Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

03/27/2019 01:00 PM House RESOURCES

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01:02:39 PM Start
01:03:06 PM Presentation(s): Alaska Minerals Commission
01:56:20 PM HB35
02:25:23 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):|| Big Game Commercial Services Board
02:48:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Alaska Minerals Commission Update TELECONFERENCED
by Lance Miller, Chairman & Rob Retherford, Board
Member, Alaska Minerals Commission
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: Big Game TELECONFERENCED
Commercial Services Board
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 27, 2019                                                                                         
                           1:02 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative John Lincoln, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S):  ALASKA MINERALS COMMISSION                                                                                    
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 35                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to participation in matters before the Board of                                                                
Fisheries and the Board of Game by the members of the respective                                                                
boards; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                   
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                                            
     Cash Joyce - Wasilla                                                                                                       
     CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB  35                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONFLICT OF INTEREST: BD FISHERIES/GAME                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) STUTES                                                                                            
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       FSH, RES                                                                                               
03/07/19       (H)       FSH AT 10:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/07/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/07/19       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/12/19       (H)       FSH AT 11:00 AM GRUENBERG 120                                                                          
03/12/19       (H)       Moved CSHB 35(FSH) Out of Committee                                                                    
03/12/19       (H)       MINUTE(FSH)                                                                                            
03/13/19       (H)       FSH RPT CS(FSH) 6DP 1NR                                                                                
03/13/19       (H)       DP: VANCE,  TARR, KOPP,  EDGMON, KREISS-                                                               
                        TOMKINS, STUTES                                                                                         
03/13/19       (H)       NR: PRUITT                                                                                             
03/27/19       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
LANCE MILLER, PhD, Chair                                                                                                        
Alaska Minerals Commission                                                                                                      
Division of Economic Development                                                                                                
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation                                                             
entitled,  "2019 Alaska  Mineral  Commission  report and  Social,                                                               
Economic and Future demand perspectives  on the mining industry,"                                                               
dated 3/27/19, and answered questions.                                                                                          
ROB RETHERFORD, Member                                                                                                          
Alaska Minerals Commission                                                                                                      
Division of Economic Development                                                                                                
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation                                                             
entitled,  "2019 Alaska  Mineral  Commission  report and  Social,                                                               
Economic and Future demand perspectives  on the mining industry,"                                                               
dated 3/27/19, and answered questions.                                                                                          
MATT GRUENING, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Louise Stutes                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   On behalf of  Representative Stutes, Chair,                                                             
House Special  Committee on Fisheries,  sponsor of  CSHB 35(FSH),                                                               
introduced the bill and answered questions.                                                                                     
FRANCES LEACH, Executive Director                                                                                               
United Fishermen of Alaska                                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support during  the hearing of                                                             
HB 35.                                                                                                                          
JERRY MCCUNE, President                                                                                                         
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
Cordova District Fishermen United                                                                                               
Cordova, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in support during  the hearing of                                                             
HB 35.                                                                                                                          
BENJAMIN MOHR, Executive Director                                                                                               
Kenai River Sportfishing Association                                                                                            
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified in opposition  during the hearing                                                             
of HB 35.                                                                                                                       
GLEN HAIGHT, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Board of Fisheries                                                                                                              
Alaska Department of Fish and Game                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the hearing of HB
CASH JOYCE, Appointee                                                                                                           
Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                                              
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified  as appointee  to  the Big  Game                                                             
Commercial Services Board.                                                                                                      
MARK RICHARDS, Executive Director                                                                                               
Resident Hunters of Alaska                                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Testified   in  opposition   during  the                                                             
confirmation hearing of Cash Joyce.                                                                                             
THOR STACEY, Director                                                                                                           
Government Affairs                                                                                                              
Alaska Professional Hunters Association                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:      Testified  in   support   during   the                                                             
confirmation hearing of Cash Joyce.                                                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:02:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  JOHN  LINCOLN  called   the  House  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:02 p.m.   Representatives Tuck,                                                               
Hannan,  Talerico, Spohnholz,  Rauscher, Tarr,  and Lincoln  were                                                               
present  at  the call  to  order.   Representatives  Hopkins  and                                                               
Rasmussen arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                               
^PRESENTATION(S):  ALASKA MINERALS COMMISSION                                                                                   
          PRESENTATION(S):  ALASKA MINERALS COMMISSION                                                                      
1:03:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN announced  the first order of  business would be                                                               
a presentation by the Alaska Minerals Commission.                                                                               
1:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
LANCE  MILLER,  PhD,  Chair, Alaska  Minerals  Commission  (AMC),                                                               
Division  of   Economic  Development,  Department   of  Commerce,                                                               
Community and  Economic Development,  informed the  committee AMC                                                               
is composed  of 11 volunteers  who are appointed by  the governor                                                               
and  the  presiding officers  of  the  Senate  and the  House  of                                                               
Representatives.   The  commission was  created in  1986 and  its                                                               
goal is to  identify barriers of entry -  or mitigate constraints                                                               
- to mineral  development at state and federal  levels (slide 2).                                                               
Dr. Miller said although Alaska  is "an attractive place" for the                                                               
mining  industry,   to  make  improvements,  AMC's   first  state                                                               
priority   is  to   support  the   Division  of   Geological  and                                                               
Geophysical  Surveys  (DGGS),  Department  of  Natural  Resources                                                               
(DNR),  in order  to support  basic science,  research, and  data                                                               
gathering for  records available for  public use.   Another state                                                               
priority  is to  address  key state  regulations governing  water                                                               
use, such  as proposed legislation  related to Tier  3 waterways.                                                               
Dr.  Miller  explained  [the  Environmental  Protection  Agency's                                                               
antidegradation regulation  policy] is  a program the  state must                                                               
assume  from  the  federal government  thus  state  policies  and                                                               
procedures  must be  in place;  the  proposed legislation  states                                                               
approval of  Tier 3 waterways  should be by the  legislature with                                                               
vetting  by DNR,  the  Department  of Environmental  Conservation                                                               
(DEC), and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (slide 3).                                                                    
1:08:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  asked  for  a description  of  Tier  3                                                               
DR.  MILLER explained  Tier 3  is a  national designation  of the                                                               
highest  level of  water  quality  in that  there  cannot be  any                                                               
degradation unless  temporary.   For example, a  wastewater plant                                                               
or  two-cycle  engines  can  degrade   a  Tier  3  waterway  thus                                                               
subsistence or  community use  of the  waterway may  be affected.                                                               
In further response  to Representative Spohnholz, he  said Tier 1                                                               
would be a multiple-use, urban waterway.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  asked whether  the  tiers  are set  by  the                                                               
federal government.                                                                                                             
DR. MILLER  restated the tiers  are determined by the  state thus                                                               
the  proposed  legislation  directs that  the  legislature  would                                                               
approve the  standards with  direction from  state agencies.   In                                                               
further response to Representative  Tuck, he said there currently                                                               
are no [Alaska state] regulations in this regard.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN related  the federal  [Clean Water  Act as                                                               
amended in 1972  and through EPA regulations]  mandated that each                                                               
state  have  a process  to  determine  waterway status;  however,                                                               
until two  to three years ago  there had not been  an application                                                               
to designate  a Tier 3 waterway  filed in Alaska, so  the process                                                               
was not established.                                                                                                            
1:11:34 PM                                                                                                                    
ROB RETHERFORD,  Member, AMC,  Division of  Economic Development,                                                               
DCCED, directed attention to AMC's  federal priorities, the first                                                               
of  which is  to  maintain Alaska's  right  related to  navigable                                                               
waters and access corridors.   He related the recent U.S. Supreme                                                               
Court decision in favor of  John Sturgeon will help ensure Alaska                                                               
has access along  navigable rivers for multiple use.   The Public                                                               
Access Assertion and Defense (PAAD)  program, Division of Mining,                                                               
Land  and Water,  DNR, is  a watchdog  for many  federal programs                                                               
with  regard to  water  and  land access  and  he  urged for  its                                                               
support.   The second item AMC  seeks to address are  public land                                                               
orders (PLOs) which have closed  areas to mineral exploration and                                                               
other  activities;  the Bureau  of  Land  Management (BLM),  U.S.                                                               
Department of the  Interior, has begun to lift some  PLOs and the                                                               
state  should encourage  BLM  to  ensure more  are  lifted.   Mr.                                                               
Retherford  suggested  the   legislature  recommend  to  Alaska's                                                               
congressional delegation to maintain  the mandate of multiple use                                                               
as directed  within the  original intent  of the  Alaska National                                                               
Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (slide 4).                                                                             
1:15:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  asked for  an explanation  of the  proposed mining                                                               
statute change indicated on slide 3.                                                                                            
DR.  MILLER explained  [item number  4 on  slide 3]  addresses an                                                               
issue of  [mining] claims that  have been declared null  and void                                                               
due to clerical errors on recording affidavits for labor.                                                                       
DR. MILLER  turned to  slide 5 which  illustrated the  social and                                                               
economic  factor  on health  as  identified  by  a study  by  the                                                               
National  Academy of  Medicine.   He pointed  out one's  physical                                                               
environment is  only 10  percent of  the health  factor; however,                                                               
social and  economic factors  are 40 percent.   Further,  slide 6                                                               
illustrated a change  in life expectancy in Alaska  may be linked                                                               
to jobs,  income, and access  to health  care.  Slide  7 pictured                                                               
children from  Northwest Alaska who  may live longer  [because of                                                               
social and economic factors].                                                                                                   
1:20:46 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. RETHERFORD  gave brief background  information on  the miners                                                               
pictured  on  slides 8  and  9  and discussed  the  opportunities                                                               
mining provides to residents in rural areas.                                                                                    
DR.  MILLER  presented  slide  10,  which was  a  map  of  mining                                                               
activity in  Alaska that illustrated mines,  advanced exploration                                                               
projects  and communities  with  mining industry  employees.   He                                                               
noted  two of  the mines  have been  operating for  30 years;  in                                                               
fact, there has been mining in  Juneau and Fairbanks for over 140                                                               
years.  Dr.  Miller stressed that mining operations  in the state                                                               
must  be good  operations  in  order to  be  economic in  Alaska.                                                               
Slide  11 listed  economic statistics  of mining:   4,000  direct                                                               
jobs and  9,000 indirect  jobs related  to mining;  wages average                                                               
over $107,000 per year; mines  are large taxpayers in Juneau, the                                                               
Northwest Arctic  Borough, and the Fairbanks  North Star Borough;                                                               
$1.2 billion  has been distributed to  Alaska Native Corporations                                                               
from Red  Dog mine.  A  perception study by the  Fraser Institute                                                               
Global Ranking Survey placed Alaska  5/83 overall in the world of                                                               
mining (slide 11).                                                                                                              
1:26:51 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ asked how many  of the 4,000 direct jobs                                                               
in the mining industry are held by Alaskans.                                                                                    
DR.  MILLER  estimated  75  percent   overall.    He  added  that                                                               
exploration projects support local, entry-level jobs.                                                                           
CO-CHAIR TARR recalled  mining taxes have not  been changed since                                                               
before  statehood   and  questioned  the  basis   of  the  Fraser                                                               
Institute policy perception ranking of Alaska.                                                                                  
DR.  MILLER  agreed  mining  taxation   has  not  changed.    The                                                               
perception is  related to regulatory  issues about  [the proposed                                                               
Pebble Partnership project] and state fiscal issues.                                                                            
MR. RETHERFORD  opined the mining  industry has  uncertainty with                                                               
regard to the permitting process.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked  Mr.  Retherford  to  identify  the                                                               
uncertainty within Alaska's permitting process.                                                                                 
MR.  RETHERFORD  stated  usurpation  of  the  permitting  process                                                               
through litigation  or other means creates  hurdles and increases                                                               
the timeframe of development.                                                                                                   
DR.  MILLER  referred  to  a  "big  push"  for  an  environmental                                                               
assessment  (EA) prior  to  exploration/drilling permitting,  and                                                               
recalled that a recent Alaska  ballot initiative was noted by the                                                               
minerals industry.                                                                                                              
1:31:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN pointed  out Alaska  cannot stop  citizens                                                               
from   exercising  their   civil  rights   and  in   every  state                                                               
[development  projects]   may  face  potential  lawsuits.     She                                                               
observed Alaska  has been  governed by  pro-development executive                                                               
branches that  continue to have consistent  permitting processes;                                                               
in   fact,   the   attempt   to    require   an   EA   prior   to                                                               
exploration/drilling was  a protocol to preempt  litigation.  She                                                               
questioned  whether global  markets would  respond to  one ballot                                                               
DR.  MILLER agreed  litigation should  not  be limited;  however,                                                               
there are  frivolous lawsuits.   He opined  many drill  holes are                                                               
needed during  exploration to find  a deposit thus  completion of                                                               
an EA at exploration "would be  a leap."  Dr. Miller acknowledged                                                               
"the state  has some  good things  in play ...  [and could]  do a                                                               
little  bit better  job of  publicizing the  things the  state is                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  whether  the state  has made  major                                                               
changes in its permitting process in the last decade.                                                                           
DR. MILLER said no; however, AMC's  past top priority has been to                                                               
ensure there  is staff funding for  DNR and DEC, so  the agencies                                                               
have technical  competency to issue permits  within an acceptable                                                               
1:36:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. RETHERFORD gave  an example of an appeal  process and related                                                               
there was a  lack of support from "the  commissioner's office" to                                                               
pursue appeals, resulting in long delays to projects.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  urged  industry  to  recognize  that  the                                                               
state's  resource agencies  that have  legal oversight  should be                                                               
adequately  funded  and staffed;  cuts  to  staffing may  slow  a                                                               
project and  restrict a project's  momentum, not  from opposition                                                               
or changing laws, but from the  state's lack of investment in its                                                               
resource agencies, which is perceived by industry incorrectly.                                                                  
DR. MILLER  agreed with  the need for  funding of  state agencies                                                               
and  gave an  example of  an appeal  process.   He then  directed                                                               
attention  to  slide  12 which  illustrated  mineral  development                                                               
timelines  and  investment for  two  projects  that failed,  four                                                               
projects in  development, and  five operating  metal mines.   The                                                               
average  timeline was  16 years  and  $300 million  was spent  to                                                               
reach a  final feasibility  decision.   Slide 13  illustrated the                                                               
detailed technical work necessary for a typical project.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER questioned  the meaning  of the  unknown                                                               
timeline for permitting/design [illustrated on slide 13].                                                                       
DR. MILLER  explained the timeline  for permitting/design  can be                                                               
affected by many factors and is  unknown.  In further response to                                                               
Representative  Rauscher, he  said  the  federal [government]  is                                                               
harder to work with than the state.                                                                                             
MR.  RETHERFORD added  exploration on  state land  is easier  and                                                               
less expensive;  however, industry  has a  perception that  it is                                                               
harder to work in Alaska.                                                                                                       
1:43:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked whether projects are deterred.                                                                    
DR.  MILLER  opined  industry  reviews   the  progress  of  other                                                               
projects, although Alaska  is having "a little  bit of resurgence                                                               
right now ...."                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE   RASMUSSEN  asked   whether  state   and  federal                                                               
permitting overlap.                                                                                                             
DR. MILLER  said no.  He  related it is incumbent  on the project                                                               
to  provide good  baseline data  to all;  often local  government                                                               
processes are  similar to that  of the state.   He turned  to the                                                               
topic of  demographics and  stated with the  growth of  the world                                                               
population there  will be increased demand  for natural resources                                                               
(slide 14).  Global organizations  are recognizing the importance                                                               
of metals and  mining to renewable [energy],  climate change, and                                                               
lower carbon  (slide 15).   A forecast  for the world  demand for                                                               
copper assumed  7 pounds  of copper  per capita  and 4  pounds of                                                               
zinc per  capita (slide 16).   Dr. Miller said the  challenge for                                                               
mining is  the volatility of  commodity prices and  observed when                                                               
prices decrease, investment in Alaska  decreases.  Slide 17 was a                                                               
chart illustrating spikes in the  price of zinc since 1970, which                                                               
can affect the success of a new mine, and he gave examples.                                                                     
1:50:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  RETHERFORD stressed  the importance  of long-term  goals and                                                               
consistency from state agencies.                                                                                                
DR.  MILLER summarized:   mining  is important;  projects take  a                                                               
long time;  metals will be  needed; Alaska has human  and natural                                                               
resources (slide 18).                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR TARR  returned attention  to slide  10 and  reviewed the                                                               
products mined from the five metal mines in Alaska.                                                                             
DR. MILLER confirmed Greens Creek  also mines lead, zinc, copper,                                                               
and  gold; Red  Dog  mines  80 percent  zinc  and  also lead  and                                                               
CO-CHAIR TARR recalled past interest in rare earth minerals.                                                                    
DR. MILLER advised there is  interest in rare earth elements from                                                               
Bokan Mountain  and elsewhere  in Alaska;  the challenge  of rare                                                               
earth elements is  that they are industrial minerals  and are not                                                               
on the spot  market.  Limited amounts of rare  earth elements are                                                               
important, but China has flooded the market.                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  asked about  other  minerals  that are  currently                                                               
produced or may be produced by potential mines in Alaska.                                                                       
DR. MILLER  said Alaska  does not have  the geology  for lithium;                                                               
the Upper Kobuk Mineral Project has cobalt.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO  requested  a map  locating  significant                                                               
potential deposits.                                                                                                             
DR. MILLER offered to provide the requested map.                                                                                
         HB 35-CONFLICT OF INTEREST: BD FISHERIES/GAME                                                                      
1:56:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN  announced the next  order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  35, "An Act relating to  participation in matters                                                               
before  the Board  of  Fisheries and  the Board  of  Game by  the                                                               
members of the respective boards;  and providing for an effective                                                               
[Before the  committee was the  committee substitute (CS)  for HB
35(FSH),  reported   out  of  the  House   Special  Committee  on                                                               
Fisheries on 3/13/19.]                                                                                                          
1:56:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT GRUENING, Staff, Representative  Louise Stutes, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on   behalf  of  Representative   Stutes,  sponsor,                                                               
introduced HB  35.   He read from  the following  written sponsor                                                               
statement [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                      
     This legislation changes the  manner in which the Board                                                                    
     of  Fisheries and  Board of  Game function  by allowing                                                                    
     members to  deliberate on subjects for  which they have                                                                    
     a declared personal or  financial interest according to                                                                    
     AS 39.52, the Executive  Branch Ethics Act. Members are                                                                    
     selected based  on their "knowledge and  ability in the                                                                    
     field  of action  of  the  board, and  with  a view  to                                                                    
     providing diversity  of interest and points  of view in                                                                    
     membership"; however, Title 39  prohibits a member from                                                                    
     "taking  or withholding  official  action  in order  to                                                                    
     affect a matter  in which the member has  a personal or                                                                    
     financial  interest."  (AS 39.52.120(b)(4)).  "Official                                                                    
     action"  is  defined   as  "advice,  participation,  or                                                                    
     assistance,  including for  example, a  recommendation,                                                                    
     decision,   approval,  disapproval,   vote,  or   other                                                                    
     similar   action,  including   inaction  by   a  public                                                                    
     officer." (AS 39.52.960(14)).  Currently, board members                                                                    
     are  required  to divulge  a  conflict  of interest  if                                                                    
     they, or  their immediate family members,  are involved                                                                    
     in  the subject  being deliberated  on. The  conflicted                                                                    
     member  can then  no longer  offer their  input on  the                                                                    
     process and  cannot vote on  the matter at  hand. Often                                                                    
     in the fishing world,  a financial or personal interest                                                                    
     corresponds   with   someone's    knowledge   of   that                                                                    
     particular  fishery. This  bill  allows the  conflicted                                                                    
     member to offer remarks  and input, but still precludes                                                                    
     them from  voting on  the issue at  hand or  on whether                                                                    
     they  have a  conflict  of  interest. Allowing  members                                                                    
     with expertise in particular  fields to deliberate will                                                                    
     help the  boards make more informed  decisions, lead to                                                                    
     stronger  resource  management   statewide,  and  align                                                                    
     process  with intent  as far  as the  boards benefiting                                                                    
     from  members' knowledge  and diversity  of viewpoints.                                                                    
     Thank you for your support of this legislation.                                                                            
1:58:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. GRUENING  advised sound resource  management should  be based                                                               
on all available information.   However, in the fishing industry,                                                               
financial or personal  interests may be tied to  the knowledge of                                                               
a fishery; for example, a board  member with a close relative who                                                               
owns  a certain  permit  may be  the only  board  member with  an                                                               
understanding of a  proposal.  Similarly, guides  or lodge owners                                                               
may be  the only board  member with  an understanding of  a hunt.                                                               
Especially in  rural Alaska, an  entire family may be  engaged in                                                               
one  manner  of work  such  as  commercial fishing,  guiding,  or                                                               
hunting,   thus   the   current  policy   discourages   qualified                                                               
applicants because  a board  member would be  unable to  speak on                                                               
many proposals.  Mr. Gruening  described how members are excluded                                                               
from  board  discussions and  provided  examples.   He  explained                                                               
another concern with  the current conflict of  interest policy is                                                               
one  of  transparency and  trust  in  the public  process;  board                                                               
members who  disclose a conflict  sometimes share  their opinions                                                               
off  the  record  and  outside  of  the  public  view,  which  is                                                               
discouraged by  the aforementioned  ethics act.   He  pointed out                                                               
the bill would allow a board  member who has disclosed a conflict                                                               
"to  impart their  knowledge before  they recuse  themselves from                                                               
the vote."   Mr.  Gruening restated the  importance for  Board of                                                               
Game  (BOG) and  Board of  Fisheries  (BOF) members  to have  all                                                               
available  information  on hand,  and  on  the record,  prior  to                                                               
making a  decision.  He  cautioned the selection process  for BOG                                                               
and BOF members  is contentious in order to  populate boards that                                                               
are balanced  and acceptable to  the public, the  legislature and                                                               
the  governor; therefore,  silencing voices  during deliberations                                                               
erodes  the  integrity  of  the public  process.    Mr.  Gruening                                                               
closed,  pointing  out 11  letters  and  19 emailed  messages  of                                                               
support included in  the committee packet, and  noting no letters                                                               
of  opposition were  received.   He  urged for  the committee  to                                                               
review  a  document  entitled,  "Background  Information  on  the                                                               
Alaska Boards  of Game  and Fisheries  Ethics Act  Process," also                                                               
included in the committee packet.                                                                                               
2:03:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked  whether  there  are  differences                                                               
between the bill and a similar bill that was proposed last year.                                                                
MR.  GRUENING  explained  the  only   difference  with  the  bill                                                               
proposed  last year  is  that the  redefinition  of an  immediate                                                               
family  member -  that  affected voting  and  thereby the  ethics                                                               
disclosure process - was removed.                                                                                               
2:05:30 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANCES  LEACH, Executive  Director, United  Fishermen of  Alaska                                                               
(UFA),  informed  the  committee  UFA  represents  35  commercial                                                               
fishing organizations  and hundreds  of commercial  fisherman and                                                               
crewmembers, throughout  the state, fishing in  state and federal                                                               
waters.    Ms.  Leach  said  UFA  has  supported  this  important                                                               
legislation for some time because  BOG and BOF members are chosen                                                               
for  their expertise,  within  their region  or  fishery, or  for                                                               
their local  hunting and game  knowledge; however, at  this time,                                                               
board members  who have  expertise in a  certain subject  are not                                                               
allowed to participate  in deliberations.  She  gave her personal                                                               
experience  with  BOF  under   these  circumstances  and  advised                                                               
allowing  knowledgeable board  members  to  fully participate  in                                                               
deliberations  will result  in a  better record  to assist  board                                                               
members, and  all of the  information will be established  on the                                                               
record.  Although members with  expertise are encouraged to serve                                                               
on the  boards, the current  policy discourages some.   Ms. Leach                                                               
urged the committee to pass the bill.                                                                                           
2:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
JERRY  MCCUNE, President,  Board of  Directors, Cordova  District                                                               
Fishermen United  (CDFU), informed the committee  CDFU represents                                                               
about 1,000  fishermen.   He provided  examples of  board members                                                               
who were unable  to deliberate under various  circumstances.  Mr.                                                               
McCune  opined the  statute is  unfair  and creates  frustration.                                                               
Further,  a  familial  relationship  does not  always  equate  to                                                               
financial gain, and board members rely on each other for advice.                                                                
2:10:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN opened public testimony on HB 35.                                                                              
2:11:13 PM                                                                                                                    
BENJAMIN  MOHR,  Executive  Director,  Kenai  River  Sportfishing                                                               
Association (KRSA),  expressed KRSA's opposition  to HB 35.   Mr.                                                               
Mohr  informed the  committee  there  is no  need  to modify  the                                                               
ethical guidelines  that now apply  to BOF.  Current  conflict of                                                               
interest procedure  provides four opportunities  for "conflicted"                                                               
board members to  participate in the public process  to a greater                                                               
degree than  the general  public:   public comment,  committee of                                                               
the whole, board deliberations, and  voting.  During committee of                                                               
the   whole  procedures   board  members,   including  conflicted                                                               
members, interact with  the public, the Department  of Law (DOL),                                                               
and  the Alaska  Department  of  Fish &  Game  (ADFG), and  board                                                               
members  can   interact  with  state  agencies,   proponents  and                                                               
opponents of  proposals, and  others, which  is an  advantage the                                                               
public does not  have.  Following its  committee work, conflicted                                                               
board members  are recused, and BOF  begins formal deliberations.                                                               
Mr. Mohr opined HB 35 expands  the influence of board members who                                                               
have   a   direct   financial  interest   in   a   matter   under                                                               
consideration, even though conflicted  board members already have                                                               
an opportunity  in formal and  informal settings to  ensure their                                                               
opinion and  expertise is  known.   He advised  current "conflict                                                               
procedures"  are   not  unknown,  or  untested,   and  have  been                                                               
reasonably  effective;   KRSA  believes  loosening   the  ethical                                                               
guidelines for BOF and BOG is not in the public interest.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE   SPOHNHOLZ  asked   for   clarification  on   the                                                               
opportunities  conflicted board  members have  to participate  in                                                               
addition to the committee of the whole discussion.                                                                              
MR. MOHR said conflicted board  members participate as members of                                                               
the  public  during  public  comment.   In  further  response  to                                                               
Representative   Spohnholz,   he   said   there   are   currently                                                               
sportfishing interests serving on BOF.                                                                                          
2:14:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked whether a  board member who  holds a                                                               
sportfishing  license   would  be  "conflicted  out"   of  making                                                               
allocative decisions about sportfishing.                                                                                        
MR. MOHR expressed  his understanding the chairman of  BOF or BOG                                                               
is the  ethics officer who  would make  a final decision  about a                                                               
conflict;  however, there  must be  a direct  financial interest,                                                               
and holding a  sportfishing license would not  establish a direct                                                               
financial  interest   in  the  management  of   the  sportfishing                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   HANNAN  observed   the  BOF   ethics  disclosure                                                               
statement  does not  define a  threshold for  a direct  financial                                                               
interest.  She  asked for the point at which  one has a financial                                                               
interest in the sportfishing fishery.                                                                                           
MR. MOHR restated the decision on  an unethical conflict is up to                                                               
the chairman of BOF and BOG, and DOL.                                                                                           
2:16:55 PM                                                                                                                    
GLEN HAIGHT, Executive Director,  BOF, ADFG, explained matters of                                                               
subsistence, personal use, and  sportfish affect everyone equally                                                               
thus there is  no effort to assess personal  financial benefit to                                                               
those matters;  a board member  who holds a sportfish  license or                                                               
who  engages in  a  subsistence fishery  is  not conflicted  out.                                                               
However, a guide operator may  be affected; according to DOL, the                                                               
threshold is $5,000, and a conflict may arise at that point.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN questioned  whether the  guide's threshold                                                               
of economic return is based on  the value of the sportfishing day                                                               
trip or on the value of the fish [caught].                                                                                      
MR. HAIGHT said, "It's to  the operator, the commercial operator,                                                               
it doesn't apply to their client."                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked  whether sportfishing lodge operators                                                               
would be conflicted out of all sportfishing decisions.                                                                          
MR.  HAIGHT  gave  the  example  of a  lodge  owner  whose  lodge                                                               
operates in an  affected area and who would benefit  from a board                                                               
action; this would be a specific instance.                                                                                      
2:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  LINCOLN, after  ascertaining no  one further  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 35.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  returned  attention  to  the  BOF  ethics                                                               
disclosure  and observed  the definition  of family  differs from                                                               
that of the legislature's ethics law.                                                                                           
MR.  GRUENING  explained  in  the  executive  branch  ethics  act                                                               
immediate  family  member is  defined  in  AS 39.52.960  (11)  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     (11) "immediate family member" means                                                                                       
     (A) the spouse of the person;                                                                                              
     (B) another person cohabiting with the person in a conjugal                                                                
     relationship that is not a legal marriage;                                                                                 
     (C) a child, including a stepchild and an adoptive child,                                                                  
     of the person;                                                                                                             
     (D) a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, or uncle of the                                                                  
     person; and                                                                                                                
     (E) a parent or sibling of the person's spouse;                                                                            
MR.  GRUENING pointed  out the  aforementioned  differs from  the                                                               
legislative  branch   definition  found   in  AS   24.60.990  (6)                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     6) "immediate family" means                                                                                                
     (A) the spouse or domestic partner of the person; or                                                                       
     (B) a parent, child, including a stepchild and an adoptive                                                                 
     child, and sibling of a person if the parent, child, or                                                                    
     sibling resides with the person, is financially dependent                                                                  
     on the person, or shares a substantial financial interest                                                                  
     with the person;                                                                                                           
MR. GRUENING said, "That was  pretty close to the definition that                                                               
was in the bill before it was removed ...."                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  surmised the BOF ethics  disclosure states                                                               
not just  the immediate family, but  a member of the  family, and                                                               
the bills narrows the definition to immediate family.                                                                           
2:23:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  GRUENING  clarified   the  bill  makes  no   change  to  the                                                               
definition of  immediate family;  for BOF  and BOG,  the statutes                                                               
are AS 39.52.960 (9) and (18) [original punctuation provided]:                                                                  
     (9) "financial interest" means                                                                                             
     (A) an interest held by a public officer or an immediate                                                                   
     family member, which includes an involvement or ownership                                                                  
     of an interest in a business, including a property                                                                         
     ownership, or a professional or private relationship, that                                                                 
     is a source of income, or from which, or as a result of                                                                    
     which, a person has received or expects to receive a                                                                       
     financial benefit;                                                                                                         
     (18)  "personal interest"  means  an  interest held  or                                                                  
     involvement by a public officer, or the officer's immediate                                                              
     family member  or parent,  including membership, in any                                                                  
     organization, whether fraternal, nonprofit, for  profit,                                                                 
     charitable, or political, from which, or as a result of                                                                  
     which, a person or organization receives a benefit;                                                                        
[HB 35 was held over.]                                                                                                          
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                       
^Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                                           
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                   
               Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                           
2:25:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN announced  the final order of  business would be                                                               
a confirmation hearing  of Cash Joyce, appointee to  the Big Game                                                               
Commercial Services Board.                                                                                                      
2:25:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CASH  JOYCE,  Appointee,  Big   Game  Commercial  Services  Board                                                               
(BGCSB),  Division  of  Corporations, Business  and  Professional                                                               
Licensing,   Department  of   Commerce,   Community  &   Economic                                                               
Development,  informed the  committee he  is currently  seated in                                                               
the  transporter position  on BGCSB.    Mr. Joyce  is a  lifelong                                                               
Alaskan and  he and his  wife co-own an  air taxi service  and an                                                               
outfitting business.                                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR TARR  asked whether Mr.  Joyce has a  potential conflict                                                               
of interest if his small  business is engaged in business related                                                               
to  BGCSB licensing  and regulation  of  providers of  commercial                                                               
services to big game hunters.                                                                                                   
MR. JOYCE said his  is not a designated seat such  as one held on                                                               
CO-CHAIR TARR stated  the membership of BGCSB is  composed of the                                                               
following:     two   members   are   licensed  registered   guide                                                               
outfitters; two members are licensed  transporters; one member of                                                               
BOG; private landholder members; two public members.                                                                            
MR. JOYCE  restated he  is seated  in the  designated transporter                                                               
position and is also a big game guide.                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  TARR inquired  as  to  whether a  board  member in  the                                                               
industry would recuse oneself from certain board decisions.                                                                     
MR. JOYCE said he has never  recused himself from a decision.  He                                                               
     ...  I didn't  really read  into  it as  a conflict  of                                                                    
     interest,  I am  a transporter,  I'm an  air taxi,  so,                                                                    
     that has a  lot to do with transportation.   I'm also a                                                                    
     registered guide,  and that might have  some insight on                                                                    
     how  things  work,  which maybe  some  of  the  private                                                                    
     landholders or  some of the  public people  don't quite                                                                    
     understand.   I get it, from  the get-go, and I  have a                                                                    
     lot invested in  my air taxi, my wife and  I do, and so                                                                    
     that's pretty  much the  foundation of  why I'm  in the                                                                    
     ... transporter position.                                                                                                  
2:29:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  surmised Mr. Joyce  filled out  a term and  is now                                                               
being reappointed to a full term.                                                                                               
MR. JOYCE said that's correct.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked about Mr.  Joyce's goals for the next                                                               
MR. JOYCE  said he seeks  to be a  valuable member of  the board.                                                               
The board  has made progress toward  its fiscal goal to  be self-                                                               
sufficient,  has written  a new  test, is  solving problems,  and                                                               
strives to provide continuity.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO asked  how  long Mr.  Joyce  has been  a                                                               
MR. JOYCE  stated being  a transporter  requires a  state license                                                               
that is not required  of an air taxi.  He and  his wife have held                                                               
a  single pilot  operation  certificate since  2015  and hope  to                                                               
expand  to a  multi-pilot  multi-aircraft operation  in the  near                                                               
CO-CHAIR  LINCOLN questioned  what  role BGCSB  holds related  to                                                               
guide concessions.                                                                                                              
MR. JOYCE restated  he is a big game guide.   In further response                                                               
to Co-Chair  Lincoln, he  explained if  air taxi  concessions are                                                               
opened to all there would be  conflicts that would detract from a                                                               
tourist's experience.   In big game  guiding, there is a  need to                                                               
limit the number of clients in one  area so as not to degrade the                                                               
experience  for a  client.   Also, regulation  of concessions  is                                                               
good for the game.                                                                                                              
2:36:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN  asked for  the  location  of Mr.  Joyce's                                                               
primary guiding operation and air  taxi and whether he transports                                                               
his and other guide's clients.                                                                                                  
MR.  JOYCE said  his principal  air  taxi operation  is based  in                                                               
Wasilla.   In addition, he  works in Southcentral;  the principal                                                               
base of operations for big game  guiding is in Wasilla, and hunts                                                               
are conducted on  the Alaska Peninsula and in  the Chugach range.                                                               
His air taxi service carries  all passengers and cargo for lodges                                                               
and  a variety  of other  services.   Transporting  hunters is  a                                                               
small portion of the air taxi service.                                                                                          
2:38:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN opened public testimony.                                                                                       
2:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK  RICHARDS, Executive  Director, Resident  Hunters of  Alaska                                                               
(RHAK),  informed  the  committee   RHAK  represents  over  2,000                                                               
members who  support a resident  hunting priority.   Mr. Richards                                                               
spoke in opposition to Mr.  Joyce's reappointment to BGCSB due to                                                               
the  conflict  of  interest under  [AS  08.545.591]  between  the                                                               
guiding industry  and the transporter  industry.  He  referred to                                                               
the BGCSB  transporter subcommittee, noting guides  want to limit                                                               
transporters because  they believe  transporters fly in  too many                                                               
clients.   The  big issue  with the  guide concession  program is                                                               
that guides with individual concessions  may be the only air taxi                                                               
licensed to  fly to a certain  area and will not  fly in resident                                                               
hunters.     Mr.  Richards  stated   the  statute   creating  the                                                               
membership of  BGCSB did not  intend for a  guide to also  hold a                                                               
transporter license and  serve in the transporter  seat; in fact,                                                               
this sets a poor precedent for BGCSB.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked how  many registered guides also hold                                                               
air transporter licenses.                                                                                                       
MR.  RICHARDS  was  unsure,  although   most  of  the  air  taxis                                                               
commercially authorized by the park  service to fly in hunters to                                                               
Wrangell-St.  Elias National  Park and  Preserve are  also guides                                                               
thus it is difficult for a  resident to get air transportation in                                                               
to hunt.                                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN   recalled  it   is  not  unusual   for  a                                                               
transporter  to also  be a  guide and  questioned whether  RHAK's                                                               
concern about conflict of interest is isolated to Mr. Cash.                                                                     
MR.  RICHARDS clarified  the statute  states  [the membership  of                                                               
BGCSB  includes] two  members  who are  licensed  guides and  two                                                               
members who  are licensed transporters.   Although the Department                                                               
of Law (DOL) does not see  illegality in a guide member holding a                                                               
transporter license,  DOL has stated  public members  cannot hold                                                               
either a guide or a transporter license.  He remarked:                                                                          
     We're just saying that we  believe it really sets a bad                                                                    
     precedent  because  there's  this really  huge  tension                                                                    
     between the guide and transporter  industry ... we want                                                                    
     the transporter  to fight for  the transporter  and the                                                                    
     guide to fight for the guide.                                                                                              
2:45:04 PM                                                                                                                    
THOR  STACEY, Director,  Government Affairs,  Alaska Professional                                                               
Hunters  Association  (APHA),  expressed APHA's  support  of  Mr.                                                               
Joyce's appointment  to BGCSB.  He  said in the last  three years                                                               
BGCSB  has  faced  significant challenges  and  has  retired  its                                                               
deficit of over  $1 million.  In addition, BGCSB  has reduced its                                                               
outstanding investigations,  which he  attributed to  the efforts                                                               
of  the  volunteer board  members.    Mr.  Stacey pointed  out  a                                                               
transporter  or  guide  license  allows one  to  sell  access  to                                                               
Alaska's  wildlife;  therefore,  there are  important  issues  of                                                               
wildlife, professional  conduct, and obligations to  the resource                                                               
that BGCSB  will address.  He  said APHA does not  see an extreme                                                               
amount of tension between hunting guides and transporters.                                                                      
2:47:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  LINCOLN, after  ascertaining no  one further  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR TARR paraphrased from the following written statement:                                                                 
     The  House Resources  Standing  Committee has  reviewed                                                                    
     the  qualifications of  the governor's  appointee, Cash                                                                    
     Joyce, to  the Big  Game Commercial Services  Board and                                                                    
     recommends  that  the  name be  forwarded  to  a  joint                                                                    
     session  for  consideration.   This  does  not  reflect                                                                    
      intent by any of the members to vote for or against                                                                       
      this individual during any further sessions for the                                                                       
     purposes of confirmation.                                                                                                  
2:48:51 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:49 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 35 ver U 03.13.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Explanation of Changes ver A to U 03.13.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Fiscal Note-DAS-03.15.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Sponsor Statement 03.05.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Informational Document BOF-BOG History and Process 03.06.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Informational Document-ADF&G BOF Ethics Process Overview and Recusals 3.6.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Suporting Letter SEAFA 03.02.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Emails(18 Combined) 03.25.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter ABSC 03.08.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter ALFA 03.13.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter APHA 03.21.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter NPFA 03.25.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter PVOA 03.13.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter RHAK 03.11.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter SEAS 03.22.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter UFA 03.06.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter USAG 03.07.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 3/29/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB35 Supporting Letter Wallesz 03.25.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Supporting Letter KSA 03.26.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB 35 Hearing Request Memo 03.13.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
Cash Joyce_Redacted.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
Big Game Commercial Services Board
Big Game Commercial Services Board Fact Sheet and Roster.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
Big Game Commercial Services Board
FINAl2019MineralsCommissionReport.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
Alaska Minerals Commission Presentation 3.27.19.pdf HRES 3/27/2019 1:00:00 PM
Alaska Minerals Commission