Legislature(1993 - 1994)
01/20/1993 03:37 PM Senate RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE January 20, 1993 3:37 P.M. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Mike Miller, Chairman Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman Senator Steve Frank Senator Drue Pearce Senator Al Adams Senator Fred Zharoff MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Dave Donley COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 43 "An Act establishing a grant program relating to transplantation of elk." SENATE BILL NO. 30 "An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska Minerals Commission." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 30 - No previous action to record. SB 43 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Senator Bert Sharp State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 30. Senator Robin Taylor State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 43. Ron Sommerville, Deputy Commissioner Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 43. W. Bruce Dinneford, Management Coordinator Southeast Alaska Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 240020 Douglas, Alaska 99824-0020 POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 43. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 93 - 1, SIDE A Number 001 SENATOR MILLER called the Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:37 p.m. and announced SB 30 EXTEND ALASKA MINERALS COMMISSION to be up for consideration. SENATOR BERT SHARP, Sponsor of SB 30, gave a brief overview of the Minerals Commission which advocates mineral development and multi-use of state lands. The Alaska Minerals Commission was created to make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on ways to mitigate the government constraints on development of minerals, including coal. SENATOR LEMAN asked if the Commission was normally on a five year sunset cycle. SENATOR SHARP answered that he thought it was. SENATOR LEMAN moved to pass SB 30 from Committee with individual recommendations. SENATOR ADAMS objected to say that a Budget and Audit Committee recommendation was to increase the sunset cycle to 10 years. He then removed his objection. There were no further objections and SB 30 passed from Committee with no further objections. Number 104 SENATOR MILLER announced SB 43 GRANTS TO TRANSPLANT ELK to be up for consideration. SENATOR ROBIN TAYLOR, Prime Sponsor, said a total of 50 animals from Oregon were planted on Etolin Island. He explained the legislation would put $100,000 to act as a matching grant fund so people in Southeast Alaska who wish to transplant elk have the opportunity to do so. SENATOR ZHAROFF said he was concerned with the loss of elk during the counting period. He was concerned that the fiscal note was $0, but that the position paper indicates there is $1 million needed over a five year period. He was also concerned that the Department was given the latitude to adopt regulations to implement this section which would mean no legislative review. He asked why there was no effective date. Number 290 SENATOR ADAMS asked how he planned on getting the funding for this program. SENATOR TAYLOR answered that it would come from the general fund. Number 292 SENATOR ADAMS asked if he had a specific island in mind for transplanting elk? SENATOR TAYLOR said he didn't have a particular island in mind. Number 313 RON SOMMERVILLE, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Fish and Game, said the bill gives the Commissioner a lot of discretion for funding. He said the Administration's position had not been finalized, yet. If this bill passed it would encourage the possible introduction of elk into Southeast Alaska. Bringing in "exotics" might create some problems with the Forest Service. There would also be problems of competition with species that are already here. Protecting the viability of natural species is a mandate of the department. The legislature chose to exempt elk from the Department's jurisdiction relative to farming. Some Bovine TB infected elk were imported which had to be eradicated. MR. SOMMERVILLE said the bill presented no direct cost to the Department unless something was implemented by the legislature. He offered to alter the fiscal note to reflect Senator Adams concern. He could not see any alternative , but to have an environmental assessment before anything can be brought in. Number 398 SENATOR PEARCE asked if elk had ever been in Southeast Alaska? MR. SOMMERVILLE answered they had been limited to parts of the lower 48. Number 410 SENATOR PEARCE asked what the length of quarantine time would be. MR. SOMMERVILLE said it depends on the type of disease. Bovine TB takes up to six years to develop, for instance. Number 420 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked what the transportation season would be. BRUCE DINNEFORD, Management Coordinator for Southeast Alaska, explained there had been a two phase transplant in January and March of 1987. He couldn't say for sure if that was the best time of the year. SENATOR ZHAROFF asked what was an exotic animal. MR. SOMMERVILLE said in this case it would be an animal whose range doesn't normally include that area. Number 445 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there had been any biological studies done on which to base his statements? MR. DINNEFORD said they didn't have any studies going on, per se. They have been monitoring the population of the elk and deer. He said that changes might not be apparent in the short term, 5 - 10 years. SENATOR FRANK asked why elk wouldn't migrate naturally to Alaska from their habitat in the lower 48? MR. SOMMERVILLE answered they are better suited to an interior rather than a maritime climate. Number 525 SENATOR ZHAROFF reiterated his concerns about ADF&G generating the regulations. He asked Mr. Sommerville to comment on the fiscal note. MR. SOMMERVILLE said they could change the fiscal note, and explained they didn't know if the legislature would appropriate any money for a program. If they did, there would be the need for some technical support from within the Department. Number 575 SENATOR ADAMS asked if he wanted regulations to come from the Department of Fish and Game saying the non-profit had to come up with the %50? SENATOR TAYLOR said that was right, because he wanted the local community to have a significant investment in the project itself. SENATOR ADAMS asked if he was planning to put into the budget a grant to the Ketchikan Sportsmen's Association. SENATOR TAYLOR said he was going to. TAPE 92-1, SIDE B Number 580 SENATOR LEMAN asked if there was a problem with getting the "exotic species" from other states. MR. SOMMERVILLE said there wasn't a problem getting elk. Because of expansion, most states are trying to give them away. Number 555 SENATOR ADAMS asked if the Department proposed any amendments or further comments on the fiscal note. MR. SOMMERVILLE said they could have a maritime climate and delete the rest of it, but they would still have to go through the process of site selection and assessment. Number 542 SENATOR ZHAROFF asked if he wanted this to include private land as well as public. MR. SOMMERVILLE answered yes. SENATOR MILLER said they would hold the bill until Monday so the sponsor could get together with the Department of Fish and Game and bring back some changes. SENATOR MILLER adjourned the meeting at 4:32 p.m.