.  It should  be spread around                                                               
a lot more  than it presently is, he said,  but the current focus                                                               
is on  what can happen right  now and hopefully this  exchange is                                                               
the  bridge to  the future.   State  forests are  available right                                                               
now, he said, but they are a small, patchwork quilt.                                                                            
2:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND noted  she has  been to  the area  where                                                               
Mayor Watson lives  and said it is a spectacular  place.  Drawing                                                               
attention to the maps provided  by the sponsor, she observed that                                                               
the  two [proposed]  areas  on  Prince of  Wales  Island are  the                                                               
Naukati and Hollis  areas.  She inquired whether  these two areas                                                               
would benefit the sawmill.                                                                                                      
MAYOR  WATSON replied  he doesn't  know if  anybody from  Naukati                                                               
works at  that, but the  answer is yes  that both areas  are very                                                               
important to making this happen.   Both areas are very high-value                                                               
timber selections,  he continued, and  both are places  that have                                                               
had timber harvest  off and on through several years.   Hollis is                                                               
one of the original spots  where the long-term [timber] contracts                                                               
started some 50 years ago.                                                                                                      
2:29:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REBECCA KNIGHT testified  that her opposition to HB  155 is based                                                               
on a variety of grounds.   A far better alternative, she said, is                                                               
a  federal  buyout of  the  Alaska  Mental Health  Trust's  lands                                                               
included in the  proposed exchange.  Such a  buyout would satisfy                                                               
the  Trust's mission  to improve  the lives  of beneficiaries  as                                                               
well as impacts to Petersburg  and Ketchikan area landowners, and                                                               
a buyout would  also avoid long-term and  massive landscape level                                                               
impacts elsewhere if the exchange is enacted.                                                                                   
MS.  KNIGHT pointed  out  that the  Alaska  Forest Resources  and                                                               
Practices  Act  governs  logging  on the  Trust's  lands.    This                                                               
antiquated law is far weaker  than federal regulations, she said.                                                               
For instance,  it has no  limit on the  size of clear-cuts.   She                                                               
related that in August [2016],  Paul Slenkamp of the Trust stated                                                               
that the Trust was "in  final negotiations with Viking Lumber for                                                               
all the  Prince of  Wales land  it would  get under  the exchange                                                               
legislation."   She urged there  be a clarification of  just what                                                               
these "final negotiations" entail.                                                                                              
MS. KNIGHT posited  that changing the action from  an exchange to                                                               
a federal buyout would lend  support on a congressional level and                                                               
would greatly improve its chances  of passage by reducing or even                                                               
eliminating  opposition, and  would  result  in no  environmental                                                               
harm.  Given a fair chance  of passage, she said, the Trust could                                                               
finalize the action much sooner  and with less expense for survey                                                               
and appraisal since only about  half the lands would be involved.                                                               
It also makes fiscal sense because  it would cost the Trust about                                                               
half the $6 million in cost  cited by the Trust for the exchange.                                                               
A  federal  buyout   of  the  Trust's  problematic   lands  is  a                                                               
reasonable solution,  she posited,  because Congress  created the                                                               
Trust and  endowed it  with lands to  support itself,  leading to                                                               
problems due  in part  to the controversial  nature of  the lands                                                               
selected.    She  further  noted   that  the  Petersburg  Borough                                                               
Assembly supports  the buyout option if  the exchange legislation                                                               
fails  to pass  Congress by  1/15/17.   In  response to  Co-Chair                                                               
Josephson, she agreed  to provide a copy of  the borough assembly                                                               
2:32:22 PM                                                                                                                    
LARRY EDWARDS  testified in opposition  to HB  155.  He  said the                                                               
bill is  unacceptable as written  because it trades one  very bad                                                               
problem for an  equally bad problem.  The problem  the bill would                                                               
create is explained in three  of the [written] comments on record                                                               
from the  [3/27/17] hearing that  were submitted by  Doug Rhodes,                                                               
by  Rebecca   Knight,  and  by   the  Greater   Southeast  Alaska                                                               
Conservation  Community (GSACC)  [under document  named, "HB  155                                                               
Public Comments. pdf"].   He urged the committee to  amend HB 155                                                               
to  authorize a  federal buyout  of the  problematic Trust  lands                                                               
instead  of  a land  exchange.    He  pointed out  that  Congress                                                               
established the  Trust and its  land endowment, which has  led to                                                               
the  current  dilemma.   Buying  out  these  18,000 acres  -  1.8                                                               
percent of the original million-acre  endowment - is a reasonable                                                               
and sellable solution, he posited.   The legislature's passage of                                                               
a bill  amended accordingly  would direct  Alaska's congressional                                                               
delegation to secure a buyout act.                                                                                              
MR. EDWARDS addressed testimony on  the bill that was provided by                                                               
the  Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust Land  Office  [3/27/17].    He                                                               
offered  his   belief  that   the  Trust's   testimony  blatantly                                                               
misinformed the committee  in several ways, the  details of which                                                               
he has  submitted to the committee  in writing.  For  example, he                                                               
explained,  the "brown"  map on  page 10  of the  Trust's written                                                               
testimony  either demonstrates  utter  incompetence on  Southeast                                                               
Alaska's  land management  issues, or  is an  outright lie.   The                                                               
brown  color  is  labeled,   "Natural  settings  with  old-growth                                                               
harvest  land  use designations,"  and  is  mostly overlain  with                                                               
cross-hatching to  indicate that this supposed  old-growth cannot                                                               
be  logged because  of the  Roadless Rule.   However,  he pointed                                                               
out, most of the brown is  not old-growth forest, or even forest,                                                               
at all.  Another  example on the same map is  the big brown block                                                               
near Juneau,  which is almost  entirely the Juneau Ice  Field and                                                               
high  alpine areas  - very,  very little  of that  brown is  old-                                                               
growth forest.   This same thing  occurs in the brown  area shown                                                               
on the  Chilkat Peninsula  across Lynn  Canal, he  continued, and                                                               
again in  the brown area  shown for the unforested  high mountain                                                               
spines of Chichagof and Baranof  islands.  This deception repeats                                                               
itself throughout much of the  brown-colored areas on the map, he                                                               
said, and  also in the  tan Wilderness  areas.  He  further noted                                                               
that these  same errors or  deceptions also carry through  to the                                                               
table on that map page.                                                                                                         
2:36:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  recalled  Mr. Edwards  referring  to  a                                                               
document provided by GSACC that is  three pages long with one map                                                               
and  which can  be  found on  BASIS.   She  further recalled  Mr.                                                               
Edwards referring to page 10 of  a similar document and asked Mr.                                                               
Edwards to  provide that  document or tell  the committee  how to                                                               
identify it.                                                                                                                    
MR. EDWARDS  replied that the document  is in the record  for the                                                               
committees [3/27/17  hearing of  HB 155] and  is provided  as two                                                               
different documents   one a PowerPoint  and one a PDF file.  Both                                                               
are Alaska  Mental Health Trust  documents, he said, and  are the                                                               
presentation provided on screen by Mr. Wyn Menefee.                                                                             
2:37:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE SALLEE  testified in opposition to  HB 155.  He  stated that                                                               
for three and  a half decades he has been  a self-employed owner-                                                               
operator of  a small sawmill,  as well as a  commercial fisherman                                                               
and  harvest diver.   Today  he is  representing himself  and his                                                               
lumber  customers in  opposition to  HB 155,  he said.   He  is a                                                               
logger by virtue  of needing logs for his sawmill  operation.  He                                                               
does not  fell trees; he takes  only dead and down  trees carried                                                               
to tidelands.  His brother was  a lifelong logger and a mentor to                                                               
MR. SALLEE said he has resided  on Gravina Island since 1956 when                                                               
his mother  began a homestead there.   Since 1956 he  has enjoyed                                                               
dozens of hunting expeditions on  the island for deer and grouse,                                                               
as well  as just hiking.   Therefore, he has  seen a lot  of what                                                               
went  on when  the Alaska  Mental Health  Trust began  logging on                                                               
Gravina Island  and, he noted, it  has not been pretty.   Way too                                                               
much  wood is  wasted,  he  reported, and  a  high percentage  of                                                               
felled commercially  viable timber is  left to rot.   The sawlogs                                                               
that are removed are primarily  exported in the round, leaving no                                                               
opportunity  for local  processing.   As  a  local sawmiller,  he                                                               
continued, he  gets numerous calls  for yellow cedar  lumber, but                                                               
yellow cedar  lumber does not  commonly get carried  to tidelands                                                               
where he  gets most  of his logs  from blowdowns  and landslides.                                                               
Furthermore,  he  recounted,  the  tops, cull  trees,  and  other                                                               
logging slash are neither removed from  the woods nor cut up into                                                               
smaller pieces so as to more quickly break down.                                                                                
MR.  SALLEE  stated  that  while   HB  155  takes  some  critical                                                               
timberlands  off the  chopping block,  for example  Deer Mountain                                                               
plus other lands near Petersburg  and communities, it does little                                                               
more than kick the  can down the road.  It  does nothing to clean                                                               
up the  current logging methods.   It does nothing to  keep local                                                               
timber for  processors near Ketchikan.   The best  option instead                                                               
of a land  trade, he urged, would be an  outright cash payment to                                                               
Alaska Mental  Health Trust  to buy off  Trust lands  with timber                                                               
interest.  He offered his  understanding that such a buyout could                                                               
be accomplished through the U.S. Forest Service.                                                                                
2:39:29 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY  FERRY,  deputy  director,  Southeast  Alaska  Conservation                                                               
Council  (SEACC), testified  that SEACC's  concern is  less about                                                               
the  specific  content of  HB  155  and  more about  the  overall                                                               
intent.  Specifically,  she explained, a handout  provided by the                                                               
Alaska  Mental Health  Trust  mentions  that a  main  goal is  to                                                               
promote the timber industry in  Southeast Alaska.  But, she said,                                                               
the  bill  sets up  a  "Catch  22".   The  Trust  is mandated  to                                                               
generate  revenue to  benefit its  beneficiaries.   However,  she                                                               
advised, selling  timber locally  tends to  not produce  the most                                                               
revenue.  This  was seen last year when the  legislature passed a                                                               
bill that allowed the state to  offer timber at a reduced cost if                                                               
it was sold  to instate processors because  they couldn't compete                                                               
with  export  markets.    So,  she continued,  if  one  seeks  to                                                               
increase the benefits to the  Trust, one would export that timber                                                               
because  in  the current  market  that  would generate  the  most                                                               
revenue.  To promote the timber  industry the Trust would have to                                                               
sell the timber at a reduced cost and therefore it's a Catch 22.                                                                
MS. FERRY addressed the earlier statement  that HB 155 would be a                                                               
win-win-win situation.   She said  it would be  a win for  some -                                                               
the folks who SEACC has worked  with for years to ensure that the                                                               
hillsides  in   Ketchikan  and   Petersburg  don't   get  logged.                                                               
However, she continued,  it is certainly not a win  for the folks                                                               
on  Prince of  Wales Island  where whole  areas would  be logged.                                                               
And,  it is  questionably a  win for  the Trust's  beneficiaries.                                                               
She said  SEACC believes  that other avenues  could be  looked at                                                               
for  resolving this  issue  and maximizing  the  benefits to  the                                                               
Trust, whether  that is the  federal buyout mentioned  earlier or                                                               
working with conservation buyers.                                                                                               
2:42:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON inquired  whether SEACC's  thesis is  that if                                                               
the Alaska Mental  Health Trust must maximize its  assets then it                                                               
would need to export [the timber] because that is more valuable.                                                                
MS. FERRY replied yes, under the current economics.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  offered his understanding that  export is not                                                               
the plan.                                                                                                                       
MS.  FERRY  concurred that  export  is  not  the plan;  the  bill                                                               
doesn't  necessarily achieve  that win-win-win  scenario that  is                                                               
being looked for.                                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  surmised that in terms  of conservation there                                                               
would be some  net gain in that existing Trust  holdings, such as                                                               
Deer Mountain, are vulnerable to  harvest now, as are the parcels                                                               
to  be  obtained, although  there  is  the  Roadless Rule  and  a                                                               
significant  slowdown.   [Under HB  155, Deer  Mountain and  some                                                               
places]  would be  conserved in  an easement  while other  places                                                               
would not.  He asked whether  he is correct in understanding that                                                               
there is a net protection of  timber, but noted he is saying this                                                               
without having walked this land and knowing what it looks like.                                                                 
MS. FERRY responded  that in his testimony, Mr.  Edwards spoke to                                                               
other areas of  land that were going to be  exchanged that didn't                                                               
have high  timber values  so weren't  likely to  be logged.   She                                                               
agreed there is  an element to what Co-Chair  Josephson spoke to,                                                               
but said it could  also be looked at other ways  and looking at a                                                               
different solution altogether might be the way to go.                                                                           
2:44:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  stated that the  carrots in his  garden are                                                               
vulnerable to  harvest every fall  when they finish growing.   He                                                               
inquired whether Ms.  Ferry sees any potential  for a sustainable                                                               
harvest and  management of timber  resources in  Southeast Alaska                                                               
for the benefit  of the region's people  and economy, recognizing                                                               
that there are a number of  years between reforestation.  He said                                                               
the Trust obviously sees it as a significant economic plus.                                                                     
MS. FERRY answered she does see that,  but said it is going to be                                                               
much different than was seen 20-30 years  ago.  It is going to be                                                               
small-scale artisan-type work, she said,  and old growth logs are                                                               
needed  for  that, which  is  something  Alaska can  produce  but                                                               
Oregon  and other  states  cannot  produce.   If  the old  growth                                                               
resource  is liquidated  now, and  whether it  is sold  to Viking                                                               
Lumber for a  reduced cost or exported for more  money, that [old                                                               
growth] wood  resource is going to  be gone; it is  not infinite.                                                               
The forest  will grow back, she  continued, but it will  take 300                                                               
years to  get to the state  of high-value old growth  timber that                                                               
can be used for such things as  guitar tops and totem poles.  She                                                               
related that  SEACC already  sees it  much smaller;  for example,                                                               
the current number of timber  jobs in Southeast Alaska represents                                                               
about one-half  of 1 percent  of the  region's jobs.   People are                                                               
still  operating from  20 or  30  years ago  when it  was a  much                                                               
bigger part of the economy, she  said, but the reality is that it                                                               
is less  than 1 percent  of the  current economy, and  while that                                                               
could change a little it would not be significantly.                                                                            
2:46:21 PM                                                                                                                    
VICTORIA  MCDONALD testified  she  has hiked  Deer Mountain  many                                                               
times and considers it a memorable  landmark and does not want to                                                               
see Deer Mountain logged for  Alaska Mental Health Trust funding.                                                               
Nor, she  continued, does she  want the  land trade to  shift the                                                               
cutting  to  Prince  of  Wales Island,  which  has  already  been                                                               
heavily impacted, as  has Revillagigedo Island.  If  the focus of                                                               
the  Trust is  to make  money, she  encourages state  and federal                                                               
officials to think and act  creatively and find another means for                                                               
providing money for  mental health.  She offered  her belief that                                                               
the men and  women who set aside these mental  health lands could                                                               
not  have imagined  the massive  clearcuts in  southern Southeast                                                               
Alaska.  This issue has been  debated for many years and needs to                                                               
be solved  using collaboration and  compromise.  As for  a viable                                                               
timber industry  in Southeast  Alaska, she said,  that is  a myth                                                               
that is repeated  over and over.  While there  are trees still on                                                               
the mountains,  the best and  viable timber has already  been cut                                                               
for  the pulp  mills or  shipped overseas.   The  timber industry                                                               
contributes  very little  to the  area's economy;  rather, it  is                                                               
fishing and tourism.                                                                                                            
2:48:00 PM                                                                                                                    
BOB  WEINSTEIN, spokesperson,  Save Deer  Mountain, testified  in                                                               
support of  HB 155.   The purpose  of the bill,  he noted,  is to                                                               
authorize the Alaska Mental Health  Trust to exchange some of its                                                               
landholdings with  the U.S. Forest  Service.  The  exchange would                                                               
involve Deer  Mountain, the iconic  backdrop of the  community of                                                               
Ketchikan.    He related  that  last  August and  thereafter  the                                                               
Trust's committees and  its board of directors voted  to log Deer                                                               
Mountain  as well  as  a sensitive  parcel  in Petersburg  unless                                                               
pending  federal legislation  to exchange  the parcels  with U.S.                                                               
Forest  Service  land  was  passed  by the  end  of  2016.    The                                                               
Ketchikan public  vehemently objected to the  board's decision to                                                               
harvest the  trees on  Deer Mountain and  the city,  borough, and                                                               
local tribal governments also all opposed the plan.                                                                             
MR.  WEINSTEIN  continued,  noting that  ultimately  the  Trust's                                                               
board rescinded  its action, regrouped,  and is now  working with                                                               
the   Alaska  congressional   delegation   on  federal   exchange                                                               
legislation,  which was  reintroduced in  the new  Congress.   He                                                               
offered  his   understanding  that  a  bill   by  Senator  [Lisa]                                                               
Murkowski  is  scheduled  for  mark-up   [3/30/17]  and  will  be                                                               
reported out of  committee.  For this reason, he  said, the House                                                               
Resources  Standing  Committee  needs to  move  state-authorizing                                                               
legislation  through the  committee process  and onward  to final                                                               
consideration by  the House of  Representatives so that  when the                                                               
federal legislation passes the exchange  can be implemented in an                                                               
orderly and timely fashion.                                                                                                     
MR. WEINSTEIN addressed  the earlier question about  the value of                                                               
some of the  parcels.  He reported that the  Alaska Mental Health                                                               
Trust Land  Office has estimated it  would get revenues of  up to                                                               
about $3 million from the  Petersburg parcel and about $2 million                                                               
from the 898 acres on Deer  Mountain.  He offered his belief that                                                               
if a  value-for-value trade was  done, the Trust would  expect to                                                               
get the  same kind of revenue  from the U.S. Forest  Service land                                                               
and other parcels that are being considered for exchange.                                                                       
2:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES   WOOD,    spokesperson,   Mitkof    Highway   Homeowners                                                               
Association (MHHA), testified  in favor of HB 155.   He said MHHA                                                               
is  a  group  of  95   Petersburg  homeowners  living  below  and                                                               
commuting along State  Highway 7, the Mitkof  Highway, which lies                                                               
at the foot  of the Trust's demonstrably  steep unstable hillside                                                               
parcels.  Soils  across a majority of the Trust's  parcels are of                                                               
concern to MHHA, he reported,  because U.S. Forest Service (USFS)                                                               
orthophotographic  maps  show  them  as  being  landslide  hazard                                                               
soils.  The  majority of these parcels exceed  the USFS standards                                                               
pertaining to  logging.   Mr. Wood further  pointed out  that the                                                               
Mitkof Highway corridor below the  Trust parcels in question have                                                               
also been analyzed  and mapped as a landslide hazard  zone by the                                                               
state's Division  of Forestry's  Landslide Science  and Technical                                                               
Committee.  He said the Division  of Forestry has no criteria for                                                               
best  management practices  specific  to  logging steep  unstable                                                               
slopes within  inhabited landslide  hazard areas.   If  the Trust                                                               
were to  log these slopes  it would do  so under the  guidance of                                                               
the Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act.                                                                                  
MR.  WOOD  stated  that logging  within  an  inhabited  landslide                                                               
hazard area  is unwise  as well as  inconsistent with  the public                                                               
interest and  the maximum benefit to  people.  The sole  focus of                                                               
MHHA over the  past 11 years has been entirely  on public safety,                                                               
he related.   Never once  has MHHA mentioned  viewshed, community                                                               
backdrop, local  recreation opportunities, wildlife  corridor, or                                                               
tourism,  though   each  of   these  issues   present  reasonable                                                               
arguments in favor of the land  exchange.  Nor, he continued, has                                                               
MHHA  offered  commentary  on  the  Trust  lands  next  to  other                                                               
communities or the USFS lands involved in the exchange.                                                                         
MR. WOOD said logging the slopes  above the homes of MHHA members                                                               
runs the  risk of  accelerated landslide  activity, and  the MHHA                                                               
has  absolutely no  confidence that  the  Division of  Forestry's                                                               
best management practices and  guidelines will provide sufficient                                                               
safeguards  to  protect homes  and  property  from unwise  timber                                                               
harvest.   Conversely, he continued,  MHHA does expect  that USFS                                                               
management  of the  hillside will  entail  other criteria,  which                                                               
will ensure that  public safety will not be  impacted by logging.                                                               
The committee may also wish to  consider that the majority of the                                                               
population in Southeast Alaska resides  in close proximity to the                                                               
Trust  lands involved  with this  land  exchange, he  added.   As                                                               
such,  for any  number of  reasons the  parcels are  clearly more                                                               
beneficial to be left in  their natural state for multiple-use by                                                               
the public, which  is more likely to occur  under USFS guidelines                                                               
and standards.  He urged the committee to support HB 155.                                                                       
2:53:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CYNTHIA LAGOUDAKIS, vice-mayor,  Petersburg Borough, testified in                                                               
favor of HB  155.  She said the bill  represents a 10-year effort                                                               
by the  residents of  Petersburg and  Ketchikan, the  U.S. Forest                                                               
Service,  and the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  to affect  a land                                                               
exchange  within   the  Petersburg   Borough  and   elsewhere  in                                                               
Southeast Alaska.   The Petersburg  Borough seeks to  protect the                                                               
natural   resources   within   the  borough's   boundaries,   she                                                               
continued, and especially the lives,  property, and peace of mind                                                               
of those  borough residents  who live in  close proximity  to the                                                               
current Trust  lands that are  under consideration.   The borough                                                               
has  concerns for  the downstream  and downslope  effects of  any                                                               
potential  timber  harvest  in   this  area  given  the  credible                                                               
scientific information regarding landslides and other hazards.                                                                  
VICE-MAYOR  Lagoudakis  noted  that especially  in  this  current                                                               
fiscal climate  the Alaska  Mental Health  Trust must  manage its                                                               
resources  for   financial  efficiencies  to  best   achieve  its                                                               
mission.  Expediting  the land exchange outlined in  HB 155 would                                                               
help  significantly in  realizing those  efficiencies, she  said.                                                               
An exchange  of Trust lands for  USFS lands identified in  HB 155                                                               
would  meet   those  objectives   to  the  satisfaction   of  the                                                               
Petersburg Borough  and its residents,  as well as  other parties                                                               
affected  by this  agreement.   To that  end, she  concluded, the                                                               
borough concurs with and encourages passage of HB 155.                                                                          
2:55:26 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at ease.                                                                                             
2:55:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON removed  his objection to the  adoption of the                                                               
CS [for HB 155], Version U, as the working document.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON closed public testimony.                                                                                     
There  being  no further  objection,  Version  U was  before  the                                                               
2:56:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE BIRCH  stated that  as a  resource-inclined person                                                               
he  is thrilled  to  see  this initiative  by  the Alaska  Mental                                                               
Health  Trust and  the federal  [agency] working  to make  this a                                                               
reality.  He estimated that at  $2 million for almost 1,000 acres                                                               
[in Ketchikan] and $3 million  for 3,000 acres in Petersburg, the                                                               
average  is  between  $1,000  and $2,000  per  acre  in  realized                                                               
revenues from the harvest.   As a sustainable industry, where the                                                               
wood product  can be harvested  and then the  regrowth harvested,                                                               
this is  a great effort, he  continued.  The mapping  is detailed                                                               
and helpful,  and it sounds  like a win-win from  the standpoints                                                               
of  the communities,  the public,  and the  Alaska Mental  Health                                                               
2:57:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  recognized the conflict brought  up by Ms.                                                               
Ferry and  asked what could be  done to assure that  the citizens                                                               
of  Southeast Alaska  gain the  maximum benefit  possible through                                                               
local processing.   He requested  Mr. Menefee to respond  to this                                                               
as well as to the assertion about a high degree of wastage.                                                                     
MR. MENEFEE  replied that there  are different  standards between                                                               
state harvest  and federal  harvest; the  certain number  of logs                                                               
gotten out of a tree  varies from state to federal [regulations].                                                               
But,  he continued,  all  state  laws are  followed.   The  Trust                                                               
believes it  does receive fair  revenue [from the exchange].   He                                                               
acknowledged  every  single  log  does   not  get  cut  to  every                                                               
satisfaction.   Something could potentially  be worked  out where                                                               
somebody comes  in and can  cut more  in certain situations.   In                                                               
regard to  the issue that the  Trust will ship the  logs overseas                                                               
versus cut  locally, he said  it is in  the best interest  of the                                                               
Trust to  ensure it has  customers that will purchase  its timber                                                               
because the Trust will make revenue  off of it.  State laws guide                                                               
how  the  Trust  can  sell  the  timber,  both  commercially  and                                                               
negotiated.   The  Trust will  take into  full consideration  the                                                               
issue that it needs its  market purchasers along with the revenue                                                               
that the  Trust needs.   So, he added,  it is a  balancing thing,                                                               
and the  Trust will design  its timber sales accordingly  to take                                                               
that into account.                                                                                                              
3:00:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER opined that there  is a certain amount of                                                               
economic value  to be  gained in keeping  jobs local  and selling                                                               
things  local,  rather than  selling  overseas.   He  said  other                                                               
things must be  taken into account besides the price  tag of what                                                               
a board  is worth,  and that has  a bearing on  how to  value the                                                               
weight of this as far as an economic value for the local people.                                                                
3:01:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO said  he  has no  doubt  the sponsor  is                                                               
doing this in  the best interest of his community.   He noted the                                                               
backup   documentation   from  local   government   organizations                                                               
composed  of elected  officials, and  said these  resolutions and                                                               
letters are  important to  him because  he is  a big  believer in                                                               
local government and local control.   He stated he personally has                                                               
an issue  with any land  sales to the federal  government because                                                               
over 150  million acres  in Alaska are  in parks,  monuments, and                                                               
preserves, plus  another 50 million  acres are controlled  by the                                                               
U.S.  Bureau of  Land  Management and  the  U.S. Forest  Service.                                                               
Therefore,  he continued,  the  federal  government controls  200                                                               
million acres of the 363 million  acres available in the state of                                                               
Alaska.  State ownership and  keeping land in [the state's] hands                                                               
are important, he  opined.  The Alaska Mental  Health Trust looks                                                               
at  health  overall and  that  could  also  be  the health  of  a                                                               
community.   A reasonable economy  in a community  provides local                                                               
jobs and  makes things better  and healthier for everyone  in the                                                               
3:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  moved  to  report  CS for  HB  155,  Version  30-                                                               
LS0335\U,  Bullard,  3/8/17,  out of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying  fiscal note.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  155(RES)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
3:03:48 PM                                                                                                                    
The House  Resources Standing Committee  meeting was  recessed at                                                               
3:03 p.m., to be continued at 5:00 p.m.                                                                                         
5:11:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON called the  House Resources Standing Committee                                                               
meeting back to order  at 5:11 p.m.  Present at  the call back to                                                               
order  were  Representatives   Josephson,  Tarr,  Parish,  Birch,                                                               
Talerico, and Westlake.                                                                                                         
        HB 129-FISH & GAME: OFFENSES;LICENSES;PENALTIES                                                                     
5:11:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON announced  that  the last  order of  business                                                               
would be HOUSE  BILL NO. 129, "An Act relating  to sport fishing,                                                               
hunting,  or trapping  licenses,  tags, or  permits; relating  to                                                               
penalties  for  certain  sport  fishing,  hunting,  and  trapping                                                               
license violations;  relating to restrictions on  the issuance of                                                               
sport   fishing,  hunting,   and   trapping  licenses;   creating                                                               
violations and  amending fines and  restitution for  certain fish                                                               
and  game  offenses;  creating   an  exemption  from  payment  of                                                               
restitution  for certain  unlawful takings  of big  game animals;                                                               
relating to commercial fishing  violations; allowing lost federal                                                               
matching  funds   from  the  Pittman   -  Robertson,   Dingell  -                                                               
Johnson/Wallop -  Breaux programs to  be included in an  order of                                                               
restitution;  adding  a  definition  of  'electronic  form';  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
5:12:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR  BERNARD  CHASTAIN,  deputy director,  Division  of  Alaska                                                               
Wildlife Troopers (AWT), Department  of Public Safety, introduced                                                               
HB 129  [on behalf of Governor  Walker].  Major Chastain  said HB
129 accomplishes  four primary goals.   First, he  explained, the                                                               
bill would allow  for issuing a correctable citation  to a person                                                               
who  does not  have the  appropriate sport  fishing, hunting,  or                                                               
trapping  license in  his  or  her actual  possession.   This  is                                                               
similar  to  [citations  issued for]  correctable  headlights  or                                                               
correctable vehicle insurance.   Second, he said,  the bill would                                                               
make  it  unlawful  for  a  person to  obtain  a  sport  fishing,                                                               
hunting, or  trapping license if that  person has had his  or her                                                               
rights to engage in those  activities revoked or suspended in any                                                               
other  state, and  including Alaska.   Third,  he continued,  the                                                               
bill  would increase  restitution amounts  for unlawfully  taking                                                               
big game  animals and would increase  strict liability commercial                                                               
fishing fines for first, second,  and third offenses.  Fourth, he                                                               
stated,  the majority  of the  bill  would standardize  penalties                                                               
within Title  16 and  would create  an option  for charging  as a                                                               
class A misdemeanor,  which most are already but  this would also                                                               
give troopers an option for charging as a violation offense.                                                                    
5:14:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN explained that section 1  of HB 129 would amend AS                                                               
16.05.330(a)  to  include  the   word  "permit"  in  addition  to                                                               
"license" and "tag"  for purposes of clarifying  the proper types                                                               
of  documentation  a  person  must  have in  his  or  her  actual                                                               
possession.    Thus,  a  person  would have  to  have  a  permit,                                                               
license, and tag in his  or her actual possession.  Additionally,                                                               
section 1 would renumber [the  activities listed in] 1 through 5.                                                               
They are renumbered, he said, because  1 and 2 are sport offenses                                                               
and 3, 4, and 5 are considered commercial activities.                                                                           
MAJOR CHASTAIN stated that section  2 would amend AS 16.05.330(d)                                                               
to make  it unlawful for  a person  to purchase a  sport fishing,                                                               
hunting, or  trapping license if his  or her rights to  engage in                                                               
those  activities have  been revoked  or suspended  in "this  or"                                                               
another  state.    Current  statute directs  that  a  person  who                                                               
applies  for a  sport fishing,  hunting, or  trapping license  or                                                               
other  permit or  tag issued  under  this section,  shall sign  a                                                               
statement  that  his  or  her  right  to  obtain  or  exercise  a                                                               
privilege  is   not  revoked  or  suspended   in  another  state.                                                               
Surprisingly,  he  pointed out,  this  statute  does not  include                                                               
Alaska;  adding the  words "this  or" makes  the statute  include                                                               
5:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  directed attention  to the bill  on page                                                               
2, line 7 which read:                                                                                                           
     (5)  control of nuisance wild birds and nuisance wild                                                                      
     small mammals for compensation.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  said  in  villages,  and  sometimes  in                                                               
Kotzebue,  there  are  bird  strikes with  planes  and  he  asked                                                               
whether  this provision  would make  it illegal  for a  person to                                                               
scare off  nuisance birds when  someone else buys the  shells for                                                               
this purpose, but does not  compensate the person for scaring off                                                               
the birds.                                                                                                                      
MAJOR CHASTAIN replied  the requirement states that  a license or                                                               
permit is required in order to  do that activity.  While troopers                                                               
do not  encounter this very  often, there  are folks who  do that                                                               
around the state for compensation.   There are businesses that do                                                               
this,  he continued,  and they  must  have that  permit from  the                                                               
Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG).                                                                                        
MAJOR CHASTAIN resumed  his sectional analysis.   He said section                                                               
3  would amend  AS 16.05.330  by adding  three subsections.   The                                                               
first  proposed  new  subsection  would  make  it  a  correctable                                                               
offense by providing  that a person charged with  failing to have                                                               
the appropriate  sport fishing, hunting,  or trapping  license in                                                               
his or  her actual possession  may not  be convicted if  no later                                                               
than  30 days  after  the  issuance of  the  citation the  person                                                               
produces a license previously issued  to that individual that was                                                               
valid  at the  time of  the  offense.   The official  correctable                                                               
citation would  be brought in  to any  office of the  Division of                                                               
Alaska State  Troopers, Department  of Public Safety,  within the                                                               
state, it  would be signed off  within 30 days, and  it would not                                                               
go on the record.  It  would basically be considered a warning to                                                               
the person  for not having  a license [in actual  possession], he                                                               
said.  Licenses  are sometimes forgotten at home or  in a vehicle                                                               
and currently if an individual does  not have a license on his or                                                               
her person troopers must decide  whether the person actually does                                                               
have  a license  since people  don't always  tell the  truth.   A                                                               
correctable citation  would make  it much  easier for  the person                                                               
who  does have  a license  and this  person doesn't  have to  pay                                                               
5:18:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN explained that the  second proposed new subsection                                                               
in  section  3  would  allow for  actual  possession  to  include                                                               
electronic form.   At some point in the future,  he related, ADFG                                                               
desires  to  have  a  system of  electronic  licensing  and  this                                                               
provision  would allow  a hunter,  fisher, or  trapper to  decide                                                               
whether to carry his or  her license electronically instead of in                                                               
paper format.                                                                                                                   
MAJOR CHASTAIN stated  that the third proposed  new subsection in                                                               
section 3 would  hold the peace officer  inspecting an electronic                                                               
license in  the field immune  from liability if damage  occurs to                                                               
the device in  the process of inspection.   Hunting, fishing, and                                                               
trapping  licenses  are  often inspected  in  adverse  conditions                                                               
aboard  boats in  violent seas  or while  hands are  contaminated                                                               
with  fish or  game  parts  in remote  locations.   If  something                                                               
happens to  the device in the  short time that the  peace officer                                                               
is inspecting the license, this  subsection would hold the agency                                                               
immune, he continued.   If this subsection  is implemented, these                                                               
resource users will  have the ability to carry  their licenses in                                                               
either paper or electronic format.                                                                                              
MAJOR  CHASTAIN related  that  section 4  would  remove under  AS                                                               
16.05.430, fish and  game penalties, the specific  fine of $1,000                                                               
and penalties  associated with  an unclassified  misdemeanor, and                                                               
would replace it with a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN  noted that onward from  section 4 he is  going to                                                               
lump together  a number of  sections because they all  follow the                                                               
same pattern.   Over the years  within Title 16, he  explained, a                                                               
series of penalties  have been added by  the legislature somewhat                                                               
piecemeal.   Some  of those  penalties are  less than  a class  A                                                               
misdemeanor,  and  some are  more.    The  bill would  align  the                                                               
penalties to  class A misdemeanors  and point to Title  12, which                                                               
defines a  misdemeanor.  For  lesser offenses, he said,  the bill                                                               
would allow  troopers to charge  a violation offense, which  is a                                                               
maximum [fine]  of $500.  In  all the regulations created  by the                                                               
Board of Game and the Board  of Fisheries that govern hunting and                                                               
fishing, he continued,  troopers are allowed to  reduce crimes to                                                               
a violation  offense.  Troopers  can decide through  the district                                                               
attorney's office  whether the violation  is not as serious  as a                                                               
misdemeanor, and instead charge it  as a violation offense, which                                                               
is a reduced  offense.  In fact, a violation  is not considered a                                                               
criminal offense and  does not go on a  person's criminal record,                                                               
he  explained.   It is  basically a  ticket that  is paid  like a                                                               
traffic ticket.  Thus, the bill  would align penalties as class A                                                               
misdemeanors, and create sections for violations to be charged.                                                                 
5:21:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN  noted section 5  relates to  section 4.   He said                                                               
section 5  would [amend AS  16.05.430 by adding  two subsections]                                                               
and would  create the ability to  charge some of the  offenses as                                                               
violations, as well as misdemeanors.                                                                                            
MAJOR CHASTAIN  said section  6 [would  amend AS  16.05.722(a) in                                                               
relation  to  fines  for]  strict  liability  commercial  fishing                                                               
violations.   Strict liability, he  explained, means a  person is                                                               
strictly  liable  for  his  or  her  offense  regardless  of  the                                                               
culpable  mental state.   He  posed an  example involving  a road                                                               
traffic situation:  If  a person is going 75 miles  per hour in a                                                               
55 mile per  hour zone, the police officer does  not have to show                                                               
that the  driver knew the speed  limit was 55, and  does not have                                                               
to show  the driver  knew his or  her speed was  75.   The police                                                               
officer only  needs to  show the  driver was  doing 75  miles per                                                               
hour.   The driver  is strictly  liable for  that offense  and no                                                               
culpable mental state  is required to prove that.   The two types                                                               
of  violations  in  commercial fishing,  he  stated,  are  strict                                                               
liability commercial  fishing violations, which are  not criminal                                                               
offenses, and class A misdemeanors.                                                                                             
MAJOR  CHASTAIN said  the [increased]  fine  amounts proposed  in                                                               
section 6  for first-, second-,  and third-time  strict liability                                                               
commercial  fishing  offenses within  a  10-year  period are  the                                                               
maximum amounts the  court could impose if  the commercial fisher                                                               
is found  guilty.  The  current fine amounts were  established in                                                               
1988 when the  Alaska State Legislature enacted  this section, he                                                               
pointed  out.   While the  proposed amounts  look like  the fines                                                               
have gone up, it is actually  an adjustment for inflation to 2016                                                               
dollars.  The fines for  first- and second-time offenses would go                                                               
up by  50 percent and  the third-time offense, which  was enacted                                                               
after 1988, would go up [less than 50 percent].                                                                                 
MAJOR CHASTAIN explained section 7  would amend [AS 16.05.722] by                                                               
adding a new subsection that  would require the court to transmit                                                               
notice  of  all convictions  under  this  section to  the  Alaska                                                               
Commercial  Fisheries  Entry  Commission  (CFEC),  which  is  the                                                               
keeper  of  commercial fishing  points.    Like with  a  driver's                                                               
license, he continued, a commercial  fisher can get points on his                                                               
or her commercial licenses and if  a certain amount of points are                                                               
accumulated on  the license  over a 10-year  period of  time, the                                                               
CFEC  can  revoke or  suspend  that  person's commercial  fishing                                                               
license.   The points  would be  transferred with  the conviction                                                               
and CFEC would then apply those points.                                                                                         
MAJOR CHASTAIN  stated that sections  8, 9,  10, 11, 12,  13, 14,                                                               
15,  and 16  are  all  adjustments to  class  A misdemeanors  and                                                               
violations;  penalties within  each  section are  adjusted and  a                                                               
[subsection] for  violations to be  charged is created  with each                                                               
5:24:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON related  that for a couple years  he did Title                                                               
16 and  Title 5 under [Alaska]  Administrative Code prosecutions.                                                               
He said  it seemed  like there was  frequently an  opportunity to                                                               
charge something  as a Title  5 violation  instead of a  Title 16                                                               
misdemeanor.   He asked what the  change is for offenses  such as                                                               
failure to salvage and wanton waste.                                                                                            
MAJOR  CHASTAIN requested  confirmation  that the  aforementioned                                                               
question is  about when [a  trooper] decides that a  violation is                                                               
appropriate or that a misdemeanor is appropriate.                                                                               
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  replied yes,  and further asked  whether that                                                               
discretion hasn't  already been  available where a  trooper could                                                               
either charge as a criminal offense or as an infraction.                                                                        
MAJOR  CHASTAIN  responded  that  currently  within  the  [Alaska                                                               
Administrative Code  (AAC)], within the regulations  the Board of                                                               
Fisheries and  the Board of  Game create, [troopers] do  have the                                                               
ability  to  reduce  to  a violation.    However,  he  explained,                                                               
[troopers] do  not currently have  that ability in Title  16 and,                                                               
if  passed, HB  129 would  provide  that ability  and would  give                                                               
[troopers] two different charging options in Title 16.                                                                          
MAJOR  CHASTAIN returned  to  his sectional  analysis.   He  said                                                               
section  17  proposes  to  amend   [AS  16.05.925],  penalty  for                                                               
violations, to  provide consistency in the  penalties as provided                                                               
under AS 12.55.  Drawing attention  to the dollar figures for big                                                               
game  animals included  within this  section, he  noted that  the                                                               
court  could  impose these  restitution  values  when someone  is                                                               
convicted  and the  case warrants  applying  restitution.   These                                                               
animals belong to the state's  citizens collectively, he said, so                                                               
when a big game animal is  unlawfully taken it defrauds the state                                                               
and its  citizens of the  value of the  animal.  The  values vary                                                               
greatly, he  continued, depending on  the species of  the animal,                                                               
the location  of the take,  the social  value of the  animal, the                                                               
economic value  of the animal, and  the food source value  to the                                                               
people of the  state.  In most  cases it does not  make the state                                                               
whole for  the loss of the  animal, he noted, but  it helps repay                                                               
the state for the illegal take.                                                                                                 
MAJOR CHASTAIN  pointed out that the  current restitution amounts                                                               
were enacted by  the legislature in 1984 and  have gone untouched                                                               
since  then.   He explained  that a  previous version  of HB  129                                                               
submitted  to  the  legislature  in  2016  would  have  increased                                                               
restitution  amounts  by 50  percent  from  the base  amounts  in                                                               
statute.  In  that version, some of the  restitution amounts were                                                               
changed in House and Senate  committees and HB 129 reflects those                                                               
changes.   Because the  previous version died  in the  House last                                                               
year, the bill is being resubmitted  this year [as HB 129].  Some                                                               
of the amounts  have gone up more than 50  percent, he continued,                                                               
and represent the  equivalent to 2016 dollars.   [The restitution                                                               
amount for] moose, for instance,  has gone from $1,000 to $2,500.                                                               
These are maximum  amounts imposed at the discretion  of a judge,                                                               
and in addition to any fines or penalties.                                                                                      
5:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  asked  how the  restitution  valuations                                                               
were derived.                                                                                                                   
MAJOR CHASTAIN answered that the  original determination was just                                                               
for  inflation, which  is about  50  percent more  than the  1984                                                               
numbers,  and  those  were   the  numbers  originally  submitted.                                                               
However,  he continued,  during  the committee  process in  2016,                                                               
amendments  [were  adopted]  that  changed those  numbers  to  be                                                               
higher than what was originally submitted.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  observed  that  the  bison  restitution                                                               
figure in section 17 was inflated more than any of the others.                                                                  
5:28:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN resumed  his sectional analysis.   He said section                                                               
18 would add  a new subsection [to AS 16.05.925]  that relates to                                                               
[AS  16.05.925(b)].   The  new  subsection,  he explained,  would                                                               
establish that a defendant may  not be ordered to pay restitution                                                               
if  the defendant  takes an  animal, realizes  the animal  is not                                                               
legal, and then voluntarily and  immediately reports the unlawful                                                               
take of  the animal to  a state  law enforcement officer  or ADFG                                                               
and  surrenders all  salvaged portions  of the  animal, including                                                               
its horns, antlers,  hide, and skull, as applicable.   The person                                                               
would be  charged with a  violation of  fact, would get  a ticket                                                               
[costing]  a couple  hundred dollars,  and would  not be  charged                                                               
with a misdemeanor, would not lose  his or her hunting rifle, and                                                               
would not lose  his or her hunting license or  the equipment that                                                               
was used.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  observed that the  bill on page  5, line                                                               
28, uses  the word "may"  rather than  "will".  He  asked whether                                                               
this wording is used because it will  be up to the purview of the                                                               
MAJOR CHASTAIN said the word "may"  is directive to the court, so                                                               
the court  may not  [order a defendant  to pay  restitution under                                                               
(b) of this section].                                                                                                           
5:30:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  posed a scenario in  which an out-of-state                                                               
hunter unlawfully kills  a bear without having bothered  to get a                                                               
permit.  He questioned whether  this hunter could only be charged                                                               
with violations if he or  she surrenders the salvaged portions of                                                               
the bear.                                                                                                                       
MAJOR CHASTAIN responded that that  is not entirely true; this is                                                               
only  in   the  situation  where  the   hunter  has  "immediately                                                               
notified" and doesn't have to  do with permitting or licensing or                                                               
any of the rest of that.  It  is basically that if a person takes                                                               
a  game  animal  that  is  not legal  for  that  scenario.    [In                                                               
Representative  Parish's  scenario]  there  would  be  additional                                                               
violations,  such  as  no  locking tag,  no  permit,  no  hunting                                                               
license, and  none of the  other things that are  associated with                                                               
what  the  hunter must  have.    Plus, to  take  a  brown bear  a                                                               
nonresident hunter  must also have  a guide or be  accompanied by                                                               
someone with a second degree of kindred [to the hunter].                                                                        
5:31:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  offered his understanding that  this proposed                                                               
provision is just a way to mitigate the restitution portion.                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN  answered correct  and noted that  Senator Coghill                                                               
added this  provision last year.   [The Alaska  Wildlife Troopers                                                               
(AWT)]  fully  supports this  provision,  he  said, and  operates                                                               
under it to  begin with.  However, there  is inconsistency within                                                               
the  court  system,  he  explained.   [AWT]  seeks  to  create  a                                                               
situation where  people turn themselves  in and AWT  doesn't want                                                               
to punish people  for calling when they've made a  mistake.  This                                                               
section  would allow  AWT to  deal with  the situation  of people                                                               
turning themselves  in and  then not having  to worry  about what                                                               
other  penalties may  come  down  the road  from  the court  with                                                               
5:32:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked whether calculations have  been done                                                               
to determine the amount of restitution  it would take to make the                                                               
state whole for the big game animals [listed in section 17].                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN replied that each  big game animal means something                                                               
different to different people.   For example, there is a dramatic                                                               
difference between what a moose  means to someone relying on that                                                               
animal  for  subsistence,  compared  to what  a  moose  means  to                                                               
someone paying to come to Alaska  to take the animal.  Therefore,                                                               
he said, he does not have an answer.                                                                                            
5:33:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN  returned to his sectional  analysis and addressed                                                               
section  19,  which  would  [amend  AS  16.05.940]  by  adding  a                                                               
definition of  "electronic form" as  it pertains to section  3 of                                                               
the  bill.   Electronic form  would mean  the display  of license                                                               
images  on  an electronic  device  such  as a  mobile  telephone,                                                               
tablet, or computer that will  satisfy the display of fishing and                                                               
hunting licenses.  He reiterated  that ADFG is working toward the                                                               
idea of  being able to display  things on a telephone  or tablet.                                                               
However, he  noted, there are  still going  to be times  when the                                                               
actual  paper  form will  still  be  necessary; for  example,  to                                                               
validate an actual tag, to record a  king salmon on the back of a                                                               
license, and a number of other things that must be recorded.                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN  stated that sections 20-27  would align penalties                                                               
for a class  A misdemeanor and would provide that  AST be able to                                                               
charge for violations for these types of offenses.                                                                              
MAJOR CHASTAIN said section 28  would amend the uncodified law of                                                               
Alaska  to  make  it  clear  that the  Act  applies  to  offenses                                                               
committed on or after the effective date of the Act.                                                                            
MAJOR  CHASTAIN  concluded  by relating  that  section  29  would                                                               
provide for an effective date of July 1, 2017.                                                                                  
5:34:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR, regarding the penalties provided in [sections 20-                                                                
27],  asked why  the language  is  more specific  in making  them                                                               
class A misdemeanors.   She further asked whether  the removal of                                                               
language related to imprisonment  is because class A misdemeanors                                                               
cannot have jailtime associated with them.                                                                                      
MAJOR CHASTAIN  recalled Senate  Bill 91  [passed in  the Twenty-                                                               
Ninth  Alaska  State  Legislature]  and the  alignment  of  those                                                               
penalties.    Continuing,  he  explained that  Title  12  is  the                                                               
definition of  a misdemeanor, and  therefore the language  in the                                                               
aforementioned  sections points  everything  to Title  12 as  the                                                               
definition of  a misdemeanor.  Under  Senate Bill 91, he  said, a                                                               
class  A  misdemeanor   went  up  to  $25,000   and  jailtime  is                                                               
associated  with it  possibly.   A  whole bunch  of things  could                                                               
happen as  a misdemeanor,  but because  these were  separated out                                                               
and piecemealed,  this language  points it to  Title 12  and says                                                               
this is  what a misdemeanor  is.  As well,  it allows for  AST to                                                               
charge for violations.                                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  JOSEPHSON   asked  whether  the   previously  mentioned                                                               
restitution issue that  failed in the legislature  was House Bill                                                               
UNKNOWN SPEAKER replied no.                                                                                                     
5:36:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR, in  regard to  the proposed  restitution amounts,                                                               
inquired  as to  how frequently  these types  of infractions  are                                                               
occurring.  She further inquired  whether there are other actions                                                               
that  committee members  should consider  as  a means  to try  to                                                               
limit how frequently these types of infractions occur.                                                                          
MAJOR CHASTAIN  replied that strict liability  commercial fishing                                                               
violations  are  "the bread  and  butter  for commercial  fishing                                                               
violations around  the state."   The majority of these  happen in                                                               
Bristol Bay, but they do happen all  over the state.  This is the                                                               
easiest  way  for  the  state  to  deal  with  a  somewhat  minor                                                               
infraction  that happens  in commercial  fishing; but,  if it  is                                                               
thought to  be a  more serious  offense, AWT  has the  ability to                                                               
charge a  class A misdemeanor.   Regarding  how often, he  said a                                                               
couple hundred  per year occur in  Bristol Bay and his  guess for                                                               
statewide  is around  500 commercial  fishing violations  a year.                                                               
About 150-200  self-reported violations  are turned in  each year                                                               
to AWT.   A  variety of  other things are  also enforced  by AWT.                                                               
So, AWT does deal with this fairly frequently.                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR TARR,  in regard to self-reporting  of violations, asked                                                               
whether it is usually a  mistaken estimation of the animal's size                                                               
that is realized after the animal has been shot.                                                                                
MAJOR CHASTAIN confirmed the aforementioned  is exactly right for                                                               
the majority  of these violations.   For example,  the regulation                                                               
is 50 inches  for moose antlers, but upon shooting  the animal it                                                               
is found to be  45 inches, or the hunter may  think the moose has                                                               
a certain number  of brow tines or that it  is a full-curl sheep,                                                               
but it  is not.   Also, he continued, AWT  gets a fair  number of                                                               
reports from hunters who thought it  was a bull moose, but it was                                                               
actually a  cow.   [AWT] tries to  handle these  consistently, he                                                               
explained  further, and  offers appreciation  to the  hunters who                                                               
self-report because  it takes  a lot  of intestinal  fortitude to                                                               
call the  troopers and say they  made a mistake.   [AWT] wants to                                                               
make  sure  these people  are  treated  appropriately instead  of                                                               
letting the meat go to waste in the field.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR  TARR inquired  whether  the fines  associated with  the                                                               
aforementioned  are  high  enough  to  discourage  that  kind  of                                                               
behavior.   She surmised  that having to  turn over  the salvaged                                                               
meat  would be  somewhat of  a deterrent.   She  further inquired                                                               
whether any issues are seen in the guided-hunting community.                                                                    
MAJOR  CHASTAIN  responded  that  taking   apart  a  moose  is  a                                                               
substantial  process and  he thinks  that the  penalty is  pretty                                                               
good  of having  to take  the moose  apart to  salvage the  meat,                                                               
taking the meat out of the  field, keeping it clean, and bringing                                                               
it  in to  turn yourself  in.   The fines  through the  court are                                                               
typically around $300 for this  offense, he said, which he thinks                                                               
is appropriate for this type of  offense.  Over the years AWT has                                                               
refined this  process and people  know they will get  a citation,                                                               
they cannot  keep the meat,  the meat will  go to a  charity, and                                                               
that they cannot shoot another moose in the same year.                                                                          
5:41:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH directed  attention to the bill  on page 6,                                                               
lines 1-2, which read:                                                                                                          
        (2)  surrendered to the department all salvaged                                                                         
     portions of the animal, including its horns, antlers,                                                                      
     hide, and skull, as applicable.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  asked whether this language  suggests that                                                               
failing  to  surrender  portions  of the  animal  that  were  not                                                               
salvaged is not a disqualifying characteristic.                                                                                 
MAJOR  CHASTAIN understood  Representative  Parish  to be  asking                                                               
whether  failure  to  bring  out  all  those  items  would  be  a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  PARISH  surmised that  under  a  very strict  and                                                               
narrow  reading  of  the aforementioned  language,  if  a  person                                                               
failed to salvage the meat they wouldn't be in trouble.                                                                         
CO-CHAIR JOSEPHSON  stated that  this may  need an  amendment and                                                               
will be looked at in further detail.                                                                                            
5:43:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO offered  his understanding  that when  a                                                               
person makes  a big mistake  under section 18, that  person could                                                               
still be charged  with a violation, and will have  to pay a small                                                               
penalty; it is  just the restitution that the  person wouldn't be                                                               
charged with.   He opined  there should be  no free pass  when an                                                               
animal is  taken.   Representative Talerico stated  that he  is a                                                               
hunter and  "when you make  that mistake you  have to pay  for it                                                               
because that  will make you  more careful  the next time  you put                                                               
your finger on the trigger."                                                                                                    
MAJOR CHASTAIN confirmed the violation  would remain in place and                                                               
that  it  is  the  restitution  from  the  court  that  would  be                                                               
[HB 129 was held over.]                                                                                                         
5:44:59 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 5:44 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 129 02.14.17 Transmittal Letter.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 129
HB 129 Sectional.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 129
HB0129 Fiscal Note DFG 2.15.17.PDF HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 129
HB0129A.PDF HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 129
Frederick (Fritz) Johnson_Redacted.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
John Jensen 2016_Redacted.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
Reed Morisky 2016_Redacted.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
ASA Support - Jensen Morisky Johnson.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
Bristol Bay Borough Support - Johnson.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
CDFU Support - Jensen.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
Icicle Support - Jensen Johnson.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
KRSA Support - Jensen Morisky Johnson.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
ATA Support - Jensen.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
KPFA Support - Jensen Morisky Johnson.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
Unalaska Mayor Support - Jensen Morisky Johnson.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
USAG Support - Jensen.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
Board of Fish
HB0129 Fiscal Note DPS-AWT 3.29.17.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB155 Supporting Document-AFA Response to SEACC.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 155
HB155 Supporting Document - SWood 3.29.17.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 155
HB155 Supporting Document-AFA Response to SEACC 3.29.17.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 155
HB155 Opposing Document Testimony -- Larry Edwards for 29 March hearing on HB155 3.29.17.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 155
HB155 Supporting Document - Comment - CWood 3.29.17.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 155
HB155 Opposition Document - Letter of Comment-SEACC 3.29.17.pdf HRES 3/29/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 155